Classic Bruschetta

Posted January 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

A classic bruschetta with simple salsa and fresh Parmesan cheese.  If you have old Italian bread, use it to make this delicious entree dish 🙂


  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, small
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs chopped Parsley
  • 4 tbs Parmesan, shaved
  1. Skin the tomatoes. (remove the stem from the tomatoes and score cross on the skin on the other side.  Branch in simmering water for 10 seconds and then place in a bowl of cold water.  Peel the skin)
  2. Deseed the tomatoes and chop finely.
  3. Chop red onion finely.
  4. Combine the tomatoes, onion, olive oil and chopped Parsley.  Season well.
  5. Toast the bread on one side.  Rub the toasted side lightly with halved garlic.  
  6. Top with tomato mixture and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Back to School

Posted January 28th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s almost the end of January…  time passes to fast!  Whole this month has been pretty quiet for bagelier business as many people left Perth and went back to their home countries.  It was kinda nice  to me though, I could totally relax … :p

Now customers started to come back already and my everyday duty (making bagels) is back to as it was before, which is also a good thing! 🙂

By the way, I was so freaked out this morning …  There was a blackout around my house area, and Westernpower said the power will back around 10:30 am.  Oh my gosh, I have my dough in the fridge resting and waiting for being delivered to customer next day!  (T0T)  aaa…  I was so worried, but the power actually got back on around 9:30 am.   phew.. relief ..

It made me realized how important the electricity is in our lives! I couldn’t make coffee, I couldn’t toast a piece of bread, (couldn’t bother toasting on the stove) …  no tv, no computer …

“I Survived A Japanese Game Show”

Posted January 28th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

“I survived a Japanese game show” started on channel 7.  This is an American reality show that saw its first season premiere on ABC June 24, 2008. details

Obviously it is a fake show, yes.  We don’t have such tv show in Japan called “MAJIDE” and they made it up for this American tv show.  Besides, the host of this “MAJIDE” show (the guy on the photo above) is an actor.  (his official website)

Watching this really makes me want to scream…  all the audiences and casts (Japanese) look so weird!  :p  Please don’t mistake that all Japanese people are that crazy!!

On the other hand, the games that American people has to do on the “MAJIDE” show are pretty normal stuff you see on tv in Japan every day :p  Wearing weird clothes, jumping around, etc etc.  Japanese comedy shows are very funny, but sometimes I don’t get :p

You can see from Takeshi Castle (風雲!たけし城).  This show was aired from 1986 to 1989 in Japan, long time ago, and it was already crazy funny.  In Aus, this tv show was shown on “V” (called “MXC”) on Foxtel before, and now is on Fox8 channel, however the story of the show is totally different on “MXC”.  They dubbed it into English, and what they talk about in the show doesn’t make sense at all.  I don’t know much about the original Takeshi Castle, but English dubbed version sucks…  

I missed Japanese tv shows so much when I just came to Perth.  Very different here.  But, I don’t say I like all the Japanese comedy shows.  Some of them are too much :p


Posted January 27th, 2010 in Japan, Perth WA | No Comments »

I’m sure many people went down to City area to watch the fireworks last night.  I thought there were fireworks on the New Years Day too in Perth, but apparently only on Australian Day.  

I didn’t go to watch fireworks but I could see and hear a bit of it from my sister’s house in Mt Lawley.  I’ve been to South Perth to see the fireworks once, I think it was 5 years ago :p  I remember there’re so many people (drunk) and many police officers…  

Watching the fireworks last night recalled a memory of summer in Japan.  I haven’t been able to watch fireworks in Japan for 7 years now.  I’m sure every prefecture has its own fireworks events every summer, and some of them are pretty big, but I always go to the one near my house.  

