• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
smallworld

eG Foodblog: smallworld - Spring in Tokyo

207 posts in this topic

The Japanese blogs are always among the most interesting, so I'm really looking forward to yours. I'm feeling very Japanese food-deprived (it's just about non-existent in small-town France) and so I know I'll be eating with my eyes this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add my thanks to you for doing a food blog! I'm very excited to see your world. I was in Japan in the summer of 2006 and totally mesmerized - especially by the food. Blog on!


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
where we would eat panzarotti (which doesn’t seem to exist in the rest of the world—is it the same thing as calzone?)

Welcome to Food Blogging!!

I'm an American Expat in your home country. I too sometimes say negative things about Canada, but I honestly don't think I could move back to California after living here( I dont miss the crime or the traffic).

Btw, I'd never heard of a panzarotti until I moved here. I was very familar with calzone's though. I think the difference is that a calzone has ricotta( at least mine do as does every calzone I've ever had at a restaurant) and a panzarotti doesnt.

To me, a panzarotti is like a folded pizza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's Tuesday morning here and about time I got around to blogging last night's dinner. I took lots of pictures because I realized that many of the ingredients I used would be unfamiliar to some folks and are also quite attractive.

gallery_7940_5772_21127.jpg

On the left is abura-age (thin sheets of deep-fried tofu), beside it takenoko (bamboo shoot) and behind is rice (regular Japanese short grain rice mixed with mochi-gome, or glutinous short grain rice) draining after being washed. The takenoko and half of the abura-age will be added to the rice along with water and seasonings: sake, soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking sake) and salt. They all get cooked in the rice cooker to make takenoko gohan (bamboo shoot rice). The rest of the abura-age will go into the soup.

Takenoko is a spring vegetable that is now available in some form all year long. It's still a bit early so this one comes pre-boiled, but I'll know when spring has truly arrived when fresh bamboo shoots start showing up at the markets.

gallery_7940_5772_37038.jpg

Renkon (lotus root), one of my favourite vegetables. Little flavour but a wonderful crunchy texture that water chestnuts only wish they had.

gallery_7940_5772_38245.jpg

Shin gobou. "Shin" means new, gobou is burdock, a long root. In spring there are all sorts of shin vegetables, in the same way that we have new potatoes in North America. Shin vegetables are sweeter and more tender than their regular counterparts.

The shin gobou and renkon will be sauteed with thinly sliced carrot to make a dish called kimpira.

gallery_7940_5772_53966.jpg

Nanohana. This vegetable seems to have dozens of names: I know it as rapini but it's usually called rape blossom or other names in English. Another spring vegetable, it will be parboiled, soaked in ice water and then breifly simmered in dashi (Japanese stock) flavoured with soy sauce and mirin to make nibitashi.

gallery_7940_5772_55209.jpg

Wakame, a type of seaweed. Wakame is sold fresh, semi-fresh (slightly dried and packed with salt) and dried, and in this case it's semi-fresh. It needs a quick soak before slicing off the "spine" that holds the strands together, then cutting the strands down to size. This will go into miso soup and also garnish these:

gallery_7940_5772_42201.jpg

Hotate (scallops), in their natural state. These kind of frightened me the first time I saw them as I was used to seeing the pristine, bleached white muscle only. I had no idea there was all that other stuff. I bought these whole, which means I had to slice the muscle from each shell (not easy as these guys are strong) and remove the wata (guts), which you can see in the bottom scallop. The two on the top are ready to go as the frill and roe* are both edible.

They cost 140 yen apiece, by the way.

