starlady: Remy from the movie Ratatouille sniffing herbs for a stew (cooking)
[personal profile] starlady
Well, I've been settling into living in Japan again, part of which has involved plotting a running route and going running (I've done it twice so far! Pathetic but on the right track) and part of which has involved cooking things again. Cooking! It's great. It's also interesting to me to be able to see how I've leveled up in the seven years since I first lived in Japan and was first responsible for providing my own meals 24/7. I'm much more comfortable improvising now, particularly since a) the internet is way better at food than it was seven years ago; and b) I've finally realized that the fundamentals of Japanese food are dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake, with salt and sugar added every so often for variation.

I'm living in ridiculous luxury and actually have a microwave…oven…thing in my apartment, but I don't trust it (I'd rather just have an actual microwave, this one is very complicated, and I don't really have any pans and I'm lazy, though I can probably improvise well enough with tin foil for most things) and anyway it's nice to work on my simmering and sauteing skills. I probably should buy an actual soup or donburi bowl with all these soups and stews I'm looking at making. I'm also weighing the merits of buying an actual nabe pot, which is one of those kitchen things that is nice enough that I would want to cart it home. We'll see. I think the pot that came with my apartment is big enough that I can just use that for half-recipes of most things. I definitely need to get a leftovers-sized tupperware, though.

Anyway, here are some recipes I've been making or am eyeing: 
  • Nira Tamago - I had this once years ago and it is so fucking good, it haunted my dreams, and now the nira are all mine. Tomorrow I'm going to go hogwild and combine it with my patented agedashitofu oyakodon variation. This website also looks like it has a lot of good recipes in general.
  • Chestnut Rice (Kurigohan) - Pretty tasty! Definitely needs something like simmered pumpkin (kabocha) as a side dish. I like this website a lot from what I've seen so far.
  • Matsutake Clear Soup (Suimono) - Mushrooms, tofu, and whatever else in broth. Pretty tasty. I added carrots because I'm paranoid about getting enough vegetables. I also used a different kind of mushroom (shiitake) because cheaper. I'm glad this site sorts the recipes by season, though what was labeled two portions fed me for just one meal.
  • Deb's Pseudo-Okonomiyaki - The beauty of okonomiyaki is that you can do just about anything to them and they will still taste good because of the sauce. I used okonomiyaki flour for the base and only two eggs the first time, then three the second; I thought three was sufficient, as two was kind of a hot mess. But they were pretty damn tasty with okonomiyaki sauce (storebought; I haven't tested Deb's recipe) and toasted sesame seeds on top.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding - It's delicious. I didn't have enough honey so I threw in some brown sugar, and I don't have beaters so it's a tad heterogeneous, and I used natural peanut butter instead of normal (thereby introducing twenty minutes' hard labor stirring the thing so that the oil blended back in), and it's delicious.
  • Simple Tofu Chilaquiles - NOMMMM. I need to source the tortilla chips, tomato sauce, and (hopefully) chipotle, but once I can do that, all the chilaquiles will be mine. NOMMM.
I've been listening to a lot more music lately, because living alone in an apartment by myself fuck yeah, and I just have one question: how are Santigold so fucking good? How is it possible? Because they are.

In other news, I'm on track to finish clipping for my Festivid tonight, at least until I'm halfway through the draft vid and suddenly realize I clipped the totally wrong things. Still, it's exciting. I'm mulling the possibility of a treat vid if I finish my assignment in a reasonable time frame. It's very exciting.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-10 15:09 (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
Yay food! Thanks for the recipes; I'll be digging in.

So glad to hear you're vidding. (:

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-12 15:01 (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
That's definitely the scariest point, yeah. You've just gotta commit. (:

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-11 02:09 (UTC)
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
From: [personal profile] kindkit
Do you make your own dashi or do you use the granules?

And if you make your own, do you actually make a fresh batch for every meal or do you make a lot at once and keep it in the fridge? That's what I prefer to do, because dashi is not as effortless to make as Japanese cookbooks like to claim, but I sort of feel like I'm taking an inferior shortcut.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-11 02:20 (UTC)
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
From: [personal profile] kindkit
Cookbooks sometimes get a bit . . . obsessive. I have a cookbook about Thai home cooking that insists not only that you make your own coconut milk by steeping grated coconut, but that you make all the spice pastes in a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor. Life is definitely too short, and so is my amount of free time.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-11 06:46 (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
Mmm. The chestnut rice link (the only one I've clicked on) is great, and the recipe sounds good, too. :) (I don't think I've ever peeled 20-25 chestnuts in one go--hands would hurt--but changing the proportions won't hurt for that.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-12 19:20 (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
Ooh, that sounds wonderful. (In Seoul, at least, they sell peeled/cooked chestnuts similarly as street food.) Nope, the local J groceries have raw CA-grown chestnuts--at least the shorter trip means they aren't moldy--and the nearest K grocery has half-moldy raw Korean chestnuts. Or perhaps I'm going during the wrong week(s). I bet the bigger K/J groceries several dozen miles to the south have them, but....

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-11 16:55 (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
I am really enjoying seeing all your recipe bookmarks on Pinboard! XD

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