The FooDorama Challenge: I Watch It, I Try It!

✈✈YOSH━━━- d(゚∀゚)b-━━━SHA!! ✈✈

Jdorama Inspiration: Attention Please

Attention Please is an 11 episode drama shown from April to June, 2006 on FujiTV. It’s about Misaki Yoko (Ueto Aya), a tomboyish, happy-go-lucky girl who suddenly finds herself training for the job of a cabin attendant just so she could wear the uniform for the man she cares for.  She later finds out that being a flight attendant is more than just the uniform, safety demonstrations, and serving airline food. It was an experience that ultimately changes her from a flighty (pun intended) punk girl to a happier and mature young woman.

Attention Please is one of my favorite drama/comedies.  It’s funny and entertaining, and Ueto Aya is always a delight to watch.  It also had 2 SPs: one in 2006 which took place in Hawaii while the 2008 SP happened in Sydney, Australia.

It also stars Ryo Nishikido; but too bad that he wasn’t in the last SP so his supposedly love angle with Aya’s character didn’t anymore materialize.

More on Attention Please ✈ click here.

Jdorama Food: Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba is a simple noodle dish served cold on a zaru (basket) and dipped in a sauce called mentsuyu or tsuyu before eating. The noodles used for this is called soba which is made from buckwheat flour. It is topped with dried nori flakes (if not, then it is just simply called mori soba).

It is a recipe ideally served during hot days of the summer. So what better time to have this dish than now when our current weather is so mercilessly hot!

The Jdorama Connection: In Episode 2, Yoko and her co-trainees, Yayoi and Yuki eat zaru soba at the noodle shop that belongs to Yayoi’s dad.

Yoko (Ueto Aya) teaches Yuki the ‘proper’ way to eat zaru soba: “Take a lot of noodles with your chopsticks. Dip it in the sauce and then…. SSSLLLUUURRRPP!!!

The girls’ zaru soba served on a flat bamboo basket plate along with bowls of mentsuyu. This meal is called ten zaru soba if accompanied with tempura.

The FooDorama Challenge: Cooling down with Zaru Soba

Looking at pictures of this dish had me thinking to just order it in a resto. I initially thought it would be complicated with the interesting presentation and all but as I read the recipes, it wasn’t really hard at all.

The last time I checked, there were ready-made dipping sauces (mentsuyu) available in the Asian section of a regular supermarket (left pic).  However, I did not buy one because I was set on making it myself.

What to buy: I bought soba noodles (Iwate brand), mirin, and Kikkoman soy sauce which are all available in supermarkets. Ajinomoto granulated dashi is also available in SM supermarkets but it is very expensive (nevertheless, one pack can be used for many other dishes and can last a long time anyway).  Dried nori is also essential to this dish.

To make the tsuyu: make your base first which is the dashi by adding 1 tablespoon of dashi powder to 2 cups of boiling water (you don’t have to use all of the dashi; just store it in the ref for future use). When done, heat 2 tablespoons of mirin in a separate sauce pan for a few minutes, then add half a cup of the pre-made dashi and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.  Let it cool or refrigerate it before serving.

Or you can make 2 cups worth of tsuyu which you can use some other time.  You can store it in a jar and refrigerate it like I did (Right Pic).

For the noodles, cook it like any other noodle dish: boil it for 4 to 5 minutes. When it was done, I placed it in a colander and rinsed it in running water. I then place it in iced water.

Why use a basket for zaru soba? I at first thought that it was just for presentation but actually it has a function. Since the noodles come straight from the iced water, the basket is used to let the water drip away from the cold noodles when serving.

For the basket plate, any old small bilao (like the ones used for pancit malabon or palabok) can do the job.  I rummaged thru my stuff and found an old handwoven plate! Perfect! I cleaned it up and placed the wet, cold noodles on it, making sure to put a plate underneath it to catch the moisture.

Zaru Soba for FDC#7 is done: I topped the noodles with dried nori flakes. Tsuyu is served with wasabi, chopped spring onions and sesame seeds. I ate this wonderful dish with shrimp and vegetable tempura which I dipped in the tsuyu, too.

It was my first time to eat cold noodles. And, oh my! It was a revelation! It was a minimalistic dish yet refreshingly delightful! I was really amazed at how simple it was and at the same time so satisfying. Eat it the way Yoko would slurp it or just quietly savor each noodle, it doesn’t matter. It was a superb meal indeed.

