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, ...
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: Teriyaki pizza
A culinary mashup found on pizza menus throughout Japan. Long before the ramenburger or the matcha croissant there was teriyaki pizza, an East-meets-West hybrid destined to become a staple of delivery menus across the country. Who would have thought pizza topped with chicken in a sweet and ever-so-slightly salty sauce would have proved so popular? Teriyaki sauce is a combination of soy, mirin and sugar. In Japanese cuisine it's traditionally paired with chicken (see our recipe for teriyakidon) or sometimes blue fish. It's also delicious on baby potatoes or as a tare for meatballs. This recipe for teriyaki pizza doesn't require a great ...
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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