Vegetarian & Vegan Cuisine: “Mukashi Mushi Pan”/Old-Fashioned Steamed Bread


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Although I’m neither a vegetarian or vegan, I make a point to introduce anything I discover here which might help friends out!

Fukasawa Foods in Shibakawa Cho at the foot of Mount Fuji produces all year round an incredible array of soba/buckwheat noodles, udon/wheat flour noodles, ice-creams, cakes and I don’t know what else.

Now, all their food is organic. No artificial fertilizers are used for whatever they grow or buy, and no additives or preservatives are used in any of their product, which means all have to be properly stored and eaten quickly.

Vegans will be happy to know they use tofu instead of any dairy product.

This particular cake called “Mukashi Mushi Pan” or Old-Fashioned Steamed Bread was made with wheat flour, tofu, brown sugar, raisins, salt, vegetable oil.
That is all!

One cake could have easily been held inside your palm, but it was very fulfilling and delicious!
They have other varieties made with pumpkin and other vegetables.

Fukasawa Foods
Fuji Gun, Shibakawa Cho, Naibo, 3895-8
Tel.: 0544-65-0143
Closed on Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Vegetarian & Vegan Cuisine: Ginger as a Vegetable


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Ginger when eaten outside Japan generally comes under its semi-dry or dry root.
Actually here, and in Shizuoka especially, fresh ginger or “Ha Shoga”/Leaf Ginger comes into some great recipes to please any one who does not consume meat (of course ginger is used in many meat recipes!)

Extensively grown in our Prefecture, it can be bought fresh in season in any Supermarket:

There are many ways to prepare and eat it:


Fresh Ginger pickled in miso.
Very practical when you can buy loads in season. Choose your miso paste well so as avoid too much salt!


Everyone knows pickled sliced ginger (use fresh plants only!) served with sushi!


Ginger can be steamed with rice or served very finely cut on top of a bowl of steaming rice!


Ginger is great finely chopped and fried with egg-plant/aubergines, soy sauce and mirin!
(Plan to introduce recipe!)


Fresh thin ginger roots are simply beautiful fried/sauteed with othe vegetables!
(Plan to introduce recipe!)

Enjoy!

Vegetarian & Vegan Cuisine: Myoga as a Vegetable


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Myōga (茗荷) or myoga ginger (Zingiber mioga, Zingiberaceae) is an herbaceous, deciduous, perennial native to Japan that is grown for its edible flower buds and flavorful shoots.

As a woodland plant myoga has specific shade requirements for its growth. It is frost-tolerant to 0F, -18C possibly colder.
Some constituents of myoga have shown promise for potentially anti-carcinogenic properties

A traditional crop in Japan, myoga has been introduced to cultivation in Australia and New Zealand for export to the Japanese market. I’ve always wondered if it were available on American and European Markets.
It is a great plant for use in vegetarian and vegan dishes as it adds lots of soft flavors.
Flower buds are usually found finely shredded raw in Japanese cuisine as a garnish.
But there are many other possibilities:


Tenpura.
Actually some Japanese restaurants will prepare the flowers as well as tenpura.
Vegans should replace the egg white included in the batter with a little cornstarch.


Myoga in Miso Soup.
Cut the myoga into thin strips and just add them to the miso soup inside bowls before serving it.


Myoga Gohan/Myoga Rice.
Cut the myoga in very thin strips and put it on top of the rice before steaming it. When the rice is cokked, mix in the myoga with rice and serve.
Vegetarians and Vegans may use genmai/whole rice for higher nutritients.
Beautiful when freshly cooked!


Myoga Pickles
Wash myoga quickly under running water. Drain and take excess water with kitchen paper.
Best pickled with amazu/sweet rice vinegar. If not available use rice vinegar, sugar and soft umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums.

Enjoy!

Shizuoka Breweries 8/2: Usami Brewery


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This is the 8th Micro Brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture I finally have ascertained. So far, I have nine confirmed! Usami Micro-Brewery and Restaurant are located in Ito City, Usami in the Izu Peninsula where great water is plentiful!
This is the second tasting:

Usami Brewery: Molda (Czech Type)
Ingredients: Malt and hops
Alcohol: 4.5%
Contents: 330 ml
Unpasteurized

Foam: short head, fine bubbles disappear quickly
Clarity: Very clear
Colour: dark orange, rich colour
Aroma: light, citruses.
Taste: Light attack and tangy, citruses.
Refreshing
Does not vary with food and stays faithful to first taste.

Overall: A beer for the Summer. Thirst-quenching.
Easy and pleasant to drink.
Probably will please the Japanese more than expats, especially Europeans.

Usami Brewery
European ji Beer Company
Ito City, Usami, 3504-1
Tel.: 0557-33-0333
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Keiko Kubota: Bringing the Art of Cheese-making to Classes!


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(Shizuoka Shinbun)

Shizuoka City boasts the only Japanese (and a lady at that!) Grand Chevalier de Tastefromage/Great Knight of the Order of Cheese Sommeliers, namely Ms. Keiko Kubota, the Maitre D’Hote at Restaurant Gentil in the same town.
Last July she was asked to devise the cheese menu and serve it to the World bigwigs at the G8 Summit in Hokkaido.
She could have rested on her laurels, but her passion for her trade impels her to constantly impart her skills to the young, too.


(Shizuoka Shinbun)

Therefore she holds regular lectures for students at Shizuoka Gakuen High School elite Sciences Class.
Her classes include not only the introduction of cheese, but also its manufacture, and endless source of surprises and discoveries for her students! (it looks like tofu!…)

For my part, as a Frenchman, I’m pretty happy with the succulent (World) cheeses plates she serves me at her restaurant!

Restaurant Gentil
Address:420-0031 Shizuoka Shi, Gofuku-cho, 2-9-1, Gennan Kairaku building, 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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (36)


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As I need bento on Mondays and Tuesdays, the Missus has began a new pattern withrice on Mondays and home-made bread on Tuesdays. Incidentally bento is always sandwiches on Fridays when I go and teach at university.

Today’s main dish was chicken “sasami/breast fillets” she fried with ktechup, basil and what else (she would never say anything!) served with cornichons, boiled egg on a bed of chopped greens with lettuce and chikory leaves and a few plum tomatoes.
I used dressing stored in the fridge at work.

The bread she made last night waswalnuts bread.
She calls it an open-sandwich bento, but she would be surprised to find out I just break the bread and eat a piece at a time with the main dish.
As for dessert I had “mikan/mandarine oranges” from her family’s garden.

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (35)


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Today the Missus definitely combined East and West!

She made “temari zushi”. S
The rice balls are called as such they mean “balls made by hand”. Which does not help!
The balls are smaller and round with their top covered as “nigiri”.
She steamed the rice with knobu/seaweed fro Rishiri Island (Hokkaidou). She made balls and covered them with smoked salmon topped with capers. The home-made pickles are mini-melons.

As for the salad, on a bed of finely chopped greens she put two chicory/endive leaves filled with eggs and vegetables salad, a couple of plum tomatoes and a few wedges of persimmon for dessert.

Just enough to last the day!