Thursday, August 03, 2006

trying to beat the heat (part 4)

Something usually seen during the summer are these clouds called nyudogumo (cumulo-nimbus), they are usually seen in the afternoon and bring thunder and rain. Unfortunately, even though it rains, the humidity still lingers.

Changing the subject, have you ever wondered what I do about grocery shopping during the summer here?

Since many people here have to travel a bit to get to the supermarkets, many stores have ice chests where you can help yourself to some free ice, put them into plastic bags and lay them near your fresh foods like fish, meats, dairy products. You can't eat the ice because it is treated with something that keeps the ice from melting quickly. I usually don't like this type, because if you can't eat the ice and it gets on your food, is it safe?

There was a story on Slashfood recently that also talked about free ice.

Other stores have re-useable ice called horeizai, it looks like those big blue ice packs for your ice chests or lunch bags only smaller. I like these because they are re-useable. Plus, if you wrap a couple in a towel and place it around your neck, you can feel cool for a couple of hours! (at least long enough to catch a nap without the a/c on...) Oh, and if you happen to buy ice cream, you can purchase dry ice for a small cost.

Changing the subject again, there is another dish that reminds me of Okinawa called goya champuru. Goya is the Okinawan name for bittermelon (nigauri in Japanese). Champuru means to mix.

This dish is a type of stir fry and is really easy to make. I usually make this dish during the summertime because goya is plentiful and also has a lot of vitamin C, almost 4 lemons worth. It is supposedly a good food to help your body shield the sun's rays.

To make this dish you need a block of tofu (firm type) (soy bean curd), some bacon/luncheon meat (sliced), a goya and an egg.

When buying goya, make sure that the bumps on the outside are rather large, if they are small, this means your goya is too young (and VERY bitter!).

To prepare the goya, first cut it in half. You'll notice there is a lot of fuzzy stuff inside, this is called wata (literally cotton), use a spoon and get as much of this "cotton" out, the more you take out the less bitter it will taste. After taking the "cotton" out, slice thin and rub with salt. This is supposed to also take some of the bitterness away, then rinse.

Open the container of tofu and put it over a strainer to get out as much water . Cut up your tofu into bite size pieces. Put a tablespoon of oil in a pan and "fry" your tofu, this is also to get out a lot of the water. Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside.

Add the sliced bacon/luncheon meat and goya and cook until the goya is tender, then add the tofu back into the pan. Lastly, scramble an egg and pour over the whole thing and cook until the egg is cooked, mixing every so often....dinner is served!

Hope you all are keeping cool where you are!


Anonymous said...

I had never seen this vegetable before!
And bt,w it is so hot here. We reached over 100F today ;-(

K and S said...

Hi Bea,

This veggie is part of the cucumber family. It grows on a vine.

Oh my 100F, please take care, Bea!


Anonymous said...

What a bizarre little vegetable! I've never heard of it either, but it looks absolutely amazing!

K and S said...

Hi Ellie,

It is very bitter, but most things that are good for you don't taste good, right?

Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kat, came in from your comment on my blog. You have some great stuff here! Nice tip about bitter melon and the bumps :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat, I loved that close-up pic of the goya...haven't eaten that in quite awhile and hope to grow some next year. Nice tip that you added on the bitter quality.

Interesting stuff about the inedible ice! How nice that they're also reusable. We just finished experiencing a rainstorm. Of course it HAD to happen right after I gave the dog a bath. Now I'm keeping an eye that she doesn't get dirty or track the mud in!

K and S said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Rowena,

Hope you can grow some in your garden, I hear it is pretty easy.

Ooh, I hope Maddie doesn't get dirty, unless she loves taking a bath! ;)

Take care you two!