June 7, 2008
80 to 90% of my family's meals are traditional, rice-centered ones, and the remaining 10 to 20% are noodle- or bread-based meals. In Japan, the concept of staple food is so strong that meals without a staple food are almost unthinkable.
For supper tonight, I made hiyashi chuka (lit. chilled Chinese). The toppings were fake crabmeat (commonly known as surimi in the United States?), kinshi tamago (strings of fried eggs), and shredded cucumber. We also had tomatoes and spinatch ohitashi (boiled spinach, often eaten with dried bonito shavings and ponzu or other sauces). Simmered kiriboshi daikon, too.
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Wow, talk about simple, appetizing and healthy at the same time. For those unfamiliar with hiyashi chuka such as myself, are the ramen noodles served seasoned or unseasoned? Also, are western style dining tables common in Japanese homes?
Seasoned with a special sauce, usually either a soy sauce-and-vinegar-based sauce (shoyu dare) or a sesame seed-and-vinegar-based sauce (goma dare). You can see four packets of premade sauce, one syouyu dare and three goma dare, above the pile of small plates at the lower right corner of the table.
Tall tables are very popular. They are probably more popular than low tables because of increases in the popularity of flooring.
I eat on a low table on the floor...because I can't afford a big table! :) Your hiyashi chuka is more beautifully presented than mine...which sauce do you prefer, sesame or soy?
I like both, but I think I prefer goma. My wife much prefers shoyu.
One complaint about making hiyashi chuka is that making kinshi tamago is time-consuming! I used four L eggs and made three sheets of fried eggs. My wife keeps telling me that I can always replace it with iri tamago (Japanese scrambled eggs), but I don't want to do that!
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