Posts Tagged ‘Japanese food’

South of the Equator Somen

putting makeup on 300x224 South of the Equator SomenThe sailing world is fraught with myths, legends, and tradition.  That it is bad luck have a woman on a boat may have fallen by the wayside (for some at least), but others remain.  In name at least.  Some, like the equator crossing tradition can be a fun way to break up a long passage.

To cross the equator you need the sea god’s permission. There are different takes on it.  Some legends state that newbies, the people who haven’t crossed before,  must perform a ritual.  Others say that the oldest member on board must make the sacrifice, but luckily (for me) Sato San decided that the newbies had to come up with the skit.

 

 

xequator crossing wsally 300x225 South of the Equator SomenRather than doing an actual skit we agreed that we would do a picture skit.  Each scene would be a still shot and the pictures would say everything.  No memorizing lines, no action.  Just implied action.  Apparently this kind of thing was extremely popular in Japan.

Toshi San and I thought about it for a few days.  Cross dressing and nudity were common in these ceremonies.  I vetoed removing any of my clothes, or wearing a coconut bra or Brazilian string bikini the guys had been suggesting.  Cross dressing on the other hand… now that was a definite possibility.  And who better than to dress up as a woman than Sato San, the biggest advocate of me wearing less clothes.

 

 

 

killing mermaid 2 300x225 South of the Equator SomenHere’s how our story went:

The winds had died because we needed to ask the sea god’s permission to cross the equator.  The sea god needed a sacrifice.

One sailor catches a beautiful mermaid (as played by Sato San) and decides to give her to the sea god to marry.

One sailor prepares the mermaid for the marriage but gets jealous that the mermaid is marrying a god so calls in  her friend in Pacific Al Quanaika (the word means “where it is” in Japanese, but Toshi San wanted it as a play on Al Qaeda) who stabs the mermaid

 

xmermaid sato san 300x225 South of the Equator SomenThe sea god appears saying he doesn’t want his beautiful mermaid hurt or need a sacrifice so he brings her back to life with rum. (this is also a joke as alcohol can be used to kill fish)

The sea god brings the wind and everyone happily sings a song.

It must have worked.  Not half an hour later a pod of 7 small whales, possibly pilot whales breached alongside of us.  I was delighted watching the creatures surfaces so close to the hull.  Sato San, on the other hand just wanted them gone.  They weren’t big, only 2-3 times the size of a dolphin, with curious rounded heads and dark bodies.

When Toshi San made the joke about whale steaks I knew the gentle giants must not have seen the Japanese flag.

 

xcrossing equator 300x225 South of the Equator SomenOne of our favorite meals is somen.  It’s quick, easy, and delicious on a hot day, which we get quite a few of in equatorial waters.  Somen isn’t for rough seas, but it’s a great thing to eat on calm waters, at anchor, or in a marina.  Healthy, delicious, and above all easy it’s a fun cool meal for crew to eat together on the deck with a breeze blowing over you.

 

 

 

 

South of the Equator Somen

Ingredients:

  • DSCN0977 300x224 South of the Equator Somen1 500 gram package of somen noodles
  • Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • ½ carrot, julienned
  • 1 can fish (sardines or Japanese canned fish)
  • ½ cucumber, julienned
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ c katsuo dipping sauce
  • Wasabi

Instructions:

  • Boil water
  • Put somen in and cook for 2 minutes
  • Drain and run cold water over noodles until cool (it stops the noodles cooking and cools them)
  • Fry eggs in small, oiled pan (ideally square) over medium heat about 2 minutes on one side and flip.
  • Slice egg into very thin slices
  • Arrange egg and veggies on a plate with fish in the middle
  • Set on table with wasabi and katsuo
  • Each person has a little bowl and each person makes their own lunch:
  • Pour katsuo dipping sauce into bowl
  • Stir in wasabi to taste
  • Sprinkle in spring onions
  • Add noodles, veggies and fish
  • Refill bowl and eat until full!

