Awabi (Abalone)

Posted December 12th, 2009 in Food, Perth WA | 2 Comments »

My friend bought a license for abalone catching this year.  According to WA government website, the immensely popular Perth metropolitan season is limited to 9 hours per year, and this year it’s operated on each Sunday from 3rd of November to 8th of December, between 7am-8.30am within 800m of the shoreline.  

He went down to the beach on every Sunday and brought fresh abalone home.  His wife’s blog was filled with delicious looking abalone photos…  And one day he kindly dropped off a few abalone at my house!  

Abalone is very expensive in Japan and is considered as one of the high class food.  If you go to a Chinese restaurant in Japan you’ll probably have to pay more than 20000 yen for one.  (about AUD$200.00)

When I got those abalone, they were still alive!  As friend told me, I inserted a knife into the thinest side of the meat and cut it off from the shell.  Then, wash the meat with salt.  If you wash with salt, the meat retains its nice texture.  If you wash with sugar, the meat becomes softer.  My friend prefer soft texture, but I love the hard abalone texture, so I washed with salt 🙂

That night we had abalone steak with butter and soy sauce..  

Heat a frying pan and drop 1 table spoon of butter.  Add sliced abalone meat and sear.  Drizzle few drops of soy sauce and turn off the heat.  Serve immediately!  That’s it.  It was so nice 😛

Katsuo Tataki

Posted October 16th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Although I see Gyu Tataki (beef tataki) on Japanese restaurants’ menu board often, I seldom get to see Katsuo Tataki. Katsuo (bonito fish) tataki is a fillet of Katsuo that has been lightly seared on all sides leaving the inside raw. You can buy a packet of frozen Katsuo Tataki from some Asian grocery shops around Perth. It has been already grilled and then frozen, so after you defrosted it is ready to eat.



You can simply slice it and garnish with chopped onion and grated ginger. Grated daikon radish is also a common accompaniment to Katsuo Tataki.  Pour ponzu sauce over, or dip in ponzu sauce to eat.


Some people might not like this dish – especially people who don’t like the smell of raw fish. However, this is a great food to be eaten while drinking sake, or some other alcohol.


Posted June 1st, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

I get asked this question often…

“how to heat up vacuumed frozen unagi?” “how to eat frozen unagi?”

Well, frozen unagi which you can buy from Asian grocery shops are either with unagi sauce or without.  If it doesn’t come with the sauce, you’d better buy the sauce separately.  When you make Unagi Donburi  it’s always nice with sufficient amount of sauce.  You can get the sauce from Asian grocery shops too, called “unagi no tare“.

To heat up the frozen unagi, you first defrost the unagi.  (leave in the fridge overnight)  Then, heat up in microwave (take out unagi from plastic package, and place in a plate.  Don’t forget to cover with plastic wrap.), or in hot water bath (boil water in a sauce pan, and place defrosted unagi -in plastic package- and leave it for about 5~10 min until unagi is warmed.)  Don not heat up unagi too much as it will toughen and dry out the surface of the meat.

You shouldn’t heat up in microwave or in hot water when unagi is still frozen.  Remember, unagi meat should be soft and juicy!

Other than unagi donburi, you can try these recipes… ↓↓↓

U-maki … Japanese style egg omelet with unagi

Temaki-Sushi … just another style of sushi.

Fresh Spring Rolls … Vietnamese food in unique ume’s style

Fish Market near Japanese Ocean

Posted December 30th, 2008 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

Today I went to Tsuruga city in Fukui Pref.  The purpose was to buy some crabs from this famous fish market 🙂

(BTW Tsuruga city is located next to Obama city = was unofficially supporting Barack Obama during U.S. Presidental election because of the similarities in names.)

There were so many people inside… many seafood too :p I saw a huge octopus (approx 50m x 1.5m), lots of crabs, lots and lots of dried cuttlefishes…  One of the them looked like a face; is that the face of cuttlefish?? :p  (for more photoes, click here )

As there were hundreds of crabs to choose from and all of them looked nice & fresh, we just grabed 2 huge crabs which were arranged on the ice near us.  Costed 5000 yen each.

Then we decided to have lunch at a kaiten sushi restaurant inside of the market.  Everything was so delish and fresh, I ate so much :p  My favorite was tsubu-gai (shellfish) and aburi-salmon (seared salmon).  Yum!

Then we headed to home.  I love the view from the car…  Lots of mountains and lots of rice field…  (country side!)

At night, we cooked crab steam boat (kani nabe) 🙂  Steam boat is the king of Japanese winter food!  Lots of veggies… so healthy 🙂  The juice from the crabs and veggies were soooooo delicious and tasty, I didn’t need to season it much.  Just water and drops of ponzu. That’s it!

Ate a lot again…

Salmon Dishes

Posted December 25th, 2008 in Food | No Comments »

I love seafood!  I used to eat lots of fish and other seafood everyday in Japan.  We eat raw seafood: the seafood in Japan is so fresh and tasty that no need to be cooked.  Here in Perth, on the other hand, I can’t get fresh seafood easily 🙁  I wouldn’t eat the white fish uncooked which I purchased from local supermarket.  Feels dangerous to eat them raw.

However, I like salmon here. I think the quality is ok, and sometimes you can get sashimi-grade salmon from fish markets.  Fish is good for your brain and health so I try to eat as much as I can 🙂

How we eat salmon in Japan, except for raw dish such as carpaccio and sashimi, is usually grilled or braised in a pan.  In Japanese cuisine we grill the salmon with just a sprinkle of salt, or sometimes marinade the salmon in preserved-malted- rice( Koujizuke) and grill them.  We usually cook till well-done.  You can also marinade in miso paste or soy sauce based marinade.

Marinade salmon in miso paste mixture (1 tbs miso paste, 1tbs sake (Japanese wine) and 1tsp sugar) for more than 30 min before grilling.

Marinade salmon in soy sauce mixture (2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sake, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp grated ginger) for 30 min, then pan fry or grill in the oven.  Boil the sauce down till half its volume and pour over the salmon.

Or you can just deep-fry them with corn flour, then eat with some dipping sauce!!

  • Cut Chili + Soy Sauce or Sambal … Indonesia Style
  • Soy Sauce + Sesame Oil + Chopped Spring Onion, Grated Garlic … Chinese Style
  • Chopped Coriander + Sweet Chili Sauce + Roasted Peanuts (crushed) … Thai Style
  • Pest + Fresh Tomato Salsa … Italian Style
  • Sansho Powder … Japanese Style
  • Soy Sauce + Grated Ginger … Japanese Style
  • Hoisin Sauce + Sweet Chili Sauce … Ume Style