Basic recipe Healthy cooking Japanese food Recipes Vegan/Vegetarian

Okayu

image
Okayu with an umeboshi on top

Recently, with the cold season in full swing and my baby being weaned, I find myself making a lot of okayu, which is the Japanese version of rice porridge or congee. Okayu is often given to the ill as it is easier to eat and digest than white rice. In fact, when I was in the hospital after giving birth in Japan, I was given okayu instead of white rice for the first few meals. Then, in a weaning class several months later, I was taught how to prepare okayu as it is the recommended first food for babies in Japan. (In case you’re wondering, this is what okayu as baby food looks like; the different colors come from the different foods that can be added into the okayu as the baby grows, like broccoli, white fish, kabocha, egg yolk, tofu, etc.) Some people also like to use okayu as a way to lose weight by simply replacing white rice with the lower-calorie okayu.

Here, I will describe the basic recipe for okayu.

Ingredients:
Japanese rice
Water
Salt
Optional toppings (e.g., umeboshi (pickled plum), spring onions, etc.)

There are several types of okayu, which differ according to the amount of rice and water used and the final ratio of gruel to liquid in the okayu. Here is a quick list:

  • zengayu
    1 rice : 5 water (this gives gruel without any extra liquid)
  • shichibugayu
    1 rice : 7 water (this gives okayu with a 7 gruel : 3 liquid ratio)
  • gobugayu
    1 rice : 10 water (this gives okayu with a 1 gruel : 1 liquid ratio)
  • sanbugayu
    1 rice : 20 water (this gives okayu with a 3 gruel : 7 liquid ratio)
Cooking okayu
Cooking okayu

Instructions:
– wash rice until the water runs clear.
– add the appropriate amount of water and heat on high while stirring occasionally to avoid clumping of the rice.
– once the water is boiling, allow to simmer covered on low heat for 30 mins.
– add salt as needed
– serve hot with or without any toppings

Pin It
General Japanese food Ramen Ramen Ranking Restaurants

102’s Toronto Ramen Ranking 102のトロント ラーメン ランキング

Hello. I’m a Japanese male living in Toronto. While living abroad, I sometimes want to eat Japanese food very much, but it is difficult to obtain delicious authentic Japanese food, and I imagine that many Japanese people who are living abroad may also be struggling to get them.

Especially among Japanese people, ramen is very popular. However, there is little information about ramen restaurants in Toronto. I imagine that many Japanese people are disappointed in the taste of the ramen available in Toronto because of the differences in preference for ramen between Japanese and Canadian people. Here, I’d like to share the results of my ramen tasting in Toronto as a way of contributing to people who want to know which ramen shops have authentic and delicious Japanese flavor.

 

My ranking of ramen in Toronto is below. The details of each ramen will be written in the future.

1st Sansoutei Ramen             9 pt ★★★★★★★★★☆

2nd Raijin (tonkotsu)              8 pt ★★★★★★★★☆☆

3rd Guu                      7 pt ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

4th Santouka Ramen             7 pt ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

5th Ryoji                      6 pt ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

6th Raijin (toridashi)               6 pt ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

7th Kinton Ramen                            5 pt ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

8th Kenzo Ramen                             3 pt ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

9th Tohenboku Ramen                        2 pt ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

10th  Sukiyaki Japanese Delight        2 pt ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

11th Wakame Sushi                          1 pt ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

 

This ranking was made according to my own personal preferences, so some people may not like the ramen with a higher rank, while some people may like the ones with a lower rank. Another point to note is that there are some restaurants that aren’t ramen restaurant in this ranking; I evaluated only the ramen and didn’t evaluate any other dish.

 

In addition, this ranking was made based on the taste of ramen in Japan, so you may find the evaluations strict.

 

Let me share my comprehensive impressions of ramen in Toronto.

 

1. Tonkotsu ramen in Toronto tastes better than the other flavors

I’m not sure whether tonkotsu (pork bone soup) is popular in Toronto or not, but the rankings for tonkotsu ramen were generally higher than those of the other flavors as they tasted pretty good. For your information, I prefer shoyu (soy sauce) ramen the most, and the order of my preferences for ramen soup flavors is: 1st shoyu, 2nd miso, 3rd tonkotsu, 4th shio (salt). Nonetheless, tonkotsu ramen restaurants seem to rank highly on this list, so I think the tonkotsu ramen in Toronto is good.

 

2. Soups are watery, and the noodles are softer

I’m not sure whether that’s a Canadian preference or not, but many ramen restaurants’ soups are watery and have a lighter taste. Thus, Japanese people may feel that something is missing in the soup. Also, the noodles are much softer compared to the ramen in Japan. As I see it, these differences may be attributed to Canadian’s preferences.

