Japanese dinner

I just had to blog about how pleased I am with how tonight’s dinner turned out. And yes, I realize this is something else I can add to my list of why I am lame.

A few months ago, the Sunday paper listed a recipe for Miso soup that I have made once before and loved! I made it for my friends Wendy and Eilene when Christian was out at a work function, so he had not tasted it yet.

I wanted something Japanese to go with the miso soup, so I searched the faithful AllRecipes.com and found this recipe for Hiyashi Chuka Noodles. It was a super easy recipe to make, and it really did remind me of dishes we had while we were in Japan. It was also a great excuse to buy a package of nori…hopefully soon we can buy a rice maker with a timer and eat the traditional nori and rice for breakfast! That was one of my favorite things to eat in Japan.

Anyway, I wish I had taken a picture of the Hiyashi Chuka Noodles. Since I did not, I will just list out both the recipes, in case anyone is interested! Have fun!

Hiyashi Chuka Noodles
(original recipe: AllRecipes.com – I made some changes)

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
5 tablespoons chicken stock
1 teaspoon sesame/sunflower oil
1 squirt of chili sauce (optional)
1 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, grated
1/4 sheet nori, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon hot Chinese mustard

Mix the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chicken stock, sesame oil, and chili sauce together in a small bowl, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Drain immediately, and refrigerate noodles until cold. Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in the beaten egg and tilt the pan to thinly coat the bottom with egg. When firm, fold the egg in half and remove from the pan. Slice into thin strips.

To serve, place cold noodles on serving plates. Top with separate piles of egg, cucumber, and carrot. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with crumbled nori. Serve with a touch of hot mustard on the side.

Japanese Soup Bowl
(original recipe: Dallas Morning News – I made vegetarian adjustments)

2 ½ cups water
3 envelopes of instant white miso soup (a 1.05-ounce package contains 3 envelopes)
2 cups fresh baby spinach, sliced into thin strips
1 block tofu, sauteed until firm
1 (15-ounce) can straw mushrooms (available at large supermarkets, with the Asian products)
2 scallions, sliced (white part and some green), for garnish

Bring water to a boil in a 1.5 quart pot.
Turn heat off and stir in instant miso soup mix until dissolved.
Add spinach, tofu, and mushrooms.
Turn heat to low and heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.
Divide soup between 3 medium (or 2 extra large) bowls.
Garnish each with sliced scallions.


In case you don’t follow my Flickr photos, I am starting to scan in some marvelous postcards we got in Japan that are hilarious. I don’t know if they were translated badly or what, but this is our favorite one. I don’t know if you can read it but it has Strawberry Punch with the adorable mouse thing that says “I punched my opponent on the jaw! Are you ready for it?”
Now that is funny stuff.

Video of the ryokan

I have uploaded a short video of the traditional ryokan where we stayed the first night in Japan.
Here it is:

After the end of the video comes this photo from my photo stream, the maid came in and laid out the traditional Japanese breakfast:

Japan Photos are online

Well, I think I have completed uploading all the pictures I took of Japan, here they are.

I tried to add some fun narrative to help explain our trip to you.

Also, Christian will be continuing to add photos to his Flickr as well, right now I think there are only 50, and most have been auto-uploaded so they don’t have as much commentary:

Be sure to keep checking his as he adds many more!