kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 29, 2013

Introducing My Benriner

Mmmmmmm.  Just look over to the right at the cool, creamy cole slaw.  While most people would sink their teeth into the succulent smoked brisket, I'd make a beeline for the cole slaw.  Now don't get me wrong...I like 'cue just as much as the next person, but 'cue just isn't 'cue without good cole slaw.

Whenever I wanted to make cole slaw, I used to get out my bulky Cuisinart food processor, fit it with a slicing disc, and make quick work of a cabbage.  If you are planning to eat the cole slaw on the same day you make it, the 3mm slicing disc produces nice shreds.  If you are making this a day ahead, use a 4mm slicing blade.  You will get thicker pieces which won't be totally soggy and limp when you serve it.

I still have my nearly-20-year-old, trusty Cuisinart, and it gets used regularly.  But I found a faster, less cumbersome way to shred a cabbage.  I use my Benriner!

A Benriner is a mandoline.  Its made in Japan, which has caused me to pause more than once to try and to try and imagine how "Benriner" should be pronounced.  I am positive I'm not pronouncing it correctly.  The Benriner comes with a blade mounted on a platform, a finger guard, and 3 "teeth" blades.  The teeth blades are in varying widths, and the level of the platform can be adjusted for different thicknesses.  There are no measurements (that I can tell), so you just need to slice a few pieces and adjust (by turning a screw underneath the platform) until you get the thickness you want.  That is how I make quick work of a cabbage.

If you want julienne pieces, simply insert one of the teeth blades, tighten with the yellow screws on the side, and slice away.  For julienne carrots which are the right thickness for cole slaw, you will likely need to adjust the thickness from the cabbage slicing.  Changing blades and adjusting thickness are very simple.  The yellow screws on the side hold the teeth blade in place.  Taking the thing apart to wash is also simple.  The main thing is to be careful not to slice your finger because the mounted blade is super sharp.

Of course, like many other things, there are some things I wish I knew before I bought my Benriner.  I have the regular Benriner.  There are other models:  Super Benriner and Jumbo Benriner.  Both have platforms which are wider than the regular Benriner.  The slicing area of the regular benriner is under 3" wide.  Had I realized how easy it would be to use, I would have splurged for the widest model available! 

Some of my previously posted recipes would work well with a Benriner: Kimpira Gobo, Cold Noodles with Boiled Pork Topping (for slicing the cucumbers), Spicy Shredded Potatoes.  Even Cucumber and Chicken Namasu would work.

As far as pairing cole slaw with food, barbecue is king.  Whether its served in a mound on the side or piled onto a pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw and barbecue were meant to be together.  Seventy years of KFC has taught the world that cole slaw also goes well with fried chicken.  My former coworker BM told me to try it with meatloaf.  I did, and she was right.  The Help claims cole slaw goes well with pastrami, like in a pastrami sandwich.  I wouldn't know.  I don't eat pastrami.  The pastrami I've seen was/is usually eaten with the Devil's condiment.  I have bad memories of seeing it smeared all over the school lunch bun with pastrami slices coated in thick, ugly, coarse black pepper.  I also think pastrami smells like sweat.  Bleccchhhhh!!!

Okay, okay, this is just getting awkward now.  Without further ado, here is my recipe for cole slaw:

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 cabbage
     1 c mayonnaise
     1/4 c cider vinegar
     2/3 c sugar
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/8 tsp white pepper
     1 carrot
     1/2 tsp celery seed, optional

Shred cabbage.  Julienne carrot.  Combine all ingredients.  Chill until ready to serve.  Best if made 3 hours ahead of serving.

And as good as this recipe is, I must admit that I have gone to KFC just to buy a tub of their cole slaw.
A year ago, I was busy preparing for my trip to San Antonio.    Even though it feels like its time to take another trip, I don't think I'll be going anywhere for quite some time.  The Help finally got his birthday present. . .
We will be Hilo-bound for a while.  Sigh. . .

Shopping Info:
You can buy a Benriner (Super Benriner) online at Sur La Table for $64.99.  Just click on one of the links below for a replacement blade to get to the Sur La Table website.  You could also get a Benriner at Marukai, but if you don't live on the island of Oahu, Sur La Table might be a better bet.

