Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mangantayon has Moved

I have decided to move Mangantayon to wordpress and have invited my sister as  co-author. She is also in Japan and has more culinary acumen than I ever will have.  Please do come and follow us there.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Leftover" Muffins

Yesterday, I grated too much carrots than I needed for Ken's carrot hotcakes. I also had some left-over spam bits, cheddar cheese and sausage from yesterday's salad. While I was making Ken's hotcakes, I saw a recipe for parsley muffins at the back of the mix packaging. So I gathered all the leftovers and decided to make muffins with them. Hence the name.

This is my first time to make muffins like these. All I have been making were muffins with lots of sugar. I don't know how much sugar there is in this recipe though because I used the hotcake mix. 

200 g hotcake mix
2 tbsp milk
2 eggs
1/4 onion minced (1/2 if the onion is small)
4 pcs small sausages diced
spam bits
1/3 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced parsley
powdered black pepper
cheddar cheese

1. Beat eggs and mix in milk, onion, sausages, spam bits, salt. Mix well.
2. Add the hotcake mix and mix till the flour is just wet.
3. Add the parsley and black pepper.
4. Scoop into a muffin pan and top with the cheddar cheese.
5. Bake at 180℃ for 30 minutes. (Made about six muffins)

The green of the parsley is very noticeable so when I offered it to Ken, he looked at it suspiciously and covered his mouth. It was quite tasty and very filling. Rad and I ate all of them for midnight snack and breakfast.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sa Tabitabi na Tabi (旅)1

I don’t have that much spare time but I would like to at least make an account of all the travels my husband and I have done while we were in Japan. And since there is always food in our travels, I might as well put my accounts here at Mangantayon even though sometimes, there won’t even be any mention about food. We both love to go to new places especially during the seishun juhachi kippu season when we can go anywhere in Japan in one day for just about 2300 yen. We have been to so many places that if only I have the time, I would make scrapbooks of all of the souvenirs and pictures we have taken. But since time is of the essence, let me just compile the things that I have found charming, rare, weird, and out of the ordinary from each place we have been.  Between the two of us, there is about more than 10 000 pictures thus, the challenge lies in unearthing 4 years worth of documentaries. All of the places we have been are interesting but here are things that do not usually get mentioned in travel brochures.

*Note: Tabi (旅) is Japanese for "travel"or "journey"

Matsue (Summer 2009)
I love Matsue. There is a different air here compared to other cities. Perhaps it’s the sea air or the setting of the place. It is a mixture of European and Japanese architecture. In one word, it is so charming. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is the home of Lafcadio Hearn, the first ever foreigner to be given Japanese citizenship. I found books of his works at the Shizudai library and I was immediately enthralled. We found this at his old residence in Matsue. At first I thought it was just another case of Japanese English but no, they are really referring to his hairs!

As usual, our primary destination is the Matsue Castle. The hotel we were staying in have bicycles available for customer's use. It is much more convenient, cheap and fun to go around Matsue by bicycle. But it was summer so when we were done taking pictures, we were so hungry. Fortunately, there is a restaurant in the grounds, aptly named Ni no Maru (二の丸). They serve delicious Izumo soba at a very reasonable price. What's more, one order comes in 3 stack of bowls called the Warigo-soba!

In addition, these danggo are tummy pleasers for all seasons. Prices vary though. These were quite cheap at 150 yen. We found them roasting infront of a very charming house which kinda reminded us of home, a sarisari store and a barbecue stand.

Tottori (Summer 2009)
All over Japan, when the clock strikes 7AM, 12PM and 5PM, a bell or siren is heard. Here in Tottori, you will here the bell rendition of “Furusato” (My Hometown). I have liked the song ever since I heard it and correct me if I am wrong but I think it is only in Tottori that you will hear this unique time ringer.

We are always on a tight budget when we go on travel. And in the western part of Japan, there are towns which do not have the convenience of contemporary fastfoods but there is always that one-coin (500 yen) meal somewhere. This one is at the Tottori Station where they serve freshly caught and cooked fish over rice, complete with salad and miso soup.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pork & Bean Sprouts Sauté

Hello everyone. This is my first official post in Mangantayon. As I have mentioned in Bushido Calling I will be temporarily taking over  writing and sharing here what I have come up with in the kitchen. I am in no way a master in the culinary arts. I will even present a lot of guerilla dishes just to share my adventure. Please be kind with the comments whenever you had the chance to stumble upon one of my recipes. Mind you, Rya would be my first critic and be the one approving what to post. So, here we go.

pork (lean, cubed)
ginger (minced)
garlic (minced)
onion (minced)
bean sprouts (a handful)
carrots (thinly sliced)
cabbage (thinly sliced)
oyster sauce (about 2 tablespoon)
butterhead lettuce

1. Cook pork in small amount of water! Add ginger as the meat turns white (I like the taste of ginger on pork and this procedure sort of makes the meat sip that ginger flavor). Wait until water evaporates. Stir. Add butter. Then add garlic and onion. Stir until meat turns brown. 
2. In medium fire, add bean sprouts, carrots and cabbage (on a different variation you can add baby corn and ubod (heart of palm) to this combination). Jerk the pan! After all this is a sauté. Stir until the juice of the bean sprouts comes out. Add oyster sauce and a small amount of water. Stir. Add a pinch of salt. 
3. Turn of fire after a few minutes. Sprinkle basil, oregano and parsley.   

Ok this will be a first. I mean this presentation part. This is what I am most interested in. How to make a food more pleasing to the eyes. Given it is already pleasing in taste and in smell. This is my attempt.