Shiga has few cities which do fireworks, and the one in Otsu city (capital city in Shiga) is apparently the biggest one among those cities.  I don’t go to Otsu, but go to Hikone city which is the closest to my house 🙂  


Because there is Biwa Lake in Shiga, the biggest lake in Japan, they ignite the fireworks on the boat floating on the lake.  Even though it’s just Hikone city’s fireworks, it’s really beautiful and usually it keeps going for 2~3 hours.  In Perth the fireworks is just for half an hour?  

There are many stalls selling food at the fireworks area.  Takoyaki, Kakigori (shaved ice with syrup), yaki-ika (grilled squid) etc etc.  People wear yukata (Japan’s summer wear, casual kimono) and watch the fireworks while enjoying those food 🙂

Aaaaaaaa writing this really makes me want to watch the fireworks in Hikone!  I wish I could go back to Japan during summer around August, but I don’t think I can this year 🙁  Hopefully next year…

Spicy Fried Rice with Kimuchi (Kimuchi Cha-han)

Posted January 25th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Cha-han means “fried rice” in Japanese.  Add kimuchi to make a sour and spicy Korean flavored fried rice.

<kimuchi Cha-han> serves 2

  • 1/2 cup kimuchi (Chinese Cabbage), roughly chopped
  • 2 bowls steamed rice, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 100g beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • chopped spring onions for garnish
  1. Heat a wok over high heat.  Pour in vegetable oil, then stir in garlic and beef: cook about 30 seconds.  Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs.
  2. Stir in cooked rice and kimuchi.  Cook over high heat, and shake in soy sauce then toss rice to coat.
  3. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.
You can add more kimuchi to your liking 🙂

Massage, Shopping, Eating…

Posted January 24th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Yesterday I went to vanilla spa in Scarborough again to finish up my voucher.  I had 1 hour massage.  Even though Swedish massage is a soft touch technique massage, it was very mush enough to revive my exhausted body.  I have a super stiff neck shoulder 🙁

On the way home, I stopped at IKEA to have a look around, see if there is anything interesting discounted.  I’ve been kind of imagining how my future house wants to be, and browsing around the model rooms at IKEA was fun.  Then I had a brunch at IKEA cafe.

Open sandwich with meatball and beets salsa.  And, a cup of coffee (free refill!)

Because my husband (D) was tired from waiting for my massage and shopping at IKEA, we headed home.  After napping, we went down to Garden City to do window shopping.  We didn’t buy anything except for a lotto ..

This morning, after a mass at Church, I suddenly felt like toasted sandwich with a chunky lettuce filling, so made a toasted bagel sandwich.  Lots of lettuce, tomato, red onion and Jarlsberg cheese.  

Heat up a toaster very hot, and toast the bagel sandwich.  The crust is nicely crusty and the inside salad is still juicy and fresh.  Yummmm…

I enjoyed it with D’s scrambled egg.  I really like when he cooks for me ^^

The Markets

Posted January 22nd, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

I was contacting The Perth Markets to inquire about holding a stall.  Then, I received this email … ↓↓↓

Unfortunately it has come to pass that the Perth City Markets can not meet the City of Perth health requirements and therefore will no longer sell food on site.

Ummm that’s a shame 🙁

I wasn’t trying to make a huge profit by baking bagels and sweets, but I just wanted to try out something new by myself.  If that’s the condition in Perth, it’s fine 🙂  although I’m still going to continue what I do.  

By the way,

My friend flew to South America few weeks ago, and is staying there for about 2 months.  She likes traveling and has been to many countries, but she is experiencing a huge home-sick this time :p   I hope she is ok…

Since I was a kid I always wanted to go travel around the world, but as I mentioned before, I have been to only 4 countries in my life including Japan and Australia. :p  I think it’s easy to go traveling around while you are young: have time and money to spend for yourself.  I will definitely go traveling around to different countries eventually, but it may take time and I think it’s going to be my life-time hobby 🙂   The place I want to go to is America, some islands such as Samoi and Hawaii (beach!) , Alaska (America), South Korea (the food is tempting!) and Africa (wildlife!).  I also want to go traveling around Japan – onsen (natural hot spring spa), skiing, food, shopping, etc.  I didn’t really think this when I was a kid, but I really love Japan and am happy to be Japanese. 🙂  Which country do you want to go most??

