Fruit Cocktails by Masato Matsumura at Juillet (1): Squat Persimmon

Service: Pro and very friendly, if a bit shy
Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Beautiful washroom.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great fruit cocktails. Doubles up as a coffee-bar. One of the rare establishments selling top-class cigars!

Squat Persimmons, called jirou Kaki/次郎柿 in Japanese) were actually first grown in Shizuoka Prefecture back in the 19th Century!
There are in full season now and can be appreciated as fruits, vegetables for salads and of course as cocktails!

RECIPE

Ripe squat persimmon: 1/2 (one half)
Havana Club Rum (red): 40 ml
Orange juice: 15 ml
Home-made Star Anise syrup: 2 drops
Crushed ice: 1 tablespoon

Peel and cut the persimmon in quarters and drop all ingredients inside a blender bowl. Use blender or even better a bar mix blender to attain the right consistency. Do not overblend it as it will become too liquid.
Pour in a semi-long glass.

Very deep and fruity taste with a great balance between acidity and sweetness with a tangy note, the whole enhancing greatly the exotic flavors of the persimmon!

To drink slowly!

JUILLET
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 2-10-8, Passsage Takjyo, 1F
Tel,: 054-273-5755
Opening hours: 12:00^24:00 (~21:00 on Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Bartenders Club Shizuoka 1: Masato Muramatsu at Juillet

Service: Pro and very friendly, if a bit shy
Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Beautiful washroom.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great fruit cocktails. Doubles up as a coffee-bar. One of the rare establishments selling top-class cigars!

The Bartenders Club Shizuoka was founded last month by 7 celebrated bartenders all owning their own cocktail bar in Shizuoka City to not only promote their businesses and make fruit cocktails in particular more accessible to customers but also to make products and their farmers better known to the public.
From January they will create cocktails from a designated Shizuoka producer and his/her fruit or vegetable at regular intervals.
Moreover, the producer will be introduced in blogs and bars to prove the traceability and safety of the delicious fruit or vegetables.

But let me first introduce those seven “samurai” and their establishments starting with Masato Muramatsu at Juillet!

Juillet is located in a very quiet neighborhood on the firstt floor the “Passage Takajyo” building in Takajyo, a district replete with higher quality great restaurants, izakayas and bars.

You will be forgiven if you think it is another fashion shop at first!
But newcomers will soon discover this is a little haven away from the crowds all in sober and elegant white surroundings.

Actually Juillet is open at unusual hours (12:00~24:00) as it doubles up as a coffee-bar all day, too, where one can savor Masato’s wife’s cakes and his own scones!

Before Masato, a native from Yaizu City, opened his cocktail bar in December 2010 he had already had spent 15 years in the trade in the Kansai region and Kyoto where he met his future wife!

Shizuoka squat persimmon cocktail (recipe in next article!)

Masato is not only an expert in fruit cocktails, but he will be happy to concoct fresh fruit juice for non-drinkers apart of coffee, tea and soft drinks!

And Juillet is one of the rare establishments providing cigars of the best class!

JUILLET
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 2-10-8, Passsage Takjyo, 1F
Tel,: 054-273-5755
Opening hours: 12:00^24:00 (~21:00 on Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 17: Wagashi Christmas Cakes Pictures

Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

I’m an unrepentant agnostic hedonist (and an omnivore to boot!), but since some of my vegan and vegetarain friends are Christian, I hope these pictures will inspire them!

Flowery Christmas!

What’s in Santa’s bag?

Bring your forks and knives!

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

For the toddlers!

Pity you have to eat it!

Definitely Japanese-style!

They almost look like sushi!

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Japanese Rice Crackers/ Senbei (煎餅): An introduction

Nori Senbei/Rice Cracker coated with a dry seaweed

I remember eating those rice-crackers a (very) long time ago when I was at college in England!
At the time I never made the relation between these snacks and Japan!

