I didn’t want Those Discounted Horse Mackerels to be Wasted.

Discounted Horse Mackerels

I found them in the supermarket where I always go buy food. Many packages of small horse mackerels were left unsold on the shelve. They were 30 percent discounted from the original price. But the original price was already reasonable because it was less than Two USD. I think that the problem was that they were too small to cook and eat. It was obvious that soon a lot of small horse mackerels were going to be thrown to be waste. Feeling sorry for that, I decided buying them.

Horse Mackerels’ Hard Scale

When you cook horse mackerels, you need to cut the hard scales off from the body side from the tale.

Opened Body of Horse Mackerel

I wouldn’t show you the most cruel part of the cooking process.

Fishes Wrapped with Potato Starch

Put a lot of Potato Starch around the fishes. I didn’t use fresh egg between the fishes and the starch. I just put the starch directly to the fishes.

Fry in a Pan with Oil

Frying uses a lot of Oil. I usually use a good oil (a little expensive one), but for frying, I bought a cheap cooking oil.

The municipal government where I live has been collecting those cooking oils for recycling. I saw many bottles of dirty brown cooking oil were gathered at the entrance of the community center. Since there is a library in that building, I saw it every time I go to borrow books. But recently the city decided to stop collecting the oil. I don’t know why, because the city government doesn’t say anything about the reason explicitly to us. Recycling is good, so I think there must be a reason for stopping the recycling of used cooking oil.

Draining Excess Oil with Cooking Paper

Oil is not good for our health. I put fried fishes onto cooking paper in order to remove excess oil.

Fried Horse Mackerels with Lemon Slice

Actually this is not the completion of the frying horse mackerels with potato starch. But I didn’t have time to do the end process of the cooking because I wanted to serve this for the dinner soon.

We Japanese usually put the fried horse mackerels into a sour sauce and keep it at least one night. The sauce is made of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Ginger and red pepper are used for seasoning. Plus, slices of Carrots, onions, and peppers are accompanied. Those sauce and slices are poured onto fried mackerels and they are kept in the refrigerator. A good things of that are not only good taste, but also the vinegar makes the fish bones softer. When you come to Japan, please try to eat this menu that is “Aji no Namban Dzuke”.

Miso Soup with Green Leaves

Now my garden is covered with snow. I have to get rid of snow in order to harvest those green vegetables. Since I don’t have good gloves, I feel like my fingers could be frozen when I do that every afternoon. Now I am thinking about buying those green vegetable from a supermarket. When spring come, I will be able to get my vegetables in the garden again.

So this is my miso soup tonight. Although the slices of green onion (look white in the photo) came from a supermarket, the green leaves were really taken from my garden.

Actually today’s miso soup tasted a little salty. I usually use the dried and chopped fishes that are the mixture of three types; sardine, mackerel, and horse mackerel, when I cook my miso soup. But today I used bones and head of salted salmon. I always try to cook with less salt for my health. So the miso soup tonight might have been a bad one.

Digging Sweet and Taro Potatos from my Garden was Another Exhausting Task.

They came from tropical regions. If I left them in the ground in cold winter in Niigata, they would be rotten simply because of cold. So I had to dig them before winter come.

Taro in my Garden on November 20th.

I got rid of other weeds around the Taro beforehand. Perhaps you may think about cutting the stems at this stage. But please do NOT cut them before digging out. Because if you cut the stem first, you will lose the grip to pull and lift up the Taro from the ground.

There was not much Taro Potato its Root.

During summer, I should have added fertilizer and mounded soil up around the roots of Taro. But I had been too busy to do those things because of preparation for the online classes of the fall semester. So the harvest of Taro was a little disappointing this year.

Taro Washed by Water

Sweet Potato got much Damage by Larvae of Scarab Beetle

I also dug sweet potato in the same day. The sweet potato I planted was improved one having more sweetness than conventional potato. That simply resulted in much damage on surface of the potato. Larvae of scarab beetle in the ground ate the potato and made a lot of holes and dents. Before I got them, I had thought that I would give my sweet potato to my neighbors. But my sweet potato was so dirty and ugly, I gave up my idea to share my sweet potato with people living around me. Instead, I sent one carton box of sweet potato to my sister who lives near Tokyo.

