Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Takikomi Gohan

And various other dishes.

Today my host sister and I planned on making dinner, but I didn't quite work. She didn't sleep last night because of work, and my host mom can't help but help (It's just like home!) make dinner, but I still learned how to make some Japanese food.

Rice with a bunch of seasonal vegetables in it. And let me take a second to say that the Japanese have some very weird vegetables.

Japanese carrots are the strangest looking carrots I've ever seen. I don't know what they to do make the carrots grow so sort and fat, but every Japanese carrot farmer does the same thing. I thought the first few were flukes, but they all look like that.

Gobou is another root vegetable. It is long probably a foot and a half to two feet) and thin and looks a bit like a giant alien finger.

There's nothing in the picture to compare to the the size of this massive radish, but daikon weigh about two pounds I would say they're about a foot long. (Not my photo.)

Takenoko, when it's peeled and vacuum packed, does not resemble, in any way, the bamboo shoot that is once was. 
And then, once you open the package and begin to cut up this foreign object, there are open spaces in it and some white grainy substance in those air pockets.

Next, we have goya, or bitter melon. I had the unfortunate experience of tasting this 'melon'. It is aptly named. (I also didn't take this photo, we didn't buy any bitter melon, thank god.)

And last, we have lotus root. Cool looking, and it tastes pretty good. (Again, not my photo.)

I also learned how to make miso soup, but I sort of wish that I hadn't. There are thre kinds of miso soup; red, white and mixed. The paste used to make all miso soup, whatever variety, is made from fermenting soybeans, barley, or rice (usually soybeans) with salt and a Japanese fungus. You mix this paste with a Japanese soup stock, dashi, and just wait until your miso soup is strong enough.

Finally, my host sister showed me how to make tamagoyaki (tamago means egg, yaki means grilled/fried). The name is pretty self explanatory. I didn't see what all went in the egg before it went in the pan, but most recipes call for sugar, the same dashi soup stock as before, and sometimes soy sauce and salt. From there you just keep layering and rolling the eggs until you have a sort of egg block, which you then cut up.



Katie B said...

Ohhhh man Lena, you have no idea how much I daisuki tamagoyaki. I don't even like eggs, but I DAAAAIIIISUKIII tamagoyaki. Same goes for takenoko and Lotsu root!
Going to a Japanese grocery store is a life changing experience.
Anywayyyysss I'm loving your blog! Keep it up! :)

Lena Ray said...

It's weird, but it's really good. I am going to make it aaallllll the time when I get home. I'll bring some to Japanese and we can just eat it and watch the Japanese 4 kids struggle with he AP.

Awww thanks :)

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