* Or is it milt? As far as I know scallops are hermaphrodites; when the sac is beige it's in a male stage and when it's coral pink it's in a female stage. If anyone knows better please pipe up.

gallery_7940_5772_2142.jpg

I've placed a bundle of wakame next to them and drizzled it all with a mixture of soy sauce, dashi and sake and topped with a pat of butter, then I broiled them for about 5 minutes.

gallery_7940_5772_40194.jpg

Here's dinner. Clockwise from left: nanohana no nibitashi, garnished with katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes); renkon to shin gobou kimpira; hotate kaiyaki; homemade tofu (made from prepared soy milk using Kristin's directions from her soy tutorial) dressed with katsuobushi; miso soup with maitake mushrooms, abura-age and wakeme; takenoko gohan dressed with gomashio (black sesame and salt).

Seems like a lot of work but most dishes have leftovers so there'll be less work for the next meal. We eat a meal like this a few times a week (although the hotate is a bit fancier than usual).

We rarely have dessert during the week but I had all those cheap strawberries so we had a pack of those. They were good-- about as good as Japanese strawberries can be (more on that another day).


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I took lots of pictures because I realized that many of the ingredients I used would be unfamiliar to some folks and are also quite attractive.

Thank you, that is quite true (many of the ingredients are unfamiliar) although thanks to egullet, I am slowly becoming more familiar and comfortable with Asian ingredients. :smile: The dinner looks great. How long did it take you to prepare this meal (not including shopping)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the way you think. I am pretty sure I need a pre-breakfast as well.  Reminds me of that quote from Lord of the Rings: "I don't think he's heard of second breakfast, Pip." :smile:

Or Homer Simpson: "I've discovered a new meal between breakfast and brunch".

Smallworld, thank you for sharing your week of food-related activities. I also appreciate the detailed biography - it sure helps tell the story. (BTW I went to Brampton Centennial Secondary School for five years - there were five grades of high school back then).

I often find myself wishing there were more meals in a day. I think Homer and the Hobbits have it right.

There were still 5 years when I went too. The four year system was brand-new and I was the only one of my friends to finish quickly, which I regret. They stayed on and had fun and I was plunged into the real world, which wasn't as fun as I'd imagined. I went to Central Peel by the way.

Wow, the color in that food is amazing! Maybe it's because it is still very much winter here (we got six inches of snow yesterday), but I find it very cheerful. I can't ever recall eating anything that had quite that kind of neon glow to it.

The store-bought chirashi-zushi certainly did have a neon glow! I think the fish roe was its natural colour but I find the bright pink of the sakura dembu to be a bit gross. I do think that in general there is a lot of importance placed on colour in Japanese cuisine, although it is usually a bit more subtle than that sushi.

I try to avoid imports as much as I can, which can be expensive. Stuff like lemons and kabocha squash are easily grown in Japan but the imports are usually more widely available and are sold for half the price--or better--of their domestic counterparts.

I'm curious to know what the reason is for avoiding imports, if you care to share. Is it something most people in Japan would try to do?

It's just sensible to buy local: there's less pollution from shipping, it's usually fresher and tastier, and it supports the local economy. I've always thought that way about certain things, like bottled water (I'd never buy Evian unless I was actually in France, for example) but since getting used to Japanese cooking I've really noticed the difference in quality between domestics and imports. Not that non-Japanese produce is inferior, it's just that it loses so much on the journey here.

I have an environmental streak which I will discussing soon, I hope.

Great blog so far!  so do you speak Japanese fluently?  Also, are you working in Japan?  Looking forward to where the week takes us.

Ah geez, I wrote that long introduction and still managed to forget stuff! Yes, I work part-time teaching English, mostly from home. This week I have a very light schedule, luckily.

I'm not fluent, even after all these years. I'm terrible with languages-- after 6 years of studying French (grades 4 to 10) I couldn't even remember how to answer "Comment ca va?" the last time I went to Quebec. I've never formally studied Japanese, so I'm just learning as I'm going. I know enough to get by and can survive most simple conversations, but anything complicated and I'm lost.

Since getting married my biggest Japanese language input has been from my husband. So naturally I pick things up from him, but because men and women speak a bit differently here it's a bit of a problem. I go around saying "dekai" (big) instead of the proper "ookii", or "umai" (delicious) instead of "oishii" until someone corrects me. I'm sure foreign spouses of both genders can relate to this.

