Pepper Lunch 🍴

Posted January 7th, 2017 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

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As you may know, Pepper Lunch has been one of popular Japanese eat-out place across the world.  Its “DIY” concept makes this place unique, where you get served your rice and meat/seafood on a hot plate and you cook while you eat at the table.

Luckily, we also have 4 Pepper Lunch restaurants in Perth WA now, and this restaurant has been one of my favourite place to eat out.  Your clothes may get smelly after dining, so be prepared!

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My favourite is sizzling Japanese curry with hamburg and chicken, and kimuchi pepper rice.  I normally order a meal that comes with drink and one side of your choice (I always go for a salad).  The food (especially the curry) on the hotplate (teppan) get little salty at the end as it keeps cooking on the hot plate, but it can be a fun part..

One down side is that there’s no kids menu.  Hope they make one someday!


Korokke

Posted January 4th, 2017 in Food | No Comments »

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Do you have heaps of potatoes in the kitchen?  Do you fancy of crispy fried snack?  Then look no further!  Korokke (croquette) is the dish you are after.  They can be your afternoon snack, light lunch, or even a side dish to accompany steamed rice and miso soup with special Korokke sauce. 🙂

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Korokke are deep-fried potato cake coated with panko (bread crumbs). All the coatings are same as katsu – plain flour, egg wash, and Japanese bread crumbs.

Here are the recipe :

<makes about 10)

  • 3~4 large potatoes
  • 1/2 large brown onion
  • 200g beef mince
  • plain flour to coat
  • 1 or 2 egg
  • panko (Japanese bread crumbs) to coat
  • oil to fry
  • sauce to serve (see below)

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1.

First, peel the potatoes and cut into pieces so they cook quickly.  Place in a large pot with water to cover, then cook over high heat until the potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, and sauté in a frying pan with 1 table spoon of oil.   Add beef and cook.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the water from the pan of potatoes, and place the potatoes back into the pot.  Mash the potatoes and add the onion and beef.  Mix well.  Season to taste.

 

2.

Once the potato mixture is cool enough to handle, shape them into balls then flatten the centre.

Place flour and panko in a separate shallow plate.  Beat egg, and place in another shallow plate.

Coat the potato cakes with flour, shake the excess off, then dip in the egg wash.  Quickly place into the plate of panko to coat.  Repeat with the remaining.

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3.

Heat oil in a deep pan or a frying pan.  Deep-fry the korokke until golden.

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Korokke snowman ….  Just wanted to get a feeling of snow/cold as it’s 41 degrees today here in Perth!!!!

To serve:

Korokke are usually served with tonkatsu sauce, Worcester sauce, or tomato sauce.  Or just as is.  You can make a imitated tonkatsu sauce by just mixing tomato sauce & Worcester sauce (1:1).  Add Japanese mayonaise if you are mayo-lover!


An Dango

Posted November 13th, 2016 in Food | No Comments »

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Here in Perth it’s Spring and the weather has been strange – hot day, then rainy day, then cloudy day then again hot day! Hmmm I know Summer is just around the corner but I am not really looking forward to these scorching hot days..

Today was a hot day, and usually I would take my kids to the park in the early morning or to the swimming pool but we had someone come over to fix the garden today so we stayed home. Staying home with 2 kids means lots of food preparation. To combine the “cooking” and “playing”, I involved them in cooking and this is one of the things we made together – dango.

I love dango – I love the chewy texture! In Japan we normally use “shiratama-ko”  or “joshin-ko ” to made dango, but I do not have neither at home. Instead, I stock up this rice flour from Coles.

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Erawan Glutinous Rice Flour. It has to be this green package! It’s just over $2 a packet and so easy to make sticky dango snack.

The recipe is roughly measured, so please adjust the amount of water. And, I mixed tofu to the mixture this time, but you don’t need tofu if you don’t have. Just water and this flour is fine.

<recipe> makes around 20

• Erawan Glutinous Rice Flour … 1 cup

• Tofu (silken or momen) … 50g

• Water … around 1-2 tablespoon

Anko (or some alternative shown below)

 

  1. Drain the tofu from water, then wrap with kitchen paper. Microwave for 30 seconds ~ 1 minutes. This drains more water from tofu.
  2. Place flour into a bowl. Add cooled tofu, then smash the tofu and mix well.  Add water bit by bit to adjust the consistency of the mixture. It should be as firm as your earlobes.
  3. Boil water in a deep pan. Shape the mixture into small balls (1.5cm) then press lightly in the centre to flatten a bit. Drop the balls into boiling water.  Once the balls start to float, count 10 seconds then take them out of the water, and then drop them into a bowl of cold water.
  4. Drain the dango. Skewer them onto toothpicks, then place anko on top.
  5. Enjoy ♬

 

I made koshi-an (strained smooth Anko) but you can just buy a can of Anko from Asian grocery store, or you can eat dango with kinako (sweet soybean flour) or sweet soy sauce (Japanese soy sauce + sugar).   It’s all up to you!

 


Chicken Teriyaki Mayo Donburi

Posted August 24th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

chicken-teriyaki-mayo-don

 

This has been one of my regular dinner menu at home.  My family loves it, and it’s always a pleasure to see empty bowls after meal.

I’ve written few teriyaki recipes here, including spicy chilli version, salmon teriyaki, teriyaki spam onigiri, and teriyaki squid, but I realised I haven’t written the basic recipe for chicken teriyaki!  It’s so easy to make – and serving as donburi means less clean-up as everything is placed in a bowl 😉

After eating this, mayonnaise will be your best buddy whenever eating teriyaki chicken!

 

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<Chicken Teriyaki Mayo Donburi> serves 3~4

  • 4fillets (about 500g) Chicken thigh (recommend skin-on)
  • 3tablespoons Mirin
  • 1tablespoon Sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 1tablespoon Sake
  • 3tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 Egg, boiled
  • 1cup Bean shoot (←optional)
  • 1cup blanched Spinach to garnish
  • steamed rice & Japanese mayonnaise to serve

 

  1. Heat a frying pan, and spray oil.  Grill chicken over high heat to colour both sides.
  2. Wipe any excess oil from the pan using kitchen paper.  Add bean shoots to the pan, and stir-fry.
  3. Meanwhile, place mirin, sugar, sake, and soy sauce in a small pan, and bring to gentle boil.  Simmer until it thickens slightly.
  4. Serve rice in donburi bowls.
  5. Place bean shoots over rice, using a tong.
  6. Place chicken into the sauce, and then place over the rice.  Drizzle extra sauce if required.
  7. Garnish with halved boiled egg and spinach.  Sprinkle sesame seeds.
  8. Enjoy with Japanese mayonnaise!

