Japanese Style Slow-cooked Pork

Posted January 31st, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Suddenly I had a craving for Japanese style char siu (yakibuta). It’s quite different from those Chinese style char siu – Japanese one tastes more like ham.  I like eating yakibuta with Japanese mayonnaise, and that’s what I had in my mind when I was making this dish.  It turned out, not exactly what I expected it to be, but it tasted great anyway and is a perfect meat dish to be served with simple steamed rice.

I served this slow-cooked pork dish with carrot rice – which is a simple steamed rice with grated carrot.  The rice doesn’t taste like carrot, but it boosts the nutrition.

To make this dish, you need an oven.  What you do is just marinate the pork in the sauce and cook in the oven – very easy.  You can use any part of pork for this dish: this time I used pork thigh.

<Japanese Style Slow-Cooked Pork>

  • 300g pork meat
  • 40ml soy sauce
  • 20ml sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 40g sugar
  • 3cm spring onion
  • 1 tbs white sesame seeds
  1. Marinate the pork in the sauce (mixture of all the ingredients) overnight.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200°.
  3. Place aluminium-foil on an oven tray, bending the edge high so that all the marinade sauce can go inside.  Place the pork and marinade sauce in the foil, and close the top.  You can also use 2 pieces of aluminium-foil : one to keep the pork and marinade sauce, and another to cover up the pork and sauce.
  4. Cook the pork in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Leave the pork for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Serve with steamed rice and your choice of vegetables (or salad).

Salmon Teriyaki

Posted January 29th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

My another salmon teriyaki recipe here.

A typical, yet delicious Japanese salmon dish : salmon with teriyaki-style sauce.  In Japan I normally use a fish-grill to grill salmon, but I don’t have it here in Perth so I cook it in the oven.  No need to worry about washing fish-smelling pan afterward and I could chill while the salmon is being cooked in the oven!

The word “teriyaki” means the method of cooking – which the food is brushed with sauce while being grilled.  I call this dish “salmon teriyaki” although there is no such cooking method involved.  It’s just easier for people (non-Japanese) to remember the name.  I can also call it “Salmon with Soy and Ginger Sauce”.  It’s actually more like it.

<Salmon with Soy and Ginger Sauce> serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets (around 350g)
  • 3cm ginger
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 cm ginger

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°.
  2. Halve the salmon fillets.
  3. Slice the 3cm ginger into matchstick shape.
  4. Spray alumifoil with oil, and line the salmon.  Sprinkle with salt, and top with the ginger.  Bake in the oven for 20~ 30 minutes until golden.
  5. For the sauce: Place soy sauce, mirin, sugar and ginger (sliced into matchstick shape) in a small sauce pan, and bring to the gentle boil to dissolve the sugar, stirling well.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

Kinpira Gobo

Posted January 28th, 2011 in Food | 6 Comments »

Kinpira gobo, sweet soy glazed burdock root, is one of my favorite Japanese home-style food.  Kinpira is a  Japanese cooking style of “sauté and simmer”. It is commonly used to cook roots vegetables such as burdock roots, carrots, lotus roots and bamboo shoots.

The common ingredients for kinpira gobo are shredded burdock roots, carrots, and meat (usually thinly sliced pork or beef).  The seasonings are typical 4 Japanese ingredients.  If you have these 4 ingredients in your kitchen pantry, you can make kinpira at any time.

This time I used frozen shredded Japanese burdock roots.  There are also frozen shredded burdock roots from China at grocery shops and are much cheaper, but Japanese one tastes much better.  Even after thawed, the each burdock root still remains its crunchy texture.  It’s bit hard to get fresh burdock roots in Perth, so I always buy a frozen packet from Asian grocery shop and keep in the freezer.

<Kinpira Gobo>

  • 100g burdock roots, shredded
  • 1 carrot
  • 50g pork meat (any part), sliced
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Peel the carrot and shred into the same size as burdock roots.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, and saute burdock roots and carrot for 2~3 minutes.
  3. Add sake, mirin and soy sauce to the pan.  Stir and cook until the liquid is almost gone.
  4. Turn off the heat and mix through the sesame seeds.

Australian Day 2011

Posted January 26th, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Aussie day!  I headed to my sister in-law’s house for BBQ lunch.  We started with happy soda slushie that she made.  She bought a proper “happy soda” syrup from asian grocery shop in Canning Vale and it really tasted rose.  Yum!

Flamed grilled meats – lamb, steak and sausages!  I knew they wouldn’t have prepared any salad (Aussie BBQ = meat), so I brought a bowl of greens.  The meat was great.  She made sure the meat was cooked well-done for me.  The flame-grilled steak… it was so great.  I also loved the spinach, cheese and pine nut sausage.

Since I came to Australia, every Australia Day was always hot and fine day.  It was cloudy and drizzling until yesterday, but today it was hot and dry!


