Food Blog: Teriyaki Stir Fry

Since I wanted to use up some of the bell peppers slowly warping into leathery skin, I cut a couple with some onions and a slab of boneless chicken fillet before tossing them together in a saucepan of teriyaki sauce. The magic came in with the seasonings, though. I added basil, parsley, garlic, salt, habanero pepper, chili pepper, and grounded pepper until it had a little bit of a kick. Just a tablespoon of soy sauce pulled out some of the teriyaki flavor.

The rice wasn’t regular Japanese white rice, but during the boiling process (surprisingly, I don’t have a rice cooker), I added a chicken bouillon cube. My husband doesn’t like plain white rice anyways.

 

Food Blog?

I have decided to start blogging about what I eat so that I can keep track of my diet and how I make things. Lately, I’ve been cooking more at home to help lessen my tummy fat, fatten my wallet, and condition my cooking skills. One of the suggestions I’ve read in losing weight without categorizing calories (something I was guilty of) was by keeping a food blog. It forces me to see what I’m eating and also garners support (or criticism) from people reading about the food I post. In a way, it’s a way to kick my ass into shape. Along with the food blog, I’ve been upping my cardio workouts, switching between dancing, kickboxing, and ballet to keep things interesting. However, I’m looking forward to food blogging. I like cooking for my husband, especially when I can make the meal look and taste good, which is harder than it looks.

Today, I felt like eating a creme pasta with baked chicken, though not the best choice in the healthiest of meals (whip creme is made out of percentage of fat and pasta has carbs). But baking chicken curbs the extra fat from pan-frying and the fresh ingredients give the food a more wholesome taste. Tomorrow, I hope the meal is more healthy. Wish me luck!

Lightly-seasoned baked chicken, creme sauce pasta with fresh basil, and freshly-cut tomatoes and onions

Creme Ingredients:
-1 small carton of whipped creme, liquid
-2 tablespoons of fresh sliced basil
-1 tablespoon of onions
-spaghetti pasta
-2 tablespoons of margarine
These are cheap and local items at any Japanese grocery store or produce place.

First, cook the onions and any other vegetables. Put the cooked veggies to the side. Under low to medium heat, melt the margarine in the pan until the water has evaporated and before the margarine can brown. Pour the whipped creme into the pan and slowly stir the melted margarine with the creme. Let the combination simmer a little before turning down the heat. Stir it for 5 minutes. Add all of the ingredients into the pan and enjoy!

The Katsudon of my (Anime) Dreams

One of the teachers took me to a family restaurant that sold katsudon (かつどん), a dish that’s common in anime and manga.
What is it besides a common anime and manga dish? It’s deep-fried chicken over eggs, rice and onions. It can be made in different ways, but it’s delicious anyways.
This katsudon was huge! It was as big as my face, and it came with miso soup and a small dish of pickled radish. For all of that food, I only paid 500 円 (around $5). What a deal! I only finished half, and I felt so guilty for not finishing it. Normally someone would say, “Mottainai”, which is a way of saying, “What a waste”, but thankfully no one did. (^_^)v

Indian Food in Okinawa

I absolutely love Indian food. There’s this misconception with Indian food: it’s spicy. But in learning about Japanese tastebuds, “spicy” Indian food wouldn’t make it in Japan.
Still, at an Indian restaurant my husband and I went to on Kokusai-dori in Naha City called Nanak, there were options for spicy food but it didn’t readily come with it. The strong flavor in Indian food-tasting the fullness of curry and other seasonings- was deep in the dish. Just a small amount of chicken and eggplant curry, and potato nan with chicken and seasoned meats, was enough to fulfill our appetites. The nan was so delicious, I preferred it to the plain white rice with the curry. Thankfully, the food we ate wasn’t too heavy, since we had a lot of walking to do, but it was just enough. The price was a bit steep-almost 3000 for both of us-however, it was worth it.
I don’t know the name of this restaurant. Like many whole-in-the-wall businesses in Japan, this yellow-signed, basement level restaurant’s name was the last thing on my mind. Only its good food that was made by Nepal cooks still exists in my mind.

Papa’s Kitchen in Okinawa

I was invited to a women’s luncheon at a school I worked for and the restaurant turned out to be an Italian restaurant. I love Italian food!

First, they served salad (sarada) with an egg soup, light cheese-tofu square, and a bit of meatloaf with a dallop of mustard. It tasted very well, though the taste was more towards the Japanese tastebuds than the Italian ones.

Pasta promptly followed the salad. It came a big, funnel-like bowl and looked like it wouldn’t completely satisfy my Italian-loving tastebuds. I was wrong; the pasta was absolutely delicious. The sauce wasn’t too heavy and the pasta wasn’t over or undercooked. It definitely beat out the jar of Prego my husband and I bought from San-A (a chain grocery store similar to Vons or Albertsons).

Handmade bread came to our tables in baskets, fresh from the oven. Having no oven, I had forgotten what it was like to eat handmade fresh bread. The outside was slightly crunchy while the inside was soft and fluffy. It reminded me of the bread served at the Cheesecake Factory, except this bread didn’t have that cardboard-paper taste. There were two kinds, wheat and white. The wheat was slightly sweeter than the white, and knowing that it was healthier as well, I took more than one slice of the warm bread.

Once the bread was nearly gone, the main course arrived, piping hot and beautifully arranged. A single piece of potato, broccoli, daikon (Japanese radish with a slight pungent flavor), and some purple mush I couldn’t identify surrounded a slice of saucy chicken. The chicken was so plump and moist, the vegetables flanking it was almost forgotten. The sauce was slightly sweetened and complemented the chicken and the various vegetables. As everyone ate their entree, I could hear the purrings of approval from the other women. Some even dipped the handmade bread into the sauce.

Lastly, the dessert came. Served with a thinly-sliced piece of sponge cake were arranged fruits and an ice cream cake. The fruits, which turned out to be sliced bananas, baked apples, and strawberries, tasted fresh but not overly sweet. The ice cream cake was chilly with its vanilla ice cream and cranberry cake mingling together for a wonderful, soft flavor. After the dessert, coffee or tea was brought to everyone, and it needed little sugar to sweeten the end of an amazing meal.