Should You Buy the Yoshiblade?

A lot of basic tasks are involved well before each fantastic meal may be put together in the kitchen. An individual will have to cut vegetables or perhaps slice fresh fruits or perhaps slice or scrape bits of meats or just cut breads. Any decent food will involve cutting up, dicing and / or slicing and that’s when a Yoshiblade comes in really helpful as well as very useful for the home mom.

This is actually a ceramic cutlery. It features a very precision blade. Thus it enables you to piece veggies with the easiness like a operating surgeon would want. It is actually sharpened more than enough in order to piece big portions from the meats. The style of the knife is actually environment-friendly. Simply because being made of porcelain, it does not corrode. The material for the knife is actually Zirconium oxide one of the most popular components throughout ceramics industry. The basic component of this knife is extremely tough. It is subjected to high pressure molding and after that fired inside furnaces with a heat range of greater than 1832 degree Fahrenheit. The substance is simply subsequently refined to make the very razor-sharp surface and then connected to the knife’s handle.

The style of this Yoshiblade is referred to by the Japanese term “Santoku” which is a common kitchen’s cutting knife created within Japan. Santoku means 3 purposes. It is most appropriately relevant for it since it carries out the three jobs which are slicing, shredding as well as dicing more quickly.

The porcelain blades stay sharp for many years in contrast to metallic kitchen knives that lose all their sharpness as time passes. Typically the ceramic chef’s knife compared to the metal knives doesn’t pit or rust. Their surface is actually nonstick, which makes it very easy to clean. Further, it is unaffected by any acid solution and even alkaline this means it doesn’t hinder the taste of any organic material the product slices.

Producers of the porcelain chef’s knife offer it as a package. This approach happens to be a good deal for a customer. There is 1 package deal which offers a good peeler of porcelain base. The peeler can be utilized when taking peels off cucumbers, radishes or even carrots. Another bundle is a 3 chef’s knife set comprising of five inch chef’s knife for chopping, a four in. chef’s knife for paring as well as an additional three in. knife intended for paring. What ever package deal you select this unique knife provides you with the very best of bargains.

Actually the hand grip of the so called chef’s knife is extremely skillfully designed. You can test it with the help of full hold or even pinch hold and you simply might find that it’s actually effortless to make use of. This handlebar utilizes strong rubber and the grasp is quite comfy. It can endure to some significant degree- food acids as well as other scouring components.

Taking care of the blade isn’t complex however you have to remember just a few details when using this kind of blade. The chef’s knife must not at all be cleaned in the dish washer since the blade will probably split. Further, the chef’s knife ought not to be utilized on bones or perhaps breads with hard crusting or utilized on tough areas.

Because of its cost, Yoshiblade chef’s knife is a great purchase for your typical home. The organization pledges that it will resurface it in case it becomes flat for just the expense of delivery in addition handling.

Source by Jon L White

Unusual Places and Things to Eat in Mexico City

You travel to try out new things and have new experiences, right? So why not stretch your palate a bit too during your travels? Although here in Mexico City you can truly experience the “exotic” in dining, you needn’t delve into the bizarre. Take a step a little off your normally beaten path with these suggestions. If you want to try something just a little different while eating out in Mexico City, try these.

Here are two Cevicherias or raw seafood specialty houses:

Mariscos Pipiripau

Palma No. 31

Centro Historico

Hostería Las Palmas

Palma No. 30-A

Centro Historico

Ceviche is raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice with vegetables and spices that is sort of chemically “cooked” by the acids. Usually served chilled, it’s a staple in many Latin countries, especially in seaports. Seafood cocktails and Caldos de Mariscos are featured here. The specialty of the house at Las Palmas is “Vuelve a La Vida”, ($60 pesos) a combination of fish, octopus, crab, shrimp and oysters that will “bring you back to life” for sure. Other raw, but marinated seafood cocktails served in a sundae glass are priced at about $30 pesos for your choice. Another noted specialty is the stuffed crab, served in its shell for $35 pesos. It’s a unique experience, check it out.

Want to sample sushi?

Would that be Japanese or Mexican sushi? No, just kidding about the Mexican, but you can sample a variety of made-before-your-eyes treats at this duo of restaurants. Later, you can learn how to make your own sushi rolls.

