Do you know what this is?
Check out my new Savvy Tokyo article on “Japanese Diet Pudding” HERE.
An Unexpected Friend Part Two
Remember my friend Yasu? Last night, her and I went to our pottery sensei’s house to shape our creations. This is the final part before our pottery gets cooked in an oven. For dinner, Naho sensei served us the most delicious Japanese curry with chicken, carrot, eggplant, potato, onion and radish in the most loveliest handmade bowls (after dinner we had Japanese matcha). I especially LOVED her boat-shaped bowl. I thought it incredibly charming. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. A simple compliment on it in my broken broken horrible Japanese and it was mine. An unexpected friend, numero dos. This morning I served home-made muesli in it for myself. This afternoon, I will visit Naho sensei with a bag of oats. I am going to teach her how to make the same muesli for own.
Do You Know What This Is?
My second DYKWTI article is up on Savvy. Check it out. Cook it up, and share it with EVERYONE. Sorry did that seem aggressive? It was meant to.
A Beautiful Saturday With My Japanese Parents
During my time here, Yuko and Papa have done SO much for me and my family. Over and over again, they have shown us, once strangers, now family, unconditional love. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of spending the day with them and my oh my was it a day. Finally today, on this very rainy morning (as it is now rainy season – ahhhh) I have the chance to sit down and tell you about it.
So, first up, Japanese soba (super healthy buckwheat noodles) at THIS PLACE. Next, fresh mochi (Japanese rice cake) with kinako (roasted soy bean flour) at the highway rest area made by the world’s second cutest chef (the first cutest is my sushi chef friend of Yoshinoya). Last, Hiruzen HerBill Garden. This place was SO beautiful. Like, I can’t say enough. Embarrassingly, all I could think about while there was how nice it would be to get married there! So pretty. So many flowers! I love flowers (if you can’t tell). After exploring the garden, we drank herb tea in their cafe. Apricot and peach something. Delicious. For more info click HERE.
A Love Poem
I am miso soup
sometimes deceivingly hot
always tagging along.
you are the lacquered bowl
majestic black and gold
open red heart
caressing my all
securing me tight
holding me warm
each night and each morn.
Cauliflower Rice Sushi
21st century health-freaks are coming up with a whole lot of crazy things and I love it. A while back I made cauliflower base pizza (recipe here), of course it didn’t taste like bread bread but it was still yum and nice to try something different. Last week I made cauliflower rice sushi. They definitely still taste like sushi – I guess because of the combination of pickled ginger, soy sauce and seaweed. I really recommend you try it, it’s such a healthy alternative to white rice sushi. Basically, you make regular sushi but you just use cauliflower rice instead. This is a really basic #norecipe for that:
1 medium cauliflower
1 tbsp rice vinegar
First remove the cauliflower’s stem and leaves then using a knife, chop into small pieces.
Place chopped cauliflower in a food processor or blender (I used a blender, it was not easy but it was not impossible either) and blitz until crumbed.
Place crumbed cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with kitchen wrap and microwave for 6 minutes at 500W.
Once cooked, add the rice vinegar, mix with a spoon and let cool slightly before beginning to sushi.
My tips: use a spoon or your hands to press cooked cauliflower in order to remove some of its moisture. Also, try to roll your sushi as tight as possible (without breaking it).
Hope that makes sense?
Feel free to ask questions!
An Inside Look At Japanese Sushi
According to my adorable Japanese friend (who am I kidding they’re all adorable – the Japanese not my friends), modern sushi trains are taking over traditional sushi restaurants at rapid speed and this is making Japanese folk unhappy. Luckily, living in rural Ohara (or unluckily: bugs, snakes etc) there are still a few super traditional sushi joints left around me. These often include a male head chef (old and wise) with 1 or 2 female helpers (also old and wise). The sushi is prepared fresh, with much care and patience and of course, tastes amazing. As in, melt-in-your-mouth-gimme-more-gimme-gimme-more amazing.
In saying that, my experience of a Japanese sushi trains has also been imposing. Like really awesome and delish. Oh and exciting! Who doesn’t like moving sushi? And, they come equipped with a hot-water tap to make unlimited green tea (yes such glory is a thing!), sort of like the refillable soft drinks at Burger King. Do they still do that actually? Or have things changed since I was a teen? Keep drinking and you may counteract the sushi food baby (please refer to this for skinny effects of green tea). Lastly, some of these sushi trains are really really cheap!
Japanese sushi-trains are pretty crazy cool. Bacon sushi? Sausage roll? Conveniently cut pineapple? And all made fresh to order via touch screen? Now, we’re JAPAN talking!
How to sushi train:
2.Commence Leaning Tower Of Plates construction.
And Then My Mother Almost Threw Up
For their last day, I took my parents to the nicest restaurant I had been to in Japan. Right in the heart, as in the very veins of the woods, it was very traditional (in every way possible: food, setting, manner etc) and also very expensive (not that that matters but it does). And… turns out some traditional Japanese food, much like other traditional foods (cough Iranian sheep’s head for breakfast cough) require some getting used to. These may include okara (soy pulp), konnyaku (devil’s tongue), shiitake mushroom and various pickles. I guess, more than anything, it’s the texture of these foods that can get to you the most. Anyways, my parents hated the food. Well, my dad said he didn’t mind it but I beg to differ. And my poor mother almost threw up (oh no!) But but but they liked the scenery though! So it wasn’t all crying emojis.
So I was wondering, what foreign foods have freaked you out the most? When my family first moved to NZ from Iran, I personally could not fathom the putrid stench of pork. We had never eaten it back home (not because of religious reasons, we are Bahai’s not Muslims, but because it was not available). Though that changed in time and I started eating bacon with toast. Also, vegemite or marmite. Both of which (don’t lose your shit) taste the same to me. I still don’t understand how these two are edible?! Why?! Especially in a sandwich with lettuce and cheese! Argh! What was my primary school bestie’s mom thinking?! Gross.
Anywho, here are the pictorials and despite my parents’ reaction, I enjoyed the food and maybe you would too hehe
Day 10: Kyoto Travel
So far, day ten has been my favourite! Scroll through the pictures and you won’t have to ask why. From top to bottom: some serious squat and snap action at Fushimi Inari-taisha (that famous place in Japan with all them red gates), soba lunch, Nijo-jo Castle and last but never ever ever least, sushi at the best ever sushi restaurant where yours truly had a go at making sushi, too!
Memoirs Of Wannabe Geishas
My tour-guiding is much like my cooking; repetitive LOL I took my parents to the same Kyoto spots that I took my sister and brother-in-law. Alas, it was a different season and still as beautiful if not, more. Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu Temple and Nishiki Market.
From top to bottom: a basket of treats for the road: healthy raspberry and oat muffins, raw almonds and tangerine, Golden Pavilion, Kyoto parfait consisting of matcha soft-serve, mini matcha donuts (green), chestnut (yellow), mochi (rice flour dumplings – white), corn flakes and red bean paste (anko), Kiyomizu Temple, soba (buckwheat noodle) lunch, gorgeous Japanese crockery and lastly, Nishiki Market with A 100% natural freshly squeezed (as in right there and then) grapefruit, and my dad eating a mini octopus tehe.