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Posts posted by torakris

  1. I always knew this as 'Texas toast', I was born and raised in Cleveland...

    East Side or West? Finally another Clevelander responds, and I'm still the only one who knows this as "Rocky Mountain toast" (East Side).

    Eastsider here (Cleveland Heights), I never actually ate this at home only at girl scout camp and that is what everyone called it. It was just regular bread. Before I posted I googles Texas toast and was really surprised to see it was a kind of bread I had never heard of that bread before.

  2. To rinse or not to rinse, for me the question is answered by the type of rice I am using.

    For the true Japanese short grain, which is pretty much the only rice available in Japan yet rarely available anywhere outside of it, rinsing is required. On a side note, most "Japanese" rice in the US is medium grain not short grain and cooks up differently.

    The short grain rice that the Japanese eat everyday sticks together but isn't "sticky rice", not rinsing it well tends to make it stickier than it should be (if it is actually gummy you probably added too much water). Not rinsing it well enough also leave this starch film on the sides of the rice cooker/pot and also leaves a slightly off smell and taste. I can tell when I haven't rinsed it enough from the smell that emits from the rice cooker when it's cooking.

    For anything other than short grain Japanese rice, I either give it a swish in a colander or leave it as is.

    If you have access to true Japanese short grain rice try a taste test, cook two small pans of it one with rinsed rice and one with out rinsing. You'll never ask this question again...

  3. Thank you both very much.

    I wonder why most of my books call it oshitashi?

    I have only ever heard it called ohitashi, but it seems to a regional difference, this link (in Japanese) shows a Japanese person asking the same question and basically learning that either pronunciation is okay.

  4. I'm drinking the new Pepsi Shiso as I type this and really like it. It is a hard to describe taste but it definitely has a shiso/herbal taste. My (American) nephew wanted to spit it out on the first sip as he didn't care for it at all.

    I'd spit it out, too. Shiso is definitely not one of my favourite flavours!

    Re: Gokuri blood orange--in my 'hood it's available at Seijo Ishii. Maybe you'll find it there?? I think they have the peach one, too.

    Thanks! I hadn't seen the blood orange one around, I'll try to check Seijo Ishii this weekend.

  5. I'm drinking the new Pepsi Shiso as I type this and really like it. It is a hard to describe taste but it definitely has a shiso/herbal taste. My (American) nephew wanted to spit it out on the first sip as he didn't care for it at all.

  6. I had two sisters and a nephew visiting for almost 2 weeks and was able to try all the new kit kat flavors, especially the bagged ones. We tried the lemon vinegar (just okay), ramune (pretty much a unanimous yuck), rose (tasted like eating a rose bush and most of us spit it out), and green tea (wonderful as always).

  7. Besides ohitashi (not oshitashi), it's good in miso soup, nibitashi (simmered with abura age in broth (for example, 8:1:1 ratio of dashi, mirin, and soy sauce), and goma ae (simply replace spinatch with komatsuna).  It's also good in stir-fried dishes.

    Hiroyuki has pretty much covered it all, you can use it any place you would use spinach. I think it really goes well with any type of deep fried tofu, like aburage (thin pockets) and astuage (the thicker blocks). I tend to season it a little more heavily added garlic and a little more soy sauce. The atsuage and komatsuna also make a great stirfry with some oyster sauce.

    The baby leaves are also great raw in salads.

  8. Morinaga is currently traveling the world with their hi-chu flavors, I have had a couple packs of their blood orange flavor that I have really enjoyed. They also have a dragon fruit one that is ok. I just checked their homepage and they appear to have 2 new flavors, American cherry and kamu kamu berry. I'll have to keep an out for those.

    I really wish they would bring back the lime one.... :sad:

  9. Gokuri grapefruit beverage is still my favourite grapefruit beverage of all time.

    They just came out with blood orange, and also a peach one.  The blood orange was good (not as tart as blood orange juices can be), but grapefruit still kicks a**.  I've not tried the peach one, yet.

    That is one of my favorite drinks!! I haven't noticed the blood orange one, I'm going to have to check it out. I have really been enjoying the blood orange hi-chu.

  10. Wow!!

    See what happens when one is absent from the board? One misses out on a most fruitful and exciting discussion.

    I was recently in Penang, a week ago actually, and I'm still working off the food.

    Big contrast right now, as I'm over in Borneo, anticipating a dinner tomorrow night by ex-French Laundryman, Damon Campbell.

    Mind boggling away as I type.

    Please tell me more about Borneo! (starting a new thread of course! :biggrin: )

    My family and I have traveled quite a bit in Asia recently and Malaysia was by far our favorite. We are thinking of going back next year and hitting KL and Borneo.

  11. I am lost when it comes to tropical fruit, so I will just go with whatever you guys say... :biggrin:

    Rona, today at a local supermarket I found the most beautiful Mexican mangos and they were huge, for only 198 yen a piece! There was a sign above them telling customers there was no problem with produce from Mexico transmitting Influenza A and I have a reason that is why they were so cheap, they normally sell for 498 yen a piece!

  12. my first dish


    One of my favorite foods was what I believe was called a rose apple.

    What's the fruit at the bottom right-hand corner? Looks like some kind of custard apple-like fruit.

    Did they have any mangosteen? Or star apples?

    The rose apple is the one on the far left about the middle of the plate, right? In front of the banana, with shiny bright pink skin?

    I think I need to go to Penang, just to eat fruit! I really miss being able to eat lots and lots of fruit. :sad:

    And I agree, KFC in Malaysia is really good!

