Archive for the ‘japanese food’ Category

>Nuts over Nattou

It seems that my last venture in the kitchen making the natsu mikan marmalade was all it took to stimulate my labor pains. I got myself admitted to the hospital at 7AM and our baby girl was born 12 hours later. As I stayed for a week at the hospital, I thought that my next blog entry would be about hospital food but that would take a lot more energy so it would have to wait. One thing significant that happened to me while I was in the hospital was, I suddenly found myself liking, no, loving natto (fermented soybeans)!

And so, since I got back from the hospital, natto has been a regular on our breakfast table and I have also convinced Rad to eat it regularly too! I was more encouraged when I found out that Shizuoka Gourmet is having a series of recipes on natto in his blog. What a coincidence!

For this week though, we have been eating natto with its sauce and mustard topped with bonito flakes and some nori. Sometimes, with fresh raw egg. I can swear that despite the sleepless nights, I feel more energized everyday because of natto (or perhaps I have just really convinced myself of that!LOL)

So anyway, while Ken and I went to shop yesterday, I picked up a copy of QuiCooking and I found this recipe (小松菜と納豆のからししょうゆあえ or Komatsuna and Nattou with Mustard and Soysauce dressing) which I tried last night for dinner. The recipe called for komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis var. komatsuna) or Japanese mustard spinach, which is Rad`s favorite.

Komatsuna or Spinach (cut and boiled)
1 pack nattou
nattou sauce and mustard (usually included with the nattou)
soy sauce

Mix the spinach and nattou in a bowl. Then mix in the remaining ingredients.

So simple really. But I was glad my usual spinach salad got a bit livelier and healthier.


>Lavender`s Birthday and Sasami Cheese Katsu (Chicken Cutlets)

Our friend from India, Lavender, celebrated her birthday last Tuesday, August 18, but since we meet every Wednesday for Bible study, we decided to have dinner together at our apartment. She promised us the goodness of her Indian curry. I asked Rebecca over at
Chow and Chatter for some tips on what`s best to pair the curry with because her mother-in-law is visiting from India. She had an interesting suggestion but I promised to try it some other time as I didn`t have time to prepare it. So instead, I went the Japanese way (or Indian way) and made some katsu (like tonkatsu) to go with Lav`s egg curry. The recipe for egg curry would have to be posted later as soon as Lav takes a short break from her protein and cloning experiments.

This type of katsu is what I always order for lunch at the university cafeteria. Sasami Cheese Katsu or Chicken Fillet Cutlets. As in my post for Cheese Tonkatsu or Pork Cutlets, the procedure is the same. The only difference is, I used Chicken Fillet. Served with shredded fresh cabbage, and good company, again, more rice!

Oh and Lav`s cake was my very first attempt at making a birthday cake! It was a blueberry jam cake with Fresh Cream with blueberry yoghurt frosting. More birthdays to come Lav! Mangantayon!

>Cheese Tonkatsu – Pork Cutlets

Rad`s favorite Japanese dish is Tonkatsu (豚カツ). Ton (豚)means pork and katsu (カツ) is the Katakana for “cut”, thus, the name.

We have always bought our tonkatsu from our neighbor Bento store who made such a mean tonkatsu bento and at the Hotto Motto along with “kare”. He had always seemed so content with just buying it whenever he feels the craving that I have never went on to make one for him myself. I was supposed to surprise him with a tonkatsu bento for his trip to Nagano tomorrow but I couldn`t wait so we had it for dinner tonight. My taste buds are shouting for cheese so tonkatsu with cheese it is.

  • Pork Chops (pork loin or fillet)
  • Cheese
  • pepper
  • salt
  • flour
  • egg, beaten
  • bread crumbs, “panko”

Prepare the flour, egg and bread crumps in three separate dishes or containers. Cut the pork at the side to create a pocket to insert the cheese in. Sprinkle pepper on the inside of the cutlet then insert the cheese. Put pepper and/or salt on the cutlet. Coat the cutlet lightly with flour then dip in beaten egg. Finally coat the pork with panko or breadcrumbs and pat it lightly. Heat the oil and wait for it to be about 150-160C before putting the pork. Cook one side till they are golden brown then turn to cook the other side. Serve with your favorite sauce (steak sauce, ketchup, etc.) and some vegetables (usually fresh shredded cabbage).

Be careful not to make the oil too hot or it might cook or even burn the coating immediately and end up with the pork not cooked at all. The amount of pepper or salt depends on personal tastes so you can just pepper it or go easy.

So, Mangantayon!

>Yakiniku (焼き肉)


Our missionary friend, Ginger, is having her 2-months vacation in the US and while there, we volunteered to check on her garden once in a while and make sure that they don’t burn in the summer sun. Rad is most happy with the idea that we get to go to Kusanagi at least once a week because it would mean that he gets to visit his favorite yakinikuya san by the train station. So last Thursday, after 4 days of no rain, we went.

The pictures here are quite blurry but it was intended to be that way as we were trying out the Lensbaby. Here you can see me with a 1.5-liter bottle of orange juice. We stopped by to buy some tan (たん) yakiniku (that’s tongue), Rad’s favorite. I think the Japanese we passed by thought how strange we gaijins were when they saw us eating and glugging our way to Ginger`s house. If you ever pass by Shizuoka City, drop by the Kusanagi (草薙)station and get yourself some yakiniku. They are quite cheap(by Japanese standards) for something so good! So mangantayon! 食べましょう!