Teriyaki San

Republica de Uruguay No. 71 Local 2

Centro Historico

5510 – 9971, 5510 – 9556

A sort of “fast-food” style Japanese restaurant, their selection is a tad limited, but ready to go and budget-priced. You can choose from some pre-packaged combos that aren’t bad for the money. Staff is Mexican though so you lose a little in the translation. The setting is typical “fast-food” stark, although the location is conveniently in the thick of the Republic de Uruguay shopping scene.

Sushi Roll

5 de Mayo No.

Centro Historico Metro: Allende

An authentic Japanese sushi bar where you can match slices of raw or pickled seafood, rice and vegetables being turned into aromatic, colorful tidbits right before your dazzled eyes. Prices range from $10 pesos per piece to $60 or $70 for mixed combination platters. It gets pretty crowded around lunchtime, so come early or late afternoon and evenings for fewer crowds. If you’re truly ready for the real thing, and a unique experience at prices you can afford, this is the place I’d recommend.

…Dine on Vegan Vittles?

(…and we’re not just talking “rabbit food” here)

Restaurant Vegetariano Filomeno Mata

Filomeno Mata No.

Centro Historico

5521 – 1895

If you haven’t tried vegetarian food why not give it a shot here where the selection is ample and tasty with entrees like Aguacate and Tomate Relleno, Papa al Horno con Cebollitas Aztecas and Croquettas de Elote con Puree de Papaya. As an old-fashioned “meat and potatoes” man myself, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the delicious entrees on the menu here. Open Mondays to Saturdays 8am to 8pm, Sundays 9am to 7pm. Soft Pop music plays in the background as you dine thanks to a live keyboards performer mornings and evenings most days. A truly delightful touch.

Two additional vegetarian locations are:

Vegetariano y Dietetico

Madero 56 Altos

Centro Historico

5521 – 6880

Vegetariano Roma

Tuxpan 24

Colonia Roma

5564 – 7930

Los Magueyes

Palma 10-A (between 5 de Mayo and Tacuba)

Centro Historico

5518 – 4073, 5521 – 5191

The waitress placed a platter on the table in front of me. A generous slice of grilled beef lay next to a pool of gravy-colored refried beans. An ample green salad of tomato, lettuce, shredded carrot and cucumber filled one side of the platter, but it was the beef’s topping that was the center of attraction. Slender, deep green strips with a slightly pungent aroma lounged mixed with small, bright red whole chilies. A steaming short stack of corn tortillas filled a saucer beside the platter. So this was the “Beefsteak con Nopales”. The Maguey is a type of succulent plant. If your Botany is rusty that means it’s sort of a kind of cactus. Nopales are a staple here and as you’d expect, a number of dishes such as Nopales Au Grautin, and Costilla con Nopales, feature them. Young, tender ears of the Prickly Pear cactus are harvested, cleaned and shaved of their spines and thorns before being grilled or fried. The good value entrees here are priced from $21.50 to $42.50 pesos. A number of restaurants and “Taquerias” prepare them in dishes for their distinctive flavor. They can also be juiced and mixed with other fruit and vegetable juices for a flavorful, healthful beverage. Bottoms Up!

Dulceria de Celaya

5 de Mayo No. 39

Centro Historico Metro: Allende

5521 – 1787

If it’s sweet Bunky, they’ve probably got it. (Well, not me, but candied fruits and vegetables, yes.) And if they don’t have it, you can order it and they’ll get it or make it for you. Boasting that they’ve been in business for 125 years, baskets, special sweets and candied everything are in this glass-walled little shop. The window displays alone are enough to peak your interest. Try some candied Yucca or pumpkin – fantastic! Products are sold by weight so you can order as little or as much as you’re game for. A definite “Must – Stop” on your “Offbeat Mexico City” tour. Your sweet tooth will thank you, and thank you, and thank you. Enjoy!

