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561

Nihongo
Topic by: jross3
Posted: September 18, 2004 - 2:53 PM PDT
Last Reply: April 13, 2005 - 4:43 PM PDT

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: Nihongo
jross3
post #1  on September 18, 2004 - 2:53 PM PDT  
Ha! You thought it was the old thread! Surprise, sucker!

Funny thing happened to me today. A customer came to my work, and he didn't speak any English, only Spanish. It's fine, because I can speak and understand Spanish fairly well.
Of course, when I actually do respond to him, it's in Japanese for the first two words. (First rule of communication: start things off right). Eventually, I figure out that he's looking for a house to rent (Rule two: Try to relate). I say, "In Soviet Russia, house rent you!". He didn't get it. Which makes sense.
Soon enough, I'm speaking Spanish again, for the first time in almost a year. I'm really surprised at how much I remembered - he was also looking for a mechanic, and I was able to give him directions. Yay!
For his house rental needs, I handed him a copy of the classified newspaper. Which is only in English.
Yo soy baka desu.
Catullus
post #2  on September 18, 2004 - 4:43 PM PDT  
I like cinnamon raisin bagels
hamano
post #3  on September 18, 2004 - 9:30 PM PDT  
Beef Curry Rice

2 pounds beef chuck roast
2 large or 3 medium onions
3 large carrots or about a third bag of those baby carrots
2 or 3 medium potatoes, like Yukon Gold
3 garlic cloves, peeled
a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
package of mushrooms (optional)
quarter to half a cup of frozen peas (optional)
red pepper flakes or ground cayenne (optional)
jalapeno or other fresh hot peppers (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)
your favorite curry seasonings, to taste (I use ground cumin, ground cinnamon, curry powder... other spices may be nutmeg, coriander, cardamom, clove, tumeric....)
salt, to taste
vegetable oil
Japanese Curry Roux. I use S&B Torokeru Curry because it uses only vegetable oils. I buy the "HOT" kind. Then I make it hotter. The regular S&B Curry is also good, but it has lard in it. There are lots of options here, with House and S&B being the biggest brands, each with their basic roux and several specialty roux (Java Curry, Vermont Curry, Kokumaro Curry, etc.) There are two sizes... get the bigger one! Or two of the smaller ones.

A large oven-proof pot with cover would be good.
A medium to large cast iron or steel frying pan, with some vegetable oil for seasoning.
A small pot with lid.
Also: Japanese-style California medium grain rice and rice cooker

At 3pm, take out the beef chuck roast. I use this cut because it stands up to longish cooking without turning to mush and has good beef flavor. If you're pressed for time you can use a tender flavorful cut like ribeye steak. If a beef chuck roast is unavailable, my second choice would be beef short ribs cut into those half-inch thick slices so that each long piece has 4 or 5 short cross-sections of rib bone. But if you want a nice boneless curry rice experience, go for the chuck roast.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and make sure there's enough room above the rack to hold the covered pot.

Cut the chuck roast into 1 inch cubes, season with fresh ground black pepper, and set aside. Take the onions and cut them in half. Cut each half into slices. Cut up carrots into half inch chunks. I usually just slice them half and inch thick on a bias, but if you have a really big or thick carrot you may have to make further cuts. Chop up the garlic and fresh ginger. You can also grate the ginger, but chopping them up seems to work just fine. Slice the mushrooms in halves or quarters depending on their size. Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters depending on their size and set aside.

Heat the frying pan on high until a drop of water skitters across the surface before popping into a puff of steam. Put a squirt of oil in the hot pan and tilt the pan around to coat the entire surface. Using tongs, put beef cubes in the hot pan in a single layer (depending on the size of the pan, you might have to do this in shifts). Turning the cubes with the tongs, sear each side of the cubes for a minute or two. Make sure each side is seared, not just browned. This might make your kitchen smoky so turn the fan on, if you have one, or turn off the smoke detector.

Put all the seared beef cubes in the pot. Using the same frying pan, sautee the onions and carrots (and the mushrooms) with a bit of oil, with the garlic and ginger, on medium heat. Use a spatula to stir this around so the vegetables are evenly cooked. Here you can add your powdered spices to taste... I shake on some red pepper flakes, curry powder, ground cumin, a bit of ground cinammon, and maybe some cardamom pods. Be careful, don't let the vegetables get burnt... When the onions are soft and a bit brown, dump the vegetables on top of the beef.

Use a bit of water or broth to deglaze the pan. If you don't know what deglazing the pan is, just skip this part. Put the liquid from deglazing in the pot. Add enough hot water to slightly cover all the ingredients... probably about 3 or 4 cups is enough, but maybe more.