Nimono – Konnyaku & Beans

Posted August 15th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

konnyku-nimono

 

You must have at least one dish that you love and miss to eat once in awhile.  In my case, it ought to be nimono.

Nimono is simple Japanese simmered dish, and the ingredients vary.  You can make nimono with many things but the main ingredients are usually vegetables.  Meat, seafood or tofu are often added, and it forms a great side dish to the table.

Sukiyaki, niku-jaga are popular nimono and you might have heard of them.  I love simple ones such as, nimono with eggplant & tuna (tinned), Chinese cabbage & chicken pieces, and daikon radish, root vegetables & squid.

After moved to North of the River, I often go to Coventry Village to buy some Japanese groceries, and when I do, I always but ingredients for oden.  I will write an easy recipe for oden (iconic Japanese winter dish) here on Umeboss some another time, but I had 1 pack of konnyaku left in the fridge and I decided to make nimono last night to accompany juicy karaage!

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<Nimono with Konnyaku & Beans>  serves 3~4

  • 1 pack Konnyaku (grey or white is available in Perth)
  • 1 cup Frozen green beans, cut
  • 90g Tinned salmon
  • 1 teaspoon Dashi powder
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce

 

  1. Cut konnyaku into pieces.  I cut into small triangle.  Score konnyaku with sharp knife eso the flavour goes into the konnyaku.
  2. Place konnyaku in a colander, and pour boiling water (to remove the smell).
  3. Place drained konnyaku, beans and drained salmon in a pan with 1 cup of water and the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to boil, and simmer for 10~15 minutes.  Serve with steamed rice.

Japanese Festival in Spring

Posted August 4th, 2015 in Perth WA | No Comments »

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It’s August now and we are in the middle of winter in Perth.  It’s cold, but I noticed the day is getting longer compared to few weeks ago.  Spring may be just around the corner.

As spring approaches, I’m getting busy for the preparations for an event which will be held on 24th October in Melville.  I’m in a committee and in charge of kids activities.  This event, recently finalized its name as “Melville Matsuri”, is a festival introducing Japanese culture and background to local people.  It’s a charity event and there will be a lot of activities for all ages at a gold coin donation or even for FREE!

For children, there will be…

  • Yo-Yo (mizu-fusen)
  • Jinbei (Japan’s traditional summer dress) dress-up & photo booth
  • lucky dip
  • Japanese letter drawing on the body (like temporary tattoo using a non-toxic pen)
  • origami
  • uchiwa (Japan’s traditional fan) making

and much more.  There will also be a grand final of paper-plane competition for primary school children in City of Melville during the festival.

For adults, there will be…

  • ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) demonstration & workshop
  • Japanese tea ceremony demonstration & workshop
  • kimono (Japanese traditional gown) demonstration & workshop

and much more.  Lots of displays & demonstration featuring Japanese culture (bonsai, taiko performance, cosplay etc) too.  And, of course, some yummy Japanese food & drinks!!

The final flyer hasn’t been completed yet, but as soon as it’s done I will post here again.

Melville Matsuri is on Saturday 24th October, 3pm ~ 9pm :
Paper plane competition 4pm – 5pm
Paper Plane film from 7pm – 9pm
All activities, workshop & food stalls 3pm – 6 or 7pm
At … Frederick Baldwin Park, Le Souef Dve, Kardinya WA

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On the same month, there will be another Japanese event in City Beach.  There is Hyogo Cultural Centre in City Beach, and Shichigosan ceremony will be held there on 10th of October.

Their vision is –
“To give these children an opportunity to experience this festival that they miss in Japan. It is the first time the children are officially allowed to wear their traditional clothes (also rite of passage).  The special ages of the children are 7, 5 & 3 years of age. The children are also given special 1000 year old sweets (Chitose-Ame) to ensure a long life.” (- from their 2014 website)  (they haven’t created 2015 version yet)

It’s a great opportunity for families with children aged 3, 5 or 7 who can’t go back to Japan but still want to cerebrate shichigosan.  They can do it here in Perth.  There will be some food stalls as well.  I’m not in committee of this event, but I am planning to sell some food at the stall.  My children are 4 & 1 years old, and we are going back to Japan next year so we will be cerebrating shichigosan then – so I’m not attending this event with my family.

Perth Shichigosan Festival is on Saturday 10th October, possibly 12pm ~ (not sure yet)
At … Hyogo Cultural Centre
20 Kalinda Dve, City Beach WA
(08) 9385 9002

I will update when it’s close to the date!

 


NEW Place to Get Japanese Food – FUJI MART in Perth

Posted June 6th, 2015 in Japanese Stores in Perth, Perth WA | 10 Comments »

It’s been awhile since I wrote about grocery stores in Perth where you can buy Japanese products.  Nowadays most Asian grocery shops sell Japanese food, and even supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths sell some Japanese food on the international isle.  – But they are always the same products : soy sauce, wasabi, nori sheets, mayonnaise, sauces, seasonings… some basic things only.  So for Japanese people who live in Perth and want something more “Japanese”, they’d go to Nippon Food in Subiaco where they can buy more variety of Japanese food and goods.

Now, however, there is a new Japanese grocery shop recently opened in Subiaco (same suburb as Nippon Food!)  – Fuji Mart.

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Fuji Mart is a newly opened shop which caters variety of Japanese products including food and also some home wares.  They did a big opening ceremony at the shop few weeks ago which I missed – everything in store was 20% OFF!

The shop is conveniently located on Station Street in Subiaco, just above Woolworths car park (which you’ll pay $0 for 90minutes parking).  You’ll find this store in front of the escalator from/to the car park.

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Inside the shop resemble a Japanese convenience store or supermarket.  Products are displayed neatly and everything is easy to see.  The store manager at this store has worked at Fuji Mart in Eastern State for a decade, and I can see he has some skill to display a retail shop –  WELL DONE!

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And, at Fuji Mart, you will find much cheaper price compared to elsewhere.  Some items are cheapest here to my knowledge!

You can also buy some “100 yen goods” here at Fuji Mart in Subiaco at $2.50.

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I was quite amazed by the variety of goods sold here.  You can even find a kit for Japanese calligraphy, magonote (back scratcher), and takoyaki-making plate!!!

