Italian Cuisine: Appetizers at Il Paladino

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.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking at tables.

I’ve found over the years that in Japan, and especially Shizuoka, that it is more fun to ask for a few appetizers with a couple of glasses of good wine at Italian Restaurants (mind you, the same would apply to Spanish Restaurants and izakayas!).
When a good restaurant like Il Paladino in Shizuoka City agrees to it, it is simply great fun!

Here are a few examples of what I had the pleasure to savour recently:

Although Italian in concept, I would call this appetizer the “Tomato Road”! Sorry for the bad pun!

Tomato mousse.

Scallops in jelly with green peas, carrot and zucchini.

Involtini di Melanzane/Egg-plants rolls

Egg plant slices are rolled around Emmental cheese, Prosciuto Cotto ham, Mozzarella and Parmegiano.

This Sicilian specilaty is then covered with tomato sauce and baked in the oven.
It is served with a topping of high quality extra virgin oil.

Insalata Carapippara

Red pimento and celery strips, mozzarella wedges, Parmegianno strips, Green olives, Balsamico, Basil leaves and olive oil.

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, 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, Happy Little Bento

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

Robert Yellin’s Newsletter: Robert Yellin Gallery Renewal

Greetings from Mishima,

The sakura petals have come and gone here in Japan, there was even a photo taken of them with a cozy snow frosting, it’s beenthat cold here this spring. Wherever this may find you, we hopeyour skies are clear.

Finally we have launched our newly designed web gallery! It has the same URL as before at www.japanesepottery.com and is astand-alone site now separate from Trocadero. Our previous
gallery is still viewable at
http://www.trocadero.com/japanesepottery/catalog.html and shallremain there for the time being, to be faded out in the comingmonths. Please note all new listings will be at our new site. As noted, we’ll be slowly phasing out the Trocadero gallery and as such any offers on pieces listed there will be considered for the near future.

Our new design has a crisper feel and the photos pop up in a more
defined manner; please note that when the photos do pop up there
will be a ‘next’ and ‘previous’ button visible at the top thirdof each photo, yet only if you move your mouse there.

Another feature we added is an exhibition page for one-person or group shows. I was in Tokyo yesterday to view the collection of Mr. Ed. Keiths who has decided to return to the US after more than thirty years; we’ll be featuring part of his collection–mostly sake vessels–on the exhibition page next week; the boxes should arrive at the gallery on Monday. He also has a grand collection of Meiji-Showa small clay figures.

Any comments positive or constructive criticism about the new gallery are gladly welcome; as our testimonials for our gallery.
We’d like to add some new ones.

Also, any ceramic treasures sent within the next few weeks will also be accompanied by a pack of Shizuoka green tea as a small way to say thank you so very much.

Many thanks for your continued interest and patronage; assisting in creating small or major collections of the finest Japanese ceramic art past and present, that is our goal.

Cordially,

Robert Yellin
Yukari Niokawa
Mitsuyo Watanabe

www.japanesepottery.com
Email: robert@e-yakimono.net
Gallery located in Mishima, Shizuoka-ken;
please visit anytime when in Japan.

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:
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Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko (Shizuoka City, ’10/04/22)

4 Sprout Sushi Set!

Vegan and vegetarian sushi exists!
Although Im neither, I always make a pont to order a few vegan nigiri at my favourite sushi Restaurant, Shizuoka City.
Every time the Missus and I visit the restaurant like we did last night, Mr. Oda knows what’s coming!
Although it is easier in Shizuoka than anywhere else, one should be able to taste them at any sushi restaurant worth its name. A little smile and politeness will do wonders!

The first thing I asked (there will be a full posting soon about the whole meal!) was to devise a set of sprout sushi as shown in picture at top of this posting.
The first sprout was menegi/芽葱 or thin leek sprouts.

The second one was himesoba/姫蕎麦 or buckwheat sprouts.

The third one was mitsuba/三つ葉 or trefoil sprouts with beautiful leaves.

The fourth one was kawairedaikon/かわいれ大根 or daikon sprouts, lightly boiled and topped with umeboshi.

We did have a sushi roll which is vegan: shiso/始祖 or perilla leaves, natto/納豆 and umeboshi/梅干!

