Yakitori Cutting Techniques 2: Breast

SYNOPSIS:

Looking at my friends Island Vittles and Skewer It! blogs on yakitori I decided to start a series on that worldwide known Japanese specialty that is “Yakitori/焼き鳥/”Grilled Chicken”.
I hope that this series of postings on various basic recipes will help her and all other foodies interested in that simple, healthy and so delicious delicacy!

This particular series will deal with the cutting techniques which should help you make your own yakitori at home!

Yakitori Cutting Techniques 2: Breast:

-If you haven’t obtained the full chicken, choose a good quality chicken breast cut with all its skin. Check that the latter is frim and fresh. Frozen skin will not achieve the best results!

-Looking at the picture above, make a “high cut”by separating the comparatively fat part (left on pic but right in reality) from the more irregular part (right on the pic, but left in reality) because it is the spot where the wing joint is found.

-Cut the wing joint part into 25 mm/1 inch square pieces.
The fat part of the breast could be cut into the same pieces, but it would be a bit of an overkill.
Better would be to grill it whole skin down until the skin has turned crispy. Do not grill on the other side. Doing so the meat will still be half rare inside,making for a “juicy and tender” morsel best enjoyed with some ponzu instead of sauce/tare!
Serve it whole or cut into thin slices.

-Insert the skewer through the pieces with the skin surface always pointing forward for even cooking!

-If you decided after all to do the same with the “fat” part, bear in mind not to overcook it! In that case larger cuts would be better. The trick would be to have all the skin parts facing down and grill them skin down only!

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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Cocktail Bar: BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)


Haaru Lemon Cocktail
(Courtesy of Yoko Kosugi)

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.

After having established a solid reputation as one of the best bartenders in Shizuoka City for quite a few years in a cocktail bar called Yasougin, Wataru Matsumoto decided it was about time to open his own in July 20009 to the pleasure of his customers who just “moved” to his new place called BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar) without batting an eyelid (or eyelash for some).

Contrary to many similar bars, you do not need a guide to take you up dark stairs and through involuted passageways to find it. It stands right along the street behind Isetan Department Store next to a renown ladies fashion shop. One can see the inside through windows, very much in with the new concept to show as much interior as possible to passers-by and eventual customers. No wonder ladies feel comfortable sipping their favourite nectar in peace and quiet with similarly-minded guests.

Even so at night, it is all soft light and soothing background music.
Customers do enjoy casual conversations with unknown (until then) individuals or keep to themselves in a very laid back manner.


Passion Fruit Cocktail

A good dozen guests can sit at the bar or sit at one of the small tables by the window.
Wataru Matsumoto caters for many tastes with his own very precise selection: 30 Scotch Whiskies, 10 Bourbons, 20 Liqueurs and even unknown shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture.
French Mumm Champagne is available by the glass.
But his forte is definitely seasonal fruit cocktails. Just ask what fruit is available and how sour, sweet, flat or petillant you like it and expect a marvel to stand in front of you after a great demonttrations of his art!


“Kinkan” Fruit Cocktail (Kumquat、Cumquat)

I actually plan to run a special series on Mr. Matsumoto fruit cocktail creations as he is more than happy to share his recipes!

Incidentally prices are very reasonable for this type of establishment in Japan. Count 1,800 yen for the first cocktail (with obligatory snack) and 800 yen from the second one. Light food is also available as well as soft drinks, beer and coffee.

A superb place to visit on your own, with a great friend or your special guest”

BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)
420-0082 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-13, Shade Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-221-8686
Opening hours: 17:00~01:00
Closed on Mondays.
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-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
Shizuoka Shochu
Shizuoka Sushi
Sizuoka Gourmet

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 3/7: Doi Brewery/Kaiun-Sakura Hana

In spite of the passing away of the nationally famous sake masterbrewer, Mr Hase, his apprentices have taken up the job of continuing producing brews in the greatest Noto tradition (Noto peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture) at Doi Brewery in Kakaegawa City and helped maintain the highest rank for the pleasure of all.

Kaiun Sakura Hana is a regular feature put out just before the cherry blossom season for which the magnificent Doi Brewery is celebrated for.

There are very few indications as to how the sake is made, but it is a Junmai Ginjo.

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Sakura No Hana

Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol:15~16 degrees
Bottles in March 2010

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Faint golden hue

Aroma: Fruity and flowery: banana, pineapple, peaches. Strong and extremely pleasant

Body: smooth and solid

Taste: Dryish attack, junmai tingle, shortish tail.
Fruity and complex.
Bananas, dry almonds, later backed up by coffee beans and bitter chocolate and peaches.
Very soft at the back of the mouth.
Holds its own well with food with a drier note.

Overall: A beautiful, very flowery sake to be enjoyed on its own, although it goes well with any food. Best appreciated at room temperature, although many will like it slightly chilled. Feminine in aroma, but more direct in taste!

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

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2010/04/05)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Three Spring Seasonal Releases

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Although the calendar reads spring, a dreary end-of-winter kind of chilly grey gloom pervades. In the hope of coaxing the spring weather gods out of their slumber, we are releasing today three joyfully bright and sunny spring seasonal beers: Kiwi IPA, Black Velvet Dark Lager and Citrus Wheat Stout.

