Sunday, June 22, 2014

6 Years, A Gyutan Negi Shio Ramen From KIZO, Gift Cookies And Other Random Ramblings

So I spell Bloggaversary the unpopular way, and I'm quite fine with that. Google will give you the, "Do you mean Blogiversary?" response if searched. I suppose it depends if one is suggesting an Anniversary of being a Blogger vs. the Blog's Anniversary...?

Any case, didn't want to make a deal of the day especially since I wasn't very active a good part the year. I feel I did a decent reintroduction last year so quickly sharing some random photos and the usual accompanied ramblings. :)

Received some cookies from my B-kyu Gurume fan hairstylist as a return thank you from some snacks I brought back earlier from Japan. A couple were from her recent family trip to Hawaii and one from Seikotei in Tokyo.

Seikotei has an interesting history where it started as an organic Yoshoku restaurant in 1982. While the business was successful, their confectionaries, especially the walnut cookies had become immensely popular, to the point they had evolved to focus only on it.

The bite sized Chocolate Walnut Cookies were airy light, not too sweet and delightful. As you can see, the box with various signature squirrel illustrations was also adorable. Thanks again S-san! The Everyday Bentos series were super fun to do and I hope to have better luck finding more volunteers this year.

Was at Mitsuwa Torrance yesterday to try KIZO's Gyutan Negi Shio Ramen (Beef Tongue Scallion Salt Ramen). The showcase was at the usual former Katsuhana stall that was recently replaced by a second Edomae Tendon Hannosuke outlet.

Was refreshing to see as I've long grown out of the milky rich Kyushu Tonkotsu inspired ramens that seem to be the only rage out here. KIZO is produced by the owner of Chibakiya. Curious that they had a similar offering -- a Gyutan Shio Ramen from a visit by Chibakiya back in 2010.

This was pretty good. The simple salt flavored clear soup made mainly with carefully stewed pork bones and beef tendons had a nice amount of body and depth. Things become much more interesting though when the small dollop paste made with garlic, lard and some heavy cream is mixed in.

The extra eggs, which though a nice soft-boil, seemed unmarinated and it with large whole kikurage mushrooms drove the price up to $12. Nice, but if I have this bowl again I'd probably pass on these and instead have a couple extra slices of the great beef tongue for the money. Standard toppings are the green onions (said three types are used) the earlier mentioned garlic paste and two slices of delectable ultra tender beef tongue.

Noodles were custom made for KIZO by Sun Noodle and interesting. Whiter in color, medium firm, and a chijire crinkly. Reminded me a lot of what was used in the Kitakata Ramen of Tanaka Sobaten or maybe a thinner version of what's used in Okinawa Soba. The crinkles help bring up the soup during slurpage and its subtle flavor I thought went well with the bowl.

The Gyutan Dry Curry ($4) was decent which had a moist pilaf like consistency. I prefer ones that are more like fried rice where the pan heat brings out the flavor and aroma of the curry spice. This was still good though, especially with some leftover ramen soup poured over halfway through. ;)

As usual I'm not that great at covering the rest of the fair but most Mitsuwa Events usuals where there.

I picked up a bottle of Mentsuyu from Aji no Hyoshiro since I was low at home. Had a good dried bonito flavor and nice olfactory aromatics which tend to be drowned out in other cheaper brands. Unrelated to the fair, I thought the new Onigiri rice ball wrappers printed with an image of the contents were kinda cool.

So after all this it may be hard to believe that I've been on a low-carb diet for some time now. You're allowed a cheat day once in a while, so during I try to make the most of it. More typical, below is a Paleo Bread which I used this recipe. Was pretty decent for what it was, the texture more like a denser nut bread. I recommend more this Paleo Banana Nut Bread though which I've made several times (slightly modified, minus the Almond Butter replaced by instead Almond Meal with a tbsp of coconut oil).

With the plain bread though I was able to make some Paleo Crab Cakes. Basically followed a classic Maryland style Crab Crake recipe and used it grated vs. the regular bread crumbs. I didn't account for the sodium already included in Old Bay Seasoning so it turned out a little on the salty side but still pretty good. I'd like to do this again with jumbo lump.

Last, despite some initial hiccups, my Myoga plant that was given to me by a friend seems to finally be taking root. They grow like weeds in Japan but here can be up to $2.99 for a single bulb, which is the unbloomed flower of the plant. Planting this wouldn't produce a plant and you need to get ahold of the rhizome root.

If all goes well I think my next challenge will be Shiso. A Myoga and Shiso Paradise out back like tulip fields in Holland!


K and S said...

wow myoga & shiso that would be awesome!

K and S said...

forgot to add happy bloggaversary! looking forward to your posts :)

Jinxi said...

Happy Bloggaversary Dennis! I'm so glad to have met you through blogging :) Let's do lunch sometime!

caninecologne said...

Yay! Happy Bloggaversary! I really enjoy your blog and your detailed and quirky posts. I second Jinxi. Lunch soon while I'm still on vacay?

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Kat! That's my goal anyway...

Thanks Jinxi! Let's keep in touch. :)

Thanks CC! I didn't know you were still on vacay. I should be able to do something on the weekend. Will email...

Junichi said...

Didn't realize you were back to blogging. Happy bloggaversary! I contemplated driving up to Torrance yesterday but ended up staying in SD to watch the US / Portugal game. What a roller-coaster that was! The ramen looks good. It's a pretty popular shop in Tokyo with lines usually. A bowl costs 1100 yen so I'm glad they didn't inflate the prices for America.

Dennis K. said...

Hey Junichi! Yeah, I was about to email you but was one of those spontaneous things again. As I was looking through my photos I realized I hadn't posted on the bowl we had together yet! Will do soon.
I visited Tokyo Ramen Street my last trip and tried Honda and Rokurinsha. Nice to be able to have great bowls like it in such a convenient location.
KIZO's bowl was a bit pricey but nice. Just glad to sample something that wasn't kyushu tonkotsu inspired...