You can buy a Congo African Grey parrot at Sweet Leilani Aviaries, just outside Pahoa Town.  I know Charlene currently has Senegal babies too.  Babies are hand raised with tender loving care.  Shakas sister is Maui-bound!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Toaster Oven Food: Sour Cream Biscuits

I missed 2 days of work last week.  In addition to the day off I took on Monday, I also spent a day taking care of medical stuff.  Yuck.

It was a good thing I was off on Monday.  D1 had a Key Club service project which entailed providing refreshments to 40 kids, so I was glad I could help with that.  There is no way Mr. Dependable would participate (or if he was willing, he would likely have been late).

I have no idea how D1 is going to manage all her activities next year.  She has cheer tryouts in a month, and she is hoping to make the team again.  If all goes according to her plan, she will have cheerleading, Key Club and class president to juggle next school year.  She will also need to take Driver's Ed at some point after early June (when she will be eligible to take the written test for her learner's permit).  Throw an AP class into that mix, and I'm already out of breath.  I'm feeling sorry for her and this school year hasn't even ended yet.

This is the time of year when work becomes fast and furious too.  Disgruntled parents have had enough and try to push schools around.  It all happens in late spring.  Too bad because I'd love smooth sailing for the next month.  Without any holidays left to look forward to, I'm just trying to survive til the weekend.  The weekend is when I can unwind and relax.  I enjoy sleeping in on Sundays.  Because I get up before 5:30 daily, "sleeping in" is sleeping past 7:30, which might not be what other call "sleeping in".  The weekend is also when I have time to bake things.

Speaking of baking. . .in late 2012, I had a pv (photovoltaic) system installed at my home.  It cost a pretty penny, even with the energy tax credits, but I'm glad I did it.  I don't think HELCO fees will ever go down.  Prior to the pv installation, I was only minimally aware about how my baking was adding to the electric bill.  Since installing pv, I've been very conscious about energy consumption, and I've been trying to look for ways to control my usage (blame the many cloudy days in Hilo, but I have never had a "Joe" bill. . .KumuKit commercial protagonist).  One of my recent adaptations has been using the toaster oven to do my baking.  My toaster oven can accommodate a pan up to 12" x 12".

One of the first recipes I tested in my toaster oven was sour cream pan biscuits.  I was shocked to see a well-risen, golden brown slab emerge from my toaster oven.  Since then, I've done a lot of other things in my toaster oven.  These are all things for which I would normally have fired up the big oven.  Now it seems like such a waste to use the large oven for something which fits in the toaster oven.  Wish I thought of this even before I got pv.

Regardless where they are baked, these biscuits will not disappoint.  They are sweet enough to eat with just a slab (yes, I meant slab) of butter, but because I have a sweet tooth, I love to smear jelly on them too.  The greatest challenge for me is being sure I have sour cream in the fridge.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 C Bisquick
     1/2 c sugar
     2 eggs
     1 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees for dark coated pans).  Grease a square pan (8" x 8").  Combine Bisquick and sugar.  Add eggs and sour cream.  Mix well.  Spread batter in prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.

On Saturday, The Help and I drove over to the dry side of the island to pay a visit to the conures at Petco and to stock up on provisions at Costco.  On the way back, we pulled off the road so The Help could gather dry branches to make into perches.  Someone must have cut down a huge tree because there were chunks of wood scattered on the side of the road.  I buy CalOak firewood from Safeway for about $5 for just under a cubic foot.  I told The Help that if I had a saw, we could chop the chunks into manageable size and bring them home for firewood.  The Help said he was glad we did not have a saw.  Now why would he say something like that?

As far as food goes, this wasn't a very exciting weekend for me.  I got to eat my ahi nicoise salad at Village Burger on Saturday, but I actually had pork & beans (yes, canned) and Hillshire Farms cheddarwurst little smokies too.  I guess the cheddarwurst little smokies was foreshadowing because Mama & Papa Help returned from Honolulu and brought back some kim chee sausage.  Papa Help saw it at Palama Supermarket and had to try it.  They loved it so the brought some back for us to try.  I thought it was okay (keep in mind I do not like Portuguese sausage). . .better than Portuguese sausage.  The Help loved it and can't wait to get more.  He ate it with rice, taegu, and some kind of Japanese pickled cucumber which tasted like chiso.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jill's Caesar Salad Dressing

Pool season is officially here.  We hit 90 on Monday!  Tuesday and Wednesday were also 90 days.  Then the Hilo curse kicked in and we saw days of not even hitting 85.  Bummer.  Speaking of numbers.  .  .

