Sunday, March 29, 2015

068 - Coffee Jelly

Japanese people are creative with their dessert. Endless array of sweets awaits you if you ever come to visit Japan someday. 
One of my favorite is this COFFEE JELLY. 

It is basically coffee mixed with sugar and agar added. Add some evaporated milk, and, BOOM. Delicious.

For 6 portion, you will need;

·         Water – 600 ml
·         Agar Agar – 1 Packet (Approximately 15 grams)
·         Coffee – 2,5 Tbsp. Instant coffee do just fine, but freshly ground coffee is even better.
·         Sugar – 2,5 Tbsp. Brown sugar, white sugar, whatever sugar worked just fine.
·         Evaporated Milk – 1 Can

Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Pour the water into a large pot, set the heat to high. Let It come to a boil

Step 2 – Once boiling, add the Agar and quickly stir to combine. After that, add the sugar. Again, stir to combine. Let it boil for another 1 minute.


Step 3 – Remove the pot from the heat, then add the Coffee. Give it a nice stir.

Step 4 – Transfer the mix to a mold of your choice; let it cool in room temperature for 20 minutes before putting it into the fridge for an additional 2 hours. After 2 hours, take it out, cut it into small squares and..

Tip: remove the air bubbles for great finish!

Step 5 - SERVE!

To make sure you get the best of both worlds, make sure both the Jelly and the Milk is cold prior to serving.

Give this recipe a try!



Saturday, March 21, 2015

067 - Beef Bowl / Gyudon / 牛丼

Still on that Japanese holiday hangover, there was this one dish that I like so much during my visit there. Care to guess? Nope, it’s not sushi.

It’s Gyudon. ‘Gyu’ means Beef, ‘Don’ means a bowl, so Gyudon literally means ‘Beef Bowl’. Pretty sure that’s the most interesting bowl out there is!

Anyway, during my time in Japan, the weather was unstable. At one moment it can be so hot (well, only 15 degrees max, since it’s still spring time), some other time it can be blisteringly cold (0 f*cking degrees, my ass!), and Gyudon is my go to to keep me up and running. 

Imagine this; you’re running from the cold wind, you had your last meal 8 hours ago, your arms are shaking, so what else can hit the spot other than hot rice topped with thin slices of beef cooked in broth and paired with a small cup of miso soup? 

Just so happens where i stay at Akihabara, they had several restaurants that serves this piquant dish. Considering Yoshinoya had shops here, i tried my best to avoid them (though i'm sure Yoshinoya's quality in Japan is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over Indonesia) and opting for local shops. I forgot the name of the store, but it's conveniently located at Akihabara's Chuo-dori, several shops away from the Sega main arcade store. Prices vary, but the small bowl starts at about 440 Yen or so. This one though, costs 880 Yen of i-will-never-regret-this-ever. (UPDATE: just found out that this place i'm eating in is actually Matsuya, one of Japan's biggest beef bowl restaurant chain)

Now, let's try and make my version of this shall we? We will be fully utilizing good quality beef and dashi stock to replicate the flavor, so don't go cheap!

For 1 servings, you will need;

·         200 Grams of thinly sliced beef. I use Topside for this
·         1 packet of Dashinomoto (instant dashi stock). You can substitute this with chicken stock, but flavors will be different
·         1 Onion
·         6 tbsp of Soy Sauce
·         2 tbsp of Mirin. This can be substituted with combination of Vinegar and Sugar. For every 1 tbsp of Mirin, combine 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar.
·         3 tbsp of Sugar. Brown sugar preferred
·         300 ml of Hot Water
Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Dissolve your Dashinomoto in hot water, stir, set aside. Peel and cut your Onions into big chunks, set aside.
Dashinomoto is a wonder ain't it?

Stir that shit up!

Here's a tip: put your onions in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to chopping. Bye bye teary eyes!

Step 2 – Make sure your beef is in room temperature. Get a non-stick pan, set the heat to high, add some cooking oil. Once it’s piping hot, add the beef, and quickly stir to brown for about 2 minutes. Once half cook, add the onions, and continue stirring for another 3 minutes.

Canola oil is still my preferred oil

Step 3 – Add the dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Stir to combine. Once that’s done, give it a taste and adjust to your liking. Set the heat to medium, and cook for a further 15 minutes, covered.

