Japanese Cheese: Kyodo Gakui Shintoku Nojyo

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This is the second set of cheese made by Kyodo Gakui Tokunojyou in Hokkaido Island I found In Lavigne, Shizuoka City.

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I have already introduced other cheeses from the same company (see above picturse).
They iincluded Sasa no Yuki, a Camembert style wrapped in a small bamboo leaf, Koban, Sakura and Raclette

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These two cheeses seem to complete the whole series from that particular company.

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This one is simply called “Camembert-type”, and it is very near the French product, the more for it that it ismade with raw cow’s milk.
Actually it is the Sasa no Yuki minus the bamboo leaf!
Well-matured and soft, it can be matured a longer time.

CHEESE-JAPAN-4

The last one, a hard type cheese also made with raw cow’s milk is called “Lera He Mental”, obviously inspired by Emmental and Comte cheeses. Surprisingly strong in characteristic, it makes for a great snack with wine and bread. Can definitely be used in somewhat extravagant cooking!

Another discovery!

Kyodo Gakui Shintoku Nojyo
081-0038 Hokkaido, Kamikawa Gun, Shintoku Machi, Jishintoku, 9-1
(081-0038 北海道上川郡新得町字新得9-1)
Tel.: (81)(0)156-69-5600

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/64)

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Onecould call today’s bento “Another Typhoon Bento”, as after almost 12 weeks of drought the rain is back with a vengeance! The notion of typhoon notwithstanding, the weather pattern are absolutely identical to that of the rainy season/tsuyu in June/July!

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The beno the Missus prepared his morning was a very classi one, reminiscent of what children and students can expect from their mothers.

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After she had steamed the rice, she mixed still hot with rice vinegar and other ingredients including white sesame seeds to make it sushi rice.
She fried minced chicken with finely cut mushrooms in a comparitively sweet sauce before covering half the rice with it.
She covere the other other with Japanese-style scrambled eggs and separated both with some freshly cut mitubs/trefoil making for an appetizing and colourful dish.

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The salad consisted of shredded vegetables, smoked salmon, plum tomatoes, French pickles and black olives. I seasoned the lot with dressing kept in my fridge at work.

For dessert grape jelly.
Very healthy indeed!

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Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/3-Sushi Presentations-Donburi

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Donburi made by the Missus:
-She marinated thin slices of raw tuna in ponzu, sake and what else. The leftover marinade was poured over the rice to season it before she placed the pieces of tuna on top.
-Smoked salmon with capers.
-A spoon of “tobikko/flying fish roe”
-a generous portion of locally-made (up the Abe River in Shizuoka City) “Wasabi zuke/chopped wasabi stems and flowers fermented in “sake kasu/sake white lees” (all from Shizuoka Prefecture!)

SYNOPSIS:
I already have wrtitten a lot in bits and pieces on Sushi and Sashimi, including in my other blog, Shizuoka Sushi, but I felt it was time to post an article that could be used as general reference by my blogging friends.
The Basic 1: Definitions
The Basics 2: Questions & Answers
The Basics 3: Ingredients
The Basics 4/1: Sushi Presentations
The Basics 4/2: Sushi Presenations-Rolls

There is another form of sushi, partly similar to Chirashizushi called Donburi Sushi.
It is popular not only at sushi restaurants, especially in Hokkaido Island, but also in Japanese homes all over Japan!
The moment you know how to prepare sushi rice, it is great fun!
You can make donburi vegan, vegetarian, seafood or even meat.
It is entirely up to your imagination!

Here is another example by the Missus:

DONBURI-HOME
Plain steamed rice topped with slices of “akami”/ lean tuna part, avocado salad with mayonnaise and wasabi pickles (the latter provided a nice balance with a spicy touch), boiled sirasu/whitebait sprinkled with “hijiki” seaweed and “tobikko”/flying fish roe.
The tobikko added a nice colour finish touh. It is quite cheap down here in Shizuoka City.
I poured a little Shizuoka-made wasabi dressing on top. This dressing is a lot milder than pure grated wasabi with a little sweetness which combines well with the fish!

I go very often to Hokkaido and have collected quite a few samples of Donburi:

The following three were taken near Abashiri a short distance from Shiretoko, one of the Japanese World Nature Heritage in the far North:

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-1
“Oyako” Donburi/”Mother and Child”. In this case it means Salmon and Salmon Roe!

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-2
“Uni” Donburi, Sea Urchin Donburi. Absolutely extravagant!

DONBURI-HOKKAIDO-3
Uni to Ikura Donburi, even more extravagant!