If I counted correctly, there are 33 work days left in the school year.  For you luckier teachers, your count is 30.  So lucky, so lucky.  Oops, I just remembered. . .I have 30 work days left.  I'm on leave today, I have a doctor appointment later this month, and I'm taking personal leave in May to attend a ho'olaulea at D2's school.  She is the 5th grade attendant.  I also have 2 additional leave days I can take.  So far this year, I have been out a total of 4 days (2 sick leave and 2 personal. . .today is the 2nd personal leave).  In general, I don't think many teachers where I am abuse their leave, but I certainly know HGEA members who do. 

I took today off (and used personal leave, rather than a "mental health day") because I anticipated being wiped out from going out to dinner last night with Kikukat Mom's family.  I'm glad I did because last night was a late night.  We enjoyed a nice dinner at the Seaside Restaurant then went to AE's for dessert.  I did not make the creamy fruit salad from last week...UJohn brought a fancy ricotta cheesecake for us to enjoy.

It was really nice to finally meet SN.  He didn't run for the hills.  Of course, he didn't get the full onslaught of family craziness since he "feigned" a bout of food illness (not my food) to excuse himself from the post-birthday dinner festivities (Now why didn't any of us ever think of that?  Punahou education was worth something.).  They'll get you next time!  Snicker, snicker. 

Seeing LA was nice too.  Now that LA lives in Honolulu (after slowly making her way back from her college days at NYU), she can visit Hilo more frequently.  Last year she came several times, including a business trip with a coworker.  They did a presentation at an accountants' conference.  She was bombarded with questions about her Hilo ties (her surname is a giveaway, no doubt).

When LA lived on the mainland (she worked in Chicago for years), she would still take the time to visit Hilo.  On one of her trips to Hilo, I invited everyone for dinner.  It was after the holidays and people were kinda disgusted with "party food".  I ended up making spaghetti and Caesar salad.  I figured a simple, no-fuss meal would be a good break from the fried chicken-bbq meat sticks-barely cooked shrimp leftovers.  While the spaghetti was much appreciated, it was the Caesar salad that got wiped out.  All gone!  That's good because a dressed salad does not store well.  I knew the salad would be enjoyed because it was something I really enjoyed when I first tried it.

This is another of those recipes which came to me as a result of being involved in league tennis.  One of my teammates, Jill, brought this to a potluck.  I was a little skeptical of the egg-less recipe at first because the Caesar salad dressing at the fancier restaurants (Salerno's in McCully Shopping Center) usually include a coddled egg.  One taste and I abandoned buying bottled caesar dressing and the thought that all Caesar salad dressing need an egg.  Even Dad, who isn't really fond of Caesar salad at restaurants, has asked for this (along with the spaghetti, which he never received).

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1/3 c mayonnaise
     1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
     2 tbsp lemon juice
     2 tbsp water
     1 flat can anchovies, chopped
     1/2 tsp black pepper
     2 cloves garlic, chopped

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend until smooth.

D2 & the help
I'd like to wish happy birthday to three people who celebrated birthdays this past week.  My friend Sue on Pitcairn Island celebrated a milestone birthday.  Happy belated birthday, girlfriend!!!  I sent Sue a happy birthday email and posted on her facebook wall.  I need to postpone my Pitcairn trip til retirement because I don't have enough vacation leave to do that.  It takes a while to get there and return, and you gotta ride on a teeny tiny plane.

The Help's birthday was also this past week.  In fact, it was the same day as Sue's birthday (but The Help is a year older).  The Help got a dinner, an ice cream cake, and a big surprise, which will be ready in a few weeks.  Needless to say, he was totally shocked.

birthday boy
The third person who celebrated a birthday this past week was UM.  I'd like to send a big thank you to Otee for footing the whopper bill (Dad said if you were there, you'd want him to drink) for dinner at the Seaside Restaurant.  It was a nice opportunity to get together with the family. 

