Recipe

Lazy Yakitori

(The picture is from my first try so it not seared enough and doesn’t have any fresh green onions).

It is a nice and quick — if you have already the Yakitori sauce — that goes as well with rice as by itself.

It is the best with chicken thighs, but chicken breast or even legs work as well. If you can, cook the chicken with the skin for more flavor and texture ;).


Ingredients:


  1. Separate the green onions into white and green parts.
  2. Cut the white part into 2cm pieces,
  3. Slice thinly the green part and keep it for later.
  4. Cut the chicken in pieces of about 2*1*1 cm.
  5. Preheat a pan with a little bit of oil on high heat.
  6. Sear the chicken, it’s fine if it slightly get burned.
  7. When the chicken is half “seared” add the green onions and keep the heat high.
  8. When the chicken is seared, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the sauce and half of the green onions. Stir fry to get all the caramelized/burned part but avoid overcooking the sauce.
  9. Dish it up, and add the rest of the green onions.

Enjoy 😉

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Recipe

Yakitori sauce

This sauce is wonderful. I now always have a bottle of home made yakitori sauce in my fridge to add it whenever it’s needed.

I will write a “Lazy Yakitori” recipe that use it. 😉

It is extremely easy to do but takes a little bit of time.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of mirin
  • 1/2 cup of sake
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar *
  • 2 green onions (only the green part)

* Concerning the sugar, I like this sauce on the sweet side, but obviously adjust it to your taste. 😉


  1. Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring it to a boil on high heat.
  2. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat until having a gentle simmer.
  3. Let it simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until it reduce by half.
  4. When it is reduced enough remove from heat, remove the green onions and let it cool down.

I generally pour it in an empty soy sauce bottle when it’s cool.

Enjoy! 😉

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Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 5

Hey! It’s Sunday, time to review what yummy stuff I had this week.

Let’s be logical, and start from Monday. As usually, lunch at the Japanese restaurant. That day it was a meatball with a sauce that seemed to be like between goulash and Okonomyaki sauce. Reaaaally good.

For dinner, I did another try on Crispy Shrimpy in the oven, aaaand… I still don’t know how to make that bloody oven work properly. But it was fine.

On Tuesday the main dish was tempura fish. The fish was so soft that you actually eat it with the bones but don’t feel them. And as side dish there were two mini sausages and bamboo shouts salad.

For dinner I decided to make some Udon in a miso soup, with Konjaku, green onions, Wakame seaweeds, eggs and sesame oil. But I made way too much — like 1L of soup — and didn’t have any proper bowl to eat it, soooo … Simply ate it straight out of the pot =D Soooo good!

Wednesday was Katsu day. With some cabbage salad and a ball of potato salad. I really love that restaurant! And for dinner I had my team over at my place and we had a Burger party. I made 4 different kinds of burgers — Triple Crisp, Chicken Curry, Classical and an experimental pepper sauce one — and 5 burger of each kind, for a total of 20 burgers. It was a fun party with a lot of drinks — and I got a bottle of sake — and a lot of food as I additionally made some fries and guacamole, and my teammates bring chips and ice creams.

The next day — as my kitchen was a pure chaos — I didn’t have breakfast at home and just picked up some “Donuts with Bean Paste” from the convenience store. They are so yummy, not to sweet but just sweet enough.

And for lunch it was cold Soba noodles topped with Nori seaweeds and I guess grated daikon. Additionally you can add some green onions and wasabi — which I did — for more flavors. I really liked it. And as side dish, that stir-fried veggies I like and some rice topped with powdered pickled plums. I need to find this powder cause it so nice on rice. For dinner simply had some grilled fish on rice.

On Friday, I forgot that we had the lunch Seminar so didn’t have any food and had to run under the rain to get some Onigiris from the convenience store. By the way, simple onigiris but really yummy, I should try to do some at home. Then in the evening there was a “Farewell Party” at work with a looooot of food and even more alcohol. So I had some sushis, some deep-fried  potato thingy, some “Chicago style” pizza — but mainly sushis as everybody was excited about western food and I prefer sushis =D —  and drunk some beer, wine, sake — and red sake which is like a mix of rosé and sake — tequila and some Yomeishu which is like sweet sake with a ton of herbs. And most of all I discussed with a lot of people. So it was very lovely.

And during the party we decided to go out for a drink on Saturday. So Since we finish quite late on Friday, I woke up late on Saturday, and mainly took care of my flat and rested. Then I started walking to Ibaraki-shi station to go out, and instead of going through the town, I took the road passing next to the nearby Golf club. Really lovely walk, very calm but a little bit longer.

