Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Japanese kitchen

We live off base and we love it!  Our neighborhood is nice and it's fun to try out the Japanese way of living.

One quirky thing I'm still getting used to is the kitchen.  This was especially tough over the holidays, with baking and trying to cook a turkey in our little oven.  (Excuse the mess, I took these pictures while getting our Valentine's breakfast ready.)

Oven/microwave on the government issue night stand

The cooking area in the oven/microwave is so small, we have to be careful about which frozen pizzas we buy at the store.  I can only fit about 8 or 9 cookies at a time (where a normal cookie sheet usually fits about 11 or 12).

In the place of an American oven, we have a fish broiler.  It's like regular oven's broiler with a grill in a tray that slides out.  (The tray also gets filled with water to catch the drippings and supposedly help keep the cooking fish smell down.)

Range and fish broiler

I use our broiler to cook pork chops, but I haven't had good results with trying to cook hamburgers and steaks.  The hamburgers fell apart (possibly caused by a bad recipe) and the steaks just don't taste right.  Although we haven't actually used our first broiler for fish yet, maybe we'll be brave and try out a local fish market soon.

Another Japanese appliance: the dish dryer.

The dish dryer
As you can see, the dish dryer wasn't made to fit our big American plates.  Getting everything to fit can definitely be a challenge.  We started off just using a regular dish rack and air drying, but mold quickly became a problem.  The bottom of the rack wouldn't dry completely and the feet started rotting, so we began using the dryer.

I've mentioned it before, our sink has a weird little basket that catches food instead of a garbage disposal.  I'm usually really bad about remembering to clean out the basket and it starts stinking quickly!

We also have two trap doors in the middle of the floor.  The housing agency said that during a typhoon, we can get dry ice and use the space in the floor to hold food in case the power goes out.

***I've learned that the below floor storage is called 床下 (yuka-shita) and is just used for general storage.  We do keep our emergency supplies (heavy canned goods, jugs of water, big flashlights) down there but sometimes we just use it as an extra pantry too.

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