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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Japanese Curry... made by you!

I've had quite a few people ask me how to make Japanese curry so I thought I would take some pictures and blog about it.

It's actually quite easy and doesn't take a lot of time at all.

This will make a pretty big pot so if you just want to make a little bit, just use half the box of curry seasoning and use only half of the amount for each ingredient.

For my version you will need the following:

3-4 medium onions
3 carrots
7-8 small potatoes
2 chicken breasts
2 chicken thighs
1 box of Japanese curry seasoning
4 1/2 cups of water
2 TBSP olive oil
Rice (cooked) to serve over

Cut onions into chunks. I usually cut it in half and then cut each half into thirds. Slice carrots. I slice them until I get to the thicker part and then I usually cut that in half and then continue to slice.

I cut my potatoes in half, and then cut each half in half again.
Remove skin and as much fat as you can from the chicken. Cut into bite sized chunks. Sometimes, mine are a little bit bigger than bite sized. I'm not all that great with a knife.

Pour the olive oil into a large pot and place on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and carrots and chicken to the pan.
Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on everything (optional). Stir everything with a wooden spoon and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups of water and the potatoes, and let it come to a boil.
Once it starts to boil, turn it down a little bit. It should still be boiling, but a light boil.
Let it boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam or fat that floats to the top as necessary.

Now you're ready to add the curry blocks. Remove the pot from the heat and add blocks of curry. Stir until it has all dissolved. It's very important that you remove the pot from the heat before adding the curry blocks. It helps with the thickening process.

Once the curry has dissolved, place the pot back onto the stove and bring to a light boil. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Put some rice into a bowl and ladle some curry over it, and dinner is served!!
ITADAKIMASU!

***Experiment with different brands of curry seasoning and add different things to your curry. This is my favorite way of making it, but every now and then I will make it with beef. You can also add mushrooms if you like. I also switch up the brand of curry that I use. I haven't had one that I didn't like yet. I also mix half a box of mild curry with half a box of medium curry. My son likes a little kick and I'm a wuss so this is my compromise. You can also adjust the amount of vegetables and meat you add in. I prefer mine to have lots of veggies and chicken so I typically add more than normal. If you do purchase a different brand of seasoning, check the recipe on the back to find out how much water it calls for. This one calls for 1000ml which is about 4.25 cups. I added 4.5 because I knew I would be skimming stuff off of the top. I've used curry that only called for 800ml of water before so they're not all the same.

Try making some curry for your family and let me know what you think!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

PIZZERIA DA HACHI

I have been meaning to blog about this delicious pizzeria for a couple of weeks now.


































My friend, Kazumi, told me about this cute little restaurant and we made plans to try it out for dinner. Good thing she made reservations, because they were full.

We decided to order a couple of different things and share. So we ordered a little appetizer platter and a pizza. Ordering the pizza was a little difficult because we wanted to try at least half of the pizzas on the menu! We finally settled on the "Amadeo". It's a smoked mozzarella cheese and mushroom pizza. I have never had smoked mozzarella before so I was very excited! I was also intrigued by the Italian lemon soda on the menu so we decided to share one of those too.





The lemon soda was really good!







Then they brought out our appetizer plate -
It really was a little appetizer platter, but everything on it was delicious.

When they brought this to our table, I really wanted to skip the picture and just eat a slice!
This pizza was one of the best pizzas I have ever had. I loved the smoked mozzarella and the crust was really good.

Since we were sharing everything, we decided to order the dessert sampler plate and share that too.
Yummy cheesecake, chocolate cake and some chocolate ice cream! Perfect for sharing.

We kind of closed the place down so I was able to get a shot of the inside while it was empty.
It's not a very big restaurant, but I think there were about 6-7 tables.

This post would have ended here, but I overheard the owner telling some other customers that they should come for lunch because lunch is cheaper. So.... I made a lunch date with my friend Tani and came back a week later. My dinner with Kazumi came out to about 3700yen total so I was curious to see how much cheaper lunch would be.

