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 )

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 »


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。





























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。




















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…


* 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)

Ten Ten Cafe

Posted April 12th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

After having the amazing success in Vistoria Park, Ten Ten Kitchen opened its second shop in Myaree last November, named “Ten Ten Cafe”.  This place was formally operated as Luncheon Forum, where I used to get chicken rice from quite often before. (I wrote about the place here)

A good thing is, Ten Ten Cafe opens from 10am to 8pm for 7 days a week!  Luncheon Forum used to open until 4pm everyday from Monday to Saturday only, so opening 7 days is a very good news for me 🙂

They specialise in delicious Malay cuisine, and also serve some snacks-to-go for workers around Norma Road.  Having a brain marie with daily specials is also a very good idea for those customers who want to just drop by, grab and go.   They promise that everything is made fresh in order by an experienced chef.

Their price range is around $7.50 ~ $12.50.  I think it’s pretty reasonable.  As they’re doing Dinner Special for a limited time, I ordered Hainan Chicken Rice.  It was on special price – $3.80!


I couldn’t believe it was $3.80.  I took it home and started arranging on a serving plate, but it couldn’t fit on a plate.  It was generous amount of rice and meat.  I was afraid that I won’t be able to finish, but I did anyway.  It was delicious 😀

They also have a private function room, fully catered.  It would be a good place for your next family occasion, or big work lunch.

Ten Ten Cafe  Open 7 days 10am – 8pm

95 Norma Road, Myaree  (08) 9317 1227

A Mochi Maker

Posted April 10th, 2010 in Food | 7 Comments »

I have been making mochi – Japanese sticky rice cakes  since I came back from Japan.  I bought this SEGA toy called “kururin-mocchi” which is a mochi making toy for kids.

When I was little, my grandma used to make mochi with a big mochi machine (proper one) at home on New Years Eve, and we ate fresh made mochi on the morning of New Years day every year.  The machine we had was automatic, so we didn’t do the traditional mochi making method (with huge wooden equipments) but dividing hot mochi rice into small pieces and shaping them were such hard job to do.  

Now, here in Perth, I’m making mochi again :p  Since this Sega machine is pretty small, I can only make small portion at once.  But, it’s enough for two of us 😀

I looooove fresh mochi with vanilla ice cream!  I normally make mochi in bulk, and portion them in plastic wrap so that I just need to heat up one in the microwave whenever I want to eat.  Warm mochi and melty vanilla ice cream … yummy!

You can make mochi without this Sega toy, and it is pretty cheap to make 🙂  You can also enjoy mochi in azuki bean porridge.

Cooking azuki beans from scratch does take time, but it worths when making a big portion.  Buying tinned azuki paste is pretty expensive here.


  • 140 g mochi rice (sticky rice)
  • 150 cc water

  1. Wash rice, and soak in water for 30 minutes.  Cook rice in the same way you cook normal rice.  (I cook in the microwave as this is such a small amount of rice)
  2. Pound steamed rice into a piece of sticky cake while the rice is hot.  It should be smooth, and very sticky. 
  3. With hands dusted with corn flour, divide the mochi into small balls.  

You can keep them in the room temperature (covered).  If you keep in the fridge, the mochi will become hard.  You can microwave them before eating to make softer.

    <Azuki Bean Porridge>
    • 1 cup azuki beans, uncooked
    • 1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar)
    • a pinch of salt
    1. Wash azuki beans.  Place beans to a large pot filled with water.  Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Discard the water, and fill up with water again.  Bring to the boil, and discard the water.  Repeat this for 3~4 times.
    2. When the beans are soft enough to squash with two fingers, drain the beans and place in a clean pot with sugar and salt.  Turn on the heat, stir constantly,  and cook until the sugar dissolves.  Turn the heat to very low and cook, stir constantly, until most of the liquid is gone.  Turn off the heat.
    3. Pour azuki beans in a serving bowl, and add hot water to make it soupy.  (adjust the water amount to your liking)  Enjoy with mochi.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tofu Quiche

    Posted April 9th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

    Try this tofu quiche if you are thinking to bake something savory.    It contains okara, which is a white/yellowish pulp that remain in the filter sack during tofu making process.  As this is considered as a “waste”, most of tofu shops can give it you for free, if you ask.  Although this is considered as a “waste” , it has been part of the traditional cuisines of some Asian countries includes Japan, and since 20th century it has been used in the vegetarian cuisine of Western nations as well.  Also, okara is very healthy food as it is low in fat, high in fibre, and also contains protein, calcium, iron and riboflavin.   The texture of this dish vaguely resembles polenta.  