The next four were savoure in Sapporo City, the capital of Hokkaido:

DONBURI-SAPPORO-1
From bottom, clockwise:
“Uni” (Sea Urchin), “Kani Tsume” (Crab legs), “Maguro” (Tuna), “Nanban Ebi” ( large prawn variety)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-2
From bottom, clockwise:
“Hotate” (Scallops), “Uni” (Sea urchin), “Ika” (Squid), “Kani Tsume” (Crab legs)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-3
From top middle clockwise:
“Ikura” (salmon roe), “Kazu no ko” (herring roe), “Kampachi” (Amberjack), “Tako” (octopus), “Sake” (raw salmon), “Hotate” (scallops), in the centre, “Uni” (sea urchin)

DONBURI-SAPPORO-4
From bottom, clockwise:
“Hotate” (Scallops), “Ikura” (Salmon roe), “Kazu no Ko” (Herring roe), “Kampachi” (Amberjack), “Uni” ( Sea Urchin), “Kani Tsume” (Crab leg), “Ebi” (Boiled prawn)

Next article will be about Sashimi Presentations!

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Sashimi & Sushi: The Basics 4/2: Sushi Presentations/Rolls

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Futo-Maki/Large sushi roll with normal size nori-maki for comparison

SYNOPSIS:
I already have wrtitten a lot in bits and pieces on Sushi and Sashimi, including in my other blog, Shizuoka Sushi, but I felt it was time to post an article that could be used as general reference by my blogging friends.
The Basic 1: Definitions
The Basics 2: Questions & Answers
The Basics 3: Ingredients
The Basics 4/1: Sushi Presentations

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California Roll by Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

I stopped counting the number of complaints I received about the so-called sushi rolls they serve in other countries. “Gross”, “Impossible to finish”, “Nothing to do with sushi”, and so forth.
This is like any “ethnic” food served outside its country of origin: some unscrupulous restaurateurs/businessmen catch on the fad and immediately serve “authentic” cuisine to gullible/unknowing customers.
But soon or later, thanks to better and faster global communications, the same customers will realize their mistake and stop patronizing such establishments.
The problem is that very often they are left with no decent sushi restaurant to visit.
About time to learn to make these famous rolls and enjoy them at home or parties until that great real sushi restaurant comes to town!
Here are some examples of sushi rolls to help you with your own crations!

-Sushi do not have all to be of the”California Roll” type.
Below are typical examples of “futo maki/large maki” with the seaweed/nori outside.

SUSHI-ROLL-HOME-TYPE-1
Home-type futo-maki/large sushi roll 1

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Home-type futo-maki/large sushi roll 2

They can be larger of course, but there is limit to size.
Below are great examples of what can be achieved with large types:

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Futo maki roll: (Large) Rainbow Roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

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Pirikara Hotate Futo maki/large spicy scallops roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

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Tonkatsu sushi roll

Nori-maki style rolls are probably the easiest to make, serve and eat.
And there are so many possibilities as you can devise them with a single ingredient!

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Negi-toro nori maki sushi roll at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

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Kanpyo maki/dried gourd shavings roll

Making “decoration rolls2 for the family can be great fun!
Look below for some examples:

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Another type of roll very popular in Japanese restaurants and homes is te-maki/手巻き, literally hand-roll.
They have the advantage that you can choose your own ingredients at will!

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Home-style te-maki plate!

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Te-maki set served at a sushi restaurant.
Can you recognize the ingredients?

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How about this one, also served in a sushi restaurant! Looks very healthy!

TE-MAKI-1
Japanese home-style te-maki made with cheese, shiso and canned tuna!

Next article is about sushi donburi!

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Sashimi & Sushi: The Basics 4/1: Sushi Presentations

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Sushi Millefeuille at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

SYNOPSIS:
I already have wrtitten a lot in bits and pieces on Sushi and Sashimi, including in my other blog, Shizuoka Sushi, but I felt it was time to post an article that could be used as general reference by my blogging friends.
The Basic 1: Definitions
The Basics 2: Questions & Answers
The Basics 3: Ingredients

Sushi does come ito many guises and shapes (and colours).
Too many people think it is only all nigiri and rolls.
Any chef worthy of his/her name will prove you otherwise!

Alright, then. What do they have to offer?

