you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Friday, August 26, 2005

with gratitude for a lovely birthday  Posted by Picasa

happy birthday to me!

I've had a few fun food adventures since I last wrote on 8/18... working on content now. butin the meantime I have to say a big birthday thanks. Lots of folks sent me happy wishes, and "becoming a foodie" and "hubrissonic" helped me have a wonderful birthday yesterday including a fantastic outing to a tea house with over 350 kinds of tea and unbelieveable desserts. And they helped me finish off my evening with some nice comfortable chinese food during yesterday's typhoon here in Tokyo.

"becoming a foodie" gave me a fantastic pen. and Hubris took care of wonderful art supplies for my visual journal class. Plus I got 5000 yen in gift certs to go office and art supply shopping which ranks right up there with food as one of my obsessions... strange, I know. but there you have it!

in addition in the mail I got a great restaruant journal to write in from Mom which will certainly help me record good notes for the blog. Thanks everyone!
It was a lovely birthday.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

mise en place is everything Posted by Picasa

the finished product! Posted by Picasa

home is where the wok is...

On my day off last week we had a fun but home-oriented plan. Lots of laundry and things like that. Our washer works great, but our dryer puts out lots of hot air into our little tokyo apartment. This is fine in the winter, but not ok at all in the high humidity hot temperature august days that we are now in. So we do the wash at home and walk down the street to a little coin laundry to dry our clothes. So we spent the day off largely walking back and forth from the apartment to the coin laundry, chatting, discussing politics, etc. and then reading and blogging in between treks.

As the day wore on the inevitable question of what to have for dinner came up, this in time for the start of grumbling stomachs. It was before payday, so thrift was necessary. We decided to break out the wok under the sink, that has been woefully underused this year- and go foraging for the elements of tasty homemade fried rice.

A walk to the local grocery and we chose on Pork, with sprouts, and tofu for even more protein. The requisite eggs, and green onion. My husband is great at making fried rice and so he set to work with the mise en place which is key to high heat wok cooking. You need everything ready to throw into your wok as you go along. No time for extra chopping and prep in the proverbial heat of the moment.

So you can see the photos of our purchases, prepped food, and the final result above. A great outcome besides the tasty dinner… is that He is going to come into the restaurant I work at, Fujimamas and work a little on the wok station to learn even more about high heat wok cooking. So I look forward to the wok coming out of the under the sink retirement for good!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Baja Tacos ...coming soon... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The waiting game.

When you live overseas, in a very different culture, you get kind of funny about food- which is the only way I can explain our overly enthusiastic anticipation of a certain taco stand that will be opening in our neighborhood, Nakameguro Tokyo next week. We miss some kinds of food that were easy to get in Philadelphia or elsewhere that we traveled when lived in the USA. One thing we longed for was a good taco. There are a few decent Mexican restaurants in Tokyo but nothing close to our apartment.

The story goes like this...

About a month ago, I noticed a cute little new store-front on one of the side streets we walk down to get to the train station. It had no signage, no info, but I saw them brining in a front case that could only be used for selling food. Hmmm? I thought- I wonder what this is going to be?

Another week after that, late one evening, my husband I were walking down that same street. At the little white fronted unfinished shop there were two Japanese guys working. We walked by and as we got just past the front door, one of the guys came up behind us and said in English- "Hello, We are opening a taco shop here" he was trying to say please come when we are open but our rampant enthusiasm to just those first few words made the follow up un-hearble. After we settled down he told us about his plan. When, we asked??? Hmmmm? Sometime in August (which was still some 3 weeks away...)

So as the days went past we would walk by the shop looking for signs of signage, (and tacos.) There was just a small paper sign in the window declaring that they would someday be a taco stand... Sometimes we would be walking by when they were working, so we would stop and pretend to order 2 tacos. Which would make everyone laugh(at least the first few times) and they would say in Japanese. "chotto matte kudasai" which means, please wait a little- and so it went on.

On the first of august we thought GREAT tacos!!!! But alas, only a plain white fronted store- no signs of life yet- and no tacos.

Tonight (august 13th) we finally have some good TACO news. No it wasn't opened yet, but this time, there were signs, and activity, and our Taco friend told us that there will be a mini opening party Monday (they asked us to stop by) and they will be fully opened on wed. 8/18!!!! Which I hear is a good day for tacos (course I hear everyday can be a good day for tacos)

The name of our new neighborhood taco place will be BAJA Tacos. And he is going to be selling tacos, burritos, and lots of other yummy sounding stuff. Hopefully it will be good, maybe even greatÂ… fingers are crossed. I hope I can stop by on Monday maybe bring over a nice bottle of tequila to give as a store opening gift.

We will report on our taco exploits next week. Only a few more days to go.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Breakfast- Asian Style Posted by Picasa

what a way to start a day!

Nasi Goreng is a great fried-rice breakfast dish served in Indonesia and through-out South East Asia. There are thousands of ways to prepare this dish and the only constant thing about it is Rice… after that the variations are endless. It is often served with a fried egg, grilled or fried chicken, peanut sauce and chips. The photo above is the Nasi Goreng we serve for Lunch and Weekend brunch at the Asian Fusion restaurant I help run in Tokyo. Fujimamas. This has quickly become one of our most popular dishes!

There is a pretty good basic recipe for Nasi Goreng over at Bali Vacation Villa's Website.

