The Blood Type AB and Pisces

Posted April 30th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 49 Comments »

It may be not a good way of describing myself, but I am a quite difficult person.  I sometimes don’t even understand myself, and can’t expect what I will do in future.  I may do something that I never thought of doing it, out of sudden.  I like it when someone tells me “Ume, you are strange.”.  I like being different from others..

I’m not really a spiritual person, but I’d say my character is reflected by both blood type and star sign.  (and of course from my parents and the environment I grew up)  I’m Pisces, and my blood type is AB.  There is a popular belief  in Japanese culture that person’s ABO blood type is predictive of their personality, temperament, and compatibility with others.  I don’t normally believe in such things, but I really think that my personality exactly matches with the typical AB’s personality.  AB people are often considered as “moody” “different” “has two faces” etc etc.  … well, it doesn’t sound good at all, but I think it’s me.  Here is an interesting story about the blood type AB:

The Blood Type AB Individualized Lifestyle 

Type AB blood is rare – it’s found in less than five percent of the population. And it is the newest of the blood types. Until ten or twelve centuries ago, there was no Type AB blood type. Type AB resulted from the intermingling of Type A with Type B. Type AB is the only blood type whose existence is the result of intermingling rather than environment. Thus, they share both the benefits and the challenges of both Type A and Type B blood types. Type AB has a unique chameleon like quality – depending on the circumstances, this blood type can appropriate the characteristics of each of the other blood types. Type AB is sometimes A-like, sometimes B-like and sometimes a fusion of both. Today, as we look back at this remarkable evolutionary revolution, it is clear that the genetic characteristics of our ancestors live in our blood today. ”

(from http://www.dadamo.com/bloodtype_AB.htm )

My mum is blood type A, and my dad is B.  I have a bit of both of them, eg I think the way like my mum does, but I do things like my dad does.   Personally I like to be unique, and yes I quite like my character.  I really think that I’m little strange and unique from other people. 😀  … To think about it, I’ve never met anyone with the blood type AB in Australia.   

Besides the blood type, Pisces, my star sign, also indicates that my mood is changeable.  And it is correct.  Here is the story:

Pisces:  Two fishes are tied together.  One is trying to swim toward the surface, and the another one is trying to swim toward the bottom of the sea.  Affected by the water flow direction, they can be moved toward the surface or bottom easily.  In the real life, Pisces can be easily affected by the environment and other people around.  And, it’s said that Pisces people have two faces as there’re always two fishes inside them.

I’m writing this because I found it’s interesting.    Actually I’ve never met anyone who is Pisces and the blood type is AB.  Anyone??


Japanese Style Hamburg Steak

Posted April 29th, 2010 in Food | 3 Comments »

Try this wafu hamburg steak!  It’s easy to make, low in calorie, and simply delicious ♪

 

<serves 4>

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 200g daikon radish
  • 4 shiso leaves  (*)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs butter  
  • 400g Portabello mushroom
  1. Grate daikon radish.  Drain well.  Keep in the fridge until needed.
  2. Chop onion.  Heat 1 tsp of butter in a frying pan, and saute the onion until almost transparent.  Transfer the onion to a bowl, and let it cool down. 
  3. Place beef mince, nutmeg and salt into the bowl, and mix well with cooled onion-saute.  Divide to 4, and shape into patties.  Flatten the centre.  (**)
  4. Heat 1 tbs of butter in a frying pan and saute halved mushroom.  Season well.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Heat the same pan and sear patties both side.  Turn down the heat and cook through.  Placing a lid helps faster cooking and keeps the moisture.
  6. Place soy sauce, lemon juice and water in a small sauce pan and bring to simmer.
  7. Arrange patties on serving plates, top with grated daikon radish and shredded shiso leaves, and drizzle the tangy sauce over.  Accompany with sauteed mushroom.
 
* Unfortunately shiso leaf is hard to find in Perth.  You can substitute with chopped chives, spring onion or shredded nori (kizami nori
** When you shape the patties, toss them between your palms as if you are playing with balls.  This helps to remove the air from the mince and prevent the patty from breaking during cooking.  (if the patty breaks, all the juice comes out from the patty as well as the flavor)

Zensaki in Barrack Street

Posted April 27th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | 2 Comments »

Zensaki  in St Georges Tce opened its second shop in Barrack street, where  Mr Samurai  was before it closed its door.  This Zensaki offers some of Japanese typical menu such as donburi and sushi , and also some noodle menus.  