Cover the pot and stick it in the preheated oven.

Cut the potato into halves or quarters, depending on how big they are. You can peel them, but I leave the skins on at this point. Put the potatoes in a small pot and just cover with hot water. Bring this to a boil on top of the stove, then turn it down to simmer. You can cover the pot while it's simmering. The point is to cook the potatoes separately... if you cook it with the other ingredients and the potatoes get over-cooked, they will just turn to mush and turn the curry sauce a weird texture with excess starch.

Start the rice in the rice cooker following the cooker instructions. How much? I usually start with 3 cups.

After about 30 minutes to 45 minutes, take the pot out of the oven. The liquid should have been bubbling lightly. Open the lid (watch out for hot steam!) and stir. The carrots should be starting to turn tender. Add about a 2 square inch piece of curry roux. Just let the piece sit in the middle, don't stir it in. Replace the lid and put the pot back in the oven.

15 to 20 minutes later, take the pot out again. Stir the curry. The carrots should be tender, and the beef should be tender, not chewy. But the beef shouldn't be falling apart. Add the rest of the roux, broken up in pieces. Also add the frozen peas if you want. Cover and put back in oven.

Cool the cooked potato pieces and at this point it's quite easy to pull the skin off, if you haven't already peeled the potatoes. Cut the potato pieces up into inch-wide pieces. Chop up some fresh cilantro if you want. The rice cooker should pop off about now, but make sure you let the rice steam for 15 minutes or more before you open it.

Take the pot out and turn the oven off. Stir the curry sauce. Add the potatoes. At this point you can add a dash more cinnamon or some garam masala, and cayenne and salt to taste. The roux should be thick like oatmeal or grits. If it looks soupy, you need to add more roux if you have any...

Put some rice in a dish. Pour curry sauce on top. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top, if you want. Serve with a glass of cold water and a side salad...

Eat curry rice with a metal table-spoon or soup spoon, mixing the sauce with the white rice as you eat it. Some people mix all the rice and sauce together right from the start. Some people eat a mouthful of sauce, then a mouthful of rice... it's all up to you. If you eat curry rice in a restaurant, there will be a dish of Japanese pickles on the side. Fukujinzuke pickles are the traditional accompaniment. This serves the same function as chutney does in eating real curry.

You can put a shaker of cayenne on the table at dinner... if you like your curry spicier, you can always add it at the table.

Any questions?

If you prefer chicken, a shorter cooking time is desired so that the chicken doesn't totally fall apart. In that case you can cook the whole thing in a pot on TOP of the stove, instead of doing a slow simmer in the oven. I guess you can also use a crock-pot to make curry, but I've never tried it.

The curry rice should look like this with some variation in color... this one looks a little red to me....

Oh, regarding nori for the onigiri, you can turn the electric stove on high and get the element red hot, then wave the nori sheet above this to toast it. Just don't let it burn, and remember to turn the stove off.
Catullus
post #4  on September 18, 2004 - 10:56 PM PDT  
my favorite one is: in soviet russia tv watches you
kohnfused1
post #5  on September 20, 2004 - 2:39 PM PDT  

> For his house rental needs, I handed him a copy of the classified newspaper. Which is only in English.
> Yo soy baka desu.
> ---------------------------------

What if you handed him a hammer and some nails, do you think he would've gotten that?
jross3
post #6  on September 21, 2004 - 10:41 PM PDT  
Ok, Mr. Hamano, I owe you. I bought my rice cooker today, and I managed to make rice balls tonight!
Important question, though.
Is there more than one kind of nori? The kind I found is labeled "yaki sushi nori" and tastes much more like seafood than I expected at first... but it is seaweed. Maybe it's an acquired taste.
Otherwise, it was a marginal success. I may have added a bit too much salt to a couple of them, and they didn't all quite take a triangular shape, but none of them fell apart - and that's success to me.
The electric burner on my stove seemed to work ok. But I'm gonna get the barbecue working for tomorrow when I make my real attempt at a full meal. the only catch with toasting them was holding them over the burner, but I figured that out eventually.
The only real problem I encountered was my own stupidity. I definately remember being told to "let the rice cool before forming into balls", but I managed to forget for a few minutes when I got started.... and rice is very hot when it comes out of the cooker. Well, no burns tonight, and tomorrow I'll know better.

Thanks a bunch, once more!
hamano
post #7  on September 22, 2004 - 9:52 AM PDT  
> On September 21, 2004 - 10:41 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Is there more than one kind of nori? The kind I found is labeled "yaki sushi nori" and tastes much more like seafood than I expected at first... but it is seaweed. Maybe it's an acquired taste.

