Category Archives: Food & drinks

Food & drinks

First “home-cooked” meal (but not really)

This was the very first meal I’ve “cooked” at my new place.  A work of art, a effort of olympian proportions, ambrosia for the tastebuds….well…mayhaps I exaggerate a little.

It was simply 2 packets of instant “heat-n-eat” “ume” okayu mixed with some ginger soup spices. 😉

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Pretty tasty though!  At some point I’ll try to make okayu from scratch since it really is “comfort food” – its equivalent in Indonesia (bubur ayam) was one of my absolute favorite foods there.  Healthy, very versatile, and light on the stomach (making it perfect for breakfast or dinner, or simply when you’re not feeling well) okayu and its close cousin “ochazuke” can be enjoyed by anyone and I think was a perfect first meal. 🙂

Food & drinks

Further feeding the bacon obsession…

Y’know, I hadn’t quite realised just how widely shared my enthusiasm for bacon is shared.   Actually, my fondness in bacon somewhat pales when considering things like the Bacon Prayer and people who eat nothing but bacon for nearly an entire month.  You’ve also got baconwear and bacon accessories, bacon band-aids, bacon lunchboxes… there’s even a recipe for bacon and bourbon pecan pie!  

Actually you know what?  Just check out the Baconcyclopedia – that’ll tell you all the bacon information you need to know.

 

Bacon heaven
Bacon heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone please tell me why I’m staying up so late reading about bacon… and now I’m hungry too 🙁

Food & drinks

Bacon explosion…

Despite being American-Japanese, I have never really felt a need to live in the US.  Certainly, there are things I love about America; primarily the amount of space (anyone who’s lived in Tokyo for any length of time will understand),  English is spoken (sometimes it is simply frustrating not being able to express oneself, and for important matters such as looking for a home, lack of language is a major obstacle), and…food.

Yes, America doesn’t have the best of reputations when it comes to food – roughly 142,000,000 Americans over the age of 20 are considered to be either overweight or obese.  There is just so much food available, and when it tastes good… we eat.  It’s normal and a very natural survival mechanism.  So, I can sympathize.  However, for my own health, it’s just as well that I’m not living there!  (^^;

One of the foods that I LOVE but cannot readily get in Tokyo is bacon.  Real bacon, not the miserly little soggy scraps of paper-thin meat the Japanese call “bacon”.  Real bacon is thick, crunchy, and substantial.  See below for the difference between Japanese bacon, and real bacon.

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Costco is the only place I know of that sells real bacon in Japan, but they are so far away and with individual packs costing over 800 yen, it can get a tad pricey if you want to stock up.

The reason I started this post is because I came across a recipe for what has got to be one of the most artery-clogging dishes ever – but still looks so wrongly good (vegetarians will probably go comatose after reading how to make the bacon explosion).

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I know that this is extremely unhealthy, I KNOW it.  But… I can’t help but want to take one bite of that.  Just one.  Just to see what it’s like… *big sigh*  But I can’t.  I can’t even get a quarter of the amount of bacon needed to create that monstrosity, and living by myself, I wouldn’t do it, even if I could.  But it sure does make me hungry for some real bacon.
I leave you with a link to a place that is unashamedly promoting their extremely unhealthy meals – at least they’re honest about what you’re going to get when you go in there! (and no, these dishes don’t appeal to me – too much beef there.  Just give me a rasher of real bacon and I’ll be happy 🙂

http://www.heartattackgrill.com/

Food & drinks

A gingerous obsession

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I love ginger.  Ginger in tea, ginger in soup, ginger with fish, ginger in soda, ginger in rice… I have been known to disturb my friends with my habit of downing hashi-fulls of gari by itself.   I don’t know why they seem perturbed – it’s sweet but spicy,  juicy and… just delicious as is!

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When I was visiting family down in Canberra some time ago, I was introduced to Bundaberg’s Ginger Beer – cold, with bits of ginger floating inside, sweet yet spicy (a very important difference compared to something like ginger ale which doesn’t taste gingery at all).  I’ve been trying to find something similar in Japan ever since without much luck.

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About a year and a half ago, something very close to ginger beer came out in Japan.  It was called “Diabolo Ginger” (??????????) and though it didn’t have little bits of ginger in it, the taste was great.  I hoarded as many bottles of it as I could until they stopped selling it after just a few months (I don’t know why they stopped 🙁 ) – I still have 2 bottles in the fridge at home, unopened for almost a year because I can’t bear to finish what may be the last 2 bottles left in Japan.

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Today I stopped by a combini as usual to get an onigiri for breakfast on my way to work – and saw a bottle with the label “Calpis Soda Ginger” (???????????????????)!  I passed the display of drinks and then literally did a double-take, my eyes round with disbelief.  But no, there it was!  Calpis with GINGER!

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Why was I so extra excited?  Well, Calpis soda (check out their funky website!) just happens to be my very favorite soft drink (I don’t care for Coke or Pepsi, or much other carbonated drinks – only Calpis Soda ????????)  So my favorite soft drink with ginger…we’re talking about something that could possibly approach the status of bottled ambrosia here.

Unfortunately, that was not to be the case 🙁

I downed the bottle first thing upon getting into the office and – sufficed to say, it didn’t meet up to my expectations.  For one thing, possibly the fact that it’s labeled as “Zero Calories” explains the very flat taste.  Secondly, the ginger flavor is almost non-existant.  I WANT to feel the kick, the spike as the ginger flavor hits my tastebuds.  Sadly, this particular combination of ginger and calpis tasted worse than either of the flavors individually.

So… I’m back to searching for more ginger drinks in Japan – worst comes to worst, once I finally get my own place, I might try brewing some of my own~!