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smallworld

eG Foodblog: smallworld - Spring in Tokyo

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At the risk of getting off-topic I'm going to show you a bit more of my apartment. This first picture actually is food related though, because this is where it all ends up:

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:laugh:  Why not tell the international audience about warmlets and washlets - Japanese sophisticated toilets? (Just kidding)

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Amy, I think you may be setting a new standard for future blogs, with your detailed description and pics of your kitchen and its lay-out. Very interesting to see!

I can really see that you would feel closed in in a place like that. It looks like the window is non seethrough.. could you change that? Maybe you would feel better if you had a view, even if it was small.

Oh and I can really relate to the low countertops. I'm 1.80 and when I used to live in old apartments my back was killing me from the ridiculously low countertops!

I do LOVE your high and narrow dishrack though. I want one of those!

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At the risk of getting off-topic I'm going to show you a bit more of my apartment. This first picture actually is food related though, because this is where it all ends up:

gallery_7940_5772_15104.jpg

*THAT* is toooo cool ! What a fabulous idea.

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At the risk of getting off-topic I'm going to show you a bit more of my apartment. This first picture actually is food related though, because this is where it all ends up:

gallery_7940_5772_15104.jpg

Our toilet. Specifically, the tank, which is the smartest design ever. When flushing the toilet the water first passes through a tap on the top before falling down into the tank, allowing you to wash your hands without using extra water. This makes extra sense in Japan, where the toilet has its own room, separate from the bath and sink. But I'd want this even if I lived in Canada, because you don't have to touch a tap or anything (except for the flush handle but you'd have to touch that anyway) to wash your hands.

I think it's funny you have soap there. I used to, but my Japanese friends laughed at me, so I took it out. During winter it's way too cold to wash my hands with the toilet water, anyway! :biggrin:

I must be an anomaly, but I find Japanese strawberries to be of far better quality than the ones I've had in Canada, and I think the bigger and usually more expensive ones really are packed with strawberry flavour. When I buy strawberries, I sniff all the baskets and buy the ones that smell the most like strawberries (people usually look at me strangely, but I don't really care).

I know it's not the best, but instant pho cubes are not as difficult to find now (the paste-type in jars is even better), and the noodles are everywhere. When you need a pho fix, it certainly does the trick!

Do you think you and your husband (I have actually seen a picture of him ages ago on your blog--which you forgot to mention was recently nominated for an award!) might ever move back to Canada, or elsewhere in the world?


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Loving this blog. The handwashing unit as part of the toilet is very cool, and the lack of a similar set-up or sink in water closets in French households has always been one of those things that really bugs me.

There's a type of dish drainer that you might want to consider: wall-mounted, directly above your sink. They're common in Italian kitchens, where they're typically hidden behind a cupboard, though of course that's not necessary. You could build one yourself, making shelfs of plastic-coated wire or something similar, suspending them from the bottom of the cupboard that's over the sink. That way you wouldn't have to move it to take advantage of your counter space.

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I keep wanting to say "snap" every time I see your breakfasts! Those muffins are considered a big treat in my house, and yes, we usually have them with that grated "pizza" cheese on too.

There is a new Ikea opening up in the fall in Shin-Misato (Musashino Line, a mere hop for me). This obviously calls for an eGullet get together, as it's not too far off either the Tsukuba or Keihin Tohoku lines.

Those mitsuba planters - did you make drainage holes in the lids? They are growing impressively well!

I think I have maybe half as much counter space again as you (occupied by a bread-machine :raz: ), but certainly not a THREE-RING gas stove :shock: !

Those low counters - I'm only a 170cm shortie, but an ancient back injury (do not read books while walking down stairs...) means it's painful to wash dishes especially. I sometimes put a chopping board under the rinsing bowl in the sink, just to raise the height a little.

