Kinokuniya in Japantown, San Francisco is my saviour!
Small books, large books, magazines, origami and all sorts of little goodies.
I go here on a monthly basis to pick my favourite Japanese fashion magazines. I have a subscription with them - so they e-mail me when the most recent publication is delivered.
The photograph above is one of Japanese travel books. The ones above are for LA and San Francisco.
Colourful, aren't they?
Japanese magazines contain a lot of information. Blurbs, comments, images, you name it!
Additionally, the Japanese language itself can portray information more than English given it's Kanji characters.
The photograph below shows bilingual Japanese books, mostly on food.
Have you read any of them?
Don't forget to enter my first ever giveaway here!
Who doesn't love super fluffy omelettes?
Japanese girls like me are into fluffy snacks, fluffy food, fluffy anything right now.
Pancakes, omelettes, pastries....The list goes on.
So instead of lining up for 1hr to get fluffy omelettes, why not try it at home?
This applies to those living in San Francisco too!
Recipe for 1 omelette:
1. Whisk the egg and milk. Try to get some air in there!
2. Heat a pan on medium heat.
3. On the heated pan, add a little olive oil or butter to prevent sticking.
4. Pour in the egg, add any optional goodies if any and mix the top layer so it gets a little scrambled.
5. Put the heat down to low and start cooking the egg to your favourite consistency slowly. Slowly!
6. Fold the egg and cook a little more.
San Francisco's Japan Town's Nijiya has a special 20%-off-all-meat-day on the 29th of every month a.k.a. Meat day. "2-9" can also be read "ni-ku" which means "meat" in Japanese.
On this day last month, I went a little crazy purchasing thin sliced pork and beef. Enough to last us a month. Today's dish uses thin sliced pork and any of your favourite vegetables. I used Japanese daikon, zucchini and onions since it's been in season at SF's farmers markets.
This dish is a "ita-me-ni" (炒め煮) which means to stir fry and boil in liquid. In this case, we boil the ingredients in Japanese soy sauce, ginger, sugar, mirin and sake; a typical teriyaki type sauce. A typical Japanese dish which goes perfectly with rice and miso soup. With every bite, I was reminded of home.
A similar dish I've posted earlier is the "Shoga-yaki"; pork ginger stir fry. Also a must try if you have thin sliced pork in your fridge.
P.S. Heart of the City Farmers Market
I just wanted to add a note about the wonderful experiences I've been having at one of San Francisco's Farmer's Markets. I go to Heart of the City Farmers Market in Civic Center every Sunday to get fresh vegetables and fruits. Today, I got 2 eggplants, 4 apricots, a bag of cucumbers, a bag of large green peppers, kabocha, strawberries, black berries and mini tomatoes for just......$10!
Not only can you get fresh vegetables and fruits from farmers markets. You can also speak with the people who are responsible for the products and get advice from them; how to pick the best kinds and such. Highly recommended!
Little food stands and trucks can be hidden gems as well.
I've got multiple comments about Tamagoyakis, Japanese sweet omelettes.
According to some research, Japanese people only started to eat egg during the Edo period (16th to 18th century). Even then, I'm sure it was a luxury item. Now tamagoyakis are often made as a form of comfort food. Moms and Dads pack it in children's lunches a.k.a. obento. Every time I eat a tamagoyaki I always reminisce my mom's homemade lunches back in elementary school.
Just like an onigiri (rice ball), it's a dish which reminds you of your family. Somehow tastes different depending on the family though the ingredients being used are probably the same.
Ingredients being used are eggs and sugar with a dash of oil on the pan. Use a small pan for perfect results.
It may seem difficult at first but practice makes perfect. The more you try, the more easier it gets. I promise!
As I mentioned earlier, I sometimes make these at night, cut them, freeze them in saran wrap and take it for lunch in its frozen state in the morning. By lunch time, they are defrosted and taste delicious!
They go perfectly with rice; especially onigiri. I hope you check out the recipe I posted for this dish and try it out yourself!
Best seasoning I've discovered for stir frying vegetables. Easiest Japanese dish you could probably prepare using any veggie you want.
With all the amazing vegetables in season and my visits to the farmers markets here in San Francisco, I've been needing to find a way to consume the vegetables but in an easy manner; especially for those weekday dinners at home after work. I've discovered the simplest Japanese vegetable stir fry recipe!
Ingredients (for 2 people):
Simply stir fry the veggies your pan until they are cooked through, then add the Hondashi, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Heat until water is evaporated.
It's delicious and makes your dish taste like a true Japanese dish despite its simplicity and ease! Please give it a try!
It goes well as a side dish with grilled chicken, grilled fish and even my favourite natto!
So I've begun my life as a fulltime employee in San Francisco. Absolutely loving it so far. Starting my second week, I decided to pack obentos to work! There are cute cafes around office but they are all crowded and the last thing I want to do is wait in line! I've never really packed true Japanese obentos myself. I've always watched my mom though. I decided to start simple. A bed of rice with furikake, tamagoyaki and some stir fried veggies. Absolutely perfect.
How to make a simple but delicious and safe to eat obento? Read below!
Tamagoyaki (Japanese sweet omelette)
Stir fry veggies
I already have posted a wonderful recipe for tofu patties made with ground meat of your choice (I pick turkey) or one using teriyaki sauce and chicken ground meat, but this time I'll introduce a easy demi glace sauce which goes so well with those patties. Keep in mind that you can completely disregard the ground meat and make tofu hamburgs just with tofu! You can use chicken, turkey, pork, beef ground meat. Possibilities are endless.
Now for the sauce, simply mix the ingredients and heat up in a pan until it starts bubbling. Then it's ready to serve!
(Makes about 3-4 servings)
Approximately 60kcal per serving
Recipe: Healthy chicken tofu patties with teriyaki sauce! Stop buying the expensive pre-made teriyaki sauce and make it yourself instead ;)
Number of steps: 10 simple steps
Time taken: 20-30 min
Approx. 100kcal per patty
About This Dish:
Tofu hamburgs are healthy, filling and are easy to make! Most of all, you can saran wrap each one and store them in the freezer and eat it for lunch and dinner whenever you want. Drizzle some homemade teriyaki sauce on top of these patties and serve with rice and veggies.
What You Need:
(Makes 7 patties)
Spring onions ("Negi" in Japanese) are essential when it comes to Japanese dishes (actually, most asian dishes)! I just bought a bunch of it so I thought I'd share with you some methods of storing it. It's really hard to finish one whole bunch of negi before it gets bad; especially if you live on your own. Storing it is very convenient since you can just pull it out when you feel like putting negi in your miso soup, on top of rice or meat to add some green and taste. I usually store 1/3 of it in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Here's how:
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