So I arrived at Ibaraki-shi station a little bit early and waited there, but nobody was arriving. I started thinking that perhaps I misunderstood something and as I don’t have a Japanese phone number I was a little bit worried. But a colleague of mine arrived soon after and explained me that it will be only us as everybody else is still hungover from Friday’s party. So we tried to go to the best Yakitori restaurant/bar of the area but it was fully booked — next time we will reserve >.< — and walked around and got to another Yakitori restaurant: とりのねぐら 阪急茨木店. It was a very lively restaurant with a lot of figurines around the shop. We got places at the bar in front of a collection of One Piece figurines.

Started with a beer and the sort of Karaage in sauce.

Then we started getting all the different dishes. With first chicken sashimi, served with soy sauce, soy and vinegar sauce, grated garlic, ginger, wasabi and chili. Just soooo good. Then we got raw octopus with diced wasabi, a must try definitely.

Then the plate of Yakitori arrived. So I guess it was 4 of simple chicken, 2 traditional scallion and chicken, 2 chicken hearts one and 2 of some other chicken organ. Everything was delicious. On the left of the picture you can also see some tofu with wasabi and sliced perilla leaf.

We had additionally some Karaage — sorry no picture — and I got some sake. And it is very interesting how they pour the sake.So you get that wooden cube with the glass inside and they pour the sake in the glass until it overflows and fill the cube to the half. Then you drink from the glass and when the glass is empty you refill it with the cube.

Then we had some chicken meatball in sauce and with cheese.

And my colleague explained me that this Yakitori restaurant does also Okinawa — that the Japanese tropical island — style food. So we shared some Okinawa style udon with pork and pink ginger. I really loved that restaurant and Yakitoris in general.

Then it was time to drink. So we went to a bar called the “Lazy Bar”. It is a very lovely bar with a big choice of drinks. And the barman was really nice. So we had a lot of drinks, like really a lot. Going from Hawaiian vodka — very good one — to whisky, awamori, sake aaaaaand I finally tried Absinthe. Really a nice evening, but the walk home is still a pain >.<

So today I woke up late again, and had a lazy day with some cleaning, watching stuff and etc… I was slightly hungover in the morning but it went away pretty fast. And as I really enjoyed yakitori, I decided to try to do some at home but without skewers and grill. So I created the “Lazy Yakitori” that you do in a pan. And I must say it was pretty good, so will publish the recipe in the next days.

Now will go to sleep so see you next time! 😉

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Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 4

Helloo!

So already week 4!

The week started perfectly with a holiday on Monday, so it was a 3 days week-end yeah!
I didn’t do much on Monday, mainly tidying and housework… But I did an experiment that was a total “Meeeh!”: Stir-fried udon with shrimps and veggies. Not worth writing a recipe about it.

Tuesday was Ramen day at the usual restaurant. Quite simple ramen but still very good. And I love those blanched veggies and those sweet beans. I don’t really remember what I did for dinner but I think it was fish with rice. And then Ice cream!!!

On Wednesday, first time having Japanese curry not made by me =D It is more chunky than mine but the flavor was quite close. Just delicious. And it was served with a salad that had a lovely creamy sesame dressing. Lovely! And for dinner … hum … I don’t really remember this week >.< But I guess nothing worth remembering.

 

I think I looked a little bit stupid on Thursday. There were Karaage for lunch — chicken Karaage — and it was so juicy and I guess quite marinated that I thought it was pork. But it even had this “Pork fat” flavor >.< So one of my teammate corrected me when I told somebody that we had prok Karaage. But it was really delicious. And I was quite surprised by the side dishes. First a pickled cucumber salad with surimi — sound weird I know — that tasted AMAZING. Then a small “salad” that seemed to be slightly stir-fried. Very good too.

For dinner I made my easy “Shashlik” recipe and then wrote it on the blog.

Friday equal Seminar Day. Had two seminars that day, first one on “Multi Echo fMRI” and the second about “Transcranial direct-current stimulation”. Yeah, trying to learn as much as I can while here. The first one was during lunch, so got some take-away Katsu that I told about the first week. That egg mayo sauce really intrigues me.

For dinner I decided to try another marinade for chicken. Actually I put it to marinate a day before. It was quite good — sesame oil, soy sauce, paprika, chili powder and garam masala — but I think it will be better to marinate it and then batter it and deep-fry it. So will do that and see which is the best and then write the recipe here.

In the end was still quite hungry so went to the convenience store and got some Karaage with some weird salty sauce that tasted quite good.