Out to Lunch, Massage and Cafe

Posted January 24th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

The weather was cloudy with light drizzling rain on Sunday.  I had a 1 hour massage appointment at Mayumi’s at 1:30pm, but my in-laws wanted to have lunch together at Bintang Cafe as one of the sister was going back to Jakarta on Monday afternoon.

The sister and D went to church in the morning.  While waiting I was getting myself ready for the lunch, massage and meeting friends at C15 in Applecross.  Around 10:30 the sister and D came back… with Mcdonald’s bacon egg muffins and pancakes!  “I thought we’re going to have lunch soon” then she said “Yeah, this is just breakfast.”

After eating the muffin I was pretty full, but still joined the lunch anyway.  I ordered bihun goreng (stir-fried rice noodle) and D ordered a rice dish (Nashi something Champur).  Very full… but I’d gotta go to get 1 hour massage!

This time Mayumi had prepared a big donut-shaped cushion for me so I could get massage while lying face down.  Starting from my back to neck & shoulders, then my legs…   It was again, a 1 hour of heavenly massage.  As I told her that my legs kept getting cramped, she concentrated on my calves. I was almost asleep half-way through the massage because it was so great and relaxing.

After the massage I headed to C15 in Applecross.  My friend just came back from Hong Kong and Japan trip, and she is returning to work soon after 1 year + 3 months maternity leave.  As both of us will be busy in the next few weeks we decided to catch up while we still have our time.

Friend and I wanted to order pancake (we love pancake at C15!) but it was impossible for my stomach to take another solid food.  My friend also decided not to eat pancake this time, so we just had drinks and stayed there for 2 hours non-stop talking.  As she gave birth at St John of God in Murdoch (where I’m giving birth to my baby) I had lots of questions to ask!

I love this cafe – not only the food, drinks and services, but also even customers are friendly.  Great place to pass the time.  I’m not surprised this place is always full of people.

How to Eat Chicken Wings

Posted January 23rd, 2011 in Food, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Chicken Wings are great food to accompany rice, noodle and beer.  In Japan, Nagoya city in Aichi prefecture is famous for its chicken wings (tebasaki).  If you are planning to travel to Japan and going to Nagoya, you must try tebasaki there!

Tebasaki in Nagoya is deep-fried then brushed with some special sauce –  this sauce is the key.  The sweet, tasty sauce goes with beer and other alcohol so well.

I’m sure you also eat chicken wings by roasting, deep-frying or grilling at home (if you like them), but do you find it difficult to eat wings without making a mess?  I am actually a very messy eater, especially when eating wings.  It leaves my fingers, face and table messy, and also I can’t get all the meat between the bones.  How can you eat wings without making a mess?  I’ve got an answer from a website of famous tebasaki restaurant in Nagoya.

Furaibou is one of the popular tebasaki restaurant, and it has shops across Japan and LA in US.  On the website they show 4 ways to eat tebasaki without any hassle.

Method 1:

Hold both ends with fingers, and break the joint.  You will see bones coming out, and then tear the meat with one hand while holding the bones with another hand.  Now bones and meat are separated.  Enjoy the meat.

Method 2:

Remove the joint from both ends, and tear the meat along with two bones.  Enjoy the two strips.  Suck the bones if you like.

Method 3:

Remove the joint from the edge.  Grip the bone with finger, and twist to pull out.  Repeat with another bone.  Enjoy the meat.

Method 4:

Remove the joint from the edge.  Bite the wing and strip off the meat from the bones.


Bijin Tokei Ver. Shiga

Posted January 21st, 2011 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Bijin Tokei, meaning “beautiful woman clock”, is a website that showcases different young ladies telling you the time every minute, and has been a big success since it started.  Now they have few different versions of bijin-tokei such as circuit-tokei (where all the girls are race queens) and Ver. Night, and also local versions of bijin-tokei in Kobe, South Korea Ver. 1 Ver. 2, Taiwan, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Thai, etc etc…

I wrote about this bijin-tokei here, here and here before in Umeboss.  Why I’m writing about it again here is because I found a Shiga version of bijin-tokei in app store!

Bijin-tokei Ver. Shiga was released in August last year.  As you know (?), I’m from Shiga and wonder that there may be one or two of my friends in the 360 girls picturing the clock on the app!  The photo shoot was carried out in the malls, universities and train stations from May in Shiga.  If I knew about it and was in Japan I might be in the queue for the candidates! hehe..

I’m somehow proud of it, because not all the cities/prefectures in Japan are used for bijin-tokei.  So far there’re only 9 cities across Japan : Shibuya, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Fukuoka, Kobe, Nagoya, Sendai, and Shiga.  I’m proud of it as a Shiga person (kind of), but also curious… why Shiga??  There are many other nice and famous cities across Japan.  Some Japanese people don’t even know where Shiga locates in the map.  I’m also curious about the bijin-tokei ver. Sendai.  … Why Sendai??

