My lunch today -tonkatsu-

31 May

I decided to add a new type of post where I simply share what an average Japanese (=me!) eats everyday.
What kind of food do you imagine from Japanese foods? Sushi, sashimi, tempura, sukiyaki, yakiniku, unagi…? These are basically not for everyday cooking, because they are expensive. ^ ^; We also eat a lot of western foods, fast food, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian foods, too and we like to arrange them as we like! I wish I could make my cooking videos but unfortunately that’ll be too much work for a moment.

Sometimes my foreign friends are surprised to hear that I don’t like Japanese foods so much. I need to explain this more. I like certain Japanese foods such as teriyaki flavored meat or fish, westernized Japanese foods such as hamburger steak seasoned with Japanese sauce and grated Japanese radish, and noodles such as ramen, somen, soba, and udon. But I don’t like our foods such as grilled fish, simmered vegetables, tofu as it is, miso, okonomiyaki and takoyaki very much. But I try to eat them sometimes because they are good for health and my husband likes Japanese foods. I don’t like Japanese desserts (wagashi, yokan, dango, anmitsu, anything with maccha flavor and etc.) so much either (manju and taiyaki is OK), while I like western desserts especially baked confectionery such as cookie, financier, waffle, crepe and etc.

Thus, this post will reflect my preferences but I hope you can at least get the image of day-to-day diet sample of an average Japanese. I wouldn’t say “Japanese woman”, because I believe I eat more than most of average young women. (lol) Most of them like to have very small meals and possibly some sweets inbetween meals. Well, since this experiment, I changed my breakfast from an egg, sausages, and a slice of bread with a cup of coffee to a glass of carrot and apple fresh juice and a tiny sweet bun. I make fresh juice every morning now, which I will refer to later on my blogpost. (It’s worth for a post.)

Menu
-Tonkatsu とんかつ (deep fried pork) with tonkatsu sauce and mustard
-Kyabetsu no sengiri キャベツの千切り (shredded cabbage)
-tomato and avocado
-Ingen no goma ae いんげんのごま和え(kidney beans dressed with miso, sugar, and sesame)
-steamed rice
I could have added miso soup to this lunch, but that’ll be too much. To tell you the truth, I barely fix miso soup lately. I found an old miso pack that was best before something 2008 in a fridge the other day. haha…^ ^;

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46 Responses to “My lunch today -tonkatsu-”

  1. Ilaria May 31, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi Kirin!
    おいしそう!!!
    Tonkatsu reminds me of Lunch Queen :p
    I still wonder which brother ended up marrying Natsumi!!
    😉

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 4:54 am #

      Hi Ilaria ^ ^
      I don't know that drama…haha…I know many of my foreign friends and blog readers watch Japanese dramas and animes a lot more than I do. As a result I don't know anything even though I am located in Japan where I can access Japanese TV programs anytime if I want to.

      ps. The situation changed and I cannot go to north Europe this summer. 😦

      • Ilaria June 1, 2010 at 11:14 am #

        Dorama is really a good and funny way to learn spoken language!
        It seems that in Japan there are a lot of "food-otaku". It's really amazing the Japanese attention for every single detail, even for food!

        I'm really sorry that you cannot go!!
        Are you planning to go somewhere else around the end of July?
        Cause I'm still very interested in that concert!!

      • kirin June 1, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

        Many of us are particular about foods. ^ ^ I think Japanese food culture is very matured. It's said Japanese chefs can make any cuisines as close to as the original tastes. I also hear that Italian chefs for example do not want Japanese chefs to open an Italian restaurant in Italy because it's threatening their business. That's only part of the story I hear from someone who was living in Florence, though…

        ps. I have no plan now for the summer. Thus, you can contact me on the concert matter to discuss again if you have not found anyone else to help on that.

      • Ilaria June 2, 2010 at 8:15 am #

        I've never heard about it!
        But I wouldn't be surprised if this came out true!!
        When I was in Tokyo I had one of the best pizza I have ever eaten!!!

