Karasumi/Botarga/Boutargue Season in Shizuoka!

karasumi.gif
(Courtesy of Shizuoka Shimbun Daily)

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

Numazu City, one of the main fishing harbors in Shizuoka Prefecture, is quite renown for its karasumi.
The season for catching bora/鯔, or mullet in English, has begun and fishermen have just started drying their roe pouches/karasumi/カラスミ under the Autumn sun in this comparatively rainless time of the year.
It is grim and painstaking businees as the the roe pouches have to be carefully cleaned, got rid of any blood vesels, and sprinkled with the right quantity of salt.

karasumi2.jpg

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

This yearly catch is slowly dwindling due to high demand, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!

Note: beware of imported specimens, especially from “Asia”!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Advertisements

Vegan Dressing: Shizuoka Wasabi Dressing

wasabi-dressing.jpg

Shizuoka has claimed world fame for being the first to grow wasabi in the 17th Century (in Yutogi, Shizuoka City exactly, up along the Abe River) and for producing more than 80% of the wole Japanese output, but people tend to forget that it can be accomodated in varuious manners, apart of being used a condiment for sashimi, sushi and the ubuquitous makisushi/rolled sushi!

The whole plant for instance can be made ito a pickled delicacy of its own.

One more great use has been initiated in Mishima City in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture: Wasabi Dressing!

It is not at all hot, but almost sweet and makes great accompaniment for any salads, on omelettes (Japanese or traditional) and mixed with sauces. I (and my better/worse) half are still disovering more usages!

Definitely worth a try! Moreover it contains a crowd of healthy ingredients!
Moreover, as it contains only vegetal oil, vinegar and ntural spices, it makes for the perfect vegan or vegetarian dressing!

Wasabi Dressing
Izu Kameya Co.
Mishima City, Heiseidai 5
Tel.: 0120369981
Can be bought in Sunpu Raku Ichi Shop, Asty, Shizuoka JR Station

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Tokyo Terrace
Maison de Christina
Chrys Niles
Comestilblog
Greedy Girl
Bouchon For 2

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Italian Restaurant: Lunch at Il Paladino

PALADINO-3

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Sicilian Cuisine. Top-class Italian wines and great collection of Grappa.
Non-smoking at tables.

The Autumn days are definitely getting shorter but we still enjoy plenty of warm fine weather making ideal for lunches taken on a terrace!
Although Il paladino’s Terrace is a bit small I would never exchange it for a seat inside!
Though I must say there is always a good chance for its seats to be available as the Japanese haven’t caught onthe habit of eating outside yet!

PALADINO-1

Il Paladino offers great lunch courses for a bargain.
Since their ingredients are seasonal only, there is little chance for a repeat menu.
The Missus and I visited them the other Thursday, a rare day when we can go out together.
Mylady had the antipasti misto of the day, including agreat little quiche!

PALADINO-2

As for me I started with a salad of vegetables rown locally. Very well chosen, they would please any vegan or vegetarian friend!

PALADINO-4

The Missus, being a pasta fanatic, couldn’t resist the spaghetti of the day with calamari squid, mushrooms, greens and parmegiano.

PALDINO-5

Veg and pasta are fine, but I needed something more solid.
I chose the grilled marlin with a parmegiano cream sauce.
Plentiful, very tasty and going so well with the home-made fogaccia bread (see pic ath top of this posting)!

Looking forward to our next dinner there!

Tratorria . Il Paladino
420-9839 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajo, 2-8-19
Tel.: 054-253-6537
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK (Dinner only)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Hapabento
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Think Twice

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Organic Cafe: Giono

GIONO-4

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients extensively used. Seasonal ingredients only. All organic.

If you have the chance to visit Mishima City at the foot of Mount Fuji, there is a place where to enjoy a full day in an art-filled park of the highest level: Clematis no Oka/Clematis Hill.

VANGI-17

A free shuttle bus will take you from Mishima JR Station all the way to Nagaizumi Cho past vegetable farms and resort villas and drop you at this grand art complex in the middle of a forest.

It comprises two main parts:
-The Clematis Garden Area with an enormous (by Japanese standards) park with an infinite amount of flowers and a Museum/Park concept called the Vangi Statues Garden Art Museum, enough of a venue by itself.
-Buffet Area: not a diner-buffet area but the Bernard Buffet Museum you can either acceed to by shuttle or by walking across from the Vangi Park and a exquisite suspended bridge.
The Bernard Buffet is a major Museum in Japan with regular visiting exhibitions such as Leonard Foujita.
Check their great Homepage!

GIONO-1

Right in front of the Museum entrance stands an inviting cafe/restaurant/boutique.
You can choose a seat either inside the cafe or at one of the three parasol tables (choose the latter if possible).

GIONO-3

Open only for lunch in accordance to the Musuem business hours it offers an exclusively organic menu, be it vegan, vegetarian or omnivore.
Almost all vegetables are grown in neighbourhood gardens and farms.
Mishima City and its surroundings are a reference in Shizuoka Prefecture when it comes to agricultural produce of any kind, including organic and biological growing and raising.