In goes the stock sauce



lovely ain't it?

Step 4 – Serve!





Kidding lol. Okay, the beef is amazing. If you're using tender cuts, they will be so soft to your teeth, almost like it's melting. If not, then they'll taste as good anyway! And also, the beef keep well inside the fridge! Leftovers? Hell yeah!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

066 - Onsen Tamago!

Whenever I wake up in Japan, all I can think of is the delicious food I’m about to have for breakfast. and for lunch. and for dinner. and for supper. and this won't ever stop lol.

Just so happens that it just happened to me last week. Surprise people! I went AWOL to Japan lol.

Anyway, as usual, the food was great, the atmosphere was awesome (hate the torrential rain though, they’re nasty), and I got a lot of things I loved. What do I loved? You know, anime stuff, and…FOOD. Just look at THESE

Evangelion Sachiel Bun! - USJ Osaka
The filling of the above bun; PIZZA!
Takeaway bento from Shin-Osaka station and Starbucks Sakura Latte

The most famous Takoyaki at Dotombori - Osaka

Grilled Mackarel, Icefish tempura, pickles - Tokyo

Sweet potato, Tamagoyaki, Radish Salad, Kelp Salad - Tokyo

Hijiki Rice with Natto and Tororo - Tokyo

Anko Cat Taiyaki - Tokyo

The BEST Menchi Katsu ever! - Tokyo

Yakitori - Tokyo

Harajuku Crepes! - Tokyop

Japanese parfait - Tokyo

Breakfast - Osaka

Breakfast - Tokyo

Breakfast (again) - Tokyo


Breakfast (AGAIN) - Tokyo

Tempura Udon - Tokyo

Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream - Tokyo

Dango! - Tokyo

Turkey Legs! - Tokyo

Grilled Crab Legs - Kyoto

Spicy Chicken Katsu Kare! - Tokyo

Hot Soba with Chikuwa Tempura - Tokyo


Hot Soba with Extra Rice and Fried ..(i forgot what it was) - Tokyo

Kitsune Soba! - Tokyo

Takeaway bento, 9 flavors - Osaka

Chicken Katsu Kare - Tokyo

Beef Bowl with Extra Onsen Eggs - Tokyo

Salty Vanila Ice Cream - Tokyo

Breakfast (AGAAINN) - Tokyo

Grilled Mochi - Kyoto

I was lucky to savor a lot of great food Japanese has to offer. Just so happens that a lot of that food was during breakfast time. You see, I was staying at Akihabara Washington Hotel, and they have an awesome array of Japanese food for breakfast. If you’re more of a continental breakfast kinda fella, you’re in for a bad time.

Back to the topic, so the hotel had all these eggs. They have regular, omelette, and, my favorite, soft boiled onsen style. Onsen is term used by the Japanese to refer to the Hot Springs. The water at an Onsen has always been a steady 60-70 degrees centigrade or so. Some genius came up with an idea to cook eggs with the Onsen water, and guess what? Culinary awesomeness was born.

Onsen Tamago (Tamago is Japanese for eggs, if you don’t know that already) is characterized by its silky whites and soft yolk. This is perfect for people who want to poach eggs without the hustle!

For 2 servings, you will need;

·         2 Eggs. Keep them refrigerated.
·         Water. Enough to keep the eggs submerged. and an extra 200 ml of Room Temperature Water
·         Ice. To be used later after cooking

Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Fill a large pot with water, and set it to boil over the stove.

Step 2 – Once the water boils, take it off the heat, and add 200 ml of Room Temperature water, and put the Eggs in. Set the timer for 12 minutes PRECISELY. Cover, and let sit.

Step 3 – After 12 minutes had passed, transfer the eggs into ice water to cool for another 3 minutes.

Step 4 – SERVE!!

If THAT ain’t easy, then I don’t know what is! This is seriously one of the easiest egg recipe around! I love to enjoy this over a bowl of steaming hot rice, give it a dash of soy sauce, sprinkle some green onion, and BOOM. Orgasmic taste.

Ever wonder how the egg texture is like? Savor this

Give this a go, and let me know how it turns out!