        About the concert, actually I haven't looked for anyone else to help, so I will contact you for sure soon! 🙂

      • kirin June 3, 2010 at 12:42 am #

        Tell me the name of the pizza restaurant! I want to try it that even Italian people say it's great. XD
        OK, now we will discuss the concert suff again in the emails later.

      • Ilaria June 4, 2010 at 6:07 am #

        The name is "La chiocciola", it's in Akihabara.
        Check it out and let me know what you think!

      • kirin June 6, 2010 at 2:03 am #

        Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely go check it out!! (^0^) I love pizza!

  2. exotic_japan May 31, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Looks delicious. 🙂

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:12 am #

      Thanks. 🙂 But I feel like eating it only when I am very hungry. When I was a teenager, I could eat tonkatsu from breakfast but not any longer…^ ^;

      • exotic_japan June 1, 2010 at 5:42 am #

        I had it for lunch today. :-)_____________________Thomas GantzTom@ThomasGantz.com

      • kirin June 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

        Was this post a trigger to that? ^__^ hehehe…

  3. Phil May 31, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Nice post – everyone is interested in food! This looks like a very balanced and tasty meal with reasonable portions. A problem many Americans have, sometimes including me, is keeping the portions size small. When I was in Japan I often took pictures of the my meals (Japanese restaurant meals are often so beautiful!). But when I showed the pictures to people here they often commented, "too small!" or "not enough food!". That's why the U.S. has a big obesity problem.

    I'm impressed that most Japanese I've observed do say "itadikamasu" before eating. I know that "gochiso samadeshta" is said at the end of a meal, but I haven't heard many people say this. Can you comment more about these two expressions?

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:00 am #

      I'm going to make a video about basic Japanese "aisatsu" or greetings where I will include them.
      You haven't heard many people say Itadakimasu and Gochisosama. Right. Are you talking about an adult who has a meal alone? Are you also talking about men? Usually when we are alone, many people may skip saying Itdakimasu and Gochisosama. Men may feel embarrassed to stay so polite themselves. ^ ^;

      But how about grade school kids at a school lunch? They say Itadakimasu and Gochisosama all together. They are forced to say them all at once. Women often say them even if they grew up and if they have to have meals alone. (I sometimes forget.)

  4. courtney May 31, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I for one love Tonkatsu! and i also love Chicken Katsu, i evn make them myself at home. my 5 year old sister love it too, but i have to make hers speically, as she cant eat anything with gluten in it (wheat, barley ect..) Me and my sister love lots of different japanese foods and im always trying to cook knew things for the both of us to try out at home! and also finding ways to convert them into gluten free dishes.

    Im not that suprised to hear that you dont like japanese foods that much, because i myself dont like english foods all that much ^^;

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:09 am #

      You are such a nice girl who cares about your sister~. ^ ^
      Speaking of English foods, OMG, I rarely have any good impressions on them. The U.K was my first foreign country where I stayed a month when I was 16 years old. The food given by the host family was so terribly tasteless that I couldn't eat it well. I was always hungry looking for proper food I like to eat. But unfortunately there was no pre-fixed foods such as sandwich sold at a local supermarket. As it turned out, I kept eating KitKat and I gained 6kg when I returned to Japan. (T_T) I have not been to the U.K since then. I think I was in bad luck then. Your food must be better than this by now…So I want to go to the U.K to experience better foods!

  5. Sedonia Guillone May 31, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    That looks so good. I like tonkatsu myself.

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:13 am #

      Oh, you have tasted it, too. 🙂

      • sedonia2 June 1, 2010 at 5:34 am #

        Yes – there is a wonderful Japanese restaurant where we live and I've had it there. Very good!

  6. Emily May 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Reading this post made me hungry for Tokyo Steakhouse which is a great American/Japanese restaurant where I live 🙂 I like trying different foods as I'm getting bored with eating the same stuff. I'm fixing some cheese steak sandwiches tonight for dinner 🙂

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:15 am #

      Cheese steak sandwiches…sounds yummy~. I love cheese! But cheeses are basically imported from Europe in Japan and so they are very expensive. 😦

  7. megan May 31, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    The tonkatsu looks tasty!

    From what I've heard, crepes in Japan are actually different from the ones from France. I've only had the Japanese kind so I don't know the exact difference though.

