Friday, July 31, 2015


le goûter : peach daifuku & coldbrew happy queen♡1st time trying this daifuku, so good! #legoûter #peach #daifuku #mariagefrères #tea #thé #korakudo #coldbrew #光楽堂光國 #和菓子 #桃大福 The weather has been really miserably gross. Yesterday, the humidity (and probably the sun) made the heat index go as high as 39C (102F)...gah!

Have you ever taken "hot yoga"? I've not, but can imagine it feels just like the day we had yesterday.

Still, I walked to the market to pick up some groceries...we still gotta eat, right?!

As I was walking to the market, the sign in front of Korakudo caught my eye..."fresh peach daifuku"...

Have you had Japanese peaches?! They are the white variety and when they are perfectly ripe, you can peel the skins off the fruit without a knife.

The flesh itself is juicy and sweet.

So good chilled...I think this is the first summer Satoshi and I have eaten so many peaches. Sometimes for breakfast Satoshi and I share a peach and stand near the kitchen sink eating it because of all the drippy juices.

Anyway, back to the daifuku. This is a piece of peach surrounded by some sweet white bean paste and a very soft mochi.

It was my first time purchasing this particular daifuku.

I liked it, the piece of peach was a nice size and the daifuku went perfectly with the green tea based fruit tea that I cold brewed.

This shop doesn't disappoint.

It's the end of July and it's Friday, I hope you have a nice weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

kaimi sauce

While sitting in Tsutaya recently, I overheard an elderly couple talking about kaimi sauce.

The woman was saying that the kanji (Chinese characters) for the "kai" was "ayashii" which means "strange or mysterious" and the other kanji "mi" means "taste or flavor"

Since their convo piqued my interest, I used my smartphone to look up what they were talking about.

Wow, I had no idea that this sauce was trending...

So, I tried a recipe I found online...

kaimi sauce Kaimi Sauce : makes about 1/4 cup : adapted from the internet

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons shoyu
1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (chili paste)
1/2 teaspoon ra-yu (chili oil)
2.5 tablespoons white sesame seed paste
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
5 centimeters green onion (measured then minced)
1/2 teaspoon szechuan pepper, ground
dash of nampla (fish sauce)

Mix everything well and store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

kaimi sauce NOTES: Super easy to put together and goes well with karaage (fried chicken).

And with the addition of the fish sauce, the kaimi sauce really matched with cilantro too. I think you could use it as a dip for veggies too.

I'm making this again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

canh khổ qua

really too hot for soup, but I wanted to try @passthepocky 's dad's soup, canh kuo qua, since bittermelon are in season now. delicious! thanks Pocky! #dinner #canhkuoqua #vietnamese #bittermelon #soup #japan Blog friend, Passthepocky introduced me to a bittermelon soup called Canh Khổ Qua.

She said her father makes this soup and gave me a link to a recipe that is similar to what he does.

Since the video didn't give measurements, I used parts of this recipe

Canh Khổ Qua adapted from the internet : makes two servings

150 grams of minced pork
1 bittermelon, cut into 2-inch rings, cleaned.
4 pieces of dried woodear mushroom, reconstituted
several strands of harusame (glass noodles), boiled for 3 minutes until soft

Soup: 5 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

Garnish: chopped cilantro

Chop up the reconstituted woodear mushroom and noodles and mix them with the pork.
Use the backside of a fork or spoon to clean out the insides of the bittermelon, then stuff each piece with some pork mixture.
Put everything into a pot with the stock and fish sauce
Bring to a boil then down to a simmer, skimming off any scum that rises to the top.
Cook until the bittermelon is tender with the cover off. (About 20 minutes)

NOTES: No need to pack in the pork mixture as it will expand when cooked. Keeping the cover off while cooking keeps the broth clear. The bittermelon I had was a bit "skinny" so it was kind of hard to stuff. The soup was super bitter because I didn't parboil the bittermelon before stuffing it. The weather was super hot and not really soup weather but I'm glad I got to try this. If I can find bittermelon in the Fall, I want to try to make this again.

Thanks Passthepocky!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

guli guli

I got to have lunch with Hiromi yesterday at Guli-Guli.

The name is the shortened version of "green green" which when said in Japanese "gu-li-n gu-li-n" turns out to "guli-guli".