Air Con

Posted January 21st, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

It’s fairly hot today, but not too much compared with last few days.  In Japan the weather seems to be pretty fine too.  Still cold though, but no snowing in Shiga 🙂

If I compare, I prefer winter to summer.  I love the feeling of waking up in the cold morning and have a cup of hot coffee feeling cold air on my cheek.  I easily get annoyed by anything in hot weather …  Summer in Perth is still ok though,  I hate hot humid steamy summer in Japan.  
One thing is that air con is a must item to stay survive summer in Perth.  Few years ago, when I was staying in a shared-house, there was no air con in the room nor house.  I had one fan in my room, and I had to survive with it whole summer.  One night, it was really really hot even around 10pm.  I turned on the fan all night and tried to sleep because I had an important exam on the next day.  But, all I got was vert hot air blowing to may face and body from the fan.  I couldn’t breathe!  I thought my lung was burning!  The temperature of the air was too hot, so there was no point using a fan…  That was the first time in my life that I experienced sleepless night. :p
Actually, I don’t like air con either.  A room sometimes gets too cold… That’s how people catch summer cold.  
That’s why I just wear very little clothes and hung around in the shade.  At home I don’t wear clothes sometimes!  Some people may think I’m a monkey :p  I sure am not a lady-like.
I’m eating water melon every night.  I can just eat fruits everyday during summer 🙂   Watermelon is my favorite fruit!  In Japan we have normal watermelon as well as yellow color watermelon and square-shaped watermelon.  They are of course more expensive than normal ones.   Yummm….

Japan’s Canned Cocktail / Chu-Hi

Posted January 20th, 2010 in Food | 6 Comments »

Cocktails and Chu-Hi have been my favorite alcohol drink since I was a teen.  Chu-Hi is originally made with shochu and carbonated water flavored with various types of syrups such as lemon, green apple and calpis.  ( I used to make them when I was working at Izakaya few years ago 🙂 )  You can find many types of cocktail drinks and Chu-Hi in Japan.  Even convenience stores sell cocktails and Chu-Hi cans.

Suntory, Kirin and Asahi are the big beverage companies that make canned cocktails and Chu-Hi drinks.  There are standard ones such as lemon Chu-Hi to unique ones such as chocolate cocktail.

Coke x Vodka

Chu-Hi with Maccha Green Tea.  Best chilled.

Chu-Hi with Maccha Green Tea. Best chilled.

Classic Canned Cocktails

Classic Canned Cocktails -salty dog & fuzzy navle




       Fruity cocktail with ripe tomatoes.






       Milk chocolate with Rum. Only available at

       convenience stores for

       limited time.

『How Could You?』 by Jim Wills

Posted January 19th, 2010 in にほんご, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.  You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” – but then you’d relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.


My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

あなたがとても忙しかったので、私の破壊癖は思ったより長く続きましたが、 それはお互い時間をかけて解決しましたね。 あなたに寄り添い、あなたの信念や、誰にも秘密にしている将来の夢に聞き入った夜のことを 私は今でも覚えています。 あのとき私は、これ以上幸せな人生はないと、固く信じていました。私たちはたくさん散歩をし、公園で走り、ドライブし、途中でソフトクリームを食べました。 (あなたは「アイスクリームは犬の体に悪いから」と言って、私にはコーンしかくれませんでしたがてん) 私はいつも陽だまりでうたた寝をしながら、あなたが一日の仕事を終えて家に帰ってくるのを待ちました。

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.


