Recipe: Lotus and burdock root salad
This healthy winter salad makes a great accompaniment to a hearty stew Gobo (burdock) root is high in fiber and has an earthy flavor. It is thought to have first come to Japan as a Chinese medicinal herb several centuries ago. Lotus root, meanwhile, is also a winter vegetable, coming into season between October and March. It is part of New Year dishes throughout Japan, the holes in the root allowing Japanese to 'see a bright future'. I suggest you serve the salad alongside wine-based meat stews (think stewed beef in demi-glace sauce). [caption id="attachment_7324" align="alignright" width="330"] Lotus and burdock root salad[/caption] Ingredients (for ...
Recipe: Snow pea salad with black sesame dressing
Snow peas coated in a tangy, spicy dressing Here's another dish that compliments the warmer weather. The peas provide the texture, while the dressing gives the dish it's flavor. To prepare the dressing, use a suribachi (Japanese mortar) to grind the sesame seeds. It's also possible to do this in a food processor - just be sure not to overdo it. Ideally, you want to keep some of that rough texture. If you feel the dressing is too strong, add another 100 g of snow peas (or until there's a good balance between the flavor of the peas and the dressing). You can also ...
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 ...
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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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