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Monday, 01 January 2007



Hi Kirk,

Happy New Years to you and the missus! Sure looks like you had a feast. Due to some unforseen circumstances, I had to work today! *sigh*

Christine D.

wow, what a feast indeed! I had Popeye's chicken...LOL! Happy New Year!


Happy New Years Kirk!
I'm really enjoying reading up on how everyone celebrates their new years - foodwise that is!
Good job with the shishito tempura, it looks to light and crisp! The matcha-shio was an especially nice touch :)...did I mention that green is my favorite color?


Pretty fancy home cooked meal. Wish I was there ;-)

Happy New Year...

wandering chopsticks

Happy New Year Kirk and the Missus.

Fancy is right, I can't believe you cooked that at home. Everything looks so good.

ed (from Yuma)

I'm impressed. Happy New Year!


Hi Reid - What a bummer! Hope your New Year is much less hectic.

Hi Christine - Nothin' wrong with Popeye's, it's one of my guilty pleasures.

Hi Kathy - Happy New Year, you little Green-o-phile, you! ;o)

Hi Billy - Really not that fancy, it's all pretty easy to make.

Hi WC - Thanks, and Happy New Year to you as well. It was pretty easy to make.

Hi Ed - Happy New Year! You are too easily impressed, this is very easy and simple stuff to make...prep takes all the time.


Hi Kirk,

Happy New Year! Thank you for the blog. Ever since we moved to San Diego from Northern California in July, I've relied on your site for tips and recommendations--Ba Ren, Chin's, Asia Cafe, DeDe's, Shanghai City, El Zarape, etc, etc. (I also hope to try out the taquerias in Yuma).

The karei looks wonderful. I am a seafood fanatic as well as a flatfish fanatic. Do you mind either posting or sending a detailed recipe? Please be as detailed as possible since my incompetence in the kitchen can't be overestimated. Any observations on where to purchase the fish as well as the different kinds of Japanese seafood would also be appreciated.



Do you ship? ;-) I want some of that shishito tempura! Seriously, you started me salivating, like one of Pavlov's dogs.


Kirk, I can't wait to see what you have in store for us this year! We would all like to tag along with you for a week! Happy New Year!


Hi Alfred - Welcome, and thanks for the kind words. Karei Karaage? Okay, it's pretty simple.

1/2 Cup Katakuriko(potato starch)
1-2 Flounder - I score the fish by making slices to the bone along the "bottom" of the fish - this not only allows for even cooking(sometimes the bones will fry, and you can eat them like crackers). I look for really fresh flounder, and those on the "thin" side are easier to cook.

Dust the fish with potato starch, and fry in 340-350 degree oil until the starch hardens and the fish looks crisp.The fish will float, and the "bubbling" will lessen - once you've done this a few times, you'll recognize it.

Drain on paper towels, and lightly season with sea salt and a very light dusting of Shichimi Togarashi, which you can find in any Japanese Market.

This fish was bought from Marukai in Gardena, we had to make a last minute trip on New Years eve, and this was a really great piece(s) fish, no smell, firm flesh....

I've bought Karei from Nijiya before, and they tend to be much larger, but the fish is pretty fresh. There's really nothing to it, I don't make very elaborate dishes, nor use very elaboarate cooking methods. Good Luck!

Hi Alan - That Shishito Tempura was really easy - it's all in the batter - I like mine's really light and lacey:
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 Cup Ice(really, really cold) Water
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Hakurikiko - sifted (Japanese Cake Flour)

Mix together egg yolk, ice water, and baking soda. I slowly pour this mixture into sifted flour until mixed - do not overmix, a bit lumpy is good - refrigerate until used.

Using a skewer I pierce each side of the pepper twice, this helps to cook them evenly.

Deep fry at 325-350 degrees. After removing from the oil, I salt lightly.

My version of Matcha Shio is simply 2 parts salt to 1 part green tea powder( A little goes a looong way).

Happy New Year, Alan - I'm looking forward to some great posts!

Hi Sherry - Happy New Year to you as well! Thanks so much for the kind words....


nice nishime. Happy New Year, too.


Love the look of tempura batter (umasoo!) and the idea of matchashio. Where can one get Hakurikiko (and other Japanese wheat flours), and can any of our supermarket flours be a substitute?


Hi RONW - Happy New Year!

Hi Ed - You can get Hakurikiko at Nijiya and Mitsuwa....for the tempura, you can use any cake flour...but it's the Baking Soda(and really cold water) that makes it so light and fluffy.


Happy New Year's!

You can cook for me any time. =)

- Chubbypanda


Happy New Year CP! Thanks so much...that's like the ultimate compliment!


omedeto brutha!!!

everything looks so damn good!! osechi is a true art form, you done good... looks so healthy, i can't detect any use of trans fats... very impressive...


Same back atcha DCCF! Happy New Year....

Passionate Eater

You and those Japanese supermarkets go together like cookies and milk! I agree with Chubbypanda and DCCF, everything looks simply irresistable! Especially the extra crispy tempura and And yes, that is a lot of food and those perfect scrambled egg rolls. I agree with you on those gym memberships, we'll both have to keep to that New Year's resolution!


Hi PE - Happy New Year to you too! Thanks, but this spread was pretty simple....just fry the heck out of mostly everything! ;o)

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