Los Jarochos

Local 21

Mercado de Alimentos San Camilito

The yelling and screaming started as soon as I stepped through the entranceway, “Over here Sir! We have the best”, “what would you like? We have it over here!” “You like the best home cooking? Try ours, it’s ready now. You won’t be sorry!” “My Mother cooks our ham herself. It’s so tender you’ll cry with pleasure at the taste.” A dozen cooks and garroteros assailed me all at once. Each trying to lure me into eating at their establishment. Everything looked good. Everything smelled good. They were insistent. They begged. They pleaded. They implored. When all that didn’t work, if there was time, they cajoled. “You’re passing up the best food in the market!” “You should’ve eaten here, now you’re going to get heartburn!” Welcome to the Mercado de Alimentos San Camilito, located on one side of the boisterous Plaza Garibaldi. I settled at the seafood stand of Norberto Uscanga Ortiz and enjoyed Arroz con Pulpo (seasoned rice with generous chunks of octopus mixed in-20 pesos), Mojarra frito (fried Mojarra -a fish) with a mixed tomato, lettuce and avocado salad, a small loaf of fresh-baked bread (38 pesos for the platter) and washed the whole thing down with a couple of nearly frozen Coronas (10 pesos).

I waddled out of there an hour an a half, 11 Mariachis and three good stories from Norberto later, a stuffed and happy man. When you go, please give him my regards. You’ll feast on some of the choicest seafood platters in town.

Want more exotic dining tips and tales?

Check out “Piranha: Deadly and Delicious” at:—Deadly-and-Delicious&id=72722

“Preparing Piranha: Four Delicious Recipes for Adventuresome Eating” online at:

“Eating in Colombia: Healthy, Delicious But Strange”

online at:,-Delicious-But-Strange&id=72715

and “What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Ever Eaten?”


Buen Provecho!

Source by Larry M. Lynch

Some of the Best Cooking Books That Need to Be in Your Kitchen

Having just graduated from university, cooking books have a firm place on my kitchen shelf. From disastrous attempts at making barely edible dishes, my time as a student has exposed me to many cooking books. Here are the top ten of the best cooking books that are invaluable to any wannabe Masterchefs out there.

Ready… Steady… Cook!

10. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course by Delia Smith

This mammoth cookery book whips in at number 10. Delia Smith is very much the David Beckham of the cooking world – an institution. Her Complete Cookery Course does exactly what it says on the tin. It provides wannabe chefs with a full, comprehensive guide to creating the best dishes. With fundamental must know recipes like apple pie and yorkshire puddings, Delia shows she is one of the masters. With mouth-watering pictures acting as a rough guide this book is a god send for beginner chefs. No doubt a staple on your mother’s shelf, this book is perfect as a starting point in the basics of pastry making, cake baking and roast making. A genuine triumph in the cookery book world.

9. The New Curry Bible by Pat Chapman

Chapman’s bible does not follow the conventional rules of cookery books, but is a diamond in the rough for curry fanatics out there and the reason it has made this best cooking books list. The New Curry Bible does not simply show you the recipes but teaches you the history of curry making. It is not a book to be bought for people who want a quick fix curry. If you are one of those people I suggest you save yourself time and money and just buy a ready meal. However, if you are interested in the exquisite nature of curries, then this book teaches you all you need to know. Like any specialist cook book, it is a little disheartening at first to encounter all of the strange herbs and spices that you know you don’t own, but the rewards from having knowledge of these is irreplaceable. Although it may take you a while to get to grips with the fine art of balancing the spices, you will most certainly become famous amongst friends and family for the talent you will take from this beautiful book.

8. Rick Stein’s Taste of the Sea: 150 Fabulous Recipes for Every Occasion

As a massive lover of seafood, this book has literally been my magna carta. Rick Stein takes you on a journey around the coast and teaches you to really appreciate fish in all its scaly glory. From skinning methods to filleting, this book teaches you how to prepare and cook fish to perfection. Stein writes in a clear and simple fashion and it is impossible to resist his infectious passion. With a variety of dishes that cater for absolutely every occasion, this book is a must have for beginners and experienced fish mongers alike. The instructions are not condescending or set in stone, and leave freedom for experimentation. A truly great book by a truly great chef and teacher.

7. Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

Following the theme of specialist cooking books, Simple Chinese Cooking is an absolute must have for anyone wanting to start a love affair with chinese cooking. Filled with beautiful photography, this book coaches you through each dish with clear and crisp step-by-step instructions. Usually when faced with a specific cook book, there seems a never-ending list of ingredients that appear to exist in outer space, but this book has essentials that can be bought and found easily in local grocery stores. Not only is this book a great guide, but it is also incredibly exciting as each week you can watch yourself develop and gain confidence with once seemingly difficult dishes. From steamed cod to sweet and sour pork, Kwong’s recipes will have you burning all your chinese takeaway menus from the get go.

6. Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

There can be no such thing as a best cooking books list without Mr Oliver, of course. One of the things I love most about almost all of Jamie Oliver’s cook books are their beautiful and impeccable presentation. They are not endless pages of lines and lines of writing but are instead filled with bright, colourful and delectable pictures, as well as no- nonsense recipes. In his 30 Minute Meals Jaime shows you that once and for all cooking does not have to be a stressful and laborious affair. Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is amazing for working people for whom time is money, and of course students who wish to spend minimum amount of time cooking and maximum amount of time… studying. Not only is it wonderfully organised with a designated section for starters, mains and desserts, but there are numerous vegetarian recipes scattered inside, making this book literally for every type of chef.

5. The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman

After his debut cook book How to Cook Everything became an international sensation, Bittman is back to teach you it is easier than you thought to cook recipes from all around the world. With no unnecessary embellishments Bittman gently leads you on a culinary round the world trip that will leave your taste buds in a state of euphoria. The best aspect of Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes In The World whilst you may never get round to cooking everything inside, the dishes you do make will leave you feeling inspired to take dishes you already cook and turn them on their head. Although it can be overwhelming to face so many recipes in one book, I urge you to add this to your collection. It is timeless and will only help to increase your knowledge of food.

4. Gordon Ramsay’s Secrets by Gordon Ramsay

In this incredible and not too badly priced book, Gordon Ramsay lets you in on a few secrets that have made him the world-renowned chef that we have all come to love. With a huge collection of recipes from poultry to fish and desserts to soups, this cookbook lets you in on inside info that will have friends and family thinking you are a bona-fide kitchen guru. The recipes are simple and effective and Ramsay has even added flourishes of his own, such as useful tips on presenting dishes. If you really have a passion for cooking or would love to learn more, this is the book that teaches you not just to cook but how to become a chef. These tips help to make cooking a truly enjoyable experience and will boost your confidence to be adventurous not only in cooking but also in eating as well.

3. The Complete Book of Sushi by Hideo Dekura

As a self-confessed sushi addict this book is incredible – the pages are almost edible. It combines the modern with the traditional and allows you to get to grips with this difficult Japanese style of cooking. Although not to everyone’s taste, this book teaches you the secrets behind making that difficult sticky rice and how to present your sushi in wonderful ways. The most interesting thing about Dekura’s book is they way it advances from simple to expert. This allows you to move gradually at your own pace and also sets little targets within the book. Whilst there are other books on the market such as Yo Sushi’s, it is Dekura’s book that really stands out of the crowd. With gorgeous photography it inspires with a mere flick of the page, and unlike its contemporaries has clear and simple instructions. A must have for any sushi fan and it also makes a great present.

2. Wahaca – Mexican Food At Home by Thomasina Miers

This book comes in at number two of this best cooking books top ten and is a must have for any frequent Wahaca customer. It was only recently published and plunges you straight into the vibrant and tasty world of Mexican street food. One thing that did surprise me was the breakfast section, and I have to admit I have been thoroughly converted to a mexican way of eating in the morning. Full of beautiful pictures and written in an accessible and friendly way, this book does exactly what the title states and brings Mexican food straight into your kitchen. Miers has clearly done the research required for such an exquisite book, and the information about mexican chillies is invaluable. An excellent book for cooking meals for friends and a great equivalent to BBQ parties.

1.Jaime does… by Jaime Oliver

In at number one is Jaime does. In this book Jaime travels through foodie hotspots such as Spain, France and Morocco in order to find innovative recipes. The book is beautifully presented (like all of Jaime’s books) and has wonderful pictures of his travels alongside the amazing pictures of his food. Each country has an introductory paragraph that explains the culture and food he came into contact with, and then in very simple language and an ever friendly tone, Jaime guides you through a range of dishes. From light bites such as patatas bravas to the more complex dishes like the steak tartare, Jaime’s tone never condescends you as the amateur chef. This book not only provides great enjoyment as a teaching tool but is also nice to flip through every now and again to behold the location shots of his food journey. Overall a very deserving winner of this Best Cooking Books list. Absolutely delicious!

