Friday, April 18, 2014

roca's red vegetable pickles

DSC06180 With the rest of the red cabbage, I tried this recipe in Roca's other book, "Roca no Bento".

The recipe says it serves 2, we don't usually eat that much pickles in one sitting, so it seemed a like a lot to me.

Red Vegetable Pickles from "Roca no Bento" serves 2

160 grams red cabbage
1 bay leaf
1.5 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Rinse and cut the red cabbage into small pieces
Add the cabbage to a resealable bag, add the seasonings.
Remove as much air as possible and let sit for at least an hour.

IMG_6200 NOTES: this was so easy to put together and it tastes like the Japanese cole slaw that I've made before.

We had a little of it the other morning, nice and crunchy! Satoshi said he liked it because it reminded him of sauerkraut.

The sausage we had tasted like portuguese sausage too, whoo!

I transferred the pickles from the resealable bag to a jar. The notes of the recipe also say you can use regular cabbage for this too.

I'll definitely make this one again.

It's Friday here, I hope you all have a nice Easter and a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

roca's kiriboshi daikon mustard salad

IMG_6185 My impression of kiriboshi daikon isn't a very good one. Most times when you get it at the sozai-ya (pre-made food shop) or when it is in a bento, the daikon is limp, not a very nice texture.

On top of that, the color is brown because it is simmered in shoyu (soy sauce) and other ingredients.

So, when I spotted this colorful salad in Roca's book, I had to try it.

I'd never cooked with kiriboshi daikon, so using this was a first for me.

Kiriboshi daikon is daikon that is sliced and then dried. These days a lot of housewives are cutting and drying their own veggies. By drying them, the veggies are supposed to retain a lot of their nutrients as well as a lot of their flavor.

I also think that by drying them, you can keep them in your pantry for off-season cooking.

When I opened the package of kiriboshi daikon, the aroma of daikon was really strong. The texture looked like the paper that gets stuck in the shredder...

Kiriboshi Daikon Mustard Salad from "Roca no Teishoku" : serves 2

20 grams kiriboshi daikon
hot water
2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1.5 tablespoons vinegar
25 grams onion (about 1/8 of an onion)
15 grams red cabbage (about 1 leaf)
20 grams carrot (about 3 centimeters)
30 grams Japanese cucumber (about 1/3 of a cucumber)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or your favorite oil
grainy mustard

Rinse the kiriboshi daikon and then pour enough hot water over it to cover it and let it rehydrate.
Let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
While you are waiting for the daikon to rehydrate, get the rest of the salad ready.

Thinly slice the onion, cabbage and cucumber.
Julienne the carrot.
In a container, put the onion, cabbage, cucumber and carrot.
Sprinkle the salt, mix with your hands and let sit.

After 20 minutes, drain the water from the daikon and squeeze gently (you don't want it totally dry).
While the daikon is still warm, add the shoyu and vinegar, mix and let cool.
After about 30 minutes to an hour, the daikon should be cooled and the other veggies will have released some of their water.
Drain the water from the veggies.

Add the daikon with its "sauce" to the veggies.
Add a little grainy mustard, I used about 1/2 teaspoon, and the mayo.
Mix well and then chill.

NOTES: The daikon is so crunchy! In fact, everything in this salad is. We enjoyed this several times already. I am definitely making this again!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


IMG_6073 A little list of things I've been drinking lately...

This tea fruit soda at Corridor. Sweetened tea syrup is added to a glass with fresh fruits and then topped off with club soda. I want to re-create this one.

IMG_6085 Smirnoff's Ice Green Apple.

This one reminded me of a Jolly Rancher's candy, but more on the sour side...

IMG_6096 Bacardi's Strawberry Daiquiri...meh, this one was way too sweet.

IMG_6117 Bacardi's Mojito...I don't think I've acutally had a mojito before, I didn't care for this for some reason.

IMG_6168 Minoh Beer's O-saru IPA, a fruity IPA with a little bitter finish.

This one was created for an event that they participated in. Love the label!

IMG_6176 Otoko Ume Sour, this one really smelled like ume and was a bit on the salty side.

Guess with the warmer weather I've been craving fizzy drinks. How about you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

azzurro verdura

IMG_6092 We tried Azzurro Verdura the other week.

Since Grand Front Osaka opened last year, we've avoided this place because there was always too many people.

