Today we went to Kyoto. One thing you'll realize when visiting Kyoto is that it is a pretty huge area and quite spread out, so you need a lot of time to see everything.
Recently, there was a poster in our train station that advertised a botan (peony) showing at Otokunidera (Otokuni temple). This temple is located in Nagaoka-kyo, which is in West Kyoto. Nagaoka-kyo is also a large producer of takenoko (bamboo shoots) in this area.
Since we were going early in the morning, I decided to pack us a bento (boxed meal). I made sanshokugohan (three colored rice). Recipe to follow.
After arriving in Nagaoka-kyo, we had some time before the bus would come to take us to the temple, so we had our breakfast on these benches near the bus stop. Not the greatest place to eat, but at least we could sit and enjoy our meal.
The bus came shortly after we finished eating and took us to Otokuni Temple. The admission to enter was 300 yen. There were many botan and many shaded by paper umbrellas.
The bugs were having a field day in the pollen.
From Otokuni Temple, we decided to go to Daigoji (Daigo temple), in South-east Kyoto.
The reason why I wanted to go to this temple was because of a jigsaw puzzle. When I was home, my mom and I did a jigsaw puzzle of this temple and I wanted to see it for myself. It is actually called Bentendo and is part of the Daigoji property.
This temple was very peaceful and quite empty, it was nice to walk on the grounds.
We were getting hungry and were lucky to find a little restaurant on the grounds called Ugetsuchaya. I had their Godairiki udon--thick wheat noodle with a mochi (rice cake), seaweed and seasoned mushrooms on top. It also came with goma tofu (a curd made from sesame seeds) and yubazushi (sushi wrapped with yuba (bean curd skin). Very delicious and filling.
After lunch, we caught the shuttle bus back to the train station. There we happened on a little kiosk selling taiyaki (fish shaped pancake with sweet bean paste filling)--these were really cute and tiny! They had different fillings like custard, sweet bean, chocolate and cream cheese to name a few.
Before heading back to Osaka, we stopped in for tea. We went in to Fortnum & Mason at Daimaru Kyoto. I had their flavored tea--Strawberry. It came with a little chocolate napolitan. Delicious and very fragrant tea!
It was a great day filled with lots of new experiences.
Here is the recipe for the sanshokugohan. Serves 4
4 servings of cooked rice
Sauce A: 1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
200g minced chicken
Sauce B: 4 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
3 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a bowl, scramble the eggs with the ingredients for Sauce A. Add the oil to the pan and when heated, add the egg. Stir the eggs around the pan until they become all crumbly and broken up. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. In the same pan, add the minced chicken and the ingredients for Sauce B. Stir constantly and use a wooden spoon or chopsticks to break up the meat. Cook until all of the gravy evaporates. The meat should be crumbly and broken up as well. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. To assemble, put the rice into a bowl and top with the egg on one half and the meat on the other half. Place the peas in the middle.
NOTES: I used minced pork instead of chicken and snow peas instead of green peas, but I'm sure you could use minced beef and any other type of greens you wish. I blanched the snow peas in salt water, just to give it some flavor. You can make the egg and meat ahead of time and put together for a boxed lunch , a party dish or a quick dinner.