GIONO-2

The menu is purely seasonal, and where not available locally, the ingredients, such as olive oil, are carefully chosen among products from France, Italy and other countries.
The Missus and I on that day opted for two different set-courses.
Both courses come with an appetizer. In this case, chilled vychissoise soup with olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and a pot of organic vegetables salad.

GIONO-5

The Dragon (my other half) had a delicious mushroom and potato quiche. I managed to steal half of it! Beautifully light but satisfying, I must emulate it as soon as possible!

GIONO-6

The Rabbit (me!) ordered the deep-fried chicken in a batter containing 14 spices and garnished with organic fried potatoes. A lunch to convince you away from those famed/notorious diners (can you guess?)!

We were also offered a complimentary drink with the course.
Note: Lunches are served with a big bottle of water coming directly from the streams flowing down Mount Fuji!

GIONO
411-0931, Mshima City, Nagaizumi-Cho, Clematis Garden (Suruga Oka), 347-1, Bernard Buffet Museum
Tel.: 055-980-5856
Opening hours: 10:00~17:30 (lunches until 15:00). Time will change in winter.
Closed on Tuesdays or on Wednesdays if Tuesday is a National Holiday.
HOMEPAGE (English)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
Wild River Review
Bread + Butter
5 Star Foodie
Frank Fariello
Mangantayon
Hapabento
Elinluv Tidbit Corner
Think Twice

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Japanese Cheese: NEEDS Co. (Hokkaido)

CHEESE-NEEDS2

I have already said that the Japanese have been steadily increasing their own cheese production for the last 10 years or so with some reamarkable results.
Moreover, these cheese have slowly but steadily become available over the whole country at specialised shops and department stores.
As a futher proof I have discovered four more cheeses by a different company I hadn’t heard of before: NEEDS Co Ltd in the island of Hokkaido!
NEEDS stands for “Northern Eco Economy Developing System”.
The amusing details are that names are in English or Japanese while weights and packaging are written in French.
NEEDS Co. Ltd. is relatively new as it was founded in 2003.

CHEESE-NEEDS1

They are all made from raw cow’s milk and very safely packaged, a must in this country with very changeable climates!

CHEESE-NEEDS3

The above cheese, a hard type variety is called Kashiwa/槲 (Japanese Emperor Oak), the name of a tree found in Hokkaido.
It is a cross obtween Emmental and Gruyere, with some welcome pungency and solid taste.

CHEESE-NEEDS4

This cheese is called “Oochi no Hoppe/大地のほっぺ” meaning the “Cheek of the Large lands”!
Reblochon-style, it is quite soft and pobably will do better with some more maturing.

CHEESE-NEEDS5

The cheese above is called “Sakeru Type Mozzarella/White pepper/String/さけるタイプ・モッツアレラチーズ・ホワイトペッパーストリング”. in brief it is a string-type cheese you can tear easily. great as a snack. The pepper contained in the cheese is a good initiative. As for the name Mozzarella, it just shows that the Japanese laws are somewhat a bit lax! great snack with beer.

CHEESE-NEEDS6

As the name “Caciocavallo” indicates, the above cheese is Italian-inspired!
Softer than its Italian counterpart, it has nonetheless a solid taste with plenty of supleness, making for a great snack!

NEEDS Co. Ltd.
Hokkaido, Nakagawa Gun, Makubetsu cho, Shinwa, 162-111
Tel.: (819(0)155-57-2511

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Think Twice
Frank Fariello
Cheesemonger’s Weblog

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Robert Yellin’s Newsletter: Japanese Pottery by Yokoyama Naoki

scene
Framed photographs by Mishima photographer Okabe Minoru

Greetings from Mishima,

With autumn in the air in this part of our world, the senses are filled with glorious sights and smells as nature prepares for her winter hibernation. We hope this finds all well and also enjoying the season, whatever it may be where you are.

9-10-19-balls-all

Thanks so much to all who visited our recent Miyao Masahiro exhibition and we continue with the Bizen theme in a very different realm though, namely shizen-nerikomi or natural marbled Bizen. This is the world of Yokoyama Naoki.

