Archives for May 2011

Curry Udon, Trip to Japan 2011

trip japan 2011

I discovered new Curry Udon restaurant in Japan.  I went to Aoyama to have my hair cut during my visit. And this was the first time I went to this beauty salon. It took me about 5 hrs to finish styling my hair. Anyway, I was very hungry because I didn’t eat anything at all that day! Around 8pm, I asked my beautician where I should go to eat quickly. I didn’t want to McDonald or any Western style fast food place. She said I should go to Senkichi Curry Udon Restaurant on the way to go the subway station. I have never heard of this restaurant’s name before. So I was thinking this is a small mom and pop kind of restaurant. I was wrong. It is a chain Udon restaurant. Wow! Since I left Japan, they are always changing. Just like the salon people said, it is a good tasting restaurant and inexpensive. I think it was 680yen. (About $7 U.S. dollar) Usually, curry udon is a darker colored soup, but this is a creamy looking soup. I was happy that I could eat something new, and didn’t go to McDonalds.




What is Udon?

Udon  is a type of thick wheat-flour noodle popular in Japanese cuisine.

Udon is usually served hot as noodle soup in a mildly flavoured broth, in its simplest form as kake udon, served in kakejiru made of dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or abura age, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. Shichimi can be added to taste. If you read more, go to this page.

trip japan 2011

I don’t think I can order only curry udon itself. Their menu is always set which means with rice. I couldn’t finish the rice. It was too much Carbohydrates for me. This picture is the original Senkichi Curry Udon. There are many more different flavors.

カレーうどん千吉オフィシャルサイト:Curry Udon Senkichi Official Site

trip japan 2011

 You can eat at the counter or the table.




Gyoza, Pot sticker, Dumpling Recipe

gyoza

Gyoza, pot sticker,dumpling recipe is very popular and famous in Japan. Usually in Chinses restaurant have this food.  Gyoza speciality store which sell only Gyoza everywhere in Japan. If you go to Ramen shop, you usually find Gyoza , pot sticker, dumpling is there in the menu.

If you go to restaurant, you will have average 6 Gyoza on the plats.  When I make Gyoza in my house, my family member will eat way more than 6.  It is almost endless count of Gyoza.. You can not stop eating it!  Japanese Gyoza is usually, Yaki Gyoza.  You may see deep fry Gyoza in U.S. restaurant a lot.  Because, it is easier for the busy restaurant, or not so many cook know how to cook Japanese way.  I like Yaki Gyoza whichi is picture above much better than deep fried one.  It is more juice inside and crunchy outside.  When you bite this, your mouth will full of juice from meat and it is very yammy!!

Gyoza, pot sticker, dumpling typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. Jiaozi should not be confused with wonton: jiaozi have a thicker, chewier skin and a flatter, more oblate, double-saucer like shape (similar in shape to ravioli), and are usually eaten with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce (and/or hot chili sauce); while wontons have thinner skin, are sphere-shaped, and are usually served in broth. The dough for the jiaozi and wonton wrapper also consist of different ingredients.

Dumplings that use egg rather than dough to wrap the filling are called “egg dumplings” or (蛋餃; pinyin: dànjiǎo).

Common dumpling meat fillings include pork, mutton, beef, chicken, fish, and shrimp which are usually mixed with chopped vegetables. Popular vegetable fillings include cabbage, scallion (spring onions), leek, and garlic chives. Dumplings are eaten with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce that may include vinegar, garlic, ginger, rice wine, hot sauce, and sesame oil.

Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year and year round in the northern provinces. They look like the golden ingots yuan bao used during the Ming Dynasty for money and the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them brings the promise of wealth, good luck and prosperity. Many families eat these at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve so they have money at the changing of the years. Some cooks will even hide a clean coin in one for the most lucky to find.

If you want to read more, go to this wiki page and go to this Japanese wiki page to see more pictures.

