Tag Archives: Asparagus

Asparagus Gastronomy in Shizuoka City!

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French white asparaguses with Italian Summer Truffles at Solio!

Asparaguses have been a favorite at Japanese, French and Italian Restaurants in Japan and Shizuoka for such a long time that we tend to forget that they came late in this country in spite of Japan being the 3rd largest importer of the vegetable after the United States and the European Union. They were first used as ornamental plants in the 1800′s. The first cannery appeared in Hokkaido in 1920. The Japanese developed a taste for green asparagus and consumption of the latter exceeded tahat of white asparaguses in 1978. Now, Japan produces a lot of its own white and green asparaguses to the tune of 24,000 tons in 1998!
Restaurants in Shizuoka City have the choice to use green or white asparaguses grown locally or white asparaguses imported mainly from France and Italy in spite of China being the biggest exporter in the world.

Here a only a few examples of what to expect in Shizuoka City alone! If I find more I7ll make sure to add them to this article!

TETSUYA SUGIMOTO (French Restaurant)

ASPARAGUS-SUGIMOTO-1

I was served these white asparaguses from Hokkaido as an appetizer by Chef Tetsuya Sugimoto/杉本哲也さん in his typically artistic but so simple-looking manner!

ASPARAGUS-SUGIMOTO-2

Boiled to perfection and served with a light sauce made with Shizuoka-bred pheasant bouillon and Japanese (yes, you read it well!) fermented butter!

SOLIO (Italian Restaurant)

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French white asparaguses with Italian Summer Truffles at Solio!
Note the very generous amount of finely shaved Italian Summer Truffles offered by Chef Takehiko Katoh/加藤武彦!

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A beautifully-prepared half poached egg with a very soft white and a yolk just past running point!
Mixing your asparaguses, truffles and egg is just such little sin!

PISSENLIT (French Restaurant)

ASPARAGUS-PISSENLIT-1

This was part of a fish dish that Chef Toru Arima/有馬亨さん concocted with vegetables represented by green asparaguses served topped with Hollandaise sauce!

ASPARAGUS-PISSENLIT-2

The whole dish!

ASPARAGUS-PISSENLIT-3

White asparagus with scallops!

ASPARAGUS-PISSENLIT-4

Seasoned with local grated karasumi/Boutargue/Botarga/mullet eggs!

ASPARAGUS-PISSENLIT-5

With a simple butter sauce liaising the juices of the asparagus and scallops!

Still looking for more as promised!

Tetsuya SUGIMOTO
420-0038 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Umeya, 2-13, 1F
Tel./Fax: 054-251-3051
Opening hours:11:30~14:30, 17:30~21:30
Holidays: undecided (do make a call first!)
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

SOLOIO
420-0858 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho, 9-7, Kita, 1
Tel./fax: 054-260-4637
Business hours: 16:00~24:00
Closed on Monday
Credit cards OK
Private parties welcome!
Happy hour: 16:00~17:00: 1,000 yen set-3 appetizers plate and 1 glass of house wine!
Smoking allowed BUT Non-smoking until 20:00 everyday!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Cheese Tray at Gentil (2010/05/21)

(All pictures courtesy of Haruka Yamguchi)

Ranking:
Service: Very Professional
Facilities: Perfect allaround. Beautiful washroom
Prices: ~
Strong points: Best cheese tray in Japan! Great wines

it has been some time since I paid my last visit to Gentil Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
Gentil is renown all over Japan for the best cheese trays (within reasonability in a restaurant! Naturally one could always offer a mountain of cheese at ridiculous prices!) served at a restaurant.

here is what we we were served last night:

Marchalet, France, Cow’s milk. And beautiful mini-carrots!

Top: Banc de maquis, France, Ewe’s milk.

Bottom is Le Vigneron, Alsace, france, Cow’s milk, matured with Gewurtstraminer white wine.

From top clockwise:
Sakura, Hokkaido, Cow’s milk (raw).
Tarantais, France, Goat’s milk.
Tomato jelly and basilco on Mozzarella, Italy, Buffalo’s milk

Centre: Fourme D’Ambert, France, Cow’s milk.

