Monday, March 20, 2006

New Thirty Day Trial

In an effort to better myself and stay a world citizen, I have made an extensive study of Japanese culture, primarily by watching Takashi Miike and other J-horror movies. In fact, last night I went through my stack of unwatched DVD’s and saw I had the following: anime, anime, J-horror, anime, 70’s car movie, J-horror, Kung-Fu action, Irish sitcom, J-horror, Japanese drama, and anime. See? I don’t have yellow fever. Anyway, during my studies I have discovered the following:
1) Japanese women look good naked.
2) They also leave behind adorable bloodied corpses.
3) Frequently doing both at the same time.

That’s good enough for me. I’m ready to convert. Well, before I do that, maybe I’d better make sure I can stomach the food.

Seriously, I just started another of my thirty day trials. If you’re not familiar with the concept, sometimes I give a potentially life altering change a month long trial to see what really happens. I’ve done a thirty day trial of eating only natural, organic foods (kind of the opposite of Morgan Spurlock’s Super-Size Me) which lead to many changes in how I eat, and a thirty day no booze trial which changed absolutely nothing in my life. After reading this book and the author’s claims that the Japanese diet (both food and attitude) are superior to all the developed nations of the world (particularly us fat and lazy Americans), I decided to give it a shot for the next month. I would have posted something in advance, but the bastard Nazis at work have insisted I produce something other than blog posts for my salary.

When (if) I get time over the next few days, I’ll detail the specific foods and concepts involved. In the meantime, here is today’s concept: hara hachi bunme. More on that later.

* * * Update * * *
The trial started yesterday. Here is Sunday’s menu:
Breakfast: slept through it.
Lunch: miso soup with noodles and tofu. I had never tried miso soup before, so I first made one of those organic soup cups. Note – I will be avoiding these and other packaged foods to the best of my ability. The Japanese style of cooking (as detailed in the book) involves using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Anyway, I thought the miso soup was a little bland.
Snack: a tangerine. I’ve never eaten a tangerine either. Hint – not a good snack to eat while lying in bed reading.
Dinner: miso soup (with green onions and tofu) and rice. This homemade soup came out much better than the prepackaged version, although I need to experiment with adding some things like clams, potatoes, and spices.

Breakfast: ramen noodles with shrimp and vegetables. This is another cup of soup meal, but I’m stuck with them until god makes the mornings longer.
Lunch: frozen channa masala and basmati rice. Technically, this is an Asian meal (Indian food counts) and it’s in keeping with the spirit of Japanese cooking, which I’ll talk about if I ever get time. Besides, I’ve still got frozen Indian meals in the refrigerator.
Snack: dried rice and nori (seaweed).
Dinner: soba noodles in a soup base.

I love noodles. If anybody has an easy noodle sauce recipe, let me know.


Mel said...

If you place light soy, honey, fresh ginger and fresh chilli in a pot and gently warm through you will have a lovely noodle sauce.

Anonymous said...

this sounds exciting ~ asian food is amazingly diverse. I think americans don't get a real authentic choice.

i suggest you got to a sushi parlour of japanese restaurant and try some of their own-cooked meals etc.
i always find cup-o-soups put me off good foods. Even miso soup would taste bad.

Blue said...

3/4 cup prepared hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Honey*
4 teaspoons lime juice
4 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. Combine all ingredients. Toss with hot cooked noodles (i.e. vermicelli or Asian ramen), or use as a sauce for stir-fry dishes.

Makes 8 servings.

* May substitute 6 packets Equal sweetener.

PBS said...

A thirty day trial is a good idea. Maybe I should have done it for my new extended family living situation!

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Let me know about that whole "God making morings longer" thing. If it happens there in Atlanta, I am SO there...:)

Grant said...

mel - thanks. Do you use equal parts of the ingredients?

aka fatty - I think most Asian food around here has definitely been Americanized, both in ingredients and especially portion size. I've never had a meal at a Chinese restaurant that wasn't the size of two meals.

bluebolt - that sounds good. I'll probably try it soon with some soba (buckwheat) noodles. Do you heat that, or just mix it cold?

pbs - I've found these trials are great for separating theory from practical application.

pq - the mornings still seem to be as short, but I actually had more energy today and got more done (more in today's post).

pink said...

Actually those meals sound good