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:27 am #

      I have never had crepes in France, but when you talk about the crepe sold in Harajuku, especially wrapped for take away, that'll be Japanese style, I guess. But we have a crepe cafe like this http://www.le-bretagne.com/e/top.html in Japan, which looks like true to the original. (They have branch restaurants in France, too) I want to go to one of their restaurants in Kawasaki, but somehow I've missed the chance so far.

      • megan June 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

        Oh, okay!

        I actually have a crepes recipe which I've thought about trying.

  8. Nelson May 31, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    That looks really delicious. I love Tonkatsu. Actually my favorite is the Nagoya variant Miso Katsu. It’s so good.

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:30 am #

      Miso katsu is a typical popular food of Nagoya. I thought I liked it better than ours, but not so much in fact, which is because I don't like miso that much. I lately found that I like soy sauce much more than miso. That's why I don't take miso ramen, either.

  9. Maria May 31, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Your lunch looks yummy 🙂 Much yummier than mine to be honest. Mine was bean stew with maccaroni 😀 I was lazy today and made easy food. I don't know if it's what Finns usually eat. I'm not sure what other people eat 😀 My husband adds meat to his portion.
    About you portion, I think it's about normal size. I'd like to think I eat the same amount on my main meal of the day.
    You display the food quite nicely, I usually just put everything on the same plate or separete cold and hot pieces.

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:36 am #

      Thank you. 🙂
      I think it is Japanese way that we separate foods by dishes. That's why we have to wash so many dishes. Nowadays
      we have dishwashers to help us do that, but we have to keep different sized /shaped dishes all the time. 😦

      Also, I am not sure if I can be a good example of an average Japanese diet, but I found it at least interesting to be shared with my blog readers. 🙂

  10. Cath May 31, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    OMG!!! I've no time to read now but I'm so THRILLED!!! Thank you Kirin!

  11. Cath June 1, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    Interesting post! When I was younger, I didn't like Chinese food at all. Over here in Singapore, as you already know, we're really spoilt for choice. It's so ironic to here people not know what to eat. Anyway, yes please do the post on fruit juice. My father in law brought us a juicer but I hate using it cos it's very very difficult to wash! And I can't juice anything in the morning when the kids are sleeping. -____-!!

    I see the words "千切" in shredded cabbage. It means "a thousand cut" in chinese. n_n

    Hahah… do you think your expired miso will become nato? Haha… I think not…

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:42 am #

      Cath, I'm happy you liked this sort of post, too. (Funny you commented before you read it, too. ^ ^)
      Yes, I think I must share this juice stuff as it is really good for our health.

      千切 exactly means "a thousand cut" in Japanese from the kanji itself.
      Maybe it refers to thousand of shredded pieces. ^ ^;

  12. Apple June 1, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    this is so interesting!!

    i have a japanese friend who don’t like japanese food too! she hates fish, sushi, tofu, and matcha. she was my first japanese friend, so i was surprised!! hahahaha!

    my japanese friend said that i may be more japanese than her because i love japanese food and i cook them regularly too~~ ^_^

    my favourite is tonkatsu! hehe! and i LOVEEEE anything that is green tea flavoured! i think green coloured food looks very appetising!! hahahaa!

    do you know youtube channel cookingwithdog??? hahaa! i love watching that channel!!

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

      LOL That sounds so similar to mine.
      I think I know the youtube channel. There are many good cooking videos, and so I may not need to make anything because my readers can google how to cook it if I mention the name of the dish. ^ ^

  13. Amanda June 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    This is a great post! I really am interested in seeing what Japanese people usually eat. 🙂 You know the goma-ae on your vegetables, does that come in a bottle like dressing? As you can probably tell by my youtube and twitter names, I really like goma lol, so it'd be great if you could recommend a brand of goma-ae for me. ^_^ It's okay if it's japan only, I can order it from rakuten.

    • kirin June 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

      Goma-ae is not from dressing, we usually make it from sesame, miso, sugar, and soy sauce. I'll make a simple video how I do this because goma-ae is adaptable to spinach or any kind of vegetables if you want.