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Magurozuke/Marinated tuna (Akami/lean part) Nigiri at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

NIGIRI/NIGIRIZUSHI:

Nigiri/握り literally means “grip/grasp/press” in Japanese.
The shari/シャリ is made by scooping the right amount of sushi rice in one hand (usually the left hand9 and making a “ball” of it. Actually it is more oblong than round. Size varies with the chef and restaurant, but an experienced chef is capable to reproducing such a ball to the same exact amount of grains. They say it takes seven years to become a master at making shari!
The next step, but not always, is to smear a little wasabi on top of the rice ball and then top it with an ingredient of your choice. Finally the chef will press it around the top of the shari before depositing it on a plate (or on a bamboo leaf) or on small wooden plate in front of the customer.
In some cases the wasabi will be placed in the from of a small ball on top of the neta/ネタ (topping) as on anago/アナゴ (conger eel).
All kinds of neta/toppings can wrapped around the top. (See The Basics 3: Ingredients).

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Sakura Nigiri/Horsemeat Nigiri at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

More ingredients will be added as seasoning on top of the topping such as grated ginger and chopped leeks (see above),

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pickled Japanese plum/umeboshi/梅干 as above (on op of boiled mitsuba/trefoil at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City)

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grated lime zest as above (on top of pickled/marinated daikon at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City),

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grated daikon and chili pepper as above (on top of aburi sanma/lightly grilled mackerel pike)

ANAGO-SUSHI

or tare/sauce as above(on top of anago/アナゴ)

TAMAGO-NIGIRI

A strip of dried seaweed/nori/海苔 can be used to secure the neta as with tamagoyaki/卵焼き above.

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The same strip of nori can circled around a really round shari as above (thinly cut ika/烏賊/squid arranged into a tsuru/鶴/crane shape)

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Boiled trefoil/Mitsuba and fresh cucmber/Kyuuri Gunkan at Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City

GUNKAN/GUNKAN SUSHI:

When a wider strip of nori is wrapped around a shari to prevent the topping to fall over, it is called a gunkan/軍艦/mothership.

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Umibudo/Sea Grapes Gunkan

It is also useful to emphasize the neta as above,

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or it can be designed as purposefully overflowing as above (ikura/salmon roe gunkan)!

ST-VALENTINE-SUSHI

What about this tiny St-Valentine Gunkan?

For more gunkan fun go HERE!

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Chirashizushi served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

CHIRASHIZUSHI:

Chirashizusi/散らし寿司 means “decoration Sushi”.
It is very popular in homes where large quantities can prepared for the family and still designed as to please the eye.

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Millefeuille sushi served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

Millefeuille is anaother typ of chirashizushi! Very easy to make and so impressive! (use a baking circle!)

TE-NARI-ZUSHI
Home Party Te-Mari Zushi

TEMARI ZUSHI:

Te-Mari Zushi/手まり寿司/Small ball-shaped sushi are very popular in Kyoto and at homes in many Japanese homes, especially on Girls’ day (March 3rd). Great for parties and easy to make!

INARI-ZUSHI

INARI-ZUSHI:

Inari Zusi/稲荷寿司/Fried tofu pouches filled sushi rice and other ingredients are basically home-type and bento-type sushi.
Very popular with vegans and vegetarians as they can control the contents. Very healthy!

Next Article will be on Sushi Roll Presentation!

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Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 3: Ingredients

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Botan ebi/Botan Shrimp and its eggs at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

SYNOPSIS:
I already have wrtitten a lot in bits and pieces on Sushi and Sashimi, including in my other blog, Shizuoka Sushi, but I felt it was time to post an article that could be used as general reference by my blogging friends.
The Basic 1: Definitions
The Basics 2: Questions & Answers

One encounters the general misconception that sushi ingredients include only fish and pre-determined seafood as neta/topping.
Fortunately, sushi offers a greater variety to please everyone, even vegetarians and vegans!

The following description is not exhaustive as possibilities are almost limitless according to avaibility, country and geography, but I hope it will help gastronomes and good food lovers to gain access to a larger scope on which they can expand at will!

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Katsuo/Bonito sashimi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

FISH:

The Japanese traditionally differentiate fish into the following kinds:

a) White-flesh fish:
Hirame/Sole, Makogarei or Ishigarei/Turbot or Halibut or Flounder, Sayori/Japanese Half Beak, Shirogisu/Sillago, Suzuki/Seabass, Kawahagi/Leatherback, Tobiuo/Flying fish, Yagara/Trumpet Fish, Houbo/Bluefin Robin, Funa/Crucian Carp, Koi/Carp, Tara-Madara/Cod
Seabreams: Tai, Madai, Ishidai, Amadai, Hanadai

