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Old 07-07-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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Well I'm in Japan- study abroad

Hi guys!
Im currently studying in Japan- and I have to get used to some of the ingredients.

My biggest problem, is in terms of cooking tools, I have one stove, a rice cooker and a micorwave.

However, when I'm back in the states I eat roughly the same thing. However, the prices here are different, so I have to alter my cooking method.
My goal is to have the food cheap, nutrituous and quick to cook.
So far this is what I have been cooking;
I would fry onions and garlic, then add a diced potato/eggplant and salt&pepper and soysauce , then let it cook a minute and add some tofu, cabbage and meat (chicken breast, ground meet or something else). I would add ground red peper, some oyester sauce and either half a block of instant curry or just raw curry and sugar. And maybe add some green pepers and vinigar.
The taste is pretty good- and filling.
However, I have nothing else-
This is the ingridients i have;
garlic
onions
potatoes
eggplant
sweet potato
cabbage
green peppers
meat (just about anything is cheap)
eggs
Tofu


anything else is usually expensive, esspecially fruits!
So what would you do.

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Old 07-07-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. Are you saying that only those ingredients you listed can be used? Can you get tomatoes, greens, lemons or limes, flour, butter. milk etc? I'm sure we could help you out but a little clarification would help.
First thought is to mix it up by not mixing it up! Stir fries everyday can get old.Try making a rice pilaf with onions and garlic. Then saute some chicken by itself with a little seasoning and then a vegetable. Preferably something green like spinach or chard.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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you could make a potato/grn. pepper hash & a potato, onion, & cabbage soup. or potato soup if you could get milk or half & half.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
tomatoes, greens, lemons or limes, flour, butter. milk etc
More or less, butter and milk are available- but tomatoes- most vegtables are quite expensive.

However, but I do have access to other ingredients like milk and butter, however other limitation - one hot plate!
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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Try looking around this website. Be sure to look in all the tabs. It might inspire you and help you to add traditional Japanese ingredients to your diet.

Yosenabe recipe - Japanese Yosenabe Recipe

Also if you can get flour, along with the butter and milk, that would be a good start for some white sauce based dishes and some lovely soups.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Though this is not helpful, I just wanted to say that I aspire to study abroad in Japan within the next couple of years so this is really helpful!
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Nikujaga (beef and potatoes) is a fairly cheap dish to cook.

As Laury mentioned Nabe is perfect for your kitchen and budget. Nabe is simply Japanese for soup. Learn to make a good dashi and then you can make a nabe. Make your dashi add daikon, cabbage, some soy and whatever is cheap in the maket that day (fish, pork, tofu, vegegies or noddles). Here you can watch me make a
Kimuchi Nabe キムチ鍋.


Do you have some place you can set up a small grill? If you do shop around and buy a small hibachi then you can grill meats. But when I was in Japan I usually just went to a Yaki-tori stand.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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A hibachi sounds like a terrific idea. It frees up the hot plate so you can be more creative.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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One more item learning how to make Tsukemono (漬物, つけもの) could be a real money saver but you would need space and do you like them?

Okonomiyaki is another great inexpensive dish to make.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:24 AM   #10
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OK, you have a hot plate and access to spices..
You have access to beef.. make a corned beef in a pot(pickling spices)

You can then dice that up with potatoes and onions and fry up some hash. Corned beef sliced and fry up potatoes with onion.

How about eggs?? fry up meat, potatoes what ever veggies you have, stir in eggs and scramble all together.

Loose meat sandwiches... ground beef, onion maybe a little green pepper, garlic. Fry up and serve as a sandwich.

How are the cabbage prices... boiled cabbage with potatoes makes a nice side dish, if you can add ham it's a full meal. I do like a little vinegar on the cabbage once its cooked.

Personally, I can make a meal on baked potatoes with a little butter on them. You can microwave the potatoes.

Bake up some potatoes in the microwave, pull them out and mash them up with a little milk, salt and butter as best you can, maybe put a little garlic in there too. Form that into patties and dredge in some flour. Get your oil hot in the wok and fry up some potato cakes.
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