Tips to enjoy zaru soba: ✈It’s best to use those commercially-made, rough bamboo chopsticks for a better grip on those slippery noodles. ✈ And to fully appreciate this meal, it would be ideal to eat it on a really hot day (lunchtime or afternoon snack). ✈ It must be a quiet day (with birds chirping or wind chimes tinkling in the background) so turn the radio or TV off.  ✈ If you have a low table or a coffee table, use it and sit on the floor while eating. ✈ And also, take a refreshing bath first before eating.  …I’m telling you, for me, eating it this way was like a peaceful, Zen-like experience.  I kid you not.

Try it and happy ssslllluuurrrping to you, too! b (゚∀゚) d

My Other FooDorama Challenge Links
Next: FDC#7 – Kareh Raisu or Curry Rice (Jdorama Inspiration: Kaibutsu-kun)
FDC#6: Samgyeopsal (Movie Inspiration: Sikgaek or Le Grande Chef)
FDC#5: Natto (Jdorama Inspiration: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge)
FDC#4: Okonomiyaki (Jdorama Inspiration: Hana Kimi)

—————————————– fodocha

Jdorama info source: dramawiki
Recipe sources: japanesefood.about, closetcooking

For my 8th Sunday Lunch Project, I chose to prepare a special meal which we call Boodle Fight.

What is a Boodle Fight? The Philippine Military coined this term, calling their traditional way of eating with their bare hands while the freshly-cooked food is served on a long table, piled on top of a tray or banana leaves.  It signifies brotherhood and fraternity.  “Boodle” by the way, is an American slang word that means a pack or a small crowd.  And boodle fight is in a way considered a “fight” since eating with a bunch of hungry army men means the food is consumed in an instant so one has to grab whatever he can get and eat fast, too. And when one is in a hurry, it would be better to do this standing up.

Well, not only are they the ones who do this. Pinoys and a lot of our South East Asian brothers are familiar with this type of communal meal, and eating with our hands. We usually do this outdoors when we go to the beach, especially in the summer and fiestas (summer festivals).  We would gather around a long table in a beach hut without using plates, serving dishes and utensils.  It may look uncivilized to some but it is actually practical and convenient.  And not to mention, FUN!

I also remember my days living in Cebu – we would eat this way in my uncle’s house during the heat of the summer.  And during my years as a fine arts student, I and my comrades would gather in the college basement, and partake of a meal of canned tuna or sardines on bed of hot rice.  This SLP post on Boodle Fighting is my tribute for those good times! 🙂

There are theme restaurants that offer this kind of meal but why go out when you can do it at home? So for today’s Easter celebration (and after going thru a no-meat diet for a week) I decided to have an indoor Boodle Fight. (Note: thanx to Pch for some of the pix here)…

Risa, my kitchen assistant, helps me gather banana leaves from a tree in a nearby vacant lot.  Paalam muna shempre…lol When getting the leaves, make sure you keep them away from yourself since the juice from the cut stalks can stain your clothes and shoes (which I found out rather too late). And better get the ones that are not torn as much as possible.

In the meantime, tilapia fish and eggplants were grilling away. Food grilled over hot charcoal is the usual fare for a boodle fight.

The banana leaves were wiped with a clean rag, and laid out (shiny side up) on the table, seeing to it that I have enough leaves to cover all the surface space of the table.  No one wants the food to spill out on the bare table but I nevertheless made sure to clean and disinfect the table beforehand.

Grilled pork liempo (belly meat marinated in soy sauce and calamansi), tilapia, peeled eggplants and salted eggs are placed and arranged on the banana leaves.

This meal is ideally served along with the classic Pinoy salad of chopped green mango, tomatoes, and onions with shrimp paste. I also made a condiment of chopped onions and tomatoes with soy sauce and calamansi to be mixed with the grilled pork and fish when eating.

We also had another condiment, fermented mudfish (burong dalag) that has a strong smell. You can mix it with your food, making it taste better and can make you want to eat more!

At last, my usual bunch of Sunday lunch guests (Sis et al) arrived in time just as I was done laying out the food and hot rice.

