Saturday, September 30, 2017

curry gohan

Remember Kaemon's Curry Gohan?

Here's how to make it in your rice cooker.

1 cup rice, washed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon curry powder

Mix well, dissolving curry powder in the water (no lumps) you will cook the rice in.
Cook the rice according to your rice cooker's directions.

NOTES: I used S & B curry powder.

Please make sure the curry powder you use does not have any flour in it, some do so that when you make curry, the curry thickens.

If your curry powder does have flour in it, I am not too sure how your rice will turn out, if possible use the type that have spices only in it.

Satoshi thought it could've had more flavor, but I thought it was just right. Satoshi also thought the rice turned out softer, though I thought the rice was a bit hard/dry.

I topped this with a sunny side up egg and rakkyo (pickled shallots), but you could also add sauteed veggies and or top with your favorite pickles.

I used white rice but if you do use brown rice, you will need to up the amount of water to 1.5 cups of water.

This is definitely picnic/party food, am thinking it will be good as musubi.

I am making this again.

Friday, September 29, 2017

kyushu fair

We shared this kuri (chestnut) sundae by a Kumamoto dairy at the Kyushu Fair being held at Hankyu Department Store.

Chestnut bits folded into the soft serve topped with two halves of a roasted chestnut.

We also came across a vendor from Oita prefecture selling fresh bambucha (huge) shiitake.

There were 3 of these in one styrofoam tray and we bought 2 trays.

The first time we cooked it in a non-stick pan then topped with a little butter and shoyu.

The second time was with a little shoyu and squeeze of sudachi (type of lime).

So good! and I'm glad we were able to help a little to get Kumamoto and other Kyushu areas get back on their feet after their natural disasters.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

we're 12

Wow...we're 12 today.

It always amazes me at how long we've kept this blog going.

I am grateful for and appreciate the connections and the friendships that blogging has brought us along the way.

As always thank you for being a part of our adventure.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

ishikiri & hiraoka

Sunday we went to an area just before Nara called Ishikiri.

There is a huge shrine there but before you reach it, you walk through their shopping arcade.

I think this shopping arcade had more fortune tellers than actual shops.

Apparently this shrine heals dembo (tumors or boils) and other diseases.

While we were there we saw many people doing Hyaku-do mairi (he-yah-coo-dough-my-lee) which literally means praying 100 times. (click on the photo to see the video)

You walk from one point to another while praying in hopes of getting your wish granted.

It was my first time seeing a whole crowd of people doing this.

Some people were holding what looked like strips of paper, this is what they use to keep track of how many times they have gone back and forth.

It was interesting to see (I shot the video really far from where they were praying so that most faces are somewhat anonymous).

We tried the fuku soba (luck soba) from nearby Suzuya...but meh, it wasn't anything spectacular...bummer that the shrimp was ice cold too.

Before heading back to Osaka, we checked out Hiraoka Shrine which is a couple of stations over from Ishikiri.

To me, this shrine had a more spiritual feel to it.

On the walkway to the shrine there was also a festival going, entertainment and games.

I was shocked to see the people performing on stage without shoes...(zoom in on the shoes at the bottom of the stairs).

Thank goodness it wasn't wintry weather yet.

Back in Osaka, we finally got a chance to try Ice Monster.

This shop from Taiwan has had krazy lines since the day they opened last year.

Satoshi had their mango and I went with their frozen version of almond float (almond flavored shaved ice) topped with sesame ice cream, bits of lychee, brown sugar gelatin cubes and condensed milk.

While this was good, I got bored with the flavors about half way.

This shop doesn't allow you to share, which means each person needs to order a shaved ice and at 1200 yen or so is quite pricey.

While Satoshi enjoyed his, and we were glad we tried it, we don't think we'll be back.

The weather is still pretty warm during the daytime, and for the most part we've had lots of clouds and rainy days too.

Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


While I was in Hawaii during the summer, BAKE, opened up a new shop called Ringo, which means "apple" in Japanese.

These hand held apple pies are filled with apple and custard cream.

The crust is buttery and flaky.

The limit when buying is only four and the lines can be krazy.

But, I think the lines aren't as krazy as when BAKE opened just because they limit how many you can buy.

Anyway, we were lucky to be first ones in line the other day.

We'll be back.

Lucua B1F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6151.1284
Hours: 10:00-21:00
Open when Lucua is

Monday, September 25, 2017

tanaka tatsuya

I am not sure when I heard about Tanaka Tatsuya, but I enjoy his work.

He's a miniature photographer.

His works are so intricate and has some humor/play on words involved too.

Like his "shin-pan-sen" playing on the shinkansen (bullet train)...pan (pahn) is the French word for bread.

He used pink buttons to portray sakura (cherry blossom).

Surf's up on this wave of fried rice....if you can zoom up to about the middle of the photo you might be able to spot the surfer...too cool!

If you are in Osaka, the exhibit is being run at the Umeda Daimaru's Museum, 15th floor until October 2nd.

Admission is 800 yen for adults. Highschool kids 600 yen.

If you are interested, you can follow his miniature calendar and or his


I'm glad we got to see this exhibit.

Friday, September 22, 2017

fish drawer

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.

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.

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?!

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

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!).

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

shokuyoku no aki

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.

What are the foods you look forward to in Autumn?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


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...

Tai (seabream) sashimi.

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


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 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

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.

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

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


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

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.

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

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!)

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


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...

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

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....

Garlic Truffle Fries

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!).

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!

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


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 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.

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

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

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...

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.