Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/31): Johoku Park Bento

Today’s bento has been named “Johoku Park Bento” because the Missus who had a day off yesterday called me during the afternoon to join her for a walk in Johoku Park during a break at work. I actually had to bicycle there first. LOL.

But it was defunitely worth the trip.
Johoku Park is located by the new Shizuoka Municipal Library and it is the ideal place to stay away from the bustle of city, but still within manageable distance. On the other it gest crowded on Holidays.

One can freely choose his/her right spot for a deserved rest and meal.
If it rains, no worry as there is great cafe called Tables Spoon nearby (I’m planning a post on it)!

The Missus did work a lot preparing today’s bento.

She had concocted the meat balls with minced beef and pork and bits of lotus ro0ts the night before before frying them this morning. The lotus root provided for a welcome crunchy bite. Tomatoes are sweet and grown in Shizuoka. As for the peas in their pods, they come from her family’s garden.

She added chopped red pimento and string beans (boiled) and cheese to the tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette (very soft and yummy). Lettuce and Kyoto-style red pickled cucumbers provided the colours and fibers.

The “mame gohan”/rice and green peas has an interesting story.

She first boiled the green peas inside their pods.
She discarded the pods but used the water she boiled them in to steam the rice, giving it plenty of nutrients and a beautiful colour.
She mixed the boiled peas with the rice only once the rice was steamed. If you steamed together the peas will become mushy.

For dessert fresh orange from her family’s garden and canned Chinese lychees!

Next time, if the weather is fine (it was a horror today…), I plan to take my bento to the park!

Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

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TAKY’S classic Cakes (10): Chocolat Orange

Talented Takuya Hanai at Taky’s has come up with a new creation that I had the pleasure to share with a student of mine. (No wonder I have problems slimming down. LOL)
Mr. Hanai does delve into grand demonstration of his start, but keeps to perfect ingredients served in a simple and beautiful manner. It goes the same with names: he simply called this cake “Chocolat Orange”.

The cake lies on a base of spongy biscuit made with hazlenuts offering a delicate crunchy bite to the general softness of the cake.
The first mousse/bavarois layer is made with milk chocolate while the second tier is orange mousse/bavarois.
The topping is orange marmelade jelly with pieces of orange rinds/zests and a couple of green pistachio nut halves.

Great colours and sublimely simple in taste!

TAKY’S
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 1-11-10
Tel.: 054-255-2829
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

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Japanese Cuisine: Meat Balls, Chinese Cabbage & Rice Vermicelli Soup

The Japanese are very fond of two culinary delights, namely dango/団子 or meat balls and haruzame/春雨(Spring Rain) or rice vermicelli.
They do make for great and simple combinations.
How about the following one:

Meat Balls, Chinese Cabbage & Rice Vermicelli Soup

INGREDIENTS: For basic recipe. You can multiply it at will!

-Chinese cabbage: 6 leaves
-Pork belly: 80 g
-Chicken lean breast: 60 g
-Panko/breadcrumbs: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
-Fresh (if possible) ginger juice: 1/2 teaspoon
-Rice vermicelli/Haruzame (dry weight): 20 g
-Egg (beaten): 1/2
-Water: 3 cups/600 cc/ml
-Chicken bouillon: 1 cube or as appropriate, crumbled into powder.
-Salt: 1 teaspoon (can be varied according to preferences and priorities)
-Pepper: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Chop the core of Chinese cabbage finely, and cut the leafy part in 5 cm square pieces.

-Humidify lightly the panko/breadcrumbs with lukewarm water if coarse. Us them as they are if they are fine.

-Drop the pork belly and chicken lean breast in a food processor and mince. Add the sake, panko/breadcrumbs, ginger juice, beaten egg and a little salt. Mix.

-Soften the rice vermicelli in slightly salted lukewarm water and drain.

-In a pan pour the water. Add cut Chinese cabbage, salt, pepper and chicken bouillon. Cover with lid and cook over a small fire until the Chinese cabbage has become translucent.

-Fashion balls with the processed meat. Add to the Chinese cabbage and cover with lid. Cook over small fire for up to 20 minutes.

-Add the rice vemicelli and cook for 3 more minutes.