    I wish I had taken notes! I think the rose apple is the one in front of the jack fruit and I'm not sure the one in the bottom right is, anyone?

    No mangosteens at the time and I'm not sure what a star apple is.

    The guide said this was actually in between the main fruit seasons and if we had come a month or two later we could have had quite a bit more.

    The banana was quite good but it was the first time I have ever had a banana with seeds! It was really hard to eat.

    I didn't want to go on too much about KFC but it was really good! I loved the chili sauce for dipping and the girls had this really good quesadilla like dish.

  13. Some dishes from the Long Beach Cafe hawker center in Batu Feringgi (not sure of the actual spelling as I have seen it spelled a couple different ways).

    This satay was on our table almost every night!


    There were quite a few Indian vendors, the kids really like the tandoori chicken from this one. He had numerous curries and just as many side dishes to choose from, everything was quite good.


    I loved the pineapple and cucumber salad so much that I often ordered just that!


    The kids and the tandoori chicken



    Tom yam fried rice and pineapple fried rice (the tom yam one blew me away, I am going to try this one at home!)


    A sizzling noodle dish, also fabulous


    popiah spring rolls, these were another incredible dish that we had almost every night


    two more favorites Char kway teow and o chien oyster omelette, the kids were fighting over the last oysters!


    The grilled fish stand had some great offerings and eventhough it was by far the most expensive stand it was worth the price. Grilled sea bass


    the black pepper crab was Hide's favorite dish and we had this and the chili crab a couple times


    Some views of the center itself



  14. I can't thank everyone enough for all the information, the trip was planned so suddenly that I really didn't have time to do much research.

    We are back now and I miss Penang already! It was such an incredible trip, the island is beautiful and the people so wonderful. Though the hotel was fabulous we were a little out of the way and thus limited in food choices. Except for one lunch at KFC (which was quite good by the way!) we ate all our lunch and dinners at either hawker centers or local restaurants. We had dinner every night at Long Beach Cafe hawker center just a couple minutes walk from our hotel and then enjoyed the night market afterwards.

    We arrived at 9am and since we were too early to check in we arranged for a private driver to give us a tour of part of the island. One of the places we stopped at was the Tropical Fruit Farm, the entrance fee included a small group walking tour (just 10 of us) of the farm. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and would pluck fruit right from the tree and cut it up for us to sample, the kids really loved the peel of bark from the cinnamon tree. After the tour we were led to small fruit buffet for an all you can eat feast of tropical fruits from the farm (this was also included in the entrance fee).

    the buffet


    my first dish


    One of my favorite foods was what I believe was called a rose apple.

    Our private driver was also quite informative about local fruits and pointed out all the different trees as we drove past. I was amazed by the number of avocado trees and was shocked when my driver told me most Malaysians just let the fruit rot on the tree and rarely eat it.

    When we drove past one tree loaded with low hanging fruit he stopped for us to pick some.


    They were quite hard but by the last day of our trip they were perfect! We enjoyed them (about 2 apiece) poolside after ordering a dish of samosas and spring rolls. We had to order something as we had already checked out and had no access to the cutlery needed to eat them... :biggrin:

    (the sweet chili sauce also tasted great with them)


  15. Rona,

    I just picked up Meyer lemons yesterday at Seijo Ishii. Do you have one nearby? they had quite a few of them there.

    I was going to drop by Seijo Ishii today! I dropped by a couple of weeks ago, but they didn't have any at that time. Was it expensive? Imported? The guy in Mie who grows them sells them for about Y2000 for 2kg. I thought it was reasonable--have I been in Japan too long?

    What are you doing with yours? Meyer lemon tart?

    They are from Mie ken, It was one for 158 yen or two for 258 yen. I picked up a pack of two and have no idea what I am going to do with them as I have never had them before. I just noticed them and remembered this thread so I thought I would give them a try. A lemon tart does sound good..

  16. Thank you so much for all the information, I have never planned such a trip in less than 2 weeks before! I actually know nothing about Penang or even Malaysia and we are only going because I found an incredible deal on the airfare.

    I have spent the weekend reading about Penang and the food culture sounds incredible!! I am really excited about the hawker food because we there will be 5 of us and we can just get a small dish of everything and share. Luckily, my kids are very adventurous eaters.

    I am also happy to hear about coconut desserts, If I have to pick one food to live on for the rest of my life it would probably be coconut. :biggrin: In Japan there is no coconut anything. I went crazy in Korea a couple months ago when I found a coconut ice cream at Baskin Robbins. My kids got hooked on the hoddeoks (brown sugar filled "pancakes") when we were in Korea and they were asking me if Penang has anything similar.

    Final question, is there tipping? especially at the hawker stands?

    From the reviews I have read the Shangri-La's breakfast buffet is quite amazing, my kids are most excited about the chocolate fountain they supposedly have. We got spoiled at the Novotel in Lombok with fresh crepes every morning...

  17. Wow! Thanks for that quick and informative reply. I'm really looking forward to the food on this trip, that fried oyster omelette sounds especially good.

    How difficult is it to get by with no knowledge of the language at the hawker stands? I feel we missed a lot on our trip to Korea a couple months ago because we had no communication skills.

    Our hotel includes a free breakfast buffet (and according to the reviews I have heard it quite good) but I have a feeling we will be looking for cheap options later in the day.

  18. Help!

    We are headed to Penang in 11 days (I just booked the trip a couple hours ago!) and I have no I idea about Malaysian food. We are staying at the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang so are pretty much out of the main districts, I have read there is a night market just outside the hotel and plan to head there. Any recommendations/foods to keep an eye out for?

    What are some common sweet foods sold by hawkers?

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