 

3. No white rice on the side menu

When I go to ramen restaurants in Japan, I always order rice with ramen and enjoy them as ramen-rice (eating white rice with ramen soup, toppings and noodles), but in Toronto, almost none of the ramen restaurants have rice (or half-sized rice) on their menu. Some of them have pork rice bowls or chicken rice bowls, but they don’t offer simple white rice. We can’t enjoy “ramen-rice” in Toronto, so I feel a little disappointed.

 

4. No seasonings on the tables

In Japan, ramen restaurants usually offer seasonings, like garlic, white pepper, sesame seeds, etc., on the tables. Customers can add these seasonings to the ramen they ordered however they want. However, none of the ramen restaurants in Toronto have this system. I hope ramen restaurants in Toronto will implement this service in the future.

 

I will add new ramen restaurants to the ranking whenever I eat ramen at other ramen restaurants.

 

If you want me to try another ramen restaurant, please feel free to leave a comment. I will try and taste it whenever possible and add the ramen to the ranking and write a review.

 

 

こんにちは。トロント在住の日本人です。海外に住んでいると無性に日本食が恋しくなりますが、なかなかおいしい日本食にありつくことができず苦悩している方も多いことと思います。

特に日本人にはラーメン好きな方が多いかと思いますが、トロントのラーメン屋に関する情報が少なく、また、現地人の舌による「おいしい」という情報をたよりにラーメン屋に出向いて失敗した方も多いのではと推察されます。そんな方々のお役に少しでも立てればと、私も日本人の舌で感じた結果を情報発信していきたいと思います。

私がこれまでにトロントで食したラーメンのランキングは以下の通り。細かいそれぞれの店のレポートは少しずつ加えていきたいと思います。

第1位  三草亭               9点★★★★★★★★★☆

第2位  雷神(とんこつ)          8点★★★★★★★★☆☆

第3位  グー                 7点★★★★★★★☆☆☆

第4位  山頭花                7点★★★★★★★☆☆☆

第5位  リョウジ               6点★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

第6位  雷神(鶏だし)            6点★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

第7位  金とん                   5点★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

第8位  ケンゾー                 3点★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

第9位  唐変木                 2点★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

第10位 すきやきジャパニーズデライト  2点★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

第11位 ワカメ寿司               1点★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

 

あくまで私個人の好みによるランキングです。上位の店に行ったがまずかったという場合もあるかもしれませんし、逆に下位の店が好みの方もいるかもしれません。そこをお含みいただいた上で参考にしていただければと思います。また、ラーメン屋以外のレストランも含まれておりますが、そのレストランのラーメンのみを評価しており、他の料理等は評価に含まれておりません。

 

日本にあるラーメン屋ベースで評価しているので、比較的辛口の採点になっているかもしれませんが、ご了承ください。

 

トロントのラーメン屋の全体的な印象を以下に記載します。

 

1.とんこつラーメンのレベルが高め

トロントでとんこつが流行っているのかわからないですが、とんこつラーメンを押しにする店の割合が比較的高く、そのレベルも高いような気がします。ちなみに、私自身はしょうゆラーメンが一番好きです。好きなラーメンの味を順に表すと、1しょうゆ→2味噌→3とんこつ→4塩となるにもかかわらず、ランキング上位にとんこつが入ってきているので、トロントでは比較的とんこつラーメンのレベルが高いと思われます。

 

2.全体的にスープが水っぽく、麺がやわらかめ

カナダ人に合わせているのかはわからないですが、全体的にスープが水っぽく薄味なところが多いです。そのため、日本人には物足りなさが感じられると思われます。また、これも現地の方の好みに合わせているのかもしれませんが、麺が比較的やわらかめであると感ぜられます。

 

3.サイドメニューにおけるライスの欠落

日本にいたころは、ラーメン屋に入った際は、私の好みとしてサイドメニューでライスを必ずオーダーして、ラーメンライスとして食していたのですが、トロントではライス・半ライスがメニューにあるところはほとんどない。あっても、チャーシュー丼やとりから丼などの丼物であり、純粋にライスをスープで楽しむということができないのが少し悲しく感じます。

 

4.テーブル上の調味料の欠落

ラーメンへの調味料、特にニンニクやコショウの欠落も気になるところです。日本では、ほぼ当たり前となっているテーブル上のすりおろしニンニクやコショウ、トウガラシ、ラー油などのお好みで加える調味料は、トロントのラーメン屋では皆無です。サービスの一つとして加えてほしいところですね。

 

なお、今後も新たなラーメンを食した場合もランキングに追加していく予定です。

 

トロント市内で試してほしいラーメンショップがある場合にはコメント欄に記載ください。可能な範囲で対応し、ランキング・レポートに追加していきます。

News

Missing posts

Well, we never realized just how much we had here at Foodaholic Adventures until we had to search for all the missing bits after everything was lost in a server crash. Although I may have a backup, I cannot access it until I go back to Japan in June, and unfortunately, we lost quite a lot!