Are you sure you didn't get the "yucky sushi nori" by mistake? The nori should come in squarish cellophane bags of anywhere from 10 sheets to 25 sheets or even 50 or 100 sheets. I've found that the plain "yaki nori" for sushi use works fine for most purposes, and I find them to be quite mild tasting. My son munches them plain like there's no tomorrow. These come in standard size squares about 7.5x8 inches. In the past I HAVE found some variation in flavor and texture, so if you didn't like the nori you got, try another brand. Crisping it up through toasting gives the nori a "cleaner" flavor in my opinion.

There's also a "seasoned" nori or aji-tsuke nori which is usually precut into strips and has a sweet soy sauce flavor. I might be wrong, but Koreans seem to like this type more than the plain kind... Many Japanese also like this flavored nori, but I like the plain "yaki nori" better.

> Otherwise, it was a marginal success. I may have added a bit too much salt to a couple of them, and they didn't all quite take a triangular shape, but none of them fell apart - and that's success to me.

The water in the bowl (the colder the better) serves two purposes... it cools your skin against the hot rice, and it keeps the grains from sticking to your hands. I find that the cylindrical shape is easier to make.

The amount of salt that is good is very subjective, similar to pretzels and bagels. In pre-refrigeration days the salt did help by acting as a spoilage retardant (same with the vinegar in the seasoned rice for sushi). I usually just use a pinch for each onigiri. Some people just skip the salt.... especially if you're using pickles or salted fish as a filling/mix.

> The electric burner on my stove seemed to work ok. But I'm gonna get the barbecue working for tomorrow when I make my real attempt at a full meal. the only catch with toasting them was holding them over the burner, but I figured that out eventually.

Hold one edge, toast half the sheet (keep moving it around over the burner) then hold the opposite edge to toast the other half.

> The only real problem I encountered was my own stupidity. I definately remember being told to "let the rice cool before forming into balls", but I managed to forget for a few minutes when I got started.... and rice is very hot when it comes out of the cooker. Well, no burns tonight, and tomorrow I'll know better.

You CAN make onigiri with room temperature rice (not cold or refrigerated rice) but it's easier with hot rice. Just let it cool so that it doesn't burn. You can ladle the rice into a bowl, fluff it up a bit, and use a fan to cool it if you want. Wetting your hands helps, too, as I mentioned before.
jross3
post #8  on September 22, 2004 - 8:32 PM PDT  
Another night, another success. Is this what they call momentum?

Well, that's a little ahead of things. Let me tell you...

It took a lot of shopping to get the things I needed. The $20 rice cooker works pretty well. The only thing I wish it had was a timer. The "Chinese Chef's Knife" was worth the money, too - chinese or not, it's the sharpest knife I own (and at $30 it ought to be, right?). I've already used almost all of the rice I bought! I bought a lot more carrots than I needed, too. And now that I think about it, I forgot to use the garlic... but that was dirt cheap, so no worries.
Now, the recipe calls for one large onion per box, right? Well, when I chopped the first large onion, and compared it to two pounds of meat, I noticed that they were just about equal in volume (a large onion, to me, is almost the size of both fists put together (which I'm told is the size of my brain?)). That didn't seem quite right... and another onion that size would mean making onion curry, and I don't love onion quite that much. I could barely keep chopping when I was finished with the first one (very potent, that onion). So I ended up simply mixing in about a third of the first onion... and it seemed just fine.
Skipping ahead, it went just about perfectly! I might have added a bit more cayenne pepper for my own taste, but my family seemed to think that it wasn't such a good idea when I told them about it ("you added pepper to this? Why? You really shouldn't have!"). Still... next time, I'm not gonna hold back. It's gonna be tasty, whether they like it or not!

In onigiri news, I tried to make a bunny with the leftover rice. I didn't find anything to use for eyes or a nose, and its butt fell off. But it definately had ears before I squished them to fix its butt!
hamano
post #9  on September 22, 2004 - 9:12 PM PDT  
I would say that the volume of onions and the volume of meat would be about the same! You didn't use enough onion! And the carrots, where are the carrots? They should be floating like a little orange archipelago in the sea of brown!

When I make special curry, I even add a half a vidalia onion about 20 minutes from the end, so that there are a few firm pieces of onion in the final dish (the onions you start out with turns pretty much to mush).

Ah, well, it looks like an admirable first try.... I don't remember what MY first curry looked like way back when I was 14 or 15... I've had a few bad batches since then, too.

