Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sweet Seasons / May 2008 - Iris -

"Iris" by Nishigawaya

Maybe some of you have heard of Japanese old custom of taking a herbal bath called "shobu-yu" on the 5th of May? It was part of several traditional customs to celebrate Boy's Day (which is now "Children's Day" to be more politically correct). And the herb thrown into bathtub for this custom is called shobu. It seems that shobu is usually translated as "iris," but to be precise, the shobu used for this herbal bath does not have flowers like those in above photo; it looks more like cattail (typha). (See the photos of shobu plant and shobu-yu here.)

Nevertheless, many Japanese still associate iris flowers with this old custom and with the month of May. Actually, late May and early June are iris season around here, so it is no surprise to see lovely iris-shaped wagashi at most wagashi shops at this time of the year here.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Garden Report - May 2008 -



Sweet Marjoram


Today was not a good day for photo shooting. It was so cloudy and humid most of the day. But the green of my herbs looked really refreshing to my tired eyes when I came back from work today, and I couldn't help taking some shots. :)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seared Tuna with Soy Butter Sauce

Seared Tuna with Soy-Butter Sauce

This is an idea which I stole from a Japanese magazine a while ago. (I forgot if it was "Orange Page" or "ESSE.") And IIRC, this was an idea by a Japanese chef named Kentaro. He is a well-known chef in Japan (partly because his mom is a popular chef) and he has written many cook books. There are some Japanese people who do not care for his recipes very much, saying that his recipes tend to be a bit too buttery, and I might as well agree with that opinion.

But this recipe somehow caught my attention, and I was totally happy that I tried it out. This was actually a new discovery to me. Yes, I knew that soy-butter sauce is great with meat or fish. What I didn't know before was that how great green onions (negi) taste when sauteed with soy-butter sauce! Honestly, I didn't think the fish was terribly great, but I just loved the green onion topping with rich soy-butter sauce. Yum! :D


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

This is a very good recipe from Allrecipes. Even I was able to bake something like this. :)

The recipe does deserve five stars, I think.