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Thursday, June 5, 2014


Hisashiburi! (That's Japanese for "Long time no see!")

   I haven't posted anything here for about 3 years! I've been extremely busy with work and my non-culinary hobbies (photography, art, and calligraphy.) So why am I back on my blog? Well, There are two reasons: even after my ridiculously long absence people keep visiting My Food Adventures, and someone just left a nice comment. Now I feel guilty for not adding any new posts! The other reason is that I moved in with my boyfriend recently and am once again cooking for two on a regular basis. It's got me all inspired!

   For example, last night he asked me if I could make chilli prawns. I never made chilli prawns before, but "Sure! I can make chilli prawns! Let's have chilli prawns for dinner!"

   However... uh oh! No chilli sauce! No prawns! SOME folk would go to the supermarket, but rainy season started today and I was celebrating by staying home all day So I made chilli sauce from dried chilli, mushy tomatoes, garlic, sugar and vinegar. Then I cooked some frozen shrimp that was destined for okonomiyaki. The shrimp shriveled up to a quarter of their frozen size, and expelled a lot of liquid. I spooned over some of the chili sauce, and then it looked too much like soup, so I decided it needed thickening. Oh no! No cornflour! No katokuriko! (Japanese potato starch used for thickening.) SO I thickened it with a little instant mashed potato mix.

    You know what? It was delicious, and he wants me to make it again. 

Monday, May 2, 2011


In spring you can buy three-color mochi dango. Apparently they are a traditional food for O-Hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties.)  The white ones are plain, and the green ones are colored with a herb named mugwort in English. It doesn't have any flavor that I can detect. It would be nice to think the pink ones were flavored with cherry blossom petals, but I couldn't taste it if they were. But they are good - soft and chewy and not too sweet. And they look pretty in spring colors. I love mochi.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Nabe (pronouced nah-bay) is the Japanese word for a kind of cooking pot, but it also refers to a one-pot meal including meat or fish and lots of vegetables cooked in broth. In Japan eating nabe is very popular in winter. There are dozens of different flavored nabes. Formerly my favorite nabe was kimchi nabe, and one of my friends has been raving to me about carbonara nabe. But recently at the house of a friend I was privileged to eat Hokkaido style Ishikari Nabe. It's fabulous!

Salmon, potatoes and cabbage (possibly onions too?) are simmered in stock, then milk is added. Japanese miso paste is thinned with some of the broth, and added. A generous slab of Hokkaido butter completes the gorgeously rich flavor. This nabe is one of my new favorite things! I like the way it is a blend of Western and Japanese cuisine. I sincerely hope you can eat it one day!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


My apologies for the long gap between this post and my last one. I've been through an extremely busy patch of life, as happens every now and then, but here I am again...

On my trip to France in February this was one of the best meals I ate, in a cafe with outside tables and chairs only a meter from the busy road. Sadly our very tight sightseeing schedule didn't allow for much cafe time. Don't get me wrong - I loved the sightseeing, and I thought Paris was a wonderful city. But French cuisine is famous so I  regret being able to sample so little of it.

This cheese and ham 'sandwich'  (which would be called a 'filled roll' in New Zealand)  came accompanied by a large pot of pickled gherkins for us to help ourselves to.

Normandy is famous for puffy omelet, and while visiting Mont San Michel in France, our Japanese tour group stopped at a country restaurant to eat omelet, chicken casserole and apple cake washed down with apple cider.

Unfortunately the general feeling was that large quantities of raw whipped egg take a lot of washing down! Most of the tour group couldn't eat it. Although I ate it all, I certainly didn't enjoy it. And I seem to remember making puffy omelet at Intermediate School in New Zealand. I'm sure it was actually cooked, and tasted good.

As for the rest of the meal, the chicken tasted free range which was strange for my Japanese companions. Sadly it came with the odd feather, which was a bit off-putting. The apple cake was not very inspiring. Apple cake can be difficult to make well, because it easily becomes very stodgy and even soggy.  This was both. The restaurant was very nice, with beautiful tableware and decor, so it was just too bad about the meal.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Like Japanese curry made with roux, which I wrote about in an earlier post, this was made with cream stew roux. On the packet it showa a picture of a stew made with potatoes, carrots and what looks like chicken, but my friend Miyoko likes to jazz things up. This salmon and pumpkin cream stew was  SO GOOD!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Zenzai is the Japanese answer to hot chocolate with marshmallows. On a freezing cold day when you want a warming drink, it's great. I love the mochi, but sometimes the sweet red bean soup is just too sweet for me.    Perhaps a pinch of salt might help.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Crunchy, not too salty snacks that taste like edamame (baby broad beans.) One of my favorite snacks in Japan. I try not to eat stuff like this too often (just because it's vegetable flavor doesn't mean it's healthy!)