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I definitely recommend this store to anyone.  If you haven’t been here, just come!  The products are selling super fast so you may find some empty shelves, but they are ordering stocks and hopefully once the store starts rolling on track you can shop everything you need for a Japanese feast!

Fuji Mart

Shop 13-14, 29 Station Street, Subiaco WA
Tel : (08) 6162 8608

Mon-Fri 9:30 ~ 18:00
Sat 9:00 ~ 17:00
Sun 11:00 ~ 17:00
Public holidays closed

 


Cabbage-Yaki

Posted February 24th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »

cabbage

 

I had a cabbage.  A cabbage sitting in the fridge.  And I was thinking again “what to cook tonight…”

Since I had another baby, cooking time for dinner has been a stressful time for me.  Especially a 8-month-old doesn’t stay still and I literally can’t take my eyes off him.  He eats sandals, picks a thin tiny hair from the floor and put in his mouth, and tries to stand up but ends up unsuccessful and bump on his head…  A nearly-4-year-old, on the other hand, keeps telling me “I’m hungry~ I’m hungry~.”  I tell him “I’m cooking dinner, wait for a bit” but he insists to have some snack while waiting.  Snack would spoil his appetite, but most of the time I just give him something so I can prepare dinner.  It seems that I don’t have proper time to cook decent food these days.  I can’t stay in the kitchen for too long while 2 boys are in the house.

I’m trying to figure out what would be the best solution for this.  What other mums do?  I hear some only cook once a week, and heat up the dinner each day.  Would that be a great idea?  I’m finding hard to find a time to do grocery shopping as well.  I think I need to think about the routine and schedule ahead the menu of the week .

Anyway, one day I had a cabbage in the fridge and I thought I should cook this before it goes bad.  It’s taking a big space out of fridge too.  I decided to make something, maybe okonomiyaki – all these events in the city are making me feel like munching on some Japanese street food.  But on that day I even thought making okonomiyaki dough with flour would be too much trouble.  I was very lazy.  So I did skip that part and made this …. cabbage-yaki!

cabbage-yaki

Messy photo – sorry I had already started eating this.

Looks like okonomiyaki.  It tastes like one too!  But I basically used just cabbage, prawn, red ginger (which is a key ingredient to resemble okonomiyaki) and egg.  I skipped the flour.  Adding the sauce and Japanese mayonnaise gave it the similar taste to okonomiyaki, and it was super quick to make.  It’s basically an omelet with sauce!

 

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Cabbage-yaki  (makes 1)

  • cabbage, shredded or chopped ..  1 cup
  • prawn, peeled and tailed .. 2~3
  • grated/minced ginger .. 1/2 teaspoon
  • red ginger .. 1 teaspoon
  • egg .. 1
  • tomato sauce .. 2 tablespoons
  • oyster sauce .. 2 tablespoons
  • Japanese mayonnaise  to dress

 

  1. Heat a frying pan and spray oil on to the pan.  Cook prawn and ginger until the prawn turns pink.  Add cabbage, and sauté until it becomes soft.
  2. Add ginger, stir.  Beat an egg in a bowl, and pour over the pan evenly.  Once the bottom is set, flip over and cook another side.
  3. Serve on a plate.  Mix tomato sauce & oyster sauce, and cover the omelet. Dress with Japanese mayonnaise.  Serve immediately.

 

A super quick snack/supper is served.


Fresh whole tuna and All You Can Eat!

Posted April 5th, 2014 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

Jaws

If you live in Perth you may know Jaws restaurant group in Perth.  This “Sushi/Japanese” restaurant group has 3 restaurants, 1 take-away shop and 1 catering shop across Perth.

Jaws Town Hall Restaurant, located in EQUUS ARCADE in the city, is celebrating its first anniversary on this Good Friday 18th of April by having an interesting event inside the store – cutting and filleting a whole fresh TUNA in front of customers, and making sushi & sashimi using them!  They also sell these freshly prepared tuna fillets at HALF price on the spot.

It’s quite rare to see a whole tuna getting prepared by a sushi chef.

And, usually you have pay $37.50 for All You Can Eat sushi at Jaws (only on Saturdays after 5:30PM), but on this day you just pay $30 (children under 17 pay $20 if seat is needed).  This includes All You Can Eat including the freshly prepared tuna, and drinks too.

You will need to obtain the ticket before 11th of April so HURRY!
Contact Jaws Office : ( 08 ) 9218 8973
jawsoffice@iinet.net.au

1st Anniversary Event at Jaws Town Hall Restaurant
18th April (Good Frida)
1) 12:00 ~ 15:00
2) 17:00 ~ 20:00
580 Hay St, Perth

website
Jaws Town Hall Restaurant

* Be noted that extra order (rather than the food on the sushi lane) will be charged separately.  But usually they have many variety of food including takoyaki (octopus balls), teriyaki chicken, edamame and some desserts on the lane along with the choices of sushi and sashimi.

 


New Trend in Japan.. Wasabi Donburi?

Posted February 25th, 2014 in Food, Japan | 4 Comments »

chicken don

 

When you hear the word “donburi” you’d imagine many kinds of donburi dishes… oyako-donburi, ten-don (tempura-donburi), una-don (unagi-donburi), katsu-don (katsu donburi), kaisen-donburi etc etc.  There are many types of donburi dishes in Japan and I can’t count how many…

Donburi is one of the quick and easy dish you can have at restaurants or home – and has been one of the most popular lunch menu for office workers to grab during the short lunch break.

My favourite is oyako-donburi!! …but I also like ten-don, una-don….  hmmm writing this makes me really really hungry!!

Now, in Japan, there is a new kind of donburi dish called “wasabi donburi”.   It sounds like something you’d have to eat as a penalty of the game :p  But it appears to  be delicious!

As the name indicates, the key item is wasabi.  Wasabi donburi actually is a very simple dish – just a bowl of steamed rice, katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes), wasabi and soy sauce.

fresh wasabi

 

Sounds weird??  If you love wasabi you must try this!!

You will need fresh block of wasabi for this dish.

Imagine this…

Freshly steamed rice in a bowl.

Sprinkle katsuo-bushi.

Freshly grate wasabi and place on top of rice.

Pour the best quality soy sauce..

wasabi donburi

And eat as you mix the wasabi into rice…

Hmmmm it does sound yummy to me!!

