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.

a


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)