Senbei (煎餅, alternatively spelled sembei) are a type of Japanese rice crackers. They come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, usually savory but sometimes sweet. Senbei are often eaten with green tea as a casual snack and offered to visiting house guests as a courtesy refreshment.

Senbei are usually cooked by being baked or grilled, traditionally over charcoal. While being prepared they may be brushed with a flavoring sauce, often one made of soy sauce and mirin. They may then be wrapped with a layer of nori. Alternatively they may be flavored with salt or so-called “salad” flavoring.

In China, the same characters used to write senbei are read jiānbǐng (煎餅). There are varieties like Shandong Jianbing and Tianjin Jianbing. However, these are in actuality a different food. In China, they are more like wraps and pancakes, similar to okonomiyaki, whereas in Japan they are hard (not floppy), and are bite-sized snacks rather than meals. However, crackers similar to Japanese senbei can be found in China today. Their modern Chinese name is 仙贝 (or 鲜贝) (Pinyin: xianbei), which reflects the Japanese-language pronunciation of “senbei” (煎餅).

Sweet senbei (甘味煎餅) came to Japan during the Tang Dynasty, the first recorded usage in 737 AD, and still are very similar to Tang traditional styles, originally often baked in the Kansai area, of which include the traditional “roof tile” senbei. These include ingredients like potato and wheat flour or glutinous rice, and are similar to castella cakes. (Distinctly different from what most people would consider as Senbei today).

What Japanese commonly refer to as sembei nowadays was popularized by a shop in the Edo Period, Sōkajuku, which spread salty soy sauce flavored sembei throughout Japan.

There are several types of traditional Japanese senbei. They include the 2 categories, sweet sembei (over 15 types) and rice candy senbei (米菓煎餅), and others, which include even fish senbei (魚せんべい), lotus senbei (蓮根煎餅) and bone senbei (骨せんべい).

Modern senbei versions are very inventive and may include flavorings which can range from kimchi to wasabi to curry to chocolate.

Kansai senbei tend to use glutinous rice and have a lightly seasoned and delicate in texture (saku saku). Kantō senbei were originally based on uruchimai, a non-glutinous rice, and they tend to be more crunchy (kari kari) and richly flavored.

OTHER TYPES OF SENBEI:

ARARE

Arare (あられ “hailstones”) is a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavored with soy sauce. The size and shapes are what distinguish arare from senbei.

There are many different sizes, colors, and shapes of arare. Some are sweet, and others savory. One, called norimaki arare (nori meaning an edible seaweed foodstuff in the form of a dried sheet; maki meaning roll shape) is wrapped with dried nori seaweed. Another, kaki no tane (柿の種), takes its name from its resemblance to a persimmon seed. (Kaki is Japanese for “persimmon”.) Kaki no tane are often sold with peanuts, a combination called kakipī (かきピー). These are a popular snack to accompany Japanese beer.

Hina Arare

Japanese typically consume arare to celebrate the Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri), on March 3, Girls’ Day in Japan. The arare made during the festival are very colorful – pink, yellow, white, brown, light green, and so on. Regular arare can be bought throughout the year, but the colorful ones are only available around January to March in anticipation of the Doll Festival.

Arare was brought to the U.S. by Japanese immigrants who came as plantation workers in the early 1900s. In Hawaii, the snack is often called kakimochi (fried rice paste) or mochi crunch. In Hawaii, it’s popular to mix arare with popcorn (some people mix in furikake, too). The popular Hurricane popcorn includes both arare and furikake with the popcorn. Also popular in Hawaii is li hing arare.

FANCY/SNACK/FAST FOOD SEMBEI

One can buy these anywhere in many forms of package and sets.
They are universally popular as snacks for adults and young alike!

SEnbei can even be usedto send messages, such as the above overwritten with “ありがとう/Arigatou/Thnak you”!