🙂


Hot Japan Festival in Forrest Chase

Posted February 23rd, 2014 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Japan Festival 2014

Were you there??  There was a Japan Festival held in Forrest Chase in Perth from 2pm until 7pm yesterday.  It was a HOT day, especially that I’m 24weeks pregnant and also had a huge headache from the cold I’d caught few days ago I honestly didn’t want to get out of air-conditioned room in my house.  But I pushed myself to head to the city just because I wanted to eat okonomiyaki (saucy savoury pancake) and kaki-gori (snow cone).

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As I expected, there were so many people at the event.  When we arrived there was a cosplay competition going on on the stage.

There’re huge queues around the stalls.  Because the water fountain was on, people had to queue around the water area and I couldn’t see where the okonomiyaki stall was at first.  We walked around, and first my son played super-ball tsuri ($2).   You scoop floating super balls from water using a catcher made with thin paper.  Once the paper is broken you are out.  You could get maximum 5 balls and when my son caught 5 balls he broke the paper using his fingers :p  Anyway he got 5 balls!

We decided to queue to get some food.  It was so hot so we wanted to get kaki-gori first.  Huge queue…  The stall was also selling snack bags for kids and cold drinks.  We got kids snack pack, ramune (Japanese carbonated drink for kids typically seen in summer festival in Japan) and kaki-gori.  My husband didn’t want to queue so he went to grab hot dog which had no queue in front of the stall.  Okonomiyaki and takoyaki stalls had the longest queues :p

We noticed that Japanese consulate was giving away plates of yakisoba for free, so I queued there.  In the end I didn’t get to eat okonomiyaki 🙁

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Around 5pm it started to cool down a little.  Kids were crazy playing in the water area.  I wanted to listen to live music but decided to head home around 5:30pm.

 

 

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It was a fun event and I was amazed to see how many Japanese people (and people who like Japanese culture) are in Perth.  I thank all the volunteers who helped this event, and the people who contributed towards the Fukushima charity.


Udon Noodle Soup

Posted November 9th, 2013 in Food | No Comments »

I don’t know if anyone likes Japanese udon noodle, but it’s one of my favorite food.  Udon noodle can be eaten hot or cold ; served in hot broth, with cold dipping sauce, stir-fried or simmered in hotpot. (other ideas to eat udon is welcome :))

For typical way to eat udon is in hot broth or with cold dipping sauce.  They both are made with dashi, soy sauce, sake, and mirin – but if you are in hurry then the dipping sauce (called tsuyu つゆ) can be purchased in Japanese food section at most Asian grocery shops.  Be careful as they look just like soy sauce – same dark colour!  Some can be used straightaway, and some need to be diluted with water.  Serve chilled with cooked udon (cold or room temperature) and some condiments such as chopped spring onions, grated ginger 0r wasabi, wakame seaweed etc.

For hot broth, as I said above you can make that with dashi, soy sauce, sake and mirin.  But if you are hurry then you can buy the soup powder from Asian grocery shops.

Near furikake, dashi stock powder and Japanese pasta sauces, there is udon soup powder.  Some Asian grocery shop may not sell this.

This is Higashimaru brand, but there’re many different brands for udon soup powder.  The grocery shop near my house only had Higashimaru.

Ok, now, all you need is udon noodle (I like frozen udon noodle as they are much closer to the real udon noodle – thick and chewy) and 1 sachet of this udon noodle soup powder.  (this box contains 8 sachets)  If you are really really in hurry, just pour boiling water to the powder then the soup is ready.  Serve with cooked udon noodle.

If you have some time or want to add some ingredients to the soup, heat the soup powder in water with chicken, sliced carrot and abura-age (fried bean curd), and cook till the ingredients are tender.  Turn the heat up on the soup and pour beaten egg.  Stir, and turn off the heat.  Serve with wakame seaweed and chopped spring onions!

I cooked that for my son (the photo looks bit messy! <3) for dinner tonight.

This udon noodle soup with egg is called tamago-toji-udon (my favorite).  You can also place inari skin (seasoned fried bean curd), wakame seaweed and chopped spring onion on a bed of cooked udon noodle, then pour udon broth.  This is called “kitsune-udon“.  Or “tanuki-udon” which is udon noodle soup with vegetable tempura on top.

There sure are many ways to enjoy udon noodle!! If you happen to go to Japan find your favorite way to eat udon noodle 🙂


Kinpira Udon

Posted September 23rd, 2013 in Food | No Comments »

“Kinpira” … braised burdock roots & carrots

I love udon noodle.  I love it in hot broth, with cold dipping sauce, or stir-fried.  I love the chewiness that other noodles don’t have. Udon is a great item to finish steamboat dish as well ; after enjoying the steamboat, add some udon noodle to the broth and enjoy it as end of the meal.

Today I combined “kinpira” and udon noodle.  It’s kind of a not-so-soupy version of nikomi-udon. First, I cooked burdock roots and carrot as I normally make “kinpira”.  Combined with broth, then udon noodle.  Easy.  This nice, hearty dish is great to have in this time of the year.  The key point is to soak the udon noodle in the broth so it absorbs the flavour.

I use frozen udon noodle as they are much chewier than dried udon noodle.

<Recipe>  makes 2 serves

  • 1 cup frozen shredded Burdock Roots (available from Asian grocery shop)
  • 1 Carrot
  • 50g Chicken Thigh
  • 1 tbs Sesame Oil
  • 1 ~ 2 tbs Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbs Mirin
  • 1 tbs sake
  • 1 tsp Dashi stock powder + 3 cups hot water
  • 2 portion Udon Noodle
  • 1 tbs dried Wakame seaweed
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbs chopped spring onions

  1. Cut carrot into stick shape.  Cut chicken into small pieces.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a deep sauce pan.  Stir-fry chicken, carrot and burdock roots for few minutes.
  3. Add mirin & soy sauce.  Cook for another few minutes while stirring.
  4. Turn up the heat.  Add sake, then pour the dashi stock.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the soup, and add more soy sauce/sake if needed.  Remember, the wakame will add more flavour to the soup later.
  5. Add frozen udon noodle into the soup.  If you are using dried noodle, cook the noodle first then drain well before adding to the soup.  Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Beat egg in a small bowl.  Turn up the heat, and pour the egg to the soup while stirring.  Turn off the heat.  Add wakame to the soup, and place a lid on the sauce pan.  Leave it for 5mins or more.
  7. When serving, arrange the udon on a dish then top with chopped spring onion (sesame seeds if preferred).

Roasted Sesame Dressing

Posted July 8th, 2013 in Food | No Comments »

This may be too thick to be called “dressing”, but you can adjust the consistency by adding more mayonnaise.  I love roasted sesame dressing because it contains all the goodness of sesame seeds, and most of all, is very tasty!