Do I need to say it was great? LOL

Restaurant Gentil
420-0031 Shizuoka Shi, Gofuku-Cho, 2-9-1. Genan Kairaku Buiilding 2F
Tel.: 054-2547655 (Reservations advisable)
Fax: 054-2210509
Opening hours: 12:00~14:00, 18:00~last orders for meals at 21:30. Bar time 18:00~23:30. Closed on Mondays.
Credit cards OK
Homepage (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

French Cuisine: Hot Asparagus Flan

asparaflan.jpg

Now is the season for Asparaguses, both white and green.
Here is a traditional French home recipe for the green ones. It is not as difficult as the title might suggest!
When you choose your asparaguses, check their stems where they have been cut. The more moisture, the less peeling needed!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
Green Asparaguses: 1.25 kg
Eggs: 5
Milk: 250cc
Butter: 50g
Trefoil or Italian Parsley (optional): 4 sprigs for decoration
Thyme, laurel & nutmeg (optional & varying to taste)
Salt
White Pepper

RECIPE:

Peel asparaguses from top, cut out the bottom fibery part. Cut the tips and keep them aside.
Cut the stems in 1 cm-thick slices and put them in a pot. Pour in milk, salt, white pepper and spices to taste. Let cook for 15 minutes. Take away from fire and transfer to food processor.
Add a few leaves of trefoil or Italian parsley and process to a fine mash.
Preheat oven to 6 (180 degrees Celsius) and put a large dish with water in it to be ready as a bain-marie.
Break the eggs in a large bowl, beat slightly, pour in the asparagus puree and mix.
Butter the inside of 4 small oven dishes (ramequin-style), pour in the mixture and cook in bain-marie for 20 minutes.
During that time put the asparagus tips in a frying pan, add the rest of the butter, 200cc of water, some salt and let cook for 20 minutes stirring from time to time until there is no more liquid left.
When the puddings are cooked, unmold them onto individual plates and decorate with asparagus tips and some trefoil or Italian parsley.
Serve at once.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Vegetables Facts and Tips 6: Asparaguses (amended & expanded)

asparagus-varieties

SYNOPSIS:

I started this series (15 articles so far) quite some time ago to help my vegan and vegetarian (I’m not!) friends and omnivores as well because of the obvious health benefits.
Since then, I’ve learned and discovered a lot more information that could not stay ignored.
Therefore I plan to amend and expand all former articles before I can continue introducing a lot more vegetables!
Incidentally、 nothing, pictures included, is copyrighted in my food blogs, so please feel free to use anything!
1) POTATOES, 2) TOMATOES, 3) BROCCOLI, 4) CARROTS, 5) Sweet Potatoes

Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It is said that it was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter.It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the seventeenth century.

FACTS:

-Season: They are at their best March~June in the Northern Hemisphere, but can be obtained all year round thanks to state-of-the-art greenhouse cultivation.

-Beneficial elements: Carotene, Vitamin C and E, Vitamins from the B group (B1, B2, B6), Rutin, Vegetal fibers, Folic Acid, Potassium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from the plant.

-Asparagus rhizomes and root are used ethnomedically to treat urinary tract infections, as well as kidney and bladder stones.

-Asparagus is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties (this belief is at least partially due to the phallic shape of the shoots).

TIPS:

-Choose asparaguses with a clean cutting surface. No black spots should appear.

-The darker the colour, the better. As for white asparaguses, choses with a “wet cutting”

-When storing your asparaguses in the fridge, have them stand upright in a long narrow container with their foot wrapped in wet kitchen paper. Discard bent asparaguses on the supermarket stands.

-Choose green asparaguses with the smallest possible foliage along the stems and dark tips.

-When boiling them, either boil them stading upright inside a pasta mesh container, or absolutely flat in a sauce pan. Do not bend them.

-Asparaguses are best digested when lightly fried with oil.

-If Asparaguses cannot be obtained directly from the farmer, lightly peel but keep yop half as it is to preserve Vitamins.

Varieties:
Most popular varieties are shown in the picture above: White, Green and “wild-style” (apeelations vary!)

asparagus-wild

Asparaguses are abundant in the while, but they grow very quickly and get too hard for consumption.
The wild ones picked in their natural environment are my favourite as I fondly rememebr picking them up as a soldier in the South of France during our drills and cooking them in simple omelettes!

asparagus-violet

Violet asparaguse are very popular in any restaurants!

asparagus-mini

Mini-asparaguses are ever so popular in Japan thanks to their practical size.

uzu-41

Recipes are endless, but my favourite is the large green asparaguses and mozzarella gratin as prepared and served at Uzu Izakaya in Shizuoka City!

HEALTH FACTS:

-When combined with seaweed, or carrot, or Broccoli, or Spinach, provides stamina and helps combat cancer and colds.

-When combined with shellfish, or chicken, or turnips, or red-fleshed fat fish, helps combat liver problems and provides stamina.