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Not a big cooking day today. Lunch was tonjiru, hourensou to abura-age no nibitashi, and rice leftover from last night. After my telephone lessons I had an evening group class near my old apartment. It's about 30 minutes by bike or 45 minutes by bus (with a bit of a walk at both ends of the trip) and tonight I went by bus.

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The lesson is held in a private home, and after we're done we usually have "tea time". The hostess provides tea and snacks and the students often bring snacks as well, usually souvenirs from a trip. Tonight we had two kinds of senbei, karintou (a very crunchy sweet snack made of deep-fried batter), chocolate-covered rice puffs, and takuan (pickled daikon). Believe it or not, Japanese pickles go deliciously with green tea, so are often taken as a tea snack.

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These flowers are momo no hana (peach blossoms) and are leftover from Hina Matsuri. Probably because of their colour they are associated with Girl's Day, and it must be a very old custom because peach blossoms don't naturally bloom for another month or so (a lot of the traditional holidays follow the old lunar calendar, which is a month off from the Gregorian calender now in use.

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I used my cellphone to sneakily take a few more pictures at Life, a large supermarket. The place is a bit pricy so I only shop here because it's on my way home. These are Kameido daikon, which are much smaller than regular daikon. Beside them are pineapples for 98 yen and I'm really regretting not buying one.

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Furtive photography makes fuzzy photos, so you can't see the marbling on the steaks on the right. They are priced at about 2000 yen each. The long steaks at bottom are rather lean and probably from Australia; the sliced beef at top left is for yakiniku (Korean style bbq).

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Boiled octopus tentacles, whole and chopped. At top left is a boiled and sliced squid.

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Bus stops carry a lot of information. This one has a digital screen that tells you which two buses are coming next and when they'll arrive, thanks to a GPS system. You can get the same information online which is pretty convenient.

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Even this minor suburban station has plenty of food options, but most of them are either fast food or drinking establishments. Matsuya, a gyudon (beef bowl) chain, is on the left, next is the ubiquitous Family Mart and above that is an izakaya (bar with small dishes of food, sometimes described as "Japanese tapas"). On the left is a jumble of several more izakayas, bars and restaurants. Surprisingly all the drinking places cause little public rowdiness, but just in case there's a koban, or "police box" (like a mini police station, but the cops are mostly there to give directions) to the right, identifiable by its red light.

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Here is a pachinko parlour next to an intriguing restaurant: it serves udon, soba and ramen. Most restaurants in Japan are extremely specialized: a sushi bar sells only sushi, a ramen joint only makes ramen, and so on. This place is pretty rare for selling three kinds of noodles, and it makes me not want to eat there. How could they be good at all three? It also has a huge menu of other stuff and seems really cheap, so I guess it attracts hungry students salarymen whose wives are stingy with their allowances (the lady of the house usually has complete control over the finances).

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My dinner was a few of the snacks from my evening lesson (we often get to take home what we don't eat) and age-mochi (fried rice cake flavoured with soy sauce and sugar-- it's better than it sounds), shared with my husband (he had leftover tonjiru and rice while I was out).

My goodness, it's after midnight. It's long past my bedtime, so goodnight folks!


Edited by smallworld (log)

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My stove and work area. With the dish rack in place there is just enough counter space for a cutting board. Built-in dishwashers barely exist here, those who do have a dishwasher (many do without) use a counter-top model. Dishes are my least favourite chore in the world but even if I could afford a dishwasher I wouldn't know where to put it.

*LOVING* your blog Smallworld, absolutely loving it because it is so very different from my life.

And (standing and placing my right hand over my heart, and my left hand in the air, and using my very very BEST Scarlett O'Hara voice......)...."As God is mah witness, I'll never complain about mah small kitchen again !!!"

I am in awe of the meals you prepare in that space. Absolutely in awe. ESPECIALLY without an OVEN fercryin'outloud !!

Seriously. Yes. I'll never complain again about mine.

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It's just amazing watching people cook here. And the pros are even better. If you ever come to Japan, get yourself to a "fruit bar" or "fruit parlour" and sit at the counter where you can watch the chef (fruit cutter?) do his stuff.

