Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/65): Birthday Sushi Bento

Today is my birthday, but I will have to wait 7 more years before someone can arrest me for indecent age!LOL
Incidentally, that makes me a Virgo for whatever it means!

Today’s sushi is of the chirashi/チラシ寿司/decoration-style sushi. It is comparatively light and almost fit for a lady!
Love the colours!

The Missus steamed the rice with konbu/seaweed and mixed with thinly sliced pickled vegetables and boiled renkon/lotus roots. Instead of adding vinegar to the rice she used the pickles brine. Made for extra taste!
She topped it slices of boiled renkon, boiled shrimps, lemon and violet kawaire daikon sprouts. Very healthy!

The salad and dessert box made for an interesting colour combo. Certainly makes you feel better in that heat!

Plain tamagoyaki/Japanese omelete, Shizuoka-grownAmeera Rubbins pearl tomatoes, grapes and blueberries.

More white grapes and blueberries with cress and lettuce.
The figs are grown in Shizuoka and brought to me by Lojol. In spite of their green skin they are ripe. Actually they are a green cultivar. Makes for even more colours!

Very healthy, cheerful and tasty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:

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, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/64): Smoked Salmon Rolls Bento

With a vacation within sight (we shall spend 5 nights in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture from the 3rd of September), the Missus has to make do with whatever is left in the fridge and pantry! Well, rice and potatoes are not a problem! LOL

She kept things simple but made a little “experiment” in view of future bentoes.
She does attach a lot of improtance to the colour balance, especially in summer, as more colours do actually make the bento more refreshing, whereas in winter “darker” colours will make it look more comforting!

Having steamed plain rice she added it with some curry furikake/Japanese dry seasoning
for better colour and taste. She then prepared rolls with lettuce instead of dry seaweed. In the middle she placed smoked salmon (seasoned with tartare sauce), French cornichons and capers. You could call them French Salamon Sushi Rolls!

For the “salad side dish”, she experimented with a Japanese-style Spanish omelette of her own with lotus roots, carrots and cheese. She added two colour-potato salad (pink and yellow, I boiled and pan-dried myself the night before), Ameera Rubbins pearl tomatoes from Iawata City and basil leaves from our balcony!

For dessert, more colours and nutrients with slices of large and very firm plum and blueberries.

I wonder if I could call this bento Multi-coloured bento.
I can hear Debra/Hapabento commenting! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:

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, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Mango Cheesecake

When it comes to sweets in Summer, it is not always easy to satisfy yourself or your friends. Especially cakes tend to become either too heavy or too light.
The Japanese have struck the right balance with their notion of cheesecakes.
Here is a simple recipe that should please everyone, be the adults or kids!
Keep in mind this is the basic recipe. Obviously you can add for taste all kinds of liqueurs!

Mango Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS: For an 18 cm diameter mold (12 inches)

-Cream cheese: 250 g
-Sugar: 80 g
-Frozen mango: 100 g
-Eggs: 3 large
-Plain yoghurt (Before drainage. Sieve it through a coffe drip paper filter): 500 g
-Cornstarch: 40 g
-Cholate chips cookies: 150 g
-Margarine: 70 g

RECIPE:

– Bring back cream cheese to room temperatue. Drain water from yoghurt.

-Heat the margarine for 30 seconds in the microwave at 600 Watts.

-Drop the chocolate chips cookies in a food processor and break them up. Add the margarine and mix.

-Spread the cookies mixture over the bottom of the mold. Use a mold with a bottom that can be lifted up, or line th mold withh baking paper (oil it a bit then). Leave the mold inside the refrigerator.

-Drop in a (cleaned) processor the cream cheese, sugar, frozen mango, eggs (and liqueurs or other options) and mix well.

-Pour the mixture into a bowl, Add the drained yoghurt and mix with a hand whisker.

-Add the cornsrach and mix well.

-Pour the cheesecake into the mold over the biscuit mixture.

-Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. lower temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 50~55 minutes.

-Cool down the cake completely before unmolding it.

-Easy, ain’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, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/63): Simple Friday Bento

As weare going on a long holiday end of next week in the north of Japan (expect a long series of articles) I found mysel suddenly extremely busy to the point I cannot come back home for lunch or eat outside. The Missus being very busy at the orthondist she works at on Saturday I cajoled her into preparing a bento for both of us.
“Fine, but it will be a vey simple one!
This was said as opposed to the grand affairs she embarks on Mondays and Tuesdays! LOL

She had the plain rice steamed and made three triangular nigiri/rice balls in two types:
-One with shooga konbu/konbu seaweed marinated with ginger.
-The other two with umebshi/pickled Japanes plum flesh and roasted sesame seeds. She wrapped these in large shiso/perilla leaves.
She added pickled cucumber and ginger (her mother’s) for extra salt needed in these sweaty days.

For the main part, she fried chicken breast pieces with sliced goya and pimentoes with a dash black roasted sesame seeds.