AGEMOCHI:

Agemochi (揚げ餅?) is a popular Japanese snack food made from fried mochi (sticky rice). The dry mochi is broken into small pieces, about 1cm cubed, and deep fried. The pieces then puff up. It is usually eaten lightly salted, but there are also various flavoured versions, such as shichimi agemochi, agemochi covered with shichimi seasoning. Agemochi can be purchased anywhere in Japan and is also a common home-made snack.

YATSUHASHI:

Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋 or 八橋) is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet (miyagegashi). It is one of the best known meibutsu (famous regional products) of Kyoto. It is made from rice flour (上新粉, jōshinko), sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei. Raw, unbaked yatsuhashi (Nama yatsuhashi) has a soft, mochi-like texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste (餡, an), and may come in a variety of different flavours. Most notable to the Kyoto area is the black version of this. The addition of black bean powder to the wrapper gives a distinctive black color.

KAPPA EBISEN:

Kappa Ebisen (かっぱえびせん) is a Japanese snack food produced by Calbee of Japan. It is a crunchy, shrimp-flavored snack resembling french fries that is very popular in Japan.
The primary ingredients of Kappa Ebisen are wheat flour, vegetable oil, starch, shrimp, sugar, salt, baking powder, amino acid and sweetening.
Kappa Ebisen was first sold in 1964 and has gained wide popularity among Japanese consumers as a snack food.
In 1966, Calbee began exporting Kappa Ebisen to Hawaii and Southeast Asia.[1] It is now sold in dozens of countries worldwide.
There are different flavors of Kappa Ebisen, such as curry flavor, available in Japan and a few other countries.
A similar product known as Saewoo Ggang (새우깡) has been produced by Nongshim of South Korea since 1971. It is not licensed by Calbee.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 16: Yatsuhashi/-Tabe

Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋 or 八橋) is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet (miyagegashi/土産菓子). It is one of the best known meibutsu/名物 (famous regional products) of Kyoto.
It is also widely known under the name of O-Tabe/お食べ (“please eat”).

It is made from rice flour (上新粉, jōshinko), sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei, making it suitable for both vegans and flour allergics!

Baked Yatsuhashi

Raw Yatsuhashi

Raw, unbaked yatsuhashi (Nama yatsuhashi/生八橋) has a soft, mochi-like texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste (餡, an), and may come in a variety of different flavours.

Black Yatsuhashi

Most notable to the Kyoto area is the black version of this. The addition of black bean powder and black sesame seed powder to the wrapper and the an give a distinctive black color.

Different flavoured Yatsuhashi

Not so long ago, there were only a few flavours available.
Now, all kinds of flavours are on sale for the pleasur of all:
Cinnamon, Matcha Tea, Ume an (sweetmeats mixed with Jpanese plum), Mandarine, Strawberries, Cherry blossoms, Ramune, Chocolate-banana, Chocolate, Kyoto baked sweet potato, Chestnuts, Green apple, Blueberries, Mango, Orange, Red wine and more seasonal offerings!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Vegan Gastronomy: a Heaven in Shizuoka, Japan!

Chinese vegan gastronomy at Cham!

How many times have I heard expats and Japanese telling me, “I dare not go out of Tokyo as I’m vegan!”
Well, you may have some specialized vegan restaurants in Tokyo, but here in Shizuoka, the Prefecture counting (officially!) the greatest number of vegetable varieties in Japan, you do not need to look for (in vain!) a vegan restaurant!
Either you can find enough in the local markets, or better explore the many restaurants of this Prefecture and City of the same name that is THE gastronomic region of Japan. As you will discover below you are bound to find something absolutely delicious according to your priorities in menus of all genres!

Let me take your hand (or arm) and leave it to me! And we are visiting Shizuoka City only!

Vietnamese Sauteed vegetables at Annam!

Italian sauteed organic vegetables at Aquavite!

West African lunch, all vegetables cooked in coconut milk at Capu!

Chinese steamed vegetables at Cham served with a scented oil and soy sauce, or just plain salt and matcha powder!

