All posts filed under: food

If You Are So Brave: Natto Eating 納豆

Fried eggs and bacon?  French toast with loads of syrup?  Steak and eggs?  Or Green eggs and ham? What Japanese people eat in the morning is a little different (we definitely read “Green eggs and ham”, but “I would not eat them here or there”).  What I grew up with, for example,  a bowl of rice, miso soup, grilled fish, homemade pickles, and seasoned vegetables.  This kind of meal however takes time and preparation.  When I want to energize quickly in the morning, this is what I have;  natto over rice. Carbs give you energy as you know.  But what is Natto?  Natto is fermented soybeans in short.  Yogurt, vinegar, pickles, kimchi, miso, sourdough bread (gasp!), kombucha, wine (what?), Worcestershire sauce, cheese to name a few.  Natto is in the same family.  Like cheese, it has a STRONG smell and taste like…hmmm…natto?  It also has a slimy texture.  You simply add a bit of soy sauce (my dad’s favorite) or sweet soy which is my favorite then mix really well to make it even more …

Get The Sand Out!: The Ocean Stew

Ocean.  Waves, salty water, sand, surfboards, ocean smells, sunset…I love the ocean.  I like lakes, rivers, mountains but I love the ocean.  The ocean and I have a very personal relationship.  It’s deep.  Ocean produce seafood, especially shellfish…my love.  There’s only one downside of shellfish.  Picture this; you have this gorgeously prepared plate with all types of fish and shellfish.  Your favorite is clam and you dive into it.  Then, as you’re biting into it, this hard, weird, most unpleasant texture you’ve ever experienced.  Sand. My mom grew up in Shizuoka prefecture which is located about 2-3 hour drive from Tokyo near Mount Fuji and beautiful pacific ocean.  My grandma and mom moved to Tokyo 15 years after the World War II ended but they never forg0t how great the seafood was in Shizuoka.  They taught me how to gut and filet the fish, how to clean and prepare fish and shellfish.  One particular lesson I am so appreciative having been taught is to soak clams in salt water and for (at least) a couple …

Yakimochi: Grilled Rice Cakes

Tonight was one those nights that I didn’t want to slice or cut anything.  Basically I didn’t want to “cook.”  The fact is I am hungry, so I decided to make myself “yakimochi (grilled rice cakes)”  Yaki means grilled and mochi means rice cakes, as you might have guessed it. I used to grill mochi in a small frying pan but since I got this “yakiami” which is a simple yet essential tool made with ceramic and metal. You can grill vegetables, meat, fish, and of course food like mochi over the stove with it.  I sometimes grill “onigiri (rice ball)” with this yakiami so I can add more flavor.  Adding soy sauce while grilling onigiri makes you salivate quickly. Anyway, over low-medium heat, you cook both side of mochi until it gets golden brown (I like a little burnt).  There are so many ways to eat grilled rice cakes.  For example, you can dip them in ponzu sauce, in shredded radish (mizore-oroshi) and soy sauce, sprinkle soy power and sugar, fry them, spread butter …

Savory & Manila: Clam Talk

At U-district farmers market, this cheerful, personable and warm hearted lady working the Hama Hama stand and I were chatting about their excellent quality of oysters.  She recommended clams this week and they carried 2 kinds of clams, savory and manila. I bought both. It was BEAUTIFUL today.  It was around 50 degrees and sunny.  Yes, SUNNY in Seattle.  I am happy that I was able to have a relaxing Sunday.  So, what I need is an easy but delicious meal on this relaxed early Sunday evening. Combination of savory and manila clams, about 2lb. Half of mayor lemon, peeled and sliced 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced Olive oil Pinch of sea salt Little bit of white wine I put the above in my favorite Staub cast iron pot and put a lid on and left alone for about 10 min over medium low heat. Sliced baguette (from Tall Grass Bakery) toasted in a Turk iron frying pan to accompany that. There, all I need is to sit down and enjoy this simple and relaxed …

Buddies: Anthony Bourdain and I

I feel like Anthony Bourdain and I know each other. At personal level.  After watching his shows millions of times, when he says, “this is delicious,” I can actually tell if he means it or not.  I actually understand how happy he is when he is slurping his noodle bowl at this tiny street vender in Saigon.  I do because I love slurping noodles and I can taste them when I watch his show.  He and I should start traveling all over the world together to eat, eat and eat, especially Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia…beautiful Southeast Asia. Ba Bar.  http://babarseattle.com/  This is a Vietnamese restaurant with a French influenced bakery shop.  This place is not your regular  joint so you can’t have 6-dollar pho here.  But they use happy cows and do not use any MSG.  Store design and interior are very well thought out.  It almost looks like the club or bar where hipsters go to inside.  Wait staffs are actually pretty hip as well.  Don’t get fooled by it however.  They serve fragrant, …

To Be or Not To Be: Red Cow Has an Answer

To be or not to be a meat eater, that is the question.  Right?  I was vegan for a while and was pescetarian until October 2014.  I was vegan when living in Atlanta, which I was eating vegetables, fruits and grains.  When I moved back to Seattle in 2008, I just added seafood to my vegan diet. But I was vegan and pescetarian not because of animal cruelty, wanting to reduce CO2 emissions or wanting to save the world eventually or anything like that.  My body got used to vegan diet for a while so every time I tried to eat meat products, I didn’t feel well afterwards so I just avoided for a long time. In October 2014, I traveled to Paris with Archie, my best friend.  The trip turned my world upside down.  I wanted to taste EVERYTHING that Paris had to offer.  Beef bourguignon, beef tartar, pork rillettes, lamb, quail, baguette and butter (of course, French cuisine is not complete butter!)  My stomach felt a little funky at first but slowly I have …