At Zensaki, they cook the soup broth for over 24 hours for deeper and developed flavor.  They promised to use no preservatives and msg on all the dishes.

At the moment Zensaki at Barrack is doing a special campaign – $6.00 for teriyaki chicken, teriyaki fish or teriyaki tofu for a limited time only.  Normal price for those dishes is $8.50.

 

I think their price range is pretty reasonable.  All the donburi menus such as katsu-don (deep-fried crumbed chicken on bed of rice) and ginger beef donburi are $8.50, except for three items : salmon donburi, unagi donburi and teriyaki salmon donburi which are all at $12.00.

This time I ordered teriyaki chicken and teriyaki fish to take advantage on their special campaign, but I would like to try their noodle menu on my next visit.  The pictures on the menu board looked delicious, especially “Zensaki Ultimate Ramen” .  This Zensaki ultimate ramen noodle contains charsiu, karaage, fish cake, boiled egg etc, and you can chose the flavor of the broth – shio, miso or shoyu (soy sauce).  Other ramen menu are also tempting such as shio butter corn ramen (ramen noodle in salted broth with butter-sauteed corn) and katsu chicken ramen.  The price is around $12.00, and the ultimate ramen noodle is around $15.00, if I remember it right.

 

<Zensaki Barrack>

83 Barrack Street, Perth WA 6000

(08) 9221 7577


Anzac Holiday

Posted April 26th, 2010 in Perth WA | 6 Comments »

It’s been another relaxing long weekend.  How’s yours?  We’re so lucky to have this long weekend with such fine weather 🙂   Watching people enjoying marine sports at the beach and Swan River really makes me feel that I’m in Perth.  Water, blue sky, fine sun light…  

I planned to stay home all day on the first day of this holiday, as I wanted to relax and do some housework.  So, I invited my friends for lunch so that I could stay home while enjoying chatting and watching DVD.  I cooked some Japanese food for them, including hijiki – a kind of black seaweed –  which I brought from Japan.  It is really shame that you can’t buy hijiki here as it is prohibited to import from overseas for commercial sale purpose.  Wholesalers here can’t have this product, so you have to buy it in Japan and bring it here for personal use by yourself.  

Anyway, I cooked simmered hijiki with other vegetables, dashimaki-tamago (Japanese style seasoned omelet), tofu with miso-negi-chicken, miso soup and potato salad.  ( I will post the recipe of miso-negi-chicken later)  I also had unagi kabayaki (teriyaki-grilled eel).

 

As I planned, I could totally relax the whole day.  We had lunch, then had dessert on the couch (mochi ice cream) and chatted until the evening. 😀

On the second day I headed to the city.  I wasn’t sure if the shops are open, but tried anyway.  There’re many people walking around the pedestrian malls and sitting back at the cafes, but most of the shops were closed.  It was after the veterans’ marching parade, but I could still feel the atmosphere.  Many pubs were filled with people.

After walking around the city I moved to East Perth –  one of my favorite walking spot.

It was such a beautiful day!  I walked a lot and was little tired, but it was good exercise.  🙂

The last day is my relaxing day again!  I woke up early and had a little walk at the park near the house.  These days the sun starts to set around 6pm, which indicates that it’s already autumn and heading to the cold winder days.  I hope we have more days like this – fine weather- before the rainy season starts!


Ume’s 一日カフェ 〜Part 1〜

Posted April 25th, 2010 in にほんご, UME's 一日カフェ | No Comments »

これから、オーストラリアのパースで生活をしている日本人の方達の紹介をしていきたいと思います。これからパースに行く人、パースに興味のある人などの何かの役に立てればなあ…という思いつきなんですが、ただ単に「ああ、こういう人もいるんだなあ」と人間観察のように読んで下さっても結構です^^)

Ume’s 一日カフェでは、Umeがその方たちを料理でもてなすついでにその方たちからパースでの生活についてや情報をインタビューしていくものです。

それでは、記念すべき第一回目は、パース在住8年目のAoiさんです。今回は和食でAoiさんをお迎えしました(^0^)/

 

 

 

 

名前:Aoi(匿名)

出身地:福井県

現在のvisa:PR(永住権)

 

Q:パースに来られたのはいつ頃ですか?

