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!


Please Help QLD Flood Victims

Posted January 14th, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Perth residents!!  Please help QLD flood victims by donating some goods.

GKR Transport office in Welshpool WA 6160 will be accepting the donations and trucking them over to Queensland.  As there will be currently no way of crossing into these areas as yet, there is plenty of time to gather & drop off donations to the GKR depot.

ALL SMALL ITEMS CAN BE DONATED:  non perishables, anything like toothpaste,shampoo, bottles of water, medical supplies, toys, prams, nappies towels, linen, clothing for young and old, small electrics appliances , kettles toaster etc.

Please speak to Teagan at the GKR Office for more information.

Original Ad

GKR Transport
80 Dowd Street

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Buying Japanese Foods in Perth

Posted January 13th, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Since  I started living in Perth I noticed that Japanese foods sold at grocery shops are very pricy here.  Chocolate, snacks, drinks, seasonings, etc…   Korean grocery shops sell similar items much cheaper.  I wonder why the price is so different between those items imported form Japan and South Korea.  I understand that everything in South Korea is much cheaper than in Japan, but the items are so similar (sometimes same name and same brand).

Some items such as daifuku (a Japanese sweet), naruto (fish cakes), natto (fermented soy beans) and other specific food items are made in Japan, and in that case the cost will be expensive. I understand that the grocery shops have to mark up the price in order to cover the cost of import and inspections by Aus government, it’s surprising that a pack of rice crackers I used to eat in Japan costs almost $10.00 here while the price in Japan is around few hundreds yen.  But even though the price is more expensive than other similar products that are imported from China etc, products of Japan still have demand.

Some products of Japan specify where the items are from on their packaging.  For example, this katsuo-no-tataki (bonito tataki) is a product of Yakitsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.  Japanese people know that Yakitsu is famous for bonito fishing, and Yakitsu-branded bonito is known for its delicious fat.  (I bought this frozen tataki at Super Fuji in Victoria Park.)

The other day I bought a pack of kinako (soy powder) from Maruyu and ate with dango I made (recipe).  This kinako is also a product of Japan, from Hokkaido.

I don’t mean that products imported from Japan are all better than other foods though.  Korean/Chinese grocery shops may sell the same products (the packagings are in Chinese or Korean, and the manufactured country is the same) at half the price.  Products from South Korea such as soy sauce, nori seaweed sheets and rice are very similar to Japanese ones and the prices are usually cheaper.  If you are not looking for something particular (e.g. Tokyo takuwan pickles, Hokkaido potato chips, Okinawa black sugar candies) you can browse around Korean grocery shops such as Hi Mart and Seoul Mart, and other Chinese grocery shops such as Kong’s Oriental.  Some well-known Japanese food such as Kikkoman soy sauce and Pokka drinks are from Singapore anyway (not products of Japan)!

It’s very hot in Perth. How is your place?

Posted January 12th, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s another hot day….  I can’t sleep without air-con now.  Apparently Perth was the hottest city in Australia yesterday (Darwin and Cairns were around 27~33°).  Today is going to be around 37° again here!

The flood in Brisbane looks terrible…  I’ve never experienced flood in my life, but watching the flood swallowing many cars on the street tells me how awful it is for people living there and I feel sorry for their loss.

This is one of the most amazing photo…..  9 News shows a green frog hitching a ride on the back of a brown snake.

I remember the terrible hail storm Perth got last summer. Although I wasn’t in Perth during the hail storm by the way, but my husband was right there and showed me what was happening.  Sometimes we can’t avoid natural disaster and it tells us how powerless we are against the big nature.

On the other side of the world it seems to be all white and cold.  Well, that’s the normal January I know, but I can’t imagine the cold snow and eating mandarins in kotatsu from here.

Subway at Home

Posted January 11th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Since I can’t (don’t want to) get rolls from Subway while pregnant, I’m making my own Sub salad rolls at home.  It’s actually started few months ago, and D and I eat them very often (like 5 times a week) now.  Especially it’s very hot these days and what I feel like eating is refreshing cold salad anyway.

So, our fridge is stacked with vegetables.  Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocado, red onions, olives, Jalapeno, cheeses, pickles, and sauces….  Each vegetables are chopped/cut and prepared in separate containers so that we can make a roll anytime.  He loves lots of honey mustard on his roll…

I love American mustard and grain mustard.  Sweet chilli also gives a nice flavor!

