Tuesday, September 30, 2014

keiraku's char siu

IMG_8308 The other day on tv, there was a chinese restaurant that shared their char siu recipe.

I'm always interesting in finding new recipes that taste like "home". This char siu recipe comes really close.

Keiraku's Char Siu

200 grams pork belly block
1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
1/2 teaspoon 5 spice (powder)

Put everything in a ziploc bag and marinate overnight.

Bake at 180C (350F) for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for another 15 minutes.

IMG_8309 NOTES: The original recipe doesn't say to put everything into a ziploc bag, but it was the easiest way to marinate something and massage/flip it every time I opened the refrig.

After baking it for 30 minutes, the clear pork fat that was in the oven was actually glisteningly beautiful!

I let the meat rest for 5 minutes and I sliced it. It wasn't cooked, so I sliced everything and put it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Tastewise, it is close to the Cantonese style char siu that I grew up with. I like that it doesn't use all that red food coloring that we see in Hawaii.

I'm freezing most of this and will use it in fried rice. I'm making this again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

world craft beer tasting

IMG_8279 Saturday the weather was beautiful and HOT!

Satoshi had a morning chat session with people from his German class, so afterwards we met up to check out the World Craft Beer Tasting.

They had many beers from the US, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, as well as some from around Japan.

If we had bought our drink tickets earlier for 3000 yen we could've gotten 6 drinks for 500 yen each. Instead we paid 2800 yen and got 5 drinks for 560 yen each.

Satoshi and I shared the first beer...Minoh's Peach Weizen. This beer was really fruity and peachy!

Perfect for the heat.

Apparently, this peach weizen was a limited edition beer, so I am glad we got to try it!

IMG_8280 We shared this pork sausage by Taverna Entrata...600 yen.

Super hard to eat without getting messy, but I loved the snap of this.

IMG_8281 Just like a carnival, you use scrips to purchase your beers...one beer per ticket.

Food items had to be paid with cash.

IMG_8282 Next I tried Fifty Fifty's Darkslide IPA, this was more like a Porter or Stout...love!

Satoshi tried Crew Republic's Munich Summer beer.

IMG_8283 We shared this plate of smoked sanma (saury) and roast pork by Aggi.

We weren't sure why they served this with a dollop of wasabi. The seasonings without the wasabi were simple and the smokiness made these dishes perfectly match the different beers.

IMG_8285 Satoshi then tried Van Eecke's Extra Dry Hopped Hommelbier 2014 while I tried Pizza Port's Ponto Session IPA.

I hadn't read the signs properly and thought I was ordering a port, so I was surprised when the server handed me a light colored IPA.

This beer was nice and fruity and it was served really cold which hit the spot since it was so hot out.

IMG_8286 It doesn't look like a lot of people at this event, but there were and I was surprised at the amount of foreigners that were there.

This was our first time going to an event like this and we had fun.

I hope we can check out other craft beer events in the future.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

we're 9

mosaic9blog Today our blog turns 9.

As most of you know I started this blog as a way for my friends and family to keep up with us without filling up their email inboxes.

We don't have the most hits or the most readership like other blogs do, but that's just fine.

I am grateful and appreciative for the connections and the friendships that blogging has brought our way.

Thank you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

kuri gohan

IMG_8241 I bought a bag of chestnuts at the market...about 450 grams, for 498 yen plus tax.

IMG_8233 And then I found a teeny chestnut when we went to Cosmos no Sato. (the one on the right came out of the bag of chestnuts that I bought)

IMG_8261 I read somewhere that you should soak your chestnuts overnight so that they are easier to peel...so that is what I did.

IMG_8262 Cut the "butt" off of the chestnut to start peeling the hard shell...if you are lucky, you'll find a "heart"...

With your knife, carefully peel the fuzzy skin and the skin closest to the chestnut.

It is very difficult to just peel off the skins, so just be prepared to lose some of the chestnut flesh while peeling.

IMG_8263 When you are done peeling, soak the chestnuts in water, this helps get out the aku (bitter taste).

I ended up with 350 grams or so of chestnuts.

IMG_8270 Wash 1.5 cups of white rice and 1/2 cup of mochi rice.

Add 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sake (rice wine), mix well.

Turn your rice cooker on and let it do its job.


NOTES: this turned out better than the Yaki Kuri Gohan I made back in 2006 and way better than the one I made back in 2012.

Even though I still managed to poke the softest part under my thumbnail while peeling the hard shell...ow! This was worth it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

shoyu butter corn yakionigiri

IMG_8250 I am always influenced by what I see on tv, especially when it comes to food.

Satoshi and I watch a show called "Sarameshi" which is short for "salarymen (businessmen) meshi (food)".

Anyway, the show airs at 11-ish at night and boy, do they make us hungry!

On a recent episode they featured this...shoyu butter corn yakionigiri.

Corn cooked in shoyu and butter is a well-known winner in Japan, but to add it to rice...brilliant!

We had to try this.

After cleaning your corn, remove the kernels carefully from the cob with a knife.

Then add the corn kernels and cob to the rice and cook.

All the corn "goodness" will come out from the cob and flavor the rice.

IMG_8252 Remove the cob from the pot and mix the rice.

Carefully make your onigiri.

Then take some butter and some shoyu and fry. Flip once or twice carefully with a spatula.

You'll get some burnt areas, but that's the best parts!

No real recipe for this...I used 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water. 1 corn on the cob.

A nub of butter and 1 teaspoon of shoyu.

NOTES: The fresh corn is cooked perfectly with the rice and is still quite crisp after it cooks. The sweetness from the corn matches perfectly with the saltiness of the butter and shoyu. I'll have to make this again next summer when corn is in season.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

koregusu tako

IMG_8251 Recently in "ELLE à table", there was a story about different hot sauces of the world.

One that was featured was koregusu, the Okinawan hot sauce.

They also had a recipe using it with tako (octopus), so I gave it a try using my homemade koregusu.

Marinated tako adapted from "ELLE à table" issue no.75, September 2014
200 grams steamed tako (octopus)
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 sudachi (lime)
myoga (ginger shoots), thinly sliced and soaked in water for at least 5 minutes
shiso (perilla), julienned
cherry tomato, sliced in half

Take the tako and cut it into bite sized pieces.
Add the koregusu, amount is up to you.
Add the olive oil and lime juice
Mix well and chill.
Just before serving add the myoga, shiso, cherry tomato.

NOTES: If you cannot get myoga, substitute with red onion. Shiso can be subbed with basil. Lime juice can be subbed with lemon or another citrus. You can also add sliced cucumber and okra too.
Very versatile recipe.
When I first put the oil, koregusu (1 teaspoon) and lime juice together, it wasn't hot...so I added 2 more teaspoons of the hot sauce.
When we ate the tako there was a slight "burn" but nothing "fiery".
I would also add some shoyu for more flavor.
I am making this again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

cosmos no sato

IMG_8209 Sunday was a beautiful day, so we decided we should get out and about.

I was amazed to find out from my archives that the last time we had been to Cosmos no Sato was 6 years ago.

IMG_8210 This place never disappoints.

Lots of blooms.

IMG_8223 You can check out more photos in my Flickr photostream, labeled "cosmos no sato".

We had a holiday yesterday, Autumn Equinox. Weird that the holiday fell on a Tuesday. Oh well, can't complain, short week.

Hope your week is going well.