A:2002年の6月頃です。

 

Q:オーストラリアの中でパースを選んだきっかけは?

A:最初は英語の勉強をしようと思ってオーストラリア行きを決めたんですが、その勉強の後は旅行にも周りたかった。もし最初にシドニーやメルボルンに行ってしまうと、メルボルン、シドニー、キャンベラ、ゴールドコースト等だいたいの都市が周囲にあるので旅行し易い反面、離れた場所にあるパースには行きにくいかな、と思って。もし最初にパースに行ってしまえば、その後東海岸に飛んで、後は色んな都市を旅行しやすいかなと思ってパースに決めました。

 

Q:では、パースで勉強をした後は旅行へ?

A:はい。パースを出てアデレード、メルボルン、シドニー、ゴールドコースト、ブリスベン、そしてケアンズへ行きました。その後はメルボルンに戻り、そこで少し生活をしていました。

 

Q:オーストラリア中を回られたようですが、その中で一番好きな場所はどこですか?

A:ケアンズです。あの蒸し蒸しした気候と海が好きでした。自分が生まれた場所も海に近かったので。。。

 

Q:パースに住むようになったきっかけは?

A:…パートナーがパースで住む事になったので、私も一緒について来ました。あと、生活費とかが安いという面でも。

 

Q:今は何をしておられますか?

A:パース市内の、あるお店で、事務職(Admin)兼PA(秘書)を務めています。

 

Q:パースについてどう思いますか?

A:ネガティブな面は、日本やEast side に比べて、遅れている。ポジティブな面は、天気が良いのと、のどかなトコロ。

 

Q:パースでの好きなスポットはどこですか?

A:スカボロビーチです。のんびりできますね!

 

Q:日本が良いか、パースが良いか?

A:パース。

 

Q:パースにあって日本に無いモノは?

A:とにかく、のんびりした生活ですね。日本に帰りたいと思うけど、日本でのあの慌ただしくて縛られたような生活には戻りたくないですね。

 

Q:これからの目標はありますか?

A:これからもパースに住んで、さらにキャリアupしたいですね。

 

Q:これからパースに来る人に何か一言言うとしたら?

A:日本では味わえない、のんびりと過ぎる時間と青い空、大自然と強い太陽の日射しを楽しんで下さい!

  

ありがとうございました!(^^)

  

   


Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon

Posted April 22nd, 2010 in Food | 5 Comments »

Very simple pasta with smoked salmon and ao-nori.  Ao-nori, also known as green laver, is dried and powdered green seaweed and it has distinctive flavor.  You should have seen it as a topping on Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki and other Japanese dishes.  This goes well with smokey salmon and mild Parmesan.

  

<Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon> serves 2

  • 2 portion pasta
  • 100 g smoked salmon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs (1g)  Ao-nori
  • 1 tbs margarin 
  • 1tbs olive oil
  
  1. Bring a large pot of water (salted) to the boil.  Cook pasta to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, and sautee garlic and onion until fragrant.  
  4. Add margarin, then smoked salmon, drained pasta and ao-nori.  Mix through gently, and season.  Turn off the heat.
  5. Serve on the plate and top with shaved Parmesan.
  

How to Eat Bagelier Bagel

Posted April 21st, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel | 4 Comments »

Many people have asked me this question “how to eat your bagels?” .   On the website I suggest customers to buy bagels in bulk and keep in the freezer, as they can be kept frozen for up to 2 months in a tight container or freezer bag.  But, there are many different bagels in Bagelier and some flavored bagels may be difficult to eat if you eat the same way as plain bagel.  Here is how I eat frozen Bagelier bagel…

(note)

* Bagelier bagels are individually wrapped and delivered.

* Wrapped bagels are stored in a freezer bag, tightly closed, and kept in the freezer.

 

Plain, Sesame, Poppy Seed
 
  • Take out from the freezer.  Leave outside to defrost, or microwave.  
  • Slice in half.  Sandwich some food (eg: ham, cheese etc), and toast using a panini press, or sandwhich grill.
  • Or, slice in half, toast using a bread toaster.  Enjoy with your favorite spread.
  