SUSHI KO
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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:
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Vegan Tofu Fruit Cake

If you have tofu and flour on hand, you do not need eggs or milk to make a tasty cake!

INGREDIENTS: For a pound cake-sized mold

-Tofu: 120 g
-Maple syrup: 80 g
-Oil: 20 g
-Cake flour: 100 g (wheat flour allergics could use another type of flour or rice flour)
-Baking soda: 2cc/ml
-Walnutes: 50 g
-Dried prunes: 50 g

RECIPE:

-Let rest the tofu over a plate with small holes or a strainer (“Zaru” in Japanese) for at least 10 minutes to get rid of some water.
Drop into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and oil. Mix well with a hand mixer.

-Thieve the flour and baking soda over the tofu. Add the (cut for size if needed) walnuts and prunes. Mix well with a spatula.

-Line a mold with baking paper.
Pour in the cake mixture.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

NOTES:

-One can use sweet potatoes instead of the dried fruit. Cook them in microwave until soft first.
One can use apple sauce/jam instead of maple syrup.
Some jellied orange peels could alos add a nice finishing note!

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

Please check the new postings at:
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Yakitori Cutting Techniques 6: Liver & Heart

Interestingly enough, the Japanese call Liver, “rebaa” and Heart, haarto”, which nothing less than the Japanized pronunciation of the English words!
Naturally, liver in Japanese is “kanzou” and heart “jinzou”, but this refers more to anatomy than gastronomy!

It goes without much saying that you have to use absolutely fresh ingredients!
First wash in clear running cold water.
Peel off the soft thin skin off the heart and cut/discard any veins or blood vessels.
Take off fat but only within reason as it contributes to tasty morsels!

Separate the liver lobes.
Discard veins/blood vessels if you discover them.

Cut the lobes across into pieces big/small enough for easy grilling.

Cut the hearts legthwise to two thirds of their thickness as shown on above picture.
Discard any veins/blood vessels or blood matter.

Skewer the hearts with a stick. Two of them should be enough.
It is easier than it looks.
You may skewer the livers and hearts together but you will ened up in uneven cooking. Better separate them!

Skewer the liver with a stick. Three pieces is best for balance.

Here you are!

Now, you could make the sticks longer and the pieces bigger or liver and heart whole, but personally, the smaller the yummier it looks!
These are more or less appetizers, after all!

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:
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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Spring Onion with Sesame & Miso Dressing

Shizuoka Prefecture is famed in Japan for producing the first new onions of the year.
They are very soft and sweet and are much appreciated steamed with a simple seasoning.
If you can grab these onions in your own country or hometown, here is a simple recipe that please everyone!

Spring Onion with Sesame & Miso Dressing!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-New Spring Onions: 2
-White sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Soy sauce (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Miso paste (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Mirin/sweet Japanese sake: 1 teaspoon

RECIPE:

In a mortar (“suribashi” in Japanese) drop the white sesame and grind thoroughly with a pestle. Add the sugar, soy sauce, miso paste and mirin.
Mix well.

-Peel the onions. Cut off the pointed tip. Cut through into four quarters down to 9 tenths of its height (do not cut completely as it must “stands” on its own!).

Place each onion on/in its serving dish (preferably earthenware) and wrap with cellophane paper. Cook in the microwave oven long enough for the onions to become soft. This shouldn’t take long if the onions are new. This method will ensure that nothing “escapes” from the onions!

-Pour the seasoning over the onions and serve!

POINT:

-Grinding your own sesame seeds will provide for a better and deeper taste than using ready-ground sesame seeds!

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

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

Fruit Cocktails by Wataru Matsumoto 3: Kinkan/Kumquat

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 third 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!

Fruit Cocktail 3:Kinkan/Kumquat

Kinkan/金柑 in Japanese means “Golden Orange” or kumquat!

INGREDIENTS:

-Kinkan/Kumquat: ~6
-Fresh ginger slices: 2
-Gin (Beefeater): 1 standard measure
-Sweet Ginger Ale
-Ice

RECIPE:

-Choose a long and fat glass.

-Drop enough ice in the glasss.

-Press the two slices of ginger. Pour the juice in the glass and drop the ginger slices in the glass, too.

-Pour the gin in the glass.

-Cut the kumquat in halves. squeeze them lightly over the glass before dropping them over the ice.

-Stir.

