Tamagoyaki: Ciboulette & Cherry Shrimps

For once, the Missus accepted I took pictures while she made a batch of tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette since yesterday was a national holiday and we had decided to take it as easy as possible for the whole day!

Unforunately I can’t say that the pictures are very good, as I had little time to take them in the dark kitchen with a mobile phone. A real camera would have taken too much time, and eggs cook quickly!

The Missus used 3 eggs for the whole tamagoyai. She beat them with some water (3 tablespoons), a little milk (1 teaspoon), salt ( a pinch) and sugar (1 teaspoon).

Instead of making them plain with the above ingredients, she added plenty of chopped ciboulette/chives that the Japanese have come to grow recently.
She included the sakura ebi/cherry shrimps I had bought at the local supermarket while she was having a rest (she spent the day clearing things at home, her notion of taking it easy for the day!) after having added some sake to them.

She served them with a little momjioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper.
Next time she makes them it will be easier to convince her to write a posting on them as I’m planning to help her with her own (Japanese) blog!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento. Island Vittles, Skewer It!

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

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Foodbuzz Friend Bloggers Roundup

April 29th being a National Hoiday in Japan, I’m taking the opportunity to check all the links to Friend Bloggers I have referred to for the past 3 years since I started blogging (websites I had started back in 1999 had unfortunately to go with the times!).
It was somewhat a gratifying surprise to discover that the greatest majority of these friends was still very active.

I do have a crowd of friends I have either discovered through Foodbuzz or who later joined the fun. It would be impossible to cite them all, but I would like to thank all and eveyone for enriching my everyday life.

The following friends are special among special and I would like to recommend them as they deserve special attention for obvious and more obscure reasons (there will be other roundups!):

Warren Bobrow: Financier turned gastronomic journalist!

5 Star Foodie: A happy Marriage of Ukrainian and American (and World!) Culinary Delights!

Bread + Butter: The foodie journalist and film director!

Jefferson’s Table: For the love of Jefferson Airplane!

Oyster Culture: A shared love! Hubby is going to kill me! LOL

Gourmet Fury Foodie Fury out of control in Vancouver!

Zoy Zhang: Amazing Zhang!

Hungry Neko: Cats can be gastronomes!

Frank Fariello: The lawyer reminiscing on his Mum’s Italian Recipes!

Mangantayon: Another Shizuoka Foodie!

Hapabento: For the love of Bento!

Elinluv Tidbit Corner: Indonesia forever!

Tokyo Terrace: One ot the Tokyo Tribe!

Maison de Christina: Taiwan forever!

Chrys Niles: Ever an enhusiast!

Lexi: Star-studded!

Culinary Musings: For the love of Hubby!

Wheeling Gourmet: Never Say Die!

Comestiblog: Beware of that one! LOL

Chronicles Of A Curious Cook: Curiousity is a quality!

Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass: One of the Tokyo Tribe!

Tokyo Foodcast: One of the Tokyo Tribe!

Palate To Pen: Wine forever!

Hilah Cooking: The Laughing Instructor!

More than a Mount Full: Would like to invite that friend to Mount Fuji!

Arkonite Bento: For the Love of bento!

Island Vittles: Being stranded on an island does not prevent one from being a great cook!

Skewer It! : For the love of yakitori!

Good Beer & Country Boys: For the love of Beer!

Rubber Slippers In Italy: Growing Shiso in Italy!

Color Food daidokoro/Osaka: One of the Osaka tribe!

The Witchy Kitchen: Always had a soft spot for witches! Check The Life Of A Dragon and you will understand why!

Citron Et Vanille: Vive la France!

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

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Cheese Souffle: The Basic Recipe

After being asked about my cheese souffle by a new Foodbuzz friend, I thought it was about time I re-post the recipe for this French classic.
Sorry, as I was caught a bit off my guard I had only and old pic of my cooking available. Let’s hope I will come another one soon!

When you mention the word “Souffle”, the first reaction you get is: “Too difficult!”. It is actually dead easy, and I can tell you that some restaurants make an enormous profit from them!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
Eggs: 4
Flour: 50g
Butter: 50g
Milk: 300cc
Shredded cheese: 100g
Salt
White Pepper
Nutmeg
Thyme
Laurel

RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Butter well the inside of a (possibly round) deep oven dish (about 18cm x 8cm). This will help the souffle rise and prevent it fom sticking.

Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
In a large bowl add a little salt to whites and beat them until solid.

On a small fire, prepare a Bechamel sauce (white sauce):
Melt butter completely, pour in flour and mix well with spatula until smooth. Pour in milk and mix well (diffferent people have different techniques, but I found that the best technique is to mix half of the milk little by little first, then pour in the rest and use a whisker to make a smooth sauce). Add salt, pepper and spices. Keep stirring gently.

Once the sauce has thickened to the point of almost solid, take off the fire (or switch off the fire).
Mix in the egg yolks with a spatula until colour is even. Then proceed the same way with the cheese little by little until mixture comes smooth off the spatula.

Check that the whites have not gone back to liquid (That happened to me quite a few times, so make sure to check! In such a case, just beat them again. They will go back to a satisfactory state quite fast.). Mix in half first as delicately as possible with a spatula (not a whisker, or you will break the air bubbles in the whites and the souffle will not rise!). Then do the same with the second half. Pour in the mixture in the dish and put in the oven to bake for 45 minutes ( although that depends with every oven). To check whether the souffle is properly cooked, insert a thin wooden stick or knife deep into the souffle. It should come out smooth.

Before serving, make sure that everybody is at the table before serving. ” The guests wait for a Souffle, a Souffle does not wait for the guests!”

NOTES:

-1) This souffle can be cooked in individual dishes. In that case the cooking time shall be about 30~35 minutes.
-2) Instead of cheese you could use tinned tuna (2 x small cans), or fresh spinach (one bunch; boil it a couple of minutes in salted water first, then drain thouroughly, and mince it as thinly as possible), or crab (add a little brandy to it and mix beforehand), or thin short narrow strips of ham, or even ham & cheese. The variations are endless!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento. Island Vittles, Skewer It!

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

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Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2010/04/28)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
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Seasonal Releases; Golden Week Taproom Hours; Nakameguro Taproom 2-Year Anniversary

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The annual Japan Golden Week holiday is just around the corner and we are kicking it off with the release of three distinct spring seasonal beers: Four Sisters Spring Bock, Temple Garden Yuzu Ale, and Love Potion Ale.

Four Sisters Spring Bock (ABV 7%): This is a heavily wheated German-style Maibock brewed annually for spring release. It is bready, wholesome and extremely refreshing given its strength. It is available both in kegs and bottles (633 ml).
Temple Garden Yuzu Ale (ABV 6%): Yuzu is a Japanese citron fruit the aroma of which is gorgeously spicy and the flavor lemon-like tart. This sprite, snappy ale is fruited with yuzu and hopped in a complementary way. It is a perfect spring libation. It is available also both in kegs and bottles (633 ml).
Love Potion Ale (ABV 7%): Good beer is the lubricant to many wonderful things, none more important than love. Baird Beer and The Taproom played a lubricating role in last year’s matrimony struck between two great friends and patrons — Seiji and Naomi. Love Potion Ale, dark in color and strong in alcohol, is surprisingly sprite and wonderfully aromatic. It is at once playful and provocative yet strong and substantive — much like the love in a good relationship. Enjoy a pint in toast to Seiji and Naomi and their one-year anniversary! Love Potion is available draught-only in very limited quantities.
All three of these spring seasonals will be available beginning Friday, April 30.

Golden Week Taproom Hours

2010 Japan Golden Week kicks off for many this Thursday, April 29 with the the national holiday called Showa Day. All three Taprooms will be open from noon that day. Normal business hours will be observed on Friday, April 30. Then, from Saturday, May 1 through Wednesday, May 5, each Taproom again will open at noon. The Numazu Fishmarket Taproom will be closed for business on Thursday, May 6.

Please plan on spending a part of your Golden Week holiday with us at one of our Taprooms, drinking terrific beer and enjoying the warm camaraderie.

