All this Yoshinaga talk around mangadom through this month’s Manga Moveable Feast has honestly left me hungry. We all know how much Yoshinaga Fumi loves her food and many of us often suffer from all the lovely food that she features in her manga. If you read Antique Bakery, I’m quite sure you’ll be craving for cakes. If you read Not Love But Food, you’d wish you were in Japan to try out all the fun restaurants they ate in. What’s frustrating is how the food she features in her manga is inaccessible unless you’re a genius baker like Ono.
Well, not any more. At least if you can read Kinou Nani Tabeta.
My favorite non-BL Yoshinaga is her domestic story between a lawyer and a hairdresser and their laidback dinners. They’re an odd couple of sorts but they share a passion for food and love for sharing meals. While some would think that reading into their dinners can get one hungry, the ease they show in preparing the dishes make you think that maybe… just maybe… you can cook it at home.
Starving for some Yoshinaga dishes, I thought I’d share with you two easy meals I learned from Kinou Nani Tabeta. These ingredients can be easily found in a Japanese grocery. I’ll also point in some alternatives just in case you want a taste of these dishes but can’t find the ingredients.
Tuna and tomato soumen (ツナとトマトのぶっかけそうめん)
This is a relatively easy dish featured in volume 1 after Shiro-san meets a lady in a grocery who seems to share his knack for making a bargain. It was a hilarious chapter that involves Shiro’s need to confess his homosexuality. Needless to say, all’s well end’s well and they had this dish to cap the night.
– 1 batch of soumen (you usually get a pack with three or four batches. Just use one)
– 2 tomatoes (sliced lengthwise)
– 1 cucumber (julienned)
– 2 tablespoons of mentsuyu (mix these with 4 tablespoons of water. If you don’t have access to mentsuyu, some shouyu/soy sauce with some lemon would do. Make sure that your sauce is not too salty or too tart.)
– 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
– 5 leaves of shiso, sliced thinly (or a herb or your choice. preferrably basil or cilantro)
– 1 can of tuna (make sure to drain all the oil or brine)
– 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (this’ll all depend on how much of a mayo person you are)
Prepare the sauce
1. Mix the mentsuyu, water, and ginger together
Prepare the tuna
1. Drain the can of tuna.
2. Add the mayonnaise and mix it to a desired consistency. By this I mean that you place enough for the tuna to stick together but not too much at that the tuna’s dripping in mayonnaise.
3. Salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the soumen
1. Cook the soumen as instructed in the packet. This is a cold soba so please drain the noodles as soon as it’s cooked and wash it with cold water.
2. Lay the noodles down on a shallow dish and start assembling the cucumber, tomato, shiso, and tuna on top of the noodle.
3. “Splash” the sauce over the dish and serve cold.
I personally loved this because it’s a fairly light yet filling dish. It’s very easy to do too! I recommend adding the shiso in this dish because it gives a very refreshing taste to this soumen.
Miso Butter Ankake Ramen
This was a hilarious recipe that Kenji managed to do only when Shiro-san went home for the New Year. Shiro is an advocate of eating healthy hence eating instant ramen or any junk food was totally out of the question. Somehow, Kenji managed to make a compromise with this ramen.
– 1 Sapporo Ichiban Miso ramen (this is a requirement! I don’t think other miso ramen can compensate!)
– 2 leaves of Napa/Chines cabbage, cut into squares
– Half a carrot sliced into half-rounds
– A teaspoon of wakame, steeped in hot water and then drained
– Moyashi/Bean sprouts
– A quarter of an onion, sliced large
– Slivers of pork sukiyaki
– 1 tbsp. of salad oil
– 1 tsp. butter
– 1 egg
– Sprinkle of white sesame
– Sprinkle of spring onions
1. Cut up all the vegetables and set aside
2. In a hot pan, add salad oil and once that’s hot, add the pork
3. Stir fry the pork until cooked and then add the cabbage and carrot. Stir fry until it has changed color then add butter.
4. Add 500cc (250 ml) of water into the hot pan and cover the vegetables and wait for it to boil.
5. Once the water’s boiling, add the noodles and let it steep in the broth for 2 minutes. ONLY FOR TWO MINUTES. Sapporo Ichiban can get soggy really fast so this two minute count is important.
6. Crack an egg in a microwave dish and cover it. Poke the yolk once just so steam can cook it a little. Then microwave it for 20 secs. or until the white area is cooked. Make sure that the yolk part is not overly cooked unless that’s how you like your eggs. Kenji and I like it runny so I made sure my yolk wasn’t fully cooked.
7. In a bowl, add the seasonings of the miso ramen.
8. Once the 2 minutes is over, take the noodles off the heat and add the moyashi. Mix it for a bit to heat the moyashi.
9. Carefully pour the ingredients into the bowl with the miso seasonings and top it off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, spring onions, and the microwaved egg.
There are more dishes in Kinou Nani Tabeta but some of them can get complicated. I have managed to make these two dishes, a strawberry jam, some crepes, and some of their awesome nimono and stir fries. While all of us dream of expensive dishes, somehow Shiro’s stinginess and his creativity in mixing ingredients based on what’s available makes Fumi’s dishes quite accessible.
If you have a chance to read Kinou Nani Tabeta, then go right ahead and try some of the dishes featured in her manga. If not, then these are two of the recipes that I can share. I can’t cook all of them at the same time, since these two were more than enough to fill me up yesterday.
So what did you eat yesterday? Maybe you can have these dishes for tomorrow.