Now, THAT I would LOVE! I occasionally go with Chris to his favorite sushi place, and love watching that ballet betwixt fish and knife and all the garnishes and fillings. I do not eat there, but with the fruit bar, it would be the entire experience. Is it possible to have pictures from one?

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Those low counters - I'm only a 170cm shortie, but an ancient back injury (do not read books while walking down stairs...) means it's painful to wash dishes especially. I sometimes put a chopping board under the rinsing bowl in the sink, just to raise the height a little.

Me, too, on the shorter side---I'd put three or four tuna cans or tomato sauce cans beneath, for raising the dishpan height a bit in the sink.

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As you can see, it's pretty cloudy up in Northern Japan. They were just showing the Cherry Blossom Front before this, and I'm killing myself for not taking a picture for you. The Cherry Blossom Front is a special kind of weather report that shows a map of Japan with different areas marked in varying shades of pink, representing where the sakura are in bloom, and at what percentage they are blooming. It's the first blossom report I've seen this year and I didn't see the screen long enough to see where the cherry blossoms are, but I imagine it's down in Okinawa or maybe Kyushu. We won't be seeing sakura in Tokyo for another three weeks or so.

I vaguely remembered seeing something similar here in the US regarding the changing autumn leaf colors in New England, where the "leaf-peeper" tourism is a really big deal. In fact, when I went Googling to refresh my memory on that point, I found this website (though the interactive maps on this site are not currently active at this time of year). Interesting to compare and contrast analogous practices in different cultures, isn't it? :smile:

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Thanks for blogging!

I am amazed at how small Japanese kitchens are, with the variety of expected foods and tableware for each day. I'm impressed.

Therese beat me to the suggestion of an above-sink drainrack - built a bit elevated so it doesnt eliminate sink use at same time, and designed to flip out of the way.

I also wonder about getting a cutting board cut to fit snugly across the sink, increasing counterspace that way.

Check out all the counter space I have now, people! Enough for TWO cutting boards!!

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Thanks again, in case I dont make it back in time at the end.

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I am really enjoying reading your blog this week.

I live in Korea and with regard to oysters, they are usually eaten raw here.  They are widely available in stores and sold pre-shelled and sealed in cylindrical vinyl packaging.  How are oysters sold in Japan?

Same in Japan, but they come in flat plastic packages. Some are marked as safe for eating raw, others are for cooking; the cooking ones are cheaper and more plentiful. A friend of mine got sick from eating oysters in Korea. I think she was just unlucky, but how common that is there?

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Add me to the list of people enjoying this blog. I haven't been a resident of Japan since 1999.

Smallworld, what kind of changes have occurred since you started living there, with respect to the purchase and availability of food? Do you think people are eating differently at home, compared to when you first moved there?

It's hard to say if people are eating differently at home because I've so seldom eaten regular home-cooked meals (other than my own and my MIL's). I think that food fads (which are nothing new) are always introducing new foods or ways of cooking, and sometimes they involve non-Japanese food. So with each fad people are getting more and more used to eating "exotic" foods. For example, I seem to remember that mangoes were pretty exotic when I first came here but are now popular enough to be found in nearly any grocery store. Kimchi nabe, which is a Korean style hotpot (also called kankoku nabe, or chige nabe, I don't know if this is based on an actual Korean dish) is now one of the most popular types of hotpots.

As for shopping, it's become much, much easier to buy non-Japanese food. The internet has helped a lot, and so has Costco. Import food chains like Kaldi and Seijo Ishii, although they were around long before I came, have popped up all over the place in the past decade.

And the high-end depachika (department store food floor, always in the basement) has become the norm, which I have mixed feelings about. Food floors once tended to be noisy, cluttered and friendly, with lots of free samples and interaction between customers and shopkeepers. It wasn't always fun as sometimes the more boisterous vendors, fishmongers especially, delighted in tormenting foreigners. They'd loudly try out whatever English they knew ("Oh my god!" and "I love you" were favourites) or wave some sort of food that they assumed would disgust me in my face and say "Let's try!" But other than that it was always a neat experience, and in comparison today's depachika seem so, I don't know, antiseptic. And expensive.

