Friday, September 22, 2017

fish drawer

Untitled Since a lot of homes grill fish for meals in Japan, they have fish drawers located under the stove tops.

When we first moved to Japan, I was leery of using gas stoves because the heat is super hot and I love it because it is super hot and fast...

Anyway, I have never used "the drawer" that is in my stove because I have seen horror stories on tv on how hard it is to clean up afterwards.

DSC02093 Yesterday, I bought some sanma (pacific saury) and was debating how to cook it...

Since I've never used it, I have never cleaned it is a dust drawer.

Untitled I have seen that you can cook pizza in this drawer as well as toast bread really quickly too.

Incentive for me to try using this, yeah?!

Untitled Love the cute fish near the dial you need to use to turn it on.

Untitled I chickend out in the end and used my oven.

But will definitely look for the instructions on how to use "the drawer" because I think by using gas, the skin of the fish will crisp up better (and probably cook faster too!).

not sure I would cook sanma again, but I'm glad I tried and know what to do the next time around...cauliflower with ras el hanout...goya with maitake & chirimen jakko❤︎ #pacificsaury #sudachi #goya #maitake #chirimenjakko #cauliflower #raselhanout # Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

shokuyoku no aki

luckily we only had a LOT of rain, thanks for all your good thoughts❤︎ #typhoon #osaka #japan #oatmeal #fig #apricot #coconutchips #台風一過 #大阪 #オートミール #無花果 #ドライフルーツ #杏 #ココナッツチップス During a krazy hot Summer, there are some that lose their appetites.

I have (unfortunately) never experienced this...ahem!

Now that Autumn is rolling around, the Japanese have a saying..."shokuyoku no aki" (literally appetite of autumn) because there are so many delicious things to look forward to during this time of year.

(chestnuts, different types of mushrooms, grapes, pears and different types of seafood...much much more).

I personally look forward to chestnuts, pears and figs.

Japanese have a saying during this time of year..."shokuyoku no aki"(literally autumn appetite)❤︎ #autumn #bento #matsuoka #osaka #japan #食欲の秋 #弁当 #まつおか #大阪 What are the foods you look forward to in Autumn?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Untitled The day after the typhoon passed, it was a holiday...since we had been cooped up indoors, we went to the movies and saw a movie that Satoshi was interested in seeing called "Sekigahara"....blood, guts, samurai...

Dessert was at the Babbi kiosk inside Hankyu Department Store...marron glacé & chocolat gelato...bummer that the marron glacé flavor was overpowered by the chocolat...

Dinner was at a sushi shop that Satoshi has been to with some of his baseball alumni...Shigezushi

The owner is such a cute and talkative man...

Some of the items we had we ikura soaked in some shoyu and other seasonings...

Untitled Tai (seabream) sashimi.

Untitled And hamo (pike eel) fluffy! with the way it was poached. (click on the photo to see the steam rising off of the hamo)

There was also some delicious katsuo (bonito), tender tako (octopus) and some other items, but we were having such a nice time talking story with the owner that I ended up not taking many photos.

Definitely a different experience than the conveyor belt type of sushi places, but I am glad we ate here.

We'll be back.

2-6-28 Hotarugaike Higashimachi
Toyonaka, Osaka
Phone: 06.6845.2220

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


big yolks while waiting for the typhoon(actually very windy but no rain)❤︎ #kaemon #currygohan #sunnysideup #rakkyo #osaka #japan #加右衛門 #カレーごはん #目玉焼き #らっきょ #大阪 Thank you for your good thoughts...the typhoon passed us without any damage, I think other areas were not so lucky.

We did have a ton of rain though, at one point it was coming down in sheets or buckets...

One of the things we ate while waiting things out was the other packet of curry gohan.

This time around I measured everything so that I can re-create it...

I will post the recipe when I do get a chance to re-create it.

Anyway, we enjoyed the white rice version over the brown rice one.

Have a nice week!

Friday, September 15, 2017


three day weekend, but typhoon approaching = loading up on essentials(beer & ice cream)❤︎ #osaka #typhoon #japan #台風 #大阪 #お供え Three day weekend but we have a typhoon I spent this morning stocking up on essentials...

(beer & ice cream)...

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

kaemon curry gohan

Untitled I came across these curry gohan (rice) mixes at Tiny Garden Foods in Lucua 1100.

Left: genmai (brown rice) Right: hakumai (white rice)

Just throw everything into your rice cooker and cook.

Of course, I rinsed the rice before I cooked it.

Untitled I tried the genmai (brown rice) one and it came out kinda on the dry side.

