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Monday, 14 November 2005



Hi Kirk,

Interesting choices. I really need to start cooking at home MORE and I might even be starting another blog! GASP! I can't even keep up with one. =)

That said, don't you just love the simple, homecooked stuff that reminds you of your youth?


Mixing shoyu into the egg emulsion before frying it in the pan gives the omelet a completely different flavor, than pouring shoyu over the omlet after pau cook. Also, my experience has been that dehydrated ingredients usually have more pungency to it.


So I nominate Kirk to host a Chow-event at his home and cook for us. Oooohhhh boy, that beef and tofu soup looked good.


Hi Reid - This all started when I mentioned that I can make the stuff that the Japanese Market sells(and we usually buy) for like 3 bucks for a tiny package. So I made a few, it's really stuff my Mom used to make when I was a little "critter". I always laugh, because, even though they all taste different, they use the same seasonings!:o) And another Blog! Oh My!

Hi RONW - You're absolutely right! Next time you make Katsu, add a Tb of Kikkoman (nothing like the smell of Kikkoman when frying) and togarashi to the egg wash!

Hi MEalcentric - This is actually just home style cooking - especially the Beef-Tofu; it's not really soup, but more of a casserole - I always make alot of sauce, since it tastes really good on rice!


Oh Reid - We didn't have mirin when we grew up, and Mom never used sake, just more sugar - but it still tasted good! BTW, the Missus was really surprised - I guess I haven't made this in like 10 years!!!!



I am reading your great blog now for quite a while and I am just curious if you are in general more focused towards asian food (and some Mexican). I would be really interested to read your opinion about Italian, French, Spain, Indian etc. etc. restaurants. Do you ever go such restaurants ?


hey kirk,
those looked sooo good !!! you really need to open a restaurant sometime :)I'd definitely visit.

Are the yam noodles the ones with a crunchy texture? Great pics and thanks for sharing the recipe.


Hi Honkman - Nice to "hear" from you again. I think you can guess - we're Asian, so when we go out to eat, it's usually asian that comes to mind first. I love Italian, though the Missus really doesn't, and if she wants something I'll usually make it at home(I don't think you'd want to read about my Penne Arabiatta or Lasagne), and if we do eat Italian, it's usually for a special occaision. I'm trying to get her interested in French - though am looking for rec's other then LaVache - it's hard now that Aux Delices has closed. I've got some Indian in the "queue", and have my eye on a few Tapas places. But as a whole it's rice in my stomach and soy sauce in my veins....but stay tuned!

Hi Rachel - Thank you very much for the compliment - but these are really just home-style "stuffs". And yes shirataki is the one with the crunchy texture. Did you know that konnyaku and shirataki have NO calories?


Hello, Kirk!

I have to say, these dishes all looked really good. It has been a while (since I lived in Maryland and had access to a Lotte market) since I have had some of these dishes, but I think I am going to make some of your "Mamma's Eggs" for us. Those omelettes are one of my husband's favorite foods, and I have put off learning to make them long enough.

When we lived near the huge Lotte grocery store, I used to lead tours through it for Americans who wanted to shop there, but didn't know what everything was and were too shy to ask another shopper or one of the Asian employees. While leading the tours, I'd stop at various points and introduce the store manager or the manager of a particular section (like seafood or produce) and he would talk for a while. Once, at the seafood section, I got to demonstrate how to clean a squid--that was fun. Anyway, I would always buy some of the little dishes like you made here at the cold and hot deli sections and pass them around for people to try.

It was amazing and somewhat sad to me how some people would not try the dishes because they "looked funny." It bothered me, because here they were taking this class with me to learn about what was in this store so they could shop there to get ingredients to cook Asian food, yet they were still fearful to trying new things, or looked down upon what was in other people's shopping baskets.

Bugged me to death.

Sorry for the long comment--it is just that the pictures in your post made me remember those tours--they were very fun, and I always learned as much as I taught when doing them.


Hello, Kirk's Drive-In? I'd like to order one bento box and one niku tofu to go, please. About how long will that take?

BTW, I'd love to read about your Lasagna and Penne Arrabiata. Why doesn't your wife like Italian--too much cheese?

As for French restaurants, have you tried Nathan Coulon's (French-Belgian) or Mille Fleurs?


You say it's "just home cooking" but I agree with Mealcentric! This stuff looks awesome! Watch out...hungry foodies might just break down your door!=)


That's one good-looking homemade bento that warms the heart with every savored bit. One to go, please. BTW, which drive-inn did you work at in your teen years?