It’s kind a good idea, as we can eat many kinds of vegetables everyday.  And D seems that he lost some weights!  He didn’t eat any vegetables when I met him 7 years ago.  What a change!


Pregnancy Massage

Posted January 9th, 2011 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

On the weekend I had a relaxing 1 hour massage by a Japanese lady, Mayumi san, in Wembley.  One of my friend has been Mayumi’s regular client for almost 1 year, and few months ago the friend gave me a gift voucher for 1 hour massage at Mayumi’s.  I was wanting to use this voucher but I didn’t make a booking as I was still in the first and second trimester of my pregnancy and didn’t know if I should be getting massage at that time.  And, around late last year I was told that Mayumi was pregnant too.

I wasn’t so sure if she was still doing massage.  I know massaging someone’s body for 1 hour is a pretty hard work.  But, I really wanted to use this voucher as I’m in the third trimester and my feet, back and shoulders needed some help.  I contacted her, and found out that she is still working!  So I made a booking and I headed to the place on the weekend.

Mayumi works as a massage therapist healing injured people.  Deep tissue massage is what she normally does, but since I’m pregnant she did a relaxation massage to help lymph circulation on my body.

It was a heavenly 1 hour!  She started from my calfs and thighs.  I had to lie on my side while she was doing my feet, back and arms (I can’t lie on the stomach).   She said my feet are cold (I have poor blood circulation), and my right foot is little swelled.  For the back, she did deep tissue massage little bit and it was really good.

After the arms are done I sat on a chair for shoulder massage.  Then, I lied on my back and she did my decollete, neck, head and feet.  She used Macadmia oil to do massage, and her pressure was just perfect.

Half way through the massage my body started to feel really warm.  When I called her to make a booking and she told me it’s going to be a relaxation massage, I thought it was going to be something like what I get at a normal massage salon. (like Swedish massage)  But, what she aims is “healing” and “fixing” of the body, not just making you feel good.  Through the massage she gave me some advice.  In my case, lymph circulation was poor, so she advice me to exercise more and move muscles around my ankles regularly.  Unlike blood, lymph doesn’t travel through the body by heart.  Muscles are the one which helps lymph move through the body.

Unfortunately she is soon stopping working as her due date is on April, but I’d like to get her massage after she returns to work.


Mitarashi Dango

Posted January 7th, 2011 in Food | 6 Comments »

Dango is one of my favorite Japanese sweets!  I love the chewy texture.  Sanshoku-dango (three-color-dango) and mitarashi-dango are must item for me for 3PM tea time, and always get one or two while I’m in Japan.

Dango is made from rice flour, but there are actually few kinds of rice flour in Japan, called dangoko, joshinko and shiratamako.  It’s bit confusing and many people don’t know if there are any differences between them.  They are all made from rice.  Differences are the process of making each flour and also a kind of rice.  Dangoko is made from a combination of mochi rice and uruchi rice. Joshinko is made from uruchi rice.  Shiratamako is made from white mochi rice.  Dango made from dangoko are chewer than those made from joshinko or shiratamako.  Shiratamako gives soft texture and chewiness to dango and it doesn’t go hard when it’s cold.  Joshinko is mainly used to make most kinds of Japanese sweets (eg: mitarashi-dango, kashiwa-mochi etc)

I happened to have joshinko at home, and made mitarashi-dango using a recipe from my grandma!

<Mitarashi Dango> makes about 15

  • 70g joshin-ko or rice flour
  • 35g corn flour
  • 10g sugar
  • 170cc water
  • 40g brawn sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 10ml soy sauce
  • 10g corn flour + water

  1. To make dango, blend all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and mix until smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in a sauce pan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thicken and the color is almost transparent.  Remove from the heat, and cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a steamer.  Start boiling water, and line baking sheet on the bottom of the steamer tray.
  4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape into small balls by hands.  You can use corn flour if the mixture keeps sticking to your hands.
  5. Arrange the dango on the baking sheet, and steam for 20 minutes.
  6. To make sauce: place water, sugar and soy sauce in a small sauce pan, and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Mix corn flour with 1 tbs water.  Gradually add the cornflour mixture into the sugar water, stirling constantly, to thicken the sauce.
  8. Pour the sauce over dango and serve.  If you like better flavour, grill dango slightly and caramelize the sauce over the heat.