-Fill with Sweet Ginger Ale and stir again.

As it is an “eatable” (Wataru Matsumoto’s words!), serve with a long thin fork!

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

Tofu & Cabbage Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki, originally a fast food from Osaka and Hiroshima has become so popular abroad that one has to try and find variants of the original recipes.
Here is a simple and healthy one:

Tofu & Cabbage Okonomiyaki!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Tofu/kinudofu/silk tofu: 1/2 block, ~200 g
-Cabbage: 1/6
-All-purpose flour: 3 tablespoons
-Thin pork slice (belly): 50 g
-Egg: 1
-Hon dashi/dashi stock soup powder (if unavailable, use bouillon powder): 10 g
-Salt & pepper: as appropriate

Sauce:
-Ponzu: as appropriate
-Chopped leeks: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Pres water out of tofu as much as you can. Break up the tofu in a large bowl with a spatula and stir until smooth.

-Cut cabbage leaves thinly.

-Add cabbage, flour , egg, hon dashi powder, salt and pepper.
Mix well.

-In a large enough frypan, fdry-ry the pork slices. There is enough fat in the pork, no need for oil! Spread pork slices evenly.

-Pour batter all over the pork. Cook and turn over until you are satisfied with both sides of the okonomiyaki.

-Serve on a warm plate. Season with ponzu (better and healthie than sauce) and chopped leeks (for the vitamins!)

Easy, isn’t it?

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

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

Edamame Spanish Omelette

Edamame/枝豆 seem to become evermore popular throughout the world.
It is ironic that common soy beans were not Japanese originally to later become a Japanese specialty in its unripe shape!
Everyone knows about Spanish omelettes. Her is a simple recipe combining Spanish and Japanese Cuisines that I’m sure everyone will be able to expand on:

Edamame Spanish Omelette!

INGREDIENTS: For a 20cm-diameter frypan

Potatoes: 3 medium
-Onion: half 1 medium/thinly sliced
-Eggs: 3
-Salt: 1 teaspoon or as appropriate
-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
-Edamame: 100 g (beans only)

RECIPE:

-Boil the edamame enough to be able to peel the beans easily.

-Peel potatoes. Cut lengthwise in 4 portions and cut each portion in about 3cm thick strips. Cut strips into 3 cm long pieces. Wash rapidly and drain.

-Pour oil in a frypan. Add salt (imporatnt point) first. Throw in potatoes and fry for a short while until potato pieces are completely coated with oil.

-Reduce fire to medium low. Cover with glass lid. Cook/simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn over from time to time to evenly cook potatoes. Avoid “burning” them. Once the potatoes have become translucent (if 10 minutes have not elapsed, stop cooking!), switch fire and Pour excess oil in a small bowl.

-Beat the eggs in a bowl and season according to preference. No need for more salt!

-Throw the edamame and sliced onion into the frypan containg the potatoes. Add the oil back.

-Turn the frypan around to coat all the vegetables with the ol. Cook over a small fire for about 5 minutes. Trurn over from time to time for even cooking. Avoid “burning” the vegetables.

-Season the vegetables according to preference. No need for more salt!

-Add the beaten eggs evenly. Fry, turning from time to time.
If you want to cook only on one side keep frying until the omelette is ready.
If you want to cook on bothe sides, get a plate ready in your other hand and turn the omelette onto the plate and let it slide again into the frypan. Repeat operation 2 or 3 times if necessary.

-Check by pressing a finger on the middle of the omellette. It shouldn’t sink.

-Serve on a large plate as it is or cut to size.

-Serve with a green salad and white wine!

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats

Please check the new postings at:
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Takashima Brewery/Hakuin Masamune

Takashima Brewery in Numazu has been receiving a lot of attention in Japan these last two years after being given the accolade by DANCYU magazine last year. Its brews are avidly searched through the nation. Although they are readuly available in Shizuoka, they are still a rarity elsewhere, except maybe in Tokyo.

