This year, summer didn’t get off to a good start here. Torrential rain that killed many, weeks of sustained high temperature beyond 35°C and one after another came a dangerous typhoon — if not the great summer’s harvest, this hot season really isn’t quite my favourite.
While Hokkaido has Kaisen-don 海鮮丼 loaded with freshness, Osaka is proud to show off their Okonomiyaki お好み焼き. I remembered a mum friend once told me, “Never leave Nagoya yet if you haven’t tried their Tebasaki. Tebasaki are chicken wings. Nagoya likes to deep-fry them golden and crisp, then generously flavoured with soya sauce spiked with garlic, ginger and sharp bits of freshly cracked black pepper.
The skin crisps to crunchy cracklings and the meat melts with juicy tenderness – Chicken Karaage 鶏のから揚げ is an iconic and timeless go-to dish that many Japanese children would expect their mothers to learn by heart and cook deliciously well for them.
I was rushing to make a quick meal for my son the other day, before he left for his baseball practice. Opened the fridge and only to find out not even a drop of the Teriyaki sauce was left in the bottle. Ooooh… “why now!?”
Immediately they came back from school, even before putting down their bags, George and June would come straight into the kitchen to keenly check what I’ve made for afternoon snacks. Actually both of them often grumble – grumble about me being strict with the kind of snacks they pick and eat.
I must have been so used to the way how Japanese make their potato salad, I haven’t tried making others for a while. How do you like your potato salad to be done? In crunchy chunks, the smooth fluffy mashed ones or something in between? Japanese potato salad, poteto-sarada ポテトサラダ is that something in between – slightly dense but smooth and creamy.
“昔ながらのお母さんのおかず” – our mother’s old-fashioned side dish. Kinpira Gobo 金平ごぼう is definitely one of them. This traditional yet simple recipe is passed down by mothers from generation to generation. Japanese children are, of course, no stranger to it, they grew up eating Kinpira and I hope my kids too. One main ingredient used is Gobo ごぼう, also known as burdock root. This rugged-looking long stem obviously doesn’t look appealing in any way, but it is a hidden gem with many great nutrients. It has excellent anti-aging power and helps to improve allergy problems.
Never belittles these “black little thingy”. Yes, black little thingy – my children would call whenever they see them on the dinning table. Indeed to children, “black food” aren’t very inviting, especially picky eaters like mine. Hijiki 芽ひじき is actually seaweed which is well-known for its good nutrients. They are rich in fibre and other essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium.