Japanese flavoured pesto and tuna salad spaghetti

Main, Noodles, Sauce & Dressing, Seafood, Summer

Hi, guys!

I received the result of IELTS (International English Test System) I recently took and it was fantastic(L7.0, R6.5, W6.0, S8.0). Of course, I need even more effort to get the desired score, but I am pretty relieved that my English has definitely improved! (As I didn’t think my writing score was right, I had requested EOR on my writing test.)

Anyway, how are you all doing in these extremely scorching days ?

I have completely lost appetite and prefer to eat less hot foods, for instance, salad. If this is the same case as yours, the recipe I am going to share with you in this page is the solution. This sauce is absolutely gorgeous!! Please try once!

[Ingredients] 2 servings

*** For pesto ***

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A few pinches of black pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • 1.5 tbs of soya sauce
  • A tbs of cider vinegar
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

*** For tuna salad spaghetti ***

  • Spagetti for two (about 220g)
  • 50g of tinned tuna
  • A avocado – cut into cubes
  • A tomato – cut into cubes
  • A quarter of red onion – thinly sliced
  • A piece of  cucumber – shredded

[Instruction]

  1. Smash all the ingredients for the pesto sauce in a mortar until it becomes smooth.
  2. Cool spaghetti with cold water immediately after cooking spaghetti.
  3. Mix spaghetti with tuna, vegetables and sauce in a big bowl.

 

 

When you try my recipes, please leave comments and give me feedback. There is no need informing your email address to leave messages so if you are not happy to give me your personal information just skip that question. (I can not remove that question due to the worldpress system.) You can also contact me on my Contact Page or you can also share your attempts on Instagram with #jhomerecipes.

I hope you find this information useful for your happy healthy life!

Kimchi Nabe(hot pot)

Hot pot, Main, pork, Soup, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Winter

Hi, guys!

Have you heard of word, Kimchi? Kimchi is spicy Korean pickle which is now world famous. In Japan, these days the idea of adding Kimchi into Nabe has been featured among young people. Actually, this is my husband’s favourite ingredients for Nabe. If you are keen on trying a different flavour, try my  Soya milk nabe(hot pot) (available as (v) too) , which had much more mild flavour than Kimchi nabe.

[Ingredients]

  • 4-5 leaves of Chinese cabbage, roughly cut
  • 25g of mushrooms
  • 20g of leeks, thickly sliced
  • 6-8 pieces of cod cheeks
  • 100-150g of tofu
  • 100g of white radish, sliced
  • Ramen noodles (as much as you want)
  • A bit of shichimi spice (if you need, as a topping)
  • A pinch of chipped spring onion (if you need, as a topping)

Kimchi nabe soup

  • 3-5g of kombu
  • 500g of cold water
  • 200g of Kimch
  • 2 tbs of soya sauce
  • 1 tbs of sake
  • 1 tbs of mirin
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

[Instruction]

  1. img_4318Make Kimchi nabe soup. Leave kombu in cold water as long as you can. In this process, you can make lovely kombu stock. If you do not have enough time, make sure you put kombu before you start to heat the cold water. Boil the stock in a sauce pan for 5 minutes. Add soya sauce, sake and mirin.
  2. Place Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, leeks, cod cheeks, white radish, tofu and Kimchi in another sauce pan. Pour Kimch nabe soup in the sauce pan with vegetables. Bubble it with lid on top until they are all cooked.img_4320
  3. Drop sesame oil, spring onion(if you want) and shichimi(if you want) just before serve. Make sure you do not finish soup.
  4. Once vegetables in nabe has been finished, start to cook ramen noodles in boiling water for 1 minutes. Add the noodles into the Kimch nabe. Add more vegetables or seasonings if you need. Serve nabe ramen once again.

 

Nabe is an absolutely fantastic option for party menu as well. Why don’t you trying Kimchi nabe with your family or friends this weekend? And if you do, please share your kimchi nabe with #jhomerecipes or #japanesehomerecipes to share our passion!

Thank you for reading my article today too! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!x

Sardine Kabayaki

Main, Rice, Seafood

Hi, guys!!

