Posted August 31st, 2012 in Food, Perth WA | 2 Comments »
We visited my friend’s house for her elder son’s 3rd birthday party!
I’m surprised that not many people (even Indonesian people!) don’t know this Japanese cartoon character “Anpan-man”. Anpan-man is super popular in Japan now. Everywhere you go, you’ll see this face. All my friends here who have children have at least one Anpan-man good at home. So do I. On my last homecoming trip I felt like I had to buy Anpan-man goods as they’re everywhere.
Above foods are chirashi-zushi (scattered sushi) with Anpan-man face, omu-rice with Anpan-man face, potato salads, and gyoza.
Here is another Anpan-man. They are actual anpan (buns filled with sweet red bean paste). The faces are so cute! Everything was handmade.
Hiro got one too.
Birthday cake was tiramisu. With Anpan-man face on it.
After blowing the candles, the birthday boy did this “traditional Japanese ceremony” thingy – breaking the lid of sake container. I thought there’d be toys or lollies inside as this was a child’s birthday party, but the inside was filled with real sake. It was for adults.
Food was amazing. Mum did a great job!
Posted August 30th, 2012 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »
I have been contacted by few UMEBOSS viewers that they can’t leave comments on my website. I apologize for the problem.
I don’t know what is wrong with my blog. I checked it with WordPress but not certain answer. I found this though:
” Folks trying to comment now with an email address attached to a WordPress.com or Gravatar account will have to log in first.”
So if you encounter any problems then please try to log in first. Or email me directly @ me(at)umeboss.com.
This week one of my friend gave birth to her second son. She didn’t know if it’s boy or girl until she gave birth to him. She kept it a surprise. I’ve been visiting them at the hospital – newborn baby is so tiny! I have totally forgotten about that.
Posted August 29th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »
As I wrote about it before, I’m flying to Bali this year for the first time! Although I’ve been to Jakarta several times I never got out of Denpasar airpot.
My dad has bought his ticket from Japan, and so did 2 of us here (+ Hiro). Then I was looking for a place to stay. My husband wanted to stay at a 2bedroom villa with private swimming pool which is also close to the beach. Men, there are soooo many accommodation in Bali!! My friends and sister-in-law recommended us to stay in Nusa Dua, but I went with husband’s friend’s recommendation – Seminyak area. He travels to Bali often and is very familiar with this island.
Ok, so a 2bedroom villa with swimming pool and walking distance from the beach…. There are still quite many villas like that in Seminyak. Another issue was the price. There are quite expensive ones to fairly good priced ones. Of course I’d want to go with the cheap one but how about their reviews?? I was searching, searching…. and sent query to several villas. Price-wise they are about the same, but I found one villa who gave me pretty cheap deal.
In my head I was kind of thinking to decide on the villa. ….until I received their 2nd email. On the first email they were very polite and sounded professional, but from the second email they started to use casual language “yeah”, and smily faces “:)” !!!
I know they’re trying to be friendly, but I thought it wasn’t professional at all! It was kinda annoying They used “…..” at the end of each sentence (e.g. Ume….. I’ll be waiting for you….) and I felt it was rather creepy.
Then my friend showed me couples of other villas, and I found even cheaper one with great reviews. Close to beach, restaurants and shops. I bought it straightaway. Meanwhile I kept receiving emails from the “friendly” villa.
Aaaaa, now I can’t wait to lay on the beach like this photo Staying at a villa close to restaurants and shops makes it easy for us as my dad loves coffee and always drink one or two several times a day! I also can’t wait to visit Ubud where I hear there’re beautiful rice fields. My dad wants to see Indonesian style rice fields.
photos from bali.world-guides.com / flightsaustralia.com.au
Posted August 21st, 2012 in Food | No Comments »
Here is the real winter warmer – Oden with dipping sauce of ginger.
Oden, a Japanese dish of winter casserole, is usually eaten with karashi (Japanese mustard). It is the very common and typical condiment for Oden. Everywhere you go, an izakaya or a convenience store, Oden is served with a dash of karashi on the side.
But one of my friend from Himeji (a city in Hyogo prefecture) introduced me a new condiment – gingered soy sauce!
I’d never tried the combination before, but I immediately knew ginger would go great with oden. Oden and ginger…. how clever! It’s the best dish to warm up your body in cold days.
For for Oden, common ingredients are : Egg, Konnyaku, Daikon, Gyu-suji (beef tendon), Nerimono (basically fishcakes, but many varieties : e.g. chikuwa, hanpen, gobo-maki etc), Atsuage (thick deep-fried tofu), and Potato. Some people add other things too.
This time I used egg, daikon, konnyaku, tofu, and gobo-maki. I can’t get good nerimono here in Perth. Some Asian grocery shops sell “oden set” (mixed nerimono) in freezer section, but I find it quite expensive.
- Water 6 cups
- Sake (cooking wine) 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce 4 tbs
- Mirin (sweet cooking wine) 2 tbs
- Dashi Konbu seaweed 15cm
- Ingredients (I used 4 Eggs, 4 Potatos, 1 Konnyaku sheet, 4 Gobo-maki, 500g Tofu, & 1 Daikon radish.)
- Ginger 1 knob + Soy Sauce
- Place Dashi Konbu in 6 cups of water in a large pot, and leave for around 2 hours.
- Prepare ingredients : boil eggs, peel and cut daikon etc. I don’t cut potato but you can if you prefer so.
- Place daikon & potato in the water with konbu, and turn on the heat. Bring to gentle simmer – do not boil. Remove konbu.
- Add sake, soy sauce, and mirin. Add eggs, konnyaku, tofu & gobo-maki. Simmer for 30minutes +. ( I simmered few hours)
Once you turn off the heat, leave the oden for around 2 hours (or more), then warm up again before serving. Ingredients in oden soak up the flavour when they cool down. Let everything soak up all the flavor.
Serve with grated ginger + soy sauce.
Posted August 18th, 2012 in Food, Japan | No Comments »
Obon has finished….! Obon is one of holiday season in Japan where people go back to their hometown and pray for ancestors. During Obon you are not supposed to kill any living creature (including a fly) because it may be your ancestor visiting you in a form of the creature. I feel so bad now because I forgot about Obon and killed a small spider 2 days ago. It’s hard to remember these things while living in Perth. :|
Above photo is marinated octopus, cucumber and wakame seaweed in vinegar sauce. I call it tako-to-kyuri-to-wakame-no-sunomono, but I think you can just call it tako-su. It’s typical summer salad (or should I say side dish) in Japan.
It is hard to find octopus legs in Perth, but in Japan we eat it very often. If you go to kaiten sushi bar you’ll see octopus sushi, which is a nigiri sushi with a slice of cooked octopus leg. Octopus leg is always available at supermarket too. It is usually sold cooked though. I don’t get to see raw octopus legs much over there unless I go to a fish market.
I think octopus legs are kind of gross food here? That’s why I can’t buy it from any grocery shops? Most Asian grocery shops don’t sell it too. I usually buy it from seafood shops.
- Octopus Leg (cooked) 100g
- Cucumber 1
- Wakame seaweed (dry) 1 tbs
- White Wine Vinegar 2 tbs
- Sugar 1 tbs
- Soy Sauce 1 tsp
- Ginger 1 slice
- Soak wakame in water until soften, and drain well.
- Slice cucumber thinly. (or thick if you prefer crunchy texture) Slice cooked octopus leg. Slice ginger into long matchsticks.
- Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and ginger.
- Marinate octopus, cucumber and wakame in the dressing in the fridge for 1 hour or more before serving.