I also added some veggies and rakkyo (pickled shallots) after cooking.

These are good to have on hand, but will also try to figure out how much rice and curry they use, so I can make this when I don't happen to have this.

Will also add an oozy egg to top the hakumai version...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

copy cat fig salad

copycat RF1 salad❤︎figs, greens, red onion, prosciutto & raspberry vinaigrette #rf1 #salad #fig #prosciutto #raspberryvinaigrette #osaka #japan #サラダ #無花果 #生ハム #大阪 I love RF1 salads. You can buy them from the food halls in most department stores.

They are sold by weight, so sometimes we buy several different salads for dinner.

They also sell fried items as well as bentos too.

When I was passing by their counter the other day, I noticed they had a fig salad.

I was interested in trying it but it was a bit on the pricey side, so instead I copied it.

Prosciutto, fresh figs, greens, red onion and a raspberry vinaigrette.

I think their version also had a sprinkling of cheese but I left that out.

I don't know what their salad actually tastes like, but I enjoyed my version and will make this again.

For the raspberry vinaigrette (serves 2), put 1 tablespoon of raspberry vinegar and mix in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Also grind in some fresh black pepper...drizzle 1 tablespoon of dressing for 1 serving.

What are you enjoying this Autumn?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


thank you mayumi-san for the bambucha matsutake & sudachi❤︎ #matsutake #sudachi #osaka #japan #松茸 #すだち #大阪 Boy, have we been lucky receiving so many bambucha (huge) veggies this year...

If you missed out the previous posts, check out this, this, this, and or this post.

We received this bambucha matsutake from Mayumi-san yesterday.

If you know about matsutake it is one of the most expensive mushrooms. One this size must've cost a lot.

Mayumi-san said she received two from her DIL, so she was sharing one with me.

It was earthy and with a squeeze of sudachi (type of lime), dusting of the zest from the sudachi and a little sprinkle of was a nice way to welcome autumn.

Thank you!

Friday, September 08, 2017

cold brew tea soda

Untitled Love social media...all the sharing of information...

Back in August, Chika of She Who Eats, posted about making a fizzy cold brew tea drink.

Just take a bottle of carbonated water or soda and put a tea bag of your favorite tea inside.(I used Mango tea)

Let the tea steep in the bottle in the refrigerator overnight.

Untitled According to Chika, the next day, there will be a little less fizz.

When I opened my bottle there was a rush of foam to the top of the bottle, so be careful!

If you want to sweeten it you can, but I enjoyed this as is.

I know it is the end of summer already, but at least next summer I'll have another way to enjoy cold brew tea.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

butternut squash

excited to cook with butternut squash❤︎1st time seeing it around here, apparently it was grown in okinawa #butternutsquash #osaka #japan #前鹿 #井口堂 #池田 #大阪 #バターナッツかぼちゃ #沖縄産 There is a little fruit/vegetable stand in our neighborhood called Maeshika.

They bring in vegetables and fruits from all over Japan, and their prices are somewhat reasonable.

This week, since I was getting back into the groove of things (I think I've finally gotten over jet lag, but am still working through a cold), I went to see what sorts of fruits & veggies they had.

I was excited to see that they had butternut squash. (apparently grown in Okinawa)

It is something I've seen around the blogosphere but never in our markets.

So I purchased one yesterday...345 yen (tax included).

Of course, never having cooked with one, I looked online for info on how to peel/clean them. (love the internet!)

Untitled I had stashed some chicken stock, onions and bacon in the freezer before going to Hawaii, so I took them out.

With the rainy weather, I am planning to use half of the squash for soup tonight and planning to freeze the other half for soup in colder weather.

I hope to try other veggies/fruits from this shop in the future.

The weather here is definitely cooler in the early mornings and evenings, but we've been having rain and some humidity due to a typhoon near Taiwan.

I know the US and surrounding areas have been having krazy weather too....please take care and stay safe everyone.

1-6-20 Iguchido
Ikeda, Osaka
Phone: 072.761.8437
Hours: 9:30-19:00
Closed Sundays and 3rd Mondays

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


Untitled Yoplait came out with a French yogurt called "oui" (means yes).

It is a thicker yogurt, so I'm not sure how it differs from the Greek type nor whether France or Greece actually have these types of yogurts...

I bought the coconut and blueberry flavored yogurts...

Untitled I loved the little messages on the back of the foil top.


The container is glass, so be careful when you buy them and I plan to bring these containers back with me to Japan.

I thought both were a little too sweet for me, so next time I'm home and if this is still on the market, I will try the plain.