Vegan sushi at Sushi Ko!

Organic shiitake at Yasaitei!

Vegetables baked in skillet from Solio Italian Restaurant’s own garden!

Tomato tempura (no egg white used) with yuzu koshio at Uzu Izakaya!

“Goro goro” fried and steamed salad at Uzu Izakaya!

Vegetable sashimi at Yasaitei!

Vegan steak at Tetsuya Sugimoto French Restaurant!

Fried Vegetables at Yasaitei!

Yomogi Wagashi, anywhere in town!

Misoyaki (miso paste and buckwheat), a personal favorite of mine at Yoshino Soba Restaurant!

If you need more explanations and guidance, I’ll be glad to help!

Incidentally I’m neither a vegan or vegetarian, but I understand my friends’ priorities!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Italian Cuisine with Shizuoka Ingredients at Aquavite (Fall~Winter 2011)

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Strong Points: Local ingredients used whenever possible. Top-class Italian wines. Private room for~8 people.

Aquavite has achieved a long-standing reputation not only for its high-level Italian cuisine and atmosphere, but also for their constant efforts to use as many local ingredients as possible be they from the land or the sea!
I paid a belated visit recently in the company of some friends as three is definitely better than one to try and savor as many dishes as possible!
So with the expert help of Chef Masaru Aoki/青木勝 we carved our way through the following dinner!

Organic vegetables from Shizen no Chikara Farm in Shizuoka City served with bania cauda sauce!

Vegetables from Shizen no Chikara are fast becoming the reference in this city!
If you are vegetarian or vegan ask for a high class olive oil!

Bread is always baked on site!

A plate of appetizers. Even the Bioran eggs and jumbo peanuts are from Shizuoka!

Sauteed Isaki/Chicken Grunt Fish and red squid from the Suruga Bay with organic vegetables!

Cooked to perfection!

A vegan plate of organic vegetables/tubers from Shizen no Chikara Farm in Shizuoka City and Matsu Bio Farm in Fujinomiya City!

For a better view!

Home-made Tagliatelle!

Fresh porcini mushrooms from Italy!

Creamy Porcini Tagliatelle! That dish alone would guarantee a visit!

Real Mont Blanc with the chestnuts at the bottom and the cream on top!
Chef aru Aoki/青木勝’s desserts are definitely of a rare class!

how about that for Tiramisu!

But the caramel pudding is a real sin!

To be followed…

AQUAVITE
Address: 420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg. 3F
Tel. & fax: 054-2740777
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00 18:00~22:00
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK
Smoking allowed. Private room can be made non-smoking

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/12/14): Holiday Season News: Beer Releases, Upcoming Events, Taproom Schedules

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Holiday Season News: Beer Releases, Upcoming Events, Taproom Schedules

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The end-of-the-year holiday season is upon us once again. Although 2011 has been a trying year in Japan, we hope everyone may enjoy more than a little peace and happiness during the Christmas and O-shogatsu season. We take great joy in our fortune to be able to celebrate this special season each year with our many customer-friends. We hope to provide you many reasons to get out and share the holiday happiness with your fellow beer enthusiasts. Let me list several of these reasons below.

New Baird Beer Holiday Seasonal Releases:
*Midnight Oil Export Stout (ABV 6.5%): In a change from tradition, we are moving up to December the release of our annually brewed foreign export stout, Midnight Oil. Why? I tasted a test bottle a few days back and felt it so richly delicious, and so appropriate to this warm and festive season, that I couldn’t hold back.

Export stouts generally are rich and roasty in flavor, moderately high in alcohol strength, and sport some noticeable hop character (normally registering in terms of bitterness and flavor). Baird Midnight Oil Export Stout enjoys a complexly layered roasted malt (barley & wheat) character that is balanced beautifully by just a kiss of caramel sweetness. An unctuous, oily smoothness brings about a perfect finish.