It’s been long time since I posted the last article. There are some reasons for this; first, I have been studying English in an English school since January, and second, I just wanted to stay away from the kitchen and think about my life once again etc. Anyway, I am now back on my website and hope to publish more articles in (even) better English! lol

The recipe I want to share today is Kabayaki, pan-fried fish glazed with kabayaki sauce. Kabayaki is a kind of Teriyaki, and a very traditional of way to cook fish. The most clear difference between them is Kabayaki has much more sweetness in the sauce. Which sauce to use is absolutely up to you, although there is a strong tendency about which sauce is more suitable for certain kinds of ingredients. Chicken or yellowtail, for instance, are very common to be cooked with Teriyaki sauce. On the other hand, Sardine or Japanese eel are well-known to go well with Kabayaki sauce. Furthermore, the way of cooking Kabayaki is totally different depending on which fish you use. Today, I will introduce you the most common way to make Sardine Kabayaki.

[Ingredients] 2 Servings

  • 4~6 sardines (Depends on how much you want. I usually give 2~3 sardines for each)
  • 3-4 tbs of plain four (to cover the sardines)
  • 3 tbs of vegetable oil
  • 1 spring onion (as a topping)
  • 1 tbs of sesame seeds (as a topping)
  • Schimi spice (if you have one, it is very good spice as a topping)

[Kabayaki sauce]

  • 2 tbs of soya sauce
  • 1 tbs of mirin*
  • 1 tbs of brown sugar
  • 1 tbs of sake

[Instruction]

  1. Finely cut the spring onion. Grate sesame seeds. Mix all the seasonings to make Kabayaki sauce. If you do not feel comfortable with fish bones, then remove them all.done.Snapshot
  2. Toss the sardines into plain four. Make sure they are fully coated by the flour.
  3. Pour the vegetable oil into a hot frying pan. When the temperature of the oil also gets hot, place the sardine on the frying pan. When the one side gets crispy, turn over them and make the other side got crispy as well.
  4. Pour Kabayaki sauce into the pan. Start to turn over more frequently so as not to burn the fish.
  5. When the sardines are glazed with thick Kabayaki sauce, then turn off the cooker.
  6. Serve the sardines with spring onion, sesame seeds and shichimi spice on top.

After you try my recipes, let’s share the photo of your food on Instagram with #jhomerecipes or #japanesehomerecipes. I would appreciate your support! x

Zosui (Aromatic Japanese rice porridge)

Breakfast, Main, Rice, Side dish, Vegetarian

Hi, everyone!!

Whenever I try new kinds of recipe, I am always in trouble to figure out how I can finish the ingredients left over. Originally, I always avoid to use double cream because cream is not familiar to Japanese cooking and I have poor knowledge of these ingredients. I imagine that same things would happen to you when you try to cook Japanese foods. This recipe is pretty good for these situation.

Zosui is a Japanese rice porridge in dashi flavoured soup. Japanese people eat it when they feel tired or need something good for digestion after you drink/eat too much.  Also, this can be good breakfast in early morning when you are not ready to have a big meal. Zosui is very light and nutritious so that desirable for children and elderly people too. the funny thing is, to make nice zosui, we prefer old rice rather than fresh hot rice (I will explain why later). Now let’s have a look!

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[Ingredients] for 2

To make zosui, there is not rule about ingredients. The key is; good stock, sticky rice are not sticky, fluffy egg and some extra seasoning!

  • A few pieces of konbu
  • 1 bowl of cooked sticky rice (about 180g)
  • 3 bowls of water (about 400ml)
  • 1 tbs of soya sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs of mirin
  • 1/2 tbs of sake
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetables
    • Spring onion (as a topping)
    • 2cm of carrot
    • 1 tbs of sesame seeds
    • A bit of grated ginger
    • 1/4 onion
    • A handful Chinese cabbage

[Instruction]

  1. Leave konbu in the water in fridge over night.
  2. Cut all the vegetables finely.
  3. Boil the water with konbu and add all the vegetables except spring onion.
  4. Add soya sauce, salt and mirin.
  5. When vegetables are cooked, wash sticky rice with water. This is very important step to make zosui. If you do not wash sticky rice, your zosui will be too thick. By washing cooked rice with water, the soup will be nice and watery. And this is exactly why you do not have to prepare freshly cooked rice.
  6. Break an egg in a bowl and whisk.
  7. Make sure the soup is being boiled. Turn off the heat, and pour egg into the soup drawing an arc.
  8. Leave it for a minutes and turn on the cooker again.
  9. When it starts to be boiled again then stir gently.
  10. Place your zosui into the bowl with spring onion on top.