So, with the lunch set you get an appetizer/salad plate, you choose your pizza, and you also get a drink and dessert. I assumed the pizzas would be smaller since Kazumi and I shared a pizza and we were pretty full since we had the appetizer plate too. The cost of the lunch set was also cheaper than what we paid for our pizza at dinner. Less than 1600yen for the lunch set. I think we paid 1650 or 1680 just for the pizza at dinner.

Here's the appetizer/salad plate we got -

This time I ordered the "Quatro Fromage" (four cheese) pizza and Tani ordered the Margherita pizza.
Both of these pizzas were very tasty! By the way, they were the same size as they were when I went for dinner so this really is a better deal!

The dessert that came with our set -

I also got get this shot when I went back for lunch -


I highly recommend reservations for this place. It's fairly new and very popular! Their phone number is (0827) 24-7288
I don't think they speak a whole lot of English so you might want to ask someone who speaks Japanese to call for you.

To get to Pizzeria Da Hachi, go out of Main Gate and continue straight until you hit Three Corners (T intersection). Turn right and continue straight. You will cross a bridge. After crossing the bridge, take the second right turn. There will be a little vegetable stand on your right and a small bank on your left as you turn onto the little side street. The restaurant will be on your right. You can't miss it.

They do have limited parking. There are 3 spaces available right across from the restaurant and there are 3 more spaces at another location. I never found it and ended up calling the restaurant. They told me all of their parking was full, but I could park at the bank on the corner so I parked there. If you go at night, you can definitely park at the bank since they are not open.

Their hours are 1200-1500 for lunch/1730-2100 for dinner.

Check out Pizzeria Da Hachi and let me know what you think!




Friday, March 21, 2014

Grand Chief Burgers

I am not a huge beef eater, but every now and then I like a GOOD burger. A REAL good burger. Not a fast food burger. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to find here. I could find a great hamburger steak (which I also love), but not a good hamburger. Until now.

I read about Grand Chief on Facebook when a few ladies posted about it, and then got more information when the Iwakuni Explorer did a post about it. I knew as soon as I read the post about it, that I had to check it out.

I told my friend Cynthia about it and we decided to have lunch there last week. It was super easy to find. We just went out the Main Gate and took a right at the very first light. Followed that road until it came to a T intersection and then took a left. At the light we turned right onto Route 2. Grand Chief is located right after the Eneos station on your left so stay in the left lane once you get on the 2. Look for the Teepee or the Airstream trailer (I think that's what they're called).

Or you can look for this sign

Or you can look for this teepee

It kind of stands out so I don't think anyone will have a problem finding it.

We looked over the menu and I just could not decide what I wanted so I went simple and got a regular burger with avocado. I love fries so I got the regular set. Cynthia ordered the Grand Chief burger (recommended by the owner). We sat down and waited. It was a beautiful day to sit outside so we didn't mind at all. They were kind of busy while we were there. Quite a few people just come by to place take out orders.

The wait wasn't very long at all...maybe 10-15 minutes. We grabbed our trays and sat down. I couldn't wait to unwrap my burger. I did munch on a fry or two before I opened my burger. I couldn't resist. The fries are good.

Here's my burger -

Here's Cynthia's burger -

Don't they look delicious??? They are. I have now found a place to get a good burger. I like it so much that I went back today and ordered the Teriyaki Ginger burger. That was pretty tasty too. Not a heavy ginger flavor at all. They also have a Cajun Chicken sandwich that I am curious about. If anyone tries that, please post a picture on my Facebook page and let me know your thoughts.

The sign says they open at 10am, but there is nothing listed for a closing time. I drove by it a few nights ago (I think it might have been around 8pm-ish) and it looked like they were still open.

I did take a picture of the menu so you have an idea of prices.



Check out Grand Chief and let me know what you think!!