Recipe: Hijiki no nimono (stewed hijiki)
This classic seaweed dish is simple and healthy. Add it to your next bento, or serve it alongside rice as a main meal. Hijiki is a well known seaweed in Japan. There are two kinds: me-hijiki, (hijiki buds) which is relatively easy to prepare, and naga-hijiki, the stem of hijiki seaweed. Naga-hijiki takes longer to soften but has more texture. Hijiki no nimono is considered to be "mother's home cooking" ("ofukuro no aji") and is rich in fiber, iron and calcium. This dish usually contains carrots and deep-fried tofu pouches. Small pieces of chicken, shiitake mushrooms and edamame (boiled soy beans) can be added ...
Recipe: Nanohana and bacon pasta
A bittersweet spring dish. Nanohana (or rape-blossom in English) is representative of spring. Like wild vegetables such as fuki (butterbur), taranome (the buds of Japanese angelica) and udo, nanohana is a seasonal vegetable with a slight bitterness. For this reason, nanohana goes well with two of the dish's other ingredients: butter and bacon. These add a sweetness that offsets the initial bitterness of the vegetable. I recommend adding a little butter to the olive oil (or vegetable oil) to sauté the nanohana. [caption id="attachment_6446" align="alignright" width="300"] Nanohana and bacon pasta[/caption] Ingredients (for 2 people) 80 g of bacon (thinly sliced) 140 - 150 g of rape ...
Recipe: Gyoza (pan-fried dumplings)
This Chinese side dish is hugely popular in Japan, and often associated with another import: ramen noodles. Fried dumplings (yaki gyoza) are one of Japan's most beloved dishes. They're most commonly found as a side order in Chinese restaurants, as a beer snack at izakaya or even as the main meal at so-called "gyoza parties" held at people's homes. There are a number of variations on the recipe given here. Suigyoza are boiled gyoza, often added to Japanese nabe (hotpots) during the winter months. And there's no reason you can't alter the recipe to make the dish vegetarian. Experiment with different fillings ...
Recipe: Tebasaki to daikon no kurozuni (simmered chicken wingtips with daikon)
The perfect antidote to those winter blues This is a popular (and inexpensive) dish usually eaten during the colder months in Japan. It can be served as either an appetizer or as a main course. It's worth keeping in mind that the browning of the chicken wings is important in giving the dish it's deep and savory smell. I recommend you to adopt a similar approach when cooking thick negi (spring onions) or deep-fried tofu to be used in nimono or nabe. Add the kurozu (black vinegar) to the chicken stock at the very end when cooking the chicken. [caption id="attachment_6363" align="alignright" width="300"] Tebasaki ...
Recipe: Tsukemen (dipping noodles)
Tsukemen may have started out as summer dish, but you can eat it all year round. Tsukemen is a dish featuring ramen-style noodles, a dipping sauce and usually some kind of garnish. Served separately, it's the diner who dips the cool or luke-warm noodles in the hot soup. It's a fun twist on ramen, and increasing popular in Japan, particularly in Tokyo where the dish is said to have originated. [caption id="attachment_6265" align="alignright" width="300"] Tsukemen[/caption] This particular recipe has a distinctly Chinese flavor, thanks to the mix of chilli bean paste and tianmianjiang sauce. Note that the soup should be a little salty as the noodles ...
In the third and final episode of JBB’s Kyushu series, Christopher Pellegrini tries Kirishima and Kuro Denen shochu
Convenience stores in southern Kyushu usually carry a wide selection of shochu. Unlike in Tokyo, much of what can be found in Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto prefectures comes in small cans or bottles, similar to the so-called ‘one cup’ nihonshu found elsewhere in the country.
We stopped by a combini and picked up a couple that caught our eye. According to its label, Kirishima is from Miyazaki prefecture and is an imo jochu (potato shochu). It’s easily recognized by its very own gold-colored tasting cup. Kuro Denen, meanwhile, comes from Kagoshima prefecture and (we read with interest) is only 12 per cent by volume.
Once again, we sat beneath Kagoshima City’s cherry blossoms and familiarized ourselves with Kyushu’s favorite spirit.
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