Grotesque Shapes of Sweet Potato

That grotesque shapes of sweet potato means that I should have cultivate the soil with my hand hoe well.

Steamed Sweet Potato

Although they look ugly on the surface, the taste is really sweet. I am happy with them.

山下さん手作りのキムチ@五泉市の2・7定期市

添加物、着色料いっさい無し。新鮮な天然素材のおいしいキムチはいかがですか。

山下さん手作りの白菜キムチ

山下さん手作りの大根キムチ

山下南さんのキムチは、新津や五泉の定期市でご本人から直接買うことができます。以下の情報をご覧ください。

山下さんは気さくで話しやすい人です。五泉の2・7定期市でお会いしました。

山下さんがキムチを売っています@五泉の2・7定期市

本日、2021年11月27日に、五泉市役所近くの定期市で山下さんのお話を聞きました。山下さんは韓国の全羅南道の麗水(ヨス)から、約40年前に日本にお嫁に来られました。新潟市の秋葉区にお住まいです。お子様が幼稚園に入られたのをきっかけに、キムチの製造・販売を始めました。お国のお母さんから受け継いだ美味しいキムチの味を地域の人にも味わってもらいたいという気持ちで始めたそうです。昭和の終わり頃から、定期市で、変わらない値段で、ずっと続けていらっしゃいます。売っているのは新鮮な白菜キムチ、大根キムチ、キュウリのキムチの3種類です。白菜は日本産、唐辛子は韓国産を使っています。
とても美味しいキムチですから、おすすめです。また、価格も大変良心的で、たっぷり食べることができます。雪が降っても、1年中定期市で売っていらしゃいます。このブログをご覧のみなさま、ぜひ山下さんのキムチを味わってください。

本日うかがった五泉の2・7定期市は、市役所の近くで行われています。市役所の前に小さな川があります。その川の対岸に市役所職員用の駐車場があって、そこが定期市の場所です。駅前通りから少し入った所になりますが、緑のネットで囲まれた四角い場所です。以下の写真をご参照ください。

写真の左が市役所です。


スタミナレシピをもらいました。

この投稿の情報は2021年11月27日時点のものです。

Fig Compote; a Way to Preserve When you got a lot of Figs.

Not a lot, but I got eight figs. They were the first harvest from the garden in this fall. The problem is that you cannot keep it long. You need to eat, or do something to preserve figs in the day you got them. They soon get bad. 

So I decided making compote. As to sugar, cane sugar and beet sugar are available in Japan. I don’t think that beet sugar is sweet enough. This time I chose cane sugar that was not refined to be completely white. So the sugar has a little bit color of brown. I poured a small amount of water into pan. Perhaps that water was not necessary because water came out of figs.

You see seven figs in the pan. One was left because it didn’t fit in that pan. I ate it fresh. Actually that one tasted enough sweet. Not bad.

I heated by the gas with low flame. By the way, you don’t need to peel off when making fig compote. I think it is better to leave them unpeeled to keep the shape. On the other, I peel figs off when I make jam.

 

Fig compote is finished. I like the pink color of fig compote. Although this time the syrup is not so clear, because I used a-little-brown cane sugar. I chilled it in fridge and actually I have already eaten them. I think I will drink syrup by diluting with soda.

Sticky and Stinky, Fermented Soy Beans “Natto” is a Must for Japanese Breakfast

Now the season of Okra is ending. The okras in my garden have become taller than me, but many leaves have fallen. I can get only two or three okras a day. These days I am thinking about cut those okras and remove them from the field.

Okras should not be boiled long. It should be just one minute or so, very short time.

 

And then I sliced the boiled okras, and chopped green onions.

 

Here came “Natto” that is fermented soy beans. Japanese like to eat Natto in breakfast. I don’t think it is appropriate to mention bathroom things while talking about food and meal. But let me tell you. Natto is so stinky, if you eat it in your breakfast, you will smell it in your urine in the bathroom. Not just in the morning, it continues until noon.

 

Mixing natto with sliced okra and chopped green onion, I pored just a little bit of Soy sauce.