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It wasn't always fun as sometimes the more boisterous vendors, fishmongers especially, delighted in tormenting foreigners. They'd loudly try out whatever English they knew ("Oh my god!" and "I love you" were favourites) or wave some sort of food that they assumed would disgust me in my face and say "Let's try!" But other than that it was always a neat experience, and in comparison today's depachika seem so, I don't know, antiseptic. And expensive.

Hey! That still happens! Interestingly, it never happens to me when I'm alone because I look Japanese, but it does happen when I'm with friends who look more gaijin than I, and when I'm with my mother (who also looks Japanese, but once the staff hear us speaking English, they go into their routines). It mostly happens in Kyoto (especially at the Daimaru depachika, for some reason), but sometimes in Osaka, too.

In Kansai we can get the oysters in the vinyl tubes, too. I can never get them open without spilling the water all over the place (and I keep forgetting to open them over the sink).

I never liked oysters until I came to Japan. I love kaki fry, but my all-time favourite preparation is from my favourite teppanyaki place--grilled in butter, and lightly sprinkled with soy sauce and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Yummmm!

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where do you buy your oats from? I love oats but often had to resort to buying them from FBC which can be expensive.

I get them from Kaldi, and if you don't know about Kaldi I highly recommend a visit! If you can read Japanese or can find someone to help you, use this mapto find a store near you. They also do online shopping, with the oats listed here for 903 yen for a 793g can. I don't know how that compares to FBC.

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I keep wanting to say "snap" every time I see your breakfasts! Those muffins are considered a big treat in my house, and yes, we usually have them with that grated "pizza" cheese on too.

There is a new Ikea opening up in the fall in Shin-Misato (Musashino Line, a mere hop for me). This obviously calls for an eGullet get together, as it's not too far off either the Tsukuba or Keihin Tohoku lines.

Those mitsuba planters - did you make drainage holes in the lids? They are growing impressively well!

I think I have maybe half as much counter space again as you (occupied by a bread-machine :raz: ), but certainly not a THREE-RING gas stove  :shock:  !

Those low counters - I'm only a 170cm shortie, but an ancient back injury (do not read books while walking down stairs...) means it's painful to wash dishes especially. I sometimes put a chopping board under the rinsing bowl in the sink, just to raise the height a little.

The English muffins are expensive (I guess especially compared to homemade bread) but we never seem to be able to finish a whole loaf of bread and end up wasting quite a bit, so the muffins make sense as it's easy to finish a pack of four. Have you ever tried making English muffins yourself?

The Nishi Funabashi Ikea can't be too far from you, so we don't have to wait until autumn. Anyway, Prasantrin is coming to Tokyo next month I think, so we'll have to round up the Kanto eGullet people then.

I did indeed put drainage holes in the lids and neck of the bottles. Bought a soldering iron just for that purpose!

Your kitchen is smaller than mine, and you have to feed three males and yourself with two burners? How? Where do you do all your pickling? (I suppose you'll say the sink, to which I ask: where do you put your dirty dishes?)

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Amy, I am a long time fan of your blog Blue Lotus, and your posts thus far on eGullet are so inspiring! My best friend lives in Tokyo, and I visit often, but I get to relive my joys of discovery of Japan through yoru blog. Your posting about how you do your shopping are just as interesting as the cooking that you do. Your shoppign list note book is very cool, do you save eahc of your shopping lists in it? Tell me more about the other information you keep in it, I know you mentioned a wine list of some sort. (My husband is a wine maker in California.) Thank you for sharing so much of your time this week!