Hopefully, the next batch will look more like THIS rather than THAT... but that's what you get for following the directions on the box...
^_^

Oh, now I wanna eat curry rice...
IronS
post #10  on September 22, 2004 - 9:40 PM PDT  
So that's why I don't like curry - I don't like onions and I don't like cooked carrots.

Is this the new food thread? Or is it limited to Japanese food only?
hamano
post #11  on September 22, 2004 - 10:17 PM PDT  
This is a thread where hamano-sensei teaches jross3 how to cook like a real man (Jet Black). Catullus just appeared to post non sequiturs and kohnfused1 is just confused, as usual.
jross3
post #12  on September 22, 2004 - 10:31 PM PDT  
> Hopefully, the next batch will look more like THIS rather than THAT... but that's what you get for following the directions on the box...

Forgive me, sensei! I wanted to take it easy for my first attempt. Next time, more onions, more carrots, I promise! And I'll go back and look at your recipe in a lot more detail when I make my shopping list. And then again when I cook.
I assure you, it looked much better on a plate (you could see the carrots very well then, thank you!), but I forgot to take a picture of it until after dinner, and I was stuck with the pot. Next time, I'll be sure to store a step-by-step documentary of my progress as I cook, that way you'll be able to critique my technique as if you were really here! (luckily, the digital barrier will prevent you from harming me for my poor techinque)

> Oh, now I wanna eat curry rice...

Tell me more about curry rice! How does its preparation differ from curry and rice? And just exactly what is it, anyway?
hamano
post #13  on September 22, 2004 - 11:00 PM PDT  
> On September 22, 2004 - 10:31 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Tell me more about curry rice! How does its preparation differ from curry and rice? And just exactly what is it, anyway?
> ---------------------------------

Check this out!

And THIS!
jross3
post #14  on September 23, 2004 - 12:56 AM PDT  
Ahh! This is where that "now I get it!" hand gesture would come in handy. thanks!

> On September 22, 2004 - 11:00 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 22, 2004 - 10:31 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Tell me more about curry rice! How does its preparation differ from curry and rice? And just exactly what is it, anyway?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Check this out!
>
> And THIS!
> ---------------------------------

DBooher
post #15  on September 23, 2004 - 1:56 AM PDT  
> On September 18, 2004 - 4:43 PM PDT Catullus wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I like cinnamon raisin bagels
> ---------------------------------

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH my gawwwd that is so freakin' funny!!!!
(STILL) LMAO!
*Phew*


I always revert back to Spanish when trying to practice/excercise my Japanese...or tagolog...I'm not super fluent in either language...I just know enough of each to not die if I'm ever in those countries. O_o

*nihongo wa totemoooo muzukashiiiii desuuuu.* ARG!

PS: I so thought this was the old thread. Damn u Jross3. ^_^

hamano
post #16  on February 27, 2005 - 7:09 AM PST  
I found a .torrent for the scanslation of Gouka naru Shokutaku (Lavish Dinner Table) aka "Addicted to Curry"... a manga series with curry recipes!
hamano
post #17  on February 27, 2005 - 7:15 AM PST  
The same site also has scanslations for Yakitate Japan, which was recently made into an anime series. This is about Japanese bread baking.

The Japanese are not so fond of rustic, whole grain, rye or chewy breads. But they've elevated the baking and eating of confectionary bread, flaky buttery breads like croissants, and white slicing bread into a kind of high art-form. You can't get a good bagel in Tokyo, though.
fdguarino
post #18  on March 1, 2005 - 8:55 AM PST  
This topic is probably as good as any to post this. If you are a big fan of Maria-sama ga Miteru then these are for you:

http://www.superdollfie.net/sd/gentei/marimite2.html
http://www.superdollfie.net/sd/gentei/marimite1.html

Personally, I find them a bit too spooky looking. Manga/Anime style art should stay 2D IMESHO.

-FDGuarino
hamano
post #19  on March 1, 2005 - 9:16 AM PST  
> On March 1, 2005 - 8:55 AM PST fdguarino wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> http://www.superdollfie.net/sd/gentei/marimite2.html
> http://www.superdollfie.net/sd/gentei/marimite1.html

Oh, how deliciously creepy! The doll owners get together for tea parties and stuff... RWaller, put your wallet away! You can't afford to get sucked into this stuff!

This is my favorite page...
jross3
post #20  on March 1, 2005 - 11:19 AM PST  
> On March 1, 2005 - 9:16 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> This is my favorite page...
> ---------------------------------

In the back of my head, I hear someone saying, "It puts the lotion in the basket."
I don't suppose there's a site on making "skin suits" for dolls, too? surely, someone out there would want to add this creepy bit of realism to their dolls.....
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