A Japanese Tradition: Jouren/\-常連-Regular Customers

At Yasaitei,….

The Japanese are in perpetual search for harmony.
This constant pursuit of “wa/和” preoccupies them not only at the office with their fellow workers, at home with their family, but also, and probably most, when taking a pleasurable respite at the table or counter of their favorite restaurant or bar.

Whereas in many other countries patronizing the same establishment on a regular basis might be considered at best as an ostentatious show, and a disreputable habit at worst, eating and drinking out in Japan is a sine qua non prerequisite to a successful life, both professional and social.

“Jouren/常連” can be loosely translated as “regular customer”, although the term does not give justice to its real meaning.
The jouren is an essential feature at any establishment worth its salt. He oe she will usually sit quietly at the end of the counter if he/she is the only one present at the time, or next to another regular.
Now, if you observe him/her carefully (unobtrusively) you will notice that he/she is served food and drinks without orders or enquiries. There is a clear reason to that: the oyakata/chef or ofukuro/lady owner knows what the jouren likes to eat and drink within a tacitly agreed budget.
The jouren is not necessarily a well-off person, but he is a vital actor in the gastronomic theater because he/she will occasionally comes out of his/her reserve to gently recommend a dish or concoction when he/she notices a new customer experiencing some difficulty in choosing from an unknown menu. Very often a Japanese client will (politely) ask the local jouren for advice and enquire on the very food he/she is eating or on the best drink available.

At Tomii,…

Another peculiarity you will not fail to mark is that the jouren usually takes his leave without paying. He simply has a bill in the books that he will pay at a more or less determined date away from the inquisitive eyes of other diners and drinkers. This last arrangement is more practical for the owner’s accounts and tax returns. You will know that you have become a jouren the day or night the owner tells you to pay later, which of course means that he/she expects you to grace the place again soon!

Be it a posh kaiseki restaurant, an expensive sushi bar, a simple but popular izakaya, or a late night cocktail lounge, the “rules” are the same.
The jouren possesses an unfailing instinct as to the timing of his visits. He will avoid the really busy period of the evening, and will retreat with a smile and wave when his favorite haunt is unseasonably busy. He will also take leave when other customers start flowing in. On the other hand, a jouren will get full satisfaction and no questions asked if he requests a few seats for a party or some friends. Simply put, he is priority.

Jouren usually has his/her “bottle keep”, or own bottle of favourite spirits in situ, although the notion can be double-edged. Some izakayas or Japanese restaurants and bars make it rule for all customers, regular or not to acquire their own bottle with the attached condition that it must be consumed within a certain time limit. But a real jouren at an establishment worthy of its salt will probably keep a hard to find whisky or an extravagant shochu for his/her sole usage. On the other hand, if the jouren kindly offers you a glass of his/her own nectar, you may assume you will be part of the selected clientele very soon!

At Ekimae Matsuno Sushi,…

Japanese owners value their jouren very much for another reason.
In a tightly preordained world where the customer and the owner/chef are literally sitting on either side of a rigid fence, the jouren becomes an indispensable interlocutor you can talk shop with or even ask for advice. Japanese chefs have very little free time to spend outside work and take the pulse of their society to keep in touch with the prevalent trends of their fellow citizens. The jouren will bring in the news and information on any subject and the answers to questions that the chef will not hesitate to ask.
It works both ways: high-class geishas in Kyoto, who are not mere entertainers, do make a point to read at least two or three daily newspapers every morning, including one financial tabloid to ensure they can not only follow their clients’ conversations but give their own advice when solicited.

The nationality of a jouren is of little importance. Being a Japanese-fluent foreigner is actually an advantage as some social restrictions inherent to the Japanese society can easily be done without.
As a case in point a great majority of celebrated resident foreign chefs spend most of their free time patronizing local sushi and kaiseki restaurants for the dual purpose of relaxation and study in great company!

