Build a Meal

Guruten (Gluten) Stir Fry

Tofu Shirataki Salad (Gluten free Cold Noodle Salad)


BAM 40: Ikura Don (Salmon Roe Rice Bowl), Shitake and Green Onion Osumashi and Salad.

BAM 39: Teriyaki Chicken, Okara salad, Daikon with Chirimen jyako and Rice.

BAM 38: Shake (Salmon) Rice, Satoimo and shimeji miso shiru, hiyayakko with komatsuna and salmon skin daikon oroshi

BAM 37: Sui-gyoza 3 (3 of 3)

BAM 36: Sui-gyoza 2 (2 of 3)

BAM 35: Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, Suigyoza Soup, Eggplant and Bell Pepper Miso Stir fry and Rice

Matsutake Gohan

BAM 33: Yakiniku, Kimchi, Kimchee, Soy Bean Soup and Rice

BAM 32: Wafū Pasta 3: Sansai (Mountain Vegetable) Pasta

BAM 31: Nasu no Tuskemono (Fast and Easy), Turkey Hijiki Niku Dango (Meat Ball), Negitama (Egg and green onion) Miso Soup and Rice

Cooking Perfect Stove Top Japanese Rice (Update)

BAM 30: Okonomiyaki (American-Kitchen)

BAM 29: Okonomiyaki (Buta Tama) (Easy Breezy)

BAM 28: Classic Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki (Buta tama)

BAM 27: Hiyashi Chuka

BAM 26: Southern-Japanese Build-a-Meal featuring Fried Chicken with Umeboshi Honey Dipping Sauce, Tofu Macaroni Salad and Okara Cornbread

BAM 25: Vegan Build-a-Meal Nagaimo Pancake, Lemon Daikon, Myoga and Red Potato Miso Soup and Rice.

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Hijiki & Secret Eating

Monday, October 18th, 2010
Ahhh hijiki. I've sort of had a love hate relationship with hijiki most of my life. It probably started in the 6th grade when I brought hijiki gohan (hijiki rice) to school and the other kids pointed, scrunched their faces and said "ewww" when they saw what I was eating. One kid said I was eating worms and another kid said they were bugs. At first, I tried to reason with the kids and attempted to explain that I was eating seaweed but I think that only made it worse. I was horrified at the response I was getting and quickly packed up my bentobako (Japanese lunch box) and starved the rest of the day. I vowed never to take it to school again. My grandmother and grandfather were visiting and my grandmother put a lot of love into my lunch by getting up early in the morning to make it for me. I felt bad that I hardly touched it for lunch but I ate it as soon as I got home. I told her that she could make it for dinner but I wasn't going to take it to school ever again.

I would like to say that in my adult life I'm no longer afraid to take hijiki to work for lunch but that would be a lie. There are some "weird" Japanese things that I feel more comfortable eating in the comfort of my own home or only around people who are familiar with Japanese food. Unfortunately, I don't think adults are that much better than kids when it comes to unfamiliar foods. Just last week, I had a co-worker ask me questions about what I was eating which was accompanied by a strange look. She's a nice person and I wasn't offended but I guess sometimes I just want to eat in peace. And by eating in peace, I mean eating without getting disgusted looks. I don't mind, however, getting questions from people that are curious about food and are interested in what I'm eating. Usually, most people are just curious but, I will get at least one person who gives me a disgusted look.

Thinking about my early experiences with hijiki has forced me to think about how I have made my lunch decisions. I find that sometimes I will avoid taking leftovers for lunch if it includes ingredients such as hijiki and I'll opt for a good old American sandwich because no one will question my lunch choice. I can eat my sandwich in peace and no one will question how American I am. I realize that I sound a little paranoid writing this but I know there must be other people out there that understands what it is to be a secret eater.

On the flip side, when I was living in Japan, I found that I couldn't drink a coke and eat a classic PB&J without ridicule. I would often get told that A: I drink too much soda like all Americans and B: where's the rice in my lunch? By the way, a PB&J sandwich is the most alien sandwich to Japanese people. I thought it was the most normal sandwich I could think of but I freaked out a co-worker just talking about it one day.

And so it is with great pleasure or great fear that I introduce hijiki as an ingredient that has giving me pleasure and grief over the years. It's a healthy and versatile ingredient and I hope it becomes more popular outside Japan.

Hijiki is dried and sold in packages.
IITS_Hijiki packaged

Hijiki looks like long skinny pieces of wakame twisted up.

Hijiki pieces.

Soak in water for about 30 minutes.
IITS_Hijiki soaking in water

Really? Do they looks like bugs? I think they look like mini kelp.
IITS_Hijiki_soaked in water

HA! The Beastie Boys have a song called Freaky Hijiki. It's a nice song. Not freaky at all. You Tube
tags: Hijiki 
The joys of eating non-"American" food at home. I was never brave enough to bring hijiki to school.
— Vivian, October 24th, 2010
I guess I didn't know what I was getting myself into. At least it's a plant. I usually point out to adults that eating hijiki is at least cleaner than eating a pig. :)
— Umamitopia, October 28th, 2010
Tag List
tags (categories)
Soy Sauce [25]
Dashijiru [23]
Rice [19]
Daikon [14]
Egg [14]
Vegan [13]
Sesame Seed Oil [12]
Katsuobushi [11]
Chicken [11]
Kyuri [9]
Shiso [9]
Mayonnaise [8]
Miso [8]
Tofu [8]
Shoga [8]
Sake [8]
Cabbage [7]
Garlic [7]
Beef [7]
Vegetarian [7]
Pork [6]
Miso soup [6]
Vinegar [6]
Mirin [6]
Age [5]
Umeboshi [5]
Carrots [5]
Carrot [5]
Green Onion [5]
Hakusai [5]

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