I can read as well as I can speak, which is a bit unusual because the written language here far more difficult than the spoken language (I've met plenty of non-Japanese who are fluent or near fluent speakers but completely illiterate). I learned to read at first by going to karaoke with friends (I hate karaoke, so I'd just sit there and watch the words on the screen), and then with Japanese cookbooks and cooking magazines. Now I'm fine with most recipes, I can understand most of the stuff on food packages, and menus are mostly no problem. But I still run into problems occasionally, and there's no way I can understand a newspaper or anything not food (or karaoke) related.

I'm going to a pho place tomorrow in Fujisawa that I've gotten a strong recommendation from some co-workers about. I'm a pretty harsh critic, having lived in Vietnam, so I'll let you know how it turns out. Are you the sort of person who'll make a field trip for good noodles?

...

Without eGullet, I don't think I could have survived my first few months in Japan financially! What resources have you used to learn Japanese techniques and recipes?

I wouldn't go all the way to Fujisawa just for pho, but I'd make a detour if I was already out that way. Let me know how it is.

The most useful resource has been NHK's "Kyo no Ryouri". Watching the shows while following along in the monthly magazines helped me both learn to read and learn to cook. It is the best cooking show and food magazine and they really do everything right. EGullet has also been helpful, but I didn't discover it until I'd already learned the basics.

where we would eat panzarotti (which doesn’t seem to exist in the rest of the world—is it the same thing as calzone?)

Btw, I'd never heard of a panzarotti until I moved here. I was very familar with calzone's though. I think the difference is that a calzone has ricotta( at least mine do as does every calzone I've ever had at a restaurant) and a panzarotti doesnt.

To me, a panzarotti is like a folded pizza.

Thanks! So maybe panzarottis are a Canadian thing. I wonder if both panzarotti and calzone derived from the same dish in Italy, or if they are based on separate foods, or if one or both are just completely made up?

*Oh my, none of the quotes are working and I can't seem to fix it. I hope this isn't too hard to read...


Edited by smallworld (log)

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So maybe panzarottis are a Canadian thing.

No -- they are here in Delaware too. There is one Italian festival here that is known for offering Panzarottis -- the St. Anthony's festival in June. However, our Panzarotti are fried, not baked.

Thank you so much for your blog. I and my family are in love with all things Japanese, and any opportunity to learn more is really appreciated.


Edited by Catew (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My parents-in-law live in Osaka and we visit just 2 or 3 times a year, so I never learned to cook from my MIL. I also had hardly ever eaten real home-cooked food, so had little idea of what most dishes were supposed to look or taste like.

Since you say so, I must ask: Is your seasoning more like Kansai (Western Japan) style than Kanto (Eastern Japan)?

Thanks for showing us a very typical Japanese meal, by the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Forgot to answer some questions.

OnigiriFB, I've met Kristin and her family once, at a non-food related event:  we were part of a panel /audience for a TV show-- Kristin has been on TV so many times she is practically a celebrity! I really do hope there is a Tokyo eGullet get together soon so I can see here again and meet some other folks.

Wow! That was a long time ago wasn't it! We really need to get together again! :biggrin:

I stretched myself paper thin this year between work and two different school committees. I have something on my calendar every day until 3/28 but once the new school year starts in April I am going to slow down and get to work on more eGullet Tokyo events!

I can wait to see the rest of this blog. :biggrin:

By the way, I just ate smoked mussels on Sunday :raz: Are you looking for the fresh ones or tinned ones? I have purchased the tinned ones at Yamaya, the fresh ones I eat at the New Sanno Hotel in Hiroo. Unfortunately it is a US military hotel so you can't get in without connections....