Midnight Oil Export Stout begins pouring from our Taproom taps today, December 14. It also will be available at other fine Baird Beer retailing pubs, restaurants and liquor shops beginning December 15. The bottle-conditioned version (633 ml) will also be available for purchase direct from the brewery through our online E-Shop.

*Upcoming Holiday Seasonal Releases: Mark you calendar for Friday, December 23 (which is a Japan national holiday). This will be the release date for our special holiday season spiced ale — Jubilation Ale. Brewed with Japanese figs (ichijiku) and cinnamon twigs (nikki), Jubilation Ale is a Christmas and O-shogatsu celebratory standout.

As many of you know, we also have established the custom of ringing the arrival of each new year with the December 31 stroke-of-midnight release of a special Hatsu-jozo (First-brew) beer. Hatsujozo 2012 is a strong golden ale fermented with our house Belgian ale yeast. Kampai toasts will be made with it at the countdown parties of many Baird Beer retailing establishments in Japan, including our own Taproom pubs (which will pour a complimentary glass to attending patrons to celebrate the first toast of 2012).

Upcoming Taproom and Beer Events:
*Special Cheese & Beer Tasting @ Nakameguro Taproom on Sunday, December 18 (1:00 – 3:00 pm): We are teaming with Nagano-based cheese expert, Ms. Tomoko Tsuyuguchi, to introduce a marriage made in heaven — six gourmet cheeses paired with a selection of Baird Beers. We’ll provide a bit of history and guidance (in Japanese); the fun part, though, will be arriving at your own conclusions with regard to the perfect beer/cheese matchup. Cost is 4,500 yen per person. There are only a few spaces remaining, so kindly RSVP to the Nakameguro Taproom staff as soon as possible (nakameguro-tap@bairdbeer.com or 03-5768-3025).

*Grand Opening of Goodbeer Faucets on Sunday, December 18: A brand new 40-tap craft beer pub in the heart of Shibuya called Goodbeer Faucets is opening its doors for business on December 18. In addition to other great domestic and international craft beers, this will be the first non-Taproom pub in Tokyo to pour the entire lineup (year-round and seasonal) of Baird Beer. These guys have a great concept in a great location. Check them out at http://goodbeerfaucets.jp.

*Christmas Celebration @ Nakameguro Taproom (Friday-Sunday, December 23-25): Opening at noon each day of this 3-day Christmas weekend, the Nakameguro Taproom kitchen will be featuring a special menu of Christmas dishes. Jubilation Ale will debut on Friday, December 23.

*Countdown Parties @ Nakameguro, Bashamichi and Fishmarket Taprooms (Saturday, Dec. 31): Each of these Taprooms will be hosting festive New Year’s countdown parties. Nakameguro will be featuring a tasty all-you-can-eat buffet @ 1,500 yen per person and pouring Baird Beer at our low Numazu prices. Chuck and Ken at Bashamichi are busy formulating their own special New Year’s menu as I write. At our Numazu Fishmarket Taproom, we will be hosting, per our custom, an all-you-can-eat Mexican food buffet (1,500 yen per person; served from 5:00 – 10:00 pm) which will be spiced up with a open-mic karaoke night. Hatsujozo 2012 will be tapped at the stroke of midnight and one complimentary glass will be served to all patrons.

Taproom O-shogatsu Schedules:
*Numazu Fishmarket Taproom: Closed on January 1. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 2-3 (noon to 9:00 pm). Closed on January 4-5. Resumes normal hours on January 6.

*Nakameguro Taproom: Closed January 1-2. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 3 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 4.

*Harajuku Taproom: Closed on December 31 (Tokyo countdown party @ Nakameguro). Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 1-4 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 5.

*Bashamichi Taproom: Closed January 1-2. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 3-5 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 6.

We are looking forward to celebrating the season together with you.

Warm Holiday Cheer,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 15: Daifuku

DAIFUKU-1

Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

The traditional daifuku, like all Wagashi are vegan in concept.