Jettison Japanese Curry

ship2 300x225 Jettison Japanese CurryIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko was were setting sail for the Marquesas. We had not known that we required permission.  Would it be possible for us to continue on our course?

The officer seemed flustered but I apologized profusely.  He told us to be absolutely sure not to go past La Playita without informing them 24-hours in advance ever again.  I gave him my word that I would never be so inconsiderate again and that seemed to placate him.  We had to be careful of a few ships that night but it was a pretty quiet night so everything would be okay.

Moon 300x224 Jettison Japanese CurryI thanked him again and got off the VHF radio and  back to dinner preparations in the galley.

One of our go-to meals on Umineko is Japanese curry.  When I joined Umineko I loved Indian curry and Thai curry, but I’d never even heard of Japanese curry.  Well apparently Japanese curry is one of the most popular every-day Japanese dishes.

Though extremely popular curry isn’t technically a traditional Japanese dish.  Toshi San explained that British colonists brought curry back on their way from India.  Though curry itself isn’t traditionally Japanese they have made it their own.  Japanese curry isn’t as spicy as many Indian or Thai curries.  Another uniquely Japanese twist is that it is invariably served with fukujinzuke, a sweet pickle mixture.  Well, invariably served on Umineko at least.

Jettison Japanese Curry

Ingredients:Japanese curry 300x224 Jettison Japanese Curry

  • 4 squares Golden Curry
  • 750 ml (2 ½ cups) water
  • 1 carrot, sliced (thick slices)
  • 1 potato, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Fukujinzuke (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Cook rice
  • In deep skillet, sauté onions in oil  over medium heat
  • Add potato and carrot and cook for 5 minutes
  • Pour in 500 ml water and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Stir in curry squares (broken up) until dissolved
  • Cook another 5 minutes slowly adding remaining water
  • Crack eggs Into curry and cook for an additional minute
  • Serve steaming hot beside rice
  • Enjoy!

Jettison Japanese Curry

ship2 300x225 Jettison Japanese CurryIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko was were setting sail for the Marquesas. We had not known that we required permission.  Would it be possible for us to continue on our course?

The officer seemed flustered but I apologized profusely.  He told us to be absolutely sure not to go past La Playita without informing them 24-hours in advance ever again.  I gave him my word that I would never be so inconsiderate again and that seemed to placate him.  We had to be careful of a few ships that night but it was a pretty quiet night so everything would be okay.

Moon 300x224 Jettison Japanese CurryI thanked him again and got off the VHF radio and  back to dinner preparations in the galley.

One of our go-to meals on Umineko is Japanese curry.  When I joined Umineko I loved Indian curry and Thai curry, but I’d never even heard of Japanese curry.  Well apparently Japanese curry is one of the most popular every-day Japanese dishes.

Though extremely popular curry isn’t technically a traditional Japanese dish.  Toshi San explained that British colonists brought curry back on their way from India.  Though curry itself isn’t traditionally Japanese they have made it their own.  Japanese curry isn’t as spicy as many Indian or Thai curries.  Another uniquely Japanese twist is that it is invariably served with fukujinzuke, a sweet pickle mixture.  Well, invariably served on Umineko at least.

Jettison Japanese Curry

Ingredients:Japanese curry 300x224 Jettison Japanese Curry

  • 4 squares Golden Curry
  • 750 ml (2 ½ cups) water
  • 1 carrot, sliced (thick slices)
  • 1 potato, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Fukujinzuke (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Cook rice
  • In deep skillet, sauté onions in oil  over medium heat
  • Add potato and carrot and cook for 5 minutes
  • Pour in 500 ml water and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Stir in curry squares (broken up) until dissolved
  • Cook another 5 minutes slowly adding remaining water
  • Crack eggs Into curry and cook for an additional minute
  • Serve steaming hot beside rice
  • Enjoy!