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew I had a picture of those smoked mussels in one of my old foodblogs

Is this what you are craving???

gallery_6134_184_1097394702.jpg


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for blogging. It is wonderful to see everyday life, wherever it is from. But Japan is very special. I only was in Japan once, in 1986, but it was a wonderful 3 weeks. That led to "Japanese phase" of cooking. Now I have gotten away from it.....time to at least make some simple sushi and follow the Japan board.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_7940_5772_37728.jpg

My coffee set up. I use this little kettle because it heats up faster and the long thin spout makes pouring easier. I don't know too much about coffee but I do know that a well-poured cup of coffee tastes much better than a poorly poured one.

If I'm making more than one cup I'll just use the coffee maker though.

gallery_7940_5772_32942.jpg

I use a very simple technique for making yogurt. Making it right inside the milk carton saves me from having to sterilize a jar. I just sterilize the spoon and the little cup that I use to liquify the starter. The milk carton gets sealed with a metal clip and sits in a hot water bath for a few hours (I usually use the rice cooker on "warm" because it mantains a steady low temperature, but I haven't washed out the rice pot yet).

gallery_7940_5772_9506.jpg

Below is my breakfast: half an apple (it's brown because I sliced it this 2 1/2 hours ago while I made my husband's breakfast), a kiwi, and a smoothie (made with yogurt, milk, a banana, strawberries and frozen blueberries). My husband had the apple and kiwi but instead of a smoothie he had an English muffin with egg and cheese.

gallery_7940_5772_39803.jpg

Note my filthy keyboard: eating in front of the computer is a habit I just can't break!

I have a student coming soon, so just the one breakfast today. After that I have telephone lessons from noon to 6pm, but hopefully it won't be a busy day and I'll get some time to blog.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We rarely have dessert during the week but I had all those cheap strawberries so we had a pack of those. They were good-- about as good as Japanese strawberries can be (more on that another day).

Yeah, this so true. As sweet as the berries are here (and the ones I've tasted in the rest of Asia) they're never as dense and as purely sweet as the ones I've eaten out of the field in Canada. My birthday is in July, and I always associate it with strawberries, because that's when the good berry picking starts in Nova Scotia. Is there anything better than a berry eaten in the field, still hot from the sun? The berries in Canada seemed far less uniformly sweet, but had a natural feeling the ones here don't - here they seem like they're made of cotton, for all their sweetness.

I wouldn't go all the way to Fujisawa just for pho, but I'd make a detour if I was already out that way. Let me know how it is.

I will. Fujisawa is a quick detour if you're in the neighborhood of Kamakura.

The most useful resource has been NHK's "Kyo no Ryouri". Watching the shows while following along in the monthly magazines helped me both learn to read and learn to cook. It is the best cooking show and food magazine and they really do everything right. EGullet has also been helpful, but I didn't discover it until I'd already learned the basics.

Nuts. Somehow I don't get NHK. I've been trying the same technique with Orange Page, though, and it's helped my food kanji tremendously. I'm really terribly at spoken Japanese, but I have a terror of being illiterate in any language, so I'm studying kanji at home. My coworkers find it hilarious that I can read, but can't say anything. No boyfriend or girlfriend for me to practice with, sadly! :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Kyo no Ryori. It's one of the best TV cooking programs, especially when the instructor is a celebrity like Chen Kenichi (one of the Iron Chefs), Yoshihiro Murata, and Hidemi Sugino. I can get other tips from Hanamaru Market on Channel 6, Tameshite Gatten on NHK, and even from Me Ga Ten on Channel 4. How about you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I learned Japanese cooking from Kyo no Ryori too...my university texts were pristine, while my KnR magazines were always heavily annotated. :biggrin: Orange Page taught me shortcuts and cheap but tasty standard family fare. Don't think I've seen KnR on TV for years.

I admire your "buy local" ethos. Apart from certain areas, Japan could not be called protectionist regarding food - the statistics on self-sufficiency in foodstuffs are really sobering.

