Turning Japanese – Global Wanderings in My Kitchen

I visited Japan a few times years ago, and really loved how they did Sukiyaki, Teppanyaki & Yakitori. I’d travelled there several times with my husband, David, and once on business. I persuaded our Japanese minder for the business trip to drop the fancy hotel restaurants and instead suggested that we head out on a crawl of Kyoto’s Yakitori & Sushi bars. My Australian travelling mates loved it.

Although I love cooking, Japanese is not my specialty at home – David & our daughter, Kat, do most of the Japanese. In fact Sukiyaki became one of David’s signature dishes, along with Gado Gado & Saganaki. He’s relying mostly on memory of Sukiyaki restaurant dishes from his two visits to Japan with a bit of help from the Complete Asian Cookbook.

We loved going to the Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant in Surfer’s Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast. And of course in Wollongong, there’s the Fuji Yama Tepan Restaurant, the ever popular Roppongi (bookings essential) and more recently Moon’s in the northern suburb of Woonona.

Kat, has been studying Japanese for about 6 years & acquired a taste for Japanese food, especially Sushi & Sushi Train restaurants. She’s often helped out at the Japanese food stall at her school’s annual Great Fete. 

When not nibbling on Pocky, Kat often snacks on Nori (dried seaweed sheets) and suddenly we find there’s none left for the Sushi

Fortunately David is also a Sushi-maker, with a Sushi mat & all the ingredients – now available from all our local supermarkets – so he teams up with Kat for Sushi-making, for those “bring a plate” functions.

Last year Kat spent a few weeks in Japan on a school excursion, which included a Japanese cooking lesson where they learnt how to make Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pancakes. We are also expecting to host a Japanese exchange student in March 2010 – so we may learn more about Japanese foods.

Recently @mqtodd tweeted about a great blog post on Japanese food : 10 Cool Japanese Foods. My favourite Japanese Food Blog would have to be Shiuoka Gourmet – the cycling gourmet – here’s my fav post – and I really love his Bento Box postings too.

But of course there are now others blogging about Japanese food in the English language : 

I actually only have one Japanese cookery book – plus my copy of the Complete Asian Cookbook does have a reasonable Japanese section. Fortunately I have collected many cuttings from magazines, all now carefully filed in the Japanese section of my Asian folders :

  • Chicken Yakitori
  • Curries – Japan style
  • Donburi
  • Gyoza
  • Hotpot – Japan style
  • Miso Soup
  • Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pancakes
  • Ponzu Chicken
  • Rice based dishes with chicken or vegetarian
  • Salads – Japan style
  • Sukiyaki
  • Sushi & Temaki
  • Soba & Udon Noodles
  • Tempura
  • Teppanyaki
  • Teriyaki Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork, Prawns  etc etc
  • Tonkatsu

And of course Taste, my fav Australian foodie site, features an extensive Japanese collection

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