Charter Chirashi Sushi

DSCN1054 300x225 Charter Chirashi SushiThe barter system is still thriving in the sailing community.  One of my favorite trades was on Elephant Island in San Blas.  I traded some banana bread for a winch handle.  I was delighted with my side, but the Australian couple seemed equally pleased with their banana bread.  The woman even threw in some clothes she liked the bread so much!  That isn’t quite the norm though.

At Shelter Bay marina by Colon, Panama was a party every night.  Not only were the fabulous people from WARC 2014 there, but as with most marinas there were interesting people living on many of the boats.  We befriended one megayacht’s crew, a young South African  surfer and a wry Brit.  They had caught an enormous tuna a few days earlier and asked me if I wanted any of the meat.

 

I jumped on the offer and told them that I would cook them dinner with it.  This kind of barter on boats is a lot more common.  Very few yachts have a ton of freezer space and even fewer have a flash freezer.  When a crew of four catches a 20-lb tuna you’re a) going to be eating a lot of tuna for a while and b) will have to give away at least some of it if you don’t want to throw it away.

This leads to quite a few presents and exchanges of fish between yachties.  And if you’re given fish it only makes sense to cook it for your patron.

What could we do with delicious fresh tuna though?  Sashimi was an option, of course, but that was more of a starter.  We needed something for a lovely dinner party.

I first tried chirashi sushi, or chirashizushi in Argentina when my lovely friend Machiko invited me over for dinner.   I fell in love with it from the first bite.  Chirashizushi means “scattered” sushi and it is also a favorite in Japanese home cooking.  Since then I have tried chirashi sushi in a restaurant, rice with decadent slabs of sashimi, but I really prefer the homemade variety.

It isn’t hard to make, and like so many Japanese dishes it looks beautiful.  If you bring chirashi sushi you will be sure to be the hit of the dinner party.

 

Charter Chirashi SushiDSCN1056 300x225 Charter Chirashi Sushi

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups short grained or sushi rice
  • 1 packet Tamanoi Sushinoko sushi rice seasoning powder
  • 3 lbs fresh tuna (3-days old is ideal)
  • Pickled daikon, thinly sliced or shredded
  • Nori, cut into thin strips
  • Kazimi ginger (pink pickled ginger in thin strips)
  • 2 eggs

 

 

Directions:

 

  • Cook rice
  • Spread in large bowl,  and fan to cool
  • Gently fold in sushi rice seasoning powder using flat rice spoon
  • You shouldn’t make the sushi rice so far in advance that you need to refrigerate it.  In fact, it should never be refrigerated.  The ideal sushi rice is served at body temperature.
  • Spread on a flat platter
  • Beat the eggs and cook 2 minutes over medium heat in small square skillet if you have one.  A small skillet will do.
  • Flip and cook the other side about 1 minute
  • Turn onto cutting board and cut into thin strips (it’s called tamagoyaki)
  • Cut fish into bite-sized chunks
  • Arrange fish, kazami ginger, tamagoyaki, nori strips, and pickled daikon strips over rice
  • Serve and enjoy!

DSCN1058 300x225 Charter Chirashi Sushi

Cockpit Okonomiyaki

sally okanomayaki 225x300 Cockpit OkonomiyakiHiroshima Pizza?  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the captain of the Japanese boat told us that’s what he would be making for the potluck with the American boat I was crewing on.   When I tried the actual dish I immediately fell in love with the delicious dish.

 

A year later I was crewing on the same Japanese boat making okonomiyaki myself.

 

The captain, Sato San’s “Hiroshima Pizza,” is actually called okonomiyaki.   Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese food, often described as “Japanese pizza.”   He called it Hiroshima pizza because he hails from Hiroshima and makes Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.

