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).

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!
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, 28 February 2011

Warm soba noodles - winter food


Soba is a typical summer dish eaten cold in Japan. But in the winter we make it in a hot broth with vegetables and meat or fish, just like ramen or udon noodles.

So this is a non-frill winter dinner in our house:

Warm soba with salmon





- Soba noodles, cooked after instructions and rinsed in water.
- Hot broth (soy, sake, sugar, salt, mirin or menmi with sugar and mirin).
- Vegetables; I used lotus root (renkon), fennel and pak choi.
- Grilled salmon with teriaki glaze and sesame seeds.
- Nori.





Instructions:

Cook soba, rinse, set aside.
Grill a piece of salmon in the oven untill done (while you´re cooking the rest).
Simmer the renkon in oil, soy and sugar (broth base) until soft but crispy, add fennel and pak choi and fry some 5 more minutes. Pour in the broth, heat and add soba.
Serve with grilled salmon, sesame and nori on top!
Yum!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I ruined the tofu + making more kumihimo...

Ah, I can´t believe I did that! But after 2-3 hours of making tofu it took me 30 seconds to ruin it.... It all went fine up until when I added vinegar. The tofu didn´t curd so fast, so I thought I´d better heat it some more. I put it back on the heat, turned around, focused on the dishes, and then it boiled! Oh... it burned and boiled.... I scooped up the curds and made the tofu anyway, but it didn´t come out right. I don´t have any pictures... and I just want to forget the whole thing. But I still want tofu... *sulk*... so tomorrow I have to get more soy beans.

"Red on red": Faux leather and satin braid with silver details and red glass pearl.

On the other hand, kumihimo braiding is still fun! Yesterday I tried flat braid with heart pattern. I will post a picture soon when the light is better for pictures.

I´m adding a few pictures of other braids; satin, 100% silk and satin/ faux-leather combo.
I´m working on a small surprise for a friend right now. I hope she will like it!

"Mother and daughter": Satin braid with gold plated details and glass pearls.

"100% silk": Hand colored silk in red and lilac with silver details and red glass pearl.
(Thanks to my mum for the silk!)



Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Still making bracelets....



I´m happy spending my evenings making kumihimo bracelets!

Two friends have ordered custom color and fitted ones, so I´m about to finish my first order.
I can make most sizes and a lot of different colors, so don´t be afraid to contact me if you
want one, or check out my Epla store:

http://krysantemumdesign.epla.no

I´ll be posting a small give-away soon!

On the food front, I´ve got soya beans soaking to make tofu tomorrow. Still missing a real tofu press made out of hinoki wood, but I will buy one at some point. It´ll cost me quite a bit to have one sent over from US.



Sunday, 13 February 2011

Kumihimo - news and a shop!



Look what I´m making! My braiding really took off, so I´ve got myself a small shop on the "norwegian etsy"; Epla! My shop is called krysantemum design - krysantemum being both a flower and a japanese hair braiding style.

Check it out (Norwegian customers):

http://krysantemumdesign.epla.no

Looks like I´ve got a hidden passion, and maybe talent?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Kumihimo - braiding

So, I've been braiding a lot lately using an old Japanese techniqe called Kumihimo.

Some info:
The most prominent historical use of the cords was by samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their lamellar armour and their horses' armor (barding). Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).

I'm using a portable marudai made of flexible foam, and it works really well. It's my past-time activity in front of tv! I would like to get a real wooden marudai as well, to add to the Japanse-stuff-in-my-house list...

Pictures coming soon!