b) Red-fleshed fish:
Maguro/Tuna = Kuro Maguro or Hon Maguro/Bluefin Tuna, Mebachi/Big-eyed Tuna, Kihada/Yellowfin Tuna, Minmamimaguro/Southern Seas Tuna, Binnaga/Albacore Tuna, Mekajiki/Big-eye Marlin.
Buri/Yellowtail,Kampachi/Amberjack, Katsuo/Bonito, Sanma/mackerel Pike, sawara/Spanish Mackerel, Iwashi/Sardine, Shimaaji/Stripe Horsemackerel, Tobiuo/Flying fish

c) Other fish: Unagi/eel, Anago/Conger eel, Noresore/Conger Eel Whitebait, Shirasu/Sardine whitebait, Nishin/Herring, Sake-Shake/Salmon, Benimasu/Salmon Trout

d) Fish related ingredients: Ankimo/Monkfish/Frogfish liver, Ikura/salmon Roe, Kazu no Ko/herring Roe, Tobikko/Flying Fish Roe, Uroko/Scales (deep-fried)

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Shako/Mantis Shrimp

CRUSTACEANS:

There are many indeed, and many found only around Japan:
Shiro Ebi,White Shrimp, Botan Ebi/Large Prawn, Shako/Squilla,Amaebi/Alaskan Pink Shrimp/Pink Shrimp、Kuruma Ebi/Japanese Imperial Prawn、Ise Ebi/Japanese Spiny Lobster, Sakuraebi/Cherry shrimp, Budoebi/”Grape shrimp”
Snow Crab/Zuwagani, Red King Crab/Tarabagani, Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani, Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani

Crustacean-related ingredients:
Ebiko: egss from mainly of Amaebi and Botan Ebi. The only blue-colour sea ingredient in sushi?
Kani Sarada: Crab salad

KAKI-NIGIRI
Kaki/Oyster

SHELLFISH:

Shellfish are very popular raw, cooked, grilled, marinated or salted:
Abalone/Awabi, Scallops/Hotategai, Oysters/Kaki, Surf Clam/Torigai, Gaper/Mirugai, Turbo Shells/Sazae, Clam/Hamaguri, Pen Shell/Tairagi, Round Clam-Hen Clam/Bakagai, Scallops/Hotate

SQUID-LEGS
Ika Geso/ Squid legs

CEPHALOPODS

The Japanese are very fond of squids and octopus, be they raw, boiled, pickled or ciiked/grilled:
Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid, Surume Ika/Japanese Common Squid-Pacific Flying Squid, Hotaru Ika/Firefly Squid-Sparkling Enope Squid, Common calamari/Yari Ika, Kensaki Ika
Madako/True Octopus, Mizudako/Shiodako/Oodako, Iidako/Komochhidako, Ishidako, Chihirodako

HOYA-1
Hoya/Common Sea Squirt

OTHER MARINE LIFE:

These include some creatures relatively unknown outside Japan!
-Sea slug/beche de mer/Sea cusumber or namako in Japanese, as well as its insides/innards called konowata in Japanese
-Common Sea Squirt: Hoya/mahoya in Japanese
-Sea Urchi/Uni
-Kurage/Jellyfish

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Sakura/Horsemeat as served in Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

MEAT:

Meat goes very well as sushi, completely raw, slightly grilled or completely cooked!
Basashi:Uma no Niku/Sakura: Horsemeat
Shika no Niku: Venison, deer meat
Gyuniku/Gyusashi: Beef
Kujira: Whalemeat

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Tamagoyaki served at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

EGGS

Chicken eggs are used for tamagoyaki,japab\nese omelette wihich is cut in various shapes according to volume and trend.
Uzura Tamago/Quail eggs are often used additionally

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Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

VEGETABLES:

Now, here is a really “open section”!
I might say it’s all up to you and your priorities.
I will just cite the most popular varieties encountered in Japan:
Kanpyo/gourd shavings first dried then marinated in rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
Gobo/Burdock Root, Kooyaku/Devil’s Tongue tuber, Shiitake, Kyuuri/Cucumber, Mitsuba/Trefoil, Negi/Leek, Daikon, Radish, Shiso/Perilla, Natto, Tomato, Satsumaimo/Sweet potato, Kaiware daikon/Daikon shoots, Takenoko/Bamboo shoots, Myoga Ginger, Shooga/Ginger, Wasabi (chooped roots), Okra, Pimento, Nasu/Aubergine-Eg plant, Yamaimo/Glutinous Yam

To these you have to add the “sea vegetables”:
Konbu/Kaiso/Nori= Seaweed
Umibudo/Sea Grapes
Yuba/Tofu sheets

NOTE:

Fruit sushi has recently become popular abroad but has not caught yet in Japan!”
Foie gras (extravagant), tempura and tonkatsu may also be served as sushi!

Next article will be about Sushi Presentations!

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

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