Let the Boodle Fight begin! No need to hurry here… just take your time. But don’t forget to wash your hands first! 🙂

And a perfect way to end this summer meal is with a cold dessert of Pinoy sherbet made of lychee and coconut from Arce Dairy (courtesy of Sis and Doc)!

Happy Meal!: Boodle Fight is not just an exotic form of eating but it’s an informal and relaxed way of celebrating Pinoy family ties, strengthening camaraderie and making more happy memories together.

And on this note, OMP wishes the whole Christendom…

_____( .’o’.)______

.•*”˜˜”*°•. ˜”*°•♥•°*”˜ .•°*”˜˜”*°•.
**♥** HAPPY EASTER!!!! **♥**
.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜♥ ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.

My Sunday Lunch Project Links:
SLP#7: Samgyeopsal
SLP#6: Goi Buoi (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad)
SLP#5: Hainanese Chicken Rice

——————————— sunlupro

Reference links: 

The days have been so mercilessly hot and humid. Living in a tropical climate all my life would make me think that I could take this summer beating but this is somewhat too plain much!  After going through all those rains and floods last year, now this?

The unbearable heat leaves you drained of energy – move an inch, and you’re already shedding buckets of sweat! ハッ!(`ロ´ ; )  Sure there is an AC at my place of work, but it’s the Holy Week break (yahoo!) so I’m at home now.  My unreliable AC can’t fight off the heat in my room. During the hottest part of the day (10 am to 4 pm) I can’t help but lie down and sleep off the heat.  Ugh! huhuhu!

But summer has its perks: fruits like mangoes, melons, avocado, and watermelons are cheaper and abundant; tropical flowers like our fiery fuchsia bougainvillea seem to be thriving in this unusual dry spell; since school is out, there’s less traffic jams, and of course, summer means BEACH OUTINGS!

Last Sunday, we had our company outing at Laiya, Batangas.  I brought along my best bud, Levlev.  I’ve been going to Laiya every summer since 2004  (except last year though 😦 ). It’s my most favorite beach (even topping Boracay in my list) so far…

Located in San Juan in Batangas, Laiya is a three hour drive from Manila.  The beach is clean, and has no dangerous waves… great for kayaking.

Casa Remo was where we stayed.  It is reasonably priced and has small apartelles and one big house (above) with plenty of rooms.  It is not beside the beach though, so you have to walk a short distance to get to it.

Palm Sunday 2010: we celebrated mass at White Cove Resort.

Early Monday morning, we woke up to make use of the time left… swim to our hearts’ content!

Watcha waitin’ for? Ligo naaaah! Woo-hoo!

I♡♡♡  Laiya, forevah! \(♡´∀`♡ )/ If only this is the view that greets me when I look outside my house.  Sighs.

if not, then, i’m praying for the rains to come soon…*fingerscrossed*

~pls Lord umulan na sana~ (^人^ ) 雨乞いをする

Note: This is a continuation of Part 3 - More of Camiguin

On our last day in Camiguin… we woke up before dawn today to catch the sunrise at White Island. To get to the island, one can rent a boat for Php450 for a back and forth trip.

White Island is a crescent shape sand bar just off the coast of Mambajao. White sand or powdered corals can be found here. You can also get a nice view of Camiguin Island on this sandy strip…

We had the whole island to ourselves when we got here at 5:30 am…

Watching the sunrise in the east of the sand bar…

…while the moon sets in the west.

The Gathering: The A Girls and I are getting ready for a new day of…

…more crazy  jump shots, what else? Wheee! :0) (shots by Kneil; camera by Jjai)

No, please! Don’t make me quote THAT song…lol!

Just me and my trolly feet

More tourists were coming in while we were getting set to leave. Above pic shows the Old Volcano on the left while Mt. Hibok-Hibok is the one farther into the background on the right.

Goodbye, beautiful island! 😦 (Left pic by Amih)…

Alas, it was time to leave Camiguin…I hope to come back again and get to explore more of this unique island – a day and a half just isn’t enough…

We headed to Benoni Port to catch an 8:15 ferry for CDO’s Balingoan Port. The fee was Php150.

We had to hurry because we still had an adventurous afternoon ahead of us…

Next Post: Rafting Adventure in CDO!

If you wish to visit Camiguin, Adarna Travel and Tours can help you with your bookings. Their tel. nos. are (02) 9344632 and (02) 5717739.