Chapels on Whatley

Posted January 6th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

On the way from my sister-in-low’s house, I found this little antique shop called Chapels on Whatley.  From the music from the shop and the chairs/tables displayed outside, I thought it was just another Chinese furniture/antique shop.  But, once I stepped inside there are more than Chinese ornaments and drawings.

First, lots of scented candles caught my eyes.  There are many antique kitchen wares and furnitures that reminded me of my grandma. The shop was quite big –  there is another building at the back displaying Chinese ornaments and birdcages.

The owner of this shop is very friendly, and offered us some Chinese tea.  Then I realised there’re so many kinds of tea leaves sold at the door.

From familier ones such as oolong tea and rose tea, to Pu-Erh tea and lemon grass, there are more than 30 kinds of leaves sold and being available for tasting.  D tried lemon grass tea and another smoky tea (some kind of root: I don’t remember the name).  Lemon grass was very refreshing, he said.

Brewing flower tea is one of the most beautiful thing to watch.  Very pretty.

The owner told us that there is going to be a cafe inside the shop around February where customers can enjoy different kinds of teas and coffees.  I am so looking forward to it.

Address: 196 Whatley Crs Maylands Perth WA

Phone: 08 9272 7738


Productive Weekend – Making Paper and Owl

Posted January 5th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

It was very productive weekend for me.  I stayed home most of the time because of the heat and tiredness.  I spent time in front of tv a lot, but also enjoyed making some things.  One of them are recycled paper.  Yes, D and I made lots of paper at home using a paper making kit we bought online before Christmas.

First, we teared up paper and soaked in water overnight.

The process is very simple, but it just took some time – we stayed in the laundry room for about 1 hour transforming the soaked paper into pulps using a blender, shaping the pulps into A4 size, and hanging the paper to dry.

Scoop the pulps using a frame,

Pressing the pulps into tea towels,

And drying the paper.

Here are the completed recycled paper!  Looks perfect…

We did this process 3 times over the weekends, and made about 60 pieces of paper.  I’m using the paper for Bagelier and my another website (not completed yet) in future!

Another thing I did over the weekend was….  sewing!!  I actually can’t believe I was type of person who likes doing this stuff, but I did enjoy it.  Buying a sewing machine was D’s idea; we bought Brother sewing machine at just over $70.00 from Spotlight on the Boxing Day.  It had been more than 10 years since last time I used a sewing machine.  I never did sewing outside school;  I didn’t really have interest in sewing.  But now I completed my first work “owl” and am working on my second one “Baby on Board” stuffing toy to put in my car.

Making this owl took quite a long time (as I totally had forgotten how sewing a stuffed toy works), but my “Baby on Board” is nearly finished; I will upload the photo once I’m done!

Hello 2011

Posted January 1st, 2011 in Japan, Perth WA | No Comments »


Happy New Year!!

It seems that Japan is getting lots of snow since yesterday.  My mum said it started to snow yesterday morning in her city in Shiga, and in the evening she couldn’t move her car because of the snow which had been built up.  My friends also said that it’s snow storming outside.  Regardless of whether they are enjoying the snow or not, I do miss snow and wish I was there!

Perth is, on the other hand, in middle of summer.  I had Nachos and watermelon for dinner yesterday.  Oh yes, I didn’t forget to eat toshikoshi-soba 年越しそば this year too.  It’s just one of Japanese tradition I don’t want to miss.  I remember eating soba on the New Year’s eve two years ago at my house with my family, while watching a countdown to 2009 on tv.

In the morning of New Year’s Day, we eat special food called osechi, and zenzai or ozoni in Japan.  Zenzai is a sweet red bean soup with mochi (rice cake), and ozoni is sweet miso soup with mochi.  I had delicious osechi food and ozoni in Perth last year at my friend’s house (I wrote about it here), but this family has gone back to Japan for good and I can’t experience it anymore.

I was actually going to make zenzai at home, but just couldn’t find time.  It’s too hot to make hot azuki soup here anyway…  So, instead, I made mitarashi-dango.  (rice flour dumpling with caramelised sauce)

The process of making dango was fun.  But, after eating just a couple of these I became so full!

Well, at least I started this new year with some Japanese traditional food.

My family is going to visit a shrine for hatsu-moude 初詣 to pray for a new year tomorrow.  My mum said she will pray for me, D and my baby, and buy an amulets and send it to me.  I really wish I was there too.

Today is a start of new year.  My New Year’s resolution is to be honest.  I want to be honest to my feelings and try to share it with other people.  I hope this year will be one of the wonderful year of my life.