Things have sort of calmed down a bit, so we've been slowly checking different places out.

Satoshi and I both ordered the daily pasta lunch.

Our meal started off with a l-o-n-g plate of appetizers for each person...delicious!

After taking the photo this way, I realized I should've done a panoramic one so that you could see all the different appetizers.

IMG_6093 It is after this that our meal kinda went downhill.

Our pastas was a spring cabbage meat sauce. And while it looks really delicious, this was way too salty!

It was so difficult to finish. For us, it is pretty rare for us to walk out on a meal or complain (unless there are bugs in the dish...)

I would go back to try other items on their menu, but am scared that everything will also be oversalted...

Azzurro Verdura
Grand Front Osaka North Building 6F

Monday, April 14, 2014


IMG_6130 I recently revisited a few Circo D'oro

This time around I had their affogato...470 yen. Hot espresso is poured over vanilla gelato.

The owner let me pull my own espresso. Well, actually he had to help me, their machine is a Fiorenzato and it is a lever type of espresso machine. The lever is super tight because of the spring inside.

Count to 5 and release slowly...out comes your shots of espresso.

It was a cool experience and the affogato was nice too.

IMG_6133 I went back to Boulangerie Goût. This time I bought their earl grey cream bread...which was good but got smashed in my bag.

A brioche type of bread filled with earl grey cream and topped with tons of macadamias.

IMG_6134 Their cinnamon roll. I love how they packed it, the topping was a cinnamon flavored cream cheese frosting.

Satoshi and I shared both of these for breakfast one day.

IMG_6171 And this past Saturday, I went back to The City Bakery.

I had actually wanted to go to All Day Coffee, but they didn't open until 10:00.

This time around I had their cinnamon apple biscuit and the sesame azuki good!

Have you been revisiting some of your favorite eateries?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

roca's okara gobo hamburger

IMG_6151 Another recipe I tried from the Roca book was their hamburger.

The picture in the book looks way better than how mine turned out, but it was delicious all the same.

Okara Gobo Hamburger Steak from "Roca no Teishoku" makes 2 patties
1/4 onion (50 grams), minced
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 gobo (burdock) (35 grams), whittled
black & brown sesame seeds to coat

100 grams minced meat (pork/beef mixture)
50 grams okara (soy lees)
1.5 tablespoons panko (bread crumbs)
1/4 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil

pinch of sugar
2 teaspoons shoyu
2 teaspoons sake (rice wine)
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mince your onion and pan fry until transparent, set aside to cool
Whittle your gobo and soak in water for at least 10 minutes. Drain.
When your onions are cool, add them to a bowl.
Add the gobo and the meat, okara, panko, egg, milk, salt, pepper
Mix well
Form into 2 patties
Coat one side with the sesame seeds
Add 1 tablespoon oil to a heated pan and fry the patties with the sesame seed side down first.
Turn over and when cooked through
Add the ingredients for the sauce into the pan
As the pan sizzles turn the patties over to coat well with the sauce.

IMG_6149 NOTES: the hardest part of this recipe was whittling the gobo. When I whittled my gobo, some of my pieces were thick, so these stuck out of the patty. I also omitted the salt.

The recipe makes 2 large patties, so instead I made 4 small ones.

Also, the sauce evaporates quickly, so you need to work fast to coat both sides of the patties with the sauce.

I liked this dish because it incorporates okara and gobo.

I'm making this again.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

botani curry

IMG_6128 I recently tried Botani Curry.

It is a teeny shop and they are only open for lunch.

I went with their Botani Curry, a chicken based curry with 3 types of keema...900 yen (with tax).

You can have them adjust the spiciness but I left it as is.

You can also add toppings, but I didn't.

The curry comes with lots of different pickles. Which was nice.

There was chicken, minced beef/pork and I think tuna for the different types of keemas.

It was a nice spiciness, not "burn your mouth off". There was just enough rice to finish the dish too.

I was mesmerized by the regulars who would come in and rattle off different orders in some kind of code.

I was also surprised at the amount of men that were eating here compared to women.

They also have a shrimp curry (coconut milk based) and a chicken curry (also coconut milk based).

I think the next time I come here, I'll try a different curry and some of the add-on toppings.

I'll be back.

Botani Curry
4-5-3 Kawaramachi
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Phone: none
Closed Sundays
Hours: 11:00-16:00