Other Bagels
 
(for soft texture)
  • Take out from the freezer.  Microwave for 35~40 seconds.  (depends on the model of the microwave)
(for crusty texture)
  • Take out from the freezer.  Microwave for 30~35 seconds.  
  • Toast using a panini press, or sandwhich grill.
  
 
 
For flavored Bagelier bagels, such as Chocolate and Cranberry Cream Cheese,  I normally toast the bagels very well done so that it’s really crusty. (you can see the thick crust on the photo)  When you eat toasted Chocolate, Cafe Au Lait, Coffee Praline, Rocky Road, Oreo Milk or Milky Maccha bagel, be careful not to burn your lips with hot melty chocolate coming out from the bagel.  I’m saying this because it happened to me few times already… :p
  

Egg Free

Posted April 19th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth, Ume's Interests | No Comments »
This weekend was a quiet one for us, as my husband’s friend and his family flew back to New Zealand on Saturday morning.  After they left, I realised how quiet it was at home.  With them and a 2-year-old boy, there were always noises and something going on.  (many cleaning involved!)  Now, sitting on the sofa in our living room by ourselves, we suddenly forget what we used to do on weekends.  Very quiet, it should be a good thing, but I miss them already.
   
Oh, while they stayed in Perth, the most difficult thing was to think what to feed this 2-year-old boy.  He is actually allergic to egg, and he is super fussy about food.  For example, he eats cooked chicken unless it is cut according to fiber.  He eats steamed rice if it’s little dry and hard, but he spits out if it’s too soft.  Watching the parents scolding the kid did scared us off (foresee of our future :p ) … and made us admire them for doing this everyday.  
   
Searching the food without egg is very difficult.  To think about it, most of the food we eat everyday contain egg.  There are many “gluten free” or “nuts free” food available, but not “egg free” food.  The parents have to know which food do and don’t contain egg.  They can feed white bread, but not danish or pancake.  No cake, no cookies…   Plus, the parents were told by the doctor not to feed nuts to the boy until he is 3 years old.  The test to find out whether he is allergic to nuts can be only done after he is 3 years old, according to the doctor.  So, the parents have to feed him with very limited food.  If the boy wasn’t that fussy, it would be much easier.  Poor them 🙁
  
  
The other day we took them to Fremantle and wondered around the cappuccino street.  It was such a warm day, and we decided to have some drink and gelato at Cafe Fiorentina.
  
The pastries arranged inside the showcase looked so delicious.  We ordered some pastries, drinks, and gelato.  
  
As we enjoyed our treats, of course the boy started to try reaching on the food screaming “I want too!”  (he doesn’t speak, but the scream indicates so).  Then, we thought “.. hung on, does gelato contain egg?”  We didn’t feed pastries because we knew there is egg as ingredient, but not sure about gelato.  We asked one of the wait staff, but he wasn’t sure either.  After awhile another staff (owner-looking) came to us saying that he found out the answer.  “Yes there are eggs in the gelato.  The cold dessert contains no egg is only sorbet.”  
 
The boy started to scream even louder.  We were quietly thinking “oh no… it started again”.  Then, the owner-looking staff kindly gave a scoop of sorbet to the crying boy!  The parents were surprised and took out the wallet to pay for the sorbet, but the staff said “don’t worry about it”.  He is such a nice person…  A crying boy became a happy boy thanks to him.
  
  

Tenkadori Subiaco

Posted April 16th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

While Tenkadori has 60 stores across Japan, the Subiaco store is the very first
overseas, and they use quality products produced in Australia including free-range chicken.  I took my friend to this place on Friday night for a drink and yakitori 😀

I made a booking just in case, but there were few empty tables inside.  The owner (whom I spoke on the phone to make a booking) prepared a window-side table for us 🙂  The place was little small, but enough to enjoy drinks and tapas!  The staff were very friendly.