And for the second part of the main dish (and also as dessert) she prepared some tamagoyaki/Jpaanese omelette that she cut square for easy placing inside the rectangular bamboo fiber box.

With instant miso made at the office, I had plenty to last the day!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:

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, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Halloween Chocolate Chou

Halloween is not that far away and people will be looking for new ideas.
I personaly am looking forward to it as I need a welcome shiver in this hellish heat!
Here is a simple recipe for a universal favorite, chou or chou a la creme in French, to enjoy with your children and sweet-toothe adult friends!

Halloween Chocolate Chou!

INGREDIENTS: Enough for 30 small choux

Chocolate Custard
-Milk: 2 cups/400 ml/cc
-Sweet chocolate of your choice, crumbled: 1 cup/200 ml/cc
-Flour: 2 tablespoons
-Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
-Unsalted butter: 20 g
-Vanilla essence: a few drops

Whipped cream:
-Fresh cream: 1 cup/200 ml/cc

Chou pastry:
-Butter: 100 g
-Water: 180 ml/cc
-Flour: 100 g
-Egg yolks: 4
-Red liquid coloring: 5 measure spoons (such spoons are usually sold together with the coloring)
-Yellow Liquid coloring: 5 measure spoons
Experiment with the coloring

Decoration:
-Chocolate: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Heat milk to lukewarm. Add butter, flour, and cornstarch. Mix well. Heat in microwave oven at 600 Watts for 3 minutes. Mix from time to time.

-In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate over a bain-marie. Add vanill essence and mix. Take off fire and add milk mixture. Mix well.

-Pass the chocolate custard through a sieve.

-That’s how it should look!

-In a separate bowl mix the water with coloring liquid.

-Drop the butter into a pan with the colored water. Heat and stir until the butter has completely melted. Switch off fire when liquid starts boiling.

-Add sieved flour and mix with spatula.

-Mix until smooth.
Switch on fire again. Mix with spatula.
Once the diugh starts detaching easily from the bottom of the pan, siwtch off fire.

-Add egg yolks one at a time and mix well until smooth before adding the next yolk.

-On an oven plate lined with cooking paper, make 30 choux. keep them separate by about 5 cm/2 inches. Spray them with a water atomizer a little before baking them.

-Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 25~30 minutes.

-Take choux out and let cool completely.

-Whip the fresh cream until consistent enough.
Cut choux in halves.
Fill them with whipped cream. Top the cream delicately with the other chou half as shown above.

-Put the chocolate custard into a pastry bag and fill the choux with chocolate custard so as to hide the whipped cream. Decorate with chocolate.

Have fun and do not hesitate to experiment (other colors?)!

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, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Double Cheese Chou

The Japanese love their chou a la creme! Actually they call them chou cream! Mixing up connections? They particularly love the small version/petit chou that you would not find easily in shops in Europe or America. In this country they are everywhere!

Here is a typical Japanese version:
Double Cheese Chou!

INGREDIENTS: Enough for 6 fairly big (by Japanese standards!) choux (plural with an “x”!)

Chou Pastry:
-Unsalted butter: 30g
-Water: 20 ml/cc
-Milk: 20 ml/cc
-White sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
-Salt: a pinch
-Flour: 30 g
-Egg: 1

Cheese Custard Cream:
-Milk: 200 ml/cc/1 cup
-White sugar: 50 g
-Flour: 30 g
-Egg yolks: 2
-Vanilla Essence: a few drops

Cheese Whipped Cream:
-Fresh cream: 100 ml/cc/1/2 cup
-White sugar: 1 + 1/2 teaspoons
-Cream Cheese: 40 g

RECIPE:

-Cheese Custard Cream:
In an oven bowl sieve in flour and sugar. Add milk little by little and mix well.

-Add the cream cheese after crumbling it between your fingers. Wrap with cellophane paper. Put in microwave for 2 minutes at 500 Watts.

-Take off cellophane paper at once. Mix thoroughly with a hand whisker. Add egg yolks and mix well again.

-Wrap with cellophan paper again and put back into microwave oven for 2 minutes at 500 Watts. Take out cellophane paper. Mix well until smooth. Add vanilla essence and mix well again.

-Transfer into a fridge dish. Cover well with cellophane paper so as to prevent cream from drying. Mixing again with a saptula from time to time will help cream to chill more quickly.

-Chou pastry:
Sieve flour.
In a pan drop butter, milk, water, sugar and salt. Mix and cook over a medium high fire.

-Mixing with a spatula melt butter with other ingredients. Once the butter has completely melted and started “boilin”, add all flour and mix quickly with spatula.

-Once the water has evaporated take away from fire and mix again energetically.

-Once the pastry has become smooth and uniform and can be easily detached from the bottom of the pan, add betaen eggs little by little and mix weel until smooth.

-The pastry will be ready when it becomes “bright” and slightly adhere to the spatula.