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Ground pork ———————————— 200g  (half pound)
Salt ————————————————1tsp
Soy sauce —————————————-2 1/2tbs
Sesame oil —————————————2 tbs
Sugar ———————————————1 ½ tbs

Cabbage or Chinese cabbage  —————— half
Chinese onion ————————————2
Ginger ———————————————1/2
Nira, Garlic chives ——————————-1/2 of one package
Dry Shiitake mushrooms ———————–3

gyoza gyoza gyoza gyoza

Cut vegetables first. I put dry shiitake on the ingredients, but I used raw shiitake this time.

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This is the TIP. You put liquid ingredients in the bowl with pork. Mix it together BEFORE you put any vegetables. Mix well, I mean, not just mix together, you have to whip them. This way, you cut the fibers on the meat and it becomes juicier when it finishes cooking. It makes tastier Gyoza!

These pictures are Gyoza skin. I use this company’s one often. You can find other company Gyoza skin. They usually said on the package “Gyoza Skin” so you can find it easily.

The first one is green which I bought this very first time. (I will find out how is taste like this when I use this one next time). The second one is yellow thin skin.  I didn’t buy white thick one but they have white one also, similar package.  You can find at the frozen section, usually.

Gyoza skin

Gyoza skin

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Wrapping is a bit tricky. I taught some people but some can do it and some can not do it at all.

Put the meat on the top side of the Gyoza skin. Fold the skin in half. Put wrinkles into the end of the skin. You bring skin from left side to make a wrinkle and keep doing this until the end. You may have 5 to 6 wrinkles.

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You see the picture, one side is almost flat and wrinkle side is convex shape.

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This picture has white skin; it is thicker than yellow skin. First you put Gyoza in the cold frying pan. Add water in the frying pan about 1 cup or less. Put lid on the frying pan with high heat. Make the water boil and water should disappear like the picture above. Then take off the lid and wait until it is like the last picture above.

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Pour oil around the Gyoza about 4 or 5 tbs. Put the lid on the frying pan again. I do almost all of this using high heat. Oil is for frying the Gyoza, so the bottom becomes crunchy. I use high heat but I will watch and check them to make sure I don’t burn them.

gyoza

Two different Gyoza skins (below). One is thicker white one from a U.S. Asian store. The yellow one is thinner but more likely Japanese skin from a supermarket in Japan. The white thick one holds more juice and it is good with Sui-Gyoza which is cooked in the water or the soup. However it is still good taste to cook Yaki-gyoza.

gyoza

Gyoza sauce. You can make it or buy it. It is rice vinegar and soy sauce equal amounts and put in a couple drops of hot sesame oil.

gyoza

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CREPE in Harajyuku Takeshita-dori

crepe

This winter I went to Harajyuku Takeshita-dori and this is a Crepe shop. I haven’t been here for about 15 years.    I went to Harajyuku when I was a  junior high school student through high school. Takeshita-dori has many small unexpensive fashon shops (now I think so but back then, it was still expensive to me) compare to Omote sando now a days. Omote sando is getting to be a m9re more adult oriented street compare to dacade ago.  There are known to be Omote sando hills, now. 

Anyway, many shops come and goes, but the street itself is the same. And I found the CREPE shop! When I was junior high school, many CREPE stores were there in Harajyuku. If I am not mistaken, Omote sando has some crepe shops. I was so excited and I can not resist to go there. And I was wondered if I could find what my favorite crepe there. AND!! I found it!

harajyuku

There are many young girls (high school) there and order some crepes. You can smell the very sweet crepe scent around the shops.




