March 30, 2009

Curry Udon/カレーうどん

For supper last night, my wife made curry. For lunch today, my daughter and I had the leftover curry, and we had this much left in the pot.

Then, I thought, "We don't have enough leftover rice. Why not make curry udon with this?" So, I added to the pot: 1 liter of water, 1 onion, 1 chicken breast, and some enoki mushroom. I also added about 90 ml each of soy sauce and mirin, and 1 1/2 tsp of instant dashi. I simmered the curry for 10 min.
私は思いました、「ご飯の残りが少ない。これでカレーうどんでも作ろうか?」そこで、鍋に水を1リットル、玉ねぎ1、鶏の胸肉1、エノキを少し入れました。また、しょう油とみりんを約90 mlづつ、出汁の素を小さじ1 1/2入れました。カレーを10分煮ました。
Will I use the expensive udon that my father gave me the other day (left one) or the cheap one that I bought at the 100-yen shop (right one)? I chose the cheap one.

Curry udon made by using leftover curry:

As I said elsewhere, the use of soy sauce (and mirin and dashi) can make any dish taste Japanese.

March 26, 2009

Thank-You Party/謝恩会

March is graduation season in Japan. At my children's elementary school, the graduation ceremony was held in the morning, followed by the thank-you party in the afternoon. My son was one of the graduates, and my wife attended the graduation ceremony, and I participated in the thank-your party.
The thank-you party was held in Joetsu Kokusai, one of the largest ski resorts in Japan, which is not far from the elementary school.

Inside the building:

Banquet room:

Overall a good value for 3,500 yen per person:

March 18, 2009

Sansai (Edible Wild Plants)/山菜

The Japanese love sansai (edible wild plants), literally, mountain vegetables. The first sansai we gather in spring is fukinoto (butterbur sprouts).
Today, we got these fukinoto from my wife's sister. My wife made fuki miso with them, using miso, mirin, and sugar as seasonings.
Don't confuse fukinoto (young flower stalks of butterbur) with fuki (leaf stalks of butterbur).
The bitter taste of fukinoto is something we long for during the winter months.

March 16, 2009

Cooking Less/料理をあまりしなくなりました

I was the main cook in the house just until a week ago, but now, my recuperating wife has finally started to cook, so I cook much less these days. Of course, I'm happy about it, but the sad thing is that I can't update this blog as often as I used to.
Last Sunday, I squeezed as many as 35 natsu mikan (a type of citrus fruit) before noon, and I managed to get about 2.5 liters of juice.

I still have more natsu mikan in the house. They were all given to me by my father last December.
And, I made satoimo no nikkorogashi (simmered and rolled taro).

My son wanted to have udon for supper, and I bought prawn, horse mackerel, and maitake tempura.

Tonight, my wife made pork-and-onion stir-fry.

And, moyashi (bean sprout) salad, too.

March 8, 2009


There is nothing unusual about this nimono (simmered dish), except that it was made by my wife. The main ingredients were konnyaku, atsu age (thick deep-fried tofu), and leafy vegetable. I didn't bother to ask her how she made it, but if you ever want to make a dish like this, I would suggest using a 8:1:1 ratio for dashi, mirin, and soy sauce.

This particular atsu age contains slices of shiitake mushrooms.

March 7, 2009

Yaki Chicken/焼チキン

Yaki Chicken is the product name of a new type of instant noodle product from Nisshin Food Products Co., Ltd. It's basically a "yakisoba" version of Chicken Ramen, which is the world's very first instant ramen, which is also a product of Nisshin. You use a frying pan rather than a pot to cook Yaki Chicken.
When I was making scrambled eggs around noon today, my daughter came up to me and said, "If you are making scrambled eggs, I want you to make you this." By "this", she was referring to Yaki Chicken.

First, you make scrambled eggs, using one egg per pack. Then, you add 230 ml of cold water per pack, bring to a boil, and then add Yaki Chicken.
まずはスクランブルエッグを作ります、1パックにつき卵1つ使って。次に1パックにつき水を230 ml入れ、沸騰させてから、焼チキンを入れます。

I search the fridge for any ingredients that could be used as toppings, but there were none.

Not the greatest yakisoba, but it sometimes hits the spot.

March 5, 2009

Japanese-Style Spaghetti and Napolitan/和風スパゲティとナポリタン

I made both Japanese-style spaghetti and Napolitan for supper tonight. For an explanation of Napolitan, click

The Japanese-style spaghetti was topped with strips of nori (laver) katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings). I added the concentrate men tsuyu (noodle soup) just before having. That's my preferred style.

3x concentrate men tsuyu:

In Japan, ketchup is considered a healthy food, and many Japanese like Napolitan!

March 3, 2009

Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival)/雛祭り

March 3rd is Hina Matsuri day! I don't have much to write about the supper tonight, because most of the dishes were store-bought. For information on Hina Matsuri,click here.
My daughter's hina doll set:

Supper under preparation:

Clam clear soup:

Clam clear soup is all about subtlety. I added some sake and some salt, but no dashi or soy sauce. (Some recipes call for kombu dashi and light soy sauce.)