Hi Barbara - Thank you for sharing such a great story! That's really cool. Mama's eggs were really Her attempt to make things for me to take for lunch that wouldn't need refrigeration - though maybe I could've survived on Spam! I'd really like to read about your adventures; maybe you can find some post where you can really tell it in detail. BTW, there's alot of people who won't try Hijiki, because it's black or because it's seaweed.

Hi Angie - Funny thing is; this is perfect Okazuya stuff - you make it ahead of time, and when someone orders it, you just plate it. Here's a further info/pictures of okazuyas:

As for Italian, I guess the Missus didn't grow up eating it, and doesn't care for the cheese/tomato sauce combination. As for cooking my own Italian - there's really not much to it. Well maybe I'll do a shopping trip to Mona Lisa soon. I need to restock my San Marzano tomatoes and stuff. I've heard of Mille Fleurs, but not Nathan Coulon's, I think we'll try them soon. thanks for the recommendations.

Hi Pam - Thank you :o) I really didn't think this post would get much of a reaction. Is this a hint that I should cook more?

Hi Lance - I worked at a Fast Food Joint for 5 years - hint; coincidentally headquartered in San Diego. During that time I held brief second jobs at a Drive-In that starts with 'Z' and one that starts with 'B' - that's about all I'll divuldge - really taught me that I needed an education!


I'm intrigued by the broiled fish cake. I had it at a shabu/shabu place near here a while back. I thought it was a type of mushroom. Loved the taste and texture. I've been wanting to discover another method of consumption.

Have you and Missus ever done risotto? Mine tend to be with very little meat and an emphasis on one or 2 veggies paired with an appropriate (generally white) wine. If it's the tomato/cheese combo that she has an aversion to, this might be a new avenue.

Honkman! I'm shocked! Someone else wants to hear about Spanish food?!?! By the way Kirk, bear in mind that when/if you do tapas, you have to clear the "authenticity" issue through me! ::roars with laughter:: ::sobers:: Seriously, the 3 tapas that will be truly telling are albondigas (small meatballs served in a sauce based on onions, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes), olives (should be paired to the wine), and tripas (tripe simmered in a sauce similar to the albondigas). These 3 will give you a bit of culinary range and speak to authenticity. Any restaurant serving tortilla de patata as a tapa is Americanized. Tortilla de patata is a supper food. It would be served late in the evening with fresh bread and a small assortment of steamed veggies (potato/carrot/cabbage and the like) over which olive oil and sherry vinegar would be drizzled.


Nicely done! So educational. I've always wondered what that stuff in a bento box was. Now I know. I agree with're truly an accomplished Japanese home cook!


Hi Jo - My favorite way to eat Chikuwa is right out of the package! But Chikuwa is one of the ingredients in Oden, a Japanese fishcake "stew". As for the tapa's, I'll leave that up to the Missus. LOL!

Hi Elmo - Thanks for the compliment, I guess I should really do more cooking here, huh? Most of this stuff is really routine.....


When I went to Spain as a kid with my Dad, we went to a little place on "El Borne" (pronounced bor-ne). The bar area was in the front and we went to a tiny room in the back with 2 small tables. My dad would have "vermoth con sifon", I would have a coke with lemon, and we both had tapas of calamares fritos. The squid came in small oval dishes with a couple wedges of lemon. They were dipped in a delicate batter and deep fried in olive oil. Oh man were they ever delicious... Another tapa that would be very important for purposes of judging would be jamon serano. If they don't have it, it ain't "autentico"!


Hi Jo - A guy that I see sometimes who lived in Spain for 5 years also mentioned Chorizo.....


what's up kirk. very nice post! dude you totally answered many questions (concerning identification) i've had about japanese preserved goods. most of the questions starting out in the form of "WTF?..." when i'm at any japanese market, i seriously spend a few minutes trying to figure out what the hell it is. and i'll even try looking at the price sticker that just has the japanese name of the product. you know i'm really into the chinese side dishes that go so well with NRM, and i'm going to have make these japanese ones for udon/ramen.

and yes i think you should cook more. if i had worked harder in school, i'd be able to eat out as much as you do haha. but you know what, i try my best to make the best of it and fire it in the kitchen.

i'm gonna try those yam noodles first when i get the chance to head down to torrance and grab some of that PORTUGUESE SAUSAGE.


woo no calories huh??? well I might start looking for some of that shirataki over here in oz. I've only had it in Singapore. Also, over there konnyaku is used more as a dessert jelly so they add sugar and citric acid so that kinda nullifies the no calories bit ...

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