Lunch --- Toast , Mayonnaise, Boiled and Dried Baby Sardines

Lunch was light. Toast and Nozawana Chirimenjako ( Nozawana- A kind of pickled Japanese green vegetable and boiled and dried baby sardines ) . I toasted a slice of bread, cut it into half, buttered the bread, spread mayonnaise , put Nozawana Chirimenjako over it. The cup soup is actually the left over from breakfast. Now I need to go back to work !!!

Forest in Hanegi Park and Geta

This is favourite spot in the park. Hanegi Park is facile walking space and also good to get fresh air. It's small, but you can feel like being in a forest. ( It is small, but still it is a forest.)
People were walking with dogs, exercising, playing baseball ( in the field ).

This is the pair of Japanese wooden foot gear I wore today.
I bought these to wear with Yukata( Summer Kimono) , but I wear Yukata only once or twice a year . Instead of shoes or flip-flop, I wore these to walk. No problem. It was like flip-flop with wooden sound. It went well with my red shirt also.
If you are in Setagaya area in Tokyo, please visit the park once.
The closest station is Umegaoka ( It means plum hill --- In February, they have Plum Blossom Festival. ) on Odakyu Line.

Ema ( Pictorial Offering ) --- Hanegi Park

At the park, I found Ema on red board in Children's Play Park area. You see Ema( Pictorial Offering ) usually at shrines with illustration of the year's oriental zodiac on one side. During new year's celebration, you buy one ( especially students taking entrance exam ) and write your wish.
This one is plain and it seems children drew what they want.
I found one saying " Peace". That is nice.

Train and Hydrangea

This is another working weekend. It is unhealthy to sit in front of computer all day long.
The weather is beautiful although we are in the rainy season. I decided to take a walk to " Hanegi Park " near my place.
On the way to the park, I saw pink hydrangea
alongside Inokashira-line.


Breakfast for Summer Morning --- Tomato and Avocado Salad

When it is stuffy and I don't feel like eating, this is good to start a day.
Tomato and Avocado Salad Ingredients:
1 big tomato and 1 avocado. Balsamico vinegar, Olive oil,
Salt and Pepper.
1) Cut tomato and Avocado ( it is recommended to squeeze lemon over avocado to avoid color change.) Mix well.
2) Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salad. Pour balsamico vinegar and olive oil over it.

Dinner Combo

This was my dinner tonight. ( plus steamed rice ).
The upper left is Edamame Tofu. The right is sliced onion salad.
The bottom left is stir fried eggplant & minced pork.
Tonight is so humid, I need a can of beer... well, I have to work little more.... maybe not tonight.
Ingredients for Eggplant and Minced pork dish:
Sliced ginger 1 tea spoon
Sliced eggplant 2 cups
Minced pork some ( 0.2 lb or less is fine /100 grams or less)
Sesame oil 1 table spoon
Sake 1 table spoon
Soy sauce 2 table spoon
1) Put ( sesame ) oiled pan over medium heat.
2) Put sliced ginger into the pan. Fry. Add pork and eggplant.
3) Stir well. Pour sake, Soy sauce. Stop the heat.
Enjoy ! Make variation by adding mirin ( Japanese sweet rice wine )
or spicy chili sauce etc....

Edamame Tofu

With grated ginger and soy sauce, it brings you edamame and tofu all together into your mouth !
mmm, it was yummy. a part of my dinner tonight.
Produced by Kibun Foods Inc.

Onion Salad --- Simple Salad

This should be easy. You can use any dressing you like.

I used ( again ) Yuzupon ( Yuzu flavoured vinegar soy sauce ).

It's just sliced onion. If you like to reduce onion smell, put the sliced onion in the water for several minutes.
The topping is dried bonito flake.

Natto ( Fermented Bean ) Soba --- Pasta Style

This is good for lunch or light dinner.
The noodle is actually soba noodle.
I usually like either 100 % soba ( jyuwari soba)
or 80% soba ( hachiwari soba /20% is flour ).
For this, I would use 80% soba because if it is 100%, the best way to eat it is zarusoba ( simply boil it in the hot water and eat it with soba noodle soup. )

After you boil the soba noodle, please remember to keep the hot water since it has nutrition of soba. It is tasteless, but you can just drink it or what we do at soba noodle restaurant is ( when soba was served cold ) add that water into the soup cup. and then drink it.

Natto 1 or 2 package ( up to your appetite)
Soba noodle ( just like pasta, up to your appetite)

Mentsuyu ( soba or udon noodle soup. Usually you add water to use )
Japanese basil ( or you call it perilla ) 2 - 3 leaves chopped
Olive oil 1 table spoon

1) Boil water. Put soba noodle, wait for 5 to 10 min. ( Please check the instruction. It depends on the soba. )
2) While waiting, let's add mentsuyu ( soba noodle sauce ) to natto. ( add some water and adjust the flavour).
3) Add some mustard or condiments you like. Stir well.
4) When the soba noodle is ready, take it out of the pan and wash it with cold water to remove stickiness.
5) Place in the plate, pour olive oil over it, put natto on the top. If you like, add chopped perilla,
dried laver seaweed , sesame etc....

CATV SHOW 2007 at Tokyo Big Site

Last week, I visited Cable Television Show 2007 held at
Tokyo Big Site. It was pleasant day as shown left.

The left is logo of the Foodies TV, which you can see on Cable TV or satellite TV as well as broadband TV.
Their program includes cooking, introduction of chefs and much more ... all food and beverage programs.


" LOOK " Chocolate --- New Version

There are several recipes I 'd like to write..,but I am still working.
So, just one photo today. Writing blog is refreshing activity for me.
I am writing some English summary of some TV program for some TV station at the moment. Needed to catch my breath and went to convenience store. I found familiar Fujiya's " LOOK " chocolate in yellow box.... next to it was new face, which is the photo. It says " Beauty A La Mode " , Limited Time Offer for beautiful women. What a tempting naming. I giggled and immediately grabbed this chocolate !!! It has four fruits flavour --- Acerola for repair, Kiwi for reset, cassis for relax, rosehip for refresh--- Thanks ! I need all four of them. The taste ? Yes, it is pretty good for 100 yen. It seems " limited time offer --- KIKAN GENTEI " thing has been trend for several years now. We , Japanese are keen on the seasons, the timing---so you can find beers , foods, sweets, snack which say " limited time offer", that makes us feel " Oh, I have to try it now. "


Fukuroda --- Ibaraki Prefecture

Last weekend, I went to Fukuroda, Ibaraki Prefecture.

It was actually for golfing. Four of us drove to Spa Fukuroda Golf Club for playing golf. It rained a bit during the round, still it was
nice and fun since I hadn't played for several months. My budget this month was bit tight, but I decided to save other spending for this gathering. It was worthwhile to do so. During golf, I enjoyed silly conversation , which was relaxing, and my beginner silly golf.
After golfing, we decided to take a bath at local hot springs, which was great with the view of verdure. Although it is Ibaraki, the place was rather close to Fukushima prefecture. It took us about three hours to get there and three hours to get back to Tokyo. However, that is why it felt so refreshing and felt like two day trip.

The top is AYU ( sweet fish ). It is fresh water fish and has cucumber like smell, it is said because it eats bog moss in the water. Savory. The second top is Konnyaku. Fukuroda's specialty is Konnyaku, alimentary yam paste with miso sauce.
The konnyaku itself doesn't have much taste. The texture is like hard jello. It is supposed to clean up your intestines by its dietary fiber.

The bottom ( left ) is Yuba, soy milk skin. This doesn't have much taste. Faintly soy milk flavour. We eat it with grated wasabi ( Japanese horse radish ) and soy sauce.
Sekisho no Yu ( Hot Springs of Sekisho )
TEL: 02957-9-1126

Local Friends' Birthday Party

It's almost two weeks ago. There was a party for local friends' birthday. ( There were two friends to be celebrated.) A group of friends ( about 10 people ) got together at Motsu Nabe restaurant. Motsu is stomach of beef and/or pork. Nabe is typical party or home party menu. Nabe means pan or pot. We cook food ( like stew ) and share with people who got together. By eating from same pot, you can feel close and enjoy the conversation and the food. We had several other dishes such as fried shrimp ( left ) , chicken ( right ) and others. At this restaurant, we had Shochu ( distilled spirit ) . After this , we moved on to another bar for red wines..... it was endless night...
Motsu Nabe " Emon "
TEL: 03-5452-0603
Shimokitazawa Green Garden 3F, 4F 2-26-14 Kitazawa, Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo
Closed on Mondays.

Bonito Dinner

This is Katsuo no Tataki... ( broiled bonito ) I bought a package at department store today. ( It is usually already broiled. ) The surface is broiled and then chilled by ice cold water to eliminate the fishy smell.
For bonito, sliced garlic or grated ginger is recommended. Not wasabi. In the photo, the bottom small plate has Yuzupon ( Yuzu flavoured vinegar soy sauce ) for that. On the upper left, Rakkyo ( I pickled early this month ) , which is crunchy and well seasoned now. Plus steamed rice and miso soup ( with Komatsuna--- spinach like green vegetable) was my dinner tonight.