You should use plain white sesame seeds and roast by yourself rather than using store-bought roasted sesame seeds.  It gives you more good “sesame oil” when using freshly roasted seeds.

This recipe makes a small amount and is perfect for making for a small family.

<Roasted Sesame Dressing>

  • white sesame 3 tablespoon
  • white vinegar 1 teaspoon
  • soy sauce 1 teaspoon
  • tomato sauce 1 teaspoon
  • Japanese mayonnaise 4 tablespoon (or more/less)
  • sugar to taste

 

  1. Roast the sesame seeds well in a frying pan.
  2. Place the seeds in a mortar, and grind using a pestle until the seeds break and some oil come out.
  3.  Add other ingredients, and mix through.  Add sugar to taste if needed.

I made a big batch, and keeping it in the fridge.  I made some green bean salad with this dressing the other day – yum!!  And also, I made gobo salad using frozen burdock roots. (It’s really hard to find fresh one here in Perth)  It turned out great too.  Here is the recipe;

<Gobo salad with sesame dressing>

  • frozen gobo, shredded 150g
  • 1/2 carrot
  • soy sauce 1.5 tablespoon
  • mirin 2 tablespoon
  • sake 2 table spoon
  • sugar 1 tablespoon
  • sesame oil 1 tablespoon
  • Roasted Sesame Dressing 1 ~ 2 tablespoon
  1. Cut the carrot into matchsticks.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, and stir-fry the gobo and carrot for 2 minutes.  Pour sake, and cook further 2 minutes.
  3. Add soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.  Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.  Turn off the heat.
  4. When cool, add the dressing.  Mix well.

It really goes well with steamed rice and miso soup 🙂

I think it will go well as a condiment for yakiniku too.  I should try that next time!


Custard Dorayaki

Posted June 1st, 2013 in Food | 5 Comments »

My oven had broken down…!!  I can’t bake until Tuesday as this is long weekend and no-one could come down and have a look at it.

Since I can’t use the oven, I’ve made something using the stove – this custard dorayaki.  … They look like pancake sandwiches :p

Dorayaki is one of Japanese sweets which usually contains azuki bean paste inside.  My husband doesn’t like azuki bean paste, and custard is much easier to make, so I went with custard dorayaki.

I don’t like it too sweet, so if you like sweet custard add more sugar to the recipe.

 

<Custard>

  • Milk 100ml
  • Granulated Sugar 20g
  • Egg Yolk 1 (L size)
  • Plain Flour 10g
  • Condensed Milk 5g
  • Vanilla essence few drops

 

  1. Whisk egg yolk and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Shift in the flour.
  2. In a sauce pan, warm up the milk.  (not too hot, around 36℃)  Pour the warm milk into the egg mixture through a sieve.  Stir.  Pour the mixture back into the pan, and heat over low heat.  Stir constantly.  Heat until the custard thickens.  Off the heat, and add condensed milk & vanilla essence when the custard is slightly cool.  Mix well, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Keep refrigerated.

 

<Dorayaki>  makes 16 mini pancake = 8 dorayaki

  • Plain Flour 100g
  • Baking Powder 1 tsp
  • Honey 2 tbs
  • Sugar 2 tbs
  • Milk 4 tbs
  • Egg 2

 

  1. Mix everything in a bowl.  Heat a small frying pan, spray with oil, and pour a small ladle of mixture to make a small pancake.  Repeat until you use up all the mixture.
  2. Once the pancakes are cooled down, spread custard cream between 2 pancakes.  Serve immediately.

 


Wagamama Subiaco WA

Posted March 5th, 2013 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food -, Food | 2 Comments »

For my son’s birthday we had a family lunch at Wagamama Subiaco.  I’ve been to Fremantle shop few years ago (which had been now closed for business) so I knew this restaurant is not a proper Japanese restaurant ; their menu is definitely a fusion of Asian cuisine.  But we went there anyway!

They do “kids eat free!” –  a child eats for free when an adult purchases a main meal.  This offer is available everyday!

Hiro chose “mini yakisoba” (stir-fried noodle), and his baby cousin chose “mini cha-han” (stir-fried rice).  These say “mini” but the dish was pretty big.  They both couldn’t finish their meal.  I thought they taste bit too salty, but I guess that’s how local people like it.

I ordered “chicken katsu curry bento”.

My party ordered “pork belly ramen noodle”, “yakisoba”, “teriyaki salmon with rice”, and “teriyaki beef bento”.

“Chicken katsu curry bento” – the curry is not Japanese curry – it contains coconut cream.  I didn’t like the rice too – too mushy 🙁  They probably don’t bother using expensive Japanese rice (short grain).    And, I was surprised the difference of meal size between “teriyaki salmon” and “bento”.  “Bento” contained just small amount of rice, but “teriyaki salmon” contained big mountain of rice on its plate.

Well. atmosphere is nice and the staff were friendly.  We had fun over all.

We ordered desserts as well.

We ordered “banana katsu”, “coconut creme brûlée”.

“Banana katsu” came with coconut ice cream on side, and  “creme brûlée” came with chocolate brownie spring roll on side.  Creme brûlée and brownie spring roll weren’t very sweet.  They were all ok, but next time I’d probably just order ice cream if I want some dessert.  Ice cream flavours include vanilla | coconut | lychee | green tea | black sesame seed |, and I think they are much better choice.

Wagamama Subiaco 

 


Cooking for New Year’s Day

Posted December 31st, 2012 in Food | No Comments »

It’s been sooo hot (+ humid) here and I don’t feel that tomorrow is next year already!!  I really miss white Christmas and snowy New Year’s Day.

I decided to make some sushi and zenzai (mochi in red bean porridge) just to make myself feel like it’s a special day.  We eat zenzai on New Year’s Day in Japan 🙂

In Japan, New Year’s Days (usually 1st ~ 3rd of January) is supposed to be doing nothing but relaxing with families, so people make lots of food before New Year’s Eve that can be kept for at least few days – idea is that no cooking in the first few days of January.  But here in Perth it goes up to 40℃ and I can’t cook food and keep them for a long time.
I just made inari-sushi, zenzai, kinako-mochi (mochi dusted with sweet soy powder), and soup for Hiro.

I couldn’t find Japanese kinako (soy powder) so I used Korean one instead.  No sugar, just plain kinako.  For dusting mochi, I added sugar to the powder to make it sweet.

