Sunday, October 31, 2010

sushi gyo gyo

Yesterday after Satoshi's class, we didn't quite know what we wanted to have for dinner, so we walked around the restaurant floor of Yodobashi Camera and decided on Sushi Gyo Gyo.

We've eaten here before, which I've posted about here.

I chose the Tokusei Nigiri Moriawase (assorted special sushi)...1980 yen (about US$19.80).

This came with crab leg, uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe), awabi (abalone), kazunoko (herring roe), botan ebi (prawn), otoro (fatty tuna), toro salmon (fatty salmon), ika (squid), unagi (eel), hirame (halibut).

Plus, chawan mushi (savory custard) and miso soup....very filling.

Satoshi chose the salmon, ikura (salmon roe) and hotate (scallop) bowl...1380 yen (about US$13.80)

A nice sized bowl of seasoned rice topped with salmon, ikura & hotate.

His dish also came with chawan mushi and miso soup.

He figured it wouldn't be enough food for himself and also ordered the Gyo Gyo salad...a salad topped with assorted sashimi (raw sliced fish) and drenched in sesame dressing...880 yen (about US$8.80)

Some sushi etiquette...just in case.

Never pour shoyu onto your sushi, as much as possible try to dip it into the shoyu.

If you ever have a piece of fish on your sushi that is too big to dip into the shoyu (which is also known as murasaki (mu-rah-sa-ki/which actually means purple because of the dark purple color that shoyu sometimes has)), take your gari (ga-ree/ginger) and dip it into the shoyu then swab your fish with it.

Never take the piece of fish off of the shari (sha-ree/rice), this is offensive to the sushi chef who took care in molding it with his hands.

Most sushi chefs are men because they say that women tend to have warmer hands which is not good for sushi.

When you are done eating and want the check say, "o-ai-so", this is the polite way to say it at sushi places.

All in all, yesterday was just really cloudy and windy, hopefully that will be the gist of this typhoon.

Hope you have a great week.

Sushi Gyo Gyo
1-1 Oofuka-cho, Yodobashi Camera 8F
Phone: 06.6373.9910
Open: 11:00-23:00

UPDATE: as of 4/2012, this shop is no longer open at this address

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Most days for lunch, I pick up something from the market while shopping or from somewhere on the way to or back from the market.

I love the bento at Wakana, especially if it has the kari kari ume rice in it.

Kari kari means crunchy, ume is pickled apricot.

Their bento usually have lots of veggies in them too.

Once when I popped into Burdigala, they had what they called a dinner box (which was actually a bag).

It was filled with a salad, a sandwich and a croque madame...700 yen (about US$7).

I ate the salad and sandwich (which was a potato salad sandwich--it was interesting, all sorts of veggies, cauliflower, olives, potato) that day and saved the croque madame for the next day.

The next day, I picked up a salad and heated up the croque madame.

Croque madame is a cheese sandwich with ham and an over-medium egg...delicious.

Whenever the weather is bad, hopefully I am prepared and have food on hand.

Once on a rainy day, I made pizza toast with english muffins, pizza sauce & a slice of cheese.

I also made a bowl of kanten soup.

I actually received this from someone and it is delicious.

The soup packet is supposed to dissolve into the soup, but I couldn't see myself eating this melted packet, so I empty the packet before pouring the hot water.

To spice it up, I added a few drops of ra-yu (chili oil) good.

(I used several of these soup packets when I made hot & sour soup.)

On another rainy day I had chicken ramen.

Did you know that the person who created Nissin chicken ramen and cup noodle was from the next train station over in Ikeda? (We've been to the museum (pre-blog).)

Add some green onions and an egg. Let steep for 3 minutes and lunch is served.

The noodles are coated with the soup, so there are no other packets to mess with.

What have you been eating for lunch?

Friday, October 29, 2010

from the lanai #2

The weather has turned really cold, all of a sudden, and then there were the worms, and things that looked like aphids.

I washed the leaves of the bell pepper plant and chili pepper plant with a soapy solution.

I figured that the peppers wouldn't get any bigger because the temperature has dropped, so I picked the two biggest and left the others, secretly hoping they will get bigger.

The chili pepper plant on the other hand, I pruned. I hope when Spring rolls around it will have leaves and not get attacked by the moths or whatever.

Luckily I had half of a red bell pepper in the refrige, to add to the two peppers.

I mixed 150 grams of ground beef with some chopped onion.

Added some Italian seasoning and mixed.

Two dollops of prepared pasta sauce on each dish.

Then I cut up a mozzarella ball into 6 slices and put 3 slices on each dish.

I then baked it in the oven for 20 minutes...200C (400F)

Too bad the bell peppers weren't bigger, though they tasted great.

