Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's Cooking?

Since eating out everyday is pretty expensive and unhealthy, I've been spending a fair amount of time cooking.  I probably cook three to four meals a week.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to work with and shopping at the supermarket is a bit of a guessing game, so I mostly cook variations of stir fry.  It's pretty easy.  I just cook some meat then throw in some vegetables and sauce.  I always use the hot plate in the lobby kitchen since I have zero cooking utensils in my room.  Plus I get to socialize before and after dinner.

 The setup

 Stir fry pork, green beans, green peppers, and persimmon

Stir fry beef, carrots, onions, green beans

I have developed my own version of yakisoba which is a Japanese fried noodle dish.  I fry the noodles and then add shrimp and vegetables.

 My weird version of yakisoba

I tried to cook salmon a few times, but it never turned out very good.  For some reason, the salmon I get at Safeway seems to be better than the stuff I get in Japanese supermarkets.  I did find a small fish market which sells fresh fish so I have had mystery fish a couple times.

Mystery fish, carrots, green beans, and cucumber

I don't have breakfast very often, but I do sometimes eat cereal and bread as a midnight snack.  For lunch I'm almost always getting a bento lunch from the local corner store.  My bento lunch could be sushi, katsu, fried chicken, gyoza, or something like that.

When I do eat out there's a couple good options around the guest house.  I found this awesome hamburger place called Any's Burger which makes a pretty messy burger.  There's sauce everywhere so I usually end up using a knife and fork.  I get ramen from a place that might be called Ghost Ramen.  I experimented with different dishes for a while, but I think I found my favorite so now I get the same thing every time.  There's also don-katsu place where I get don-katsu and a huge whole friend shrimp with the head and legs still attached.  I've been to a couple super expensive sushi restaurants where the sushi is really fresh and delicious.  Plus you get to sit at the bar with the chef doing everything right in front of you.  I like going to a few Japanese restaurant chains where you get a ticket from a machine and give it to the waiter.  It's really easy since I can just look at the pictures on the machine so I know what I'm getting.

I've had street food a few times.  Takoyaki, octopus dumplings, are Osaka's specialty, but I'm not a super huge fan.  I always enjoy chicken on a stick.  My favorite street food has been nikumaki onigiri which is rice wrapped in pork.  It's basically bacon wrapped rice and it's delicious.

I've been to a couple Japanese fast food restaurants like Sukiya where you get a bowl of rice mixed with cheese and really fatty, thinly sliced beef.  It's better than it sounds, but it kind of gives me an upset stomach.  Then there's the late night Mc Donald's runs (All the McDonald's in Osaka are 24 hours).  I was hesitant to go so much, but the fact that Glen goes all the time makes me feel like it's ok for me to go too.  Of course it would probably be a mistake if I started doing things just because Glen does them.

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