Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
torakris

eG Foodblog: torakris - a week of fun in Japan

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

My turn again. :biggrin:

In case you may have missed my first blog, I took everyone through the New Years festivities in Japan about a year ago:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34074&hl=

A short intro for those who might not know me......

My name is Kristin, I spent the first 18 years of life in Cleveland, Ohio in a large family of 8 kids, I then spent the next 6 in Athens, Ohio at Ohio University working on various degrees. The past 10 now I have been in Yokohama, Japan with my (Japanese husband) Tora (hence the name torakris) raising our 3 children Mia (soon to be 9), Julia (soon to be 7) and Hide (soon to be 4).

The math should have been easy enough to figure out, I am currently 34 years old. :biggrin:

I come from a family that loves food, even with 10 people to feed on a very strict budget my mother always put out great meals. Family get togethers are always filled with incredible food, my mother's parents came over from Italy between wars, but in the years since then our family has grown to include a number of nationalities. I have one uncle from Mexico and an aunt from the island of Martinque, this past June my sister married her French boyfriend who is from Strausburg and loves to cook. So now we all get proper Alsatian dishes.

It is 7:00am (10/5) Japan time and it has has been raining straight for the past two and a half days and is forecast to rain all day today as well..... :angry: yuck!

I am drinking an iced coffee (my drink of choice) made with the Toddy cold brew method, if I remember to I may eat something for breakfast a little later.

My kids have eaten, the girls had maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal and my son had a peanut butter sandwich. My whole family wakes up around 5:30am and I make a lunch and pack an onigiri (rice ball) for my husband to eat at work for lunch and breakfast respectively, he leaves the house around 6:00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't imagine how much I've been looking forward to your blog redux, Kristin.

Blog on! :raz::biggrin::wub:

Soba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked this week because it will make it seem like I actually have an exciting life! :biggrin:

Tuesday through Friday are just my boring regular days, I teach two English classes on Tues and one on Weds, this Thursday I have a cooking class (I teach these twice a month). Saturday is the biggest event of the school year, the undokai or sports day, these are a lot of fun and I will discuss it more as the day approaches. Then on monday we have our Tokyo egullet trip to Kappabashi also known as "cook's papradise".

Don't worry I will include lots of pictures of everything!

I am still drinking my iced coffee ad since I wrote the first post I have eaten about 4 mouthfuls of oatmeal, Julia's leftovers...

Mia went for a second bowl, this time apple-cinnamon, and all three kids ate a dinner roll a piece.

I spent yesterday at Costco, you will be seeing a lot of Costco foods this week....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little bit about Costco.

Once a month a group of friends (all Japanese women who live in the same apartment or very close by) and I make a trip to Costco. The closest one (there are now 5 in Japan) is a 30- 40 minute drive away. As I am the only member, and also drive a large car, I take two different people with me every time as only two guests are allowed. We make up a list, we had 14 people place orders this current time, then spend about 3 hours finding everything, eat lunch and come home and spend another 2 to 3 hours dividing up the food.

yesterday we spent 118,000 yen (over $1,000) and purchased 130 items, this is what my living room and dining room looked like after unpacking the car.

gallery_6134_184_1096931282.jpg

gallery_6134_184_1096931306.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had no idea they had Costco in Japan! Excellent, that covers my "learns something new everyday!"

Looking forward to reading your blog Kristin!

p.s. was at costco yesterday too! haha! what a small world we live in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks like it's going to be fun! :biggrin:

Looking at the Costco purchases, I'm just struck by how "American" it all looks...not what I would have expected...maybe it's just me :hmmm:

Although, the load of candy on the table reminds me that I need to get my Halloween shopping done! :raz: Is Halloween celebrated in Japan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kristin,

i can't wait to see what you've got in store for us this time...i just spent some time with your last blog...the korean pancake is still making my mouth water. i highly recommend that those who haven't read kristin's blog from last year take a look...it's amazingly satisfying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Costco in Japan seems to be exactly the same, down to the "Take and Bake" pizzas. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although, the load of candy on the table reminds me that I need to get my Halloween shopping done!  :raz:  Is Halloween celebrated in Japan?

halloween isn't really celebrated in Japan, though it seems to be getting a litlte more and more popular every year. Some stores will put out some decorations, mostly small (tiny actually) pumpkins with little faces drawn on them.

therisn't any trick or treating really done in Japan, though I do know a couple neighborhoods that do it very small scale. For the past couple years I have taken my kids to an area of Yokohama that is mostly populated by ex-pats and does an American version of trick or treat. However te last two years has seen probably close to quadruple the number of attendees and less and less houses offering candy. So this year I decided to do our own with the children who live in our apartment building and some other close neighbors (everyone is Japanese). We bought all of the candy together and the kids will go "trick or treating" to the houses in our apartment building, it is small with only 12 families, and then afterwards we will have a Halloween party complete with lots of games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two malls by my house have started halloween events in the past couple years.