 

 

xokonomiyaki ingred2 300x225 Cockpit OkonomiyakiOkonomiyaki is really more of a crepe than a pizza.  To be totally fair it’s a unique dish.  The crepe steams a mountain of vegetables and the other side is sealed with egg, seafood, and bacon.  Well, really whatever you want.  Okonomiyaki, means whatever you like baked or grilled a combination of the Japanese words okanomi,  however you like and yaki,  baked or grilled.  Versions vary widely, I learned Hiroshima style, but I never use bacon or sliced pork for mine.  Traditionally squid is used, but around the world we have substituted squid, conch, and on one special occasion lobster.

 

When writing this recipe I realized how complicated it seemed.  It’s a lot of preparation but making okonomiyaki really isn’t difficult.  You just have to follow the steps.

 

This is a video Globe Hackers made of an Okonomiyaki  Party we had in Cuba

 

Cockpit Okonomiyaki

 Makes 6 okonomiyaki

 

 xokonomiyaki ingred 300x225 Cockpit OkonomiyakiIngredients:

 

  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ head cabbage very thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup spring onions, in 5 mm slices
  • 1 cup squid
  • 2 Tablespoons sake (optional)
  • 4 packs ramen noodles
  • 4 slices Bacon (or thin sliced pork if available)
  • 4 slices cheese (I use individually wrapped Mozzarella or Swiss cheese slices)
  • 12 eggs
  • Squid chips (or crunchy tempura bits)
  • Fish powder
  • Aonori (ground seaweed)
  • Kewpie mayonnaise

Batter:

  • 3 c flour
  • 3  c water

Kitchenware:

  • xreadytosteam 300x225 Cockpit Okonomiyaki1 large, flat griddle.  This is integral for making okonomiyaki.  A pancake griddle can be used
  • 2 spatulas
  • 1 soup ladle
  • Whisk
  • Tongs

Preparation:

  1. Whisk flour and water together into a thin crepe-like batter and set aside
  2. Cut the cabbage into quarters.  Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible.  Place in large bowl, set aside
  3. Chop spring onions into 5 mm sections.  Place in bowl , set aside
  4. Cut squid or seafood into ⅛ strips, pour sake over to kill the smell, set aside
  5. Cut bacon slices into thirds, arrange on plate, set aside
  6. Boil ramen noodles in water with 1 T oil (to prevent sticking) for 2 minutes (slightly al dente) pour into colander and run cold water over to prevent cooking too long,  and set aside

xokonomiyaki 300x225 Cockpit OkonomiyakiDirections:

  1. Heat griddle over medium heat and oil
  2. Put ½ pack of ramen noodles on griddle.  Let cook 30 seconds to release moisture
  3. Season with black pepper and okonomi sauce and mix together  and move to side of griddle
  4. Oil griddle and pour 1 ladle-full of batter smoothing it into thin circle
  5. When edges of crepe start to lift, sprinkle with fish powder
  6. Using spatulas lift noodles onto top of crepe
  7. Place one slice of cheese over noodles
  8. Arrange large handful of cabbage over cheese
  9. Layer bean sprouts, spring onions, and squid  (or tempura)chips on top
  10. Lay bacon on top of heap
  11. Drizzle ½ ladle full of batter over top
  12. Allow to cook about 2 minutes or until the bottom browns slightly
  13. Slide spatulas under either side of the crepe bottom and flip okonomiyaki quickly.  Be sure to flip towards you.
  14. Cook for about 5 minutes allowing the inside to steam and until the bacon to cook to a golden brown.  Slide okonomiyaki to one side of the griddle
  15. Oil center of griddle and place about ⅙ of squid in middle cooking for about 30 seconds
  16. Arrange squid into a barrier ring and crack 2 eggs inside.
  17. Mix eggs together and lift okonomiyaki  on top
  18. Cook another 2 minutes, until eggs are golden brown
  19. Flip onto plate and squirt okonomiyaki sauce and kewpie mayonnaise on top in whatever pretty pattern you like
  20. Finally sprinkle aonori on top.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Don’t be too upset of you can’t finish your okonomiyaki dinner.  I love fresh okonomiyaki, but  leftovers are almost as good.  Better, some would say.