 

This is the main dish of my breakfast of the day. Usually there is omelet, but this particular morning, pork was there, because I cooked much pork in the previous night.

 

Okay, this is my breakfast on September 30, 2021.

So Many Thanks to Likes from Cooking Blogs, Though I’m not Good at It.

The morning glory has started blooming at the entrance of my house. They are not Japanese species but western morning glory named “Heavenly Blue”.

I have to express my thanks to those cooking/cuisine blogs that like my tiny little blog. But I don’t think I am a good cooking person. I just boil everything in hot water. That’s it.

For example, I put those pieces of carrot and purple beans into Miso-Soup, with tofu.

Of course I don’t boil tomato, most of the time. These tomato, green beans, and okra came from my garden.

It is rare for me to heat with oil in a pan. But I tried it yesterday. I think I should have put more green leaves because they were shrunk by the heat.

Cooking a supper takes more than one hour. Usually it is one hour and 20 minutes for me to cook. But I eat what I cooked within 15 minutes. Long cooking time but short eating time.

Apples Steamed with Sugar

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)


I don’t know the name of what I cooked. I steamed small apples with sugar.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

There are several apple trees in my garden. One of apple trees “Ourin” has got some apples. My mom is happy with that and she had taken some fruits from the tree. She just wanted to take them, didn’t care about the apples were ripe or not. To eat, or not to eat, that was not a question to her. Although she said she might offer those apples in front of the photograph of Dad who died last year, she just left the apples on the table.

My dad had been a poor boy when he was a kid. His dad, my father’s side grandpa, died of tuberculosis when he was a kid. Also that was when all the Japanese suffered from lack of food after the WWII. So my dad had never wasted food. I feel like I inherited his DNA that does not waste any food. This evening, just before I started cooking supper, I found the apples were still left on the table. They were three. I tasted one, which was hard and sour, too early to harvest. I gave up eating it. There were still two left. I decided to heat those immature apples by steam in the pan.

At first, I tried digging a hole on the top of apple because I wanted to get rid of seeds. But it is small apple. In order to do that, my smallest spoon was still too large. So I did that with the end part of the spoon (haft?). The purpose of the hole on apple is not only for removing seeds. After getting rid of seeds, I filled the hole with sugar. I put two small apples with sugar in a bowl and covered the bowl with aluminum foil. And then l poured water a half inch depth into a deep pan, put the bowl in the pan, heated the pan 15 minutes.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

This is what I got. I put this in refrigerator tonight. I will eat the sweet and chilled apple as a desert for a breakfast tomorrow morning.

I ate it this morning. It was hard. 15 minutes boiling could not make it soft. Taste was so-so. And there’s one thing I forgot to write yesterday. I don’t have a microwave. If I had a microwave, heating time could have been shortened.

Now the Time for Harvesting and Eating OKURA

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)


Now the season is turning because the rainy season has ended. One type of vegetable is growing fast in my garden. Well, don’t talk about weeds around, please.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


And its flowers are actually beautiful.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


But the flowers are not the purpose of this plant. It’s OKRA.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


I boiled OKRA just a few minutes, cooled down with ice, and put mayonnaise on them. The slices of Tomato also came from my garden. This was one plate of tonight’s supper.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


It’s Difficult to Take Bones off from Sardines

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)


This afternoon I bought one package of sardines in the nearby supermarket. There were three sardines in the package that was 265JPY (2.4USD).

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


I try to cook many kinds of fishes these days. In order to be good at cooking fish, it is important to cook them many times and to figure out what is the best way to cut the fish. There is one fish that I think is very difficult to cook well. It is sardine. It is said that the back bone of a sardine can be removed by fingers. Some web sites show how to take the bone off from the sardine. But I would say it is impossible for a beginner to take the bone off by fingers. It is simply because the body, or I would call meat, is too soft to work with fingers. It is interesting that it is the same reason that many web sites are saying that the bone can be removed by fingers. Again, it is impossible. You will just waste many portion of the sardine’s meat if you try it by your fingers.
So I had tried my best to remove the bone today, but I have to admit my defeat. Three sardines had just turned to be a kind of “torn-out-pieces” by my poor cooking skill.

Anyway I fried those pieces for the dinner. Their taste was so-so.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN