1/17/2008

Zuke-don ( Rice Bowl of Seasoned Tuna )


I found good tuna pakcage at super market.
Made this dinner on Tuesday. In Japanese it is called Zuke-don. Zuke came from "tsukeru = pickle or soak". You put tuna in sauce which is made from soy sauce, mirin ( sweet rice wine ) and sake. This is so easy and also healthy, tastes great. The top left is tamagoyaki( grilled egg) and kuromame ( black beans , left over from new year's feast.)
Ingredients:
Steamed white rice
Tuna ( 1 small package from supermarket )
Shiso ( Japanese basil ) a few leaves.
Wasabi ( I usually use tube one.) , Dried lavar seaweed, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 table spoon of mirin and 2 tea spoons of sake.
1. Make the sauce first. Put soy sauce , mirin and sake into a grass bowl. ( resistance to heat)
2. Microwave the bowl for 30 sec. ( without cover or lid )
3. Soak tuna into the bowl.
4. Put rice into the bowl ( this bowl is to be served on the table.)
5. Put tuna and sauce on the rice.
6. tear shiso with hands. Put dried lavar seaweed and shiso on the tuna. Put some wasabi on the very top of them. Yum! Enjoy it !
If you can't find shiso, fine, go without it. You don't have to think " you have to have dried lavar seaweed.". You can simply prepare tuna and arrange it with something .... you can sprinkle sesame. Chopped green onion. Be creative ! I think authentic way is little different . Probably you are supposed to pickle the tuna over night, but this tastes good enough. That overnight one tastes sometimes too salty for me. ( I don't like too salty taste. )

1/16/2008

Amazake --- Warm You Up !


Amazake ( direct translation is sweet sake) is winter drink that you can warm up yourself. I made it a few days ago from Sakekasu ( Sake Cake ) . Sakekasu is sort of debris of sake making process. Looks like the photo below....like a clay.

It used to be summer cold drink for nutritional support in old days. It's tasty , so you don' t have to think about nutrition,but it is very good for your body with various vitamins and amino acids.




Ingredients:

1 pack of sakekasu ( at stores, about 140 yen. For one cup, you would need 1/4 of it.)

sugar, ginger, water

1. break sakekasu and put them into a milk pan.

2. start heating the milk pan and add 1 mug cup of water gradually.

3. melt sakekasu well.

4. when sakekasu is well resolved and it starts boiling, it is about time to put out the fire.

5. add some sugar and teaspoon of grated ginger.

You can find canned amazake at stores in winter,but I feel home made tastes thicker and better.

1/15/2008

Dinner plates.... last week


This is dinner set I made last week. White rice, pan-fried oyster, ikura & daikonoroshi ( salmon caviar & grated radish ) , tamago-yaki ( fried egg ) & grated radish ( little soy sauce added ) .
It felt quite light and healthy. When I was small, I was taught " Oyster is Ocean Milk " since it is so nutritious and good for us.
I love both fresh oysters and cooked oysters.
Ingredients:
Oysters ( there were about 10 oysters in a package.)
Wheat flower
Butter, Yuzu-Soy Sauce ( Ponzu )
1. Wash oysters with running water.
2. Paper dry them.
3. Dress oysters with flour.
4. Heat the pan. Put butter into the pan.
5. Add oysters into the pan and cook.
6. When the surface oyster starts browning or when they are cooked ( don't cook too long since it will kill the freshness of the oysters. ) .
7. Place oysters onto the plate. Pour some Yuzupon ( Ponzu ).
The flavor of the butter and yuzupon match and creates savory aroma....... recommended winter taste !

Kabu ( Turnip) & Bacon Pasta


I am working , but taking a little brake at the moment....., so....
In Winter, kabu( turnip ) is good. After being cooked in heat,
it becomes sweeter. I cooked Turnip & Bacon Pasta.
Easy to make.
Ingredients:
1 clove of garlic ( chopped )
2 turnips with stalk and leaves ( cut them like the photo)
1 chunk of bacon ( cut into bite size )
Olive oil , Salt, Pepper
1. Boil water and sprinkle some salt and start cooking pasta.
2. Pour some olive oil into the pan and start cooking garlic.
3. Add bacon. Add turnip. Fry them. Sprinkle pepper.
4. When turnip looks cooked enough, put out the fire.
5. Put past on the plate and put cooked turnip and bacon on the pasta.
Enjoy ! ( I don't use cheese for this plate. Somehow, it is better to enjoy it simply. )

Taiyaki---Fish-Shaped Pancake Filled with Bean Jam


A snack I ate a few days ago. I am still working at midnight, still wanted to upload something.
So, let me show you this snack.
Direct translation should be " Grilled Snapper",
since " Tai " is " Snapper".
Yet, this is not a real one as you can see. Sweet snack. Inside there, bean jam. Traditional snack in Japan. I usually enjoy it i with milk or green tea.

1/13/2008

"Katsura Biyoushitu Besshitsu"---Beauty Salon Katsura's Annex

This is blog is originally for FOOD. yes, I still try to write about food, yet this is also cultural information transmitter for me. So, please allow me to set another label " Japanese Novel ".
I hadn't read story books for a while, so wanted to read. Picked this one, written by Naocola Yamazaki. I guess the writer's real name is probably Naoko Yamazaki. She probably likes Cola and named herself Naocola, unusual name. Anyways, the story has only 5 characters mainly.
Junnosuke, who is " me " in the book. Umeda-san is a friend of Junnosuke and who is free-spirited person , his final education was elementary school, though maneges to keep the life somehow. Junnosuke is 27 year old, employee of probably big company. The story develops with the two girls working at beauty salon and the owner of the salon, Mr. Katsura. Ms. Momoi is young, but decent and has soft voice , chubby one. Eri is tall, little eccentric, sensitive girl who Junnosuke cares little. Though they never get into serious relationship. The story talks about the feelings of these young people.... movement of their mind...which is not dramatic, but something we would feel everyday. That is why I was impressed. This writer is good. Also the usage of the word. She uses some slung, some proper name....the touch of those words fit into the context casually. That makes the whole story light, yet delicate. mmm.

Persimmon Tree


This persimmon tree had many persimmons this year again.
Now most of the persimmons are gone. They were eaten by birds.
This is a good gathering place for birds before they go home everyday. I saw several kinds of birds are eating the fruits so happily. It is cold here in Tokyo, but this winter , it feels much milder. In any case, after experiencing severe cold winter in New York or Chicago, Tokyo winter is nothing. When I was staying in Chicago, I wanted to have breakfast. I took a shower first and then walked out of the hotel. I heard something was ringing. ??? That was my hair which got frozen since it was half wet , became like icicle.
Also, in New York or Chicago, I always needed ear-muff. Here, you don't need them.