I haven’t used this mochi-pounding machine for a long time! I got it from Japan – it’s actually a kid’s toy, but it works in a small amount of mochi rice.

We are gonna eat zenzai in the morning on New Year’s Day. Hopefully we can eat noodle  (toshikoshi-soba) at midnight of  New Year’s Eve!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!


Buffet Dinner in Zushi Bento Ascot

Posted October 18th, 2012 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

The other day I had dinner at Zushi Bento in Ascot.  I sometimes go there because my sister-in-law lives around there and we get invited to have dinner together in this area.

Zushi Bento in Ascot is doing dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday nights.  I was excited because I hadn’t gone out for dinner for awhile, and was craving for something Japanese.  I was also delighted about the buffet because Hiro eats like a horse and it’d be free as he is under 2 yr old 😉

We arrived just before 6pm, and there’re not many customers yet.  As soon as we were taken to our table I went to the buffet counter to see what they have.

All the Japanese food were set in front, and Chinese dishes were at the back.  I saw sushi (roll sush, nigiri sushi & molded sushi), miso soup, porridge (this is Chinese dish, not Japanese), tempura, then some Chinese dishes such as fried-rice and chicken in black bean sauce.  Sashimi, salad and desserts looked nice.  I was hoping they’d have karaage, but they didn’t.

This is D’s plate –  I didn’t take any Chinese dishes on my plate.  I took loooots of sushi, tempura, miso soup and salad.  I don’t know how many times I traveled between buffet counter and our table. :p  Sushi is actually not my favourite food, but I ate so much this time as I hadn’t had it for awhile.

I had a bite of Chinese dish from D’s plate, and it wasn’t really nice…  I didn’t like dim sum dishes either.  It’s my opinion but you should stick with Japanese food there.

Desserts looked pretty.  I enjoyed panna cotta 🙂  I was so full to try cheese cake, muffins and cookies though.
I really wished they had included coffee to the buffet menu, haha.

The price is like other buffet places.  If you crave for sushi and sashimi then I recommend this dinner buffet.  Unlimited sashimi, sushi and tempura buffet 🙂

Look at Zushi Bento’s website for more details!

 

 

 


Dry Curry Soboro – OmuRice Style

Posted September 21st, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

The title might have confused you….   the dish looks like this  ↑↑↑

Juicy dry pork curry over steamed rice with fluffy thin omelet.

Serve it on a large plate then people can dig in….   Great for kids party too.

Make omelet fluffy – not over-cook it.  Soft and runny egg goes well with curry 🙂

I used zucchini, but you can use broccoli, capsicum, peas, or eggplant instead.

 

<Dry Curry Soboro> serves 3~4 people

  • Pork Mince 500g
  • Onion 1/2
  • Carrot 1
  • Zucchini 1/4
  • Ginger & Garlic, minced, 1 tsp each
  • Soy Sauce 1 tsp
  • Mild Indian Curry Powder 1/2 tsp  (adjust to  your liking)
  • Oyster Sauce 1 tbs
  • Tomato Sauce 1 tbs
  • Salt & Pepper (optional)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Milk 1 tbs
  • Steamed Rice (to serve)

a

  1. Chop onion, carrot and zucchini.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add oil.  Saute onion, carrot, ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes.  Add pork and zucchini.  Pour soy sauce over the meat, and cook until the colour of the meat starts to change.
  3. Add curry powder, oyster sauce, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of water.  Simmer until the liquid is almost gone and all the juice is absorbed.  Set aside.
  4. Heat a wide frying pan with oil.  Beat egg lightly with milk, and pour into the pan to make soft omelet.
  5. To serve :  Scoop some steamed rice (hot) on a large serving plate.  Place the omelet on top of the rice, and scatter the dry curry over.  Serve immediately while hot.

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Buen 151 Japanese Restaurant

Posted September 19th, 2012 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

Have you been to Fuji Sushi Station in Victoria Park before?  Unfortunately they’ve been closed for business for a while, but if you are craving for their authentic Japanese food then head to Buen 151 in Victoria Park.

Owned by Fuji Sushi Station people, Buen 151 has already became popular among local and Japanese people who live around Perth.  Many of their customers are repeaters from Fuji Sushi Station.

Gyu-tataki (cold beef carpaccio) for entree.  It comes with side salad and dipping ponzu sauce.

Bento box.  Quite typical items – tempura prawn, katsu, teriyaki and sashimi.  If you are after bit of everything then this could be the one.

Chirashi-zushi.  My friend LOVED it!!  The price is about same as bento box (or less) – I would definitely chose this instead of bento box.

Su-udon (simple udon noodle in broth).

Overall I like this place.  Staff are friendly, the atmosphere is ok (very simple looking from outside – but they’ve got lots of eating space inside), and the prices are reasonable.  I read someone’s review saying that futomaki (rolled sushi) was too sweet, but it’s just what it is in Japan.  We season egg omelet and kanpyo for sushi quite sweet.

Above are photos of dinner.  For lunch time they may have different menu.

Open Wednesday – Sunday for lunch & dinner

Buen 151
08 9458 1512

Victoria Park
26B Chapman Rd
St James, WA 6102
(menu sample)

Teriyaki Chicken Tsukune

Posted September 16th, 2012 in Food | No Comments »

Tsukune is a Japanese chicken meatball most often cooked yakitori style (but can be fried or baked) and sometimes covered in a sweet soy sauce.  I often make them grilled in a frying pan as it’s the easiest method.  From grilling till covering the sauce can be done in one pan, so not many washing afterwards :p

I love the smell of caramelised sauce.  You must have steamed rice with it!  You can alter the 1/3 of chicken with mashed tofu for a healthier option.

I added chopped spinach, but spinach is not a common ingredient to tsukune. I just did it to boost my iron intake :p  Chopped water chestnuts or bamboo shoots give crunchy texture.  Adding finely chopped carrot, spring onion, or/and shiitake makes tsukune more nutritious.

<Chicken Tsukune>  serves 4

  • Chicken Mince 400g
  • Onion 1, medium
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp chopped Spinach (optional)
  • Soy Sauce 2 tbs
  • Mirin 2 tbs
  1. Chop onion finely.  Place chicken mince, onion, egg and spinach in a bowl, and mix well using fingers.
  2. Shape into balls.
  3. Heat a frying pan.  Spray oil, and place chicken balls.  Grill until the bottom of tsukune is nicely brown colour.  Flip over.  Grill few minutes.
  4. Pour soy sauce and mirin over.  Turn down the heat, and cook until the sauce is caramelised and thicken.  Turn off the heat.
  5. Serve with steamed rice.