Anyway they are mostly gardening company but on their property have a cafe and art gallery.

When you walk through their front gate it is like stepping into a different country.

@ guli guli Lush trees, a little brook. Too bad the weather wasn't a bit cooler.

In fact, it was blazing hot and sticky humid...gah!

@ guli guli We started lunch with a salad and cold pumpkin potage.

The salad had their homemade mustard dressing and the soup was creamy yet refreshing.

@ guli guli Next came appetizers.

From the left, a fried gnocchi which seemed more like a fritter filled with bits of squid and topped with their homemade tomato sauce.

Chickpea mousse topped with smoked salmon, too bad there weren't crackers or bread with this, so good!

Homemade sesame cracker topped with zucchini, peppers and a smoosh of cream cheese and a dab of shiso pesto.

Scallops marinated with grapefruit. (I want to re-create the last 3 appetizers!)

@ guli guli Our main dish was their keema curry.

Nice kick from the spices, I was impressed with the sweet dragon fruit that they used as a topping for the curry as well as the colorful veggies.

A great place to "get away", they also do weddings and parties.

Even though the weather was super uncomfortable, it was nice to catch up with Hiromi. (Thank you!)

I told Satoshi about this place and he's interested in checking it out.

I'll be back.

2-10-11 Hachizuka
Ikeda, Osaka
Phone: 072.734.7603
Closed on Tuesdays
Hours: 11:00-18:00

Monday, July 27, 2015


IMG_2474 Saturday night, we checked out Wagokoro which is next door to Cafe Yooi.

If I'm not mistaken, Wagokoro used to be closer to Ishibashi station, but moved to this area in the last couple of years.

I remember eating there with Satoshi (pre-blog).

This restaurant specializes in dishes using ingredients from Hokkaido.

I was sort of leery about eating here because every time I passed by, no one was ever eating there, ever.

We started with some "toba".

Salmon is dried in strips until hard like jerky. The owner/chef makes her version softer.

We enjoyed this. A bit on the salty side, the fish has a slight chew to it and the smoky flavor isn't overpowering. (sorry the photo is blurred)

IMG_2475 Next came a plate of some side dishes--these were kind of bland.

The fish that was in the middle of the plate was a bit "too fishy" for my liking.

IMG_2476 We also tried the curry with summer veggies.

This was good, nice kick and lots of grilled summer veggies like okra, corn, zucchini.

A bit pricey, small on portions and a very tiny menu, we don't know that we'll be back.

We're glad we got to try this place out though.

3-2-13 Iguchido
Ikeda, Osaka
Phone: 072.763.1154
Closed Sunday and Monday
Lunch: 11:30-14:00, Dinner: 17:00-21:00

Friday, July 24, 2015

doyo no ushi no hi

doyo no ushi no hi Today is Doyo no Ushi no hi, the day when we all eat unagi (eel) for stamina to withstand the heat of summer. I've written about this in the past here.

The price of unagi, especially on this day, tends to be quite pricey.

So, I was happy to find 2 good-sized unagi for 1680 yen (plus tax).

Just before dinner, I'm going to make my own kabayaki sauce using this recipe.

If you can't find unagi where you live or don't like it, you could also follow the recipe above to make an eggplant version.

I hope it is cooler where you are, we're melting over here!

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

kero kero

amagaeru(literally rain frog) right outside our front door The rainy season is over but we've been having rain for the past two days, go figure...

As Satoshi was leaving for work this morning, we noticed this guy on our wall right outside of our front door.

What amazed us is that we live a couple of stories up, so we wondered how he got up so high?

dude! what you doing all the way up here?! (found this guy just outside our front door) if I'm not mistaken these types of frogs are called amagaeru(literally rain frog) #大阪#箕面 #雨蛙 #minoo #osaka #amagaeru #frog �� Here's a close up.

If I'm not mistaken this type of frog is what the Japanese call an "amagaeru" literally "rain frog" (hyla japonica is the scientific name).

wondering when the rain will stop When I left for the market he was staring out at the rain, possibly wondering when it would stop.

he's still here...think he's gonna have to start paying rent... And when I came back from the market, he was still there.

We'll probably have to start charging him rent if he continues to stay...

Oh, frogs in Japan say "kero kero"...what do frogs in your country say?