She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” – still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”

彼女−今はあなたの奥さんですが−は、「イヌ好き」な人ではありませんでしたが、 それでも私は彼女を受け入れ、愛情を示し、彼女の言うことを聞きました。あなたが幸せだったから、私も幸せだったのです…やがて人間の赤ちゃんが産まれてきて、私も一緒に、その興奮を味わいました。赤ちゃんたちの、そのピンク色の肌に、またその香りに、私は魅了されました。 私も、赤ちゃんたちを可愛がりたかったのです。しかしあなたたちは、私が赤ちゃんを傷つけるのではないかと心配し、私は一日の大半を他の部屋やケージに閉じ込められて過しました。私がどれほど赤ちゃんたちを愛したいと思ったことか。でも私は「愛の囚人」でした。

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them, especially their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent – and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.



Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.  I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with “papers.”

You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.


あなたは、「パパやめて、ボクの犬を連れて行かせないで!」と叫ぶ息子の指を 一本一本、私の首輪から引き離さなければなりませんでした。私はあなたの子供のことを心配しました。何故なら、あなたはたった今、このことを通して 友情、誠実さ、愛、責任、そしてすべての生命への尊重の意味を、彼に教えたのです。あなたは私の頭を軽くたたき「さよなら」と言いました。あなたは私から目をそらし、首輪とリードを持ち帰ることさえ、丁重に断りました。あなたにとって守るべき期日があったように、今度は私にも期日がやってきました。

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked “How could you?”  They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you – that you had changed your mind – that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

あなたが去った後、やさしい女性係員が二人やってきて言いました。「何ヶ月も前からこの引越しのことを知っていたはずなのに、里親を探す努力もしなかったのね・・・」と。彼女たちは首を振りながらつぶやきました。「どうして・・・?」保健所の人たちは、忙しさの合間に、とても親切にしてくれました。もちろんゴハンはくれました。でも、私の食欲はもう何日も前からなくなっていました。最初は誰かが私のケージの前を通るたびに、走り寄りました。 あなたが考えを変えて私を迎えに来てくれたのだと願いました。今回のことが全部、悪夢であってほしいと願いました。 そうでなければ、せめて私を気に留め、ここから助け出してくれる誰かが来てくれればと…。しかし、幼い子犬たちの愛情を求める可愛らしい仕草には敵わないと悟った年老いた私は、子犬たちの明るい運命を脇目に、ケージの隅に引っ込み、ひたすら待ちました。

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

ある日の夜、係員の女性の足音が近づいてきました。私は彼女の後に続いて通路をとぼとぼ歩き、別の部屋に行きました。しんと静まり返った部屋でした。彼女は私を台の上に乗せ、私の耳を撫で、心配しないで、と言いました。私の心臓が、今まさに起きようとしている事実を予期し、ドキドキと鼓動しました。しかし同時に、安心感のようなものも感じました。かつての愛の囚人には、もう時は残されていませんでした。生まれついての性格からか、私は自分のことより、係員の彼女のことを心配しました。彼女が今果たそうとしている責務が、彼女に耐え難い重荷となってのしかかっていることを、 私は知っていたからです・・・かつて私があなたの気持ちをすべて感じ取ったように−。






Spicy Fish Yakisoba

Posted January 19th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Yakisoba (stir-fried noodle) with chili and pepper fried fish.  Add more chili if you like it spicier 😉

<Spicy Fish Yakisoba>

  • 1 white fish fillet 
  • 1 tbs corn flour
  • 2 potion yakisoba noodle ( or Singapore noodle)
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/4 large carrot
  • 1/8 large onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • chili, salt, pepper, coriander leaves

  1. Chop garlic and chili.  Slice carrot into Julienne.  Slice onion.  Combine all the sauce.  Place noodle in a colander and briefly loosen up under running water.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Slice fish fillet.  Dust lightly with corn flour, and shallow-fry both side until crispy and golden.  Remove from the pan and drain oil.  Set aside.
  3. In another pan, heat 1 tbs oil and saute garlic and chili until fragrant.  Add onion and carrot and stir-fry.
  4. Add noodle and bean sprouts, stir-fry, then add the sauce mixture.  Season well.
  5. Arrange on a serving plate, top with fish, extra cut chili and coriander leaves.  Crack black pepper on the fish and serve immediately.