This is by no means the only ten cook books I think you should own. There are many other brilliant cookbooks out there for beginners such as The Student Cookbook by Sophie Grigson. This is superb for amateur chefs who simply do not have the time to cook elaborate meals every day and are after recipes for both real cooking and convenience cooking. Then for more adventurous chefs who are willing to getinventive and scientific in the kitchen, there is Heston Bluementhal’s brilliant book The Fat Duck Cookbook, which combines vivid illustrations and wacky recipes for a truly great cooking experience. Overall, the ten books that compose this best cooking books list all offer friendly, easy to follow guidance which enables you to not only enjoy them as books, but also enjoy them as learning tools that will one day make you the king of the kitchen.

Bon appetit ladies and gents.

Source by Nicola Borasinski

Eating Out in Niseko, Japan

Eating out in Niseko is another cultural experience in itself. There is a large selection of restaurants: Izakayas, Yakitori & sushi restaurants, ramen shops and curry places, plus a good selection of western style foods. Prices are about average by Japanese standards but surprisingly cheap by Western standards. There are over 40 restaurants in the village and most are open 365 days of the year.

Every winter the Niseko Promotion Board publishes a free wine and dine guide for the Niseko Resort Area. Information in English is provided for the restaurants and bars in Niseko. A searchable online guide covering a reasonable subset of Niseko’s restaurants and bars can be found at the Powderlife website.

For middle of the range dining, lunches cost around 1,000 yen, evening meals cost around 2,000-3,000yen per person. You can dine a lot cheaper or spend a lot more depending on the restaurant. The free Niseko food and wine guide provides more detail regarding each restaurants typical dishes and prices.

During the peak periods of Christmas/New Year and Chinese New Year it is recommended to make reservations. Most restaurants have English speaking staff. Outside of these times you generally only need to make a reservation if you have a large group or want to dine at a popular restaurant.


Most bars and restaurants in the Niseko Ski resort don’t accept credit cards or travelers cheques. Restaurants that do accept credit cards may charge an extra service fee. There is an ATM that accepts VISA. The main post office in Kutchan accepts most international cards. Note that tipping is not customary in Japan and you should not leave a tip at your restaurant table as the wait staff will probably think you forgot your change and will chase after you to return it.

Favourite Restaurants

Favourite restaurants and bars that we or our friends and guests have visited include:

  • A Bu Cha in the Upper Village serves popular modern Japanese dishes and hotpots filled with local Hokkaido ingredients. Telephone 0136 22 5620
  • Bhozan in the middle village serves traditional Nepalese food. Telephone 0136 21 2121
  • The Tajmahal serves delicious Indian food, as well as a range of Chinese cuisine. Telephone 0136-22-4566
  • The Vale Bar & Grill located at the base of the Ace Family Pair lift offers modern international cuisine. The American style buffet is a great way to start a day’s skiing. Telephone 0136-21-5833
  • Steak Rosso Rosso is a casual steak house with a contemporary flavor. Telephone 0136-21-7100
  • Mina Mina Sake Bar & Restaurant serves a variety of contemporary Japanese food. They also have a range of carefully selected Japanese sake, Shochu and plum (ume boshi) wines. Telephone.: 090-7652-0220
  • Wild Bills is a popular bar as well as a fantastic Tex-Mex cuisine restaurant. Telephone:0136-22-5652

Source by Paul Andrew White

Good Travel in Japan Includes Good Lunch

Make lunch one highlight of your days in Japan, because food is an important and celebrated part of travel in Japan.

Japanese guidebooks introduce foods, cafes, restaurants, bentos, and food souvenirs to buy for your families, friends, and colleagues. Model day trips usually consist of visiting famous sights at your destination, eating local food or visiting a popular restaurant, and shopping for omiyage souvenirs. And those souvenirs are most often food items. Japanese travel programs also focus on local foods.

Don’t know where you should go? Go somewhere for the food – soba noodles in Nagano prefecture, okonomiyaki and takoyaki in Osaka, yudofu in Kyoto. Plan a trip to eat a local specialty as you would plan a trip to visit a local attraction. Or combine the two reasons to travel.

Going to Asakusa in Tokyo? Have tempura, sushi, or monjayaki at an old local restaurant, see Senso-ji temple, and buy some of the food souvenirs the area is famous for like ningyo-yaki cakes and kaminariokoshi crackers.

