Friday, November 10, 2006

odds & ends

A new blog friend, Nate, of HwnPakeOkinawa, is a newcomer to blogging. He emailed me to give him advice on starting a blog. Living in Okinawa, he often craves foods from home (Hawaii) and found that the only way to get them, would be to make them. If you are from Hawaii or interested in Hawaii, you gotta check out his blog, "ono" (delicious) stuff on it. UPDATE: the author passed away and this blog is no longer public.

Last year, I wrote about this Japanese sweets shop that is in our neighborhood, Korakudo, which I posted about here. Well, it is nama-choco daifuku season and also kuri daifuku (chestnut with a soft rice cake around it and sweet bean paste). Today, I wanted to get some kuri daifuku, but they were out, so I got their inaka manju with kuri inside (steamed bean cake with chestnut inside) instead. This was really good, hardly any outer rice cake, lots of sweet bean paste and a huge chestnut in the middle.

Since finding my precious bottle of hoisin sauce, which I posted about here, I decided to make another favorite of mine, the dressing for Chinese chicken salad. I often make another version which doesn't call for hoisin sauce and usually use it for green salads without the chicken topping.

Tonight's dinner was gyoza (pot stickers), nira (chive) gyoza and ebi (shrimp) gyoza (which I bought), with a spicy dipping sauce made from shoyu (soy sauce), vinegar and rai-yu (chinese chili oil), a salad with the chinese salad dressing, a mixture of genmai (brown rice) and haigamai (partially polished brown rice) and rakkyo (pickled shallots).

Chinese Salad Sauce: from "Recipes Please..."
4 tablespoons catsup
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Ajinomoto
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Dash of pepper

1. Boil all ingredients together.
2. Cool and refrigerate

Serving suggestion: use any type of veggies: lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, watercress. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed. Garnish with meats such as char siu(Chinese roast pork), shredded chicken or even crushed won ton chips. Can be served as a main dish.

NOTES: I left out one ingredient from the recipe, Ajinomoto. Ajinomoto is MSG (monosodium glutamate).

Also, since I don't like to fry too much--makes the kitchen too messy and stinky, I found this chip that tastes really close to won ton chips called Kirazu Age or fried okara. Kirazu is another name for Okara and is also known as Unohana--this is the lees that form when making tofu (soy bean curd).

I smashed up the okara chips and sprinkled them onto my salad. You can also make your own won ton chips by frying up the won ton wrappers--Just slice the wrappers to the width of chip that you want, and deep fry until golden brown.

Enjoy the weekend!


Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll check out HwnPakeOkinawa to give'em a shaka sign!

Love that image of the inaka manju w/kuri inside. Can't wait to be chowing down on local sweets soon!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm the later of that statement--interested in Hawaii, lol, so I'll check out that blog too, thanks! Yummy, another favourite--Chinese anything! lol.

Anonymous said...

nice to be able to find a site devote to the things you miss!

OkiHwn said...

Thanks K&S and rowena!

K and S said...

I'm so jealous, Rowena! Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy the site, TM.

Thanks Bea and Okihwn.

Take care everyone!


Anonymous said...

Your dinner looks really good!


Brilynn said...

You must be discovering all sorts of wonderful new things in Japan, I'm so envious!

2kamuela47 said...

I just love the dishes you make. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. I am baking more but still haven't had the time to post the results. Soon I hope!

Checked HwnPakeOkinawa site pretty interesting stuff so far!

K and S said...

Thanks Paz!

I don't care for the amount of people here, but the food experiences and season changes are something, Brilynn!

Glad you are enjoying this site and that you checked out HwnPakeOkinawa's one too.

Take care everyone!