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Although I didn’t serve this rice with the fish tacos and bean salad, I think it would go really well with that meal.
This dish is probably the simplest to make and has tons of flavor. The two main ingredients are fresh cilantro and dill.
I always have a huge bunch of cilantro in my fridge. When you bring a bunch home, the key is to wash the cilantro and spread it on your countertop over a thick towel. Let it dry completely- then roll it up in some paper towels and store in a zip lock bag. It keeps in my crisper for a long time and is ready whenever I need it- which is almost everyday.
I have started keeping dill in my fridge as well- I love it’s earthy flavor in rice dishes, curries and especially paired with fish or shrimp. In fact, this summer I am growing some in my backyard. I can’t wait to pick some and add it to a fresh salad- yum!
Anyway, back to the rice dish. You simply make your rice – I like to cook mine in chicken broth to give it an extra boost of flavor. Once the rice is almost done, add some frozen peas on top and place the lid back on. The peas will thaw and soften and won’t over cook. Once the rice is room temperature, add the cilantro and dill- that is it. It is super simple, but the flavor is unbelievable.
Try it with a grilled meal outside- it will go perfectly well with some grilled chicken!
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I love ordering fish tacos in Mexican restaurants. I remember eating my first fish tacos years ago in Los Angeles when my husband was on a project there for a few months and I would go visit him every few weeks.
Those tacos were out of this world. I have never had better ones since- especially here in the Northeast.
Since I have no plans on going to California any time soon, I decide to make the tacos at home.
I went to our local fish monger and got my daughter’s favorite fish- cod. She loves any white fish- especially if it is not too fishy tasting.
I marinated the fish in lemon juice, salt and some olive oil. I then drenched the pieces in some flour and lightly sauteed the fish. The ones you get in the restaurants are fried. I wanted mine lighter and healthier so I merely sauteed them.
I made a fresh, delicious tomato salsa and cut up some avocado chunks. Since my daughter doesn’t like anything very tart, I served her the fish in the tortillas without the condiments.
We enjoyed the tacos with all the condiments and a delicious bean salad on the side- recipe to follow tomorrow.
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This salad is perfect for summer time- no cooking involved. Just put some ingredients together and make your vinaigrette and you have a great side dish to complement anything at all. It is even great as a light meal at the end of the day or for lunch with a fried egg on top.
I made it with the fish tacos (recipe to follow tomorrow). I was going to make a simple green salad but then thought of doing a bean salad instead. I had mangoes and sweet peppers in my fridge and paired them with green onions and cilantro. I always have different kinds of canned beans in my pantry. Beans are super healthy and add great texture to any dish.
The dressing was simply, lime juice, honey, roasted cumin and olive oil. You can’t get this delicious vinaigrette out of a bottle and yet it is so simple to make. I added the dressing to the salad and let it sit for a few hours before serving it with the delicious tacos.
It was a big hit- super healthy and delicious- and best of all, very easy to make.
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Today is our last day in Tokyo- day seven. I am ready to go home but I am in awe of this city and the people. My husband planned this trip- usually I organize our summer vacations but since he is celebrating his fortieth this year, he picked the destination. When he first mentioned Tokyo, I wasn’t too keen- it wasn’t on top of my list of places to visit. I like Japanese food but wasn’t very curious about the cuisine to want to visit. He convinced me by informing me how Tokyo recently took over Paris for the number of Michelin starred restaurants- that really piqued my interest. Once we booked the trip and I started telling my friends, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of them had visited the city and raved about it, especially the food.
Once we got here and looked around, I realized how food is an integral part of this culture. I guess everyone likes to eat- the difference is they do it to perfection. Everything is very lovingly displayed, packed and served. As a tourist, walking around, taking the subway and bus, it is very aparent how thoughtful the whole Japanese culture is.
There is food everywhere, displayed in department stores, on the streets, train stations- really everywhere imaginable. The service is unbelievably warm and the food is amazing. The people are super friendly, very poised and calm. Whoever you look at, they seem happy with what they are doing- even the guy who is sweeping the streets. Everyone does their best- I think that is what makes a society succesful.
If I had to describe this culture in two words- I would use- perfection and moderation. Everything is done to perfection and they do everything in moderation. Even the food flavors are perfectly spiced- not too sweet, salty or tangy.
It was a great pleasure to be here and I have a feeling we will be back….
Day 6 was our second day in Kyoto. As I mentioned the night before, the chef at the hot stone restaurant told me about the most famous knife store in Kyoto (well he called it the most famous in Japan) was called Aritsugu and it was walking distance to our hotel room- what???
My initial plan was to visit the street in Tokyo that has all sorts of kitchen stuff including knives. I was thinking of going there once we get back to Tokyo- but once this new piece of information was passed on to me, it changed everything. I had to go- my husband kept asking me what the big deal was about Japanese knives. He reminded me about the high-end knife set I already enjoy in my kitchen. I told him that the Japanese are famous for their knife making skills and this store has been in business for 460 years- they must be doing something right.
We had our usual breakfast and ventured into the food market. I previously checked on the internet and looked at a map to find out where the store was- it was in the beginning of the market. We got there a little early but the store was open. I had read it is usually super busy and takes a while to get someone to help you. It was my lucky day- it had maybe, two or three customers none of whom were asking any questions. I looked around with huge eyes at the gleaming knives all over the walls. They ranged anywhere from $350 to $600! I certainly was not looking to spend that kind of money. I then turned around and saw some knives in a glass case labled santoku- which is my favorite kind of knife to use. It is a multipurpose knife for cutting vegetables, meat and fish. I love the one I have at home and thought of buying another one. These were more reasonably priced. All the knives have the name of the store engraved on the blade as well as the type of metal. The sales guy, who was extremely helpful told me they could also engrave my name in Japanese if I decide to buy.
After a bit of thinking (didn’t take long), I decided to buy the 8 inch knife. I told the salesguy and he took it to the person who was going to sharpen and engrave my knife. I was given proper care instructions for my gleaming knife. I wrote my name and the salesguy translanted it into Japanese for the engraving. Two minutes later I had my knife in a box wrapped in beautiful paper.
I was thrilled. I planted two big kisses on my husband’s cheeks and decided this is better than buying anything else in the whole world. I can’t wait to unpack this beauty and start using it in my kitchen.
Stay tuned for my closing thoughts on this wonderful trip to Tokyo….