Soy Sauce Udon

Posted August 31st, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »
It’s been raining!   I really should put “no junk mail” sign on the mail box at home…  We receive many kinds of fliers everyday, and I don’t read all of them anymore.  I now just check it online if I want to know some info.
When it rains, I can’t check the mail box because of the snails.  I don’t know why but they are always hiding inside the mail box, and sometimes between letters. (>口<)  
Yesterday we got a new IKEA catalogue, but it was left on the top of the mail box and was soaked with water. 
I don’t feel like eating rice these days, so I’ve been munching on noodles or bread.  I tried making shoyu udon the other night –  which is just a cooked udon noodle with simple condiments eaten with just soy sauce.  
The soy sauce is not a normal soy sauce, it’s actually mixed with dashi.  We normally buy the dashi soy sauce from the shop, but it’s very expensive in Perth so I tried to make it myself.

I first soaked thickly sliced bonito flakes (1 handful) in soy sauce (1 cup) along with konbu seaweed sheet (about 3 cm) overnight. It would be nicer if I had niboshi, but I didn’t use it this time.  Next night, I cooked udon noodle, drained well, and ate with condiments and dash of the dashi soy sauce.
… It tasted actually ok.  I added some lemon juice and ichimi togarashi (chili powder) too.

This may sound gross to some people, but I cooked chicken liver too.  Liver is high in iron.

With 2 tbs soy sauce + 2 tbs mirin + 1 tsp ginger.  This tastes good.  My mum used to make this at home.  If you buy chicken liver in Japan, it comes with another offal (stuck together) and I especially like the another one.  It has texture and yummy (to me)!




Rice Balls with Roasted Eels (Unagi Balls)

Posted August 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I made this to eat at home, but it’s also a great item for picnic.  It’s such easy to make and looks cute, like temari-sushi (small and ball-shaped sushi). You can add more colors such as red (red ginger), green (green veggie or green pickles), orange (tobikko) …

The good thing is, you don’t even need to make your hands dirty – shape it by using pieces of plastic wrap.

I used normal steamed rice (not vinegared rice) so this is not sushi.  You can use vinegared rice if you like.

Makes 8~10
  • 100g unagi (roasted eel)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • about 3 small bowl-full of steamed rice (short or medium grain)
  1. If you are using a frozen unagi, defrost and warm up in a boiling water.  Cut into pieces.
  2. Beat egg with 1 pinch of sugar.  Heat a frying pan and lightly grease the pan.  Pour the egg and cook as if you are making very fine scrambled egg.  Try not to color the egg.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cut plastic wrap about 15cm x 15cm.  Place a piece of the plastic wrap in a small bowl. (this makes easy to shape)  Arrange a piece of unagi in the centre, and spoon scrambled egg around it.  Drop 1.5 tbs of rice on top and close the plastic wrap.  Shape into a round ball.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Lazy Weekend

Posted August 28th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

Cheese scrambled egg, bacon, sauteed spinach and toast – a typical breakfast, but I love this 😀

It seems that there are more than 200 people died from the heat in Japan this year.  My family and friends says it’s been very hot and humid.  There’s one 20-year-old man who passed away because his air-con was broken on that night.  It’s around 36°, but the humidity is high.  Besides, all the area is stuffy (many buildings)…

I’ve been reading this blog (in Japanese) since last week – she is Korean, and lives near my house in Japan!  She’s been in Japan for 18 years now with her husband (Japanese).  I always get surprised that many Korean people are fluent in Japanese.

I love Korean food 🙂  But, same as Japanese food here, I can’t find the “real” Korean food in Perth.  I really miss the proper way of eating Korean BBQ!  And, other Korean food such as komutan soup (oxtail soup), sundubu (spicy stew), kejan (marinated raw crab in spicy soysauce-based sauce) etc…  There are many Korean restaurants in Japan, but I believe there’re many in Eastern states too.

Korean cuisine is quite similar to Japanese cuisine, I believe.  They use many kinds of vegetables – even the ones Japanese people are not familiar with, such as leaves of sesame and dodoku (carrot-looking roots).  I love Korean side dishes – namuru dishes, muchimu (mixed – like salad) dishes, chimu (stewed) dishes.  The roasted and stewed beans ( I remember Hana BBQ had this dish) is my favorite!  They goes very well with steamed rice 🙂

In Japan, I always order Korean chilled noodle at yakiniku restaurants during summer.  I love the texture of the noodle (made from potato starch).  I had a funny experience in a Korean restaurant in Perth few years ago.  I ordered this chilled Korean noodle, but the waitress kept saying “oh, you shouldn’t order this.  I don’t think you’ll like it”.  I knew what I was ordering and told her that I used to eat this in Japan all the time.  She said “Oh, ok then. You should be fine”.  She thought I had never eaten the dish before, and non-Korean people wouldn’t like this dish.  I wondered why they’d put this item on the menu…  (did I tell this story before already?)