-On a oven plate lined with baking paper place 6 balls of pastry with a spoon. Keep them sufficiently separated from each other.

-Wet the tips of your fingers with water and shape the balls. Don’t worry too much about the aspect. As long as they are roughly rounded, no problem!

-Lightly spray them with water and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 10~15 minutes ir until they have completely risen.

-Once they have completely risen lower temperature to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for 15~20 more minutes. Do not open oven halway and make sure to lower the temperature!

-Take chou out and let cool completely.

Cheese whipped cream:
-Bring cheese cream temperature to room temperature. Warm it up inside microwave oevn to soften. Don’t overheat it, just soften it! Transfer into a bowl

-Beat the cheese with a hand whisker until smooth. Add sugar and fresh cream and whisk until fluffy and light.

-Cut chou cream in halves and fill bottom halves with cheese custard using a spoon.

-Cover cheese custard with cheese whipped cream with a pastry bag. Top the whole delicately with the chou upper half.

Not that difficult, is 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, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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Where to eat locally grown organic vegetables in Shizuoka

Salad of organic vegetables from Bio Farm at Uzu

It is one thing to know that Shizuoka Prefecture is getting deserved fame for the quality and variety of its vegetables all year round and especially organic vegetables, but it is another to know where, or more precisley in which restaurants, to savour them in good company.
We are presently blessed with three restaurants in Shizuoka City (still looking for more in the whole Prefecture!) which not only serve them but can arrange full vegetarian and vegan meals on request!

UZU

Deep-fried organic potatoes from Bio Farm

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients, especially organic vegetables extensively used. Local sake. Home-made umeshu. Great shochu list.

Uzu is arguably the best Izakaya in the whole Prefecture having won accolades from its peers, national medias and gastronme writers.
Although they serve all kinds of food, vegetarian and omnivores, they make organic vegetables their specialty. Most of them are grown at Matsuki Bio Farm in Shibakawa, Fujinomiya City at the foot of Mount Fuji.

Check their homepage as they update it as the menu changes, which is almost everyday as they serve only seasonal food.

UZU-4

Vegetables Shabu shabu

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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TETSUYA SUGIMOTO

Ranking
Service: Highly professional and friendly
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness. Beautiful washroom
Prices:~
Strong points:Freshest produce and ingredients only, mainly from Shizuoka Prfecture. Organic vegetables. Seasonal food only

Map (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

If you happen to visit Shizuoka City, you will find many restaurants and izakayas serving and mainly using produce/products and ingredients from Shizuoka Prefecture. There are many treasures to be discovered in this hoard!
One of them is the French restaurant going by the name of Sugimoto Tetsuya!

If you can read Japanese you will know what is waiting for you inside!
A gastronomic paradise in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Mr. Sugimoto does everything by himself: chef, waiter and entertainer! This is real slow food in its true and best meaning!
Almost all ingredients are from Shizuoka Prefecture, be they vegetables, fruit, meat or fish!
But his specialty is organic vegetables from Shizuoka Prefecture!
I requested that particular dish to feature only produce for Shizuoka Prefecture only.

All these were organic vegetables grown by different farmers in Hamamatsu City.
The dish included egg-plants/aubergines, 3 varieties of zucchini, tomato and “manganji” Chili pepper.

To give you an idea how Mr. Sugimoto works, all vegetables were first sauteed separately and cooked in the oven before served with two different dressings:
-Olive oil and orange juice
-Framboise/raspberry vinegar

Tetsuya SUGIMOTO
420-0038 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Umeya,, 2-13,1F
Tel./Fax: 054-251-3051
Opening hours:11:30~14:30,17:30~21:30
Holidays: undecided
Cedit cards OK
HOMEPAGE

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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-logoentirely non-smoking!

Great food is great food!
Be you vegan, vegetarian or omnivore, one can only appreciate and being thankful for savouring vegetables not only of the best quality, but local and organically grown to boot!
I will never tire of saying to everyone how lucky we are here in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, a region renown nationally and increasingly internationally for its exceptional gastronomy!

Pissenlit, with Uzu and Tetsuya Sugimoto is is generally considered as one of the “Shizuoka City Triumvirate” when it comes to healthy, local and sublime gastronomy.
Chef Tooru Arima has many contacts in the Prefecture and it is always a good idea what’s available as it can change very quickly. He is particularly fond of oraganic vegetables grown by Mr. Hideyaki Hirokawa in Mishima City

Even if I have nurtured a special relation with chef Tooru Arima (and many others), he he is only too happy to oblige with his custon\mers’ selfish requests!

The above is a sample of the greens grown by Mr. Hirokawa!

And these the other organic vegetables grown by the same farmer!

If you have the occasion to visit Mishima City this is the address of our great farmer!

Mr. Hideyaki Hirokawa, Mishima City, Kawaharagaya Yamada, 765
Tel.: 055-973-2702

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

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STILL LOOKING AROUND!

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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, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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