Vegetarian Cuisine: Yasai Tenpura

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(Pic taken at Tomii Restaurant)

I heard a lot of vegetarians cmplain about the lack of cuisine and variety in this country.
I cannot/may not surmise for the whole of Japan, but I’m certain that Shizuoka Prefecture does not deserve this criticism. It is the largest and most varied poducer of vegetables (and partly of fruit) Prefetcure in the whole country!

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(Pic taken at Yasaitei Restaurant)

Now, one way to eat great, tasty and hot vegetarian cuisine (notice I use the word cuisine, not food) is to order vegetable tenpura (“Yasai Tenpura”) in your/his/her favourite restaurants!
Alright, “true” vegetarians will retort that they use egg white in their batter. If you are that strict, you can always try and cook them yourself, using corn starch instead of egg white. This is not the purpose of this article, but if you wish me to tell you the recipe in detail, I shall be happy to oblige! (Absintheur, you can always use plain oil instead of sesame oil in Czech Republic!)

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(Pic taken at Oigawa Restaurant)

Good Japanese restaurants and izakaya wil be glad to serve you tenpura made up with only vegetables, like we did last week with Lojol.

Ask for “yasai tenpura”. If the chef enquires whether you wish anything else, just say “yasai dake” (“only vegetables”). If he asks you what you would like to eat in particular, reply: “makashimasu!” (“as you see fit!”). I’m certain you will end up with season vegetables only, and if you come back to the same place, the chef will remember you and suggests all kinds of vegetables and combinations!

New Summer Orange Drink

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A lot of fruit varieties are grown in Shizuoka Prefecture from to oranges to bananas and dragon fruit.
Some of them find their way into great refreshing drinks produced by completely local farmers association.
This particular one is called New Summer Orange Drink and has been put out by the Izu Taiyouu Nokyou in Kawazu, kamo Gun, Izu Peninsula.

It contains only 30% of pure orange juice, but is rich in vitamin C and carotin. Added ingredients include grapes juice and honey. It sweet, but only a little, tangy with a nice honey backdrop.
Definitely makes for a good drink for anyone, including sportsmen/women and children.
Can be bought In Asty, Shizuoka City JR Station.
For more information, call: 0558-368316

Karasumi

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Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “btarga” in Italian, is the dried roe pouches of the mullet.
It is a quite expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is the real one!).

Numazu City is quite renown for its karasumi, and fishermen have just started drying them under the sun, after getting rid of blood vesels, carefully cleaned them and sprinkled them with salt.

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They are served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants, or used in Italian and French restaurants, especially with pasta.

This year’s catch was only one fourth of the usual expectation, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!