Archive for June 11th, 2010

We still have two ku gua from The Cat’s friend (see previous posts).  The Cat mentioned that ku gua can be eaten raw but  she’s never ate it like that before.  After searching the internet, I came across this website that provided excellent direction for preparing and using raw bitter melon in a salad: http://heartandhearth.blogspot.com/2008/09/quest-for-bitterless-bittermelon-salad.html.  I choose to use the “osmosis” method to prepare the ku gua.  I didn’t use fish sauce in the dressing (just sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar).  I also did not add onions to the salad (just bitter melon and grape tomatoes). 

Ku Gua Salad

The Cat thought the ku gua was a little too crunchy at first and suggested I do a quick par-boil and ice bath next time.  We had leftover salad for the next night.  The Cat said the salad had better taste and texture after sitting overnight.  This salad is definitely an acquired taste. 

I’m submitting this salad to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday feature.  http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/


The Mouse is broadening his repertoire.

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Wasabi Oil

I previously posted about my revelation with stinky tofu.  But before I learned to eat stinky tofu, I learned to eat natto.  I can’t remember where or how I learned to eat natto, but I’ve been eating natto even before The Cat and I got married (June 20, 1992).However, this post is not really about natto.  This post is about one of the condiments I eat natto with.  Wasabi oil.  I found this oil several years ago at our local Japanese market and have been using it since.  The contents are rapeseed (Canola) oil, mustard seed oil, and Japanese horseradish.  The bottle even contains a warning about its spiciness.  

"Wasabi Oil"


Sometimes the natto packages come with small mustard packets.  Instead of mustard, I use the “wasabi oil” and light shoyu to season the natto.   A few drops of the “wasabi oil” and shoyu is also good as a dipping sauce for sushi and sashimi (two of our favorite foods).  I will also add a few drops to poke.

Since I’m on the subject of natto, I wanted to show you a Japanese utensil, purchased at the local Japanese warehouse mart, to froth the natto. 

Natto Stirring Stick

It’s supposed to froth the natto to a sticky (The Cat said icky), and foamy consistency.  I bought it because it looks like some kind of science fiction implement, lol.  Here’s a picture of the natto, after being agitated by the stick.  I can’t say its better than a regular fork or a pair of chopsticks, but it is quirky.


The Cat still says ick! 

Have a good long weekend.The Mouse

p.s. Here’s the Wikipedia article about natto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natt%C5%8D

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I’m temporarily storing my pictures on this flash drive someone gave to us for Christmas.  Isn’t it cute?  

Flash Drive


This past weekend was The Cat’s birthday.  To celebrate, we had a couple of eating events.  

The first was at our neighborhood Chinese go-to restaurant here: http://www.kinwahchopsuey.com/.  The Chinese have a tradition of eating noodles for someone’s birthday to wish them long life.  We ordered boneless chicken vegetables chow fun (if there is a choice, The Cat prefers look fun noodles, in any form, over regular noodles).  

Boneless Chicken Vegetable Chow Fun


We also ordered choi sum with the oyster sauce on the side.  

Plain Choi Sum


Finally, our waitress, Nancy, recommended one of their specials that day,  whole yellow croaker.  The fish was steamed and topped with hot oil and shoyu.  Since whole fish represents good fortune, this was a very appropriate dish.  In addition, the price was about $10.00.  I don’t think there are many places that sell a whole steamed fish for $10.00.  Always delicious and a good deal too!  

Steamed Fish


One of the reasons The Cat is so nicknamed is because given the choice between a fish fillet and a fish head, she will choose the fish head.  Needless to say, The Cat ate the fish head that night. 

The next night, we had reservations to one of our favorite Japanese restaurant.  Can you guess where? Here’s some clues:  

Where are we?


One more clue


We are here: http://www.princeresortshawaii.com/hawaii-prince-hakone.php.  The restaurant has a weekend buffet to die for.  The usual line up includes crab legs, shabu shabu, sukiyaki, tempura, oden, all kinds of Japanese cold dishes, rib eye steak, lamb chops, and desserts.  But the main reason we like the buffet so much is the sushi and sashimi.  Get ready for some food porn (I’ll start slow).  

Assorted Cold Vegetables




Tempura and Other Hot dishes


Shrimp Tempura and Deep Fried Shrimp Heads


The deep-fried shrimp heads were better than any potato chip.  

More Hot Food


Finally, the sushi and sashimi!  





More Sashimi!


Our waitress (Grace) brought The Cat a complimentary dessert.  Shaved ice, lychee syrup, sweetened cream, red beans, ice cream, and assorted fruits.  It was so big, we shared some with the next table.  

Happy Birthday!


All in all, it was an excellent eating weekend.  

The Mouse is bowing: Xie Xie (thank you in Mandarin) to Kin Wah and Nancy, Domo Arigato (thank you in Japanese) to Hakone, and Kamsahamnida to Grace (thank you in Korean).  

The Mouse is multilingual (especially when it concerns food, lol). 🙂

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