There is a typhoon approaching, hopefully it will only bring us rain and some wind.

It is Friday here, hope you have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

from the lanai

From the lanai, I picked a little of the cilantro, a little green onion and two of the goya (bitter melon).

Can you believe that on the 3rd floor we have worms?

How in the heck can they come up that high?

Anyway, the worm(s) were in the smaller of the two goya, and on the bell pepper and on the chili pepper plant, I'll tell you about the bell pepper and chili pepper plant another day.

So, about a week ago, I spotted one worm(on the smaller of the two goya), it hadn't made a hole but was just gnawing at it, brave dude to gnaw at the goya like that.

I took it off, then left the goya to get bigger.

Yesterday, I noticed that the bigger of the two goya was a light tinge of yellow, meaning it was getting overripe.

So, I picked the two and noticed this hole...

...with this long bugger in it.

Eep! and the thing about it was I thought it was dead but it was still alive.

In the morning, I thought it would've died in the garbage bucket but no, it had climbed out and was trapped in my tea strainer on the counter...sigh.

So now, he will definitely be going out with the garbage...sorry, dude.

Getting back to the goya, green onion and cilantro.

Whenever I buy goya, my cooking repertoire consists of one thing, goya champuru.

This time around, I decided to try making stuffed bitter melon and used Nate's recipe as inspiration. UPDATE: the author passed away and the blog is no longer public.

After washing the goya, I sliced it into 1 inch (or so) slices. With a butter knife, I scraped out the "cotton" as best as I could.

Then, I filled each piece with this filling:

97 grams of minced pork
chopped green onion
6 water chestnuts, minced
1/2 tablespoon shoyu
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon black bean sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg

Mix well.

Since my goya were quite small, I had extra filling, Nate said in his post that he steamed the rest of his filling in foil cups, so that is what I did also.

I put them in foil cups that I have for bento.

I don't have a steamer big enough to accommodate all of these pieces, so I put them into my non-stick frying pan.

I put the heat on low, added a little water to the pan after it heated up and covered the pan for 30 minutes.

After steaming it for 30 minutes, I turned off the heat and let it sit in the pan, covered for another 10 minutes.

Then served it with rice and topped it with the fresh cilantro.

NOTES: As an after thought, if ever I need to steam in my frying pan again, I will put whatever needs to be steamed on foil, so that the water won't come in direct contact with it.

This was delicious and I'm glad I tried a different way to prepare goya.

Thanks Nate for the cilantro seeds and delicious recipe.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

kuri kuri kuri ku-ri ku-ri

Somehow I had this song ("money money money") running through my head while posting this....

It is chestnut season here, we call them kuri and you can find them in almost anything, savory and sweet, but mostly in sweets.

They were the filling inside of these cinnamon mochi called yatsuhashi, a popular item from Kyoto.

The original yatsuhashi is not really my favorite, but this version is nice because the filling is sweet and balances out the spicy cinnamon mochi.

In anpan from Kokoroniamaianpanya, they were a delicious not too sweet filling also.

I recently tried this marron danoise from Abientot.

Danoise is apparently danish in French. This one was filled with chestnut and topped with a marron glace (candied chestnut)...yum!

And the kuri daifuku from Chikujian which I eat every year, the mochi is a little salty but balances out with the sweet bean paste and whole chestnut.

From C3, we had their Dolce di marrone con mallo e budino (chestnut cream & pudding)...made to look like an unpeeled chestnut.

The bottom layer is custard, a thin layer of cake then topped with chestnut custard cream...delicious.

The other dessert was Delizia della uva (a cookie crust with grape gelee & mousse, topped with fresh grapes).

This was delicious, fresh and not too sweet, but we both agreed that the chestnut dessert was better.

Here is a look when it was sliced in half.

From Burdigala, a boule type bread with bits of chestnut and citrus peel throughout. The outside had lots of white poppy seeds.

It's Autumn, what are you enjoying?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today is the virtual pasta party on Twitter, just search #twitterfoodparty and you'll be able to see everyone's dishes.

I actually made this dish for Sunday's dinner because during the week Satoshi doesn't eat until really late, so having him eat pasta during the week is a no-no.

I was in the mood for a baked pasta dish with lots of veggies: leftover roasted cauliflower, roasted pumpkin.

I also sauteed some red bell pepper, eringi mushroom, shimeji mushroom and onion in homemade mac nut pesto, then added in the roasted cauliflower & pumpkin at the end because they were "pre-cooked".

The pasta I used was anelli (aka spaghetti-o's), which I got from Rowena awhile back.

I also made a bechamel sauce using this recipe. The bechamel calls for an addition of parmesan but I didn't.

