Welcome to my blog.

After a few random posts I've decided to dedicate this blog to my life long project of Japanese food
and culture (and my life in general, especially my travels).

Since my first taste of sushi back in 1997 I've been interested in, and frequently been making
Japanese food.
My interest in the country and culture started long before and continues to evolve.
I was lucky to finally visit Japan in October 2008 and hope to be back soon.
In July 2012 I visited Japantown in San Fransisco, the next best thing!
I was lucky to be back in 2015, 2016 and 2017 thanks to the fact that we now have family living in California.
Both small and big adventures will from now on, as time permits, be shared with you.

I will post other recipes and pictures too, mainly cooking projects, plants and art projects
(including my new love - making kumihimo braided objects).

I hope you'll find it interesting, and feel free to leave a comment or ask questions!

I write mainly in English, but there will be some Norwegian too, especially posts about things
that mainly have Norwegian interest. Tutorials are bi-lingual.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Birthday bento

My quick bento made with whatever was in the fridge;

inari filled with rice mixed with furikake
aloe vera segments in juice
tofu with shiso and soya (soya not added yet)


Quick dinner and homemade furikake

A quick sunday dinner, maybe not entirely Japanese, but we try... Sake shiso - salmon with fresh shiso baked in the oven and served with rice, pickles, miso soup and salad.
Here's the lovely salmon ready for the oven: Topped with sweet soya, salt and shiso:

And for the rice I've made homemade furikake (rice topping):
Nori (in strips)
Black and white sesame seeds
Shaved bonito (fish)

Mix together and put on top of your cooked rice!
Or mix with rice inside onigri or inari...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

More planting..

Oh boy, I do enjoy having a small garden! Well, at least a large terrace and a small piece of soil next to my kitchen wall..
Last week I received my parcel from Oriental Vegetable Seeds (fast service, good selection). I've ordered seeds of shiso (3 types), daikon (4 types), a bok choi variety and Japanese cucumber.
This week I've planted baby bok choi, aka-shiso (red shiso) and one daikon variety called Daebu summer. Daikon and bok choi surfaced after 2-3 days, I'm still vaiting for the shiso to sprout.

Both daikon and bok choi grow easily, just plant them right under the surface in moist soil, keep it fairly moist and warm and they'll grow fast.

Pictures coming!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Hijiki no nimoto

Today I've made hijiki for the 2nd time, this time I included konnyaku as well. It came out good, half was for dinner, the other is for bento box tomorrow, with rice, ume, egg and chicken. What a nice start to the week!

I'm including the recipe and some action shots:

Hijiki no nimoto (simmered hijiki sea vegetable)

1/3 cup dried hijiki (rinse and soak for 20 minutes in cold water)
1 piece abura age (oil removed and cut into small strips)
1/3 block of konnyaku cake (cut in slices)
1/2 large carrot (in julienne)
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups dashi
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tbsp soya
1 tbsp mirin or sake with sugar

Prepare everything while the hijiki is soaking in cold water for at least 20 minutes.
The abura age needs to be rinsed with boiling hot water and rolled on a clean towel with a chopstick to remove excess oil.

Fry the carrot strips in the vegetable oil until tender. Add konnyaku and abura age and cook for another 2-3 minutes, without burning the vegetables.

Add hijiki (without soaking water), fry for a minute and add the stock. Simmer everything in the stock until it has boiled down to aprox. half of the quantity. Serve hot in a bowl or cool down and add to your bento box.

Happy shiso

My happy, little shiso is growing... and soon it will come out in the garden! Notice the daikon in the background - growing way to fast!