D2 and AS
grampy & D1
the cousins from Seoul

Sending prayers and thoughts to those affected by the tragic events at Boston Marathon finish line earlier today. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

East Meets West Fruit Salad

In less than a week, I will have house guests.  My cousin LA is coming to town!  She and her boyfriend SN will be here for his friend's wedding.  We are excited because this is the first time we are meeting SN.  LA's parents will also be in town to celebrate her dad's birthday.  Even though he no longer resides in Hilo, UM often comes here to celebrate with his siblings.

LA and SN will be staying with me (UM stays with Kikukat Mom).  I am entering panic mode because my house is very messy at the moment.  I will need to do some blitz cleaning on Friday afternoon/evening since they arrive on Saturday.  I hope SN isn't allergic to cats or mess.  He went to a private school, so maybe he might be scared off by the kitty hair and clutter.  LA is tough so I'm not worried about her.  She survived NYC during the 9/11 attacks.  A little kitty hair won't bother her!

While the lovebirds (LA & SN) will be busy with the wedding on Saturday (provided SN gets over the initial shock of my house mess), the rest of the family will likely get together.  I hope there will be no opportunity for UL to cook on a hibachi.  I also hope there will be no opportunity for AS to get plastered in a restaurant and display offensive behavior.  Shame!

Since I am often asked to make some kind of dessert for family gatherings, I'm anticipating this coming weekend will be no different.  In expectation for warmer weather, I was hoping to make this fruit salad.  Unfortunately, we seem to be entering into another ice age rather than spring.  I love Guy Hagi (local weather bunny for the soon-to-be-geriatric set. . .sorry, Guy), but he seems to always be delivering bad news about the weather.  Well, even if I end up making a warm fruit cobbler, my heart will be pining away for a cool, fruity dessert.

I love this creamy fruit salad.  I think its a variation of halo-halo, a filipino dessert.  The creaminess comes from cream cheese and condensed milk.  You may vary the fruits and sweets.   It makes a whole lot, which is why its good to serve at a gathering (versus trying to eat the whole thing yourself).  Coconut gel, pineapple gel, kaong (sugar palm nut), and macapuno, can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets (or at the Chinese store).  They are sold in shelf-stable jars.  If possible, try to look for white/plain kaong.  Some stores carry kaong which has been dyed a horrific magenta color (see picture at right. . .the kaong is visible between the mandarin orange segment and the kiwi).  If you use that, be warned that eventually, the entire salad will take on a pink tinge.

If you like canned fruit cocktail, you may also use it.  I go to great lengths to avoid canned fruit cocktail because canned pears and grapes (other than fermented liquid) give me the willies.  I cannot stand those little hard granules in pears, and grapes are kinda close to the Devil's condiment on my list of foods to avoid.  I have tried and tried to like grapes, but I just cannot.  I think it has something to do with the area where the grape is attached to the stems and the disgusting seeds.  Plus it takes so dang long to peel them; the skin doesn't come off breaks up into bits and gets all over.  I've gone through a ton of napkins just to get the skin off my fingernails.  What?  You say you don't peel grapes?  You've got to be kidding me!  Euwwwww.  Don't even get me started on jaboticaba.

Now that I've totally grossed myself out with the grape description, I need to pull myself back together.  I've got too much to do before Saturday.  I can't afford to lose my focus.  The Ds need to get cracking with their rooms.  The more they clean, the less I will need to do on Friday evening.  The purr-mobile is a total mess, but I can't clean that until Friday, when I'm done using it for work.  The hallway bathroom also needs to be tidied.  There are enough hair care products on the counter to open our very own Fantastic Sam's!

LA is one of my favorite cousins. . .I will not be the reason for SN running away.  We've got other family members who have the potential for making that happen without even trying!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 block cream cheese, softened
     1 can condensed milk
     1 jar coconut gel, drained
     1 jar pineapple gel, drained
     1 jar kaong, drained
     2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
     1 jar macapuno
     1 cantaloupe
     1 kiwi
     2 c blueberries
     1 lb strawberries
     1 mango, if available

Beat cream cheese and condensed milk.  Add diced fruits and sweets.  Chill until ready to serve.

It was a busy week in Hilo. . .Merrie Monarch Festival time.  This year was the 50th anniversary of the festival, and Hilo was crawling with tons of people.  Traffic everywhere was crazy.  The Help reported seeing people holding up traffic at an intersection while trying to look at a map.  While I made it a point to stay out of the downtown area, I did manage to sneak a plate of Hawaiian food (okay, okay, the Hawaiian food stand is located outside of the downtown area).