Finally the week-end. I know it was a 4 days week but I felt quite tired all the week long — even more now. So I had to fetch some delivery from the post office, so decided to walk to the Ibaraki post office. It took me about 30 minutes but it was a nice morning walk. Then I went to do my shopping — another 30 minutes walk — but it was a quite nice weather so it was good. Bought some food for the week and all the ingredients for a Burger Party at my place with my team, so took the monorail to go home. I still struggled to get home with my hands full of bags. But the reward was worth it: I got myself a big set of sushi for lunch. SOOOO good! Just didn’t like the shiso leaf that they add in the scallops sushi.

I got some Takoyaki too but squashed the box, so no picture. There were nice but I still don’t fully get the fact that it has some liquid batter in the middle.

Today — Sunday — I am feeling very tired, don’t know why so mainly stayed home. Had some Salmon filet that I cut into Sashimi and had it with some rice for lunch. Then managed to motivate myself to go outside — it was raining >.< — and walked to the shop to get the burger buns that I couldn’t by the day before. Got some vodka at the same time :D. Then came home and had some cabbage salad and an experimental fried rice. Nothing worth picturing ^^.

So will go to sleep early, and see you next week 😉

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Recipe

Chicken Shashlik

Hello, hello!

So today we are having a very simple recipe but that is just soooo yummy! Shashlik is the main dish that people have at barbecues in Russia — or at least in my family and in friends’ families. It is skewers of big chunks of marinated meat. There are many different way of marinating the meat — each family have there own — so I’ll present you my moms one that is extremely simple and just awesome — not biased at all!

By the way I don’t have access to a barbecue at the moment so I did it in a pan. It is still yummy but the smokiness of a wooden fire is always better 😉

Ah! And last thing, in my family we generally do it from chicken legs. You separate the drumstick and cut — or actually if I am at my house in Russia I chop it with an ax *evil laugh*  — the thigh in two. You marinate and cook it with the bone and the skin. But you can as well do it with chicken breasts — as I did today — or even with other meats like pork for example.


Ingredients for one chicken breast:

  • One chicken breast — No way!!!
  • One onion
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar (better use apple or cider vinegar, but it works with other vinegar like rice one)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper

  1. Cut the onion in four and separate the petals.
  2. Slice the chicken breast in 1.5-2cm chunks.
  3. Mix everything in a bowl, and leave it to marinate for at least 30 minutes but it is best at 2 hours of marinating
    1. If you do it on a barbecue: Alternate chicken and onion on the skewer an cook on a high heat
    2. If you cook it in a pan: Preheat some oil at medium-high to high heat, sear the chicken on at least to side then add the onions and the remaining marinade.
  4. Cook until the chicken get golden brown or even slightly burned. The onions shall at least be soft. And it ready

Bonus: If you do it in the pan and the chicken is ready before the onion, remove the chicken from the pan and use a little bit of whiskey to deglaze the pan with the onions 😉

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Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 2

Hola qué tal?

Second week here already =O. So this week was quite calm except for Tuesday night, but will talk about it later. Most of the days I would go to work and have lunch in that lovely Japanese restaurant that I told you about last week. On Monday it was Katsu — Japanese cutlet — with a fried egg and a salad with that Japanese dressing I love. That dressing is with soy sauce and sesame oil, and some other thing that I would love to know what it is so I could make it myself.

Tuesday was my first time ever having real Japanese Udon — I made my own Udon a few time but never had any in a restaurant. It was served in a pretty simple broth with green onion, a thin slice of sweet fried tofu, a narutomaki piece — and no it’s not a Maki done in reference to the Manga Naruto but a sort of fish cake — and some shredded Kombu seaweed. very lovely. With the Udon dish was a dish of fried rice with soy sauce, carrots, konjaku, shimeji mushrooms and a few pieces of chicken and of fried tofu. I reaaaaaaally loved it so will try to do it at home and share the recipe with you. Finally there were some deep-fried onions and blanched veggies — some bok choy I guess. And as always some pickled veggies, that tasted awesome with the deep-fried onions.

On Wednesday I was sick so no lunch. For Thursday lunch we had some Oden — which is a Japanese pot-au-feu — with a lot of veggies and a dish of what I think was pickled bamboo shouts. Quite interesting.

As I was expecting to have our “Friday lunch seminar” I bought some premade food from the convenience store, but in the end left it for dinner as there wasn’t any seminar that day so we went to that restaurant to have some lovely fish and a quite amazing onion salad. But after that salad, it was probably impossible for me to talk to anybody due to the “onioness” of my breath ^^’.

Now that I finished to summary my lunches during the work days, let’s speak about the dinners. On Monday I simply cooked some chicken with onions and garlic. It really seems to me that chicken is much more flavorful here, I don’t know why.

