Saturday, September 3, 2011

Annual Flu Shot and Anniversary

Yesterday morning we got our annual flu shot.  I thought about postponing because I think I have come down with a bug and feeling a little under the weather.  But, went anyway.  The whole process was quite painless -  even the shot itself.  I don't think it's the effect of the shot, but I was not feeling good all day yesterday and this morning.  But, that did not stop us from going to Beard Papa to pick up some cream puffs.  Two each of vanilla, chocolate, and matcha.   The cost is $12.99 for half a dozen.  While waiting to be boxed up, I spotted something new - well, at least new to me because I don't buy too many sweets anymore.  These were called cheesecake sticks.  Asked the store clerk to pack up two for me.  One tiramisu and another strawberry at a cost of $1.95 each.

So why did I buy sweets?  It was our anniversary yesterday.  We were planning to go to a neighborhood izakaya called Kappo Nami Nami for our anniversary dinner but we are usually too full to eat desserts right after eating and wanted to have something sweet at home with good coffee.  We used to be able to eat desserts anytime, but as we have gotten older, we are normally too full after dinner to enjoy desserts. 

Lets see if i can remember what we ordered at the restaurant.  Grilled salmon yuzu-yaki, hamachi no shio kama-yaki, uni and hotate no sashimi, squid fry with tartar sauce, cabbage roll, and beef tataki.  For drinks, I had their nihonshu (sake) sampler of junmai, ginjo, and daiginjo - not the best, but okay.  Food was ok, but I was disappointed in their cabbage roll.  I expected Japanese style cabbage roll which is usually cooked in light Japanese dashi stock.  This one was soo sweet and red.  Red is ok because I certainly love tomatoes and I love cabbage rolls made the traditional Eastern European way using tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes.  But, I noticed right away the taste of tomato soup can - you know, the one we all grew up with.  But, not only that, they added too much sugar to the sauce and the result was very disappointing.  The presentation was simple too - just 4 small cabbage rolls without any embellishment.

Since I'm not feeling too spunky, I plan on using some leftover beef and green pepper stir fry from two nights ago to make ramen for lunch.  This is what I had two nights ago.

The plate consists of beef, Japanese green pepper and bamboo stir fry, curry flavored chicken kara age and simple salad.

Curry Flavored Chicken Kara Age -

Serves 4

4 boneless chicken thigh, cut into bite size big pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
5 tsp katakuriko, cornstarch, or arrowroot starch
vegetable oil for frying

Combine chicken with beaten egg, curry powder, soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil in a bowl.  Massage the chicken pieces well and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Add katakuriko, cornstarch, or arrowroot starch to the chicken mixture and mix well. 

Heat vegetable oil to about  355 F or 180 C.  Fry chicken pieces until nicely browned.  Remove pieces and let drain before serving.

So using simple instant ramen from a pouch, I made ramen today for lunch using leftover beef/green pepper, boiled egg and green onion.   Nothing can be simpler.   One of the big important thing to remember about ramen is you have to eat it right away.  Or, ramen noodle gets too soft - in Japanese, it's referred to as nobiru or grow long which is true.  So, have everyone sitting and ready when you serve ramen at home.

I used Myojo soy flavored instant ramen.

Be creative and use whatever ingredients you may find in the refrigerator.  Use up leftovers.  Here, I am using the leftover beef stir fry, along with quickly blanched baby bok choy, quickly boiled egg (takes 5.5 min), green onion, nori, and sprinkling of sesame seeds. 

Even on days that I am not feeling 100%, ramen is easy to fix and goes down easily.  Itadakimasu!

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