My old way of doing shopping lists was writing down what I needed to buy on a scrap piece of paper, and then leaving the paper on the table when I went shopping. Now that I use the little notebook, I almost never forget it: it's substantial enough that I notice if it's not in my bag and comes in so handy for other uses that it's just become a habit to carry it around. I keep the pages in place, for no particular reason other than if the book gets too thin I'll probably start forgetting it again. I carry it around with a pen and cross off items as they go in my shopping basket.

Looking through it, I see that other than shopping lists I have to-do lists, Christmas lists, menus, and other random lists (I start listing when I'm caught on a train with nothing to read-- I hate having nothing to read, and writing is the next best thing).

I also have a few pages of lists and plans for last year's Halloween costume:

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My husband and his sister's family and I were all planning to be different characters from Pirates of the Caribbean but that fell apart when we realized there was no way I could pull off Tia Dalma and that nobody wanted to be Elizabeth or Will. So we all decided to go as Jack Sparrow, which is I think what everyone really wanted anyway.

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It also has several bus schedules which are useful at night or on weekends when the buses don't come so often. They are far more likely to be on time than the buses back home and the drivers are generally much nicer (same goes for the train and subway).

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This is the wine vintage guide that I mentioned. I know that buying wine by the year based on some wine critic's opinion does not guarantee shopping success, but so far this has been very useful and has always led me to good wine. I don't know much about wine at all and I've bought a few terrible wines in the past, and only after doing a bit of online research did I realize they were from bad years. There are a few different guides out there and this is kind of a mix of them: in years where the guides disagree I average out the score if there's just a few point's difference, and when the difference is bigger I include both numbers.

I am the only wine drinker I know so when I open a bottle I am stuck with it for several days. I want to make sure it's a good one! I'd really like to learn more about wine and have taken a course, but it's very slow going.

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I am the only wine drinker I know so when I open a bottle I am stuck with it for several days. I want to make sure it's a good one! I'd really like to learn more about wine and have taken a course, but it's very slow going.

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My cousin Lizz was Tia last year for Halloween and won the costume contest, and she's an irish red head. I was so impressed with her.

It wasn't so much a lack of pigmentation that I was worried about as it was a lack of cuteness!

I vaguely remembered seeing something similar here in the US regarding the changing autumn leaf colors in New England, where the "leaf-peeper" tourism is a really big deal. In fact, when I went Googling to refresh my memory on that point, I found this website (though the interactive maps on this site are not currently active at this time of year). Interesting to compare and contrast analogous practices in different cultures, isn't it? :smile:

It is. People here also go nuts for autumn leaves, but only cherry blossoms get their own forecast on the daily news!

And thanks to Therese and Kouign Aman for suggesting an over the sink dish rack. They do have them here but I've yet to find one that fits as the the light is right where the support poles would go. There are also racks and boards that fit over the sink to increase workspace. Both are on my list of stuff to get but stainless steel ones are a bit expensive, and I know better than to not get stainless steel!

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This is nattou, an extremely stinky and slimy form of fermented beans. It is usually sold in plastic styrofoam cups but I choose these paper cups so I'll make less garbage. It always comes with a tiny pack of karashi (Japanese mustard) which goes straight into the trash, and a tiny pack of soy sauce based seasoning. That goes in the cup and the beans get stirred like made until nice and stringy.

I like nattou a lot and always mean to eat more of it because it's healthy, but it is so sticky that I find it hard to eat. One solution is to put it on bread with cheese and throw it under the broiler. The cheese keeps the stringiness in place and the quick heating tames the slime. This is a favourite breakfast, lunch or snack, especially when my husband is not around. He actually likes nattou (although many Kansai people do not) but can't stand to see me eat this dish.

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Nattou cheese toast, tomato, leftover tonjiru. Alex the parrot joined me for lunch today.

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Thank you so much for your lovely blog. I can't add much to what others have said so well. Do have to ask- is there a real parrot?- (former Mollucan cockatoo owner here)

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[gallery_7940_5772_41529.jpg

One more thing I'm lovin' about this blog, your notebook ! And this especially.