The most popular (this is just my opinion. . .don't wanna offend anyone) Hawaiian food venue during the festival can be found on the main highway (Kanoelehua Avenue) and is operated by Ka Uhane Hemolele O Ka Malamalama.  The entire Keawekane ohana and friends are always hard at work preparing tons of plates.  I have tried all kinds of stuff (pastele, butterfish luau, laulau), but my gold standard is the kalua pig plate (Hawaiian style).  Hawaiian style plates come with lomilomi salmon, chicken long rice, white rice, and haupia.  Local style plates come with white rice and macaroni salad.  Gotta pay extra for the poi (worth it!).  I like how they chop all the lomilomi salmon ingredients really small because I hate getting a mouthful of onion.  And there are pieces of salt salmon in the lomi...these days, many places seem to forget that part.  By the time this post hits the internet, the festival will be a fond memory and the food stand by HPM will be dismantled, but don't despair.  During non-festival times, the Hawaiian food truck can be found parked at Hilo bayfront. 

In the salt mines. . .The High Commander did it again!  She bought me and a whole bunch of other people lunch in an impromptu show of appreciation for our work.  She handed a Benjamin to my coworker and asked her to take orders and go to get the orders.  Wow!  Generosity is a character trait which impresses me, and its easy to look up to and respect a leader who has traits we value.  The work drives me mental, but when you have a leader you respect, you know that the road, though bumpy, is going to lead you somewhere you want to be.  And maybe that should have been reason enough to listen to her when she told me the fish mcbites I ordered was nothing special.

The tangent to this story. . . my coworker and I were just gushing about how the High Commander has the grace to show aloha and appreciation for hard work.  Upon hearing us, one of the lieutenants mentioned nice things she and the other lieutenants do for the foot soldiers they supervise, and then she us asked what our boss does for us to show appreciation for all that we do.  I would've loved to capture the look on her face (and upload the pic to this blog) when my coworker and I answered in unison, "nothing".  The lieutenant was totally floored.  Yup. . .no aloha spoken at my office.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Batayaki Fever

I'm finally back at work for a seemingly endless stretch of days.  Its gonna be a brutal stretch.  43 more days of work until the end of the school year, and the only holiday in sight is Memorial Day.  For you non-Zone people, its 40 days and no holiday. . .Memorial Day will be the day just before the official beginning of your summer (I'm so jealous).

I think it was overkill with the anticipation of Easter (to me, Easter=all kinds of candy & sweets), but I feel like the only stuff I've been making has been sweets.  Right now, we have Easter sugar cookies (bunnies, eggs, chicks), orange slice cookies, brownies, hopping bunny buns, and mandarin orange cake.  I HAD TO buy a few boxes of Cadbury creme eggs too.  I wonder how many bags of Brach's pastel malted milk eggs Brucie boy bought this year.  Neither of us have  blood sugar problems. . .yet.  There is also a big box of See's Easter candy and some jellies from Grandma Help. 

I was unable to get motivated to cook dinner on Easter.  My excuse is I had a Dorito Locos taco from Taco Bell in the mid-afternoon, and that put me under.  The Help shelled out big $s for a gorgeous rib eye roast, but I could not bring myself to cook it.  I need to stop tweaking sugar and snap out of this high!  I need to get inspired to cook regular food again. If a rib eye roast won't do it, then maybe batayaki will, after all, the best batayaki is made with thinly sliced rib eye.

The kikukat house loves batayaki nights because there is something for everyone.  Batayaki nights provide an opportunity to exercise will power. . .you need to pace yourself with the cooking-eating cycle.

For those of you not familiar with batayaki, please allow me to explain.  Batayaki goes by several other names:  teppanyaki, yakiniku.  Thinly sliced meats and vegetables are cooked on a griddle which has been primed with butter.  Once cooked, the meats and vegetables are dipped in a shoyu-based sauce and eaten with hot rice.  Batayaki is a cannibalized word:  bata meaning butter and yaki meaning to cook.  Now I'm wondering if batayaki is a Hawaii word.