-Serve as shown in above picture.
Add some finely chopped thin leeks for a “green” finishing note!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/30): “Canned Bento”

The title “Canned Bento” is only a joke. It just pointed out to the good use of canned food in a bento!

Now, what is the fish laying on the rice?

This is where the title, “Canned Bento”, comes into play!
The Japanese are very good at canning food, especially fish (Shizuoka is a major canning area). They do it more or less along traditional European process (did you know that the French were the first to successfully can food?), although their tins are definitely smaller and seasoning is far more varied.

The Missus used a small Japanese (it is also very popular in South Korea) can of “sanma/秋刀魚/Pacific saury:

Sanma/Pacific saury is a very fat red-meat fish and its marinade makes for a delicous seasoning on the freshly steamed rice.

Roasted sesame seeds ‘”yellow and black”) were added for futher seasoning.

Lightly fried lotus root slices, home-made pickles myoga ginger and wasabi plants made fro the rest of the “staple” dish.

The “salad dish” as usual was every colourful!

Shizuoka winter orange for dessert with trevise lettuce, sliced/chopped red radishes, celery (Shizuoka-grown) and plum tomatoes (Shizuoka-grown).

Boiled string beans (they were first introduced in Japan by the French over 100 years ago) and boiled shrimp salad!

Just wondering what I’m going to call tomorrow’s bento. LOL.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:

Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

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Italian Cuisine: Appetizers at Acqua Di Fonte

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: very clean all around
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Very reasonables prices. Very reasonably-priced wines.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking at tables and most of the counter!

As I said before, I’ve found over the years that in Japan, and especially Shizuoka, that it is more fun to ask for a few appetizers with a couple of glasses of good wine at Italian Restaurants (mind you, the same would apply to Spanish Restaurants and izakayas!) than to go for the full course repeatedly in the same restaurant.
When a good and unpretentious restaurant like Acqua Di Fonte in Shizuoka City agrees to it, it is simply great fun!

Italian salami and mortadella.

Timbalo di Spaghettini, French washed type cheese Luccolon, Zucchini Flan and home-made lard on Bruschetta in the middle.

Marinated paprika, mint-flavored grilled kabocha, and marinated and sauteed radicchio.

Simple, healthy, yummy and fun!

ACQUA DI FONTE Antica Osteria
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 1-10-10, Pia Takajo, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-6440
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00, 18:00~22:00
Closed on Wednesdays and first Tuesday
Credit cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento

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Tofu & Vegetable Juice Cake

The great thing about tofu is that you can devise simple and yummy food with few ingredients and little money!

Here is a simple recipe for a healthy cake for adults and children”

Tofu & Vegetable Juice Cake!

INGREDIENTS: For an 18 cm wide mold

-Real 100% vegetable juice: 400 g
-Tofu (Silk tofu): 300 g
-Sugar: 50~80 g
-All-purpose flour: 100 g
-Eggs: 2

RECIPE:

-Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

-Line the mold with an oven baking paper sheet.

-Drop the vegetable juice, tofu, sugar and eggs in a food processor. Mix until smooth.
Add flower and mix again until smooth.

-Pour the lot into the oven mold and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30~40 minutes.

-Let cool completely.

-Take out the mold and place on a serving dish. Chill it properly inside the refrigerator.

-Cut to size and serve.

-Decorate it with chatilly (beaten cream) cream.

-You can experiment with the taste with liqueurs and so on!

Easy, ain’t it?

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento. Island Vittles, Skewer It!

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Tea Time! Green Tea Season Has Started in Shizuoka!

Shizuoka Prefecture produces 50% of all tea in Japan and 70% of the total national production is also traded in our Prefecture!

As I was going to take my train to University at Shizuoka JR Station, a major and very busy station in Japan, I noticed the Shizuoka Green Tea stand in the middle of the station.

Notwithstanding the beautiful young ladies serving the tea for free (quite difficult to time the photo, I can assure you!) I was attracted as I appreciate the beverage a lot. The tea was Motoyama, oneof the major shizuoka varieties grown in Shizuoka City (which spreads up to the Southern Alps!).

A great treat before boarding a crowded train!

I wished they could do that for sake, but obviously the police would more than frown upon it!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento. Island Vittles, Skewer It!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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