Kitten in the kitchen

So, I’m sure you all know that Master is a gourmet kinda guy. He makes all sorts of exotic things and our pantry has things like canned escargot and canned clams and that’s just on his side! (My side with the Japanese stuff only has things like pickled gourd, dried salmon flakes with green tea seasoning and mugwort flour…not funky at all.)

I’m always amazed how culturally-centred food and eating etiquette is. I learned a completely different way of eating and cooking in Japan and certain flavours and textures have a special place in my heart. I am continually torn between my white trailer park trash chips and tomato sauce roots and my oh-my-god-I-need-pickled-plums-now! adopted Japanese culture. Master, being a gourmet man, understands my needs and takes me to various shops to satisfy my cravings but the poor guy, it seems every conversation I have with him starts with “Well, in Japan….” Fortunately he’spatient with me and only sometimes threatens to send me over to Ms. B’s for the weekend to understand just how good I have things. I miss Japan in a lot of ways and even though it’s been two years since I left, it will stay a part of me forever.

But anyways, last night we had a yummy pasta that Master made and I contributed to in my own little way….by dishing it up! Lol. I really can’t xpress how liberating and wonderful it is to have a man who enjoys cooking and wants to do it all the time! It’s such a new and wonderful experience for me and I use it to my complete advantage by requesting all sorts of lovely things that Master is very happy to oblige me by cooking up.

So I was still in my meet and greet red slut outfit as I pottered around the kitchen draining pasta and grating parmesan cheese (oh, the stress of it all!) so Master took some photos– surprise, surprise! 

Bon appetit!

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8 thoughts on “Kitten in the kitchen

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  1. I have a question for you completely unrelated to your entry. Several years ago, my family had a couple of Japanese women stay with us. They made a couple of dishes for us, which I LOVED, and they were pretty simple, so I’ve been wishing I could make them again (yes, I’ve been wishing for years, and I’ve never found anyone appropriate to ask).

    One was rice balls (onigiri?). They put some kind of purple stuff into the rice (and I don’t know what, if anything, else). So, I don’t know what the purple stuff was. And then they put fish stuff in the middle. One kind I didn’t like, because it was too salty (it might have been tuna), but the other kind was salmon, and it was good. Only I have no idea what form the salmon came in. I’m sure there are ten million different ways to make them, so I don’t know if this is even a practical question to ask.

    The other thing was kind of a soup. It was served at room temperature, not hot. They brought special soy sauce that was really strong, so it had to be diluted with water. I think it was the only ingredient in the soup part. Then there were noodles, really thin, that they put in the soy sauce, and on the side of every dish, they put a little squeeze of some kind of paste (I think it was ginger paste). That seems really general when I type it out, but that’s all I remember. And it was really good!

    So… yeah. Any hints about what I might buy to make these two very simple things? Or any other Japanese cuisine you’d like to share? If you don’t want to do this in the comments of your post, you can email me at my lj username @yahoo.com.

    By the way, your pictures are adorable! Sorry for the novel in your comments!

  2. OMG, you have sooooo asked the right person! Lol. I am a total onigiri and soba noodle addict.

    Ok, well let’s start with rice balls. Japanese koshihikari or another short grain rice (even arborio) is the best.Generally they’re made into triangles or balls by putting the rice on some saran/cling wrap and shaping. Traditionalists just use their hands dipped into water to stop the rice sticking, but cling wrap is easiest I find. Dig a hole with your finger to push in the filling and reshape to cover hole. I love crispy seaweed wrapped around the outside so I brush my seaweed over the gas burner of the stove really quickly for a few seconds to really make it dry and crispy.

    Filling. Well, in Japan( there it is! lol) you can buy the salted salmon flakes in a bottle or packet. I’ve never seen them in Australia. But if you get a salmon fillet, sprinkle salt liberally over it, grill it and break it into flakes, you should get a similar effect.

    The purple stuff I’m guessing, was shiso. Did it look like mashed up leaves and taste a little bit sour? That is pickled beefsteak plant leaves. You can often find shiso furikake, which is like a dried sprinkle for rice, in asian foodstores. All types of furikake are great for onigiri- you can get egg, salmon, shiso, vegetable etc. Just sprinkle on and enjoy!The purple stuff may also have been umeboshi(pickled plums)- very salty and slightly sour. I buy these at my asian grocery store- just remember not to swallow the seed in the middle.

    Another great filling for onigiri is tuna mixed with mayonaise. I find the Japanese mayonaise to be a bit different to Australian so I get the Japanese kewpie stuff.

    The other thing you had was zaru soba. Zaru means a bamboo plate and that’s what they are usually served on and soba are buckwheat noodles. You can buy them at the supermarket. Just remember to run them under lots of cold water after they have cooked for 3-5mins. At asian grocery shops you can get men tsuyu, which is the dipping sauce for the noodles. It comes concentrated so you water it down- generally 2:1 for dipping sauce and 4:1 for hot soup.

    If you can’t buy men tsuyu you can make it with:
    400ml of dashi (buy granulated bonito stock and mix with water)
    90ml of soya sauce (get the Japanese kikkoman or similar)
    30ml mirin(sweet rice wine)
    a dash of sake

    The paste stuff was wasabi, which you can buy in a tube or as a powder that you mix with water at the supermarket.

    Other Japanese cuisine? Oh, where to start?I just love lotus root stew and burdock root with chilli. Miso stirfry with green bell peppers and lettuce is also one of my favourites.Pickles, of all types are great, especially takuon which is daikon radish. The sweets are also great with lots of sweet red beans and pounded rice. Oh, and my ultimate favourite- melon bread! Just let me know if you want any recipies, I’ve got books full!

    k

  3. Hello there,
    thru surfing i find your wonderful blog. Nice to be here and to read.
    My favourite kitchen is from India (curry’s and stuff) and tapa?s (Spain) But i do like Japanese food also a lot; noodles soup and sushi, terriyakki) i love to cook and so does my hubbie. But with 2 young children around the house, we don’t cook as elaborate as we used to do.
    i love your pictures. You have a great tattoo on your bottom. What does it mean?

    sweet greetz from Holland, moonheart (http://donkermaanlicht.web-log.nl/)

  4. Fish flakes

    I remember when I was an exchange student in Japan and my host brother tried to explain what it was I was eating. He said it first in japanese with no understanding on my part. Then we looked it up in the Japanese-English dictionary and it said skipjack, which was just as meaningless to me.

  5. Re: Fish flakes

    I’m kind of the same. I know lots of things by their Japanese names, but tell me the English and I’ll be like, “Wtf is that?” Lots of things just don’t translate well.

    k

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