Do you use any of the co-ops which promote domestic and organic foods? I used Daichi wo Mamoru Kai, which I have a lot of respect for, until my boys were old enough to start taking big bites out of our food budget. :sad:

Kabocha however :raz: I just have to search out the imports at this time of year, because the New Zealand main harvest is in February. I figure that half a year in cold storage vs. 2 weeks in a container ship is not much difference. But to be honest, I just miss the slightly different taste of NZ vs Japanese kabocha!

Costco sometimes has frozen mussels, but I often wonder why mussels haven't become popular in Japan. You have a mission there, Amy, should you choose to accept it...

I think that dark sac in the scallops is the gut - it's in the immature baby scallops too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Kyo no Ryori.  It's one of the best TV cooking programs, especially when the instructor is a celebrity like Chen Kenichi (one of the Iron Chefs), Yoshihiro Murata, and Hidemi Sugino.  I can get other tips from Hanamaru Market on Channel 6, Tameshite Gatten on NHK, and even from Me Ga Ten on Channel 4.  How about you?

I don't usually find shows like that helpful as I find the "tips" often don't work at all. I prefer regular cooking shows but they can often be hard to watch due to a lack of chemistry between the host and cook. I wish cooking shows here would adopt a more American format and just let the cook do his or her thing, without having to interact with a useless host.

Yes, I learned Japanese cooking from Kyo no Ryori too...my university texts were pristine, while my KnR magazines were always heavily annotated. :biggrin: Orange Page taught me shortcuts and cheap but tasty standard family fare. Don't think I've seen KnR on TV for years.

I admire your "buy local" ethos. Apart from certain areas, Japan could not be called protectionist regarding food - the statistics on self-sufficiency in foodstuffs are really sobering.

Do you use any of the co-ops which promote domestic and organic foods? I used Daichi wo Mamoru Kai, which I have a lot of respect for, until my boys were old enough to start taking big bites out of our food budget. :sad:

Kabocha however  :raz: I just have to search out the imports at this time of year, because the New Zealand main harvest is in February. I figure that half a year in cold storage vs. 2 weeks in a container ship is not much difference. But to be honest, I just miss the slightly different taste of NZ vs Japanese kabocha!

Costco sometimes has frozen mussels, but I often wonder why mussels haven't become popular in Japan. You have a mission there, Amy, should you choose to accept it...

I think that dark sac in the scallops is the gut - it's in the immature baby scallops too.

I've never used a co-op before. I checked out a few long ago but they seemed to expensive and was intimidated by they way they just send you whatever's in season (this was before I knew how to cook many Japanese vegetables). I really should consider joining one, because I often have trouble finding local stuff.

I've had frozen mussels in Japan, and they weren't very good. Not sure if they were crappy mussels, or if mussels just shouldn't be frozen. I also wonder why people here don't like them. Maybe they tried the same bad mussels I did?

Yes, I didn't explain it well but I do know that the black part of the scallop is the gut and needs to be removed. What intrigues me is that in North America everything except the muscle part is thrown away. I've read guides to cleaning whole scallops that the roe/milt is only eaten in France, and that the frill is inedible!

I also think it's fascinating that the scallop is a hermaphrodite and can switch back and forth between male and female. I like the coral (as in the eggs of the female) better than the milt and wish someone would invent a way to turn all scallops female before harvesting!

I knew I had a picture of those smoked mussels in one of my old foodblogs

Is this what you are craving???

gallery_6134_184_1097394702.jpg

I've never had fresh smoked muscles before, only tinned (will check out Yamaya, thanks for the tip). But oh my, those look good. I'm guessing the shrimp, gravlax (smoked salmon?) and caviar weren't bad either!

I've been to the New Sanno once as a guest of a very fun American lady who taught on base. We didn't eat, just hung out in her very nice and unbelievably cheap room before heading out to Roppongi. Very convenient location, I can see why the US military doesn't want to give up that land!

Sadly my "connection" moved to Germany so I have little chance of going back there...