Hard and Soft

Posted January 16th, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel | 3 Comments »

I think I really messed up…  I started Bagelier because I thought I could make some bagels similar to what I used to eat while in Japan.  Actually the bagels I make are not traditional ones, they are more “Japanese” style: which the dough is little softer and ingredients such as azuki paste are rolled inside of the dough while it’s been shaped into a ring.  I should have mentioned on the website and to everyone that “Bagelier bagels are little different from traditional Jewish bagels”.

One of my customer asked me why not sell the bagels and sweets in a newly opened market in Bentley. I went down there and had a look around.  I was surprised to see many cars turning left into the market from Manning Road, and the market was packed with people.  I had a chat with an organizer of the market, and he was saying “it’s funny that we have two bakeries in this market and they are Jewish, but they don’t sell bagels.  Instead, a Japanese girl wants to sell bagels!” 🙂

I don’t think I can sell bagels there as there are already few shops selling bread, cakes and biscuits.  He said he is looking for someone who wants to sell hand-made clothes and crafts.  If someone is interested in..

Some of Japanese bagels are soft because some fillings are rolled inside of the bagels.  I like hard crust and chewy dough inside.  If you buy bagels and eat at home, I recommend to toast them before eating so that you can enjoy the nice crust.

I was trying out some new flavor bagels.  Oven-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese (right) and Earl Grey Tea (left).  These two bagels on the photo are made with softer dough (looks fluffy).  I still prefer more “crusty” and “heavy” dough like the photo at the top :p  

Tomato and Cheese bagels has a nice flavor.  I don’t know which dough would be nice: soft and fluffy or hard and dense for this flavor.  Earl Grey bagel, personally it’s not for me.  Some bakeries in Japan sell “milk tea bagel” with Earl Grey.

Fresh Tofu and Chicken Salad

Posted January 14th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

The taste of this salad really depends on the freshness of tofu you are using.  I normally buy Japanese silken tofu (or soft and smooth tofu) from Asian grocery shops such as Lion Oriental (Northbridge), Emma’s Seafood (Northbridge), Maruyu (Perth) or Yee Seng (Myaree) if eating fresh.  

I made this salad with sesame dressing (goma dare) that I used the other day at my friend’s house, with some steamed and shredded chicken breast.  I don’t know if I can call it “recipe”, but it is super easy to prepare and this fresh tofu salad is perfect for eating in summer days.

<Fresh Tofu and Chicken Salad> serves 4

  • 300 g silken tofu
  • 200 g chicken breast
  • salad
  • ssesame dressing (goma dare)
  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil.  Cook chicken breast.  Remove from the water and drain.  Let it cool.
  2. Shred chicken.  
  3. Tear lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving plate.  Top with shredded chicken and tofu cubes.  Drizzle sesame dressing and serve immediately.

Exomod Cafe on Barrack Street

Posted January 13th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

I was little tired from shopping in the city, so I went to Exomod cafe on Barrack st to sit back and have a cup of coffee.  I ordered long mac (top up) and a piece of apple strudel.  

As I moved a scoop of apple strudel to my mouth I could taste some cheese.  I was little shocked, I didn’t know is was apple cheese strudel.  

Just in case it’s just old cream ( :p ) , I walked to the counter and asked one of the staff nicely (I think).  I was very disappointed by her attitude …  ” isn’t it obvious that there is cream inside?  I think you can see clearly.”  I told her it’s better to write down “apple cheese strudel”, not “apple strudel” on the tag.  She said  ” ok, I will remember your face and remind you next time you come here.”  … it’s not what I asked :p

Ummm I couldn’t enjoy the coffee time anymore!  Besides they should really should do something about those flies..