In the 70s, 80s & 90s, Restaurant Fuji in the Hilo Hotel was THE place to go out and enjoy a teppanyaki dinner.  Yukata-clad servers would bring a giant plate of raw food and a small dish with a block of butter to the table.  There were two options for teppanyaki:  teppanyaki which had an assortment of meat and some seafood and umi-no-ko which had only seafood.  The servers  would fire up the propane and begin the cooking process.  This is not the same as what you get at Benihana.  There were no fire knife theatrics.

To be honest, I never enjoyed teppanyaki at Restaurant Fuji.  I would always be disappointed when we got seated at a teppanyaki table because that meant I wouldn't be able to order anything from the regular menu.  They had two items on their regular menu that were awesome:  shrimp tempura and grilled butterfish.  I would have much preferred those things instead of batayaki.

When I lived in Honolulu in the 90s, there were (and still are) tons of yakiniku places.  Many of my family members would rave about Edokko or Yakiniku Camellia.  I went to one of those places with some friends, and I was not impressed.  It was a little different from Restaurant Fuji in that you went to a long buffet to load up your plate with raw items and then return to your table (with grill) to cook what was on your plate.  Same thing...cook food, dip in sauce, eat with rice.  Boring.

It didn't occur to me until I was older (close to 30) why I didn't enjoy batayaki/teppanyaki/yakiniku.  I never liked the dipping sauce.  The sauces were either too sour or just blecchhh.  The turning point happened when Mr. Dependable's friends suggested a batayaki dinner (I wasn't enthusiastic about this) and they insisted on bringing the sauce.  The sauce they brought was almost perfect and changed my whole take on batayaki.  For the first time in over 2 decades, I realized batayaki was something I could like. 

If you were lucky enough to have disposable income when Restaurant Fuji went out of business (mid/late 90s), you might have been able to score a table with a built-in propane griddle.  I don't think most people were so lucky (there were less than a dozen).  For most people, the most popular way to have batayaki at home is to use a table top griddle (I think mine is made by Presto) upon which a generous pat of butter is placed.  Some people use a frying pan on a butane burner for table top cooking.  If the cooking part isn't so important, everything can also be cooked in a skillet on a range and brought to the table already cooked.  I do the latter when I'm trying to finish the leftovers on the 2nd night. . .after the cooking drama from the 1st night is over.

What gets cooked varies from family to family.  We normally have  beef and pork (batayaki meat is sliced paper-thin).  Sometimes we have chicken.  Salmon is a non-negotiable.  Scallops and shrimp are good too.  I like eggplant (takes long to cook), won bok (napa cabbage), bean sprouts (mung), and mushrooms.  The best mushrooms are alii oyster (eryngii) mushrooms.  I've been told that some families will even cook sliced hot dogs and kamaboko (pink & white fishcake).  Mr. Dependable liked to have zucchini (yuck).  D1 will eat anything except mushrooms and eggplant.  D2 will eat only the leafy part of the won bok.

There is also great variation with the dipping sauce (each diner gets their own bowl. . .a community bowl would be disgusting).  Most sauces have some element of pucker, and in many cases, its too sour for my taste.  Ironically, pucker was the missing factor when Mr. Dependable's friends came over.  The sauce they brought was tasty but lacked any hint of tartness.  I fixed it with some minor adjustment of the ingredient amounts and the addition of lemon juice.  The grated daikon gives the sauce a slight heat, which is also important.

Speaking of heat. . .everytime I think we are going to start seeing warmer weather, a new storm system comes around and gives us days of rain.  I'm still having to turn on the electric blanket every night.  It doesn't matter what the weather is like because batayaki is something that can be enjoyed year-round. 

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 c shoyu
     1/4 c sugar
     1/4 c mirin
     1 c chicken broth
     juice of 1/4 lemon
     5" piece of daikon, peeled & grated

Combine all ingredients, except grated daikon, in a medium saucepan.  Heat gently, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  To serve, place desired amount of grated daikon in a bowl.  Ladle sauce over.  Replenish sauce and daikon as needed.

Regarding the food in the pics:  Costco sells thinly sliced rib eye (yes, they have prime beef).  KTA and Marukai sell thinly sliced beef and pork.  Doesn't the salmon look gorgeous?  Its wild Alaskan king salmon courtesy of cousin Kento and his fabulous, non-fish-eater wife Julie.  They go on a yearly fishing expedition to the Waterfall Resort in Alaska and are generous in sharing their spoils.  Thank you!