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only one breakfast today so I did two lunches instead. The first lunch was a small bowl of miso soup leftover from last night, and half of the store-bought chirashizushi I bought for lunch yesterday. I didn't realize it until I started eating it, but that was a huge amount of food! It must have been family size or something.

gallery_7940_5772_26563.jpg

Second lunch was onigiri (often translated as "rice balls" even though they are usually triangular in shape) made from yesterday's takenoko gohan (sprinkled with gomashio and wrapped with nori seaweed) and a salad of cucumber, carrot and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil, ponzu (a wonderful soy sauce-based condiment with yuzu or other citrus juice) and pepper. These cherry tomatoes were amazingly sweet and I hope I can find them again. It was the first time I'd seen them- they are long and pointed and with a nice deep colour. They were labeled simply as "mini tomato" (Japanese for cherry tomato) but such special little tomatoes must have a special name.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your dinner last night is absolutely gorgeous and delectable, just the kind of dinner I wish I could have!

Tell us more about telephone lessons? As a person who's struggling constantly to live in a foreign language, I'm very interested in how other people manage. And I totally relate to being able to perfectly read recipes in another language, because I can too. After all, there are only so many ways to say "bring water to a boil and simmer until tender."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great blog so far!

I can totally appreciate the concept of struggling to grasp the little nuances of an unfamiliar culture's everyday cooking that we so take for granted with the styles of food we grew up with. I've begun to absorb some basics about various Asian cuisines' meal protocols, but it still doesn't come anywhere near as fluently as the Euro-American cookery I grew up with.

About that bright-pink chirashi-sushi: I can't help thinking of various young girls I've known here in the US who have had a real thing about the color pink. Some go through this phase where seemingly everything has to be pink--backpacks, bicycles, you name it. Oh, and the pink birthday cakes, oy! (With Disney princesses in pink-on-pink frosting!) So I'm imagining a Japanese girl in a similar phase would totally be into pink sushi for Girl's Day. :biggrin: (Me, I somehow missed the whole pink thing. I was more into purple. :laugh: )


Edited by mizducky (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for some fridge pictures:

gallery_7940_5772_17365.jpg

I swore I'd clean it up before I started this blog. The top door is littered with recipes and half recipes (Like when I'm following a recipe from the internet but don't want to print out a full page so I'll just jot down key measurements), held to the fridge by souvenir magnets from various travelling students of mine. The basket holds large ziploc bags and used ziploc bags of all sizes. The measuring spoons are there because I couldn't find a better place.

The fridge is a Toshiba Electrolux and we bought it about 7 years ago (I survived our first year and a half of marriage with a mini-fridge). My husband wanted a bigger one with an ice maker and I argued against him, because I am an idiot. I thought it would take up too much space (I was used to the mini-fridge) and was sure that the ice maker would break. My dad has a highly irrational suspicion of ice makers and I guess I inherited it.

Funny thing is I love ice (I'm an ice muncher, and no I don't have anemia!), and really regret not getting an ice maker.

gallery_7940_5772_7324.jpg

The top door is the regular fridge part. As you can see, all three shelves are cracked. The top 2 are actually replacements, and it looks like I'll be needing to buy new ones AGAIN. Is it just this one, or are all Japanese fridge shelves a bit on the week side?

In the back right is an ginormous bottle of maple syrup I picked up on my last visit home. I love maple syrup and wish I was more of a dessert person so I could eat it more often.

The lableless pop bottle is full of home-made ponzu. I always have a shortage of proper bottles for my concoctions, and my husband knows not to drink anything without a label.

The small milk carton on the right contains the yogurt I made this morning. It will only last a day or two, but for some reason the failure rate is higher when I try to do two cartons at once. So I just make it little by little.

gallery_7940_5772_9937.jpg

The door (that's my foot on the bottom right, holding it open). I have a lot more condimenty-type things than most people in Japan, because I cook food from so many different cuisines. So many that each cuisine only gets spotlighted once a twice a year, so I go through stuff very slowly. I haven't done a purge lately, so there's definitely some expired stuff in there somewhere.

gallery_7940_5772_44414.jpg

The middle compartment is slightly cooler and is for fruit and vegetables-- I love having a whole extra section like this.

