What i ate in Japan

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I have just been on holiday in Japan, I was only there for a week, since it was part of a trip where I also attended a wedding in Thailand, so a lot of flying back and forth and a lot of eating amazing food. We were mostly in the Tokyo area, so a lot of the different food featured in this blog post is from Tokyo. Japan has as most people know, a very different food culture and they really make amazing food, it’s impossible to try everything in a week, but here are some of my highlights…well and there also was a few low points for example octopus balls, little round octopus dough balls called Tokoyaki, read all about in this post, and all about what to eat when you are in Japan.

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Cake!!!!! I wanna start with cake because even though it maybe looks more like something you would find in Paris, it right there in Tokyo, and the Japanese appreciate these little pieces of art, just as much as the french people does. So we went to Isetan, an amazing department store, in the basement they have som many different kinds of cakes, that you could ever dream of, this one was a raspberry and chocolate cake, that i wolfed down in about 30 seconds or less, yummy. You can also get bento boxes there, where you mix your own, my recommendation is to bring it all to the beautiful Goyen national park and eat it there, we were so lucky that the cherry blossom was peaking at that time, so we had an amazing experience.

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And now for something a bit more Japanese: Tempura. Tempura is mostly vegetables and seafood I batter, deep fried, do I need to say more? It tasted so great, and was something I ate a lot on this trip, but be aware, after visiting one of these tempura places, you will smell of deep fried food until you shower and wash your clothes, but it’s worth it of course.

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No way you are going to Japan without visiting a Yakitori bar, this one was right in the middle of Shinjuku, just before we went to see the famous Robot Show. This place only served Yakitori, wich is skewered and grilled meat and vegetables, this one was three kinds of chicken: Skin (oh so good), chicken thigh and chicken breast. For me it was kind of weird that this is the only thing they had, but it’s mostly like that in Japan, they have one thing on the menu and then they are damn good at it. And these Yakitori bars are amazing, filled with Japanese businessmen, drinking sake, smoking cigarettes and yelling all over the place, whats not to like? 🙂

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Now you probably think what the f…utch is this? Wel it was my snacks before going to see the Robot Show, the most insane experience ever, a MUST try if you ever find yourself in Tokyo. The menu was green candy floss, sparkling canned chardonnay and tequila jello shots, I also ate caramel popcorn, but it didn’t made it to the picture. So you can say that the menu was just as tacky as the show, it couldn’t be better 🙂

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The purple ice cream is made of taro, wich is a root used a lot in the Asian kitchen, the lovely glazed pieces with sesame seeds are actual taro, both was delicious and can be found on the street corners in Tokyo.

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Wagyu beef, excellent meat, in our case we went to one of these places where you grill your food at your own table, and consume it with lot’s of beer and sake. This was really a great evening, and the whole idea of cooking you food at the table is very popular in Tokyo, so make sure to make a reservation, it was really hard for us to get a table. As side orders for the meat, we got differents kinds of omelet (more Korean, than Japanese), with all kinds of vegetables, cheese and kimchi, so delicious.

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Have you ever heard of Taiyaki? The ultimate street food dessert. it’s like a waffle, shaped like a fish, filled with custard!!! I’m just gonna let it sink in… I had one with vanilla cream and one with cherry custard…best day of my life…or well you know, you get the point, it was good.

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Udon noodle are thick silky noodles, and they are so so good We had the Noodle at a place called Udon Mentsu-Dan, where you order your noodle first and you go get your beer and tempura afterwards. A very low key place, with a good atmosphere.

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Next amazing thing on the menu was Okonomiyaki, it’s kind of pancake-omelette thing, we went to a place in Shibuya called Sakuratei, its a place where you have to make it yourself, most places there is a chef cooking it for you, but it thought it could be fun to make it myself, and be aware if you do, again your clothes will smell the rest of the day, fortunately, all most every place in Japan make you smell of food, so nobody really notice. But you order from the menu and then you get this bowl, mine was with cheese, ham, cabbage. pickled daikon, pickled ginger, egg and something crispy I’m not sure what really was . Then you mix it all fry it on the hot plate, grease it with the sweet syrup kind of thing there is on the table, serve it with lots of Japanese mayo on it, and try to eat it without looking like an idiot 🙂

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Ahh Sushi, no Japan without sushi….or?? I only got it once on my trip, and was actually our splurge evening where we went to Keio Plaza Hotel and ate at their Sushi restaurant, and I’m just going, to be honest here, it was in my opinion not worth is, if you are going to eat Sushi in Tokyo, go to the fish market, it is much cheaper, probably the freshest in the city, and you can pick just the sushi you like, no need for eating sea urchin, like there was on my plate, if you don’t want to (if you want to, go for it).

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While we are one the Fishmarket subject, then i would like to highlight some of the other things they had out there: sesame ice cream, something everybody should try, it tastes so good. The rest of the things I ate out there I have no idea what was, but it was ehhh… well can you say squid on a stick?? It was all kinds of squid mixed with dough and vegetables, cooked and put on a stick, some of them tasted very fishy, some the ones with the corn was great, and a good little afternoon snack.