16-17-18-front

Our last Yokoyama exhibition was in May of 2006 and the works offered in the current exhibition were all fired very recently; I went down to his kiln on October 12th to select the works. Most of very much in an autumn tone-themed with rich oranges and browns created from the two or three different toned clay he uses. Yokoyama told me it takes 10 times more labor to make his shizen-nerikomi compared to regular Bizen. The forms range from very strong and stoic to more organic and natural; the larger rectangular forms acting as a canvas for the rich clay landscapes. Some of the cups and guinomi are of a black Bizen marbled type that was achieved by placing the works in
saggar-fire-proof casings and then adding charcoal towards the end of the firing. Each piece was carefully selected and as you’ll see in the following exhibition preview links Yokoyama is a superb Bizen ceramic artist taking Bizen in brilliant directions with his unique vision of marbled Bizen. (There are a few yohen Bizen and other non-marbled Bizen works to be seen as well.)

gui-all

Yokoyama (b.1970) lives in the hills of Bizen where he established his kiln in 2000. Before that he studied with Kawabata Fumio and at the Bizen Pottery Center. His works have been accepted into juried exhibitions that include the Tanabe Museum’s Contemporary Tea Forms exhibition, Okayama Prefecture Art exhibition, Japan Traditional Arts and Crafts Chugoku region exhibition, Japan Ceramic Art exhibition and the Japan Traditional Arts and Crafts National exhibition, some of these
numerous times. As with Miyao, Yokoyama is an extremely talented
Bizen ceramic artist and one who’s star will surely rise even higher.

3-together

The hidden preview links are below, additional photos of any work gladly sent on request and the exhibition will go online for public viewing this Friday:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Enjoy!

With deep thanks and appreciation from Mishima.
Sincerely,

Robert Yellin
HOMEPAGE

3-2-18 Omiya-cho, Mishima-shi, Shizuoka-ken
Phone: 81-559-91-5388
Fax: 81-559-91–5387

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Think Twice
Frank Fariello

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Vegan Sashimi at Yasaitei

YASAITEI-VEGAN2

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients extensively used. Seasonal ingredients only. All-ladies staff.

I’ve been an unconditional fan of Yasatei in Shizuoka City for quite a while.
Some might say I’m attracted to the all-female staff, but they would be sorely mistaken as I take my Missus there from time to time!
The reasons are very simple:

YASAITEI-VEGAN1

Yasaitei (The Vegetables Inn in Japanese) makes the extra effort(s) to serve whenever possible produce from Shizuoka Prefecture, including sake and shochu! The only place, as far as I know, which offers shochu from three different Shizuoka breweries/distilleries!
Vegan and vegetarian friends have complained to me unaccountable times that they would not be able to survive in Japan. How far from the truth they are!
Vegetables, including organic and biologically-grown, are plentiful in this country. I must gladly admit hat we are blessed with a very special situation here in Shizuoka Prefecture as this is the mildest region in Japan in spite of the snow falling around Mount Fuji. Our Prefecture has become a national reference when it comes to vegetable and fruit agricultural research (omnivores will be glad to hear that it is also at the forefront of marine life sustainibility!), notably in natural environment.

The staff at Yasaitei always keeps an extra eye and ear open for any new information concerning vegetables. Many a time I have brought them heirloom tomatoes, burdock roots, potimarrons and what else grown by lady farmers up Abe River just for the fun of it. On such occasions some surprised patrons find themselves served with an extra “service morsel” (meaning free of charge)!

YASAITEI-VEGAN3

Yesterday evening, I needed a “quick fix” in between two work sessions and pedaled to their restaurant only five minutes away.
I just said, “Yasai sashimi no moriawase/Plate of vegetables sashimi, please!”
Written or not on the day’s menu, it will always be prepared with an extra care.
The set I was served consisted of the following (See above pic):
-Cucumber (kyuuri/胡瓜)-the Japanese like them young, narrow and crunchy!
-Japanese long radish (daikon/大根)-Juicy, crunchy, almost sweet (bear in mind that the extremity is astringent!).
-Perilla leaf (shiso/紫蘇) behind the daikon and sitting on a bed of sliced onion (tamanegei/たまねぎ). The onion were thinly sliced and left in cold water for a while to take away the astringency.

YASAITEI-VEGAN4

-Grapara leaves (grapara/グラパラ) in the middle. I will talk about this later!
-Sweet Ameera tomatoes (ameera tomato/アメーラトマト). These tomatoes were originally grown in Shizuoka Prefecture, but are slowly expanding all over Japan. They are so sweet that they almsot taste like strawberries!
-Celery (serori/セロリー). Shizuoka Prefecture grows half of them in Japan! Fresh, juicy and crunchy!
-Myoga ginger sprouts (myouga/茗荷) just behind the celery.

YASAITEI-VEGAN6

These grapara leaves are grown in Chiba Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
For people who can read Japanes, check their homepage!

YASAITEI-VEGAN7

Crunchy but with a juicy and tender inside, they are sweet and taste somewhat like pineapple!

YASAITEI-VEGAN5

Vegans and Vegetarians, do not worry!
Yasaitei does not serve mayonnaise with such beauties.
They will accompany this plate of super fresh vegetables with a small saucer containing sesame oil (goma abura/ゴマ油), dark miso (kuro miso/黒味噌) and natural salt (shio/塩)!

Expect more reports!

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 20 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES
Not-Just-Recipes
Bengal cuisine
Cooking Vegetarian
Frank Fariello
Gluten-free Vegan Family
Meatless Mama
Living In The Kitchen With Puppies
Wild River Review

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

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-