But Daifuku comes in many varieties.
The most common is white, pale green or pale pink colored mochi filled with anko.
These come in two sizes, one approximately the diameter of a half-dollar coin, the other palm-sized.
Some versions contain whole pieces of fruit, mixtures of fruit and anko or crushed melon paste.
Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Some are covered with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa.

DAIFUKU-2

HISTORY:
Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (大腹餅) (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions

VATIETIES:

DAIFUKU-3
Yomogi daifuku (蓬大福)
A version made with kusa mochi (草餅), which is mochi flavored with mugwort.

DAIFUKU-4
Ichigo daifuku (イチゴ大福)
A variation containing strawberry and sweet filling, most commonly anko, inside a small round mochi. Creams are sometimes used for sweet filling. Because it contains strawberry, it is usually eaten during the spring time. It was invented in the 1980s. Many patisseries claim to have invented the confection, so its exact origin is vague.

DAIFUKU-5
Mame daifuku (豆大福)
Another variation made of mochi mixed with red peas or soy beans.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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

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

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (11/65): Soboro Oyako Bento!

“Oyako”, as I mentioned before, means “Parent & Child” in Japanese, meaning the use of chicken and eggs in the same dish. As for “soboro”, it means a dish presented in the form of coarse powder.

When it comes to a chicken and egg combination one may expect an oyakodon which will be served as a kind of omelette containing fairly big pieces of chicken. But the Missus came up with an extra twist!

What she did was to use minced chicken and fry it in a soboro form with tomato sauce.
The egg soboro, which is no less than a type of Japanese scrambled eggs were prepared separately.
Having steamed the rice, she filled a box with it and covered the whole with chicken and egg soboro. She completed the design by separating the two with fresh cress and sliced black olives!

As for the side dish/box the Missus steamed various vegetables, most of them coming from her home garden, and served with a dip sauce!

Three types of potatoes (no sweet potatoes!), white, blue and violet, carrot, daikon, and green peas in their pod!

For more colors, fibers and vitamins she added lettuce and Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes.
As for the dip she mixed mayonnaise with miso paste seasoned with golden sesame seeds!
I took some mandarin oranges from her garden for dessert!

So healthy, yummy and fulfilling!
Who said I was a lucky man?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 14: Satsuma Imo/Sweet Potatoes-Recipe

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-1

Satsuma Imo or Sweet Potatoes are often used in Japanese cakes/Wagashi.
The great advantage is that it makes for completely vegan cakes with an almost endless source of variations.

Here is the basice recipe from you will be able to improvise!

INGREDIENTS:

-Satsuma/Sweet Potato: 400g (peeled)
-Sugar: 75 g
-Agar agar powder: 3 g
-Salt: a pinch
-Water: 20 ml

RECIPE:

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-2
-Cut the sweet potato into small pieces and wash under clear cold water to take off astringency.
Boil in a pan with 20 ml of water until soft.

-Just before the potatoes are completely cooked, add sugar, agar agar and salt. Bring to boil and switch off fire. Bear in mind there will be very little water. Do not burn the poatoes!

-Transfer potatoes into a frying pan and fry until they get smooth.

-Return to boiling pan and heat to get all excess water out.

-Pass through a sieve, or process.

-Wet the inside of a refrigerator recipient before spreading cellophane paper inside. Pour the potato puree into the recipient and fold the cellophane paper on top, leaving no air between cellophane paper and potato. Chill inside refrigerator.

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-3

Before eating unwrap cellophane paper and cut into preferred shape.
This is where the fun begins!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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

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 Restaurants: Shizuoka Seafood at Sushi Ko (December 2011)

Service: Pro and very friendly
Facilities: Very clean. Excellent toilets
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great variety of seafood from Shizuoka Prefecture and the rest of Japan. Great list of sake!