As a final word do not think jouren are exclusively male clients. There are certainly many ladies among them, although they will generally patronize a different type of establishment. But the same “rules” and traditions apply!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cuttlefish/Squid Species 3: Bigfin Reef Squid-Aori Ika-障泥烏賊

IKA-AORIIKA-3

Aori Ika/障泥烏賊, or Bigfin Reef Squid is another extremely popular cuttle fish not only in Jpaan but also in many othere countries.
In French languedoc and Roussillon they call them “piste” and eat them raw marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and spices on top of freshly toasted bread!

IKA-AORIIKA-4
America Aori Ika/Caribbean Reef Squid

Of course they come by various regional names in Japan: Mo Ika, Bashoo Ika, Kutsu Ika, Misu Ika, Shiroi Ika.
They are fairly large as they can attain 40~45 cm length for a weight up to 6 kg.
Their season is from Summer to early Autumn. They are mainly caught in Central and South Japan along the Southern shores.
The catch has never been big (mainly by trawling nets), making them a choice morsel.
They are considered the best cuttlefish as far as sashimi is concerned.
The Japanese often catch them as a hobby to process and sell at local markets.

Artful Aori Ika sashimi!

Naturally, they make for beautiful succulent sushi!

here is another delightful way to serve it as a pre-seasoned sushi nigiri!

They can be cooked in many ways including tempura!

Jaoanese-style pasta with udon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Food & Drink Bloggers in Japan (Spring 2012)

The number of foreigners and Japanese nationals who write about the food and drinks in Japan in English (or at least answer comments in English) has remarkably increased lately.
I thought it was about time to start some kind of round-up to help people discover these deserving foodies and their blogs!The list below is far from exhaustive, but I’m planning to update and announce it regularly!
Of course if you know more foodies residing in Japan, do please direct them to me and I will introduce them gladly!

HOKKAIDO TRIBE
(Hokkaido Island)
Meishu no Yutaka by Carlin

TOHOKU TRIBE
(Northeastern Japan: Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima)
Cooking with Mama Miyuki in Sendai
Slow Food From Japan by Nigel Fodgen in Miyagi Prefecture.

KANTO TRIBE
(Eastern Japan: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa)
Watch Japan in Tokyo
Little Japan Mama in Tokyo
Japan Eats (featured on request)
47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities By Sara and Roshni in Tokyo
Eating Out in Tokyo with DominicTokyo Through The Drinking Glass by Melinda Joe in Tokyo
Tokyo Foodcast by Etsuko Nakamura in Tokyo
Sake World by John Gauntner in Tokyo: The inernational Reference for Japanese Sake!
Tokyo Terrace by Rachael in Tokyo
Gaijin Tonic in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture
Nonjatta by Chris Bunting in Tokyo
The Soul Of Japan in Kanagawa Prefecture
Sake, kimono and Tabi In Tokyo
Tokyo Kawai, Etc… in Tokyo
Blue Lotus in Tokyo
The Japanese Food Report by Harris Salat in Tokyo
The Sake Chronicles in Tokyo
Watashi to Tokyo by Mari Kanazawa in Tokyo
Japanese Food-Food Lover’s Guide by Yukari Yamamoto in Tokyo
Gaijin Life by a Canadian gentleman in Tokyo
Leo’s Japan Food Blog in Tokyo
Eating Out In Tokyo With Jon
Fugu Tabetai in Tokyo
Japan Style in Tokyo
COCO’s Oriental Kitchen by angela Cooper in Tokyo
Free Online Japanese Food Recipes in Tokyo
Reminiscenec in Tokyo
Cooking Japanese Style By Naoko, in Tokyo

CHUBU TRIBE
(Central Japan: Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi)
Good Beer & Country Boys in Aichi Prefecture
Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonbayashi in Shizuoka City!
Damonde Life by Matt Ryan in Hamamatsu & Enshu, shizuoka Prefecture
Mangantayon in Shizuoka Prefecture
Shizuoka Gourmet, Shizuoka Sake, Shizuoka Sushi, Shizuoka Shochu in Shizuoka Prefecture
Bryan Baird’s Beer & Brewery in Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture
A Modern Girl from Niigata and all over Japan!