 


Pork Gyoza

Posted September 13th, 2012 in Food | No Comments »

Gyoza – although it originally came from China, I believe gyoza has became one of the most eaten food in Japan.  It’s became part of “Japanese food” now.  You’ll find it on menu at most Japanese restaurants in Perth as well.  In Japan you’ll find it everywhere, even in convenience stores.

Packs of frozen gyoza are available at Asian grocery shops in Perth, but they are mostly from China.  I don’t see much difference, but I personally prefer making them by myself as it’s much cheaper and more safe – you know what’s inside. 🙂

I usually use store-bought gyoza skin, but this time I made everything from scratch.  Making gyoza skin is quite easy, though I found it hard if you have a child/children around you in the kitchen nagging to go outside to play.

<Gyoza Skin>  makes around 30 ~ 35

 

  • plain flour 150g
  • baker’s flour 50g
  • boiling water 150cc
  • corn flour to dust when kneading/shaping

  1. Place flour in a bowl, and pour boiling water.  Stir with chopsticks until it’s cool enough to tough.  Knead for 5 minutes till smooth.  Shape into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap.  Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll into a thin dough.  Cut into around 8g pieces, and roll into flat round wraps using a rolling pin.  Dust with corn flour whenever you feel the dough is sticky.

<Gyoza>

  • Pork Mince 2oog
  • Cabbage 6 leaves
  • Onion 1/2
  • Minced Ginger 1 tsp
  • Minced Garlic 1 tsp
  • Oyster Sauce 2 tbs
  • Sake (cooking wine) 2 tbs
  • Soy Sauce 2 tbs
  • Sesame Oil 2 tbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Chop up cabbage leaves and onion.  Place with other ingredients in a bowl, and mix well using fingers.
  2. Take 1 wrapper in the palm of your hand.  Use a spoon to take a small amount of filling and put it in the center of the wrapper.  Dip a finger in the bowl of water and draw a circle around the outer 1/4” of the wrapper so it’s wet all around.  Fold the wrapper in half like a taco.  From the left edge, start sealing the wrapper by placing a pleat about once every ¼”.  Make sure the two sides are sealed by pressing folded pleat tightly against the flat edge.  (how to wrap a gyoza)
  3. Heat up a frying pan.  Pour 1 tbs of oil, and place gyoza.  Add 100ml of hot water then place a lid.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
I eat with “soy sauce + dash of sesame oil” dipping sauce, but you can eat with anything such as Japanese mayonnaise, chilli oil, or ponzu 🙂

Obento for Picnic

Posted September 10th, 2012 in Food, Japan, Perth WA | No Comments »

We are definitely in middle of spring now.  It’s been pretty warm for the last few days – though forecast says it’ll rain again soon.  Time for lots of insects…  (yay…)

Spring makes me feel happy, sleepy, and want to do laundry everyday.  It also makes me want to go out for picnic with Hiro who always wants to get out of the house and play outdoor.

Lunch I made for Hiro the other day….  It’s not only for Hiro, by the way.  He is a big eater but I don’t think his stomach can hold this much food. :p  I made them to share with my friends.

This is one of the things I like about Perth.  In Japan…  well, in my hometown, you can hardly find park or nice place to sit down with kids and have lunch together.  There’re always cars, buildings, and people passing by.  There is park near my kindergarden, but it’s not big and the ground is covered with seaweed for some reason!!  How come?  Is it not seaweed?  Or the area used to be under water or something?  Very weird….  So I don’t want to take my kid there to play. He might try to eat it  🙁

My parents used to take me and my brother to many places for picnic when I was a child.  Near Biwako Lake, some themed parks, and some public park.  You have to drive there and is not really close to my house.  So I definitely think Perth is very family-friendly and great environment for kids.

Mixed sandwiches and omu-rice.  It’s so easy to prepare if you have the ingredients.

For Omu-rice you’ll needs:

  • 2 cups of steamed rice (preferably left-over from last night)
  •  2 tbs of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbs tuna, canned, drained
  • 1 tbs unsalted tomato sauce
  • bit of oyster sauce and soy sauce

Stir-fry everything!

Then, make large thin omelet.  Place on the tomato fried-rice.  Draw smily face with tomato sauce!

 


Hinata Cafe 2012

Posted September 8th, 2012 in Perth WA | No Comments »

a

…  First, this is not a photo of Hinata Cafe market which was held in Bibra Lake. Today a new Apple store opened in Garden City so I went there to have a look in the morning. It wasn’t my plain, it was D’s.  I was actually gonna go to Hinata Cafe from 10AM, but D insisted that he wanted to get free T-shirt. :-p

There were many people queuing and the staff in blue Tshirts were cheering to all customers.

  

After receiving freebie, we headed to Hinata Cafe market.

It was a beautiful sunny day!  Perfect day for outdoor market like this.  It was my first time going there, and the place was cosy and filled with people.  Parking area was very limited.

There’re chairs and tables where people can eat and drink the food/beverage they buy from Hinata cafe.  Above photo – nature craft was my favourite.

There are handmade arts and craft sold inside the small building.  They’re so cute and well-made.  Very lovely.

From 10:30 and 12:30 there was “under the tree kindergarden” which some people did reading and singing to kids.

Demonstration of Japanese tea ceremony was available.

I met many friends over there.  It was a great catch-up.  My friend had this “miso soup & 2 onigiri” lunch served on a bed of a bamboo leaf.  There was a big queue to the cafe.  I wanted to eat green tea tiramisu, but I couldn’t 🙁  Hopefully I can try lots of food next year.

 


Molded Onigiri!

Posted September 6th, 2012 in Food | 4 Comments »

I’m so hungry!!

I need rice!!

With onigiri molds, it’s so easy….

I often make onigiri with easy-to-prepare fillings.  They are:

  • umeboshi (pickled plum) bought from Asian grocery shops
  • tuna mayo
  • katsuo
  • left-over teriyaki chicken (if I have)

In Japan I use shake (seasoned salmon flake) and konbu (seasoned konbu seaweed).  They are my favourite 🙂

Umeboshi is getting difficult to obtain now.  It’s because, I think, Umeboshi often contains seed.  You can make them if you have fresh ume plums, I think.  You can also make ume-shu (ume liquor) with fresh ume!

Tuna Mayo is easy to make.  You just mix canned tuna with Japanese mayonnaise and a dash of soy sauce.