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Maybe your thinking now, this does not look very delicious, but damn it was!!! Another amazing thing about Japan is that they expect everything is of really good quality, even the dessert you buy drunk in the middle of the night at 7eleven. This is a chocolate mousse with whipped cream and topped with a creme brulee and a brownie, it was like going to heaven…or you know just your own little dessert paradise. I had to buy one the next day, just to be sure it was really that good, and it was.

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And for the best Ramen and Gyoza, often sold as the only two things on the menu, but with lots of different variations. I had it several times on our trip and the quality is always amazing, and it just tastes so good. The ramen broth usually comes as a chicken broth or one with bonito, if your no too crazy about the fishy taste you find in most Japanese food, get the one with the chicken base, but you should definitely try the other one too.

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And now back to the famous squid balls. In the area around Hozomon gate sensoji temple, there are so much street food and I wanted to try it all, especially these squid balls I had read about, and they do look delicious, bu they were not for me, when I took a bite of them they were filled with chewy octopus arms and fishy liquid, maybe they were just not good at the place we bought some, if I ever go to Japan again I will try them at another place, and the teriyaki chicken and soba noodles were so good, so everything was perfect 🙂

This was all for now of my Japan food guide, hope you enjoyed reading it, and remember you are always welcome to ask questions.

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Italian week: Recipe for Orecchiette with salsiccia and a guide for Puglia

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I really love to travel, and this year has not been an exception, I have already been in Thailand, Italy and France. When I went to Italy, we stayed in the Puglia Region, and it was amazing, so beautiful and they make so much amazing food. We spent a few days in Alberobello first, where I had this delicious pasta dish with broccoli and Italian sausage, and it quickly became my new favorite dish, I have tried to recreate it the best I could and the result turned out great, but first a little highlight of what to do when you are in Alberobello… a little hint is: EAT ALL THE TIME, well there also was time to go see these little cute Trulli Houses:Alberobello guide

These houses are all over the town, and it is also possible to rent them to live in them, we did and it was so cozy. Trulli Houses are on UNESCOS world heritage list, and they really give the little town a special look, and is a must see if you are in Puglia. The first records of Trulli being built in Puglia date from around the 14th century. The likely reason for their design was to create housing that could be easily demolished, enabling the feudal lord to avoid paying taxes on new settlements as well as making it easy to remove unwanted tenants.

The rest of Alberobello is just as great as the Trulli houses, there are literally food everywhere, from small cheese shops to markets where you can buy all sorts of olives. Every day for lunch I had a pasta or pizza, but for entrée always the same, my new passion when it comes to cheese: Burrata with Parma ham. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it a crazy good flavor. OMG I am so sad that you can’t just buy this cheese in a normal supermarket in Denmark.

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When you are in Puglia it is possible to eat very cheap, and still get amazing food, but if you want to splurge a little, then there are a Michelin restaurant, it is not near as expensive as when you eat Michelin Food in Denmark, but is still cost a bit more than all the other restaurants we visited. The place is called Il Poeta Contadino, and it has been there for ages, we talked to the head chef, and he was really nice and told a lot about the place. If you are a wine enthusiast, this is also the place to go, I have never seen such a huge wine menu, it was a book with around 200 pages. Here is a little selection of the food we had that evening, only local food and ingredients.

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So this was all I had about Alberobello. But back to this week’s recipe:  Orecchiette with salsiccia (Orecchiette actually means little ear, how cute is that?). If you have trouble finding the Orecchiette pasta, then you can just substitute for another, just make sure it is a good pasta, life is too short for low quality pasta. I have bought the Italian sausage salsiccia in a chain called Irma, but you can also get it at your butcher.

Ingredients for 2-3 persons:

250 gram Orecchiette

200 gram Italian sausage

1 deciliter of the pasta water

1 medium broccoli

1 tbs. olive oil

1 deciliter grated parmesan cheese / you can also use pecorino

1 tbsp. Dried chili flakes

3 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and boil according to the bags directions.

In the meantime, in a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Pour the sausage into the sauté pan and fry, until lightly browned, add the garlic; cook for 1 minute more.

Add the rem, broccoli, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook, until the broccoli is tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the pasta water, and add the parmesan cheese, simmer for a few minutes.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan.

Serve it with a littl emore grated cheese.

