Friday, January 27, 2023

this and that

Every time I pass by Donkey, I see their photo of their hotcakes pasted on the window and want to try them.

Well, I finally did and was totally disappointed.

First off, they cut the hotcakes before serving them.

Am thinking these were the frozen type...bummer.

Satoshi’s dry curry looked ono.

There was talk about snow at the beginning of the week, everyone around Tokyo got the snow, we just got fahreezing temps...was kind of bummed, I mean if it is gonna be fahreezing...

Now, there is talk that Tokyo might see some snow over the weekend, we'll see.

Since Satoshi was working from home, most of this week, and there was that talk about the snow, I stocked up so I did not need to go out of the house for groceries.

Well, Wednesday night, just before Satoshi's German online class, the gas range’s light came on saying it needed new guess who had to go out to get some batteries?!

At least the nearest covenience store is only 3 minutes walking away...

And as luck would have it, after buying the batteries, it seems that "someone" didn't turn off the range properly, which is why the light on the range was blinking...grr.

oh well, at least we have spare batteries...

This shirunashi (no soup) tan tan had the perfect balance of ma (numbing) and la (spicy).

Tried a new (to me) banh mi place. 

The other day, I happened to pass by and noticed them.

Apparently they opened sometime last year...

I ordered their grilled pork...680 yen (tax included)

Loved the bread and the grilled pork was similar to the sweet char siu flavor we have in Hawaii.

I think they could've put a little more veggies, but overall I enjoyed this, I'll be back to try other items on their menu.

Satoshi is having implant work tomorrow, so he needs to get a PCR test done today.

On top of that for the past two weeks he had to take his temperature and record it.

I'm going to go with him to the PCR test so I can see where the hospital is.

Hoping all goes smoothly, he will have anesthesia and will be allowed to "sleep" it off, he said he'll be able to come home on his own, but I'm worried he won't, so I will go to "pick him up" tomorrow afternoon.

Hope you all are doing well, have a safe weekend.

Banh Mi Xin Chao
5-19-10 Nishikamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6715.8087
Open daily 10:00-20:00

Thursday, January 26, 2023


One year ago we received our blood orange order from T-farm

Four years ago we were trying 175 deno tan tan men

Eight years ago we were trying zabon-zuke

Thirteen years ago we thought spring was coming

Seventeen years ago we were talking about tsukiai and other things.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


I had wanted to bake some mochi type muffins.

When it came time to line the muffin tin, I realized I inly had 3 muffin papers, so I used some parchment paper.

It was hard to fill with muffin batter, because the parchment didn't stay secure in the muffin tin.

Also while making the batter I only had a little mochiko, so I used half mochiko and half flour.

I put some yuzu peel that I had in the freezer, used up some chocolate chips and also added some cocoa powder

My baking powder expired but I used the hot water test and it still bubbled so I used it.

Even with all these obstacles, the muffins came out nice and will be good for breakfast or as a snack.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Saturday before we went out to do errands, I gave Satoshi a bag of stuff to put in the garbage area (a little room near the parking stalls) of our apartment building 

After he came out I gave him my empty bags for us to use when we did some grocery shopping after our other errands.

First off, Satoshi wanted to update his bank passbook (yes Japan still uses passbooks!), so we stopped at the ATM, then we went looking for a particular white envelope.

After looking at a 100 yen shop and 2 convenience stores, we finally found the envelope at a different 100 yen store, and went to send something for his friend whose husband had passed away suddenly.

(The reason we needed a special envelope was the letter that Satoshi wanted to send said friend couldn’t be folded into "fourths"…Japanese death superstitions/etiquette)

Then we went to the cell phone shop so Satoshi could ask them about his cell phone.

It was then that I realized he wasn’t carrying the empty bags I gave him.

So we retraced our steps and still couldn’t find the bags.

And ended up walking all the way back home because I still needed bags to go grocery shopping and guess what we found on the sidewalk near our apartment…

the bags!

At least we found them but it was so weird that I hadn’t noticed he dropped the bags soon after giving it to him nor did he realize he had dropped them

(photo: this furry keeping warm and probably wondering what we were doing)

Monday, January 23, 2023

trying more recipes

I saw this online and wanted to try.

The online version used hoshigaki (dried persimmon), but I only had ichidagaki which is a harder type of dried persimmon.

What you do is split it down the center, take out the seeds then put in a schmear of cream cheese.

The version I saw online, cuts the kaki with the cream cheese into rounds.

This was good as pupu, but I'll look for softer dried persimmons so that I can try this again. 