    Serves 6 (22 cm pie mold)

    • 6 eggs
    • 1.5cup okara
    • 1/4 cup soy milk
    • 3 rashes bacon, leaned
    • 1/2 cup Mozzarela cheese, shredded
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 shee ready-rolled frozen puffy pastry, thawed
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 ℃.  Line the pastry sheet on the mold.  Cut off any excess.  Using a folk, spike the bottom to make little holes.  Line aluminium foil over the pastry and spread pie stones (or uncooked rice).  Bake for 15 minutes, and remove the foil and stones, then bake another 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
    2. Beat eggs in a bowl, and mix with okara, soy milk, chopped bacon and half amount of cheese.  Season with salt.
    3. Pour the mixture into the pastry shell and sprinkle with the rest amount of cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the top is golden.

    Ice Cream

    Posted April 7th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

    The other day my friends and I went to Hillary Boat Harbour.  It’s been such a long time since my last visit to this place.  I think that it was around 2 years ago…  Now you know how often I go out :p

    It was a fine day, and many people were swimming around the shore. As my friends wanted to go to AQWA, my husband and I sat down at a fish & chips shop and had a snack.  Then, wondered around while eating a scoop of ice cream.

    When it comes to ice cream, my favorite flavor has been choco mint since I was a junior high school student, followed by green tea, coffee flavor, chocolate,  macadamia, pistachio, and Rum and raisin.  Some people ask me “why choco mint?!  Why not caramel or cookie n cream ?” (especially my husband’s siblings). 

    Actually, before I tried choco mint ice cream the first time at Baskin Robin in Japan, I always thought I would never enjoy the flavor.  I don’t really like mint, and also I didn’t think that it’d go with sweet chocolate.  What made me want to try the weird flavor was actually my favorite book I was reading.  In the story, main character girl also didn’t think choco mint ice cream would be good, but her friend made her try and she liked it.  On the next day, I went to a Baskin Robin shop and tried choco mint ice cream like the girl in the book did.  SInce then, choco mint has been my favorite flavor 🙂

    At the Hillary Harbour, I ordered choco mint, but I still like the one from Baskin Robin.   


    I also can’t resist HäagenDazs® green tea ice cream!  My favorites are green tea, and cookie n green tea.  Yum!

    By the way, here is a link to a blog I found interesting… ☟

    Frightening Ice Cream Flavors

    Salmon Carpaccio with Wasabi Mayonnaise

    Posted April 6th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

    A cold entree idea.  It is very easy to make, yet gives a great impression at the table.  Mix wasabi to add a hint of authentic taste.  All you need is packaged smoked salmon, white onion, mayonnaise and wasabi tube!  (and snow pea sprout for garnish if needed)

    Serves 4 as entree

    • 100 g smoked salmon
    • 1 white onion, small
    • 1 tbs olive oil
    • 5 ml lemon juice
    • 2 tbs mayonnaise
    • 1 cm wasabi from a tube
    • snow pea sprouts to garnish
    1. Slice white onion very thinly across the grain.  Immerse in a cold water for 5 minutes, then drain well.
    2. Arrange smoked salmon on a bed of sliced onion.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice.  Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
    3. Mix mayonnaise and wasabi.
    4. Garnish the carpaccio with snow pea sprouts, and serve with the wasabi mayonnaise.

    A Little Change on Umeboss Website

    Posted April 5th, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

    You may have noticed already, but there is a slight change on this website.  On the side bar, there is a “Search For” button followed by “Recipes”.  There used to be 20+ recipe posts shown under the “Recipes” , but now only 10 are shown and you can click “More Recipes” to view other posts tagged with “recipe”.

    Now it looks little tidier than before (?).

    How did you spend this Easter holiday?  In my case, my husband’s friend and his family visited here from New Zealand and stayed at our house this weekend.  They will go around down South by hired caravan for 10 days from Tuesday.  I wish I could go with them!  While they stayed here, I cooked some food for them… chunky Japanese curry with beef and lots of vegetables, potato salad, coleslaw,  yakiniku, miso soup, salmon carpaccio (I will post the recipe soon), creamy chicken gratin etc etc.  And, I made chocolate cakes, almond jelly, cookies, bagels, etc.  Too much! I know!  I was too excited to have a guest. :p

    Parmesan Cheese bagel!  A cheese bagel is also known as a “volcano bagel” in some countries such as Japan, as the melted cheese looks like volcano eruption.