Tossed everything in the sauce to coat then I divided everything into two baking dishes.

Since I didn't add the parmesan to the bechamel, I instead topped each baking dish with a slice of cheese.

I baked these for about 10 minutes under the broiler.

This was delicious, I loved all the veggies and creaminess...comfort food!

Can't wait to see what deliciousness everyone else has made...

Monday, October 25, 2010

m-m-making macaron

I've always wanted to try making macaron, but felt it was kind of tedious to gather all the ingredients.

So, when I saw this at MUJI for 998 yen (about US$9.98), I had to get it.

Previously, I've tried baking their mini muffins which I've written about here.

Anyway, I think I had bought the macaron mix sometime last year thinking I had enough time before the expiry date, but in the end, the expiry date came and went.

So yesterday, I finally tried part of the box, all you need to add is one egg white.

I say part because this box makes 10 chocolate and 10 caramel macaron.

My problem is that my oven is so small that I would only be able to bake 20 at once, not the 40 like the instructions say.

Luckily, everything is portioned out for each flavor, so you really don't have to do both at once.

I made circles on the back of a parchment paper so that I would know where to place my batter.

This was good, except that when I put my batter down, my circles came out uneven and some ran together.

Another problem I ran into was figuring out how long to bake these.

I baked it for the 13 minutes it suggests, but ended up baking it even longer, maybe 10 more minutes??

Some stuck to the parchment, which I think meant that it didn't bake evenly.

I think if all my circles were even and the amount of batter was even, then I wouldn't have had to bake them longer.

Anyway, they only give enough melting chocolate for 10 macaron, though I added some dark chocolate thinking the amount they gave wasn't going to be enough, and in the end ended up with a tablespoon of melted chocolate.

These macaron were crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

Adding the dark chocolate was good because the caramel outsides were quite sweet and the chocolate mixture kinda off-set this.

I guess I'll get creative with the filling when I bake the chocolate macaron...though I'll do this another day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

on the lanai

I caught a glimpse of the bell pepper, there are about 5, really skinny ones.

The four goya (bitter melon); 1 is really big, the others not so.

Since the "full sun days" are getting less and infrequent, I'm getting ready to harvest the cilantro.

Probably going to make salsa and some banh mi with it.

Hope your week is a good one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

roasted pumpkin, garlic & cauliflower soup

The weather has been overcast, one day it rained. Kinda gloomy.

I'm getting over my cold while Satoshi seems to have caught one.

Soup weather.

The recipe comes from here, but instead of onion, I subbed cauliflower.

I also increased the amount of water and consomme cube to twice the amount.

After roasting some pumpkin and cauliflower, I measured 3 cups of water and used some to whiz the veggies as smooth as my teeny food processor can handle. (I'm still working on getting an immersion blender.)

Then I whizzed some roasted garlic I had in the freezer.

I added two consomme cubes and the leftover of the pre-measured 3 cups water.

Heated it and added some salt and pepper.


Served with some rosemary toasts, this was simple, delicious and hit the spot.

I'm also sending this to Deb, for her Souper Sundays, to see an array of soups (sandwiches and salads too), check out her blog on Sundays for the round-up.

Here are some of my previous entries:
Veggie Miso Soup
Kim Chee Chige
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chili Soup
Beef and Dark Beer Chili
Tomato Miso Soup
Beef Barley

Friday, October 22, 2010


In America, rarely do you get anything free in a magazine, well except those subscription forms that fall out whenever you turn the pages.

Oh, and maybe a little whiff of a new perfume.

Furoku are supplements (aka freebies) that come with magazines in Japan.

It is all the rage now. I think that more and more publishers are using these freebies to sell their magazines.

It's how I got my Laduree oil cloth bag.

Recently, a fashion magazine, "With", had a cute furoku...a Hello Kitty Liberty of London card case.

It is perfect for my train pass.

Do magazines where you live come with something free inside?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

stop drop and roll

How old were you when you learned about "stop, drop and roll" (SDR)?

I would have to say I learned about this some time in elementary school.

What is unfortunate is that they apparently don't teach this type of thing to kids in Japan schools, well, as far as Satoshi's knowledge.

Why am I talking about this?

MIL is currently in the hospital for burns.

Her clothes apparently caught fire while she was taking something down from the butsudan (altar).

Instead of doing SDR or trying to smother out the fire with something, she apparently ran to the bath area to hose herself down (a good 6 to 8 feet from where the altar was).

AND instead of going to the doctor's right away, she kept her lunch date with a friend...crazy!!

I am not too sure but I think she has second degree burns.

Anyway, when I heard that they don't learn about SDR in school here, I was angry.

