Tonkotsu ramen with chasu drizzled with black garlic oil
Jenn was invited to an eight-course tasting meal at Sobo Ramen in Oakland Chinatown courtesy of Yelp. Sobo Ramen opened in mid-2012 and offers mostly organic ramen and Japanese appetizers. The tonkotsu broth is created in a 24-hour boiling process for maximum flavor. They are the only restaurant in the area that serves tonkotsu ramen with mayu, black garlic oil and it’s absolutely delicious.
Baked mussels with aioli and tobiko
- We love ramen. What’s not to love about chewy noodles, a soft-boiled egg, and slices of pork in a rich broth? Ramen Dojo is a popular restaurant in San Mateo that sells Ramen and not much else. They offer three broth choices: soy sauce, soy bean, or garlic pork with four levels of spiciness.
No website, but here’s the Yelp page.
One of the things I miss most about my college days at UCLA is the food at the dining halls. UCLA has amazing dorm food! I have fond memories of made-to-order omelettes on Sundays, walking out with a huge cone of soft serve covered in sprinkles, and eating a grilled cheese sandwich as an appetizer with every meal. Thank goodness for all of the stairs and hills on campus for keeping the Freshman 15 away.
My absolute favorite thing to eat at the dining hall were the sushi bowls. They were only served once a week or maybe once every other week at Hedrick Hall, also known as the FURTHEST DORM AT THE TOP OF THE HILL. My friends and I would make the trek just for these sushi bowls. It’s basically sushi for lazy people. Anything you wanted in a sushi roll was simply thrown into a bowl. We loved it.
I recreated this meal last night with some of the sashimi Jeremy picked up at Berkeley Bowl. Four meals worth of sashimi grade salmon and tuna only cost us $20. We had really inexpensive sushi the night prior and didn’t get as much fish and still walked out of the restaurant $30 poorer, so this is a great value.
- Sashimi-grade fish.
- Sushi rice
- Soy sauce
- Whatever else you feel like throwing in. (I wish I had mango.)
- Throw everything into a bowl.
A long time ago, when I first started dating Jeremy, I asked him if we could have a “fat” day in which we would just eat EVERYTHING until we hated ourselves. In my head, I was thinking we’d get a dozen donuts or an entire ice cream cake and eat it while watching some awful television or an insightful documentary. His response? He said that the only thing he’d want to pig out on is sushi. Figures. He’s always been much fancier than me.
Well, lucky, lucky Jeremy happened to move to the Bay Area and into an apartment a few miles away from Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley. They sell sashimi-grade fish and other Japanese items. Once, I needed a few leaves of napa cabbage for a recipe, but I didn’t want to buy an entire head. I found a bag of just a few leaves at this Japanese market for a mere 42 cents! On another trip, Jeremy picked up this sashimi-grade salmon, organic sushi rice, wasabi, furikake, and pickled ginger for a small fraction of what we’d pay at a restaurant. I boiled some Trader Joe’s edamame (not pictured) and made cucumber salad to round out the meal.
Japanese Cucumber Salad Recipe
- one cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
- Mix everything together
- Let it sit for 30 minutes
Every morning, I make a big pot of espresso. The first two servings go to our morning cappuccinos, and I usually save the rest for an afternoon iced latte. One day I didn’t feel the need for the second helping of caffeine, so I decided to turn the leftover espresso into coffee jelly. The recipe is stupidly easy.
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 2 tbsp. hot water
- 2 cups of coffee
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Mix the gelatin powder and hot water in a cup and let sit for a minute or two.
- Meanwhile, heat the coffee in a small pot
- Stir in the sugar and gelatin mixture and keep stirring until everything is dissolved.
- Pour into cups or into a tray and pop that sucker into the fridge.
- Let gelatin set for at least two hours.
I mushed mine up and added milk, but I think the traditional Japanese way of enjoying this dessert calls for a dollop of whipped cream. It’s an alternate way for me to get my caffeine fix, and in these long, monotonous days filled with only studying, the variety is very welcome.