So on Tuesday evening, my lab organized a very lovely party for the farewell of a member of the lab and my welcome. So we met at a nice restaurant nearby Ibaraki station — the town of Ibaraki, not the prefecture 😛 — for dinner. There were so much different dishes. At first there was some sashimi — tuna, salmon, octopus, yellow-tail and slightly cooked scallops. The octopus has a very weird texture but is very yummy. Then there was a few baby octopus, or perhaps squids I am not sure, that were again a little bit strange but very good too. The next dish was some Oden with spicy sausages, cabbages, some beef and other stuff — I was so impressed at that point that I wasn’t paying to much attention to what was in the dishes, sorry. Ah and I nearly forgot, there was a little bit of potato salad too. Then arrived the most fancy looking dish of the evening: whelk on fire =O. I was not really fond of its taste, it was too bitter for me.

What I really like is that all the dishes are coming one after another and everybody share and take whatever they like. The rest of the dishes were Karaage (Japanese chicken nuggets), fried oysters, some sort of glutenous tofu and finally — I hope I did not forget anything — some rice topped with mini fishes, roe and seaweed. All of these dishes were accompanied by first beer and then a mix of whiskey and sparkling water, which is a little bit strange as I generally drink my whisky on the rocks. To summary: an amazing dinner.

After that some people went home, but a big part of us went to a bar to brink some more. I had some more beer and some Shōchū — if I am not mistaking — which is kind of a “Japanese vodka” as my colleague introduced it to me. It was a very lovely evening. But next morning I wasn’t really fresh — probably due to the mix of alcohol, having a cold and being jet-lagged —  and managed to stay at work for only two hours. But taking that day as rest actually helped me to get over my jet-lag.

The rest of the working week I got dinner from the convenience store. I had some tempura, some other deep-fried stuff (like last week) and some Yakitori. It was all nice 😉

So the week-end! The week end was sort of short as I was waking up at 11:00 but that’s nice. On Saturday I got out of the house right after waking up — I took a shower first but almost right after waking up — and walk again to the “ExpoCity” commercial center. I needed to get an USB key and a cup or a mug for work. Got both and got my groceries at the same time. I finally found flour and butter — YAY! But I was surprised by the high price of cheeses but I guess most of them are imported from Europe or the US. And I was shocked to only find smaaaaaall burger buns. What will happen to my burgers with such small buns >.< For my way back decided to be lazy and took the monorail. Finally spent the rest of the day cleaning and taking care of the laundry. Ah and had sushi for dinner =D

Woke up in a great mood on Sunday: a cooking mood. So directly started doing a big pot of Japanese curry for dinner and then experimented a little bit with the mini burger buns, Japanese mayonnaise and Japanese ketchup. The result baby burgers were actually pretty good so I guess my burgers are safe but small ^^’.

In the afternoon decided to go for a walk. I went through the campus of the Osaka University to reach a nice little park, then walked through the nearby town. I was surprised to see the shops open on Sunday so decided to perhaps get some alcohol in prevision of a burger party at my place. And Happiness: whiskey is pretty cheap in Japan =D. So got myself a bottle and a few other stuff. At the till, I don’t know if I misunderstood the cashier or she forgot to give me a bag, but yeah no bags and I didn’t had any with me. As I was too shy to ask after I just packed my jacket pockets and stacked all the rest to somehow manage everything. “Anyway the house is close” I thought aaaaaand… NO! 25 or 30 minutes of balancing all that stuff while walking to reach home. And you know the best? I arrive finally at home — dying — put everything on the table, and the bow of already squashed sushis fell on the floor >.< Still ate it!

So now I’m seating and writing this post while enjoy a glass of Bourbon. And so “Chin chin” and see you next time 😉

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Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 1

Hey!

It is Sunday evening (at least here) so time to summary this first “Week” — I am here since Wednesday so not really a whole week. I won’t talk of Wednesday and Thursday as it is covered in my previous post (Japan: Days 1-2). And I guess I will do like one post a week in general as I will have less new stuff to tell you about and as work is taking more and more time.