I mean, why spend lots of money for your children's education and not have them educated on this? (By the way, in Japan, they even pay for public schooling)

We don't have children, so to me spending a lot of money on education doesn't seem important.

To me, everyday common sense kinds of things will be most important in the long run.

So, I asked Satoshi what do the firemen teach you when they visit?

He replied..."They teach us how to use a fire extinguisher and they show us how far the hose will shoot"....sigh.

Satoshi had the day off yesterday, so we visited MIL and her burns run from her backside down to her ankles.

She says she isn't in pain but it looks like she will be in the hospital for about 2 weeks.

I'm glad she didn't burn the house down and most important, I'm glad her injuries weren't more serious or fatal.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


It has been some time since I did a Starbucks post...did you know that someone actually brought their iguana to Starbucks (on a leash)?...thank goodness they were sitting outside that thing was HUGE!

I tried their sweet potato macaron, which had a cream center.

It was okay but didn't have much sweet potato flavor.

Their keema curry rolls are good. There are 4 rolls and each one is filled with spicy curry.

I also like their nut danish.

Actually I think I like anything with a lot of nuts on it.

At the convenience store, they have a hazelnut flavored coffee drink, it was okay but I wouldn't get this again.

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been a little under the weather. Probably because of the change in the seasons, with the daytime being hot and the nights cool, it is hard for me to know what to wear.

Growing up in Hawaii we don't have seasons and you would think living here for 9 years that I would be able to gauge what to wear but I still can't, I'm either over layered or under layered and if it is in between of seasons, well...

Anyway, thank goodness my tastebuds are still intact, though they've been craving for things sour.

One night, I made a stir-fry of veggies and topped it with the sweet and sour sauce my mom uses for her pineapple shrimp.

Made me wish I had bought some shrimp.

Here is the recipe for the sauce if you'd like to try.
From "Wisteria Delights"
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple syrup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2.5 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon catsup
2-3 drops Tabasco

Heat until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently so as not to get lumps.

NOTES: I used pineapple juice because the canned pineapple here is quite nasty. Also, I omitted the salt and added more drops of Tabasco.

The other night I threw together a hot-sour soup.

I am reading "How To Cook A Dragon" by Linda Furiya and one of her recipes that she introduces is for Hot and Sour Soup.

She says, "This is a nourishing and hydrating soup to eat when you come down with a cold."

I didn't follow her recipe just the part for the soup seasoning.

Hot & Sour Soup adapted from "How To Cook A Dragon" : Serves 2
400 ml chicken broth
2 cups water
1 chicken consomme cube
1/4 chinese cabbage, cleaned and sliced
1/2 carrot, sliced
2 packets instant kanten (agar-agar) soup with mushrooms and green onions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 dashes of white pepper
1 teaspoon of chili oil
1 egg, beaten

Add ingredients except soup packet and seasonings to a pot.
When cabbage and carrots are soft, add seasonings and when soup comes back up to a bubble, stir in beaten egg.
Take off heat.
Put contents of one kanten soup packet into a bowl and ladle hot soup over.

NOTES: this hit the spot, soothing with a little kick.

I've given in and bought cold medicine, I usually don't take medicines but am finding that being sleep deprived due to coughing isn't fun.

Monday, October 18, 2010


One day, as I was passing by this construction area. I noticed their truck which said "boring construction". It was the first time I'd heard of boring something being called construction.

Though if you look at the flag men, they do looked a little bored.

A couple of days later, I passed the place again and had to take another look.

Their truck now said "boring constraction". I looked up to see if constraction was actually a word, but apparently it isn't, maybe it is in another country?

Anyway, why do these people continue to pay for mis-spellings??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

sunny side up

When I was learning Japanese, I learned that the name for sunny-side up egg is "medama-yaki". 

So, I was thrown off when I was asked at a restaurant, "katamen" or "ryomen". 

Katamen means one side and ryomen means both sides.

The waitress spoke quite quickly and even Satoshi didn't understand what she was asking. 

Finally, we asked her to repeat what she said...and I chose "katamen" = sunny-side up. 

I gotta say that that piece of bacon was the hardest piece I've ever eaten, ever.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

on the lanai

Thought I should give an update as to what's happening on my lanai.

For the most part, daytime is still quite warm. Though the past couple of days, the sun has been playing hide and seek.

Recently I've noticed many flowers on the bell pepper plant.

The other day I noticed a bell pepper. (actually I noticed a couple more after taking this pic)

Cilantro seems to be doing well too, maybe about 3 inches tall??

I thought we wouldn't have any goya this year but we have about four goya getting bigger! It is the first time they have gotten this big.

I think the key is lots of water.

The largest is about 3 or 4 inches, the smallest about 2 inches.

Not sure as to when it is ready to pick, any suggestions?