-When combined with okr, or avocado, or celery, or garlic, heps combat cancer, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

-When combined with onion, or codfish, or tofu (especially yuba), or konnyaku/devil’s tongue tuber, helps with qaulitey and flow of blood, helps combat obesity and blood vessel hardening.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES
Not-Just-Recipes, Bengal cuisine, Cooking Vegetarian, Frank Fariello, Gluten-free Vegan Family, Meatless MamaFrank Fariello, , Warren Bobrow, Wheeling Gourmet, Le Petit Cuisinier, Vegan Epicurean, Miss V’s Vegan Cookbook, Comestiblog

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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日本語のブログ
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Vegetables Facts and Tips (6): Asparaguses

asparagus-varieties

Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It is said that it was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter.It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the seventeenth century.

Facts:
Season: They are at their best March~June in the Northern Hemisphere, but can be obtained all year round thanks to state-of-the-art greenhouse cultivation.
Beneficial elements: Carotene, Vitamin C and E, Vitmanins from the B group, Rutin, Vegetal fibers, Folic Acid, Potassium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from the plant.
Asparagus rhizomes and root are used ethnomedically to treat urinary tract infections, as well as kidney and bladder stones.
Asparagus is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties (this belief is at least partially due to the phallic shape of the shoots).

Tips:
-Choose asparaguses with a clean cutting surface. No black spots should appear.
-The darker the colour, the better. As for white asparaguses, choses with a “wet cutting”
-When storing your asparaguses in the fridge, have them stand upright in a long narrow container with their foot wrapped in wet kitchen paper. Discard bent asparaguses on the supermarket stands.
-Choose green asparaguses with the smallest possible foliage along the stems and dark tips.
-When boiling them, either boil them stading upright inside a pasta mesh container, or absolutely flat in a sauce pan. Do not bend them.
-Asparaguses are best digested when lightly fried with oil.
-If Asparaguses cannot be obtained directly from the farmer, lightly peel but keep yop half as it is to preserve Vitamins.

Varieties:
Most popular varieties are shown in the picture above: White, Green and “wild-style” (apeelations vary!)

asparagus-wild

Asparaguses are abundant in the while, but they grow very quickly and get too hard for consumption.
The wild ones picked in their natural environment are my favourite as I fondly rememebr picking them up as a soldier in the South of France during our drills and cooking them in simple omelettes!

asparagus-violet

Violet asparaguse are very popular in any restaurants!

asparagus-mini

Mini-asparaguses are ever so popular in Japan thanks to their practical size.

uzu-41

Recipes are endless, but my favourite is the large green asparaguses and mozzarella gratin as prepared and served at Uzu Izakaya in Shizuoka City!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Hot Asparagus Pudding/Flan chaud d’Asperges

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

asparaflan.jpg

Fresh asparaguses are becoming available all year roun here in Shizuoka Prefecture, a region famous for its Winter-cultivated vegetables.
Here a traditional French recipe for the green ones. It is not as difficult as the title might suggest!
When you choose your asparaguses, check the cut part at the bottom of the stems. The more moisture, the less peeling needed!

Vegans and vegetarians seeking substitutes for milk, butter and eggs should check with Miss V’s excellent suggestions!

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
Green Asparaguses: 1.25 kg
Eggs: 5
Milk: 250cc
Butter: 50g
Trefoil or Italian Parsley (optional): 4 sprigs for decoration
Thyme, laurel & nutmeg (optional & varying to taste)
Salt
White Pepper

RECIPE:

Peel asparaguses from top, cut out the bottom fibery part. Cut the tips and keep them aside.
Cut the stems in 1 cm-thick slices and put them in a pot. pour in milk, salt, white pepper and spices to taste. Let cook for 15 minutes. Take away from fire and transfer to food processor.
Add a few leaves of trefoil or Italian parsley and process to a fine mash.
Preheat oven to 6 (180 degrees Celsius) and put a large dish with water in it to be ready as a bain-marie.
Break the eggs in a large bowl, beat slightly, pour in the asparagus puree and mix.
Butter the inside of 4 small oven dishes (ramequin-style), pour in the mixture and cook in bain-marie for 20 minutes.
During that time put the asparagus tips in a frying pan, add the rest of the butter, 200cc of water, some salt and let cook for 20 minutes stirring from time to time until there is no more liquid left.
When the puddings are cooked, unmold them onto individual plates and decorate with asparagus tips and some trefoil or Italian parsley.
Serve at once.