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Obviously I am not used yet to my new routine of working at home on Thursdays — I started making a bento last night! And did I have some good foodies to put in it… YUM! But when I remembered I stopped and went to do other things (like blogpost my third book review for the What’s in a Name challenge), so today’s bento is a small one. It’s a pity I can’t name it #77.5! LOL

We tried out some new Japanese take-away — Dutch readers might think I mean Tiny Tokyo which can be found at train stations but noooo, we went to Maneki, which seems to be a new branch of Kyushu, our favourite local restaurant. And I managed to save 1 avocadomaki (avocado sushi) and 1 tamagomaki (Japanese omelet) each, alongside some seaweed salad known as chuka wakame (わかめサラタ).

I LOVE that salad — I wish I could make it myself! But it is really hard to find the exact recipe, let alone kuki wakame: the stems and ribs of wakame seaweed that are the main ingredient. I’ll have to wait until an acquaintance is going to Japan again so I can put in a request! According to the great (Dutch) Tokowijzer weblog the correct name for this salad would be chuka kuki-wakame. “Chuka” meaning ‘Chinese way’ btw, because of the typical Chinese ingredients.

I have read somewhere that most Japanese restaurants in Holland/Europe buy this salad prefab… I wonder if that is true.

But I am getting side-tracked. The rest of bento #77 contained radish flowers, a cucumber divider, some runner beans and a soy fishy that Katie and Anita brought me all the way from Japan. In the lower tier there are also a small shalot ‘fan’ and a ball of dark miso to make miso soup. Next to it in the container you can see a tiny piece of black stuff: that is fueru wakame: dried leaf of wakame seaweed, which will swell enormously when soaked in hot water. The beans, onion and some radish also went into the soup.

All this talking about kuki wakame made me think of kukicha, or ‘takkethee’ (‘twig tea’) as we call it. I am going to make myself a pot RIGHT now! Strange how a small bento like today’s can result in such a long post like this… ;)

This bento is the first bento ever dear E (Mr Gnoe) has brought to work! He probably wouldn’t have done so if his colleagues weren’t on their holidays, nor if it hadn’t contained real leftover sushi — but who cares? There’s hope now! My bento was identical to his, except for the wasabi paste ;)

Top tier:

  • kappamaki (cucumber role) and a little wasabi paste
  • tamagomaki (Japanese omelet)
  • avocadomaki on the right (I don’t have to spell that one out, do I? ;)
  • mandarin candy

Bottom tier:

  • ginger pickles and cherry tomato
  • soy sauce in container
  • seedless grapes
  • Japanese rice cracker mix (that got a bit sticky because of the humidity in the box; I’ll have to figure out to prevent that because it has happened before…

I had also meant to put in some romaine lettuce next to the maki but I forgot :(

The maki rolls were very tasty, we got them at a relatively new restaurant nearby: Kyushu. I guess they will be seeing more of us over there ;) The secret of their avocado maki is wasabi mayonnaise so we must buy some of that to try out ourselves. We also had some chuka wakame salad, hand rolls (yasai temaki), tamago sushi and inari. So it’s not strange at all we had some leftovers ;)

BTW: at Kyushu they sell bento boxes for lunch! It’s the first time I’ve discovered a restaurant in Holland that does that, but unfortunately they don’t have a vegetarian variant :(

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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