Summer Salad

May 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

We’re in the middle of summer and fruity salads are my thing of late.

Nectarines. I don’t see them often in my tropical world but once in a while I chance upon them. Like last week. And so before it get all mushy, I am on apricot overload. I’d bring have it for breakfast with cottage cheese (another thing I can’t live with but, unfortunately, Nestle decided to not sell them anymore and so I wait for this whenever available). But I digress. Of course, I have to have it on my salad.


Nectarines and beef tapa is not surprisingly a winning combination. The sweet fragrant freshness of nectarines complement well with the salty, slightly sour beef. And the peppery, spicy arugula caps to the whole flavor adventure. Mangoes will be a good substitute I think for when nectarines or peaches aren’t in season.


Nectarine, Beef and Arugula Salad

What You Need:

o   50 grams of beef tapa, cut into strips (you can make your own or used this)

o   A few button mushrooms, sliced

o   1 pcs. nectarine, quartered

o   Arugula

o   Salt and Pepper to taste

For the dressing:


o   ¼ cup Honey Cider Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

o   1-2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What You Do:

  1. On a frying pan, fry the beef until done. Set aside.
  2. On the same pan, leave just about a tablespoon of oil from the beef and discard the rest. Cook the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bottle with the cap closed tightly. Shake to combine.Honey-Cider-Vinaigrette
  4. On a salad bowl, toss the nectarines, beef, mushrooms and arugula. Drizzle dressing on salad before serving.



What To Eat in the Hida Neighborhood: Hida Beef

May 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

Tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness – is how I describe this good piece of steak I had in a not so recent dining episode somewhere in Hida Takayama.  In fact, most of our meals were of this black-haired Japanese cattle breed.


Our very first meal in Takayama was this wonderful set meal at a French Bistro called Le Midi,


we then had it Teppanyaki style in Hirayu,


Yakiniku style in a hole in a wall,


in a bun found in stalls everywhere,


we queued in line to have taste of this minced Hida beef cutlet,


and delighted in the city’s specialty, Hida Beef grilled on a magnolia leaf with Hoba miso (another of their delicacies) – all garnering a truly satisfying two-thumbs up from me.

Raised in the Gifu Prefecture, Hida Beef or Hida-gyu, as it is called, is one of the reasons how I found myself in Hida Takayama.  Although widely known (and for obvious reasons) for its wonderfully preserved city and beautiful sceneries, for foodies, it is its premium beef that reigns supreme in this city.  Sharing the same class (but not exactly the limelight) as Kobe and Matsuzaka, Hida, like other wagyu beef, has beautiful marbling that prevents the juice and aroma from escaping from the meat and helps maintain its tenderness.  The cattle fattened for 14 months, and its meats are ranked from grades 3-5 (with 5 being the most premium).

In my humble opinion, I find that Hida beef boasts of the buttery taste found in some wagyu beef but does not possess so much of the fatty richness, highlighting more the flavor of the meat.  If you find your way to Takayama, do splurge on at least a meal of Hida beef. If, however, you start dreaming of Hida Beef, do not hesitate, head out to Takayama at the soonest chance you get.

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