Going to Matsumoto in Nagano? Visit Matsumoto castle, eat fresh soba noodles, and buy oyaki dumplings with different fillings as a souvenir.

Wherever you might visit in Japan, make use of the best lunch offers make time in your schedule to explore Japanese food.

1. Get a free upgrade. During lunch you can often get a big portion for the price of a regular one. I have seen this offered for ramen, tsukemen, and curry rice.

2. Get a free refill. Many restaurants serving teishoku style sets will offer you more rice or miso soup. At the tonkatsu restaurant Wako for example staff will serve you more miso soup, rice, and also more cabbage.

3. All you can eat. Just like a salad bar offering as much salad as you want there is buffet style all you can eat called tabehodai. Check lunch at the big hotels. Their tabehodai lunch includes a great variety of savory dishes and desert. The high quality food here is popular with Japanese visitors and the amount you eat is only limited by your appetite and usually generous time limit.

4. Lunch sets. Select a special lunch set at a sushi bar or traditional Japanese restaurant. You can expect to eat an exquisite selection for less than half of what you would pay at dinner time. These lunch sets are a good option if you want to eat at places that would usually outside your budget.

5. Bento box lunch. Boxed lunch is a good option if you want to eat outside at a park or will be on the train during the day. Of course convenience stores offer cheap lunches, but you can also get a bento that is a special treat. Check the restaurants and bento vendors near train stations. Eki-ben (train station bento) often uses local delicacies and is a celebrated class of bento in itself.

So do not forget lunch and time for meals when you design your travel. Local delicacies and restaurants will add to your overall travel experience.

Source by Tonia David

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Indian Food

Generally when you ask somebody about Indian food they will spout adjectives like hot, spicy, rich, fatty, and curry. However, trying to characterize Indian cuisine in just a few words is an incredibly daunting task. The country is home to a vast array of regional cuisines, and the food evolved over thousands of years based on internal and external influences. Those who are passionate about Indian cuisine would argue that preparing the food involves an intricate blending of spices and ingredients that make it something of an art. So let’s address some of the many misconceptions about the cuisine with these 5 things you didn’t know about Indian food.

  1. Not all Indian food is spicy. In fact, most Indian dishes incorporate a variety of spices, but this is not what makes particular dishes spicy. Many recipes call for chilies or other “hot” spices, but these can almost always be omitted as a matter of taste. Moreover, some dishes have a very simple spice profile, and some require only one or two spices.
  2. Indian food is healthy. While it’s true that many curry dishes may be a little heavy with respect to fat content, Indian food is really what you make of it. Like you wouldn’t expect all Japanese dishes to feature rice, you shouldn’t expect all Indian dishes to feature fat. Many recipes can be augmented with respect to oil or fat content, and there are a wide range of dishes that do not require oil at all. Indian cooking is also full of vegetables and healthy spices cooked so that they have a rich and satisfying flavour. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green chillies are commonly used in Indian recipes and they’re all known for their positive health benefits.
  3. Indian food can be easy to cook. Some recipes take time and effort to fully develop flavours, but this is true of just about any cuisine in the world. Some of the most popular Indian dishes are actually quick and easy. Tandoor chicken, mutter paneer, bhindi ki subji are just a few examples of recipes that are easy to prepare.
  4. There is no such thing as “curry”. For inexperienced diners, curry seems to be the only ingredient in Indian food, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, “curry” is generally a collection of spices known as garam masala. The basic ingredients in garam masala are similar but the final recipe can even vary between households.
  5. Indian food has diverse regional characteristics. Whether you’re talking about north/south/east/west or various provinces in India, the cuisine varies significantly. Northern Indian food is probably the most popular internationally. Meats and vegetables cooked in a tandoor are common and cream is often used in marinades. Nevertheless, Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse, so you can enjoy trying new and interesting varieties from all over the country.

Source by Alex Pupkin

The Wonderful Benefits of Travelling

Imagine yourself being a school kid. When you arrive home after school, suddenly your parents tell you “Pack your bags, kid. We’re going to travel overseas!” Even without knowing where you’ll go, you still jump for joy. Why is that so? Well, that’s because you’re going to TRAVEL!