And I give you HUGE kudos for the effort you make to try to reduce your garbage. It's something close to my heart, for sure. It gives me great comfort to see someone on the other side of the world from me making such a concerted, focused effort.

Edit to add question: Is your level of environmental consciousness common in Japan? Because it sure isn't (unfortunately...... :hmmm: ) in the US, at least not in my circle.


Edited by Pierogi (log)

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Oh drat, I forgot breakfast.

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My husband had half an apple with peanut butter and banana on a toasted English muffin. We both had tea (cinnamon apple spice today) and a bit later on I had a smoothie, same one as a few days ago.

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Here are my most commonly used seasonings. From left:

-usukuchi shouyu: light soy sauce, the "light" refers to the colour not the flavour

-koikuchi shouyu: regular soy sauce, this one is a bit more expensive than normal as both the soy beans and wheat are organic and non-GM

-mentsuyu: concentrated seasoning for noodle soups and dips

-dashi no moto: instant dashi powder

-mirin: sweet cooking sake

-sake: I buy the real stuff (in case I want to drink it too) but there is also "cooking sake"

-goma abura: sesame oil

-some kind of vegetable oil with improbable-sounding health claims (from my MIL)

-olive oil for cooking

-kurozu: Chinese black vinegar

-komezu: rice vinegar, a good kind

-komezu: the regular cheap kind (white vinegar isn't really used here-- I do buy it from Costco but only use it for laundry and cleaning)

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More seasonings:

-torigara soup: instant Chinese style chicken soup broth

-ponzu: soy sauce with sour citrus juice, this is the cheapest kind

-organic olive oil

-oyster sauce

-Chuunou sauce: a thick Worcestershire type sauce

-Worcestershire sauce, I honestly can't tell much difference between these two but apparently it's necessary to have both

-ketchup, in a very convenient soft plastic squeeze bottle

-hatchou miso: a dark and richly flavoured miso

-mugi miso: miso with barley

-saikyo miso: sweet white miso

I keep as many as possible in the fridge which is something I never used to do back home. Here things go bad really quickly in the humid rainy season and summer, and since I only cook for two I tend to go through stuff slowly so in the fridge it all goes. I have noticed the refrigeration keeps flavours fresh, especially with soy sauce.

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This is nattou, an extremely stinky and slimy form of fermented beans. It is usually sold in plastic styrofoam cups but I choose these paper cups so I'll make less garbage. It always comes with a tiny pack of karashi (Japanese mustard) which goes straight into the trash, and a tiny pack of soy sauce based seasoning. That goes in the cup and the beans get stirred like made until nice and stringy.

But it's only 30 g! When I was a kid, 90 g packs were standard, and now 45 g (or 40 g) packs are more popular. I usually have two 45-g packs for breakfast.

One more thing: When chilled well, natto isn't so stinky, in my opinion.

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      (of course the rest of the food was not half as bad)

      Todays suggestion: Unagi (grilled eel) and the fitting Sake !
       

      For starters: Seeweed (upper left), raw baby mackerel with ginger (upper right) and sea snails. I did not care for the algae, but the little fishes were very tasty.
       

      Sahimi: Sea bream, Tuna and clam ...
       

      Tempura: Shrimp, Okra, Cod and Mioga (young pickled ginger sprouts).
       

      Shioyaki Ayu: salt-grilled river fish. I like this one a lot. I particularly enjoy the fixed shape mimicking the swimming motion. The best was the tail fin
       

      Wagyu: "nuff said ...
       

      Gourd. With a kind of jellied Oden stock. Nice !
       

      Unagi with Sansho (mountain pepper)
       

      So, so good. Rich and fat and sweet and smoky. I could eat a looooot of that ...
       

      Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed.
       

      Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ...
       

      More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ...
       

      Miso soup with clams ...
       

      Tiramisu.
       

      Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual!
      On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity …

       
      When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.

    • 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.

       
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