Thursday, June 09, 2005

I am culinarily challenged... in Japan

There I was in the middle of dozens of aisles of food packaged in 99% Japanese packaging having very little idea what was what and it dawned on me... for the first time in my life, I'm eating like a bachelor... This must be the feelling someone who does not know how to cook gets when he walks into a grocery store. I'm like a cooking infant all over again... lol
So far, I've got eggs, which are pretty easy to find... I've also figured out how to make
Miso soup, a kind of Japanese staple... in which I can add either a hard boiled egg and/or finely chopped green onions... makes a good easy meal at 9:30/10:00 at night when I get home...  I've also found spagetti and spaggetti sauce which isn't half bad and extremely cheap... I think I'm averaging around 1-2$ per meal at the moment.
Yesterday Stacy showed me to the Curry section which will be my next challenge to master... the curry itself isn't all that difficult since all you need to do is boil the bag of curry and pour over whatever... the problem is still that darned Rice Cooker.... I will take the time on Sunday and try to figure it out. Much rice will likely perish in the battle but I will not relent! Our cause is a valiant one and their death will be remembered with each biteful of curry and rice I eat from that day forth.
Vegetables? Well I haven't quite brought myself to pay that much money for them yet... I figure I get my intake of vegetables when I eat out... but some day I will get around to it. Tomatoes are fairly cheap, so once I find the mayo and pepper at the store, I can start making myself toasted tomato sandwiches, expanding my culinary repertoire another notch...
Sad isn't it? I love cooking, and baking for that matter... but I find myself rather constrained by the 1 burner and no oven kitchen I have... and the tiny fridge... I will get used to it, and some day soon I may even crack open that lovely Japanese cookbook the AEON recruiters suggested we buy and try some actual Japanese dishes!
And yes, I eat with chopsticks... even at home depending on what I'm eating of course. People keep asking me that... And yes I've tried sashimi (raw fish) and have enjoyed about half of what I tried, Maguro (tuna) being my favourite. I've also tried some kind of squid, which was quite tender and some kind of clam... which was very rubbery... still refuse any invitation to try Natto that anyone sends my way... and I'm totally ok with that. Have also tried Wasabi, and a bunch of Japanese dishes I have no idea what they're called.... but all were quite good... even the chicken cartilage at the Izakaya (Japanese Pub) the other night.
So I'll keep plugging away at expanding my Japanese culinary skills... In the meantime, it's sushi, spaggetti and Curry Rice (I hope)... more on the story later!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Michel, thanks for the fantastic photos. Your commentary makes it almost as good as being there (better - don't need the umbrella). Can't wait for the next trip and update.
Nellie

12:54 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Michel, thanks for the fantastic photos. Your commentary makes it almost as good as being there (better - don't need the umbrella). Can't wait for the next trip and update.
Nellie

12:55 PM  
Blogger chef wannabe said...

You can use pasta with the curry instead of rice.

And a trick that I've found useful for cooking rice, level the rice and add water until it's about an inch high [use your index finger to measure, if water level reaches the first 'line' the water is enough].

2:05 AM  

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