Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Fuji No Mikaku

Ekiben/Railway Bento Boxes are many, even in Shizuoka City (don’t worry I will soon investigate other cities!) and this stimulates a healthy competition not only in ingredients and taste but also in design!

So this particular ekiben called “Fuji no Mikaku/不二の味覚/The only taste of its kind” came as a triangular box!

The wrap made for some beautiful design!

A small “tongue” helps you open the box. The latter is very light and easily disposable.

Tokaiken Co. went as far as providing a menu card inside! Makes for a cute souvenir!

As usual a translucent sheet of hard paper protected the food!

Alright, what do we have here?

Chahan Sakuraebi Chirashi/Rice steamed in tea and decorated with fried Cherry Shrimps.

From bottom up, left top right:
Jelly for dessert
Nibutaniku/simmered pork with bits of yuzu/lime
A small bottle of wasabi miso sauce
Jyako Iri Tamagoyaki/japanese omelette with sardine whiting
Shiitake mushroom, sweet konbu/seaweed, carrot, peas in the pod, kabocha and bamboo shoot.

For a better view of the tamagoyaki!

And for a better view of the tamagoyaki’s companions!

The miso sauce was delicious!

Top corner from bottom up:
Tofu Hamburuger (no meat, all vegestables with some seaweed)
Renkon Hasami Age/Deep-fried lotus root sandwich
Kuro Hanpen no Tenpura/sardine fish paste (a Shizuoka specialty) fried as tempura

For a better view of the last two with their fresh lettuce!

Very healthy and perfect balance!

To be continued!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/1: Sushi Presentations (updated & amended)

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Sushi Millefeuille at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

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 hand) 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 be wrapped around the top.

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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.

UMIBUDOGUNKAN
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.

MILLEFEUILLE-EX

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!)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Yaoyorazu Yamahai Junmai/Homarefuji Rice

There are now 19 out of 28 breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture producing brews made with locally-grown sakamai/sake rice.
Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has been experimenting with Shizuoka-grown Homarefuji/誉富士 rice right from the very beginning.
Now, they have come up for the last couple of years with a traditional brew that a lot of other breweries avoid because of its difficulty: Yamahai/山廃!

It does have a peculiar name: Yaorazu/八百萬 that even Japanese have a hard time to read! It is an allusion to a Shinto Shrine whose history dates back to the 8th Century!

Sugii Brewery: Yaoyorazu Yamahai Junmai Homarefuji Rice/杉井酒造ー八百萬山廃純米誉富士

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 70%
Dryness: +6
Acidity: 2.3 (vry high for Shizuoka!)
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in Novemwber 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: faint yellow hue (normal for Yamahai)
Aroma: Light, sweetish. Custard, banana, macadamia nuts
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack.
Complex: dry oranges, almonds.
Turns a little sweetish later to make a quick dry comeback.
Disappears quickly for a yamahai.
Alcohol pepping up later.
Changes little with food.

Overall: More distinguished than expected for a yamahai.
A sake designed for food? Very probably as I found it in many izakayas in Fujieda City.
Strong and solid sake.
Perfect for food, especially that in izakaya.
Can be enjoyed slowly at home with a snack!

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

Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/4: Sushi Presentations-Te-Mari Zushi (updated and amended)

Te-Mari Sushi made by the Missus for my bento!

A comment by my new friend Sissy at With a Glass convinced me it was time to re-publish explanations of the techniques behind a very enjoyable form of sushi, namely Te-Mari Sushi/手まり寿司!

Te-Mari Sushi was apparently made poular in Kyoto first where gastronomy is more “feminine” than in any other part of Japan. It is very easy to make, present and carry around.
It is more welcome when you realize people in Kyoto have more socializing to do than anywhere else, including eating and drinking. Making portions smaller and more artistic are a necessity there!
Actually Te-Mari Sushi can be made in any size and may include any ingredients, be it for omnivores, adults, ladies, children, vegetarian or vegans!

TECHNIQUE:

The technique is simple enough: having prepared the sushi rice, take a piece of cellophane paper and first put the tane/topping outer surface down, then place some rice over it. Close the cellphane paper by twisting it and press the sushi into a ball (“mari”) in your hand (“te”)! Unwrap it, place it on a plate, tray or in a box and add some more topping if neceassary!

Look at the demonstration pics below for better understanding!
In that case the rice ball is made first inside a piece of cellophane and wrapped again with the toppings!

