Staying for a month in Tokyo with the danna and Junya means allllll the happiness in the world, but i was also secretly dreading the trip for one reason.
Junya was turning 1 year old when we were in Japan. That also means that he is eating 3 full proper meals now. To be honest, i wasn’t very much ready to prepare all 3 meals for him, every single day. I’m ok to do that back home in KL, but we are in Tokyoooooooooo baybeh! What about sightseeing!!! Shopping!!! Eating out at yummy restaurant every single day!!! Go out the whole day without thinking about the boiling pots!!!
But i know that the danna would not approve of giving Junya 90 packs of mashed food from a box that expires next year. T____T. So… i tried.
Honestly? I never expected it to be this enjoyable.
First of all, the grocery shopping. See?? You don’t have to give up shopping completely!!!
I can shop on and on and on and on and on in the supermarket. How is it possible that Japanese supermarkets could be so attractive? I WANTED TO LIVE THERE!
So yea i was the typical obasan housewife, walking from aisle to aisle checking the food labels, comparing prices, hunting for discounted items… lol.
Usually i will buy things that cannot be easily found in Malaysia. Fresh Japanese vegetables. Exquisite Japanese fruits. Allllllll the amazing seafood. MENTAIKOS. World class eggs.
And they are cheaaaaaaap. Although i did splurge on some items, like Ichigo… but it’s off season now.
These are some of my favorite: Daikon, shishitou and melon, because they are sooo expensive in KL. And King avocado, tofu, milk bread…
Hahhaha went more and more crazy with shopping. More onion, edamame, fish fillet, cherries, WAGYUUUUUU…
Secondly, cooking in Japan is so much easier. Soooooooo much.
There is an astonishing variety of stuff that help busy moms with preparing meals for their little ones. Like pre-mix sauce, dashi powder, etc… Ok la sometimes it’s half cheating but still you feel better than not making any effort at all.
Consomme powder, Wafu dashi, white sauce… they have everything!!! To make mushroom soup, you just need mushroom (i used Maitake), fresh milk and the pre-mix white sauce powder. Any simpler and you will have to pour out from a can.
Other short cuts are stews (just throw everything in a pot and simmer), or Takikomi gohan (throw everything in the rice cooker and cook together).
You don’t have to cook two completely separate meals for your baby and the rest of the family (the adults, ie the danna and I).
I usually cook everything together, add a little or no seasoning, keep aside Junya’s portion, and add more seasoning to the rest of the food.
Toriwake (Dish out)
Sometimes i also cook a whole pot of soup, dish out the baby’s portion and mash them for easy nomming.
In the end, i realize it is also much healthier if i eat the same food as Junya. Good for the danna’s diet also lol.
It’s almost impossible to cook something not yummy in Japan. It’s true!!!!! I use the same ingredients, the same sauces, cook it the same way just like i do back home, but it just tastes so much better, WHY???? JAPANESE MAGIC.
Junya actually wants to eat his food. Back in KL, he will eat, but he never showed any interest in wanting them.
But here he whines if he sees his food and i don’t serve it to him immediately!!!!!!!!!!! Hoi hoi hoi, demanding much, boy? But i was secretly very very very very happy la. For a mom, what can be happier than a baby who is willing to eat well? 😀 😀
Anyway here’s a collection of #lunchforjunya and sometimes for mama too.
Fried rice with omelet, vege stew (from baby food), tofu with edamame and pea sauce (from cubes), Komatsuna and a liiiiitle bit of mentaiko. In Japan there’s the “Amakuchi” version of Mentaiko, which is less salty!
Beef and white cabbage cream stew.
Fried rice and baby version!! Egg, Komatsuna, and huuuge seared scallops, topped with mentaiko. Junya’s version is with shredded scallop, and without salt & pepper.
Cabbage consomme soup, tofu with cheese and Aburi Mentaiko, served with white rice.
Mama’s version. Not enough rice for myself lolol and overdosing on Mentaiko.
