Celibrate spring and cherry blossom viewing at the end of March
Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour, and in Japan can refer to any thin noodle , known as udon. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, so it can be harvested four times a year, mainly in spring, summer, and autumn. In Japan, buckwheat is produced mainly in Hokkaido. Soba that is made with newly harvested buckwheat is called “shin-soba”. It is sweeter and more flavorful than regular soba.
Grilled Tofu with Chicken-Soboro and Citron Miso
Grilled Bamboo Shoot with Japanese Pepper Miso
Bento is the Japanese way of saying take-out meal, but bento boxes are typically used for serving meals at home or at sit-down restaurants. If you travel through Japan, you will find many restaurants serving food in bento boxes because they often have many compartments and make it easy to store food. Many bento boxes, such as our own, have a lacquer surface, which leave the boxes with an attractive, glossy finish.
Bento boxes range from small to large, and from plain to uniquely decorated. They are great for serving your family, and even better to use when entertaining guests. There is no better way to serve an authentic Japanese meal than with our great bento boxes.
Wagashi is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits. Continue reading
An old-time Japanese favorite! Pickled cherry leaf wrapped around the cake. Some people don’t eat the leaves but it is supposed to bring out the sweetness of the bean paste inside and transfer the cherry scent to the cake.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice, not to be confused with gluten, pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi is also a prominent snack in Hawaii, South Korea, Taiwan.
Aomikan is a green tangerine that are available in Japan from around the end of August though September. There are simply tangerines that have been harvested a few weeks early. They are tart and tangy.
Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. It is most famous in form of a green paste used as condiment for Sashimi and Suschi. However, wasabi is also used for many other Japanese dishes.
The wasabi plant Wasabia japonica also incorrectly equated to Eutrema japonica, a member of the cruciferous family, is native to Japan and is traditionally found growing in or by cold mountain streams. The earliest cultivation of wasabi in Japan dates back to the 10th century. The grated ‘rhizome’ or above-ground root-like stem of this plant has a fiery hot flavor that quickly dissipates in the mouth, leaving a lingering sweet taste, with no burning sensation.
Namagashi Is a type of Wagashi, often used in Japanese Tea Ceremonies
Natsumikan is a bitter Japanese citrus fruit in season during the summer months. Several wagashi confection stores in Kyoto are quite famous for their chilled natsumikan jellies, in which the jelly is usually inside the hollowed out whole natsumikan fruit peel. They are a bit expensive but are quite a dramatic presentation so are often given as gifts.
Kuri kinton is mashed sweet potato with sweet chestnuts kuri. It’s one of Japanese New Year’s food, Osechi. It’s said that its golden yellow color symbolizes prosperity.
Kumquats or cumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, either forming the genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu lato. The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller and ovular, being approximately the size and shape of an olive.
The akebi is the purple fruit of a wild akebia vine that grows on Honshu and Kyushu. It feels soft to the touch. It’s shape is roughly that of what you’d get if you tried to smush an apple into a banana-shape but gave up about halfway. The part you want to eat is the sweet whitish inside, although that the purple skin and black seeds are also edible. For many Japanese, the appearance of the akebi fruit is a symbol that Autumn has finally arrived.
Matcha, rubbed tea, is a Japanese green tea powder used primarily in the Japanese tea ceremony but also for flavoring and coloring, such as, ice cream and pastries. To drink it is mixed with nearly boiling hot water to desired strength and thickness. Continue reading
Furikake is often brightly colored and flaky. It can have a slight fish or seafood flavoring, and is sometimes spicy. It can be used in Japanese cooking for pickling foods for onigiri, or rice balls.
Onigiri also known as omusubi or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori seaweed. Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume, umeboshi, salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative.
Dango is a Japanese dumpling made from mochiko rice flour, related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.
Tempura was introduced to Japan in the mid-1600s by Portuguese sailors. The word tempura can be derived from the Portuguese oun tempero, resulting in a spice or seasoning, or from the verb temper, which means for the season. There is still today a dish in Portugal like tempura to Peixinhos da Horta called the garden’s fish.
Tempura is the Japanese cuisine of fried food that is served with dipping sauce tentsuyu comprising a kind of seaweed dashi broth, mirin rice wine and a sweet Japanese soy and grated daikon, Asian radish and sliced ginger. Bits of sponge usually, fish, shrimp, quid, potatoes and lotus root dip in a bread coating, consisting of water, flour and egg yolk and then deep-fried for 2-3 minutes.
Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of fresh, untreated raw fish, even thin slices of raw beef can be included. verything is sliced into very thin pieces, but dimensions vary depending on the type of item and chef, and served immediately with only dipping sauce, soy sauce with wasabi paste and thinly sliced ginger and shredded Daikon radish. Often we mix together, here in the West, that right with Sushi.
The word sashimi means “pierced body”= sashimi = sashi pierced sticked and= mi, body, meat, may derive from the culinary ractice of sticking the fish’s tail and fin to the slices in identifying the fish being eaten.
Kaiseki means stone in the bosom, and refers to a practice where Zen monks would avert famine by heating stones in the folds of their Obi. The term came to mean a light vegetarian meal served before a tea ceremony, perhaps with reference to the simple meal to the monks who knew of the famine as much as a hot stone was.