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Tips til din næste ferie (og hvad du skal spise) – Koh Lipe i Thailand

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Jeg har været i Thailand rigtig mange mange gange, og sidste gang gik turen til Koh Lipe. Jeg prøver så vidt muligt at besøge et nyt sted, hver gang jeg er i Thailand, med undtagelse af Bangkok, Bangkok er en by man kan besøge igen og igen, helt klar på min top 3 over verden bedste byer. Men sidste gang gik turen til Koh Lipe, den ultimative paradis ø, den er endnu ikke blevet helt så ødelagt som Phi Phi øerne, og den har den perfekte kombination af de lækreste madsteder, som ikke er blevet så turistet at curryen ikke smager af noget, og at der stadig er alt det man skal bruge. Den ultimative slappeaf Ø, det skal dog siges at der stadig er god mulighed for at feste, hvis du gerne vil det. Og en anden ting, som er super vigtig for mig, du kan snorkle direkte fra stranden(hvis du bor på Sunrise Beach), jeg eeeelsker at snorkle, og har endnu ikke taget mig sammen til at tage et dykkercertifikat, så det at man bare kan smutte ud i vandet og snorkle, er super fedt 🙂

IMG_3846Vi boede på noget der hedder Cast Away Resort, det ultimative sted man kan bo, men små og større hytter lige ned til vandet, og selv om det er det absolut bedste sted at bo, så er det langt fra det dyreste på Koh Lipe.

Og hvad kan man så lave på Koh Lipe? Jo der ikke så meget andet at lave end at slappe af og snorkle…. jo det skulle da lige være at spise 🙂 Der er virkelig god mad på Koh Lipe, så hvis du er en foodie lige som mig, så kan du sagtens få mange dage til at gå der. Eftersom de store kulturelle oplevelser måske er lidt begrænset på sådan en lille ø, plejer jeg at kombinere det med en weekend i en storby, denne her gang startede vi ud med at par dage i Kuala Lumpur (det kommer der et indlæg om for sig selv), inden vi tog videre til Koh Lipe…. Men nu tilbage til maden, meget vigtigt 🙂

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Ommenomme, sådan her så en typisk frokost ud for mig på Koh Lipe (I Thailand bestiller mand som regel flere retter, og deler med alle ved bordet. Det er jo den PERFEKTE måde at spise på for mig, så kan man smage meget mere 🙂 Her på billedet ser du: Fried Som Tam, Pad Thai, Larb Moo med sticky rice og forårsruller. Maden på billedet her er fra Cast Away’s retaurant, hvor man sidder på jorden ved små borde og spiser, det er så hyggeligt.

Jeg elsker virkelig Thaimand, jeg tror det er noget af det eneste mad jeg aldrig kunne blive træt af, her er mit bud på de bedste retter, jeg fik serveret, ud over dem du ser på billedet oven for:

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#1 Som Tam Salad

Den ultimative mest lækre friske salat, der er lavet af umoden papaya, long beans og hvad kokken ellers finder på at putte i, den har den perfekte balance af surt og sødt, og så er den super spicy, 100% en ret du aldrig bliver træt af.

 

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#2 Pomelo Salad

Endnu en salat der kan spises meget af uden du bliver træt af den, den her var i særklasse og en jeg ville rejse til Koh Lipe til igen, bare for at smage. Hovedingrediensen i den her var selvfølgelig pomelo, og ud over det er der rejer cashewnødder, ristet kokos og kokosmælk i….mine tænder løber i vand bare ved tanken om det…..

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#3 Grilled Seafood

Hvis du bevæger dig over på den strand der hedder Sunset Beach, vil du finde masser af steder, hvor der er beach barbecue, og der kan du få alt den grillede seafood du begærer, jeg er helt vild med rejer og blæksprutte grillet i hvidløgsmarinade.

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#4 Green Curry

Jeg elsker stort set alle thai curries, men hvis jeg skulle sige jeg har en favorit er den green curry, det er et must når du er i Thailand.

Hvad kan man ellers lave på Koh Lipe….? Som skrevet, så er det virkelig et sted hvor man kan slappe rigtig meget af, men hvis man gerne vil ud og opleve noget, så kan man leje en logtail boat, få hotellet til at lave et par sandwich til dig, og så ellers bare tage på Island Hopping, på de små øer der ligger i nærheden, mange af dem kan man snorkle ud fra stranden, og flere af stederne har lidt “jungle”, så du kan komme på en lille trekkingtur (husk et par ordentlige sko)

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Og ellers bare nyd øen mens du er der, aftenerne er fantastisk smukke, og der er endnu ikke kommet det techno/bas helvede der på mange andre øer i Thailand, så man kan bare nyde stilheden….IMG_0873

Og hvis man gerne vil feste, er der også rig mulighed for det, både mere low key på stranden……

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Og med masser af Mojitos og Singhaøl på barerne inde midt på øen 🙂

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Jeg håber det har været interessant læsning, også selv om det ikke lige var en opskrift der kom på bloggen denne gang, næste gang jeg laver et indlæg om rejse/madtips til ferien, bliver den om Kuala Lumpur, og du kan godt glæde dig, den by er så fantastisk, og har så mange ting at byde på i forhold til mad og forskellige madkulturer, som er meget præget af både det kinesiske og indiske.

Tak til alle jer der læser med her, stil endelig spørgmål, hvis i har nogen i forhold til hvordan man kommer der ned, eller andet 🙂

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