Adult: Anyhow stir-fried beef with moyashi (bean sprout) and Shin tamanegi (new onion). Yes, there’s such thing as new onion in Japan. Such are new rice, new burdock, etc. New means it’s the newly harvest from the season at its freshest state! And YESSSS there is a difference omg. New onion tastes sooooo good!!!! T__T
JunJun: Finely chopped version of gyudon.
Adult: Fried rice with Kyoto style ginger tofu and grilled Shishitou.
JunJun: Fried rice with gomoku bean sauce (baby food).
The Anyhow Stir-fry Beef was so good that i just must do it again. Thank you Japan, for your Wagyu. Thank you.
A very plain and healthy lunch today. Marinated steamed chicken breast, egg and avocado sashimi for the adult.
JunJun: Avocado and minced chicken rice.
Adult: Oden with yaki tofu, cabbage, daikon, chikuwa, and chicken ball.
JunJun: Mashed oden with rice.
Leftover oden with beef. Again. I want to eat ALLLLLL the Japanese cows before i go back home. T__T . This time with enoki and new onion!
Adult: Sansho (Japanese pepper) Unagi Kabayaki with Shishitou
JunJun: Takikomi gohan with komatsuna
Adult: Kinmedai Sashimi and Fugu tataki
JunJun: Since JunJun cannot eat raw fish yet, i just grilled the fish and served it with takikomi gohan.
Kinmedai has become my favorite fish now. In English it is called Spendid Alfonsino. Spendid it is indeed. T___T. You will recognize its vibrant red skin immediately. It’s a little on the expensive side but do try it when you are in Japan!
Adult: Soboro (minced chicken), scrambled egg and mentaiko spinach. Topped with MORE mentaiko lol.
JunJun: A lighter version of everything.
Cream of mushroom, milk bread with tomato dip and melon.
Birthday Lunch for Junya!
So we can’t really have a party for Junya, so i told the danna it could be just a very simple family party, we could buy a cake and Junya could have a bite of it. After all, it’s birthday celebration!! Haha. But the danna said no, i will make a cake for Junya.
Walao i am his wife for 3 years leh i don’t remember he ever offered to do something like this for me?????
Anyway i was quite touched la, because he had an important meeting the whole day, when i thought he must have forgotten about his son’s birthday, he came back 3am in the morning with some kitchen tools, and started making the “birthday cake”.
It is actually a Baby Cake. They call it the “Issai Keeki” (One Year Old Cake). The ingredients are healthy and mild enough for a baby-turns-toddler.
Here is what it is made of
Cake: Flavored Steam Bun. You can buy a box from any baby stores in Japan. It’s called “mushi pan”. It comes in powder form, you just add water/milk and microwave it, and it will turn out like a pancake/cupcake with bread texture.
Whipped cream: Greek yogurt. It has to be very well strained to have a consistent thickness and creaminess!
Topping: Assorted fruits. The danna used banana and grapfruit pulp.
JunJun’s first ever birthday cake!!!
The kanji says “1 year old” 🙂
This is how it looks inside. layered steam bun and yogurt cream in between.
JunJun loves it!!!!
It’s damn huge so he didn’t finish all of it la. The adults did and actually, it tasted really really good. Considering it is a cake for baby.
And… that’s all!
Lastly here are some of the things you may wanna get if you go to Japan!
1. Organic Baby Dashi Shoyu
It’s very light in taste so it’s great to add flavor to your baby’s food without it being too heavy.
2. Powder dashi, white sauce, vegetable stock
Great for making soup, porridge and stew!
3. Baby Furikake and Ankake
Furikake is a life saver when there’s nothing else but white rice! Awesome to make onigiri too. Ankake is a starchy topping, just mix with water and add it on rice/porridge!
4. Vege powder
It’s genius! It’s difficult to cook root vegetables like burdock/lotus root for baby because of their hard texture, so you can actually just add the powder into soup! Komatsuna/Spinach/Edamame and green pea powder is great for babies who don’t like the taste of green vegetables. Mix it in porridge/omelet/pancakes basically anything 😛
Do share if you have any other cooking tips for baby/toddlers! 🙂