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So Friday! On Fridays we have “Lunch Seminaries” — you bring your lunch and you listen a presentation while eating. Pretty cool stuff to learn new things while eating =D. So I had to quickly grab some lunch at the convenience store so got some breaded chicken with rice and a mayonnaise sauce with pieces of hard egg in it. As I ate it during the presentation I could not take any pictures, but it was very nice and I was surprised by that sauce, it suited very well this chicken. So after that presentation — it was about athlete running prosthesis and how can the performance of an Olympic runner be compared to a Paralympic runner, interesting subject — I went back to work while struggling with the jet lag — and I dared thinking in the morning that I am dealing with the jet lag like a boss…

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As I needed to start doing some homemade food, I went to the supermarket after work. It was a nice 25 minutes walk to go there, I walked under the monorail so there were less risks for me to get lost. It was a small but nice little supermarket with everything I needed — but I did not manage to find Flour and Butter, the fact that I do not know any Japanese does not help ^^’. It pretty hard to shop without language so I only got the stuff I more or less knew. I was amazed by the high price of fruits and the low price of sea-food, chicken and sushis… Yeah you understood me: it was definitely decided that it was a sushi night. I got some beer too as I like the Asahi one and has not yet tried the Kirin one — nice one by the way. The one thing that is totally different that in France or Switzerland is how you pay and pack the groceries. When you arrive at the till, the cashier unpacks your basket, scans everything, and pack it in another basket. Then you pay and the cash register give automatically the money back. So it goes super fast to go through the till, and then you have your basket of paid groceries and there are tables after the till with bags and sticky tape for you to pack everything as you want. I really like it, it is like every single thing is optimized. That is actually a feeling that I had since I am in Japan — except for when I had to get my luggage to give it back 5 minutes later.

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I decided to go home through the town instead of taking the same road. A very nice walk through those quite streets. Finally reached home. It was sushi time! And yes it was supermarket sushi, but I just do not care it was so good. I could eat this every single day and not get bored of it. Additionally the price is really chip. It was 10 nigiris for 570 yens — less than 5€ and about 5$. In Switzerland for 10€ you get like 5 nigiris.

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Saturday woke up ultra early again at like 4:00. I was pretty much bored during this early morning but as the day appeared nice I went around 9:00 for a walk. As I needed a mouse for my computer I decided to go to a commercial center. The closest one was at 35 minutes of walk, on the other side of — as I discovered — the park of the Japan World Exposition of 1970. That is where the strange statue is — by the way it is called the Statue of the Sun and you can read about it in the following pictures.

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As I was earlier for the opening of the commercial center — it opens at exactly 10:00:00, not 9:59:59 or 10:00:01, but 10:00. And there were some fun stuff to see. First of all the “English Village” with an American flag on it. But actually you can look at the USA as being long time ago an English village. The other two things are totally “Only in Japan”. First, Gundam statues of like 8 meters height. Second, a Pokemon Gym — actually it is called “Pokemon Expo Gym” but yeah you understood me.

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Finally the commercial center opens. I simply walk around looking at what kind of shops they have. Some are quite interesting like the popcorn shop. A few shop are using simple French names to look cooler — made me laugh. I found another supermarket so checked what they had as it is bigger than the one I went the day before. That is where I found the weirdest popcorn I ever saw. It was called “Chicago Classic” and was a mix of “bettery caramel corn and rich cheddar cheese corn”. I don’t know perhaps it’s amazing but it is weird for me. If you had something like this before tell me please so perhaps I try it.

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Continued walking around, finished the first floor, arriving on the second floor where is the shop I found on internet as “Computer Shop”. It was an Apple store… Great ! >.< So continued through the second flour and reached the third floor. In one of the corner of that floor there is a Food court and there is a lot of choice so you will definitely hear about it more in my future posts. It was a hard choice between Ramen, Okonomyaki-Takoyaki and Hawaiian burger, but went to the Okonomyaki-Takoyaki shop and got their mixed plate. Both the Okonomyaki and the Takoyakis were not as I expected but I really enjoyed it. The Takoyakis are soft batter balls with liquidy batter and a piece of octopus in the middle. The Okonomyaki is more like a mix between a pancake and an omelette with a lot on stuff in it — in mine there was beef, fish cake (I guess) and green onion, not really the traditional. I will try both of it another time this time with the sauces that goes with.

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Then finished walking through the commercial center and the last shop is … A computer shop yeaaaaaaah! So got my mouse of the brand “Logicool” — it seems that it is the name of Logitech in Japan. I was wondeering if I can cut through the park to go home, but the access costs 250 yens, so I said “Naah! Perhaps next time” and walked the same way I came. It was a lovely day, It was warm enough to walk just in T-shirt. Got home and rested the rest of the afternoon. For dinner I made a cooking experiment that I will tell you in the next post as it is a recipe. Went to sleep at midnight to try to not wake up at 4. Woke up at 11:20 =O As it was a gloomy day, just took care on laundry and cleaning the flat.

Now I am getting ready for tomorrow, so see you another day 😉

 

 

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