June 20, 2011

Today's Lunch/今日の昼食

My lunch is almost always some leftovers plus something extra, but today's lunch was a little different.
My discussion about aji with Sissi had made me want to have an aji ten (short for aji tempura) or aji fry, and quite luckily, I found aji ooba ten for sale on June 20 in Saturday's flyer. Ooba (lit. large leaf) is another name for shiso (green perilla).
私の昼食は殆ど毎日、残り物と何かプラスアルファですが、今日の昼食はちょっと違います。
Sissiさんとアジの話をして、アジ天かアジフライが食べたくなっていたのですが、ラッキーなことに、土曜日のチラシに「あじ大葉天」が6月20日の特売になっているのを見つけました。「大葉」(おおば)とは、青ジソの別名です。


One piece of aji ooba ten, 75 yen:
あじ大葉天一つ(75円):
The other side:
裏側:
I also bought a pack of "kinoko to toriniku no wafu spaghetti" (Japanese-style spaghetti with mushrooms and chicken) for 298 yen.
So, today's lunch is:
「きのこと鶏肉の和風スパゲティー」も一つ買いました(298円)。
というわけで、今日の昼食は:
The umeboshi and additional green perilla (picked from a planter in my yard) are for Sissi (laugh).
梅干と青ジソ(庭のプランターから採った)はSissiさんのためです(笑)。
The aji ooba ten was good, so was the spaghetti.
あじ大葉天もスパゲティーも美味しかったです。
Today's lunch is a good example of what we call "petit zeitaku" (small luxury).
今日の昼食は、いわゆる「プチ贅沢」のいい例です。

23 comments:

fred said...

The spaghetti looks very delicious!
But, having it with umeboshi is strange for me...(笑)

YSC said...

Hi Hiroyuki, this looks delicious! Do you heat up the aji ooba ten before eating?

Fräulein Trude said...

Did I detect some pieces of fish (flounder???) in your spaghetti? Looks appetizing for sure.

Hiroyuki said...

fred: The Japanese can have umeboshi as a snack for tea (laugh).

Anyway, it's hot today, and umeboshi can make you feel refreshed!

YSC: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. That depends. If I do, I use the toaster oven.

Kiki: No, no fish in the spaghetti.
You can see slices of takenoko (bamboo shoot), eryngi (sp?), buna shimeji, chicken, asparagus, onion, carrot, tomato, and lettuce-like leaf vegetable I forgot the name of.

Fräulein Trude said...

Than I took that piece of chicken in the middle for fish. My bad.
Kiki

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, thank you for the double gift of shiso (or ooba) and emeboshi ;-) I appreciate it a lot.
I also appreciate the aji ten! I would have never thought of frying it together with a shiso leaf! It sounds delicious! I must absolutely do this next time (small aji are easier to buy than big ones here, so I won't have problems).
Thank you for thinking about me!
PS Your lunch looks very healthy :-)

Sissi said...

I have just noticed "petit zeitaku". It sounds very nice :-) French with Japanese...

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: The sad thing about petit zeitaku is that it means spending less than one thousand yen for me and tens of thousands yen for others...

I will buy sardine fry with umeboshi and shio and show it to you some day.

fred said...

strange,
I just realize the Japanese word "puchi" /「プチ」 is adapted from "petit" word...
(´・ω・`)

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, sardine fry with umeboshi sounds delicious!

Hiroyuki said...

fred: As you may know,
Petit tomato = Cherry tomato, also called mini tomato in Japan
Other examples: Petit cake, ryokou (trip), and seikei (cosmetic surgery)!

Hiroyuki said...

I later found that both my children had ko-aji no nanban zuke (small aji coated with starch and deep-fried and then marinated in sour nanban sauce) as part of school lunch on that day (Jan. 20)!
Example of aji no nanban zuke:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lia10PhDj8E
In this video, they call the fish mame (lit. "bean", i.e., small) aji, but they say that the aji are rather big to be called mama aji.

Anyway, aji no nanban zuke tastes very good in summer.

Sissi said...

Aji no nanban zuke will be my next experiment with aji! They are cheap, fresh and so delicious!
It's funny, because my mum (who is not Japanese of course and has never eaten Japanese!) used to fry small fish coated in flour, then she would put it into a jar with vinegar for several weeks in the fridge. I loved it! I am sure aji no nanban zuke will have a wonderful taste too.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Have you found a good recipe for nanban zuke?
Here is one:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/cooking/english/20110520.html
As you can see, large aji can also be used to make this dish.

If you like fish seasoned with vinegar, I'm sure you will like nanban zuke!

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, thank you for the link. I will certainly use it! (I intend to salt and grill bigger aji, maybe I'll be able to take a picture of at least one with it head on...)

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I will make aji no nanban zuke, too, when I can get ko aji or mame aji cheap. I think I'll use a 1:1:1 ratio for vinegar, soy sauce, and mirin. (I like to cook with ratios.)

Besides aji, you can also use other ingredients like chicken. (First you make chicken karaage and then marinate in nanban sauce).

By the way, "no" is ...'s, as in today's lunch.

Sissi said...

Thank you, Hiroyuki, for the translation. As you see I am trying to learn Japanese at least the food and cooking methods vocabulary :-)
I went today to buy some fish and went back with 10 medium sized and small aji. I will make some salted and grilled and the rest once more in tempura.
Is aji cheap in Japan??? Here small aji are the cheapest fish! It's such a pleasure when something is delicious and cheap at the same time.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: In general, aji, saba, sanma (saury), and iwashi (sardine) are cheap, and are called taishuu gyo (大衆魚). Taishuu means the masses, general people, populace, etc., so taishuu gyo means a cheap fish suitable for the general (poor) people. The opposite of taishuu gyo is koukyuu gyo (高級魚), i.e., high-class fish. Tai (sea bream) is a typical example.

These terms are still used today, but the distinction between these two has become somewhat blurred these days. For example, seki saba and seki aji are very expensive, and considered koukyuu gyo.
Some info can be found here:
http://www.oishiimati-oita.jp/english/aji.html

Sissi said...

Thank you Hiroyuki, it is very interesting! I have never seen saury here (I think), sardines are also very very cheap.
The weird thing happening in Europe is the the cod's situation. Cod used to be a very cheap fish when I was small, it was sold in frozen blocks and even gave to cats. Now it's as expensive as red tuna and even more expensive than salmon, but it reminds me so much of cheap food, I can't imagine how people can find it "noble fish" now. Some elegant restaurants in France and in Switzerland serve it in such a pompous way!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Maybe you already know this, but I have just found that the Tsuji's book contains a recipe for nanban zuke on page 428 (25th Anniversary Edition), as well as nanban vinegar on page 244.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I have noticed it, but there are so many recipes in his book, most of which I have never heard, I have simply forgotten. Then when I saw it, I decided to stick to your instructions and advice and to forget Tsuji ;-)
I am sure I have taken the right decision.
I haven't seen the nanban vinegar. Thank you!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Tsuji's book is still a good one, but if I may mention one big drawback, it's the lack of photos. Being a native Japanese, I can visualize what is written in the book without any photos, but how can someone who is alien to Japanese cooking do the same?

Sissi said...

You are right. Some recipes require a lot of imagination. It's an old style book. They should probably make a new edition with photos for every dish. However, the drawings are very useful!