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Archive for October, 2008


I fell in love with the pastie (pronounced past-e, not paste-e) while wandering down a back street in Newquay, and letting my nose lead me to this little pastie shop that sold these large baked pies shaped like gigantic pot stickers. Over the 2 months I was in town, I had my fair share of traditional Cornish and English cuisine, from the properly dodgy meat pie, the sausage roll, the cheesy chips and doner kebabs, but my favorite was the pastie.

Ozzie pasties seem to contain much more meat filling than I remember, and just being larger in general. Usually my favorite pasties are a tie between chicken curry or lamb and mint, but this massive meat and veggie pastie from a bakery in Deloraine, Tasmania, was perfect. The crust was flaky and went well with the simple meat, potato, and peas filling. Yum.

Bakery in Deloraine@ Tasmania, Australia

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It’s finally autumn here in Yamanashi, and there are plenty of bright green kabocha pumpkins in the supermarkets. Kabocha is a little different than a normal pumpkin, it’s like a sweeter butternut squash, with a smooth texture like sweet potatoes. While kabocha can be prepared many ways, my favorite is simmering. It is super easy, and really great now that the weather is cooling off.

Ingredients:

  • Half of a kabocha pumpkin with the seeds removed, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup of water
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dashi stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin rice vinegar

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1. Place the pumpkin chunks at the bottom of a medium pot.
2. Add water, stock, sugar and mirin. Gently stir. The liquid level should be a centimeter from covering the top of the kabocha. If it is too low, add more water. Do not add too much water, or you will get kabocha soup.
3. Bring to a boil uncovered on high, let boil for 1-2 minutes.
4. Turn down the heat to low, and cover. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Check if the kabocha is done by poking a piece with a chopstick. If the chop stick goes through the kabocha easily, it is done. If not, continue cooking til soft.
6. Try not to stir the kabocha, because it falls apart easily.
7. When done, use a slotted spoon to gently remove the kabocha and place into a bowl.
8. On medium heat, reduce the leftover liquids in the pot until it can lightly coat the back of a spoon.
9. Pour over kabocha.
Enjoy!!

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Three yummy summer kakigori かき氷 shaved ice specials at Kihachi Ice Cream. In addition to the required shaved ice, these chilly desserts also come with a serving of Kihachi’s famous vanilla bean soft serve.

Yellow:Mango pieces, a citrus syrup, tipped with a grapefruit gelee.
This was my favorite of the 3, the sweet fresh mango goes really well with the tart grapefruit.

Green: The traditonal ujikinntoki 宇治金時 or sweetened red beans with a matcha syrup, topped with kanten 寒天 jelly pieces.

Red: Red raspberries with a scoop of annin purin アンニン プリン almond pudding, topped with a sweet raspberry syrup and condensed milk.

Kihachi Soft Cream@ Lumine building, Shinjuku station, Tokyo, Japan

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Even though the summer heat is gone, and autumn is finally here in Yamanashi, I’m still hooked on salads. This is an easy and quick salad to make, and goes great as a sandwich filling or on it’s own.

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 7-8 large leaves of lettuce, shredded
  • 240g of imitation krab sticks, pulled apart
  • 4tbsp mayonnaise or to taste
  • 1tbsp of creamy sesame/goma dressing or toasted sesame seeds
  • dash of parsley
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • dash of white pepper

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1. Make sure carrots and lettuce are well drained.
2. Combine all ingredients into medium bowl and stir well.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes.
Enjoy as is, or with toasted bread or crackers.
Serves 4-6.

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