Somen Noodle Salad with Tangy Dressing (Hiyashi Chuka)

Posted August 27th, 2010 in Food | 7 Comments »

When I was talking to my family on skype the other day, my mum said she was making hiyashi chuka at home.  Since then I had a craving for it….  so I bought some ingredients from a supermarket and cooked it last night.

Hiyashi chuka is a Japanese summer dish consisting of chilled ramen noodles with various toppings.  Normal toppings are shredded ham, shredded cucumber, shredded omelet and chopped tomato.  It has many colours.  The noodle is thin egg noodle, and the sauce (dressing) is tangy (vinegary)  Some people add more vegetables such as corn and bean shoots, and drizzle mayonnaise on top.

I used somen noodle this time – the key is to cook the somen noodle al dente, so that it has some texture.

Somen noodle also goes well with the tangy sauce.

I used shredded chicken breast instead of ham, as I’m not really supposed to eat ham at the moment.

Pour the sauce (dressing) over the noodle, or dip the noodle into the sauce and eat ♪

<Hiyashi Chuka Somen> Serves 2

  • 200g somen noodle (dry)
  • 100g chicken breast
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 10cm celery
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 60ml white vinegar
  • 70ml water
  • 20g sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • roasted white sesame seeds to sprinkle
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan, and heat until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and chill in the fridge.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook somen noodle.  It takes just few minutes, and try not to overcook.  Drain, and cool under running water.  Drain, and chill.
  3. Cut chicken for faster cooking.  Poach the chicken in the boiling water until cooked, or sprinkle 1 tbs of sake and cook in the microwave (covered).  Drain, and let it cool.  Shred the chicken.
  4. Peel the cucumber (partially) and deseed.  Shred thin.  Slice celery thin.  Chop tomato.
  5. Divide the somen noodle into two serving bowl.  Top with cucumber, celery, tomato and chicken.  Pour the sauce over and serve immediately.

My Favorite Shops in Perth

Posted August 26th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »


Remedy has been one of my favorite shops since it opened.  Few steps away from the busy Fremantle cappuccino street, this store is secretary but very popular among those people who find joy in collecting nice homeware, kids toys, accessories and gifts.

95 high street  fremantle wa 6160 … 08 94317080

131 oxford street leederville wa 6007 … 08 94448818 Read the rest of this entry »

Simple Udon Noodle Soup (Su-Udon)

Posted August 25th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I got up very early today.  4 am!  I didn’t have any work to do this morning, but couldn’t go back to sleep after waking up for the toilet :p  I normally have no problem going back to sleep even if I wake up during the night, but this morning I felt so hungry and couldn’t sleep!

What did I eat last night…?  Roasted veggies and chicken.  I thought I ate a lot, but I guess my digestion system works too good.  I got up the bed and started preparing early breakfast.

I had some left over in the fridge, but I decided to cook udon noodle soup.  My favorite is to add egg to the soup (tamago-toji udon), but this time I just made a simple one.

With wakame seaweed, sprig onion (and naruto – fish cake).  There are many kinds of udon soup in Japan, and I guess I can call this “su-udon 素うどん” = which means “simple udon”.  Su-udon normally indicates udon noodle with nothing but soup and spring onion (or sometimes just soup).

Su-Udon (image from wiki)

Su-Udon (image from wiki)

Making the soup by yourself is very easy!  Besides, you won’t need to prepare many things when making su-udon.

<Udon Soup> serves 1

  • 1.5cup water
  • 1 handful bonito flakes (about 10g)
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  1. Place water and bonito flakes in a small sauce pan.  Bring to the gentle simmer, and turn down the heat to low.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the bonito flake and keep the soup.  Return the soup to the pan, and add mirin and soy sauce.  Bring to the gentle simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the soup over cooked udon noodle.  Enjoy with your favorite condiments!
By the way, the bonito flakes you used to make the soup: normally you just throw away, but you can make Tsukudani (wiki) with it.   Mix with sake, sugar and soy sauce (1 tsp each) and stir-fry until the liquid is gone!


