Sunday, 22 March 2009

Hisashiburi PunkYou! (Update and a simple recipe)

ごめん!It's been a really long time since we updated but we are not dead! Nope, just busy with lame-o English teaching jobs and the drama of life as a adult (blah, why did I ever want to grow up?....)
Anyhoo, both Pamela and I have some happy animal-related news to share. I'll only give you mine for now as I'm sure Pam will be bursting to tell everyone her awesome story personally!
.... I adopted a kitty! Her name is Maneki. Her name is kind of a joke since she is a "neko" (cat) and a "maneki neko"(Beckoning Cat) is a good luck sculpture in Japan. She was actually my friend's cat but he is moving to Osaka soon to live in a typical single "1 room" apartment in a very non-animal friendly building. Yeah yeah, I know, I don't understand why anyone would move to a no-pets building when they already have a pet but unfortunately, like many people I suspect, my friend didn't really think about his decision to adopt as seriously as he should have. Anyway, she lives with me now and I'll give her the best home I can.

Here's a picture for all you cat fans:

Aside from that, my life has been busy but not all that interesting to you! Spring is finally here and the ume (plum) blossom has come and gone which means it's less interesting, but far more famous cousin, sakura (cherry blossom) is on the way. Soon it'll be time for hanabi (flower viewing parties) and sakura-flavoured everything (including potato chips and kitkats). I went to see the ume blossom at Osaka castle park with my boyfriend a couple of weeks back. He bought me an awesome little ume bonsai tree which I enjoyed watching bloom on top of my TV for a couple of weeks. It also gave me an excuse to play with my Blythe doll and get her to do some modelling. Usually I don't like dolls but since she's dressed as a squirrel and my nickname is Squirrel, I thought she was pretty awesome. Also, she has red hair which is pretty sweet.

Here's my little bonsai and a coquettish Blythe shot for you:

And now that I've bored you all with that, here's a very easy but tasty Japanese recipe for you to try!

Sauteed Eggplant and Green Peppers with Miso
This simple traditional side dish goes well with a bowl of rice, pickles and a tofu main. Apparently eating eggplants in the hot sweaty Japanese summer helps to stimulate the appetite. But I don't usually have any problems with my appetite, haha.

You will need:
4-5 Japanese eggplants
3-4 green peppers (I used 5 small Japanese piman but the usual bigger kind is good too)
4 tblspoons sesame oil
2.5 tblspoons miso (you're choice but I used a mild red miso and it worked well)
1 tblspoon sugar
2 tblspoons mirin
2 teaspoons sake
2 teaspoons konbu dashi

1) Cut the top stems off the eggplants and cut into round slices about 1cm/half an inch thick. Soak the slices in water for 5 minutes then drain.
2) Remove the seeds from the green peppers and cut into small bite-size chunks.
3) Heat the sesame oil in a pan and saute the eggplants over a fairly high heat. Add the green peppers and saute some more.
4) When the vegetables are have softened, add the miso paste and sugar. Stir and saute until the miso starts to burn a little and stick to the sides and bottom of the pan. Add the mirin, sake and dashi and cook on a medium heat, stirring often, until the liquid has almost all cooked off.

That's it for now but I still have to post about Japanese sweets. And I've been working on a BBQ wings recipe recently which hopefully I'll be able to share soon. I also have some chocolate pictures to show off and an awesome microwave brownie recipe too so...... I'll try my best not to slack off!

-- Sarah


Brett said...

Very cool vegan blog! (I've never been to Japan but I love Japanese food.) Anytime you want to chat about Taiwan just email me.

Mihl said...

Welcome back! Maneki is adorable. I really need to get some mirin and some sake, your eggplant dish sounds fantastic.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Awww, Maneki! Cute mini Blythe!

Anonymous said...

Very cool blog. I'm living in Nagasaki right now. I'm vegan as well. It's nice to know there are other vegans somewhere in this country.

Karin said...

Thank you so very much for posting this recepie! I just made it, it's so OISHII! I got it from my japanese okaasan (actually my mama-san when I worked in a bar in Tokyo) but couldn't find my little notebook now that I got the piman-miso-cravings.
Your manneki (neko) is sooooo cute, and ume are my very favourite flowers, you lucky girl!