Japan’s KFC Winter Menu

Posted January 12th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Yummy KFC winter menu is on …. only in Japan (>x<)

Wafu (Japanese style) katsu burger.  Katsu means Japanese deep-fried dish coated with bread crumb.  Katsu also means “win” in Japanese.  In Japan it’s the time of the season when students study hard to enroll in universities, colleges, high schools and private schools, so KFC is selling this burger with the meaning of both “deep-fried katsu” and “win the enrollment test”.

Wafu (Japanese style) spicy chicken burger.  Deep-fried chicken breast fillet with oroshi sauce (grated daikon radish in soy-based original sauce) .

Hot pie set.  White creamy stew is inside!

Baked pudding.  Homemade custard cream and vanilla sponge cake.

Cold Udon Salad with Poached Chicken

Posted January 11th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

The other day I arranged dinner at friend’s house.  My friend (Japanese) is renting a room in my another friend (Chinese)’s house which she (Chinese) recently purchased with her fiance.  I’ve been to the house once before and I fell in love with the design and interior.  Stylish furniture, cute kitchenware, clean and tidy environment…  Living with the friends in the house sounds really fun, we can have girls’ night everyday  🙂

It was still 5 pm so we started with a glass of wine and some otsumami.  We were going to make dinner soon but ended up talking about stuff until 9 pm.  Friend’s fiance came home and we finally moved our body from sofa to the kitchen.

Because of the wine and otsumami I wasn’t actually hungry, but everyone else was.  I brought some vegetables, so we made udon salad dish with steamed chicken and Japanese sesame dressing.  I love sesame dressing (goma dressing).  It’s nutty, rich and creamy.  You can purchase from any Asian grocery shops.  I like Mizkan brand 🙂

<Chicken Udon with Sesame Dressing> for one

  • 1 portion udon noodle
  • 50g chicken breast
  • some salad – lettuce, cucumber, tomato
  • sesame dressing (also called “goma dressing”, “goma dare”)
  1. Boil water in two sauce pans.  Cook udon noodle in one sauce pan, and chicken breast in another pan.
  2. Drain udon noodle and set aside.
  3. Remove chicken breast from water and shred the meat.  Be careful not to burn your hand!
  4. * you can chill the chicken and udon in the fridge if you want to serve it cold.
  5. Slice cucumber and tomato.  Rip lettuce with hand.
  6. On a serving plate, arrange udon noodle topped with salad and shredded chicken.  Drizzle dressing and serve immediately.

Tofu Food

Posted January 9th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Tofu is one of my favorite food.  It’s healthy, low in calorie, and I just like the texture.  Tofu itself doesn’t have particular flavor, but that’s why I like it.  Besides, tofu can be arranged to create many kinds of food, including savory and sweet.

What’s is tofu anyway?  Tofu is a soft , cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant. Traditionally, the curdling agent used to make tofu is nigari, a compound found in natural ocean water, or calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. Curds also can be produced by acidic foods like lemon juice or vinegar. The curds then are generally pressed into a solid block.  (from

There are three main types of tofu: firm, soft and silken.  In Japan, chilled silken tofu is enjoyed “as is,” with a touch of soy sauce and topped with chopped spring onion, minced ginger and bonito flakes.  I love silken tofu the most, and it’s eaten as it is during summer very often in Japan.  Silken tofu is used for tofu salad.  My favorite food was silken tofu miso soup when I was a kid.  Someone asked me “hi girl, what would you want to eat as the last supper if there is no tomorrow? ”  I used to answer “tofu miso soup”.  

I add tofu to anything (view my tofu recipes).  You can make cakes, cookies, puddings, omelet, etc etc.  I will post more tofu recipe in the future.

