For the Grindz of the Day today, we begin with a tray of sweet mochi Diner C made herself and brought to share with us. To be honest, as much as I love Japanese food, I’m not much of a mochi fan, not caring for its glutenous, sticky texture and starchy flavor. Yet for what its worth, Diner C’s take on it was as good, if not better and certainly fresher tasting than any I’ve had from the stores.
Next up, contrary to my feelings towards mochi, I HEART (love) Natto!..
Which I know many folks who are Japanese that don’t like the stuff, so go figure. And they kinda’ trip when they see me eating it, being that I’m not Japanese. Well, by blood anyway.
Don Quijote carries an impressively wide selection of Natto, and I don’t know which one is better or what, but I just watch which brand the nihonjin folks tend to buy and I grab that one. Or the one on sale.
As you see here, they typically come packed in these little square trays, where most include the seasoning, with one packet of karashi mustard and the other packet a sort of sweet and acidic dashi and shoyu liquid.
You add both packets to the Natto and then you stir it vigorously in the tray to froth it up, where it end up looking like this…
I think more than anything else, folks who don’t like natto are offended by its “snot-like” texture. I’ve heard some say it smells bad, but I firmly disagree. I think it smells wonderfully savory and robust, kinda’ like “meaty” coffee beans if you will. And that’s kinda’ how it tastes!
You simply add it to some hot rice, add some garnish if you like, and perhaps some tsukemono and enjoy!…
On this occasion I’ve added an ume, Maui spicy takuwan and negi (green onion). Believe it or not, this is often what I have for dinner when I don’t feel like cooking or going out. Either this or nama Ramen. I told you I heart Japanese food.
It’s cheap too. You can buy a Natto 3 or 4-pack on sale at Don Quijote or Marukai for anywhere from $2-3. A little higher for some other brands. A tray of Natto and a serving of rice and you’re set. That’s like a $1 dinner, and best of all, it’s VERY HEALTHY.
Natto is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B2, and vitamin k2, which is useful for preventing osteoporosis. It contains compounds including phytoestrogen, selenium and others that may help prevent cancer, and also contains a powerful beneficial enzyme called nattokinase.
Nattokinase has been found to help prevent and reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as provide heart-protective benefits. Some studies suggest that nattokinase can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Moving on to some things not so much healthy, but no doubt tasty, we have Zippy’s Chili Bento…
Diner A picked this up several weeks ago using one of Zippy’s Facebook coupons. I tell you, Zippy’s is sure getting lots of business from them Facebook coupons. Very smart way to bring in customers. I mean, who isn’t on Facebook nowadays? lol
But yeah, I never knew Zippy’s even had a ‘Chili Bento’. Add SPAM, add Fried Chicken and BAM! It’s a bento! This is definitely a welcome site after a day of surfing!
Next we have a pack of USDA Prime New York Strip Steaks I picked up at the Hawaii Kai Costco last month…
Prime Beef is a relatively new thing at Costco, or any supermarket for that matter, as previously this highest grade of cow were reserved only for finer restaurants. Doing some online research, I found out Costco was getting a lot of their prime grade beef supply from ranchers in Mexico, as was indicated on the label that said “Product of Mexico”. Yet Costco is also resourcing their prime grade beef from right here in the good ‘ole US of A, as is indicated on the label of the steaks I bought which say “Product of USA”.
As you see, the price is $10.99/pound, which is a very good price, compared to say Foodland down the street, where they also had Prime grade New York Strip that was selling for $15.99/pound Maikai price.
Now take a look at that marbling. Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL! You just know that’s FLAVORTOWN USA right there folks. After letting it “age” a little in my fridge, I finally took it out and grilled it…
Costco isn’t always the cheapest place to buy meats, but they certainly are the best when it comes to cuts, always cutting their steaks “tick” (thick)!…
So this prime grade New York Strip measures 7″ in length by 1-3/8″ thickness. Now ‘das tick! You know this bad boy’s gonna’ be medium-rare ‘n juicy when it’s done!
To season it, all I put on it was Kauai salt ponds red alae salt and fresh cracked pepper. That’s it. Nuff. Keep it simple and let the beef speak for itself.
Sorry but I didn’t get a shot of the finished, grilled steak, but let me just say it was worth the extra price. Totally worth it! So ono!
I tell you, that marbling really makes a difference in the flavor as the fat “capsules” melt into the fibers of the meat. After eating Prime grade, I’m having a hard time going back to choice. Yeah, I sound like a spoiled brat, but hey, it’s true! Actually, if I only insisted on Kobe, then you can call me spoiled!
But yeah, next time you’re in the mood for a steak, and I don’t mean any steak, I mean a SUPER-DUPER GOOD steak, fork out the extra cash for the prime grade stuff. It’s totally worth it!
Finally we have a couple Pig-in-a-Blanket that Diner A brought for lunch…
No, these aren’t from Costco or the supermarket, but from where else? The public school cafeteria! Remember those?!! I sure do. But these are like Pig-in-a-blanket kicked up notches unknown to swinekind (is that a valid word? lol). They’re awesome!
Diner A’s wife works at a public school and bought him a couple to try after raving about them herself. What’s all the fuss about? The bun is AWESOME! Here, take a look inside…
It’s kinda’ like a hybrid of Portuguese Sweet Bread and French Bread, being more crusty and glutenous like French Bread, yet still delicate and of course a little buttery and sweet like local style Portuguese Sweet Bread.
Seriously, this is one of, if not the best Hot Dog Buns I’ve ever tasted. And the hot dog itself, which is an “institutional brand” not found in stores is very tasty as well, being somewhat on the salty side, while having a slight hint of smoke to it and overall very “beefy”. Nice, nice, NICE!
Them public school cafeteria ladies, I tell you, they still get ’em! Hair net and all! lol 5 SPAM Musubi on da’ “new school” Public School Cafeteria Pig-in-a-Blanket!
Well, that was quite a diverse variety of “Grindz of the Day”. :-)