Grandberry Mall, an American style outlet mall, is offering the following:

http://www.grandberrymall.com/index02.html (Japanese only)

on the first three weekends in October, though not actually on Halloween day... :blink: they have

1. a parade of witches and monsters and if you say trick or treat to them they will give you candy

2. there will be games using pumpkins or Japanese kabocha squash, I am not sure which theya re referring to

3. there will be various monster costumes for kids to take turns dressing up in and the parents can take pictures

the other mall, Mosaic Mall is offering:

http://www.mosaicmall.co.jp/event/event.html (again Japanese only)

on the last two weekends of the moth there is a stamp rally, the kids go around and collect stamps from various areas then when they fill their card they get candy. The filled card also gets the kids a free ride on the ferris wheel that is on te top of the mall. They are also having a Halloween Carnival Bazaar with games, face painting, etc. There will also be a halloween show and picture taking with "real" witches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, Costco in Japan seems to be exactly the same, down to the "Take and Bake" pizzas.  :blink:

I really didn't think these would be popular as you can only cook 1/4 of it at a time in a Japanese oven......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really didn't think these would be popular as you can only cook 1/4 of it at a time in a Japanese oven......

It's going to be a great week around here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still haven't eaten anything beside the oatmeal and coffee and am not really hungry. I am off to the store to buy milk and know I will be tempted by the candy aisle.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they only carry "american" products at costco or do they carry japanese products as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would estimate it at about 60% Japanese and 40% American.

Some of the Japanese things that were purchased were things like dried tofu, nori sheets, various seaweeds, etc. Most of the products like flours, sugars, milks, eggs, etc are all from Japanese companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just spent some time reading your New Years blog.

It was great, especially seeing you and your family. :smile:

Very much looking forward to this week!

I have a Japanese student in my EAP (university ESL) class. He doesn't seem to know much about preparing his own food, and his homestay mom is not helping much at the moment. To date, I have only seen him bring butterless rye bread to school for lunch!

I have been making extra food when I cook supper, mostly Chinese stuff. He seems to like it.

Takayuki is 19 years old. What can I feed him without taking a whole course on Japanese cooking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been making extra food when I cook supper, mostly Chinese stuff. He seems to like it.

Takayuki is 19 years old. What can I feed him without taking a whole course on Japanese cooking?

He is probably very happy with Chinese food as it is very popluar in Japan, to make him VERY happy mae a pot of curry rice!!

the curry rice thread for ideas:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=15137&st=0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kris, I am happy to see you are doing another blog. I wasn't following eG's food blogs as much when you did it before, and I looked over your previous one a few months ago. I will read it more thoroughly now, and then follow this one with great interest.

I used to love to read your posts on the Dinner! thread, and miss them since you haven't been posting there for a while. This week will be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My face really lit up when I saw that you're blogging again! Your first blog was awesome! I look forward to this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kristen, how do the Costco prices in Japan compare to those in the U. S.? (Assuming that you made a trip to Costo on your last jaunt to Cleveland.)

Edited to add: Of that bounty, what was yours?


Edited by snowangel (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drooled over your New Year's blog. So beautiful...I was in pain.

I like how you serve things on your cutting board. I intend on doing that very same thing on the remote chance that I ever have kids. Also, I love how you neatly use up things that are in the house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just as I predicted I was tempted at the drug store and I succumbed....

gallery_6134_184_1096948062.jpg

gallery_6134_184_1096948083.jpg

a "weiner-curry donut" this is a deep fried bread filled with a long sausage and some curry, it was actually quite good! :cool:

I swear, I really don't eat like this every day.....

By the way I shop at the local drug store to buy my milk because it is the cheapest place to buy it. I pay 118 yen (just over $1) for 1L (1qt) there at the supermarket it will cost around 200 yen (just under $2). I aslo picked up some bread and 2 cartons of apple juice for my neighbor who doesn't have a car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

I like how you serve things on your cutting board.  I intend on doing that very same thing on the remote chance that I ever have kids.  Also, I love how you neatly use up things that are in the house.

This is called lazy and poor! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my god, they combined curry bread with the hot dog roll? Here in the states, Curry Bread and Hot Dog Rolls are seperate things, at places like Sunmerry.

Now I must quest to find one here. It sounds like the ultimate in stoner cuisine.

Share this post


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

  • Similar Content

    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Duvel
      Prologue:
       
      Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region …
       
      But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
       

    • By Tara Middleton
      Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
       
       

    • By KennethT
      OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe....  After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me!
       
      This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia.  Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food.  Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship.  Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later.
       
      Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them.
       
      Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary.  When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese!  As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!?  Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree.  Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany.  As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does.
       
      While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed.  We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later.
       
      So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali...
       
      Beef noodle soup:

       
      The interior:

       
      This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender.  Good bite to the thick chewy noodles.
       
      Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):

    • By KennethT
      Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013.  At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak.  Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it.
       
      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×