Have you tried this brand? What's your favorite flavor?

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

moku kitchen

Untitled Got to spend my last day in Hawaii with Gaye lunching at Moku Kitchen.

This shop is related to Monkey Pod Kitchen.

Moku Kitchen is located in the SALT at Kaka'ako complex. The parking structure is so narrow and I wasn't familiar on how to get to the restaurant from the parking structure, so instead of pressing 1R, I pressed 1 (I think they should put something in the elevator, or if they did have something, it wasn't noticeable) and ended up walking all the way around the buildings...

Anyway...we shared this Beet beets & goats cheese....

Untitled Garlic Truffle Fries

Untitled Szechuan Stir Fry Green Beans with Mac nuts...oyster sauce, garlic, chili and ginger...I want to re-create this and Gaye also shared how she makes this at home too (thank you!).

Untitled Pulled Pork Sandwich...

Everything was delicious and it was nice that we went when they first opened so we could chat because by the time we left they were packed and noisy!

Untitled Gaye also gave me all these goodies...granola, coconut chips, some items from bath and body works and a handmade spray.

It was nice catching up with her and I'm glad we've been able to keep in touch over the years.

I hope to bring Satoshi to check out this complex the next time we are back.

Thanks for lunch and spending time with me Gaye!

Moku Kitchen
SALT at Kaka'ako
660 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.591.6658
Hours: 11:00-23:00

Monday, September 04, 2017


Untitled I know, we were all gonna go on a "diet" after that major foodie vacation, plus I think I may need some time getting back into the groove of things, so I thought I would line up some posts...

Before heading back, BFF Wen and I had dinner and afterwards were in the mood for something sweet.

Since she had never heard of Sugarlina Bakeshop, I bought her a nutella cupcake to try.

Wen unfortunately is super picky about cupcakes (or baked things in general), so she was disappointed with their shortening based frosting...but enjoyed the cake which was moist.

5 years ago, I first tried them and enjoyed them.

Their prices are the same, though over the years our sales taxes went up.

In Japan these days, it's all about being "insta-bae" (in-stah-bah-ay) or "photogenic for Instagram" where I would have probably chosen a favorite flavor like chocolate, which would be brownish...I instead chose the blingy blue vanilla one...he he.

I loved the buttercream-ish frosting topped with all that crunchy blue sugar and the cake was super moist.

Untitled And since we had purchased something, they gave me a free we kinda split this cotton candy flavored one.

I think they put the cotton candy flavor into the shell and the filling is a dense whipped about sugar rush!

5 years ago, they only sold cupcakes so it was nice to see that they had expanded their menu a little.

And if I am not mistaken over the years, they freshened up the interior of the shop too.

I'm glad I got to reconnect with this place...I'll be back (for special occasions).

Sunday, September 03, 2017

thank you

Untitled Earlier this year, our neighbor chopped down the avocado tree in their yard.

Their avocados were HUGE, creamy...too bad I learned to like them a little too late in life (I was a super picky eater growing up).

My brother says other avocados will never taste as good.

The owner's mother, (before the owners that live here now) planted the tree from seed many many moons ago.

Man, the tree was at least two or three stories high...

The ripe avocados would literally bomb our roof as well as theirs (even taking out a couple of their skylights)

The roots have crawled under the dividing stone wall and part of our patio foundation.

And the falling leaves would be constant.

But, there was so much shade that it gave us, and I loved the sound of the rustling leaves in the wind.

Even the owners (now) would hang out under the tree and talk story.

They say that all good things have to come to an end.

I'll miss the tree, the avocados and especially the shade...thank you!

On another note, it was a short 4 weeks or so for me in Hawaii, lots of eating, lots of terrorizing bonding with my furry niece, lots of catching up with friends and family.

I appreciate Satoshi for always letting me do this once a year...thank you!

I'm heading back to Osaka today.

Be well everyone!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

big island bee & la tour bakehouse

IMG_1639 As I was trying to figure out what to bring back as omiyage, I came across these cute packages of honey.

There are 8 sticks in each package and are sold for about $3 (plus tax, prices vary at different stores) each.

8 = hachi (ha-chee) in Japanese which is also the same pronunciation for bee...I'm not sure they intended to make that connection but I thought it was cute...

Untitled another item I picked up for friends is the Furikake Puffs by La Tour Bakehouse, which are sold at all La Tour Cafes.

These are $3.50 (plus tax) and would recommend picking these up at the main location in Iwilei--they have the most inventory, though the parking lot is kind of a pain to get in and out of.