KANSAI TRIBE
(Western Japan: Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama)
Yellin Yakimono Gallery by Robert Yellin in Shizuoka Prefecture, just moved to Kyoto!
Colorfood Daidokoro in Osaka (Englis & French)
Dominique Corby In Osaka (in French, but can answer and read in English)
Nagaijin in Osaka
Kyoto Foodie in Kyoto
Our Adventures in Japan by K and S Minoo in Osaka
Japan Food Addict by Mai in Kyoto

CHUGOKU
(“Central Country”: Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
Get Hiroshima Blog in Hiroshima
The Wide Island Review, The JET Programme Webzine Of Hiroshima Prefecture (includes food & drink articles)

SHIKOKU
(Shikoku Island: Kagawa, Kochi, Ehime, Tokushima)
Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony in Kochi Prefecture
Still Clumsy With Chopsticks in Kochi Prfecture (Continuation of Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony)
Rocking in Hakata by Deas Richardson

KYUSHU
(Kyushu Island: Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima)
Finding Fukuoka
Food from Fukuoka, Kyushu and Japan by Fumiko Soda
Fukuoka Sake Guide by Daisuke Ito

OKINAWA
(Okinawa Archipelago)
HWN Pake in Okinawa in Chatan, Okinawa
I’m sorry to say that Nate has just passed away and that his blog has disappeared, but I’ll keep it there as it is in his memory!
Dojo Bar in Naha
Eating Okinawa
Okinawa Hai!
Total Okinawa

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Gastronomy: Somen-The Basics

SOMEN-1

The hot weather will come quickly to Japan and it is already time to think about refreshing recipes!
Sōmen (素麺) are very thin, white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. The noodles are usually served cold and are less than 1.3 mm in diameter. The distinction between sōmen and the next thicker wheat noodles hiyamugi (冷麦), and even thicker Japanese wheat noodles udon (饂飩) is that sōmen is stretched while hiyamugi and udon are cut.

SOMEN-COLD

Summer-style cold somen

Sōmen are usually served cold with a light flavored dipping sauce or tsuyu. The tsuyu is usually a katsuobushi-based (鰹節/dried bonito shavings) sauce that can be flavored with chopped thin leeks, ginger, or myoga. In the summer, sōmen chilled with ice is a popular meal to help stay cool.

SOMEN-COLD2
Somen Meal Sample

Fish stock can easily be replaced with konbu/seaweed stock if you vegetarian or vegan.

SOMEN-NAGASHI
Nagashi Somen flowing down a bamboo pipe.

Some restaurants offer “nagashi sōmen” (流しそうめん flowing noodles) in the summer. The noodles are placed in a long flume of bamboo across the length of the restaurant. The flume carries clear, ice-cold water. As the sōmen pass by, diners pluck them out with their chopsticks and dip them in tsuyu. Catching the noodles requires a fair amount of dexterity, but the noodles that aren’t caught by the time they get to the end usually aren’t eaten, so diners are pressured to catch as much as they can. A few luxurious establishments put their sōmen in real streams so that diners can enjoy their meal in a beautiful garden setting.

SOMEN-NYUMEN
Nyumen

Sōmen served in hot soup is usually called “nyumen” and eaten in the winter, much like soba or udon are.

SOMEN-CHAMPURU
Somen champuru.

In Okinawa, somen champuru are very popular with goya and tofu.

SOMEN-PLAIN

Plain somen

Somen are probably the easiest style of noodles to prepare.
Plain chilled somen with cold ponzu are such a great snack in summer.

SOMEN-KOREAN

A very similar variety of thin wheat flour noodles are called somyeon in Korea and are used in a dish called bibim guksu.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cuttlefish/Squids Species 2: Sword Tip Squid-Kensaki Ika-剣先烏賊

IKA-KENSAKI-IKA-1

“Kensaki Ika/剣先烏賊 goes by the Latin name of Loligo (Photololigo) edulis Hoyle,1885, but that complicated name does not prevent this particular squid to be extremely popular in Japan!

It is of course known under other local names: Aka Ika/Red Squid, especially in Shizuoka, Budo Ika/Grapes Squid, Shiro Ika, Gotou Ika.

They will soon appear in the markets in Summer.
They are mainly caught by line.
They are more and more available live, so great specimens can be easily bought.

A whole sword tip squid sashimi plate!