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If you think that it tastes too plain (although it should be very plain), drop some grated ginger or sesame oil. These extra seasonings bring you more strong flavour so that you can enjoy it more!

If you try any from my recipe, please show me or tell me how it was. I am looking forward to hearing from you!xx

 

 

Soya milk nabe(hot pot) (available as (v) too)

Hot pot, Main, Noodles, pork, Soup, Tofu, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Winter

Hi, guys!!

Thank you for visiting my website today too!!

Woo, this is very cold winter, isn’t it? I heard it would be snowing in the south of England next weekend. I am so excited!! In such a cold day, I can’t help wanting “nabe” which is one of the most traditional Japanese culture in winter. Nabe is a kind of hot pot which has many kinds of vegetables, meats and seafood in soup.

The thing that makes nabe culture so special is the style we enjoy it. When we have one, we share a big pot with your family or friends. In Japan, having nabe together means you have a good relationship with them. This is why first year uni students often hold nabe party to make new friends!

Although there are many kinds of flavour for nabe, today, I would like to share my favourite recipe of soya milk hot pot which I made for the party last week. This is quite healthy and you can make it suitable for vegetarian or even vegan.

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[Ingredients] for 4

  • 1L of soya milk
  • A few pieces of dried konbu
  • 400g of water
  • 2 tbspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tbspoons of soya sauce
  • 1 tbspoons of sake (white wine is fine if you do not have any)
  • A few pinch of salt
  • 1 tbspoon of sesame seeds
  • Pork (if you would like)
  • Vegetable
    • leek
    • mushroom
    • carrot
    • Chinese cabbage/savoy cabbage
    • onion
    • Tofu
    • sprout
  • 300g of Udon noodles
  • A teaspoon of grated ginger

[Instruction]

  1. Leave dried konbu in the water over night. (Konbu make lovely stock in the cold water.But if you do not have time, you can just put them in the water and start to boil it immediately. This is not the best way, but you can still have konbu stock.)
  2. Boil the water in a big pot.
  3. Add 600ml of soya milk and keep cooking until it starts to boil.
  4. Add soya sauce, sake and salt.
  5. Cut pork into pieces you like.
  6. Chop vegetables into pieces you like. I recommend to cut into tofu quite big pieces, otherwise they will break int the soup and you will never see them again! Do not add udon noodles yet!
  7. When all the vegetables are cooked, add 1 tbspoon of sesame oil and sesame seeds just before you serve.
  8. Serve.
  9. When you finish almost all ingredients, add 400g of soya milk and udon noodles and heat it up for 10 minutes again. We call this style “shime” which means “finally end”.
  10. Add ginger and 1 tbspoon of sesame oil.
  11. Serve again.

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Travel to Yamaguchi – 2. Kintai-kyo Bridge

travel, Yamaguchi

2. Kintai-kyo Bridge

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Kintai-kyo bridge is a hitsorical bridge which have been playing an important role to lead this area successful. In a past, here was a center of a small country (Japan consisted of many small countries at that time) which located in this area. “Joka machi” means a small town which surrounded a castle, and was often busy of many markets or other business. But unfortunately, this joka machi was surrounded by a big pond or more like river and people had to take boats to get there. This was really annoying, because this river often overflew and people can not take boats. Thus a big strong bridge was needed for people to get to joka mechi. You can learn interesting history of this bridge from their website.

 

You have to pay a few hundreds yen to pass this bridge and there you will see many Japanese cultural buildings.

 

Of course, if there is a castle, there also should be beautiful garden that a king could see from his room. There was a small pond and you could see some pretty turtles. My husband was so excited and talking to a turtles and then turtles was staring at him back!

 

There are a few popular ice cream shops there.

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We tried three kinds of flavour from more than 100 options. They were amazingly nice!

