Sushi for Vegetarians & Vegans (1)

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Although I’m not a vegetarian nor a vegan, I do understand the needs of people with different regimen and always try to inform them about gastronomic options available in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now, sushi for strict vegetarians or vegans exist as sown in those two pictures I took yesterday in a very small but famous Sushi Restaurant called Sushi Iroha in Iwata City, south of Toyoda JR Station.

The picture above features vegetables all grown in then neighbourhood Which were first cooked or/and marinated:
From left to right and top to bottom:
Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Yuber Paste (nigiri)
Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and Umeboshi/salted Japanese plum (nigiri)
Shiro Negi/white leek (nigiri)
Na no hana/Rape Blossoms (nigiri)
Gobo/Burdock Roots (nigiri)
Satsuma Imo/Yams (gunkan)
Daikon/Japanese Long Radish (gunkan)


Next I was served a sublime creation concocted with Ebine Imo/Ebine Tuber served mille-feuilles style intersped with sushi rice and presnted with dashes of olive oil, seame oil/goma abura and soy sauce/shoyu.

Look forward to reading Part 2!

French cuisine: Lunch at Sugimoto

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Sugimoto is may favourite French restaurant for the simple reason he tries whenever possible to use only ingredients grown or raised in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Dinner or lunch, you can expect the same quality, inventiveness and service.

So last Sunday, as I had nothing to do and my better (worse?) was away to work, I rode the bike for a look around and stopped there at around 13:00.
I chose the Lunch Set C for 2,500 yen which included bread, butter and coffee.
The first dish, above, consisted of a salad made with fried scabbard fish/”tachiuo” from Suruga Bay and vegetables from Hamamatsu City.

The main featured Suruga Beef from animals raised in Shizuoka City, away from the agglomeration and again vegetables from Hamamatsu City, including an unusual violet carrot/”murasaki ninjin” with skin. Usually I’m not a great fan of cooked carrots, but this was special. Of course the beef was a beauty!

The dessert would make a lot of people jealous: chocolate mousse (just the right sweetness, nothing cloying), mikan sherbet and Campari jelly.

Needless to say, I did ot mention my wife where I had lunch away from her!

420-0072 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ni-ban Cho, 4-1
Tel.: 054-2531160
Closed on Wednesdays

Tea Buckwheat Noodles: “Tya-soba”

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Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
Vegeterians (and vegans!), rejoice! A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Tya-soba!.
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.


As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to samll. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #1

-Seasonal Releases: Three Baird Beer Bocks
-Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock Debut Party at Popeye’s in Tokyo (Sat. Jan. 12)

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Warm New Year greetings! 2008 promises to be yet another excellent year for the beer enthusiast. To seize your early attention, we are debuting three brand new Baird Beer seasonals (all lager-style Bocks): Braumeister’s Bock, Double Piston Bock and Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock.

*Braumeister’s Bock (ABV 6%):

Brewed in the tradition of German-style Bock beers, Braumeister Bock’s opulent maltiness is leavened perfectly by a lager-type roundness and subtle fruitiness. The flavor experience is long, rich and smooth. The alcohol strength provides a pleasing tinge of warmth in the finish. Brewed in the summer for comfort and sustenance in the winter; you will not be disappointed.

*Double Piston Bock (ABV 7%):
This is our go at a German-style Dopplebock. It is a higher gravity, higher alcohol, longer maturation (brewed in February, 2007) version of a standard Bock. It is, in essence, a lager porridge — extravagantly malty, unctuous in mouthfeel, nourishing in effect. Put a log on the fire, pull a good book from the shelf, curl up with your sweetheart and enjoy the privilege of

*Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock (ABV 7-Plus %):
Within the world of fine alcoholic beverages, different categories are intimately interconnected. Lovingly and authentically crafted wines, sakes, whiskies and beers have more in common with one another than they do with industrial products within their same category. Scotch Whisky and Beer, both sharing the same primary ingredient — malted barley — enjoy a special affinity. Well, we have made the most of this affinity by marrying our Double Piston Bock to a freshly emptied Scotch Whisky barrel (from Arran Distillery — Scotland’s newest — on the Isle of Arran) for an extremely blissful 3-month interlude. The offspring of this marriage, Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock, is a wonderful genetic blend of its different parents.
In particular, the whisky mother imparts soft notes of vanilla, coconut and buttery caramel to the otherwise beery character imparted by the Dopplebock father. This is a one of a kind beverage you will not want to miss!

The Arran Distillery Whisky barrel used was made available through the enterprising effort of Popeye’s proprietor, Aoki-san. Sayuri and I will be attending the debut launch of this Bock Beer series at Popeye’s on Saturday evening, January 12 (6:00 – 9:00 PM). Please join us. The Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock is in extremely limited quantities and the draught version will be available only at Popeye’s and our own Fishmarket Taproom. Very limited quantities of the bottle-conditioned version will be for sale beginning Saturday, January 12.

Both draught and bottle versions of the Braumeister’s Bock and Double Piston Bock are in more ample supply and will be available both at The Taproom and through the family of Baird Beer retailers in Japan.

Bryan Baird

Tofu Cakes

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Good news for those people who like good, healthy and traceable foods!

The other found another interesting product in Kakegawa JR Station Local Products Market cakes made with tofu in Kikugawa City.
They come in five different flavours as for the jam included inside. I bought the blueberry, Japanese Plum and Strawberry ones.

tofu-cake2.jpg tofu-cake3.jpg

I tasted (guzzled down) the strawberry one.
Very tasty, but not overwhelming sweet. Great with a cup of Shizuoka Green Tea!
Great cakes for health conscious mothers!

Tofu Kashi
Kikugawa City, Mineta, 1315-1
Tel. & Fax: 0537-733003

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (2)

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Tuesday is one of my “regular bento day”!
Well, today my better (worse?) half happened to have some fresh “anago”/conger eel ready.
She concocted “Anago Kabayaki Shirashizushi”
She first prepared sushi rice that she mixed later with some finely chopped cold Japanese pickles.
She then cooked sweet Japanese-style scrambled eggs she spread over the rice after they had cooled off.
She then made Anago Kamayaki. This usually done over a grill, but she cut the fish into appropriate pieces and fried with Japanese seasoning. Once cooked she mixed them with Tare/Japanese sauce in a bowl and placed them over the rice. The last touch was Italian parsley leaves on top of each fish piece:


As for the salad to go with it (Vitamins C…), she used already greens topped with cheese, pickles and boiled baby corn. The dressing was added separately for later seasoning!

Lime Chili Pepper Condiment: Yuzu Nanban

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Many a foreigner in Japan has discovered “yuzu Koshyo”/lime salt condiment, which is also produced in Shizuoka Prefecture and other places.
But have you heard of Yuzu Naban? It is a particularly useful mixture of lime and ground chili pepper. It accompanies well almost any “ethnic cuisine” as well as nabe/Japanes pot-au feu.
The bonus is that it does include any additives, but only natural spices!
This particular one is locally produced in Iawata City, although nt always easy to find away from Westen Shizuoka.

Yuzu Nanban
Shibayuzuen Farm
Shizuoka Ken, Iwata Gun, Sakuma-cho, Sakuma, 1689
Tel.: 0539-87-1051