Archive for February, 2006

Vacation in Oregon, Part I

February 28, 2006

wood oven2

Dad’s self-taught, home-made, wood-fired clay oven

I just arrived in Oregon two days ago for a one-week trip to recharge and pick up stuff to take back to Kyoto. And I know this vacation will be wonderful. After flying for nine hours and eating two terrible meals (for reports, look at in the next few days under Air Canda from Osaka to Vancouver on February 25), my parents and I went into Portland to Powell’s Books, where I got MFK Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf, Whole Foods, where we couldn’t stop taste testing the gryere, and Sur la Table, the cooking store. All are located on Burnside within walking distance of each other. Read the rest of this entry »


Sesame Saba

February 25, 2006


This is a saba fish. Since I didn't eat so much fish before coming to Japan, I just had to look it up. This is a mackerel… and a beautiful one too. The picture doesn't quite show the colorful shimmer in its belly. It must have been plucked out of the sea that very morning. And I bought it… at a great fish store I discovered near Imamiya shrine just north of Kitaoji Street.* There were so many fish that looked incredibly fresh, at least 5 men preparing the fish behind the refridgerated display, and next to me a chef ordering 5 boxes of Aji (horse mackerel or saurel according to the dictionary). I felt proud of my purchase, even though I have no clue about selecting or preparing a whole fish. Does anyone have suggestions?! Read the rest of this entry »

Buta-don with Gobo and Koya-dofu Miso Soup

February 20, 2006

butadon and miso soup

Pork on rice with burdock root and Dried tofu miso soup

This is a two in one! Two recipes in one post. Consider yourself blessed… or just think about the fact that most Japanese meals are made up of many small dishes, and making two dishes like this is considered a fast and easy meal compared to the normal 2 to 4 dishes plus a separate bowl of white, sticky, yummy rice. But I don't have so much time during the week, so I made donburi and miso soup. Yummy! Read the rest of this entry »

My 2nd Valentine’s Day

February 19, 2006

chocolate palmiers2

Chocolate Palmiers

And I finally get to see my boyfriend after not having seen him on Valentine’s Day. He has to commute to Osaka for work, and seriously can’t squeeze in an evening with me during the week. So we had a lazy Sunday afternoon. I gave him his Valentine’s Day present as soon as he walked in the door… chocolate palmiers. To my delight they were very well received by both him and my roommate. Success! Read the rest of this entry »

Karei no umani

February 17, 2006

sweet boiled flatfish

Sweet-boiled flatfish

I've had a completely busy week during which I had absolutely no time to cook. None. I had no chance to try out my new cookbook, 'The Basics of Japanese Cuisine: Memorize by Proportions' (Wareai de oboeru wa no kihon) by Murata Yoshihiro, a popular writer of traditional Japanese cookbooks, who owns two restaurants in Kyoto, Kiku no I in Maruyama, which has been around for three generations, and Tsuyuan Kiku no I in Kiyamachi. (Mental note: Check them out!) Read the rest of this entry »