Recipe: Agedashi nasu
Agedashi nasu may look harmless enough, but each slice of eggplant comes packed with flavor. A variation on the popular agedashi dofu, the principal ingredient in agedashi nasu is eggplant. In some ways, using eggplant is preferable to tofu as it soaks up much of the dashi's flavor. For those wanting to experiment further, try preparing mochi (rice cakes) or satoimo (taro root) in this way. This dish is a good example of aburanuki, a technique by which hot water is poured on the ingredients in order to remove excess oil. Various kinds of garnish will suit the dish. Select your favorite among ...
Recipe: Takenoko no mazegohan (Japanese-style mixed rice)
This typically Japanese mix of textures is an ideal addition to any bento. Takenoko no mazegohan is a seasonal rice dish which features takenoko (bamboo shoots) mixed with chicken and a selection of Japanese vegetables. The preparation of the bamboo shoots takes place the day before, and follows the same process as that used in our recipe for Tosa-style bamboo shoots). For an interesting variation, mix the ingredients with vinegar rice to create gomokuzushi. Detailed directions for vinegar rice can be found here. The dish is also easy to adapt for vegetarians: simply omit the chicken and use kombu dashi rather than the ...
Kickstarter Campaign to Publish “The Shochu Handbook”
Hello foodie friends! I hope you're having a fantastic day. For the past three years I've been pouring my energy into my first publication, "The Shochu Handbook." Remember when I talked about the project while touring distilleries in Kyushu, and then again when I talked about the process of becoming certified as a Shochu Sommelier? Yup, it was all part of the plan to get to this point. Today I'm unveiling the fruit of all that labor, and I hope that you'll take a moment to check it out: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pellegrini/the-shochu-handbook-an-intro-to-japans-alcoholic-s It'd mean the world to me if you'd spread the word by simply clicking the ...
Japan Booze Blind: Vodka
Is there any real difference between so-called premium vodkas and the cheap stuff? Albrecht Stahmer and Junko Wada join Christopher Pellegrini to test three different brands. Guests Junko Wada and Albrecht Stahmer sit down with host Christopher Pellegrini to blind-taste three kinds of vodka: Suntory (Japan), Skyy (U.S.) and Okuhida (Japan). Once again, the show was recorded at Kokubunji's The Lighthouse. Thanks once again to Duncan Sculpher and The Lighthouse team for inviting us to film there.
Recipe: Sweet potato kimpira
Satsuma imo, or sweet potato, is used in Japanese cuisine for both sweet and savory dishes. Kimpira is a Japanese cooking style in which vegetables are sautéd, then simmered on a low heat. Kimpira is most commonly associated with gobo (burdock roots) or other root vegetables such as lotus roots, carrots, and sometimes daikon (Japanese radish). The basic approach is to cut the vegetables into thin rectangular strips, and sauté them in the sugar and soy sauce. The saltiness of the soy sauce will bring out the natural sweetness of the potatoes, so there's no need for much added sugar. For colour, ...
John Bailey and Rachael White join host Christopher Pellegrini in blind tasting awamori, Okinawan firewater.
Awamori is a beverage native to Okinawa, the island chain to the south of Japan. It is made from long grain indica rice (usually imported from Thailand) which is washed and soaked before being treated with a black koji mold. Yeast and water are then added to bring about fermentation. Finally, the moromi is heated and distilled. The result is a drink not unlike shochu, with a alcohol content of anywhere between 20 and 40 per cent.
On this episode of Japan Booze Blind, guests Rachael White (producer of the blogs tokyoterrace.com, rachaelwhite.me) and John Bailey (arts journalist, noted Japanophile) blind-taste three very different types of awamori: Donan, Nanko and Sashiba. The show was recorded at Dynamo, a skate themed bar in Koenji.
Thanks to Julien Arnaud for allowing us to film at Dynamo.
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