Tofu and Chicken Meatballs

Posted January 8th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

Adding tofu to a meatball gives soft, fluffy texture.  If you have leftover tofu in your fridge and want to use it up, try this recipe ♪


<Tofu & Chicken Meatballs>

  • 400g chicken mince
  • 300 tofu
  • 1tbs miso paste
  • 1tsp grated ginger
  • 1tsp sake (cooking wine)
  • 1tsp corn flour
<extra sauce>
  • 1tbs miso
  • 1tss mirin
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 2tbs water 
  1.  Drain liquid from tofu : Place tofu on a microwave-proof plate.  Microwave for 1 minutes.  Sandwich with kitchen paper to absorb any water from tofu.
  2. Place tofu in a bowl.  Break with hand or wooden spoon briefly, and add all the ingredients.  Mix well, slightly beating the mince, until the mixture comes together.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls.  Flatten the centre.  Dust with extra corn flour.
  4. Heat 1 tbs olive oil, and grill meat balls both side, until browned and cooked through.  remove from the pan, and set aside.
  5. Mix all the ingredients from <extra sauce>.  Simmer the sauce in another pan.  Place the meat balls into the sauce and coat through, turn off the heat.
You can also make this with pork mince.  Add to soup, udon, steam board, miso soup etc…  enjoy your way 🙂


Posted January 7th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

On the way from work yesterday, I was nearly involved in an car accident…  I was driving on the middle lane of three traffic lanes, and a white car on my left side suddenly changed its lane into my lane!  We were at almost the same position and the car just jumped in front of me.  I reacted very quickly and was pushed into the right lane.  Luckily there was a space for my car to fit in on the right lane, so I was ok.  No one was hurt!  The white car accelerated and changed back to the left lane.  I also needed to change lane to the right as I was turning right.  I didn’t have intension to chase the car at all, but it seemed so..  :p   Apparently the driver lives quite close to my house area.   My car didn’t get any scratches, so it’s ok…

I’ve been involved in car accident 2 times since I came to Perth, and I nearly had the third one.  Let’s drive safely!  (me too . :p )

My husband’s moss is growing… and the bonsai is now partly covered with green moss.  … and also mushroom too .. (><)

The moss attract snails (the creature I hate the most in the world!) so I don’t get close to bonsai pots anymore.

We have two doggies living at my house at the moment.  These poppies are sister-in-laws, and they are going to be here until her house is built.  

So cute….  but NAUGHTY !!!


The cover cloth for BBQ stand was a toy for them….   (*˙∆˚¬)…


Posted January 6th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

This Indonesian/Malaysian restaurant opened its door few month ago, and I recently had a chance to try their food.  “Satay Mu” means “your satay” in Indonesian 🙂

The name of the restaurant says “Satay”, so I thought they just specialize in satay dish (skewered chicken/beef/lamb/etc, with peanut chili sauce).   However, I noticed their menu actually has a wide variety of other Indonesian/Malay food.

Barbecued Pork Rice, Curry Chicken/Beef Rice, Wan Ton Mee, Wat Tan Ho etc..  My husband had Spicy Chicken Rice and I had Wat Tan Ho.  I really like noodle dish with wet saucy thing…

The price was reasonable and tasted ok, I will come back here again 🙂

Address:  356 Marmion Street, Melville WA 6156

Phone:  08 9317 1162

Korean Food

Posted January 5th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Last night I had takeaway food from Perth Kimuchi.  I like vegetable kimuchi (cucumber, daikon radish etc) but in-law bought squid one.

The Bulgogi meat is tender, and very nice.  I love Korean food… similar to Japanese food, but spicy and healthy 🙂

I’ve never been to South Korea, but many Japanese people go there for shopping and eating.  Things are cheaper there than in Japan, and the food is so delicious…  The flight is actually cheaper than flying within Japan sometimes.

I love all the Korean food.  Korean cuisine uses lots of vegetables, and some of the vegetables are used as medicine around the world.  

By the way, I had a funny experience in a Korean restaurant in Northbridge few years ago.  I had used to eat Korean food often in Japan and I knew most of the food on their menu.  I wanted to eat Korean chilled noodle (韓国冷麺) , so I ordered “can I have this Korean chilled noodle please?”  Then, what the waitress said to me was ” oh no no no, you shouldn’t eat it.  It’s not nice!”  … why they put it on the menu if the food is not nice? :p  I was little shocked.  I think, they thought I’d never eaten Korean chilled noodle before.  And, I assume that they thought many foreign people don’t like this dish (?) .  I told them ” I think I will like it, I used to eat Korean chilled noodle in Japan very often.”  Then they allowed me to order this dish and I did enjoy it.