December has seen the cold weather settle in at long last!
This is good news for sushi lovers as a marked change of weather means new seafood varieties coming in!
Naturally, we visited our favorite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka, namely Sushi Ko in Aoba Koen Street!
Here is what we enjoyed!

Snack coming with the first drink: Kanpachi aburi/環八炙り, seared Amberjack.

No need to say that sake was on order: Masu Ichi Brewery from Shizuoka City!

Little beauties from Shizuoka and Akita Prefectures!

Sakura ebi/桜海老/Cherry shrimps from Yui!

Shirauo/白魚/Icefish from Akita Prefecture!

Hirame/平目/Flafish sashimi from Suruga Bay!

Seguro Iwashi/背黒鰯/”Black back” Sardine sashimi from Suruga Bay!

Buri/鰤/Yellowtail chu toro and toro sashimi from Ishikawa Prefecture!

It’s not all raw fish at Sushi Ko!
Among their cooked specialties we have a special fondness for their Ponkara Maguro/ポンカラ鮪/Deep-fried tuna cubes served with momijioroshi/紅葉下ろし/grated daikon with chili pepper!

Kampachi Tataki/環八タタキ/Amberjack filets that have been seared well before being plunged into cold water and later served as sashimi.

Sushi Ko’s specialty: Sushi Millefeuille!

I cannot visit a sushi restaurant without asking for Maguro Zuke/鮪漬け”/marinated tuna akami/lean part

Comfort dishes for a cold winter: Hotate guratan/帆立グラタン/Scallops Gratin!

Chawanmushi/茶碗蒸し/Japanese hot salted pudding!

Geso karaage/ゲソ唐揚げ/Deep-fried squid tentacles!

Back to raw food! Hotate nigiri/帆立握り?Scallops nigiri!

Ama ebi/甘海老/Sweet Shrimps

Sushi for vegetarians: Yama Imo Gunkan/山芋軍艦!

A universal favorite: Piri kara hotate kariforunya roru/ピリ辛帆立カリフォルニアロル/Hot scallops California Roll!

Tamagoyaki/玉子焼き/Japanese omelette for dessert!

And kinoko miso siru/キノコ味噌汁/miso soup with mushrooms, and plenty of seaweed, to wash it all down!

To be continued…

SUSHI KO
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Park Street)
Tel.: 054-251-9701
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (in Japanese)
Smoking allowed. Private room can be arranged for non-smoking (4 people)


RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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

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

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Kazutoyo Gozen in Kakegawa JR Railway Station

Kazutoyo Gozen/一豊御膳 refers to Kazutoyo Yamauchi, a Lord that lived in Kakegawa City during the Feudal Japan Era in the 16th Century and made famous in a TV Drama Series, while Gozen means “Repast”!
I bought this ekiben inside the Kakegawa JR Station on my way to work!

The whole ekiben could have made for a real present to take home!

As usual Jishotei Company in Hamamatsu City give precise explanations of the contents!

The ekiben as it looks without the sticker.
It is wrapped in very sturdy paper in the shape of a “furoshiki/bento box wrapping cloth”!

The box cover is another collector’s item with the introduction to the story of Lord Kazutoyo Yamauchi!

The inside was protected by a sheet of hard translucent paper and a wet towel was also provided!

Now, what do we have?

Two o-musubi/rice balls both molded into the shape of cherry blossom.
The first one is mixed with sansai/山菜/wild mountain vegetables and topped with a salted cherry blossom!

The second one consists of rice steamed into green tea from Kakegawa City!

Pickles and wasabi zuke to season the rice and a wagashi/Japanese cake made of anko/sweetmeats and jelly.

Chicken meat ball, simmered carrot, tofu flower atop a boiled sato imo/taro, boiled edamame, simmered burdock root, simmered shiitake mushroom, Takano tofu and Yuuba maki/tofu skin roll.

Maitake mushroom/Hen-of-the-Woods Mushroom tempura, prawn tempura and deep-fried sweet potato.