If you ever want to try a totally new way at looking at breakfast this is a great one- filling and fun with a unique and rich blend of flavors and textures. And if you are in Tokyo come by any day for our version of Nasi Goreng.

In Indonesian lezat = delicious, very tasty.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

crunch crunch crunch Posted by Picasa

The Cult of Pocky

Ok, first of all it is pronounced "po-key" Long O, not like hockey… etc. The name is "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound Pocky makes when bit, "pokkin" (ポッキン). Pocky are a very famous snack candy from Japan. Made by Glico and sold everywhere in Japan. Often exported to other countries as well. The original Pocky arrived on the scene in 1965 and was a cookie stick dipped in chocolate… But never people to stay with just one version of anything- there are new and special flavors of Pocky showing up all the time. Pocky are extra popular with anime fans. (japanese animation fans)

Glico makes GIANT Pocky, Special Edition Pocky, and Men’s Pocky (which is a dark chocolate version of the classic original) There are cute Pocky goods, stationary, mobile phone straps, toys…

And this week, I tried two flavors of Pocky new to me… Lemon CheeseCake Flavor and Chocolate Banana. Both quite yummy. The Lemon Cheesecake really tasted like cheesecake, I was a bit surprised.

You can take two different Pocky Quizes at or
and find out what flavor you would be if you were a Pocky!
My results below! rebellious me!

You Are Reverse Pocky

Your attitude: rebellious and clever
Non-conformist, but curiously a trendsetter
With you, up is down... and it's a wild ride!

From Wikipedia
here is a list of some of the many Pocky Flavors in the world;

Chocolate (also in Giant and Little sizes) / Almond Crush (in single- and double-dipped, as well as Cafe au Lait and Anglaise) / Men's (dark chocolate) / Marble Royal Milk Tea / Giant Double Chocolate / Chocolat Orange / Pumpkin / Reverse / Caramel / Yogurt / Strawberry (also in Giant size with dried strawberry) / Almond / Coconut (Milk and Chocolate) / Mango / Banana / Choco Banana / Coconut Milk / Pudding / Milk / Cheese Cake / Pocky G (Chocolate and Berry) / Decorer - Mont Blanc Chocolate, / Strawberry Gateau, / Fraise au Chocolat / Chocolat de Caramel / Gateau Chocolat / Bananu Semi-Sucree / Mousse – (various) Chocolate, Whipped Chocolate, White Chocolate, Strawberry, Green Tea, Black Latte / Blueberry Yogurt / Extra Chocolate / Royal Milk Tea, Mild Chocolate / Azuki (a type of Japanese bean) / Special Occasion/Seasonal - 2001 (7 kinds of rainbow-colored Pocky in a box)/ Kuchidoke (pretzel sticks dipped in ganache, sold in winter) / Honey (spring) / Kiwi Mango (summer) / Regional - Grape (Nagano) / Yubari Melon (Hokkaido) / Giant Mikan (lemony, sold in Kyushu) / Powdered Tea Azuki Bean (Kyoto) / Kobe Wine (Kobe)

Order your own Giant Pocky And flavored Pocky and other japanese snacks are available at
Crunch Away!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dinner on the way to Fujirock Festival Posted by Picasa

Bentos on the bullet train

This past weekend, me and my fella got out of the big city and headed off to the FUJIROCK FESTIVAL a three-day extravaganza of music, camping and fun. Friday we packed our new tent, our borrowed sleeping bags, and some gummy bears and headed off to the train.

For the last few years, the home of FUJIROCK has not been at mt. Fuji… but up in the mountains of Nagano, toward Niigata, at the Naeba Ski Resort. The way to get there is by the famous Japanese Shinkansen or Bullet train. We were in one of the double decker MAX version train--- Takes about 1 ½ hours.

What does all this have to do with food and the fancy glass…? Well, one of the most popular and traditional things to do when one is riding the shinkansen is to buy a delicious, popular and traditional Japanese Bento (meal in a box) from Tokyo Station- before boarding, and then eat dinner on the train. So pictured above you can see our meal that started off our great mini vacation weekend.

A note about other FUJIROCK related food… A friend of ours who went to the festival last year was bemoaning the bad and expensive food choices. He told us we should bring a lot of our own food, and I was quite worried about it BUT… Things must have changed a lot since last year cause we found the food at FUJIROCK to be quite good indeed. And Inexpensive.

They had food booths featuring dishes from all over the world, Africa, China, Thailand, America, Britain, France, Spain, --- and most of the best stuff was being offered in booths by independent Restaurant owners. There was the corporate food area, bad pizza and other rock concert fare… but there was also – no lie- a small homemade pizza co. booth where they had a real wood burning pizza oven, that they had brought up the mountain! And it was incredible pizza, some of the best I have had since coming to Japan 9 years ago. Everything was about 500 yen per person! Beer, food, sake, softdrinks, even our Sunday morning British Breakfast of fried eggs, sausages, bread, and bacon. 500 yen!

I didn’t take many pictures of the food as it was raining on us off and on through most of the three days- we had so much fun anyway but my camera stayed nice a dry in a plastic bag in my backpack most of the time. I do have a few shots of music etc. I may put these up on one of my other blogspot areas.

In the meantime, the Bento above featured a nice piece of salmon, steamed rice, tamago yaki, (sweet cooked egg) spinach, seaweed, potatoes, and tempura veggies. YUM! And all for about 8 dollars- which in Japan is good!

I credit our fun and tasty bento with getting our weekend off to such a good start.