 

I hope you can enjoy this article! xx

 

Travel to Yamaguchi – 1. Sanzoku Restaurant

travel, Yamaguchi

3. Sanzoku Restaurant

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Where is Yamaguchi…?

Yamaguchi prefecture is located next to Hiroshima prefecture. If you stay at Hiroshima for a while, Yamaguchi prefecture is worth visiting. Although Yamaguchi prefecture is less urban than Hiroshima, you can enjoy different warm atmosphere there.

 

Sanzoku means “mountain pirates”, who lived with a group in a mountain and stole things from travelers. Japan is a small island and there have been few areas which are not governed by any local authorities. So the places where mountain pirates could act were limited and Yamaguchi prefecture is one of the most famous area of them.

 

In Yamaguchi prefecture, there are some restaurants where you can try their wild foods like big onigiri (rice ball), grilled chicken legs/river fish etc…

 

To get to the restaurant, you can take JR train to the nearest station from Hiroshima. Please note that there are not so many train service because that area is mountainous countryside. So I recommend you to leave Hiroshima early morning and have lunch in Sanzoku restaurant. The nearest restaurant from Hiroshima station is Kuga area brunch.

 

 

If you are interested in Sanzoku restaurants, please message me before you go because this place is a little bit complicated. If you go to a wrong way from Kuga station, you can not go there! I will give you some details of way and Japanese memo you can show people you find there so that they will guide you to the restaurant! The nearest station “Kuga” is located in a small village and people there are very very kind. (They can easily recognise that you are from outside of village or not.)

 

 

This branch consists from three separated restaurants which are designed with different concepts. One of the restaurants are designed like a Japanese castle so you can have a very special time there!!

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Travel to Hiroshima – 3.Countryside

Hirohsima, travel

3. Countryside

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In the countryside, you are always welcomed with heartwarming atmosphere. I have a few recommendation to go but please note that these places are little difficult to get to with public transport. At least you can see these rice field very easily from trains as well.

 

I. Takehara

Takehara is pretty town where you can see Japanese traditional building or so. You can get train to Takehara station from Hiroshima station. You can visit their website and learn how beautiful their town is.

If you use Hiroshima airport, you are so good! You can get there wonderful hotel, Hotel Kamogawaso (one of the best hotel I like in Hiroshima) in 15 minutes by taxi from the airport. 15 minutes from Takehara station by taxi, but you can also ask hotel to arrange a  car and they will pick you up at the station or airport. Visit their website and I can help you to book the hotel if you want to ^^

Once you arrived at the hotel I think you want to explore around the hotel because you can see beautiful Japanese countryside. You can learn how Japanese rice fields work!

There is another hotel, Kanpo-no-yado next to Kamogawaso and we stayed there this time, in fact, although they do not have a website written in English so I decided not to push this hotel. But this hotel is also good. To me Kamogawaso isthe best option if I am with guests and want to have a luxurious night. But Kanpo-no-yado is good option when I am with my family and want to spend relaxed time.

The foods were amazing in both hotels. (The photos are taken in Kanpo-no-yado. Please imagine that even better options are available in Kamogawaso!)

 

 

See? You should come to try these fabulous foods!!

 

II. Saijo

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Ah!!! Maybe I should not pick this town up now because I do not think my English skills is good enough to explain how wonderful this town is!

But once obvious thing I can say is people who once lived here say they never wants to move anywhere! Well also this is where I was born… this is not the reason I like this place so much!haha

Saijo is a very famous big town in east Hiroshima. This town is so mysterious as well, for instance, there is very countryside but you can get anything you need to. Very peaceful and quiet but still successful town. There are some things which make Saijo famous and popular.

First, there is a national Hiroshima University I graduated from, and there are always young students in the town. I do not why but people in Hiroshima have been cherishing students of Hiroshima University so you are treated very well. In fact, Hiroshima university students have good reputation of “good at focus on things” or “try very hard”. Do you know why? That is because Hiroshima University is in the mountainous area and there is nothing that amuses students! People from urban city say they would be depressed if they had to spend all day!!

 

Second, Saijo have several Japanese sake brand and you can visit their factories in the sentre of the town. Often you can try some of their products and you can buy very fresh sake from them. the factories all locate near Saijo station and you can also find some restaurants which sells foods using these sake.