Missing food posts include:
shinmai new crop rice, mini garlic spinach cheese hot dog rolls, mochi taiyaki experiment, chocolate cake, ume shiso pasta, gyoza dumplings, green bean dessert soup, green bean jelly, Cantonese beef brisket, experimental macaroons, chocolate waffles, banana muffins, shortbread cookies, scones, Sakura cupcakes, french toast, pizza in a fry pan experiment, taiyaki, yau gok, kabocha an, taco rice, and sasadango…

Photos of some of the missing posts:
sakuracakesshinmaiimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageYau gokZataar manekishMacarons

If you have a copy of any of these posts, recipes, or photos, please send it to me at mingo10@hotmail.com. Any help would be much appreciated!

Pin It
Japanese food Recipes Travel eats

Kiritampo nabe

Kiritampo nabe
Kiritampo nabe

I love surprise parcels, especially those involving food! So when we received such a parcel from my sister-in-law, I was ecstatic; she had sent us a set for making kiritampo nabe, a type of hot pot from Akita prefecture in Japan, complete will the soup base, raw hinai-jidori (free-range chicken from Akita that is famous all around the country) meat, vegetables, and of course, kiritampo.

Kiritampo is made from mushed-up cooked rice (if authentic, of the delicious Akita komachi variety, of course!) wrapped around a cedar stick and toasted. It can then be slid off the stick to be used in nabe. The set also included damako mochi, which is similar to kiritampo, but instead of cylinders, the mashed rice is formed into balls about 2 cm in diameter.

Kiritampo nabe set
Kiritampo nabe set- ingredients all included!

The soup base was included in the set, but since this nabe set is not available everywhere, I will describe the recipe for making the soup base from scratch, as well as the ingredients used in kiritampo nabe. As with all nabe, there is no strict rule for the amounts of ingredients that must be used, but here is a guideline that can be changed according to the ingredients on hand, and personal tastes.

Ingredients:
200 g raw boneless chicken meat
1 leek
1 carrot
200 g maitake (Grifola frondosa or hen-of-the-wood mushrooms)
1 burdock root, peeled and sliced
1 bunch seri (Japanese parsley/dropwort greens)
400 g shirataki noodles
Kiritanpo (about 2/person)
Damako mochi

For making the soup:
1.5 L chicken stock or water
50 ml soy sauce
75 ml mirin
Salt (approx. 1 tsp or as needed)

– add the burdock root and chicken to the water/soup stock in a pot and bring to a boil
– add the soy sauce, mirin and salt, and allow to boil
– add the maitake, carrot and shirataki, then simmer for about five minutes
– add the leek, kiritampo and damako mochi, and simmer for several more minutes
– place seri on the top and allow to cook for a minute
– serve hot!

Kiritampo nabe and rice
Kiritampo nabe and rice
Pin It
News

Sorry for the absence!

We must apologize- this site has been down for a few months already, and as we were busy with personal events (both Ming and M-Y had babies within 5 days of each other!), we were unable to restore the page until now. Our deepest apologies!

Although we will be able to restore most of the recipes, most of the images were lost. We will try to find them or make new photos again, so please bear with us. If you happen to have a copy of any of our photos, please let Ming know at mingo10@hotmail.com. Any help will be much appreciated!

Thank you! And please stay tuned!

Foodaholic Adventures logo- Food on the mind

Pin It
Baking Breads Breakfast Healthy cooking Recipes

Oatmeal and bran muffins

Looking for a delicious way to increase your fiber and fruit intake? Tired of overpriced bran and fruit bars? Need a little excitement in your life?

These muffins are really easy to make, and the recipe is adaptable for whatever fruits, nuts or other fillings you have on hand or want to add. For the muffins in these photos, I added frozen blueberries, almond slivers, chocolate chips, and a prune center for each muffin.

Here is the basic recipe:

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup oats
1/2 cup bran
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: nuts, fresh or dried fruits, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc.

-Combine milk, bran and oats in a small bowl. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
-In a separate bowl, beat the egg, sugar and oil together.
-Add the egg, sugar and oil mixture into the oatmeal mixture.
-In another bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
-Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture.
-Mix the optional fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, etc., into the batter.

-Spoon batter into the muffin cups until about 3/4 full.
-Bake at 190 degree Celsius for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

If you find the batter a little dry, try stirring in a little milk at the end before spooning the batter into the cups. Be careful when adding fresh fruits as the batter may become too moist; in this case, try adding less milk.

Wasn’t that easy?

Japanese food Meat Recipes

Miso fried chicken

In this recipe, chicken is marinated in a miso sauce and fried in a frying pan. I like this recipe because it is so easy to make and is very flavorful. I’ve made it without letting it marinate when I didn’t have time and it was still delicious.

