April 22, 2018

More Meals Offered in the School Canteen at My Daughter's University/娘の大学の学生食堂で出される他の食事

1. Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) cream spaghetti
1. めんたいこクリームスパゲティ
2. Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen
2. しょう油ラーメン 
280 yen. Quite reasonable.
3. Curry and rice
3. カレーライス 
280 yen. Quite reasonable, too.
You can have as much fukujin zuke (red pickle on the right) as you want.
I remember that when I was a university student, I often had curry and rice, which was 170 yen. I sometimes had katsudon (330 yen), which tasted so good, and had nigiri zushi (< sushi) (480 yen) once in a while.
4. Buta (pork) kimchi gohan (rice)
4. 豚キムチご飯 
5. Chicken with cheese and tomato??
5. チキン、チーズとトマト?? 
You can see part of the melon pan that my daughter mentioned earlier at the upper left of the photo.

April 19, 2018

Mixing Miso and Sake Kasu (Lees) Together for Longevity/長寿のため味噌と酒粕を混ぜる

One of the drawbacks of Japanese cuisine is that many dishes turn out quite salty because of the heavy use of salt, soy sauce, and miso. In addition, for every Japanese meal, soup, often miso soup, is not optional but required. If you follow the Japanese eating custom for every meal of the day, you will consume a considerable amount of salt.
One way to reduce the intake of salt is to cut back on the amount of miso added to your miso soup. To do so, you can mix miso and sake kasu together in advance, like I did yesterday.
500 g miso (home-made miso, made by my father)
500 g sake kasu
味噌(父が作った手作り味噌) 500 g
酒粕 500 g
If sake kasu is fridge-cold, leave it at room temperature for some time to soften.

Adding some sake lees to miso soup, thereby reducing the amount of miso added is not my idea. This has been practiced for decades in Nagano prefecture, which now has Japan's highest longevity rate.

Related stories:

April 14, 2018

School Canteen at My Daughter's University of Fine Arts/娘の美術大学の学生食堂

My daughter is now a student at a university of fine arts in the Kanto area. She recently sent me these photos.
1 Fried chicken & curry
1 フライドチキンカレー

2 Keema curry and small bowl of salad
3 Sandwich
4 Salt-grilled saba (mackerel) (half eaten)  

She added, "The melon pan at *** (university name) is super delicious!! It has plenty of cookie (on top) and has a mocchi mocchi (= mochi mochi) texture inside (meaning a sticky texture in a good way), and it has been the best melon pan I have ever had!

For those of you who are wondering what melon pan is, here is a link to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melonpan.

Results of Google image search for melon pan in Japanese

Note: This particular university has one school canteen on one campus and one cafeteria and one school canteen on another campus. In Japanese, "school canteen" (gakusei shokudo) is slightly different from "cafeteria", the former being less chic than the latter.
注: この大学では、1つのキャンパスに学生食堂が1つあり、別のキャンパスには学生食堂が1つ、カフェテリアが1つあります。日本語では、「学生食堂」は「カフェテリア」とは少し異なり、後者のほうが前者よりおしゃれです。

April 9, 2018

Bounty of the Sea and Bounty of the Mountains/海の幸、山の幸

I am currently living in my parents' house to support them, which happens to be at the heart of the Boso Peninsula. Yesterday, I got a yama no sachi (lit. happiness of the mountains; bounty of the mountains) from a neighbor, moso bamboo, as well as an umi no sachi (lit. happiness of the sea; bounty of the sea) from another neighbor, wakame seaweed.
現在、両親をサポートするため両親の実家に住んでいますが、実家は房総半島の真ん中にあります。昨日は、近所の人から山の幸、孟宗竹(もうそうちく)を頂き、 別の人から海の幸、若布(わかめ、ワカメ)を頂きました。
A common way to prepare a bamboo shoot is to boil it in a pot of water plus some rice bran or "kome no togi jiru" (milky water resulting from washing white rice before cooking). Unfortunately, I had no rice bran in the kithen, and I had no kome no togi jiru because I had planned to eat leftover rice the next morning. So, I tried preparing these bamboo shoots with plain tap water. The neighbor suggested boiling them for an hour or so, but I shortened the cooking time to about 30 minutes or so.
This morning, I tasted the bamboo shoots and found they were very tasty!
I had to use one very large pot and another large pot.
After boiled:
Wakame seaweed:
Still brown.
Preparing wakame is simple. Rinse and put in a pot of boiling water. It changes its color to vivid green in an instant. Drain and cool with tap water.
Shown on the right in the photo above are hard stems of the wakame.
My mother died of cerebral infarction at the age of 84 on March 7. Nothing makes you sadder than to lose your beloved mom.

March 14, 2018

Shigefusa Kasumi Gyuto, 240 mm, with Saya/重房霞牛刀、240 mm、鞘付き

Part of the comment from the owner:
Took some pics of it, as well as some next to my older Kasumi 240mm gyuto. I loved the old one so much so I ordered a new one through you.


The order was placed in November 2016.

February 26, 2018

Japan Small-Type Whaling Assosiation/日本小型捕鯨協会

Here's a link to the website of Japan Small-Type Whaling Association:

It is strongly encouraged to browse the English version of the site to learn the current situation of the small-type whaling in Japan.

Here are some excerpts:

1. From the Introduction to Japanese Small-Type Coastal Whaling page:

It has been 17 years since
Japan's small-type coastal
whalers have been prohibited
from catching even a single
minke whale.
Despite the fact that scientists confirm a healthy stock
and marine environment; 
despite the fact that small-type coastal whalers and
people of the whaling communities are struggling; 
despite the fact that too many minke whales are considered to have detrimental effects on the ocean's ecosystem; and  despite 16 years of honest efforts of ours to meet with everyone and discuss minke whale management 
at the IWC - 
We are still not allowed to hunt minke whales.

2. From the Glossary and Issues page, the definition of IWC:

The International Whaling Commission is an international organisation which regulates whaling. The IWC is supposed to manage thirteen species of large whales, including all baleen whales and the sperm whale, the largest toothed whale. At about eight metres, the minke whale is the second smallest of the baleen whales, which means that the IWC sets the catch quotas for minkes. However, small cetaceans, such as the Baird's beaked whale and the pilot whale, as well as other dolphins and porpoises, are regulated separately by the national governments. The Japanese government therefore sets the whaling catch quotas for these species scientifically to ensure sustainable harvests.

Let me iterate the fact that the moratorium was not necessary in the first place. What we need to do now is to discuss sustainable whaling and that's exactly what the IWC is for, but the adamant anti-whaling countries, such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia, refuse to talk. Just think how culturally imperialistic these countries are!

Down with cultural imperialism!
Say no to cultural harassment!

Say to the anti-whaling countries:
We are not like you, we don't think like you, and we don't eat like you.
We don't want to live on beef alone. We regard whales as important marine resources and we want to eat whale meat as well as other marine resources such as fish and seafood. That's all.
What more do we need to say?


February 21, 2018

Shigefusa Kitaeji Mioroshi Deba, 180 mm/重房身卸出刃、180mm

A Shigefua knife lover in Europe has recently received this knife, Shigufusa kitaeji mioroshi deba, 180 mm, with a saya from Yoshizawa Riko through me, after waiting patiently well over two years.
Here's part of his/her comment:
I really like the knife. It is my first single bevel knife so I was really looking forward in receiving it. I just finished initial sharpening....(Omitted)
Now it is ready to cut like a razor.