Spread the fresh butterhead lettuce on the plate and the Pork & Bean Sprouts Sauté in the middle. Simple but not boring. Until next time. Don't forget to say grace. Mangantayon!  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spareribs with Pineapple in Oyster Sauce

It has been a long time. My harddrive is already full of food pictures that are waiting to be published here. My baby is already 5 months old yesterday and since September, we have moved to a new apartment and I have started a new job. Our new place is nice. It is a place where everybody still says "Ohayou" (Good morning) to each other and also offer you produce from their gardens when harvest time comes. Although we are far from the conveniences that city living offers, we are loving every minute that we are here. My husband is particularly loving the fact that there is a supermarket nearby which sells big chunks of meat at a relatively cheaper price than the usual supermarkets. And thus as a comeback, let me share Rad's favorite meat: the spare ribs.

Tonight, I decided to experiment a little bit. It is weekend, and we decided to spend the whole day inside the apartment just taking it easy so the ingredients are the things that I can find in my refrigerator only.


spare ribs (4 cuts)
1 potato
1 green bell pepper
2 rings pineapple
half an onion
about 2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
lettuce (as garnish)

1. Sprinkle shio-kosho (a mixture of salt and fine pepper) on the ribs and fry in butter until brown.
2. Put in onion and potato and fry some more (use moderate heat).
3. Mix in oyster sauce and soy sauce until they are incorporated in the meat and potatoes. Sprinkle ground black pepper. Pour about 3/4 cup water and cover.
4. Mix in pineapple and mushroom.
5. Put in bell pepper when everything is cooked. The remaining heat is enough to cook the bell pepper and still have some crunch in it.

Usually, the meat that we buy are already so tender that we don't even need a pressure cooker or cook for a long time. I think the amount of water would depend on how tender or hard the meat is.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nuts over Nattou

It seems that my last venture in the kitchen making the natsu mikan marmalade was all it took to stimulate my labor pains. I got myself admitted to the hospital at 7AM and our baby girl was born 12 hours later. As I stayed for a week at the hospital, I thought that my next blog entry would be about hospital food but that would take a lot more energy so it would have to wait. One thing significant that happened to me while I was in the hospital was, I suddenly found myself liking, no, loving natto (fermented soybeans)!

And so, since I got back from the hospital, natto has been a regular on our breakfast table and I have also convinced Rad to eat it regularly too! I was more encouraged when I found out that Shizuoka Gourmet is having a series of recipes on natto in his blog. What a coincidence!

For this week though, we have been eating natto with its sauce and mustard topped with bonito flakes and some nori. Sometimes, with fresh raw egg. I can swear that despite the sleepless nights, I feel more energized everyday because of natto (or perhaps I have just really convinced myself of that!LOL)

So anyway, while Ken and I went to shop yesterday, I picked up a copy of QuiCooking and I found this recipe (小松菜と納豆のからししょうゆあえ or Komatsuna and Nattou with Mustard and Soysauce dressing) which I tried last night for dinner. The recipe called for komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis var. komatsuna) or Japanese mustard spinach, which is Rad`s favorite.

Komatsuna or Spinach (cut and boiled)
1 pack nattou
nattou sauce and mustard (usually included with the nattou)
soy sauce

Mix the spinach and nattou in a bowl. Then mix in the remaining ingredients.

So simple really. But I was glad my usual spinach salad got a bit livelier and healthier.

Friday, May 21, 2010

NatsuMikan (Summer Tangerine) Marmalade

Ok so Kaye is not coming yet. I didn't get the job I applied for, so there is no sense of hurrying things up. My baby can take her sweet time in my tummy. She has all my time now. The doc told me today that they will have to induce labor next Thursday if I still don't give birth by then. However, when I cam home from the hospital, I begin to feel that familiar pang and I have a feeling that she will come soon. It's 1AM and I slept the pains off from 7PM to 11PM. For lack of something to do, I decided to finally try making something out of the natsu mikan (summer tangerine) in our kitchen.

The tangerine trees at the back of our apartment are teeming with fruits at this time of the year. Every year, for almost every week that the mikan are in season, we would find a plastic bag full of tangerine at our doorstep, courtesy of our landlord. For the past years, I had no idea nor had any inclination to use the mikan for something else other than the usual so most of the time, they'd end up in the garbage.

Tonight, I experimented on making marmalade. I searched for a recipe online but couldn't find one and I really am not in the mood to search for recipes written in Japanese so, I made my own based on marmalade recipes of other types of oranges or tangerines.

Natsu mikan is much more bitter than the mikan or ponkan. However, I am quite satisfied with what I got.

1 big natsu mikan
1 cup sugar
yuzu rind

Since I have nothing better to do, I peeled the mikan and removed all the pulp and seeds by hand. This would have been so time-consuming if I had used like 5 mikans and I read in one blog that they just processed the sacs as they are. I opted to remove the sacs though and only used the pulp. I had leftover yuzu in the refrigerator so I removed its rind and mixed it in.

One big mikan with all its juice amounted to 1 cup so I used also 1 cup of white sugar. Since I don't have a food processor, I blended it for 2 or 3 seconds.

Then I boiled the mixture for about 13 minutes.

As you can see from the picture (my photographer is fast asleep so excuse the inartistic shot), it looks like marmalade. It tastes and feels like marmalade although a little bit bitter than the commercial one. Nevertheless, I think I will be making my own marmalade from now on. Maybe I'll add a more sugar next time but I think this one is just perfect for my orange marmalade French toast!

Now if only I have the energy to peel and pulp 10 more natsu mikan. . . . .