Bagel from Fremantle Bakehouse

Posted January 20th, 2011 in Bagelier Bagel, Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

When I was wondering around Cappuccino strip in Fremantle, I saw two huge bagels in a basket through the window at Fremantle Bakehouse.  They were really big, and I just had to try it out and see if they bake a good bagel.

Fremantle Bakehouse is a pretty popular bakery with dine-in section where you can enjoy the baked goods with freshly brewed coffees and teas.  I also like their bread – especially the ones with hard crust.  My husband liked ciabatta bread with olives the other day.

It was a plain bagel with poppy seeds on top.  When a staff passed me the bagel in a paper bag I realised the bagel was actually very light.  I squeezed it with my fingers, and the soft crust just broke and became flaky without any resistance, just like other normal white bread.  I was little disappointed, but took it home and toasted it to see if the texture was chewy.  It wasn’t!  It was just normal white bread in the shape of a bagel.

The bagel was just about the size of my hand, and weighed about 100g.  My bagels at Bagelier are around 10cm in diametre and weigh about 100g.  I know my bagels are quite heavy and dense, but I wondered if this bagel from Fremantle Bakehouse is what people in Perth think of a bagel.  I also tried a blueberry bagel from Lawleys Bakery before, and it wasn’t heavy and chewy either.  Maybe the bagels I make are too heavy and dense – should I rename it from “bagel” to something else?

In Japan, some bagels weigh around 100g ~ 160g!!  Some of them are very heavy and chewy, and some are soft and fluffy.  Which texture is good depends on people’s liking, really.  BAGEL&BAGEL is very popular in Japan, but some people say their bagels are too soft.  I personally like the one with tough crust and chewy interior.  Bagelier bagels are best to be eaten toasted.  I normally slice bagels in half before freezing, and toast them in a small oven toaster before eating.  When I’m making a sandwich, I toast it using a panini press.  Toasting it well-done and eating it while hot is my way of eating a bagel.  Some people like heating up my bagel in microwave.  The bagel becomes soft, but after awhile it tastes little dry, I think.

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy

Posted January 19th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I got a big piece of salmon fillet from a friend the other day.  Salmon is one of my favorite fish – .. well I love all fish though, but salmon is great to eat anytime, on breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I normally eat salmon with rice, such as sushi and porridge, but I love my grandma’s simmered salmon.  She uses only the part near the bones (salmon ara アラ).  The part contains the delicious oil and condensed flavor of salmon.  I’ve never seen a shop selling this in Perth. (people think it’s not edible part, I think)

I grilled the salmon last night and served with steamed rice and tangy soy sauce.  This is a meal you can create in a flash!

<Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy> serves 2

  • 2 fillets salmon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 lemon
  1. Heat a frying pan with oil.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and grill over medium-high heat until the bottom coloured.  (if your salmon got skin, cook the skin side first)  Carefully flip it around and cook another side over low heat until just done.
  2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and chopped coriander.
  3. Serve with steamed rice!
You can add chopped chilli to the sauce for colour and heat, if you like.

Week 32

Posted January 17th, 2011 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

I can’t believe I’m already here!  Just few more weeks to go…

Now I think I’ve got everything I need.  I’ve got my breast pump, baby’s ear thermometer, some books to read, and hand-made toy to give to him.

I wasn’t going to buy a breast pump and bottles because I’m planning to do breastfeeding.  But, sister-in-law told me that I will need bottles anyway (otherwise I will have to feed baby every few hours for at least 6 months).  My husband also wishes to feed baby, so I bought a breast pump.  This Ameda Purely Yours is what sister-in-law recommended me.  This is a hospital grade pump with two-pump system so that you can pump milk from two breast at the same time.  Not many retailers sell this item so I had to buy it from an online shop.  It was actually cheaper than buying regular brand breast pump like Avent.

The books written by Oliver Jeffers are my husband’s favorite.  I also love his illustration.  I bought a set of three stories from borders (I wrote about it here) for reading to our bub.

As I mentioned before I made “Baby on Board” stuffing myself!  It was my second time using a sewing machine… since I bought one.  All the “baby on board” sign sold in Perth look the same and I wanted to make my own.  I’m going to hung this in my car 🙂

I made another booking at Mayumi‘s for next weekend.  My left calf was clamped the other night and it’s really hurt.  I couldn’t walk for the next few days, seriously.  I’ve never had such strong clamp before!  I can’t wait for the massage…

On this weekend I went to Murdoch hospital to take a hospital tour for maternity ward.  A nurse showed us few rooms including birth suite and private/shared rooms.  Theatre room and ICU are located at the ground floor.  The tour is carried out every Saturdays and Sundays, but there are 6~7 couples when we attended.

This is it, that’s the place I’m giving birth to my first bub.  I will be receiving an interview phone call from the hospital on week 35, and on week 36 I’m attending a parenting class at Murdoch hospital!