Let it go down in the history of Girl’s culinary adventures that this dinner was the very first time I have ever willingly used mushrooms (chopped up shitake mushroom in potstickers do not count) in my cooking!!! Believe it or not, I used to be very, very picky about food (still picky, but definitely not to the same degree as before) and I used to have a thing against mushrooms. Maybe it was the taste? Texture? Or maybe an irrational fear of them while growing up? Who knows! Either way, I’m trying to change my ways. And oh, mushrooms, I am sorry for rejecting you all these years. I credit Boy for helping me discover a taste for maitake mushroms that I never thought I’d have.
Anyway, dinner was inspired by a lovely package of spinach fettuccine I found in an international goods shop in Kobe. I cooked the maitake with some butter and garlic before adding it to the pasta. Then I added more garlic along with spinach and parmesan, with a little bit of green onion. Mmm..green pasta!
To go along with the pasta, he made a mini tofu pizza! We tried something similar in one of our favorite Okonomiyaki restaurants a few weeks ago. As strange as it sounds, it’s very delicious!
A light but satisfiying breakfast of french toast with sliced bananas, blueberry yogurt, and coffee (served in a France-themed Rilakkuma mug, omg cute!) is a fabulous way to start the day.
Pair that with an afternoon of searching for Carp flags around the island and you’ve got a very happy girl and boy. Yet another Japanese holiday is around the corner: Kodomi no Hi, Children’s Day, on May 5th. Traditionally a holiday for boys (Hina Matsuri was for girls), families who have boys hang Koinobori outside their homes in celebration of the holiday. They are so colorful and fun, it’s hard to resist wanting to get closer! We found a little park with over twenty flags as well as sakura and a field of yellow flowers!
We’re going to Thailand at the end of the month and we’re super excited! He made Thai curry and DIY spring rolls for dinner to warm up our taste buds for the upcoming adventure. Pictured below is the spicy, coconutty curry, brown rice, and the ingredients for the spring rolls: package of rice paper, grilled pork, rice noodle, mitsuba, avocado, lettuce, and carrot. Can’t forget the peanut sauce!!
Assemble yourself meals are always a lot of fun! ^_^ Here is the finished product:
In my last post I mentioned that it was Cherry Blossom time! The island has gone into full-blown Sakura madness! One of the best places for Hanami, literally, “flower viewing”, is Yuzuruha Dam in Southern Awaji Island. It’s popular with both the locals and tourists, especially in spring! It’s fun and relaxing to walk the path encircling the dam because it is lined with hundreds of beautiful Cherry trees.
After a relaxing Hanami afternoon, we headed to a friend’s apartment for a Takoyaki fest! Takoyaki is a popular food at Japanese festivals, many of which take place in the spring and summer. One girl had brought her super convenient Takoyaki pan so we could make it ourselves! One person who prefers to remain nameless ::face burns with shame:: is not a huge fan of eating octopus, so we had delicious Pizzayaki (pepperoni, cheese, onion, pizza sauce!) as well. I didn’t have a chance to get a photo of the takoyaki, but here is the pizzayaki.
…stores are stocking up on cold ramen! That, and the weather has been warming up and those ubiquitous sakura have started blooming. But back to the noodles. Cold ramen? Yes! Usually known as Reimen or Hiyashi chuka, I dare say it is one of my favorite things about the spring and summer months! And since in Japan, foods are available seasonally, I haven’t had the pleasure of eating reimen since last September. So, when I saw the package of Goma “Sesame Seed” Dressing Salad Reimen, I just couldn’t resist! The reimen package came with the nama “raw” noodles and a packet of dressing. To make things a little more interesting, I added some sliced ham, bean sprouts, carrots, corn, a boiled egg, and green onion. I didn’t realize it until after putting on all the toppings, but I should have used a plate instead of a bowl. You can’t even see the noodles in this photo!
Anyeonghaseyo! We returned to Japan after an exciting adventure in Seoul. With memories of bibimbap, jajangmyeon, and kimchi still fresh in our minds, we decided to have a Korean night. I brought back some packages of Korean instant ramen, so we decided to try one. Before I knew it, he turned a simple package of instant ramen into a hot pot filled with noodles, fishcake, kimchi, and various vegetables. Along with a side of gyoza and a Korean DVD I found at Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul, we had the perfect Korean night – in Japan.
Before (noodles, sauce, seaweed)
As promised, here is part “yi”, eaten the day after “yat”. He made luobo gao for the first time. Although the consistency wasn’t as firm as the kind they serve at restaurants, I was very impressed with the taste! We also had some bok choy and shrimp chow mein but I think the highlight of the meal would have to be the delicious shumai he made. So tasty! It’s been a long time since I’ve been treated to these dim sum/yum cha favorites.
Gung hay fat choy!