Miso chicken
Miso chicken

Ingredients
600 g chicken
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar or mirin
Oil for cooking

Cut chicken into the desired sizes.
Combine miso, soy sauce and sugar.
Add the sauce mixture to the chicken and combine until chicken is well coated.
Allow to meat to sit for several hours in the fridge, wrapped.
Heat oil in frying pan.
Place chicken in the pan and fry until golden brown.
Flip the chicken and fry the other side.

Fry until brown and thoroughly cooked.
Serve hot.

Pin It
Chinese food Meat Recipes

Soy sauce chicken- Hong Kong style

Hong Kong style soy sauce chicken
Hong Kong style soy sauce chicken

Soy sauce chicken is popular in Hong Kong. It is often served with noodles or rice, or even alone, at restaurants and stalls.

In this recipe, I omitted Chinese cooking wine (simply because if didn’t have any at home), but the wine can be added to the sauce for a deeper flavor. Also, for those who dislike star anise, it can be removed from the sauce prior to the addition of chicken for a lighter flavor.

This recipe also works great for chicken wings!

Ingredients
Approx. 10 chicken drumsticks
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
A few slices of ginger, finely chopped
3/4 cup dark soy sauce
2 tbsp of sugar (or rock sugar)
1 star anise
3 cups of water
Dash of white pepper (optional)
1 tbsp cooking oil

– heat cooking oil in a pan or pot.
– add garlic and ginger and fry to bring out the aroma.
– add soy sauce, water, sugar and star anise, and bring to a boil. Add white pepper if desired.
– lower the heat and add the chicken one by one into the sauce.

– simmer for approx. 15 mins, then flip the chicken and simmer or another 15 mins. The chicken should take on the color of the soy sauce.
– remove chicken from the sauce and serve hot or cold on a plate. The sauce can be spooned onto rice and vegetable side dishes for added flavor.

About the leftover sauce- it would be a waste to throw it out! Most restaurants keep the sauce and reuse it a number of times for chicken, but at home, I like to add potatoes, carrots and boiled eggs to the sauce. Allow to boil for about 20 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through and the boiled eggs have turned brown, and voila! It’s delicious!

Pin It
Sweets Travel eats

Flan with dulce de leche

Flan with dulce de leche
Flan with dulce de leche

During a trip to Uruguay and Argentina, we went to a cafe in central Monte Video and had the opportunity to try out flan (a.k.a., creme caramel) with dulce de leche. It was amazing!

Flan is a type of custard made with milk. (It tasted surprisingly similar to Japanese “purin” pudding! After a little research, it turns out they are the same thing!). Dulce de leche, on the other hand, is like caramel; it is made from sweetened milk that has been boiled for a long time, allowing the sugars in it to caramelize.

Ready-to-eat dulce de leche was sold in jars and plastic tubs at the grocery store. They even came in little individually sized packages with our breakfasts. I bought a tub of the stuff and some instant flan, and look forward to making it in Japan!

Pin It
Baking Bento Recipes Vegan/Vegetarian

Peach ginger crumble – bento friendly!

 

Fall’s bounty is hitting the markets, and yesterday, I found the most beautiful, and absolutely huge, apples and peaches.

Since I was turning on the oven to roast a chicken, I decided to add a baked dessert to the menu too. Fruit crumble is so easy to make, and baking these in individual servings make them very bento (and portion size) friendly!

Apples and cinnamon are natural together. For the peaches? I decided to experiment by adding ginger. Yum yum! It turned out moist and gooey on the bottom, and slightly crunchy on top, with a touch of sweet ginger heat. I might use ginger again as an alternative to the cinnamon that permeates so much fall and winter baking. Although, I’m not sure how it’ll pair with ice cream (one of my recipe books says that apple crumble must be eaten with vanilla icecream – it’s the law!

In this tray, I made six apple crumbles and six peach crumbles (half recipes of each). The measurements below are for full recipes.

Filling for apple crumble:

4 medium sized apples
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup currants (optional)
Filling for peach ginger crumble:

4 medium sized peaches
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar
Topping:

¼ cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
Line cupcake pan with muffin cups. Large cups are better – makes bigger servings Seriously though, small cups will make the serving minuscule!

Peel and core the fruit, and dice into small pieces. Mix well with the rest of the filling ingredients. Spoon into the muffin cups, about 3/4 of way full.

Melt butter, and stir in the sugar. Mix well with the oats and cinnamon. Spoon over the fruit filling in the muffin cups. Press down firmly, and keep filling until it reaches the top (as it bakes, the crumble sinks a little, so next time I’ll try heaping more topping on top.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 mins.

Bento tip!
This is my bento the next day (chicken, roast potatos, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, and peach crumble).

And for saving to enjoy later, I froze some of the cups in slight wedge shapes, which can easily be thawed and transferred into bento boxes.