Posted August 24th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »


I had a very relaxing morning today.  
It was just a normal day – get up early and get ready for work-, but somehow I felt so relaxed on the way to the office.  Maybe it’s because of the song my husband was listening to from his iPod, or the cloudy weather with white sky; as if it was just about to rain.  
To tell the truth, I was kind of having struggling 6 months since the beginning of this year.  I knew the reason, but I didn’t know what to do.  But, one day, I realised – what is the most important thing in my life?  It’s certainly not the money.  SInce I was little, I’ve always wanted to do something which I liked, I wanted to get a job which I enjoy – not for money.  I actually wanted to go to Africa by myself to live with wildlife by looking after them!  
I think I was losing myself while this 6 months.  Now, I’m so glad that I’m Ume again.  I always loved my unique and weird personality.
I read many books during this 6 months, and I leant that the most important thing to lead a happy life is “be a happy person”.  If you are not happy, you can’t be nice to others.  You won’t even have a minutes to worry and care about people.  But, when you are happy, you can do all of them.  You’ll have a big heart and can share it with others.  
I am now thankful that all my family is fine and healthy.  That’s all the matters, I don’t really care about other stuff!
Oh, last weekend I talked to my mum, dad and bro on skype.  We’re all not phone-type of people and couldn’t talk too long, but it was really nice that we did.  My mum lives bit far away from my house and she doesn’t usually come to the house, so it’s great that I could talk to three of them at the same time.  I wish I was there!
Image of Jizo-bon

© Librairie Seizan of KYOTO

This time of the year in Japan is Obon : a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one’s ancestors.  They wanted to go to the Jizo-bon festival – a festival for children held in especially Western Japan – near my house, but it’s customary to have the Jizo-bon on both August 23 and 24 to coincide with the Jizo Bosatsu fair.  This year, 23 and 24 are Monday and Tuesday, so they couldn’t.  On Sunday they went to the place anyway, but the festival wasn’t started yet, and mum couldn’t go to the alter of many jizo statues to light the candles.  Mum asked the monks to light three candles for bro, me and one more once the festival starts.  
I love the festival.. When I was little, I didn’t know much of the meaning of the festival – just enjoying the stall food such as takoyaki, snow cones, Hiroshima-yaki and crapes.  It’s a long way to the jizo alter, and on the way there’re many stalls selling food and toys, and also people enjoying karaoke on the stage.  We all head to the alter, and inside we light on the candle and come out, then return back the way we came.  
I hope I can be there next year.  I’m really starting to think that I should be flying to Japan during summer next time.

Oden Sunday

Posted August 23rd, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

On Sunday my friend came over for Oden and Chirashi-zushi party!  I started simmering the tofu, konnyaku, daikon radish and boiled eggs on Thursday night so that they would absorb the soup and flavor very good.  On Saturday I added some nerimono (all sorts of fish-cakes) to finish-up.  It looked so yummy!

I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures! I must had been so busy eating and chatting…   (>0<)  So here is the image photo from Google…

(Mine was not this beautiful!)

One of the friend couldn’t join the oden party as she has been suffering from unfortunate food poisoning since last week. 

I remember my first and last food poisoning was in Jakarta…  It was terrible!  I was on holiday, but couldn’t even get up from the bed.  The whole body was cold/sweating/shaking/fever/vomiting/etc.  I just wanted to lie down on the bed, I couldn’t even stand the gentle air wave from the air conditioner.

I hope she gets better!

V Burger Bar in Victoria Park

Posted August 22nd, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Yesterday we headed to a burger bar in Victoria Park, V Burger Bar.  I was soooo hungry!

Continuing from my previous post about burger cafes in Perth, this is the forth shop that I visited which specialises in burgers.  The shop is right next to the Bintang Cafe.

I ordered Chickcorian Burger which consists of chicken patty with chopped coriander, gourmet lettuce, red onion and lime sweet chilli mayonnaise.  My husband ordered Classic V Burger which consists of prime beef patty, gourmet lettuce, red onion, V relish and aioli.

The bread was Turkish style, and the burger didn’t come with chips or salad.  The price is pretty reasonable.

Chickcorian Burger was delicious – the tangy sweet chilli mayo was well-matched with the chicken patty.  I couldn’t taste much of coriander in the patty though.

The Classic V Burger was good.  The amount of the beef patty was just right, and the aioli and relish were great for the burger.

If I compare with other burger shops I’ve been to, the beef burger at Gourmet on Wray was the best so far.  The beef patty was divine – smooth, tasty, and I could enjoy the genuine delicious “beef”.  A beef burger at Jus Burger was hard to describe, as there was too much sauce and the sauce was overwhelming the taste of the patty, so I have to exclude it from the comparison.

V Burger Bar website


Utopia Bakery in Perth

Posted August 21st, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »