The Joy of Japanese Foods

Casa Fiesta nacho cheese. Only 800 Yen. That makes it $9.89.


Homo Sausage. D thought ths was funny.
The Sho-chu hobby kit. Oolong Tea, Sho-chu (Japanese wheat liquor) and lemons. This bottle has my name on it and is held for me on the shelf at a local resturant that I go to.
Delux toothpaste. Availiable in flavours like apple, coffee, and curry. Nothing says clean teeth like curry and coffee.
GUN GUN GUN! Of course this is just a bad translation of the Japanese name, "Goon, Goon, Guruto" I am not sure which is better...
A cherry cheesecake prepared for me by Hiromi on her return. It was perfect.
Pictured below, the nigiri sashimi set. This is one of the things I will miss about Japan. Originally priced at 990 yen reduced to 490 by the time I got to it (around 9pm) that puts the cost at about 6 bucks Canadian. And what do you get for it? Several cooked shrimp, and raw slabs of squid, Tuna, and some fishes I dont know. You can either add your own rice to make sushi, or, as I did, just pour out a small dish of shoyu and dip away and eat.

A nabe that Alex cooked up. What is notable about it? Fugu. That's right, inside that bubbling pot are several of the deadly little fish.

The verdict... DELICIOUS! I would gladly risk death to eat them again... man! So good.

I noticed this Tuna being prepared at the Costco. I dont think I ever realized how big these fish were till I actually saw one...
This is wild boar. You can buy a big tray of it to put in your nabe or soup. The interesting thing is that this particular wild boar is imported from Canada. Yup. Canadain wild boar. The traditional Canadian food.


Yummy Miso Ramen James style.

Miso is a bean paste. The bowl is full of Chinese style noodles and I have topped mine with Negi (scallions) Uzu no Tomago (quails eggs, which by the way are CHEAP HERE! HOORAY!) Menma (bamboo) Kim-chee (korean cabbage) and tofu.



This is....


An..."Energy Drink"...



It's called TA-FU-MA-N...

or, umm, Tough-man... I guess.


And it has sorta has a big picture of a set of golden nuts on it....



This box appeared on my desk one day. I wasn't sure what language it was or where it came from. This made me suspicious, I thought, "maybe I shouldn't eat this, it could be some disgusting, horrible flavor that would sicken me."

Thank God it just turned out to be Larb flavor. Whew!


I know it grows on trees over there, but it just doesn't exist over here... as a matter of fact, I had to go to Seoul to find this one... hence the writing in Hangul (Korean).

Pringles, Just like at home.


Well not quite JUST like at home...

Another interesting product that cropped up.

Blairs Death Rain Chips.



These are little puffballs, I guess the equivalent to our "cheesball". They however are flavored to taste like Takoyaki, or fried batter octopus balls. (That means spheres of Cephalopod, get your heads out of the gutter...)

The best thing is that they really do taste like em...

Thank you Frito Lay!

Ok, so I a while back I noticed that pancake mix came on sale. This planted the idea in my head that I would really like some pancakes. So I went out and over a period of two weeks accumulated the neccessary ingredients for a great breakfast. The hasbrowns were a great deal, the bacon is close to north american bacon, and the crowning bit... pancakes. Special thanks to Lauren and her parents for the Syrup, I kept one tin for myself, the rest were great gifts!

I set aside a sunday morning for myself and made myself breakfast. Three good things proceeded from this breakfast.

1. It made me think of Chris. I enjoyed a brief vacation back to the Skrzeks kitchen and sunday mornings with the super grill.

2. It reaquainted me with milk, which I now keep on hand.

3. It taught me a valuable lesson about myself. I never really relized it before but the only realy pancake making skill I have are to make pleasant conversation with Mrs. Skrzek while Chris cooks. He always makes the pancakes. I ate em thinking about you buddy. Make it over here, and I'LL cook the pancakes...

P.S. Just in case you were worried Micheal Isner wasn't making enough money... these were Disney brand Pancakes...

I will explain these the way they were explained to me...

"Ummm... Fish... Fish... Fish parts. Ummm... (ponts at crotch)"

"Ah... I understand... Man Fish parts? (I make the universal "I've got your balls hand sign...")

"Yes, Yes... I cannot eat.. If I eat Blaaah! (vomit noise) So you should eat."

Great advice. Thanks. So One cannot refuse hospitality, especailly as a forign guest. So I got up my courage and popped one of these balls in my mouth. Suffice to say, I wont be crowding the supermarket counter to buy more...

Hot Soup!

Available in Chicken (as this is... just read the bottom... Chi-Ki-Be-Ji-Ko-n-so-me=Chicken Veggie Consome... MMMM!) and of course corn soup. You can buy these out of the hot can section at 7-11 (where they keep the coffee) or out of machines on the street (where the kids buy thier coffee...)

Instant Udon and Ice Cold Green Tea

Dinner Alone on a Saturday Night. This is a beef ramen (again instant) with some wieners. My desperate search for protein was not satisfied by these dogs, they sucked.

Asahi and Suntory.

These are beers from two different companies that actually make about 60% of the drink market. The third company is called Kirin. Each of them puts out numerous beers, teas, cold drinks, health drinks, and super concentrates (more on those later.)

Suntory also seems to be on top of the liquor market. I don't have a favourite, when I drink, I drink whats around.

My first meal at my new home.

They have prepared meals like this in all the convienience stores and grocery stores. As the day goes on the prices get lower and lower. I picked up this set of rolls (this is not sushi) around 8 PM for 400 yen. (6 bucks) They are filling, cheap and this one comes with Inari (pictured in the middle row) which are tofu or rice in fried shells with honey. YUM!


A mixture of sweet curry, egg, and chicken. Put it on some rice and viola! The rice here is as expensive as we though, but I have split on a 10 KG with Brett so It isn't so bad.


Nothing fancy, but the flavor is good:

reading from top to bottom




Wasabi chips. Spicy!

The nature of instant foods.

everything here is micro-packaged. If the recipe calls for 4 ingredients there will be four seperate packages included when you buy the item. While a bit wasteful, it does make for a wide variety of items to be incorporated into instant foods...


This is cheese. It is shaped like a Koala. Cawaii!


A cookie that someone put on my desk one day. It looks like a dry leaf. I thought it was some sort of carmelized leaf of Shizo. Upon closer inspection it is was a fish. A whole, headless, dried fish.

A horse mackeral to be precise. I was told they are great with sake.

They aren't bad with ice water either... I would eat them again if they were offered, but it took me a while to build up the courage. BTW, don't eat the tails... bad manners.

I ran afoul these syringes during a lunch at elementary school. I had an 8 year old explain to me (in simple terms I could understand) that it was "kohi-gyunyu." ("coffee milk")

Just pop one of these concentrated coffee flavored tubes into your school luch milk carton, and voila! All the great taste of roasted coffee. It is really popular with the kids. I was also surprised to find out most of my students (13 years old) drink coffee regularly. I guess since it is available in vending machines everywhere you can't stop them from drinking it...

okonomiyaki. It is a sort of pancake stuffed with cabbage. It is really easy, big and cheap. I sometimes sautee some onions for on top, or if I am feeling really ambitious, I add some seafood (you can get a small package of mixed fruits de mer at the grocery store for 100 yen. (1.30)

My first ever school lunch. Not bad, the stew was TOP NOTCH, and hard boiled quail eggs are the best. We get them I would say twice a month on average...

School Kari Setto (curry set) Rice, pickled ginger, and curry! Plus the infamous Koala cheese!


This is the stuff. You boil the noodles a bit, add some of the dried onions, pour some sauce into a bowl, add some onions. Dip the noodles in the sause and slurp away! Yummy! I eat it several times a week.

Tengu Ramen.

Noodles and soup, with veggies and mushrooms.

Eat with chopsticks, drink whatever is left from the bowl.


A Mixed plate.

Sauteed onions (a la James)

Curry rice

Deep fried chicken

and Tonkatsu (deep fried pork) served cut into sections with chutney sauce.


Sushi-Yeah sure I've had it back home, but it is NOTHING like here. The Sushi here is fresh, and delicious, and just generally at least twice as large as at home…a new favorite of mine is Kentai Zushi… it is a style of dining where the chef just produces new sushi all the time. You sit around the chef with a conveyor belt between you. He adds new sushi all the time and you just take what you like off the line. At the end you pay according to how many plates you took off the line.

Udon-Udon is a Japanese Rice noodle, that comes served in some sort of sauce and with various meats. It can be prepared so many ways… It is probably my favorite.

Tonkatsu- Breaded fillet of pork in tempura served with a fruity chutney, YUM. I got sick the day I first tried it, but I have yet to prove if it was the tonkatsu, or the water, or THAT Tonkatsu…

Nato- Brett the Aussie bought a bunch of these and gave me one with the instructions "Try it. Learn to love it. Buy more" Now that I have tried it, I am sure I would sooner learn to love a man physically that love nato. Fermented beans with mustard and soy sauce. Disgusting.

Edomome- sure you've had Soya, but have you actually had Soya beans raw? Here they are served sometimes as a snack to go with beer. So much healthier than fries, and yummy as well.

Daikon Sarade (salad) Sitting in a bar in Kabukicho, Tokyo. There were 2 Japanese speakers and about 12 non speakers. When the waiter said something to one of the girls at my table, she decided to play it safe. Smile and nod… and agree to order whatever the waiter just asked if you wanted. So there appears this big pile of shaved vegetable that no-one wanted but no one wanted to send back. I stepped in and offered to pay for it, just so long as everyone tried some. Turns out it is a radish salad with fruity wine soy sauce, and it is delicious. And thankfully… cheap.

Bamboo- I didn't get bamboo until I came to Tatebayshi, but it was worth the wait! It comes pickled and soft served with some pickled onions. It is chewy and fibrous and wonderful! As soon as I can identify it at the store, I will keep a stock on hand.

Onigiri (Rice balls) while not the round baseball shaped rice ball made cool by Jubei Hibigami, Onigiri are none the less delicious and cheap. The come as either puck shaped, or more commonly triangles. They are made of sticky rice, wrapped in seaweed and come with all sorts of things in the center; beef, fish eggs, chicken, mayonnaise, fish (more kinds than I can list), eel, and other tasty ingredients. I am still learning which ones I like and trying to identify them…I still need practice… my search for tuna recently yielded some sardine like filling…

Mugi Cha- A wheat Tea served cold on ice, I was offered some on my first day of school. It is potent and musky, but very cold and refreshing.