Grilled, great with a beer!

They are a very versatile kind of squid as they can be appreciated as sashimi, sushi, simmered, boiled, broiled, dried, and especially as tempura!

Beautiful sushi nogiri topped with sea urchin!

As for me, it is a bit of a dilemna as I like them both as sushi nigiri and sashimi!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Festival Food Stands and Dancers!

Cute lady selling dango/団子!

The last three days saw the annual Shizuoka Festival which was held all over town.
It is slowly becoming better organized thanks to contributions from the whole Prefecture and volunteer citizens, although the city and authorities do very little…
Anyway yesterday, a beautiful Sunday, I took the opportunity to take a few (a lot actually) pictures to show you all what a local (in Shizuoka City) festival looks like!

I first went to the Sumpu Castle (a 2/3 scale copy of the original) and Sumpu Park!

The entrance to the main “square” where most of the food stands were located.

The map of the whole park!

A small traditional band manned by physically-impaired children!

Tough-looking girls on the Japanese drums!

Drummers start young in Japan!

Unimpressive and idle Shizuoka policemen…
Shizuoka policemen (actually traffic wardens in spite of their guns and plates…) are notorious as a lazy breed…

Now, what is that castle for?

A giant air cushion for kids to play on!

Fancy a tour with a “jinrikisha”?

Some people also call this Festival the “Shizuoka Spring Cherry Blossoms festival”!

These knee-high stockings are very much in fashion this year!

Plenty of food and drinks under the cherry trees! Ever heard of “Hanami/花見”?

Bento stand!

Japanese-style country food!

Yomogi wagashi Japanese cakes!

Shizuoka Oden!

Tsubuan Manju!

Shizuoka-style okonomiyaki!

Floating balls for the kids!

Try your luck!

Shizuoka specialties: dried sakura ebi/cherry shrimp and shirasu/sardine whiting!

A treat that kids all over the world look for!

More Shizuoka Oden!

Very well organized event with many public dustbins!

Kimonos are still very much in fashion!

A whole range of fancy okonmiyaki!

Japanese-style soft ice creams!

Korean-style karaage/deep-fried chicken!

Preparing o mochi and kinako wagashi cakes!

More okonomiyaki!

No, they are not selling kangaroo meat!

Shizuoka is strawberry country!

The Japanese too love their hamburgers!

Yakisoba!

Famous Shizuoka’s Hatsukame sake!

Takoyaki/Octopus dumplings!
I took a break to enjoy some with a cup of the above sake!

Charcoal-grilled ayame and ayu trouts!

Dango/団子!

Hiroshima-style Suwaganiten and nigiriten!

Utsunomiya gyoza!

Japanese-style corn on the cob!

Mini okonomiyaki?

More Shizuoka-style oonomiyaki!

Sausages!

Giant Sasebo (Kyushu) hamburgers!

Yakitori and oden!

“Love and Peace Ice Cream”!

I finally moved out to a quick look at Aoba Park Street where the kids were having on giant air cushions!

Right in front of the city hall! I suspect that many a civil servant’s kid was there!

And then I walked and made myself a nuisance taking pics of dancing groups in the middle of the main thoroughfare!

Sexy dancers! Sorry for the fuzzy pic, I was not really looking at my camera….

Mothers and kids waiting for their turn!

The Japanese love to be taken in photographs but the setting sun was a bit of a nuisance!

Is that a gentleman in the middle?

My personal first prize for colorful costumes!

The last pic!

Looking for and forward to the next local festival!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cake: Matcha Bavarois

MATCHA-CAKE-1

Matcha/抹茶, an ingredient readily available here in Shizuoka, opens the door to so many ideas as it can included in almost all cakes.
Moreover, its green colour is an extra attraction that is difficult to resist!
Here is the recipe for a cake that marries western and eastern traditions!

Matcha Bavarois Cake!