Kiwi IPA (ABV 7%): Hop agricultural has taken deep root in New Zealand over the past decade. Hop varieties from the kiwi country are, in our experience, quite distinct from those of both Europe and the United States. Kiwi IPA is our attempt to highlight the character of three varieties of New Zealand hops (Motueka, NZ Cascade and NZ Hallertau Aroma). We flavor- aroma- and dry-hop this brisk India Pale Ale exclusively with the aforementioned NZ varieties. The result, we think, is a deliciously complex IPA quite unlike any you have experienced before.
Black Velvet Dark Lager (ABV 5%): This is the Baird interpretation of a German-style Schwarzbier (a dark lager style noted for its smooth roundness and easy drinkability). Black Velvet Dark Lager was brewed way back in summer, 2009 and as the name suggests it drinks from the glass with a silky, velvet-like smoothness. This is a perfect beer with which to kick off an evening of slow and sociable imbibing.
Citrus Wheat Stout (ABV 6.5%): While we love recreating classic world beer styles, we also maintain a reverence for the stylistically irreverent. Citrus Wheat Stout is a prime example of reverentially irreverent brewing. This unusual Stout is wheat (not barley) based, hopped aggressively with citrus flavor varieties (Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo), and made more potently citrus with additions of freshly squeezed juice and shaved peels of the wonderful Japanese citrus fruit, Daidai. The flavor experience is beyond words — you simply must try it!
Kiwi IPA and Black Velvet Dark Lager are available both in kegs and bottles (633 ml). Citrus Wheat Stout is keg only and quantities are extremely limited.

Finally, congratulations are due to Yokota-san and his wife Kimi for the opening of their terrific new beer pub (Biiru no Yokota) (http://www.beer-yokota.com/) in Shizuoka City (located right across from the city hall building). Yoko-chan, of course, was previously the manager of both our Fishmarket and Nakameguro Taprooms. His wonderful pub offers a great lineup of Baird Beer as well as other well-selected Japan and imported craft beer. Please plan on paying them a visit soon.

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
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/25): Rainy Day Bento

After a great Sunday spent playing cricket (and losing a final, tears….), it was a bit of a “cold shower” this morning when we woke up with the rain battering the windows. Well, it’s Spring after all, and we need all that water for the great vegetables grown in this particular region of Japan!

This time the Missus chose the sturdier (and cheaper) cedar wood bento box and tried to include some colours to cheer me up!

She made a bed of plain steamed rice in the larger box and topped it with thin slices of chicken fired in teriyaki style sauce seasoned with roasted sesame nuts. In the middle she placed marinated soft-boiled eggs of her own fashion and her other specialty: yam/yama imo, hijiki/sweet seaweed, and lightly fried pimento Japanese salad. That for the stamina and vitamins!

For a better view of the eggs and and salad. The pic is a bit fuzzy as it was really dark this morning.

The chicken and the eggs, which prompted the Missus in calling this bento an “oyakodon”, Parent/chicken and Child/egg bento!

And then a dish of salad and dessert for more vitamins and fibers!

Fried shimeji mushrooms, boiled rapeseed/Na no Hana salad with sesame dressing and seeds, home-pickled sweet myoga ginger and boiled Okinawan baby corn!

Shizuoka Plum tomatoes and Chilean grapes for dessert!

The weather forecast is good for tomorrow. Whta’s in store for me then?

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

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi; Happy Little Bento

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French Gastronomy: Pigeon at Pissenlit

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products.
no-smoking-logo!

When I saw the new “noren/entrance curtain” at the entrance of Pissenlit the other day (secret?) I knew it was a lost cause!
I just had to check what was on the menu, which evolves so well with the seasons!

The chef, Mr. Tooru Arima, told me that he had just received pigeon from Ibaraki Prefecture!
-Okay, I’ll go for it!
-It will take some time. How about an hors d’oeuvres first?
-Fine, I leave it to you!

What came was a very unusual combination of North African and Japanese cuisine!
Actually, when you think that Japan imports vast quantities of squid/cuttlefish from North Africa, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
The squid is called “mimi ika/耳烏賊”, meaning squid with “large ears”. It is comparativeley small but with large “ears”.
The dish consisted of a taboule salad with Moroccan couscous and home-marinated, very soft mimi ika squid, and plenty of local trefoil and herbs.
A very sophisticated hors d’oeuvres!

And then the whole pigeon came!
It is prepared in two steps, first a l’etouffee/pan steamed and then roasted before being cut and served with its sauce and vegetables (organic vegetables from Shizuoka).
Cooked to perfection, well roasted and crunchy on the outside and tender and half raw in the middle. Going through many textures in a single bite!

The head has been cut to reveal the brains, a real delicacy if a bit gross!

Now the “stick” is very japanese in concept. It is simply a yakitori made with the liver and heart of the smae pigeon!
Barbarous again, but so delicious!

It was lunch and I had been ravenous. I therefore finished with a small plate of cheese to go with the red wine:
Aged gruyere, Trou du Cru, Crottin Chavignol, Roquefort and Explorateur!

What’s in next? LOL

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

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

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

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