Salted matcha tea was provided to season the tempura!

The tempura once seasoned with salted matcha tea!

I wouldn’t mind going back to the 16th Century if people then ate like that!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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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

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子13: Recipe-Kabotcha/Pumpkins

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-1

Just found this recipe to please vegans (and others) with a sweet tooth:
Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Pumpkin/Kabotcha Wagashi!

INGREDIENTS: For 5 cakes
-Pumkin paste: 20 g
-Rice flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 12 g
-Water: 50 ml
-Sweetmeats/Anko (See Recipe here)
-Cornstarch: enough for operation
-Pumpkin seeds or pine nuts: 5 (for decoration)

RECIPE:

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-2
-Peel skin from pumkin and heat pulp inside microwave oven until soft enough to make paste. Let cool down completely.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-3
-In an oven bowl mix well punpkin paste, rice flour, sugar and water until it becomes bubbly. Cover with cellophane paper and heat for 40 seconds at 700W inside microwave oven.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-4
-Work the paste until smooth.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-5
-Using cornstarch to work paste more easily as it will easily stick to your fingers, divide the paste into 5 identical portions.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-6
-Divide sweetmeats/anko into 5 identical parts and fashion them into small balls.
Coat your fingers with a little cornstarch and completely wrap sweetmeat/anko ball with pumpkin paste as shown in picture.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-7
-Make indents around the ball with a wooden sticks to shape the ball into a small pumpkin.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-8
-As soon as the ball is finished, gently brush away whatever cornstarch is left on the surface.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-9
-On top of each pumpkin cake place a seed for decoration and effect!

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-10
-That is how your “pumpkin” will look when you cut it!

NOTE:
You can sieve the pumpkin pulp first for a finer texture.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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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

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子12: Dango-団子-Sweet Dumplings-Recipe

DANGO-1a
(Mitarashi Dango)

Japanese dango are not complicated, although it might be better to make a lot at a time!

INGREDIENTS:
-Rice (“Uruchi Kome”/normal Japnese round rice): 200g
-Water (for dango): 130cc
-Water (for sauce): 60cc
-Cornstarch: 1 teaspoon
-Sugar: 1 teaspoon
-Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons

RECIPE:

DANGO-RECIPE-1

Wash rice thoroughly.
If rice is no-wash type, skip 3 first steps.

DANGO-RECIPE-2

Once the rice washing water is coming out clean, drain rice and spread ontowel. Take off all excess humidity.

DANGO-RECIPE-4

Let the rice dry for two hours.

DANGO-RECIPE-3

Pour rice in Blender/mixer. First work the blender for only a few seconds at a time until all the rice has been broken completeley. Then blend three times 15 seconds at a time.

DANGO-RECIPE-5

If the rice does not turn into powder easily, sift rice as many times as necessary until all rice has been reduced to powder.

DANGO-RECIPE-6

Finish the job with mortar and pestle.

DANGO-RECIPE-7

Once the rice has been reduced completely into powder, work the pestle in for 5 more minutes.

DANGO-RECIPE-8

Add water and mix well with spoon.

DANGO-RECIPE-9

Divide into small portions and steam for 15 minutes.

DANGO-RECIPE-10

In a pan add cornstarch to water (for the sauce). keep stirring over a low fire. once the water has been become transparent add sugar and soy sauce and mix well until you obtain a smooth syrup. take off fire.

DANGO-RECIPE-11

Fill a glass with water and keep within arm’s reach.
Drop all the steamed dango paste into mortar.
Work dango paste with a wet wooden pestle.
Once the paste has been become sticky and elastic, form small balls (the operation should not last more than 10 minutes).
Wet them to prevent them from sticking to each other.

DANGO-RECIPE-12

Push a wet (important!) stick through the balls (4 or 5 at the most).
Grill the balls (or not) for better effect.
Serve them smeared with syrup.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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