Takashima Brewery: Hakuin Masamune, Shoukumi Mizu Junmaishyu Season III

This is a sake out of the ordinary as only 100% (1 to 1) ratio of water has been used in brewing the sake, whereas modern method makes use of 130~140% of water (rice being the basic 100% ratio base).
Furthermore it had been made in the old fashion when sake traders added water to sake bought in kegs to make it milder to the taste.
The alcohol was also lower than in present days.
Accordingly, takashima Brewery kept the alcohol level of this particular brew lower than usual as an experiment

Rice: Homarefuji and Aichi no Kaori (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60% (Homarefuji) and 65% (Aichi no Kaori)
Alcohol: under 15 degrees
Contents: 1.8l
Bottled in March 2010

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Golden hue

Aroma: Complex, flowery and fruity: pineapple, almonds.

Body: fluid

Taste: Soft and dry attack backed by junmai petilllant tingle.
Linger for a short while with a sweetish flowery note.
Complex, dry and fruity. Pienapple, almonds, brown sugar and apricots.
Very soft and pleasant on the palate.
Holds its own well with food with welcome acid note.

Overall: A sake for all seasons.
To be enjoyed chilled, at room temperature or “nurukan” (45 degrees).
Typical of Takashima Brewery.
Should please both ladies and gentlemen on its own or with any kind of meal.
An extremely underrated beauty!

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/29): Cherry Shrimps Bento

The season for sakura ebi/桜海老, or Cherry Shrimps has finally started!

Sakura Ebi are exclusively caught caught in Suruga Bay off Shizuoka Prefecture and can be obtained absolutley fresh here!
The Missus was so proud of herself when she brought some back home last night: the first of the year!
Although we ate them raw, she kept some for my bento today!

She first steamed plain rice and covere it with the cherry shrimps only after the rice had been cooked. The residual heat was enough to cook them.

She then mixed them with the rice before filling the first box. She sprinkled the lot with roasted sesame seeds and added some home-made pickled wasabi stems, leaves and flowers.

The garnish once again was very colourful and provided for great balance.

Beans and broad beans salad, semi-boiled marinated egg with black sesame seeds, and fresh okra with katsuobushi/dry bonito shavings.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic!
Plenty of lettuce, white asparaguses and bacon roll (fried) and sliced plum tomatoes. Plenty of fibers and vitamins!

Shizuoka Oranges and Chilean grapes for dessert.

The season for cherry shrimps will last for only two months and again in the Fall!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:

Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen

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Vegetables Facts & Tips 21: Myoga/Myoga Ginger

Following a comment by Debra at Hapabento, I thought it might be a good time to (re-) introduce this evry colourful and tasty vegetable, namely Myoga or Myoga Ginger.

Although it is called Myoga Ginger, it is another variety of ginger cultivated for its bud and flower instead of its root.

Wikipedia definition:
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. Flower buds are finely shredded and used in Japanese cuisine as a garnish for miso soup, sunomono and dishes such as roasted eggplant.

A traditional crop in Japan, myoga has been introduced to cultivation in Australia and New Zealand for export to the Japanese market.

As a woodland plant myoga has specific shade requirements for its growth. It is frost-tolerant to 0F, -18C possibly colder.

Myoga flowers are edible!

FACTS:

-Myoga can be cultivated between June and October, and again bewteen March and May.

-Very high contents in Potassium and Calcium, Also contains Magnesium, Iron and manganese.

-Vitamin B1, B2 and B6. Vegetal fibers.

-It is considered as a natural herb medicine which helps preserve one’s stamina in summer, especially, as far back as the 3rd Century. It does help digestion.

-Preservation is done best by wrapping in kitchen paper inside the fridge. Can be safely kept for 10 days.

TIPS:

-Choose firm and “tight” specimens. When cutting them through the the leaves should stick tightly to eah other.

-Choose specimens with a nice and bright colour, well-rounded and compact in shape.

VARIETY:

Myoga Take/”Myoga Bamboo”

Myoga Take are the young stems of myoga which are also edible.

RECIPES:

Myoga pickled in miso paste

Myoga can be pickled in many manners with miso, sweet vinegar, etc. on ots own or together with other vegetables.

It can be made into great vegan or omnivore sushi rolls!

How about those sushi nigiri?

Great, thinly chopped on tofu!

Actually, the possibilities are endless!

HEALTH FACTS:

-Combined with yam, or with shiso/perilla leaves, or with cabbage, or with leek, helps restore appetite, helps combat ageing and prevent cancer.

-Combined with wakame seaweed, or with mackerel, or with sardines, or with tofu, helps prevent high blood pressure and heart diseases, and has a general beneficial health influence.