The  SEASONAL MENU said caramel cheese cake with whipping cream.  Strawberry cheese cake.  Banana chocolate cheese cake.  The blue ad. behind this red one has a larger menu.  I didn’t remember that they had so many different menu back when I was kid.

harajyuku

This is popular in Japan.  Usually any kind of food was displayed in front of the restaurant like this.  So you can see the menu not read it.  Those are made with wax and looks very real!  If you go to Kappa bashi, you will find some store that carry those wax display.

harajyuku

What I chose to eat this time…  This is my old time favorite.  Cream cheese and chocolate.  They used to have almond slice in it but not this time..  I wonder if it was my imagination or have they changed the menu?  Maybe a different store??  But the taste was still good, I was very happy that I ate this snack.  I was going to eat dinner after that, so I didn’t order a big one.  I think this was 300yen or 350yen.  (about $3 to $4 U.S. dollor)

crape

This is the entrance of Takeshita Dori street.  So many people there! 

trip japan 2011

harajyuku

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Hakone – Souunji Temple

Hakone trip

It was still a winter day. I took pictures so I will put it here. It was nice peaceful place. Enjoy the picture.

hakone trip

hakone trip

trip japan 2011

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trip japan




trip japan

trip japan

trip japan

trip japan

hakone trip

hakone trip




Sushi Taro Instant Chirashi and Inari Sushi


instant inarizushi

I use Sushi Taro and instant inari sushi package and make inarisushi. This is an instant version of making chirashi sushi by Sushi Taro. Chirashizushi is a popular Japanese home recipe and it is different than restaurant chirashizushi. It is very easy to make this sushi using these packages. You can eat chirashizushi itself and you can make inarizushi itself. But this time I used both package together and made great sushi! Yummy!! My friend mom use Hijiki mix with sushi rice and put it in the inarizushi. It’s very easy.  You just need to cook Japanese rice. This is great party finger food, too.

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Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi (ちらし寿司?, “scattered sushi”) is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes (also refers to barazushi). Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) is an uncooked ingredient that is arranged artfully on top of the sushi rice in a bowl. Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi) are cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of rice in a bowl. There is no set formula for the ingredients and they are either chef’s choice or sometimes specified by the customer. It is commonly eaten because it is filling, fast and easy to make. Chirashizushi often varies regionally. It is eaten annually on Hinamatsuri in March.




Inarizushi

Inarizushi (稲荷寿司?) is a pouch of fried tofu filled with usually just sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu. The pouch is normally fashioned as deep-fried tofu (油揚げ, abura age). Regional variations include pouches made of a thin omelette (帛紗寿司, fukusa-zushi or 茶巾寿司, chakin-zushi). It should not be confused with inari maki, which is a roll filled with flavored fried tofu. A very large version, sweeter than normal and often containing bits of carrot, is popular in Hawaii, where it is called “cone sushi”. If you want to read more, check this page.

Sushi taro package
This is the Sushi Taro package, you can find in Asian Grocery Store.


This is Sushi Taro inside package.

Sushi taro package
This is other side of bag, you can read this when you make this Chirashi.

inarizushi no moto
This is Inarizushi no moto package. You may be able to find in Asian grocery store.

inarizushi no moto
This is back side of the package, you can read this instruction.

 

You don’t need to make this egg crepe. This is optional. I like to put it in so I made this and decided to put the picture here.
It is not very difficult to make this. I mix eggs and put in a hot frying pan (if you have – non stick it would be easier) and quickly move the pan to make the egg spread in a thin layer. When you see the edge of the egg start peeling away from the pan, you flip the egg crepe upside down.

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egg egg egg egg

Cut egg crepe in half and lay sheets one on top of another. And cut in half again and lay sheets one on top of another, again. Then, you cut them julienne.  Besides the eggs, if you can buy some peas, it would be good to add it to them.  It is good color to add green in the chirashizushi no moto and rice.

rice Sushi taro Sushi taro Sushi taro

Cook rice and put in the Sushi Taro package and egg.  Mix it all together.  You don’t mix rice like you mix dough. You don’t want to smash the individual rice like paste. You will destroy the rice taste and can not make good sushi rice. Mix rice by cutting across it in a slashing motion, and then cool it by fanning.   Read this page.

Sushi taro Sushi taro Sushi taro Sushi taro

Lastly, Inarizushi package. There are 8 inarizushi in a package. You carefuly open, do not tear them. I use spoon to scoop the rice and carefuly put them in the pocket. Then you put NORI (from Sushi Taro pacage) on the top of Inarizushi. It is pretty to look at!

easy instant inarizushi

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