      Now I know why your twitter/youtube account name has "sesame" in it! (lol) If you like it so much, have you tried goma dressing (different from goma-ae) that we use to eat with shabushabu or over steamed vegetables or thinly sliced pork? I personally prefer soy sauce taste to goma taste, and so I didn't introduce that way at anywhere in my "Japanese foods" page, but many people do love goma dressing!

      • Amanda June 4, 2010 at 12:47 am #

        Yeah I love goma dressing! 😀 But I usually have it on salad and haven't tried it on steamed vegetables so I should try that. 🙂 Thanks!

        I did make some goma-ae myself once using a recipe online but it wasn't as good as when I had it in Japan. 😦 That recipe didn't have miso in it though so I'd like to hear your one. Videos are a lot of effort to make though so I don't mind if you just want to write it. 🙂

      • kirin June 6, 2010 at 2:33 am #

        OK. I thought I've gotta to show you the tools (mortar and pestle) to grind sesame seeds, but as you've already tried, you know these tools, right? Did you fry sesame seeds on the heated pan without oil before you ground them? That process makes sesame seeds smell very well. I personally use honey or sweet syrup such as maple tree syrup instead of sugar because it's easy to be mixed with miso.

        Well, to be honest, I personally use only miso and honey to mix with ground sesame seeds. (Honey is usually sweeter than sugar. ) I don't add soy sauce, but it seems that using soy sauce instead of miso is a major way. Some people do half and half, because miso for goma-ae is considered as secret ingredient. I never measure with table spoons when I cook. (lol) So…it's kinda difficult to tell you here. But I hope you can find your way to make it better. Actually miso + honey + ground sesame seeds = good, even thogh I don't like miso or goma so much. Good luck! 😀

  14. Yuri June 5, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    LOLL Kirin… in this photo U looked like U are praying before U want to eat 😛
    do u like butterfish? i like butterfish sashimi…. but what do U call butterfish in nihongo? itz like sliced white fish…some people call it white tuna…. but itz not tuna, so what do U think? i'm confused now 😦

    • kirin June 6, 2010 at 2:09 am #

      We do that, because we thank livestock, vegetables and grains that all sacrifice thier lives to us. It's not for praying, it's rather showing many thanks to them. Thanks to their lives we can keep our lives on going.

      I don't know butterfish but it's translated into "managatsuo" in Japanese, according to a dictionary.

  15. Anna Begum June 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    i love to eat asian foods because they are tasty and spicy.:*`

    • kirin June 22, 2010 at 8:40 am #

      Japanese foods are not spicy, unlike most of Asian foods. haha…^ ^;

  16. jianing23 July 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Looks so good! D:

  17. Alucard September 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    How are other people make tonkatsu very brown with lots of breading? I've following the method of using flour, bread crumbs(plain), and egg(or 1/2 egg when making 1 or 2 tonkatsu only). I grew up in a family who are both Japanese and filipino. I've recently started cooking japanese crusine than the usual american and filipino dishes. Sadly I couldn't make those kind of dishes sadly cause in photos and videos it look professionally done. very brown and looks crunchy. What am I doing wrong here?

    • kirin September 8, 2010 at 12:12 am #

      Did you wait the oil to be heated as hot as you see bubbles when you put chopsticks inside, before you actually fry tonkatsu? It's said the oil must be 180 degrees or so but usually we don't measure it. Instead bubbles are good sign. I would do this test. Just simply put a piece of bread crumbs into the heated oil. If it goes up with bubbles, it's a good sign, you can now put tonkatsu there. If not, the temperature of the oil is still not hot enough. It looks no problem on flour, bread crumbs, and egg that you use, so I suppose your problem is the oil. When the oil is not hot enough, batter coating maybe easily go off, and of it's not colored well.

      Hope this helps. 😉

      • Alucard September 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

        Oh I did that method with the brumb crumbs and cooked it for 3-4 minutes before flipping it over. I noticed it didn't brown pretty much so I just leave it for a while before flipping it over again. Pretty weird that it won't brown it much.

      • kirin September 9, 2010 at 2:35 am #

        Hmmm…really weird. 😦 But tasted OK?

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