All posts tagged: japanese

Good Luck Veggie: Renkon (Lotus Roots)

It is a good luck vegetable so Japanese people eat Lotus Roots as part of special New Year meal.  Why is this root vegetable is good luck?  As you can see you can see holes of Renkon as photo shown below.  It is said that you can see the future.  Also, Renkon produces tons of seeds, therefore it means “productivity.”  Kind of clever, huh? I am fortunate enough to be able to buy Renkon at Asian market in International District so I keep it in my fridge often.  I usually simply sautée it with different kinds of seasonings each time.  Last night, I sliced it in ½-inch thick, sautéed with sesame oil (I love sesame oil by the way, so fragrant), sprinkle of salt, splash of fish sauce and dash of black vinegar.  I am very enthusiastic about black vinegar.  This is one of  several fermented seasonings that I am in love with.  Black vinegar is very smooth, malty and mellow, not stingy.  When you cook vegetables, any meat or fish, your dish ALWAYS come …

Chickpea Journey: to Japanese Homemade Miso

She is very intelligent, creative, sweet, classy and smart.  She grew up in Hiroshima in Japan and teaches Japanese at private elementary school in Seattle.  I met her for the first time through our mutual friend about month ago.  We hit it off right away and her stories sounded so interesting to me.  She mentioned making miso at her home when we first met and I thought she was my kind of people 🙂 Today she and I got together for brunch at Terra Plata in Capitol Hill.  She brought me a jar of her miso, made with chickpea!  When I opened the lid of the container, it smelled so vibrant. That was the first time for me to try homemade miso ever.  I decided right there to prepare cabbage miso soup tonight. This is tonight’s miso soup, made with miso that she poured her passion and love into.  It came out SO delicious.  It reminded of her.  Sweet, wholesome and healthy.

Story of Shotgun Trip to Seoul & Tokyo: over Via Tribunali in Georgetown

March 12 Thursday         left Seattle March 13 Friday               arrived Gimpo Airport, Seoul, South Korea March 14 Saturday          flew from Seoul to Haneda,Tokyo attended concert of this Jin YiHan dude in the afternoon in Shibuya, Tokyo flew back to Seoul from Tokyo in the evening March 15 Sunday             Facial, city tour, massage, body scrub, shopping in Seoul March 16 Monday           flew back to Seattle from Seoul Who does this? She and I have been friends since May 2000.  She is unique and I am quirky so we make sense together.  She is the one person whom I don’t feel uncomfortable seeing after not seeing each other for a long time and we can go back to where we left off.  We got together last Friday and we did not have any awkward moments whatsoever and we started our non-stop 3-hour conversation as soon as we met in Georgetown. We went to Pizzeria in Georgetown in Seattle called Via Tribunali.  They have 20 descent kinds of pizza and some pasta dishes. We ordered one pizza with prosciutto …

In Three Weeks: 1200+ Years Old City – Kyoto

I called our dog sitter today and she told me she was going to take care of my overweight Chihuahua.  Right after getting off from the phone with her, a flush of excitement went through my body.  It was quite strong. I am leaving for Kyoto exactly in three weeks.  My parents and my brother’s family still live in Tokyo and I am not telling them that I am coming to visit Japan.  This is a huge deal.  Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting my family every time I go back.  I have to admit however, I don’t feel like I “travel” when I visit my family.  I enjoy the food, hanging out and catching up with them but it is visiting my family, not a travel experience.  Kyoto’s history starts in year of 794 when Emperor Komu stated Kyoto as the capitol city.  It is 1200 years old and there are over 3,000 temples in the city.  Millions of old buildings are still intact.  Not like in Seattle (ugh!  Ugly new developments!), …

Sakura: Cherry Blossom

Every year I experience this bitter sweet feeling.  I grew up in Tokyo, Japan.  I had been waiting for getting out of that country since I was five even though I am very proud Japanese.  I felt like I was living inside of small box and there was no way to go and I was dying to search for my independence and freedom.  Now, I love Seattle.  This beautiful city has been treating me so wonderfully and it has been delighted to be here. It is spring and cherry blossom (sakura) season.  I think sakura is very special to majority of Japanese people and the most admired flower/tree in Japan.  I see gorgeous sakura trees in Seattle as well.  Every time I see it, my heart aches.  I feel slightly homesick.  It is interesting indeed to feel that way because I always tried to be away from Japan. When I retire, I want to go visit Japan every spring to see these sakura trees.  Then I die, I want my ashes to be spread underneath …

Mother and Child over Rice: Oyako-don

Not human mother and child.  This is not going to be weird, spooky story at all. It’s one of many Japanese soul food dishes.  Oyako means “parent and child(ren).”  This dish is made with chicken and egg and that’s why it’s called “Oyako”-don.  Some Oyako-don restaurants are very serious about what they serve, like this very famous and beloved Oyako-don restaurant called Tamahide in Tokyo, established in 1760.  This is something my mom barely made when I was growing up.  I felt I was struck by thunder when my kindergarten class mate’s mom (our neighbor.  My mom and she were so close) made it for me one day.  Nostalgia… Oyako-don for 2:  Chicken (I used breast, cut in bite size), 1/2 x  onion, 2 x eggs, sugar, sake, mirin (sweet wine), soy sauce, dashi (bonito stock).  Mix all the liquids, then cook onions for a few minutes and then add chicken. Cook until chicken is tender.  Turn the heat off.  Then add beaten eggs and cook about 3 minutes with low heat or until eggs …

This Book Made Me Tired: “Saraba!”

疲れた。上巻を読み終わった時に感じたのはそれだけ。どっと疲れた。私が本を読むのは、現実逃避したい時か、仕事とか、友達とか、家族とか、しがらみとか、やらなきゃいけない事とか、責任とか、そういうもの(特に人とかかわる事)から自分を完全に引き離して、頭も体も休息したくて、酸素の足りないフナみたいになってる時だから、こういう本は読みたくなかったなあ。大きな賞で本を読む訳ではないけれど、(その証拠に、小路幸也の本達は大好きだけど、直木賞も芥川賞ももらってない)参考にはするし、評価されるには理由があるのだから、それは読んでみたいと思って当然だとも思う。シアトルの紀伊國屋の本棚に陳列されてたのを見た時には、「これだけの文字が読めるとはなんて幸せな事だろう!」と思って、心躍ったし。 林真理子の評では、スケールが大きいという事なんだけれど、ロケーションがイランだったり、エジプトだったり、大阪だったり、東京だったり、サンフランシスコだったりするから、その描写は確かに面白い。それをスケールの大きさだというのは、賛成できないし、書いてあることのスケールはちっとも大きくない。家族がどう壊れていくかと、主人公がどう自分と落とし前をつけていくかを書いてある本だからなあ。こんな事があって、あんな事があって、こんな風に考えて、こんな結果になったっていうのを、時系列に延々350ページとちょっと。疲れて当然だ。 さて、これから下巻。全部読んでみせますとも!