Unfortunately I had a big lunch on the day, so I wasn’t really hungry.  So was my friend.  We started with edamame, assorted 7 kinds of yakitori plate, and tofu salad.  You can also order small dish of a la carte menu such as tsukune (skewered chicken meatball), mushroom, tebasaki (chicken wings) and ika no ichiyaboshi (semi-dried squid – a typical food to be eaten with sake, sho-chu and beer in Japan).  We weren’t sure if we could eat some of their main meal such as teriyaki plates and oyako-donburi, those 3 dishes we ordered seemed pretty enough for us.

Assorted 7 kinds of yakitori plate wasn’t all “yakitori”, as it contained sauteed mushroom and okura (not skewered), and the tebasaki (chicken wing) was deep-fried, not grilled.  Well, I thought the dish got good variety , and they’re delicious.  You can chose your yakitori to be grilled with either “sauce” or “shio (salt)”.  Although many people would go with “sauce” ( I assume), I prefer the following combination:

  • Yakitori (skewered pieces of chicken thigh) = shio
  • Tsukune (skewered chicken meatball) = sauce
  • Kawa (chicken skin) = shio (not available at Tenkadori)
  • Nankotsu (chicken cartilage)= shio (not available at Tenkadori)
  • Negima (skewered pieces of chicken thigh and springonion)= sauce (not available at Tenkadori)
  • Tebasaki (chicken wing) = shio

I thought it would be nice if they had some light meals on their menu such as “ocha-zuke” (a dish in which hot tea is poured over cooked white rice topped with a few simple ingredients. It is a deceptively simple yet extremely tasty), soba noodle (either cold or hot) and yaki-onigiri (grilled rice ball brushed with soy-based tasty sauce).

Their lunch menu seems to be different from the dinner menu, so I would like to come back here during the day next time 🙂

(browse here for the conversation between kind viewers and Ume about this place)


New Life in Hakodate

Posted April 14th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I received a letter from a former student of mine whom I used to teach English in 2005.  I was in Japan that time to stay with my family after graduating cookery school in Perth.  I wanted to work while I was in Japan to yearn some money as well as to gain experience in cooking.  I got a job at a hotel as a cook in the bakery department and it was pretty busy (and super strict environment), but I also wanted to do something related to English.  I started a kids English teacher job shortly after starting the job in the kitchen.  I wasn’t planning to be such a busy person as it was supposed to be my home-coming holiday and was going to stay in Japan for only up to 8 months.  My husband (boyfriend that time) was in Perth and I felt guilty leaving him, but I really wanted to be in Japan as I couldn’t go back to Japan often while I was a student at TAFE.  

During the period, I bought a car (you will need a car to live in Shiga) and worked everyday.  Plus, I had to – … well, I wanted to – cook dinner for my family everyday as my parents were divorced just a while ago and there’re only my dad, bro and grandma at my house.  It was busy, but I felt good being with my family 🙂  The job as an English teacher for kids was totally new thing to me.  I never thought I would be a teacher!  But there was an opportunity and I thought I would try.  I’m not a “kids” type of person and I didn’t really know how to be with kids, but I tried and I had such wonderful experience. 

My students were between 3 and 7 years old, and 3 years old boy couldn’t even talk Japanese much :p  But amazingly 5 years old boy could speak English very well!  I think his English pronunciation was much better than mine :p  

… anyway, I stayed in Japan for 7 months, and then came back to Perth.  When I was leaving the teacher job, my students and their mothers were saying things such as ” we’ll miss you” and “please keep in touch” .  I started the job just for curiosity, and I didn’t think that it’d be such emotional good-bye when I quit.  Since then I’ve been in touch with them and they still call me “sensei” (teacher) 🙂

The letter I received was from Kiryu, who was 6 years old back then.  The letter was saying that they no longer live in Shiga, are now living in Hakodate city in Hokkaido.  His mother and I were pretty close too, and they sent me some photos.  Oh my gosh, Hokkaido is such a nice place –  I’ve been to Sapporo city (the capital city of Hokkaido) with my family once, and I loved everything… the atmosphere, food and the climate.  

According to the mother, the food in Hakodate is amazing (especially seafood) and Hakodate is famous for shio ramen (ramen noodle in salt broth) (Sapporo is famous for miso ramen (ramen noodle in miso broth).  Their new house is at the foot of Mt. Hakodate-yama, and is surrounded by famous tourist attraction places.  I am definitely visiting them!  😀

  

(photos from the mother)