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: Hayashi rice
Hayashi rice, or hashed beef in demi-glace sauce, is classic yoshoku. But what is the origin of the recipe? Based on European dishes introduced by visitors to Japan during the late Edo and early Meiji eras, yoshoku is Japanese-style western food. At that time authentic ingredients were hard to come by. As a result, Japanese chefs replaced certain ingredients or rethought the recipes, resulting in dishes know today as Japanese curry, hayashi rice, pork cutlets, omrice, Hamberg steak, etc. As Japanese comfort food goes, hayashi rice is up there with indigenous dishes such as niku jaga. Typically, recipes call for strips ...
Recipe: Basil no tempura (basil tempura)
Dried shrimp and basil in a delicate tempura batter. Basil works remarkably well in tempura. Here, the herb is combined with a handful of dried shrimp which adds some weight as well as texture to the dish. When you mix the basil, tempura powder and ice water, be careful not to mix them for too long. There should still be pockets of dry powder in the mixture. In order to prevent the leaves from separating in the oil, hold the ingredients with the chopsticks until the outside of the ingredients become solid for 10 seconds. As soon as you find the tempura are ...
Recipe: Shiso pesto
It may surprise you, but green perilla is an excellent substitute for basil when making pesto. The dish the world has come to know and love as Pesto alla Genovese is traditionally prepared with fresh basil, pine nuts in olive oil, garlic, and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese). In Italy, many recipes also call for the addition of Fiore Sardo cheese (Pecorino Sardo) to give the paste an even sharper, saltier flavor. What you may not know is that fresh shiso leaves (also referred to as green perilla) can be used in place of basil. The result: a texture that's very similar to the ...
Recipe: Tebasaki no karaage (deep-fried chicken wings coated with soy sauce and sesame seeds)
Nagoya's contribution to the world's great bar snacks. Tebasaki chicken - deep-fried chicken wings coated with soy sauce and coated in sesame seeds - is a dish closely associated with the city of Nagoya, where it is a popular form of otsumami (dish to be eaten while drinking). The wings are full of flavor, thanks to the ingredients of the tare: vinegar, soy, sake, mirin, a little sugar, garlic and ginger. The key to the dish is deep frying the chicken twice. This gives the skin it's distinctive crispy texture. Here we're using the traditional seasoning, but feel free to experiment. Cumin, roughly-grated ...
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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