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Third, there are so many nice restaurants in Saijo. To Japanese person, if I can have nice sake and some sashimi, then nothing can beat this! You should visit this place.

This place is called “Yatai mura”. In this small place, there several small restaurants are located, and you can experience a nice and warm service. In this restaurant you can try grilled fresh fish or meat.

 

If you are very hungry I recommend this restaurant. Restaurant “Hanagokoro” is always amazing! If you try very Japanese food, this restaurant is highly amazing. If you can’t speak or read Japanese, do not worry. University students are working here so they will always help you. To get there, take taxi from Saijo satation and you will be there in 10 minutes.

 

It is sad but most of traditional places in Hiroshima had destroyed during WWII. Hiroshima city is very urban and successful city and we are proud of it, but still something is missing. In countryside you can still see how Japanese people have lived and helped each other there. That is why I love countryside and recommend you to visit. You can see many colours in the same prefecture.

There are many many more things I want to tell you about Hiroshima, but I will stop here today. I know that traveling to Japan is not cheap so that I want you to have a best time you have ever experienced.

If you are interested in something about Tokyo or Hiroshima or anywhere else, please feel free to ask me. I can not promise but I am sure I can help you some how!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article!xx

Travel to Hiroshima – 2. Miyajima

Hirohsima, travel

2. Miyajima

CIMG3821

Miyajima is a beautiful island which belongs to Hiroshima and Itsukushima shrine there is one of the most famous world heritage in Japan. To people like me that were born in Hiroshima feel really proud of this beautiful and historical place. And of course I love Miyajima and can’t remember how many times I went there!

To get to Miyajima, there are two ways; to use tram or the national rail line. As I told you many times in this website that Hiroshima was designed very efficient and convenient, both ways are really easy for us to use, but if you visit Miyajima on the first day of your stay in Hiroshima and you have plenty of time, then I recommend to take the tram. The tram goes more slowly than trains, but because of the tram runs into the centre of city, you can see the actual city including atomic bomb dorm. (Do not worry whether the city is still harmful because of the radiation. You can actually get 5m close to the building which was destroyed by the bomb.) Whenever I get city trams and see this successful town, I feel so proud that our ancestors worked so hard and built Hiroshima from nothing. Of course, you can enjoy your trip with train, which runs very mountainous way. So your choice is, actually, nature or urban city. Miyajima is a island so you have to get a ferry to the island from the nearest station. (Both tram and train arrive at same station.) You might get confused when you find two similar ferry stations in front of you. But do not worry. They were just owned by different companies and the price and destination are all same. You can take any ferry you find!

 

First of all I want to say you should try the popular foods there, Anago (Conger), which is very similar to eel but has less fat. We often put grilled Anago on rice and pour sauce on the top (Anago-don). Maybe the restaurants around there can be divided into two styles; oyster restaurants or Anago restaurants. We tried an Anago restaurant located between train station and ferry station.

Yes, symbol “あなご” means Conger. you will see this character so many times around this area. What makes this area so special about congers is their quality. Congers caught in this area are very meaty and have perfect amount of fat. Usually congers are not featured because they are very similar to eels and have less flavour than eels. Although the congers from this area have very strong flavour so actually the chefs do not need any strong sauce. In this area you can enjoy real congers taste.

 

Once you land on Miyajima, I imagine you will follow your guidebook and visit some places. (I will not mention how wonderful the shrine is or there is a small aquarium etc… because these are too obvious staff! But it does not mean they do not deserve to be visited! Because I went there countless times, I focus more on minor points!) Just in case of that you have more time to spare, I will show you some more extra fun you can have there.

 

[Age momiji (deep fried Japanese cake)]

Have you tried Anko (sweat black beans paste)? It is often found in the Japanese cake. Momiji manju (“Momiji” means maple. “Manju” means Japanese cake. Momiji manju is Japanese cake shaped as maple. These are some options of filling inside, and Anko is the most basic one.) is loved by Japanese people for a long time in Hiroshima. And last 5 years this deep fried momiji manju called “age momji” has been featured and so popular. Please try if you find a shop you can try fresh one!