I hope the friends I give these to will enjoy them.

Friday, September 01, 2017

down to earth

Untitled This trip back I was trying to support local businesses as much as possible...

One such business was Down to Earth, I would go quite often that I hope no one actually remembers me...

I found something new that I like there...their dark chocolate coconut good!

IMG_1488 Usually when I go, I pick up a salad from their salad bar.

I think I would go two or three (sometimes more times) a week to get the salad for my dinner.

It's sold by weight...and I almost always get the same things...lettuce, kale, curried quinoa, beets, carrots, hijiki salad, avocado, sunflower seeds.

IMG_1595 And pick up some bird bars for breakfasts.

I really want to re-create all the seeds in there, so good!

What's your favorite local business?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

the alley

Untitled Before I forget, on the day that Satoshi went back to Osaka, he wanted to eat breakfast at The Alley.

He ordered their loco moco.

It must of been good because as soon as he put some into his mouth he said, "umai" (ooh-my)...which means "delicious" in Japanese.

Untitled I was still kinda full from dinner the night before and just wanted something small, so I ordered their blueberry cream cheese, look how massive the thing is?!

I swear you could've made two or three little scones from it...

But it was so good, especially since they heated it up before serving it.

Satoshi really enjoys eating here and the food is good...we'll be back.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

gina's barbeque

gina's bi bim kook soo❤︎ #bibimkooksoo #hawaii #kaimuki #ginas I'll be heading back at the end of the week, so I wanted to post stuff that I didn't get a chance to...

Tried Gina's Barbeque...I'm pretty sure this place was around when I was going to UH (University of Hawaii), though I don't remember if I had ever eaten here before.

I ordered their Bi Bim Kook was $8-something (tax included).

Lots of noodles, spicy kim chee and their bean sprout namul, sweet barbeque meat and cabbage...

So much food I ate this for 2 meals...I'll be back.

Gina's Barbeque
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.735.7964
Hours: 10:00-22:00

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Untitled Satoshi's whirlwind vacation sadly came to an end today...he's heading back as I write this.

He had so many things he wanted to do and people to see, but just not enough time.

When he arrived his request for lunch was at The Alley...for their garlic shrimp.

We tried the Button Up Cafe in Pearl City.

Untitled Where he had their housemade corned beef hash benedicts.

Their food was delicious! and I still can't believe there is a brunch place where Diego's used to be...

Untitled He had garlic shrimp at Romy's.

Man, I didn't realize the wait for an order takes almost 40 minutes!

Untitled Views at Sunset Beach. (click on the photo to see the video)

Untitled His first snow puffy from Paalaa Kai Bakery.

Untitled A visit to the newly renovated International Marketplace.

A beautiful space, I hope this place can make a go of things.

Untitled We bought some pineapple cakes from Kula & Kō, for his friends...I wish the packaging for these were easier to pack in small suitcases (they are long rectangular boxes).

Untitled He visited the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk for the first time and was kinda shocked at how expensive gyoza was...close to $7 (plus tax) (in Osaka we pay half that price...)

Untitled We tried Kulu Kulu's Hello Kitty Waffles, which remind me of the baby castellas that we get in Japan, except that these were a little too sweet for us.

Untitled His first butter roll at Liliha this was buttery goodness!

thanks for hanging out with us @rtkmatsu & S❤︎and for all the delicious goodies! we look forward to seeing you both soon. #rockyscoffeeshop #waipahu #hawaii #latergram Breakfast with Ryan and much fun, though he thought that Rocky's loco moco was on the teeny side...

Untitled Furikake Seared Ahi at Fresh Catch...delicious.

Untitled Our first time trying Dorito Salad...Oh em easy to make and sinfully good.

Untitled Dinners with family.

Just reconnecting...talking story, laughing and eating...good times.

Untitled He also got to play catch with my cousin's son and "maybe" work off some of the food he's been eating...

Untitled He also got to see his favorite view. (click to see the video)

He was shocked to see all the changes going on because of the rail system coming up.

And I am pretty sure we will both need to go on a diet after this...

I hope he had a nice and relaxing time, even if we were on the go for most of the time he was here.

Have a safe trip back and see you soon!

Button Up Cafe
719 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Hawaii
Phone: 808.454.5454
Closed Mondays
Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays 7:00-14:00, Sundays 7:00-13:00

Kula & Kō
International Marketplace, 2nd floor
Waikiki, Hawaii
Phone: 808.692.6788
Hours: 10:00-22:00

Kulu Kulu
Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Phone: 808.931.0503
Hours: Daily 10:00-22:00