Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Make Grandma's Goya no Tsukudani (Salty Sweet Bitter Melon) - Video Recipe

This is the Goya no Tsukudani (Salty Sweet Bitter Melon for rice) that my grandma recommended in this video ;)

You must try it out!!! It is really good and goes great with white rice. The bitter taste of Goya and spicy taste of ginger match up very well. Using Mizkan's Ajipon is the key to this refreshing salty sweet flavor. Soft squid makes it really tasty. Perfect side dish for rice!!!

BTW, my mom bought me the dried shredded squid at Tsukiji Outer Market ;) You can see the clip in the end of this video~

Goya no Tsukudani (Salty Sweet Bitter Melon for rice)

Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 30min
Number of servings: N/A

2 Goya (500g = 1.1lb. bitter melon)
100g (3.5oz.) ginger
50g (1.7oz.) dried shredded squid
* 100ml Mizkan Ajipon
* 75ml Mirin (sweet Sake)
* 25g sugar
2 tbsp. toasted white sesame seeds

1. Cut both ends of Goya, then cut in half lengthwise. Scrape off the seeds with a spoon and slice into thin half rounds. Cook in a boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, then drain well. *in this way you can remove the bitter taste of the Goya.
2. Thinly slice ginger. Tear and cut dried shredded squid into bite-sized pieces.
3. Place A in a large pot and bring to a boil. Then add the Goya, ginger, and dried shredded squid, then cook on medium until the liquid is gone.
4. Cool in a strainer, then toss with toasted white sesame seeds.

You can put it in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and keep in the fridge for a few months.


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

How to Make Ujikintoki (Uji Matcha Kakigori: Shaved Ice with Green Tea Syrup from Scratch) - Video Recipe

This recipe was requested by many people. I happened to see this cool Kakigori machine (ice shaving machine) on TV and bought this instantly. Of course you can use any machine you have at hand :)

DOSHISHA Simple Electric Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Maker (ドウシシャ かんたん電動氷かき器):

I hope you enjoy making different flavors as well!!!

Ujikintoki (Uji Matcha Kakigori: Shaved Ice with Green Tea Syrup from Scratch)

Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 5min
Number of servings: N/A

ice cubes
Tsubu-an (sweet Azuki red bean paste with skins)
Shiratama Dango (sweet rice dumplings)
ice cream of your choice OR condensed milk if you like
((Matcha Syrup))
* 1 tbsp. Matcha green tea powder
* 50g (1.7oz.) sugar
* 60ml hot water

((Matcha Syrup))
Mix Matcha green tea powder and sugar very well. Add hot water little by little and mix with Chasen (bamboo tea whisk) or a regular whisk. Strain with a strainer if needed, then cool in the fridge (you can keep it in the fridge for about a week. use before it loses the flavor).
((Shaved Ice))
Make the shaved ice and serve in a bowl (rice bowl is OK). Drizzle with some Matcha syrup, garnish with Tsubu-an and Shiratama Dango, then top with an ice cream of your choice OR condensed milk if you like.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hakone 2

Last time, 2 days were not enough to enjoy Hakone, so we decided to stay 3 days this time :) Of course, we bought Hakone Freepass valid for 3 days (allows you to get on and off freely within a specified area, as well as providing discount admission to various attractions in the area, and also includes return transportation on the Odakyu Line)!!!.

DAY 1:

We took Romancecar to Hakone Yumoto (箱根湯本) from Shinjyuku. Since it was during the Bon vacation (8/13-8/17 this year) the train was fully booked!!! My favorite Bento is なだ万 (Nadaman). You can get this Bento at Odakyu department store!

I didn't want to push myself to go far on the first day, so we decided to stay close to the hotel (Harvest) and visited Hakone Venetian Glass Museum (箱根ガラスの森美術館) which is 5 minutes away from the hotel! If you like glittering and sparkling stuff, you will enjoy this place!!! The path to the museum was really pretty, crystals glitter in the sunshine :3 There are several workshops where you can make your souvenir. I can't wait to go back here with my child! hehe

We ended the day having early dinner at the hotel, and enjoyed swimming at the pool. It was a relaxing day~ no housework! haha

DAY 2:

We decided to use the Freepass effectively XD We took Hakone Tozan Cable Car (箱根登山ケーブルカー) and Hakone Ropeway (箱根ロープウェイ) from Gora (強羅) to Owakudani (大湧谷) where you can get black eggs (a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs). Eating one egg is said to add seven years to your life!!! One bag comes with 5 eggs, and they last for 2 days. My darling had 2 eggs and I had 1 egg at Owakudani. Then we had one each on the way back to home on the next day~. We are going to live long for our child!!! haha

Then we enjoyed the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (箱根海賊船) on Lake Ashi, and had lunch at Moto Hakone-ko (元箱根港). Shinsho Soba (深生そば) is a must visit restaurant!!! Their Tempura is very crisp and shrimp is amazingly huge and delicious. I will definitely come here again!!!

We took Hakone Tozan Bus (箱根登山バス) to go back to Gora (強羅). It was a great shortcut and took only 30 minutes!!!

For dinner, we found a famous Kamameshi (釜飯) restaurant called Kamaya (かま家) near the hotel. Kamameshi is a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot called Kama. Their Kamameshi was simple yet delicious XD It is better to call them and ask them to make Kamameshi before you visit or you must wait 40 minutes until cooked (of course we did call them! hehe). I think I want to go back here again as well!!!

Early dinner is always good because we could again enjoy swimming in the evening before taking a bath in hot spring ;) I am happy that I could wear my maternity swimsuit two days in a row. LOL

DAY 3:

We first visited Gora Park (強羅公園). No admission fee is required if you have the Freepass :) There are many workshops but they were all fully booked at around 10AM. I think we must line up before the park opens! Anyways, next time with our child! hehe

Then we headed to Hakone Open-Air Museum (箱根彫刻の森美術館). It was such a great place to spend quality time with your family!!! 2 hours were not enough. I think we need a day to fully enjoy the place! We had a quick lunch at Gallery Cafe. Their snacks are very fine and delicious.

Our return train was at 17:18 from Hakone Yumoto (箱根湯本). Time flies~ I wish we could stay longer!!!

BTW, you can enjoy collecting stamps during a specific period of time like in summer, and you can get a gift (this time 2 Anime file folders), so you don't want to miss it, too! hehe


Onsen Manjyu (温泉まんじゅう) @ Hotel: brown soft steamed bun filled with Azuki bean paste.

Ariheitou (有平糖) @ Owakudani: healthy sugar candies (peanuts, black soy beans, and black sesame seeds)

Earrings @ Hakone Venetian Glass Museum: my darling bought me XD

Ring @ Gora Park: 300yen!!!

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