-Combined with eels, or with oyters, or with garlic, or with onions, helps restore health, prevent cancer and provide for stamina.

-Combined with cucumber, or with celery, or with oysters, or with gourd, helps with body elimination and prevent kidney diseases.

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento

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

Vegan Japanese Stew

Just about time I came back to my vegan and vegetarian (I’m not) friends with a recipe they can create in Japan or back home!

Vegan Japanese Stew!

INGREDIENTS: For 6 people

-Carrots: 2]
-Soy beans: 2 cups
-Konbu/seaweed (dry): 20 cm
-Sato Imo/taro: 7~
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 cup
-Soy sauce (of your choice): 90 cc/ml

RECIPE:

Clean the sato imo/taro.

Peel the carrots.

Peel the sato imo/taro and clean under running cold water.

The soy beans should have been left to soak for a whole night before being boiled for 3 hours or until soft.

About time to slice those carrots!

Dice the carrots.

Drop the carrots and soy beans inside a large pot.

Break/cut the konbu/seaweed into large pieces.

Break again into small pieces. You will eat them!

Pour plenty of water.

Simmer over a small fire for 40 minutes.

Slice the sato imo/taro.

Cut in cubes.

Scoop out unwanted matters from the surface.

Add the cubed sato imo/taro.

Stir to mix.

Add mirin/sweet sake.

Add soy sauce.

Simmer until water disappears.

Continue simmering!

You are almost there!

Serve!

It can be served both hot or at room temperature. Great in bento!

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento

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

Japanese Appetizer: Octopus & Okra Salad in Ginger Marinade

Spring and warmer days have finally come to Japan!
It is time to enjoy lighter and fresher food!
Here is a simple idea for a sanck/appetizer which can be easily prepared anywhere:

Octopus & Okra In Ginger Marinade!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~ people

-Boiled octopus: 2 tentacles (they say “foot” in Japanese!)
-Okra: 10
-Salt: as appropriate

Marinade/sauce:
-Rice vinegar: 2 tablespoons
-Light soy sauce: 2 teaspoons
-Dashi/Soup stock: 3 tablespoons
-Fresh ginger juice: 1~teaspoon(s)

RECIPE:

-Cut the octopus in thin slices and cut again across into 2~3 pieces.

-Cut the stem end off the okura. Get rid of their “hairs” by rolling them around inside a Japanese-style mortar.

-Drop the okra in warm salted water and leave them ther for a while. Scoop them out and drain well. Cut them into small squares, then chop them with a sharp knife.

-Chill the octopus and okra well before preparing them before the meal. Take them out of the refrigerator. Mount the octopus slices on a plate as shown on the picture above and top with okura. Pour the marinade over the top.

-You may mix the whole as you are eating it!

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, Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, While My Sautoir Gently Sweats

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/29): Strange Weather Bento

The weather has been really cracking recently to the point one just does not know what to put on in the morning before going out!
Yesterday’s cricket game started in dry heat to finish in wet cold. The sun is out again today with a vengeance but the next three days promise rain.
With what is happening in Iceland and Europe these days, I wonder what of kind year we shall have!

Anyway, we are on Monday and my bento was ready, weather or not! LOL
And it was served in those beautiful cedar tree boxes!

The Missus steamed the rice with a (pre-packed/pre-cooked) mixture of beans and hijiki/sweet seaweed that she stir-mixed later after it was cooked. It also added a slightly sweet taste to the rice. She sprinkled the rice with plenty of roasted sesame seeds.

She also added a large home-pickled (sweet rice vinegar) myoga ginger sprout (it is alctually the flower) and “chikuwa”/fried fish paste tubes stuufed with hard young cucumber.

She included plenty of colours in the garnish dish, although she said she could have added more. It was just alright by me!

She had boiled some broad beans/sora mame and made a salad of them with quickly fried prawns. The tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette was of the plainn kind as other ingredients were pretty strong in taste.

She rolled pieces of chicken which had been long marinated in nori/dry seaweed sheet before shallow-frying them. She added lettuce and Italian parsley for the vitamins and very sweet Ameera Rubbins mini tomatoes (from Shizuoka Prefecture) for dessert.

Well, I don’ mind about the weather as long as I get this kind of bento! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:

Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen

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

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