You don't need to see the freezer. It's just full of frozen stuff.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dinner ingredients:

gallery_7940_5772_66072.jpg

No, I'm not cooking all these eggs! I'm just using four of the brown ones, but I wanted to show you the packages. On the left is a regular package of eggs: ten rather than the dozen we get in Canada, in a clear plastic container with a paper insert for the due date. This cost me 189 yen, which is a typical price. The average supermarket has a huge range of eggs, starting with cheap ones like these and going up to fancier eggs which go for triple the price.

On the right are free-range eggs, which are not sold at must supermarkets despite their impressive egg ranges (I got these from a health food store). The package has an insert with a picture of the chickens and information on their diet and living conditions. 398 yen for the package.

Eggs are often sold unrefrigerated, and as far as I know the use-by date only applies if you plan to eat them raw (eggs for cooking can be kept much longer). Japanese eggs are safe to eat raw, which took me a while to get used to.

I will be making dashimaki tamago (thick omelette flavoured with soy sauce and dashi). This is only the second time I've made them and I'm still not super at it. I've only started liking eggs in the past few years, so egg cookery of all types is pretty new to me.

gallery_7940_5772_9736.jpg

Umeboshi is commonly translated as pickled plum, although the fruit ume is more properly called a Japanese apricot. It is wickedly salty and sour. Next to it is sliced shiso (called perilla and beefsteak in English, not that I've ever heard of either), and below is shirasu-boshi, which are lightly dried baby sardines. All three will be mixed together and used to top rice (which today is frozen rice heated up in the microwave).

gallery_7940_5772_12632.jpg

I don't know if shirasu-boshi are of a specific species or if any sardine-like fish will do, but they are always white and tiny, from 1 to 2 cm in length.

And here's dinner:

gallery_7940_5772_20714.jpg

Clockwise from left: ume-shiso-shirasu gohan, with extra umeboshi on the side for me (my husband doesn't like umeboshi much so I only used a little); hamaguri clams steamed with Riesling, soy sauce and butter; dashimaki tamago with grated daikon; new potatoes and broccoli dressed with ponzu, olive oil and black pepper (the same one I used for lunch, this is my default dressing); haru kyabetsu (spring cabbage) with salt and katsuobushi.

I'm drinking 2006 Ratzenberger Steeger St. Jost Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken, which is quite a mouthful but the wine itself goes down nice and easy.

gallery_7940_5772_8489.jpg

The juice from the clams is always too good to just toss, but too salty to just drink down. There are two things to do: dilute it with boiling water to make a nice hot soup, or pour it over rice.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are two things to do: dilute it with boiling water to make a nice hot soup, or pour it over rice.
...or save for your next Bloody Mary!!

Wonderful blog! Timely too - a bunch of us are getting together for a Japanese feast on Sunday. Your photos and menus are very inspiring.

What's the availability/price of uni these days?


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Crust N Cakes
      Hello friends i m new in this forum, Crust N Cakes from Gurgaon it is my honor to be a members of this family.Thanks 
    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By Ian Dao
      Hi everyone, 
       
      Recently, I just found this paradise for Foodie and it is my pleasure to be here. My name is Ian and I am from Salzburg. I love to eat but have to hold myself back before I could roll faster than walk. Last month, I started my own food blog (mostly about restaurant, travel and stories). Reasons I want to be here are to improve my knowledge about food/wine and to learn more how to describe ingredients around me. 
       
      Thank you and have a great week =D 
       
      Guten Hunger (German)
      Mahlzeit (Austrian) 
      --> Enjoy your meal =D 
       
      www.iandao.com
    • By sartoric
      We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food.
       
      A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions.
       
       

       
      A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.

       
    • By Christy Martino
      Ciao!
       
      I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
       
      And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
       
      Grazie mille!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.