First Weekend 2010

Posted January 4th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

How was your long holiday?  I assume many people headed down south, or flew somewhere else.  I stayed in Perth all day during this holiday.  After Christmas there’s huge post Christmas sale everywhere, and shopping centres were packed with lots of people…   I’m kind of happy to know that some shopping centres open Sundays from 2010.  I’m the type of person who always find something I need to buy on Sunday :p



On the last day of this holiday I had massage at Vanilla Face + Body Spa in Scarborough.  I had a voucher, but my husband didn’t want to get anything (as I told you before he doesn’t like getting massage etc).   So I had to use up this voucher by myself!  I made appointment for Shirodara few weeks ago.  Lucky I didn’t book for body massage… my whole body was aching from the sunburn I got after BBQ party in South Perth.  

Shiradora is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment where a fine stream of warmed oil is gently poured on to the ‘third eye’, includes a scalp and facial pressure point massage.  This hypnotic treatment deeply relaxes the mind, settles the central nervous system, and has recognised benefits for headaches, insomnia and sinus conditions. (from Vanilla website)

I wanted to try this treatment since reading my friend’s blog.  She said “everyone who gets Shiradora will sleep during the treatment”.  I was curious if I’m really going to fell asleep.  

On the day, I wasn’t really sleepy.  My body was rather excited after shopping and two cups of coffee.   The warm oil was little tickling first, but then the movement and head massage really led me to sleep!  I woke up many times by hearing myself snoring :p  

It was a relaxing holiday for me after all.  Now I’m back to work.

Osechi – Japan’s New Year Food –

Posted January 2nd, 2010 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

Osechi-ryori is traditional Japanese New Year foods.  Many different types of foods are beautifully arranged in a square box, and each dishes that make up osechi has a special meaning celebrating the New Year.  For details, browse wiki.

Restaurants, hotels, department stores, etc start to allow people to book osechi-ryori for the New Year’s Day around October.  People usually collect the osechi on 31/Dec, and enjoy the food in the morning 01/Jan with family.  The prices vary depending on where you are getting the osechi, but usually 1 layer ~ 3 layers of osechi cost around ¥ 10000.00 ~ ¥ 50000.00 (appx AUD$100.00 ~ $500.00), sometimes more than ¥ 100000.00 (appx AUD$1000.00).  Very expensive, but the food is very different from ordinal Japanese food that we eat everyday, and they all have special meaning.

Unfortunately I hadn’t had a chance to eat osechi-ryori for the last 6 years….  Last year on New Year’s Day I was in Japan (2009), but my family didn’t order/make osechi.

When I was little, my grandma used to make mochi (Japanese rice cake.  Japanese people eat mochi in the New Year’s Day)  We also prepare suki-yaki and buy sushi platter.  New Year’s Day is like Christmas here, we don’t go out but eat and relax at home with family 🙂

… this year, however I had osechi-ryori at my friend’s house!

It was so beautiful !  She makes these foods every New Year.  Amazing (#0#)   I enjoyed all the food …

Happy New Year~

Posted January 1st, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »



It’s the beginning of another year…  My New year’s resolution is ↓↓↓

  • be nice to everyone !!
  • don’t get angry, calm myself first before talking ( :p )
  • visit at least one city in Australia (maybe Melbourne)
By the way, did you dream about something on the night between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?  In Japan, we say that if you dream of any of the followings on New Year’s Day, it means this year is your happy year :
1) Mt Fuji 
2) Eagle 
3) Eggplant
 …. if you are not Japanese, there is almost 0 % of possibility dreaming about Mt Fuji :p
BTW I’ve never dreamed of any of those in my life..