 

[Walk through the gate]

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If you are very lucky, you can walk through the gate which bottom is usually sunk deeply in the sea. (You can clearly see the height of the water.) You can check the time you can walk through in the website. (I am sorry but the website managed by the local organization is written in only Japanese. If somebody wants to check the time then you can leave me a comment so that I can help you!)

It is said that you can get the luck if you go through the gate, please try!

 

[Find a sweet deer who wants to have a seat in the restaurant!]

CIMG3841

I do not know why and nobody knows why, but he is always there.

In Miyajima there are so many wild deers and live with people. In the past, biscuits for deers are sold but that made deers expect people always to feed them so the government decided to ban people to feed deers. Government has been trying very hard to look for the way both deers and humans can be happy in this island but still many people ignore our governments efforts. I even saw some foreign people gave them tissue and deers were eating. These things always made me so upset. When you find deers in Hiroshima, please try to let them how they naturally should be. A little touch does not bother them but feeding them affects their heath a lot.

From these history, sometimes naughty deers put their heads in your bag. Or bite your skirt. However, there is a very well-behaving deer in Miyajima as well. He is waiting for the owner to open the door and welcome him. Around lunch time, sometimes he try to look into the restaurant as if he wonders if there is an available seat for him! Unfortunately I have never seen him welcomed into the restaurant and while he is sitting like this, nobody can enter the restaurant so I am sure the owner is not happy about this!

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The next morning I passed the same place and he is still there! Such a sweet deer.

 

[Mojito cafe]

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You know what, all these bottles are Bacardi!!  It must be new because I have not known there was a cafe like that. It seems like you can choose the flavour. Maybe I will try next time!

 

[Stay at traditional hotel]

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This time we stayed at hotel 聚景荘 (Jukei-so) which located high in the mountain and you can enjoy the view from the room…

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And of course, dinner as well!

 

These all are served in a course dinner. Don’t you think amazing?

 

***

There are many stories and histories in Miyajima that guidebooks never tell you. There are also many people who actually live in the island behind the mountain. I am very grateful if you decide to spend more time there than the original plan after you read this. xx

 

 

 

Travel to Tokyo – 6. Udon

Tokyo, travel

6. Udon

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If you come to Japan, then please do not miss this chance to try Udon noodles. One thing I want to stress here is that you do not have to go to posh restaurants for nice udon. At least when it comes to udon, I can not agree that posh restaurants are better then casual restaurants. There are some famous casual udon restaurant chains in Japan and they are all amazing. Especially, “丸亀製麺(Marugame Seimen)” and “はなまるうどん(Hanamaru Udon)” are my favourite. All menu are available for about £2.00 – 5.00 so you can feel very easy and relax. Luckily, they have so many branches all over Japan so I think you can find at least one during your trip even if you do not try to. So today, I will introduce these restaurants which are very close to Japanese people’s life.

 

This time, we went to Marugame Seimen in Tokyo Haneda Airport (B1). What makes their restaurants special is their help yourself system. Before you go to the counter, you need to decide Udon to order. (There is a menu board in front of the door.) If you are curious of their menu and price, you caan visit their website from here. When you go to the counter, tell your order to the kitchen. There are also menu board on your head at the counter.

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Once you order udon, slide your tray to left and the chef will give you udon in a minute. Then keep slide your tray with udon, then you will reach topping and rice ball area. If you want something there, take plates beside toppings and add them on your tray. If you don’t want anything just pass that area, then you will reach the till area and pay money for your order.

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There are some free topping and drink as well. Japanese people often put some finely chopped spring onion and grated ginger etc… These essential toppings are available for free. And water and hot tea are also available for free. Usually there are boxes of these toppings on your table and you can take them as much as you want. Or sometimes there are tables just for toppings and drink. In any case, you will find them after you pay.

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This time we ordered “Kake (plain udon just with soup)” and “Curry udon (udon with Japanese curry)”. These pictures were taken after we added toppings.

My husband added spring onion to his curry udon after this, and he loves it. When you visit there please enjoy your original udon!

 

If you are now curious how to make udon, please visit my recipe to make udon.

 

I know sometimes it needs courage to go into the restaurants when you do not know how they are. I hope this article will help all the foreign people who wants to make closer experiences to Japanese people’s life! xx