kruizing with kikukat

Monday, November 26, 2018

Spicy Cucumbers

I am turkey-d out.  Too much turkey; too much mashed potatoes; too much stuffing.  Too much of a lot of things.

Except football.

I spent many hours in front of the tv this past weekend.  All but one of my teams won.  I was anticipating a bad Apple Cup, so I drank before the game and bought tons of yarn to console myself in what was supposedly a sure loss for the Huskies.  As it turned out, UW prevailed, AND I have an embarrassing amount of high-quality yarn on the way (I got the shipping notice from Eat Sleep Knit!).

On Saturday, I found myself glued to the television again, watching the Territorial Cup match between the school which takes my $ and the school which gave $ to my aunt (she was a nursing supervisor at the university medical center).  It was almost as exciting as the Apple Cup.  Almost.  And I learned, thanks to TheHelp, that Coach Edwards is indeed a real coach.  Good thing I didn't just believe all those FB comments about how he got the job.  Whew.

Now that the turkey is gone, or at least it is to me, I am not looking to eat anything heavy (unless it's a tomahawk steak).  I'm planning to make these cucumbers as a light side dish.  Be careful because there are no chili pepper flakes to warn diners about the spicy factor.  I usually use the full amount of chili oil, but some people may prefer it to be less spicy.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     3 Japanese (seedless) cucumbers
     2 tbsp shoyu
     1 tbsp rice vinegar
     1/2 tsp salt + more for sprinkling
     1 tsp sugar
     2 tsp chili oil (La-Yu)

Score skin of cucumber with a fork or a zester.  Cut cucumbers in half and remove seeds.  Sprinkle salt (not the 1/2 tsp) over cucumbers and rub all over.   Slice cucumbers into 3/8" pieces.  Toss with remaining ingredients.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Onuma Koen

DHS wanted to do things which involved walking/hiking/running.  The running was out of the question for me, but walking/hiking sounded benign enough.  TheKeeper checked the weather reports and decided that the nearly 3-hour train ride to Onuma Koen and the walking would best be done on a day with good weather.  
The Onuma train station was very quaint.
It was a short walk from the train station to the park, and there were a bunch of little shops along the way.  DHS bought some fruit, and I had my first lavender soft cream cone.

The park has multiple trails which were mostly paved (nice).

We were treated to scenic views of Hokkaido Komagatake.  I'm glad I did not know then that the volcano is still considered active.

Wagyu Ishizaki chopstick wrapper; placemat shows different cuts of beef
By the time we got back to Sapporo, it was dark and we were actually hungry.  Come to think of it, we had just a small lunch in a snack shop in the park.

TheKeeper had asked me prior to the trip if I liked beef.  I said yes (remember what I said earlier about the tomahawk steak).  He suggested we go to a restaurant specializing in wagyu. Who am I to argue???

We ended up on the 7th floor of a nondescript building on a side street in Susukino.  I remember having to walk past a building with two or three of the seven dwarfs (Snow White's friends) hanging from the facade.  The restaurant was in a building across the street and around the corner from the dwarfs, and I would never have been able to find it on my own (I can't read Japanese).

The restaurant was able to accommodate us, in spite of not having reservations, but the lady said we needed to be out in an hour.  I was pleasantly surprised that we were seated in a "faux" tatami room where the floor was actually recessed.  Not having to sit on my legs was a big plus, especially after all the walking we did at Onuma Koen.  

Having no clue (at least on my part), we had TheKeeper order for us.  We started with assorted kim chee.  TheKeeper ordered kim chee fried rice for himself while Nakaz, DHS and I had the grilled rice ball.  TheKeeper also spent half of a fortune on a decanter of sake, which he said was worth every dollar.  DHS had a beer while Nakaz and I stuck to cider soda.

But nothing could have prepared me for the steak.  I've eaten many good steaks, but nothing, not even the steak at The Signature could compare to the chateaubriant in the picture.  The steak was served with 2 sauces (a ponzu-ish one and a teriyaki-ish one) and a mound of salt flakes.  The sauces were delicious, but I preferred a sprinkle of the salt flakes.  Each steak was sliced into 3 precious pieces, and we cooked the steaks to our liking on the table grill.

I'm guessing the restaurant was Wagyu Ishizaki. . .I can match picture symbols.  I linked to the page I found on the internet because I.MUST.GO.BACK.

Once again, TheKeeper did not disappoint.