The Laramee Filter: pseudorandom thoughts, subsequently put on the Internet.
Tom Laramee
Date Published:
September 16th, 2023
Word Count:
1,073 (10:00 read time)

Our Trip To Japan Changed The Way We Eat

Perhaps the major change is to breakfast. I now prepare a traditional Japanese breakfast when I have the chance to both (a) get the ingredients and (b) set aside enough time to cook. We've progressed beyond breakfast to make Japanese curry, chicken katsu, udon, tempura, yakisoba, onigiri, miso soup (from scratch), shabu shabu, and takoyaki.

Incidentally, two other durable, diet-related things also changed:

  1. Since coffee availability was sporadic (mostly due to timing and logistics, but also because it's less popular in Japan), I now only drink 1 cup of coffee per day, and then it's green tea for the rest of the day (Sencha or mint).
  2. Because Sencha is so delicious, I now drink a cup or two at night, which helps me sleep better.
Breakfast (あさ ごはん)

First Fish: I fumbled around a bit on the first few breakfasts, both in terms of finding the right cut of fish. to finding the right fish to prepare, to not having a grill plate. Most of that stuff has been rectified by now.

Two of the early ones are salmon (wrong cut), and rockfish (wrong fish), both served with miso soup and daikon (and one with nori and pickled ginger):


Dashi Omlette: We learned how to make a dashi omlette from Yura, and Alina has gotten really good at making these. We haven't found the right sausage to use (it's a pork-based breakfast sausage patty), but we're pretty close in taste with what we're using. This was served with rice, miso soup, and bamboo shoots, and we have a truly delicious kombu shirodashi sauce that we call "awesome sauce":


Better Fish: We got closer on the fish, but it was poorly cooked (I needed to buy a grilling pan). The seaweed is wakame and sesame, there's daikon, ginger, miso soup, and rice. とても おいしかった。


Black Cod: Now we're rolling. Black cod is an excellent breakfast fish, and I have a grilling pan. We tried out a miso-based glaze (on only half of the fish so my kids could try it (reviews were mixed)). Of course there's rice and miso soup, along with bamboo shoots and awesome sauce:


Black Cod: We tried a cod steak, so it had a collar, which the fish fell away from when I cooked it. There's still bones, but they're small. I need to do a miso-based marinade with this fish at some point.

There's daikon, pickled ginger, bamboo shoots (I'm trying to find vegetables that are mild in flavor so my kids will eat them, bamboo shoots are great with rice), shirodashi and soy sauce, rice, miso soup, and of course salted grilled fish:

Lunch (ひる ごはん)

Ramen: I started making ramen recently after I found a source for fresh noodles. It's pretty easy to make your own broth too, but I use a broth packet these days. This one has negi, egg, wakame, and pork that's been seared with a little bit of Japanese barbecue sauce, which I call "new hack chashu":

(I plan on making chashu soon)


Ramen v2.0: Very nice! My kids don't like negi, so, I saved that for myself.

The ingredients are: fresh ramen noodles, ramen broth (you can buy this in a bottle), an egg (I boiled these for seven minutes, I think that's one minute too long), some sashimi grade shrimp, some reconstituted wakame, some "new hack chashu" (which is just pork shoulder sliced thin for hot pot, seared on a grill pan to give it some charred texture, with some Japanese barbecue sauce drizzled on it), and some Tokyo negi (use green onion instead).


Takoyaki: Of all the things I never believed I'd make, takoyaki tops the list. Like many Japanese recipes, finding the ingredients is the hard part, plus, this one has a specialized pan.

The ingredients are: takoyaki flour, eggs, water, tako, pickled ginger, negi, tenkasu (tempura flakes), katsuobushi (I think this a powdered form of dried bonito flakes, but I haven't been able to find it yet, so i make an approximation of it and use it), aonori (dried green seaweed in power form), takoyaki sauce, and Japanese mayonnaise.

I've practiced the cooking technique three times now and am getting closer to getting it right, though I'll need a few more times to get it down (it's tricky!).


Onigiri: We make this all of the time. Salmon, chashu, ebi, etc:

Hand-rolled by Alina
Chashu (pork with Japanese barbecue sauce).
Bravocados are hungry.
Salmon and Fig Spread

Takoyaki v2.0: Version 3. Looking good. This one was a lot easier to cook, and I was much more confident that I could make it and have it turn out okay (without having to throw any of the takoyaki into the compose during cooking):

Dinner (ばん ごはん)

Shabu Shabu: We also took a shot at what's called Shabu Shabu, which is an onomatopoeia for "swish swish". It's delicious. Pork and cabbage are the two main ingredients, and we added tofu, carrots, broccoli, some beef (thinly sliced for hotpot), and believe it or not, onions.


Shabu Shabu v2.0: Second run at this one. Since we don't know what we're doing, we added scallops, and shrimp .. which is definitely not how things are usually done. It was very delicious:


Seafood Yakisoba v2.0: Second run at this one also. I made a vegetable yakisoba (cabbage, onion, kerrits, broccoli, and mushrooms) and then topped it with scallops and shrimp, both seared in butter with some salt, and then seasoned with pickled ginger and aonori (あおのり).

I found a local grocery story with fresh udon, ramen, and yakisoba noodles, and so all of those dishes are now fairly easy to make.