On the recipe sheet from Shuetsu there was also a recipe for tartar sauce.

Which reminded me of this recipe.

Again, I ad-libbed because the portions seemed a lot.

Tartar sauce : translated from Shuetsu

1 boiled egg, mashed

30 grams fukujinzuke, minced

8 grams fukujinzuke "sauce"

35 grams mayo

8 grams vinegar


salt to taste

Mix well and add salt to taste

NOTES: I used a 7 minute boiled egg, 15 grams of fukujinzuke, 1 gram fukujinzuke "sauce", 1/2 teaspoon vinegar 

I didn't measure how much mayo I used but didn't use too much 

I didn't have parsley but think this will add some color and more texture to the tartar sauce

I omitted the salt and added some pepper instead

We had this with beef rolls, which is what the Japanese tartar sauce I noted above is eaten with and it was delicious.

I'm glad I tried this recipe and look forward to trying a couple more on the sheet.

Friday, January 20, 2023

this and that

While I was getting ready on Sunday, my Swarovski pendant dropped onto the cement floor and cracked...sad!

Hoping I'll be able to find the other piece that broke off and no one steps on the piece, though I did vacuum the area...

It was a brownish Swarovski, and larger than most beads, so I hope I can find a replacement...

These wings from Shinanoya!

Grilled with a little soy sauce, so meaty, juicy and tender!

80 yen (tax included) a piece...I would get this again! 

Instead of gifts, every year we all send photos to my cousin and then she puts all of the photos together into a calendar.

She orders the calendars and sends them out to us, we finally received our calendar.

We appreciate all the work she does to put these calendars together and always look forward to seeing everyone's photos in it...thanks P!

"Someone" has been working from home at least twice a week especially on those cold days...which means the a/c aka heater is on least I can sleep an hour longer because I don't need to make his bento BUT cannot really go holo-holo (gallavanting) because I still need to get him lunch by noon...

Tokyo people...saw this furry one dressed up all spiffy

This marron danish from Hutte was so ono!

Chestnut cream, whipped cream, a whole chestnut on top and everything wrapped with a flaky pastry.
5 more months to go...

I had bought round mochi for New Years and we ended up with only 1 left.

Since I wanted to eat zenzai for breakfast but didn't want to buy another bag of large mochi, I was happy to find these cute sized mochi…105 yen (tax included)
They cook in about 2 minutes and are super soft!

I gave Satoshi the round mochi and also put a couple of star pieces in his zenzai.
Finally got to try Torikyu's nori bento (they had it on hiatus)...500 yen (tax included).

Choose konbu (seasoned seaweed) or okaka (seasoned shaved bonito) for your rice...I chose konbu.

So ono! and super reasonably priced

Glad I got a photo of this cleaning shop...they will be tearing it down soon.

How are you doing?

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

trying a new recipe

I tried one of the recipes that came with the fukujinzuke we purchased from Shuetsu.

Toritsumire (chicken meatball) : translated from Shuetsu

200 grams minced chicken

1 gram salt

40 grams fukujinzuke, chopped

15 grams fukujinzuke "sauce"

3 or 4 leaves shiso, juilienned

10 grams oil

Mix the minced chicken with the salt

When the mixture gets a little sticky mix in the chopped fukujinzuke, "sauce" and shiso

Rub the oil onto your hands and form the meat mixture into bite sized balls.

Cook in a heated frying pan.


NOTES: first off I thought this fukujinzuke was quite salty when I ate it with some instant curry, so I was kind of worried to use it in the recipes they gave.

Tsumire is apparently meatballs made with fish and usually found in a soup.  

Tsukune is apparently a meatball made from ground chicken or other meat and is grilled or cooked in a pan.

Since Shuetsu calls this a tsumire, that is what I’m calling it.

Also, I thought some of the amounts they noted on this recipe was kind of high, so I kind of ad-libbed

First off, I omitted the salt that they have in their recipe

The recipe just said minced chicken, I used a mixture of ground thigh & breast chicken meat because markets here sell them separately 

Instead of the amounts in the recipe, I only added 20 grams of fukujinzuke and 5 grams of the sauce

The shiso, I minced instead of julienning

I didn't want to rub oil onto my hands like the recipe said so instead I just drizzled a little on the pan before cooking it 

While cooking, I also covered the pan so that the meatballs would heat and cook through faster.

I also used a spatula to turn them every so often so they would brown nicely.

This was delicious! not overly salty.

The fukujinzuke stays crunchy.

I think this recipe works because the pickles are in a shoyu based sauce, not too sure it would work with other types of pickles.

I would make this again.