Katsuo means “bonito”.  Katsuo is a typical filling for onigiri.  When you are busy, just mix bonito flake and soy sauce.  Then you have instant “katsuko” filling!

Oh, if you love cooking Japanese food and have a chance going to Japan, you should get this square frying-pan to make tamago-yaki (Japanese omelet).  There are many variety over there, from cheap ones to expensive ones.  Tamago-yaki is great item for obento.


Oden with Ginger

Posted August 21st, 2012 in Food | 1 Comment »

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.

<Oden>

  • 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

 

  1. Place Dashi Konbu in 6 cups of water in a large pot, and leave for around 2 hours.
  2. Prepare ingredients : boil eggs, peel and cut daikon etc.  I don’t cut potato but you can if you prefer so.
  3. Place daikon & potato in the water with konbu, and turn on the heat.  Bring to gentle simmer – do not boil.  Remove konbu.
  4. 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.


Tako Su

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.

<Tako Su>

  • 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

 

  1. Soak wakame in water until soften, and drain well.
  2. Slice cucumber thinly. (or thick if you prefer crunchy texture)  Slice cooked octopus leg.  Slice ginger into long matchsticks.
  3. Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and ginger.
  4. Marinate octopus, cucumber and wakame in the dressing in the fridge for 1 hour or more before serving.

 


Hinata Gallery Cafe 2012

Posted July 29th, 2012 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

There will be an exciting event for people who love hand-made craft, art, music, Japanese foods and culture in Bibra Lake.  This event, called “Hinata (sunny side) Gallery Cafe”, will be held on 8th of September 2012 at Perth Waldorf School, Bibra Lake.

There will be stalls selling hand-made crafts, arts, etc as well as Japanese foods and drinks.  I’ve never been to this event before, but apparently it’s held annually.  I hear all the things at this event are very well-made and good quality.  Above of all, nothing can beat the warmness of handmade things.

There will also be an opportunity to experience Japanese calligraphy, and listen to Japanese musician playing and watch Japanese film.

Cafe will open from 10:00 to 19:00, Craft/Workshop open from 10:00 to 16:00, Music Concert will start at 16:00 for 30 minutes, and Film will start from 16:30 until 18:30.  Yes, it’s a whole-day event!

So, write down the date “8th September 2012” on your diary and experience the whole culture and entertainment of Japanese artists!


Kayaku Gohan

Posted July 18th, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

As you may know, Japanese people eat lot of rice.  Nowadays they don’t eat as much as they used to, but rice is still a must-have food for most people there.

I was raised in a typical Japanese family who eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  My grand parents had rice fields (now my dad’s inherited them), so rice was always there in the kitchen.  Because of that, I also became a person who needs to eat rice everyday – at least once a day.  Otherwise my body doesn’t feel right.

Here in Perth, Japanese rice is so expensive.  They are available at Nippon Food and other Asian grocery shops, but I’ve only bought a discounted bag with broken packaging before.  I usually just use Sunrice medium grain rice.  It’s cheap and ok.  I sometimes mix mochi-gome (mochi rice = sticky rice) to the medium grain when cooking so that the rice becomes more like Japanese rice; sticks together. I like the mochi-mochi texture.

Kayaku-gohan is steamed rice with various ingredients and seasoning cooked together.  I must say it’s one of my favourite food.  I can go several bowls at once!

You can find abura-age (fried bean-curd) in freezer section at Asian grocery shops.  Konnyaku is usually in the fridge, or sometimes sold at room temperature on the shelves.

<Kayaku Gohan>

  • Rice medium grain 3 cups
  • Mochi Rice (sticky rice) 1/2 cup
  • Chicken Thigh 50g
  • Carrot, small 1
  • Konnyaku 1/2 pack
  • Abura-age 1/2 sheet
  • Shiitake mushroom, dried 2 〜3
  • Ginger 1 small block (about 10g)
  • Soy Sauce 2 tbs
  • Sake 1 tbs
  • Mirin 1 tbs

  1. Soak dried shiitake in 1/4 cup of water for 30 minutes.  Keep the shiitake water.
  2. Slice chicken, carrot, konnyaku, abura-age, shiitake, and ginger into small pieces.
  3. Place them in a sauce pan with the shiitake water, another 3/4 cup water (so 1 cup total), soy sauce, sake and mirin.   Bring to gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.  Leave to cool.
  4. Place washed and drained rice into a rice cooker.  Level the surface. Scoop the chicken and vegetables and place on top of rice – level surface – to cover the rice.  Add the stock from “3” to the rice cooker.
  5. Add more water to adjust : I always use my finger to measure the water amount when cooking rice.  Place your index finger 90° to the rice, and add water up till the first line on your index finger.
  6. Turn on the rice cooker.  When rice is cooked, leave at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


Hijiki Nimono

Posted July 1st, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

This is a very classic Japanese dish; hijiki-no-nimono (stewed hijiki with vegetables and fried bean-curd)  which is often used to fill bento box as well.  Hijiki is a type of seaweed and is good for skin and hair – very healthy!  Unfortunately hijiki is not available at stores in Perth because of Australian import laws, so you will have to bring it from Japan by yourself (import non-commercially is currently allowed).  If you have a friend who is flying to Japan then you can ask him/her 🙂

Hijiki-no-nimono can have any ingredients – but I usually cook with carrot, konnyaku, aburaage (fried bean-curd), chicken thigh and chikuwa (fish-cake).  You can also add soy beans or/and snake beans.  Since I didn’t have chikuwa in my fridge, I cooked without it.

You can find abura-age and chikuwa in freezer section at Asian grocery shop.  Konnyaku is usually in the fridge, or sometimes sold at room temperature on the shelves.

It’s a great accompaniment to steamed rice 🙂

Here is the recipe :

<Hijiki-no-Nimono>

  • Dried Hijiki 17g
  • Chicken Thigh 50g (no bone. with or without skin)
  • Carrot 1 (medium)
  • Konnyaku (black) about 90g (I used 1/2 of normal packet)
  • Aburage 1/2 sheet
  • Soy Sauce 1 tbs
  • Sake (cooking wine) 1 tbs
  • Mirin (sweet cooking wine) 1 tbs
  • Dashi Powder 1 pinch

 

  1. Soak dried hijiki in cold water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain.
  2. Cut chicken into small pieces.  Slice carrot, konnyaku and abura-age.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a pot.  Turn on the fire and bring to gentle boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer with lid on for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with steamed rice 🙂