Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food! I am kind of dumb sometimes, by which I mean that I bruised my feet by walking in dress shoes yesterday.  So I really, really need a solution to my dress shoe problem.  Or I need to stop walking 13-ish miles in a single day.  (Given my average walking speed...that seems about right.  The maximum distance I could have walked is about 18 miles, but I wasn't walking the whole time, so that's unlikely.)

...also, I need to remember that if I wear V-necks, they expose more skin than is normally exposed, and the exposed skin is very pale, which means that it will burn much easier than normal skin.  So right now I have a magnificent V-neck shaped sunburn.

Did I say sometimes I am kind of dumb?  I meant very dumb.

So instead of telling you about how I hobbled around all day (DON'T WORRY; I'M FINE.  I bruised my feet all the time when I took karate, and they'll be fine by tomorrow.) and scrubbed a tub, I instead I will do something different and write about FOOD.

Dang, food in Japan is so good.  Unfortunately, produce (while pretty much the most delicious produce you could ever ask for in your life) is kind of expensive (at least compared to California), so if you're like me and want to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, prepare to be paying slightly more for food.

So here is some delicious stuff I have eaten since getting here:

Chinsukou!  Remember how I said that one of the girls in my Japanese class passed out omiyage from Okinawa?  Well, this is it.  I got a go-ya-flavored one.  Go-ya (I don't know what the English equivalent word is, or if there even is one) is this kind of funky-looking vegetable from Okinawa.  People tell me that it's bitter, but since I can't really taste bitter things (or it doesn't bother me as much as other people), it just tastes delicious~

Anyway, chinsukou is this kind of flaky-cookie...and in this case it actually tasted like go-ya!  Although sweeter than the actual vegetable.  But SO DELICIOUS.

Other Green Things You Can Eat in Japan include melon soda!  I have a kind of weird love of melon soda, especially given that I strongly dislike most soda, but melon soda is just so good.

If it isn't bright green, you've probably got the wrong thing.  Weirdly enough, it does actually contain melon juice.  Lousy melon soda tastes a little bit like drain cleaner smells, so...uh...don't drink that.  It'll probably destroy your internal organs.

In terms of delicious non-green things you can eat, there is nashi!  In English they're called "Asian pears" or "apple pears."  But Japanese ones are a lot bigger than most of the ones you'll find in the States.

...a lot bigger.

They have the consistency of pears with the shape of apples and the taste of, well, nashi.  I highly recommend them.

Back to green things!  This is komatsuna, which you can actually find at Japanese grocery stores in the U.S.  It's kind of like spinach, but not as dark and way easier to overcook.  Sort of like a spinach-lettuce hybrid?

And what can you do will komatsuna?

Well, if you're a college student with only one pan, you can make...

...Rice Egg Vegetable Stuff.

(I need a better name for this, but it is delicious, despite its lame name.)

Basically, I took a bunch of Japanese dishes, mixed them up, and came up with some horribly mutated dish that tastes really good.

To make enough for one person, you will need:

1 egg
more ginger than you deem strictly necessary, diced very fine
about two cloves of garlic, cut into very thin medallions
one bunch of komatsuna, with the ends cut off, sliced into two-inch-ish long strips
some mushrooms, sliced into strips
some onion, sliced into small-ish pieces
some carrot, sliced into very thin medallions
some rice
some soy sauce

Step one!  Start your rice in the rice cooker.  Note: Don't make dry rice.  You need your rice to pretty goopy for this to work.

Step two!  Go do something for about thirty minutes.

Step three!  Take our your vegetables, wash them, and chop them into pieces!

Step four!  In a little bit of oil (I used canola oil, 'cause that's what I have), fry your garlic and onions and ginger.

Step five!  Just as the onions start turning translucent, add the mushrooms and carrots.

Step six!  About sixty seconds later, add some soy sauce and crack the egg into the pan.  Then mix up the egg REALLY FAST so that it coats everything.  It should sort of resemble a pan of slime.  If it looks kind of weird and gross, you're doing it right.

Note: If you scramble the egg beforehand, you are cheating.  Also, it won't taste as good for some reason.

After a while, it should start looking like this.

Step seven!  Add the rice to the pan.  Make sure to stir it well so that the rice gets broken up.

Step eight!  Add the komatsuna.  You shouldn't need to cook it for more than about two minutes, tops.  Also, you might need to add water at this point, if you made your rice too dry.

Step nine!  Enjoy!  (It's also really good cold, for some reason.)

Step ten!  Wash up your dishes.  Seriously.  When you have one pan to share among four people, you have to do dishes really quickly.

And thus concludes this episode of How to Cook Like a College Student with Only One Pan.

On a final random note, remember how I was saying that I had forgotten all my useful Japanese, and could only remember words like "sexual generative organ"?

Well, guess what word came up in my reading for class.


1 comment:

  1. That would be pretty cool to do for co-op, actually, although we'd have to try to find things at the asian market NASA found.
    The melon soda reminds me of the aloe juice I tried in South Korea. It was not that bright a green and it had little chunks of aloe in it- at least I hope that's what they were. Ever had that?