    April… it should be a peak time for hanami (a Japanese custom of enjoying cherry blossoms along with the arrival of Spring) and there should be many people at parks…  So shame I couldn’t see them (><)

    My Favorite Japanese Music Video This Month

    Posted April 4th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

    Monkey Majik is a Japanese band composed of two Canadian brothers, Maynard and Blaise Plant, who both perform vocals and guitar, drummer Tax and bassist DICK. The band is sometimes referred to as a “hybrid-band”, as half of the members are foreigners and the lyrics are sung in both English and Japanese.  (I wrote a little about them on here)

    I like their songs, and some of them are rated within monthly top 10 of J-pop songs in Japan.  Their latest single, the first song released after their 10th anniversary, is “sakura”.  This song was rated #1 in iTune in J-pop category.

    Why I decided to write about this song is not only because the song is nice, but also the music video!  In the music video, the vocal Canadian wear kimono and samurai wig, and the whole story is referring to one of the most famous TV series in Japan. I grew up watching the series.

    Glorious Edo-style music video!  If you knew this tv series ( called tooyama no Kin-san ), you’d be excited to see this video…  so funny!  Well, not supposed to be funny, the video is well-performed.  I just had to laugh when I saw a little OOO at the right bottom of the music video.  It says ” aoi me no Kin-san (青い目の金さん) = Kin-san with blue eyes” instead of ” tooyama no Kin-san (遠山の金さん)”.  😀

    Aoi-me no Kin-san

    Aoi-me no Kin-san

    TV Series Toyama no Kin-san

    Thing are Changed…

    Posted April 3rd, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

    After coming back from Japan, what I noticed was that few things are different now in Perth.  What I hear from the radio is “hail sale for cars” “hail sale for furniture” … as I heard from viewers and friends, the hail storm last week seems to have left a huge damage across Perth. 🙁

    I saw few cars on the road with dented body.  It must be a terrible thing to happen to your own car!  Some of my friends’ car also got damage, and the front glass was broken.  

    And, the price of vegetables…. (>0<)  WOW so expensive now!  One lettuce is $5.00 ?  

    ” Lettuces at some local supermarkets have jumped from $1.50 each to $5, and cabbage and celery prices are set to follow suit. ”  (from

    Hail storm gave farmers a huge damage too.  The radio said that the price of vegetables is expected to be back to as it was within  2-3 months.  I sure hope so!

    Small Wafu Plate

    Posted April 1st, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

    Sometimes I suddenly feel like eating these food.  They are some of the ordinal Japanese food that can be seen at normal Japanese houses.  We eat roots vegetables quite often.  They are high in fiber and very healthy.

    Clockwise: Spinach ohitashi, kinpira-gobo, simmered egg in a pocket of abura-age (fried bean curd), and chikuzennni (simmered roots vegetables).

    I personally like light-seasoned food with no much sauce nor oil. (Especially people from Kyoto side in Japan prefer light-seasoned food.)

    Eating these food makes me feel that I am a Japanese. 😀

    <Spinach Ohitashi> serves 2~3

    • 1 spinach
    • 3 tbs hot water
    • 1/2 soy sauce
    • 1/4 tsp dashi powder
    • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
    • 1 tsp mirin
    • bonito flake (katsuo-bushi)
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Branch spinach for about 1 minutes. Remove from the water and immerse in a bowl of iced water. Drain water and squeeze out any excess liquid.
    2. Cut the spinach into 3~5cm. Pour 1/2 tbs of soy sauce, and squeeze out the liquid well. Discard the liquid.
    3. Place dashi powder into water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add soy sauce and mirin. Let it cool slightly.
    4. Immerse spinach in the liquid and leave it for 20~30 minutes. You can refrigerate.
    5. Arrange on a plate and garnish with bonito flake.

    <Kinpira Gobo>

    • 1.5 cup gobo (burdock root) – frozen
    • 1 carrot – Julienne
    • 1 tbs sesame oil
    • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
    • 2 tbs mirin
    • 1 tbs soy sauce
    1.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, and saute gobo and carrot for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Add sauce and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated.
    3. Garnish with roasted white sesame seeds.

    <Egg in Bean Curd> serves 2

    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 abura-age – frozen
    1. You can cook this in chikuzenni (recipe below) broth to save time.  Just place in the broth and cook together with these root vegetables.
    2. To serve, remove from the broth and cut in half.  Garnish with black sesame seeds.  

    <Chikuzenni> serves 2~3

    • 1/2 wafu yasai mix – frozen
    • 1 tsp dashi powder
    • 1.5 cup water
    • 2 tbs soy sauce
    • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
    • 1 tbs mirin
    1. Place water, dashi and yasai mix in a sauce pan, and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Add sauce, and simmer for another 8-10 minutes.

    ** Those frozen vegetables can be found at Asian grocery shops.