Tag Archives: Food

Fermented beans and pickled cabbage

14 Nov

A visitor to my blog asked me to do a post about what I eat for dinner since my wife is Japanese and I’ve been living in Japan for most of my life now.

So, I’m writing this post about a unique and healthy dish that I had for dinner yesterday. Rather than explain the side-dishes that I had, as well…I’m just going to focus on the one dish.

This particular Japanese dish is extremely unpopular with most foreigners in Japan.
It’s called 「納豆」 (nattou) and is fermented soybeans.
Nattou is very sticky and stringy and has a very unpleasant odor…but it’s healthy and it actually tastes good.

I’ll admit that the first time that I tried natto I was repulsed by it’s appearance and smell…and I didn’t like it’s taste either. But I gave it a second chance because I noticed that my kids liked it even when they were young—“if kids can eat it, then so can I”, I thought.
So…even if you’ve tried natto before and didn’t like it—give it another shot. Especially the way I had it yesterday.


Japanese natto and Korean kimuchi over rice…better than it looks!

My favorite way to eat 納豆 (natto) is over rice with キムチ (Korean kimuchi) on top.
Kimuchi is a staple of the Korean diet…spicy pickled cabbage. And it goes great with natto and rice!

It’s a delicious and healthy dish!

Give it a try!


Cultural Heritage

29 Oct

UNESCO has listed 和食 (Japanese cuisine) as one of the world’s integeral cultural treasures.

Some countries have one or two of their national dishes listed as such … but the list of countries whose entire cuisine is listed is very short!

Along with Japan, I believe there is only France, Mexico, Italy  and Turkey.

I love Japanese, Mexican and Italian food best!

Idaho to the east, Miami to the west

28 Mar

The four special burgers for the Big America 2 campaign at McDonalds in Japan have all had their turn on the menu.

And now McDonalds Japan is bringing back the “Miami Burger” and the “Idaho Burger“.

Back on the menu for one week only...2011 March 25th - 31st.

I think the two best burgers of the “Big America 2” campaign were the “Texas2 Burger” and the “Miami Burger“…but, unfortunately for me, McDonalds isn’t bringing back the “Miami Burger” and the “Idaho Burger” to their stores across the whole country.
The “Idaho Burger” will be in their stores in 東日本 (east Japan), except for the 東北地方 (“Tohoku Region”) which is the area that was hit by the recent disaster, and the “Miami Burger” will be in McDonalds in 西日本 (western Japan).

Tokyo, which is where I live, is in eastern Japan…so the “Idaho Burger” is available here until 31 March. I prefer the “Miami Burger” though.

I won’t be buying an “Idaho Burger“, but I do plan to try the other new burger that is currently on the menu at McDonalds Japan…the 「チリチキン」 (“Chili Chicken”) sandwich.

The "Chili Chicken" sandwich is available at McDonalds all over Japan.

I love chili and I love chicken…so I think I’ll like this sandwich!


Claude Monet art exhibit in Tokyo

10 Jan

I’m not an expert on art by any means.

My tastes might be considered “low brow”.
I listen to heavy metal music, my favorite TV shows aren’t really educational or anything, and I don’t see the appeal of “over-rated” movies such as “Lost In Translation“, “Forrest Gump” and “The Lord Of The Rings“…those movies were all boring to me.
The movies I like are more exciting.

And I don’t feel comfortable eating in “four star” fancy restaurants…I prefer a simple 「居酒屋」 (Japanese izakaya “blue collar” type restaurant).

Even though I may be a “simple man” I can appreciate art sometimes.
I have never attended an opera or even a musical on stage, but I have watched 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) plays and sometimes I go to art exhibits at museums.

I have seen a number of 浮世絵 (Ukiyoe Japanese woodblock prints) exhibits…and yesterday, my wife and I went to 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) to see the 「モネとジヴェルニーの画家たち」 (“Claude Monet and the Giverny Artists”) exhibit.

It’s at the “Bunkamura Museum” in Shibuya, Tokyo until 2011 February 17th.

I learned that Claude Monet moved to a tiny French village called Giverny and painted the natural views that he saw there. And his work inspired many artists from other countries, but the vast majority were Americans, to go to Giverny and set up an “artist colony” there to learn from Monet.

Also, Monet was inspired by Japanese art (other famous Western artists, including Vincent Van Gogh, were too) and he had a collection of Japanese Ukiyoe prints.

Monet's painting of his wife in Japanese kimono.

Monet's painting of his garden in Giverny, France.

Monet's painting of a hay stack.


Are you interested in art? Monet? Ukiyoe?
How about your taste in food, movies, music, etc?


McDonalds bargains in Japan

16 Oct

From yesterday (2010 October 15) until next Thursday (2010 October 21), McDonalds in Japan are giving away free cups of coffee for one hour each day this week from 6:00PM – 7:00PM.

McDonalds Japan also has a number of “¥100 Menu” and “¥120 Menu” items that include such deals as a hamburger, small coffee and ice cream for ¥100 each and things like a cheeseburger for ¥120.
Well, starting last month, a new item has been added to the ¥100 Menu…a small size 「マックシェイク・バナナ」 (“Banana Milkshake”).

バナナ マックシェイク (Banana Milkshake)

I remember the Banana Milkshake was on the menu at McDonalds Japan about six years ago…and now, starting last month, it’s back on the menu.

Does McDolads in your country offer Banana Milkshakes? Have you tried one? What did you think of it?

Also, McDonalds Japan is currently offering four new chicken sandwiches…one at a time.
These sandwiches are collectively called “iCon’ Chicken”.
The current one is 「チーズフォンデュ」 (“Cheese Fondue”).

In late October, the “iCon’ Chicken” will be changed to “German Sausage”, then in early November it’ll be “Diavolo”, then in late October they’ll sell the “Carbonara”.

edit: Please click here to read a comment I added to this post about McDonalds coupons.


Statues and dolls

26 Feb

There are many interesting statues around Japan…especially in or near train stations.

Often they are of a famous person who lived in the area, a cartoon character whose story took place in that area, or of something or someone that the area is famous for.

I have taken photos of many statues around Japan over the years…maybe oneday I’ll go through them and make a post about them all—but for now, here are just a few that I’ve taken with my ケータイ (cell-phone) camera:

両津勘吉 (Ryoutsukankichi)

両津勘吉 (Ryoutsukankichi)

At 御宿 (Onjuku, Chiba, Japan)

At 御宿 (Onjuku, Chiba, Japan)







I’ve got many more photos of statues…as I wrote above, maybe I’ll write another blog-post later about them all.

Next Tuesday (March 3rd) is ひな祭 (Doll Festival).

On this day, families with daughters set up elaborate sets of dolls of Japanese royalty, and eat a special type of 寿司 (sushi) called ちらし寿司 (Chirashizushi).

I have three daughters, so of course we have a ひな祭の人形 (Doll Festival dolls) set.

Click here to read my FAQ about ひな祭 (Doll Festival).

ひな祭りの人形 (Doll Festival set)

ひな祭りの人形 (Doll Festival set)