Since I came in Malaysia more than 7 months ago, I’ve been obsessed with Japanese culture and merchandise and food than any other, which is funny. Remember my post ‘Sayonara! I’m turning Japanese‘? And the more recent one, ‘Why I love anime‘? And now this… Yeps, that little inner Japanese chibi me is growing!
Anyway, a few weeks ago, after continuously watching animes, I’ve been addicted to buying Japanese food and going to Japanese restaurants. However, since Japanese food is quite pricey (in comparison to the other various options I mean) here, I was at some point frustrated on not being able to fully embrace that special Asian cuisine everyday. It wasn’t really expected but I went to the local bookstore and went through the cookery section and my luck! There was a Japanese cookbook on sale! And it was by DK publishing! (For those who know me for a while now, you may remember my obsession with DK not only because of its quality prints and colourful pages but also because it’s my initials…)
I gave myself 24h to think about it, after quickly browsing through the ingredients and materials needed…
And gave it a go. After all, I was also tired of going out everyday for lunch and dinner and this would be a great opportunity for me to finally start learning how to cook! (Never actually cooked anything by myself in my entire life)
Here’s the kawaii little book:
Since I’m only a student I didn’t buy everything that was needed all at once. Thus the first cooking appliance I bought was a rice cooker! With a steamer on top.
I didn’t always follow the cookbook or made Japanese dishes. Often I would either do simple recipes from my grandma or make a random dish that would use all the remaining ingredients so that I’d go grocery shopping and replenish my stock. No food wastage when on a student budget!
Anyway, here are the 6 Japanese recipes that I tried from the book:
1. Cucumber & Wakame Salad
First of all, I’d like to say that since I’ve tried miso soup in a restaurant, I’ve fallen in love with a special seaweed, wakame (わかめ), which can be easily found at Daiso!
It’s a dried seaweed that expands once in water, and it’s so yummy! Well, I’ve always loved seafood that makes me feel like I’m eating the sea itself, if anyone can relate…
Anyway, here’s the salad:
Salads are of course always the easiest recipes: cucumber + wakame + soy sauce + vinegar + salt + caster sugar + sesame seeds = you got it! This original recipe can also be modified to one’s taste. The first time I did this, I didn’t bother with vinegar or sugar or salt…
2. Onigiri a.k.a. rice balls
My first Japanese cooking success, I’d say? Not exactly a success though because it wasn’t tasty enough in the end, but well I enjoyed being a Pokemon on that day! As a filling I simply put tuna mixed with mayo and a little of Japanese soy sauce 😉
In any rice recipe, it’s actually the rice that’s a challenge at first, because Japanese rice demands to be prepared with care. And I’m still trying to figure out how to make perfect Japanese rice. I’m getting closer with every meal!
Hahaha! My first Japanese fail! Okay so surprisingly the sushi rice (which demands even more care than normal steamed Japanese rice) was good! But I didn’t roll properly and put too much filling and the sushi started to break. Oh well, it will hopefully be better next time!
4. Chilled Tofu
Another failure… or not. I just didn’t like the taste of this dish. It’s actually a dish that does not require cooking at all (but I of course cooked rice to eat with it) but only the tofu and seasonings and toppings, such as bonito flakes, ginger, soy sauce… and yeah, I didn’t really like it. Either I did something wrong (like choosing the wrong kind of tofu) or it’s simply a Japanese dish I don’t enjoy.
5. Chicken & Rice
Finally, after unsuccessful dishes, I made the most delicious chicken & rice ever!!! Haha, okay I’m exaggerating but this recipe was definitely a success. Rice in soy sauce, with marinated chicken and mushrooms and peas and bonito flakes… It was so good that it’s a recipe I intend to do multiple times! My favourite meal so far!
6. Potato Salad
Another tasty Japanese success! However, this is a little more time consuming to do so I’ll do it less often than the chicken & rice. This recipe’s Japanese style is simply the usual potatoes with cucumber, Japanese mayo, onions, boiled eggs, salt and pepper!
So easy, right?
I’m even starting to bring my own lunch to school now 🙂
Speaking of lunch…
See you soon!
An Evil Nymph.