Nakameguro Taproom 2-Year Anniversary Celebration

The Nakameguro Taproom opened its doors for business on Saturday, May 10, 2008. It will be celebrating its 2-year birthday on the weekend of May 8-9 (Saturday-Sunday). During this 2-day party, Baird Beer will be served at low Numazu-prices and a wonderful all-you-can-eat buffet will be available for the hungry at 1,500 yen per person. Sayuri and I will be in attendance on Saturday helping to tap a very special 2-year anniversary ale (details forthcoming shortly). Please mark your calendar and plan on joining us for the festivities.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


The Japan Blog List

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Yakitori Cutting Techniques 7: Shiri/”Hips”

Shiri is often called “hips” in Japanese language. Actually it means bottom/derriere!
I still remember my Mum reserving that morsel for herself every time she roasted a whole chicken: “le cul est pour moi! The ass is for me!” LOL
In any case a healthy chicken should have a prominent “tail”! bear in mind it is not all fat as the chicken need themuscles to strut along its tail erected!

As shown on pic above, insert the knife and cut around the small bone and the meat attached to it.

Cut the fat around the sphincter/anus and discard it together with the sphincter.

Do that operation on both sides. Look at the pic above: you will discard the pieces of fat below the cut hips.

Insert the stick/skewer in the meat passing it just under the bone.

The stick is ready. The bone is a bit hard but succulent with the fat around it.

Now, if you don’t want the bone, cut around the bone as carefully as possible laving no meat or fat with it.

When instering the stick in the cut pieces, respect the same order skin fat/meat for even cooking.

Here are the complete sticks of boneless hips.
Now bear in mind they will cook faster and look smaller!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento. Island Vittles, Skewer It!

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

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Fruit Cocktails by Wataru Matsumoto 4: Blueberry

Service: very professional and friendly.
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall.
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Fruit cocktails. Cozy and a comfortable, for ladies and gentlemen alike.

This is the fourth recipe of a (hopefully long) series of cocktails concocted by Wataru Matsumoto, owner/bartender at BOTANICAL (Comfort bar) in Shizuoka City.
No worries about copyrights as Mr. Matsumoto is only too happy to share his secrets!

INGREDIENTS:

-Bombay sapphire Gin: 1 standard measure
-Lanka Yoghurt Liqueur: 1 teaspoon
-Monin Myrtille Blueberry syrup: 1 teaspoon
-Cranberry juice: 1/2 standard measure
-Fresh blueberries: 6~
-Ice: 1/2 cup

RECIPE:

-Drop all ingredients in a food processor and turn until you obtain a rough kind of “smoothie”.

-Pour in medium white wine glass.

-Cut a large blueberry half way and “plant” it on the edge of the glass.

COMMENTS:

Not as sweet as one would imagine, but still a dessert of a cocktail!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Warren Bobrow
Tokyo Terrace

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Shizuoka Sake
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Shizuoka SakeTasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Takasago Premium Yamahai Dai-Ginjo Genshu Nama

Fuji-Takasago Brewery certainly makes for long titles!
Located in Fujinomiya City, it is not truly a completely local brewery as it has been absorbed in a bigger conglomerate of the same name.
On the other hand, regular staff are local and the concept of sake brewing is very much according to the Shizuoka tradtion and tastes.

This particular bottle is pretty rare as only 30 (720 ml) of them were made before the rest of the batch was modified with water and more sterilization.

The sake was brewed according to the Yamahai method.
Although it is not a junmai (alcohol was added), it is a genshu, meaning than no pure water was further added to lower the alcohol content. Moreover it is a “nama”, meaning unpasteurized.

Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Takasago Premium Yamahai Dai-Ginjo Genshu Nama

Rice: Yamada Nishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol content: 18~19 degrees
Bottled in March 2010
Limited edition: 30 (720 ml) bottles

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Transparent

Aroma: Fruity, complex, fleeting, Pineapple, coconuts.

Body: Fluid

Taste: Sweetish attack. Turns dry and deliciously acid very quickly.
Complex. Cherries, coconuts, mirabelles, pineappple.
Fades away very quickly with notes of bitter chocolate, apricot, coffee beans and dry almonds.
Surprisingly mild for such a high alcohol content.
Holds its own so well with any food.

Overall: Surprisingly elegant for a Yamahai.
No wonder so many breweries in Shizuoka are tackling this kind of sake judged “rustic” in other Prefectures. Shizuoka yeast influence?
Most probably.
Another sake for all seasons, to be appreciated at all temperatures on its own or with food, chilled, at room temperature or “nurukan” (40~45 degrees)!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Warren Bobrow
Tokyo Terrace