Everyone loves to travel. There are countless reasons for it. And with it, comes the infinite number of benefits. I am pretty sure you will agree to this, won’t you? Well, let me list down the some of the benefits you’ll gain from traveling.

Expand Your Perspective

When it’s your first time traveling, you’ll realize that the outside world is simply amazing. You’ll understand that things are much beautiful when you step out of that teeny weeny shell of yours. When you step foot on foreign land, you’re certainly bound to meet new people, new friends, new experiences, etc. These will unlock that little rusty chain in your brain which is preventing you from broadening your mind. So, go out and explore. Discover the world. Gain new perspectives. Experience new cultures. Only by doing so will you get to take a few steps back and ponder about life. Only by doing so will you get to see the world in ways we would never be able to comprehend in our home countries.

The Grass Is Not Always Greener on the Other Side

“What? Just a plate of Japanese curry rice cost me US$10?!” “Why are cigarettes in Australia so expensive?” “Buying alcohol in Iceland is the same as purchasing a pair of Nike Air Zoom running shoes.” Or maybe you’re about to pay for a bus fare in Oslo, but instead of expecting to pay pennies, you got slapped with a fee which you could have used to purchase that ‘Middle East Travel Guide’ Lonely Planet e-book. To those of you who frequently travel, you may have experienced the same thing. When you visit other countries, you’ll find out that you’ll get a deeper appreciation for home. The difference in lifestyle will make you feel blessed with the place where you belong.

Embrace Mother Nature

Drag yourself out of the urban jungle and go for glacier trekking, mountain climbing, whale-watching, etc. Travelling is an excellent opportunity for you to learn and discover all of the beautiful things that Mother Nature could teach us. It also has the potential to heal you in more ways than you can imagine. So the next time you aren’t feeling productive in the office, apply for a few days off and go travel.

Source by Nudrat Naheed

Japanese Recipes Which Appeal To Western Palates

Having lived in Japan for many years, I was able to experience a large variety of the dishes available in the land of the rising sun. At first, I was very adventurous and wanted to eat the dishes most different to my own culture’s familiar tastes. After some years living abroad though, I started to feel like many of my expatriate friends and craved the tastes of home in my own house. With comfort food, one can often relax and create a little atmosphere of Western comfort, even while living in a tiny Japanese apartment.

Here are a couple of Japanese dishes which are easy to stomach for the foreigner who has been in Japan too long, or for the uninitiated who wants to sample Japanese food without diving straight into sushi:

Katsu Curry

I first had katsu curry while on student exchange in the Saitama region, close to Tokyo. As a 15 year old active boy, I required a lot of calories to make it through the day. The school cafeteria served up katsu curry as an option everyday and it soon became my favorite Japanese comfort food.

The meat of the dish is tonkatsu (the ton means pork, katsu is the style of batter), which is thin to medium thickness pork fillets, breaded and deep fried. There are a range of dishes made with tonkatsu, and even a tonkatsu sauce, which is not used in katsu curry, but is often found on tonkatsu along with shredded cabbage as a garnish.

The aforementioned fried pork is laid upon a bed of rice and then covered in a mild Japanese curry (more closely related in flavor to an English beef stew then any Western concept of curry). The typical garnish is a bright red pickled ginger, julienned. This may be placed on the curry when served or offered as a condiment at your table.


For those trying to avoid too much cholesterol in their diets, be warned, these recipes may not suit you. Again, as a 15 year old boy and even now, I still think karaage is one of the easiest Japanese foods to eat as a Westerner.

One could easily assume karaage is just fried chicken, as done in many other countries. While similar, there are some subtle differences. One point to note is that while karaage is most often made with Chicken, it is not always the case. You may be served gobo karaage which is the same batter, but used to fry burdock root. A difference from common fried chicken you may find in the United States of America, is that the meat is first marinated in sauces such as soy combined with garlic or ginger. After marinating either for an hour or overnight, the main ingredient is then lightly covered in a flour or starch and fried in oil. Many cooks will double or triple-fry the karaage, with a resting period of 15 minutes between fries.

The resulting food is always delicious and while Japanese enjoy covering karaage in mayonnaise before eating, to me, that feels wrong, so plain karaage or with a little Frank’s Hot Sauce is the perfect pseudo-Western food to be found all over Japan.

Source by James A Bruce