Tai/Seabream

Ebi/boiled shrimp

Smoked Salmon

Pickled fish

SUGGESTIONS & SAMPLES:

Below are suggestions and samples for Te-Mari Sushi.
Frankly speaking, varaiations are endless. Have good fun!

For a tea party?

For a Lady’s bento?

For a Gentleman’s bento?

For a special occasion?

For a European/American style party?

For Ladies only?

Sweet te-mari for Children!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/29): Sakura Anago Sushi Bento!

The Missus was very busy this morning as she had to prepare not one but three bentos!
She did have to come up with practical ideas, hence a sushi stylle!

After having steamed the rice and prepared it as sushi rice she made three types of “te-mari/手まり sushi, that is sushi in the shape of small balls ( you shape them insde cellophane paper:
1-Sakura Te-mari: the rice was mixed with real pickled cherry blossoms.
2-Anago te-mari. She mixed the rice with home-pickled sansho/Japanese pepper seeds and topped them with broiled anago/conger eel.
3-Pickles and cheese te-mari. She mixed the rice with finely chopped Japanese cucumber pickles before introducing small pieces of processed cheese inside.

As for the side dish she prepared tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette with chopped shiso/perilla inside. She placed them in the box with shizuoka-grown cress and Ameera Rubbins pearl tomatoes and quite a few broad beans.
For dessert she added sweet stewed beans.

Solid and tasty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Clumsyfingers by Xethia
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); Ohayo Bento

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

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Vegan’s Paradise in Shizuoka: Yasaitei!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb toilets.
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Great choice of local & Japanese vegetables. Kansai-style oden. All traditional ladies staff in tradtional izakaya. Good wines, shochu and sake List.

Spring is a boon for an izakaya like Yasaitei which specializes in vegetable cuisine (although you can get anything from fish to meat). Although I’m not, it is always great fun to ask for vegan or vegetarian dishes to Ms. Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋, chef at Yasaitei.

As vegetables are only seasonal, it is a good idea to sit at the counter and have a good look at them:

I will let you guess them out (mind you, it is not too difficult!)!

Enormous, aren’t they?

Local, fresh and big!

While I was teasing Aki San I was brought my snack with my first drink.

This seaweed is called “mekabu/和布蕪”. It is found in the shape of balls in the nearby sea and has to be chopped first before serving it with some ponzu and sesame seeds. It is said to be extremely healthy, full of nutrients and especially beneficial to humans! After all, seaweed is the vegetable of the ocean!

As for my drink I chose a rice shochu, brewed by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, called Acho no Tsubome.
Incidentally, this shochu is vegan! And the art so cute!

I was not here for a full dinner but for a quick snack before going back to work.
So Aki san fried shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and plenty of Spring cabbage in peperocino style and served them decorated with local fresh cress.

For such cuisine Aki San will use only absolutely top-class Italian virgin olive oil and a minimum of seasoning, mainly salt, pepper and chili so as to preserve the true taste of the vegetables.
Let me show you some closer shots for a better look!

From the top.

From the top, a little bit closer.

A side view.

And another.

Although she cooks all kinds of dishes, including omnivore, Aki San will be glad to oblige and devise strictly vegan or vegetarian dishes for you and even a full meal if requested at least a day in advance!

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 12 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
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, 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, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/28): Wasabi Zuke Bento!

Wasabi Zuke/山葵漬 is wasabi fermented and pickled with the white lees of Japanese sake. This is a prime product of Shizuoka Prefecture which outputs 80% of all wasabi in Japan!

The Missus being very this week didn’t have much time for shopping yesterday and made ends meet with waht was available in the pantry!

After steaming the rice she mixed it with home-pickled wasabi stems and chopped seaweed/konbu (she pickled them together).
She added wasabi zuke (very high qulaity even in Shizuoka Prefecture made by Tamaruya Co.) for extra seasoning and zip.

As I like yakitori hot, cold or canned, she opened a small tin of it and spread it over the rice. Simple and effective!LOL

The side dish looked like a flag!

The Missus included her favorite trick, half an avocado fille with the half of a boiled egg. She coated the inside of the avocado with tartatre mayonnaise for seasoning. The cut tomatoes on a thick bed of Shiuzoka-grown cress is Shizuoka-graown Ameera tomatoes (very sweet!)

She added some cheese for the necessary balance. As for dessert, home-made apple compote and (imported) blueberries.

Today promises rain. I wonder what the Missus will come up with?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Clumsyfingers by Xethia
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); Ohayo Bento

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

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日本語のブログ
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