INGREDIENTS: For a 21 cm diameter mold (can be adapted to square molds or individual molds)

-Sponge Cake:
Eggs: 3 large
Sugar: 70 g
All purpose flour: 40 g
Matcha powder: 1 tablespoon
Butter (unsalted): 25 g

-Bavarois:
Milk: 200ml
Fresh cream (vegetal): 200 ml
Egg whites: 3
Sugar: 50 g
Gelatin: 5 g
Matcha powder: 1 tablespoon
Water (to dissolve matcha powder): 5 tablespoons
Matcha liqueur (optional, but try and find it or replace with something else according to taste!): a little

-Decoration jelly (nappage):
Matcha powder: 2 tablespoons
Gelatin: 5 g
Sugar: 40 g
Water: 250 ml

Supplementary decoration (optional):
Chestnuts (cooked)
Black beans (cooked)
Candied mint leaves

RECIPE:

-Sponge Cake:
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs, beat the yolks until thick and lemon colored, add the sugar gradually.
Mix matcha powder and sifted flour. Mix in butter by hand (with the tips of your fingers). Add egg yolks and sugar and mix well. Cut and fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.
Bake in an ungreased pan in a very moderate oven.
Bake until the cake is puffed, has lost its shine, and springs back when gently pressed.
Let cool completely and trim off to shape of the cake mold.
Line the cake mold with a layer of sponge cake.

-Bavarois:
Soften jelly in cold water or dissolve it depending on type.
Whisk the the egg whites thick and hard with sugar.
Bring the milk and fresh cream to boil.
Switch off fire.
Add matcha powder and matcha liqueur and mix well.
Let cool completely. Add and mix in gelatin.
Fold in egg whites.
Pour the bavarois over the sponge cake and leave in refrigerator overnight.

-Decoration jelly:
Soften gelatin or dissolve in a little water.
In a pan pour in water, matcha powder, sugar and heat to dissolve sugar. Switch off fire and add gelatin. Mix weel.
Wait until it has cooled off completely.
Take cake out of refigerator and pour jelly all over.
Put back in refrigerator and leave it until it has properly settled.

Decorate further with chestnuts, candied mint leaves and black beans.

MATCHA-CAKE-3

That is how it would look once cut.

MATCHA-CAKE-2

The same as an individual cake!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cuttlefish/Squids Species 1: Spear Squid-Yari Ika-槍烏賊

Cuttlefish or squids are eaten almost all the world as they seem to inhabit the whole planet! They are the favourite food of many big fish such as tuna, whales and birds. Although humans contribute to dwindling stocks, they will never consume the same amount as its natural predators.

The Japanese call them Ika/烏賊, roughly meaning crow shellfish/cephalopods.

This is the start of a long series. I do hope you like them, otherwise you are in for a long haul!LOL

Yari Ika Sashimi Salad!

Yari Ika/槍烏賊, or Spear Squid, are also known under the names of Sashiika, Sayaika, Shyakuhachi, Tsutsuika or Sayanaga.
In Japan they are mainly caught in Winter and Spring off the shores of Aomori, Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Mie, Aichi and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture is replete with many varieties.
Females are slightly more rounded than the males.
They are either caught with nets or lines.
Their flesh is comparatively thin, but soft and sweet. They are among the most popular in Japan.
The best specimens are the ones caught by line. Buy them live whenever possible.

They make for beautiful sushi with the body and tentacles (geso/ゲソ) served separately.
They can ordered seasoned with salt and lemon juice, or with tare sauce!
The best sushi restaurants will serve them sashimi or sushi with two different types of soy sauce.

Cooked Japanese style they are simple and succulent, grilled served with soy sauce!

Do try them stuffed, Japanese style!

Or Spanish style!

Needless to say, they are popular in local Italian Restaurants!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 or Spanish Gastronomy? Edamame Spanish Omelette!

Edamame/枝豆 seem to become ever more 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. Here 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)
-Optional: pepper and spices of your liking

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 off 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 containing 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. Turn 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 over 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 omelette. It shouldn’t sink.

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

-Serve with a green salad and white wine!

OPTIONS:

I also use string beans or broad beans in season!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cheese Cake (8): Baked Mango Cheese Cake

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

Here is a baked fruit cake recipe with mango that you can replace with othe rsoft fruit:
Keep in mind this is the basic recipe. Obviously you can add for taste all kinds of liqueurs!

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
-Chocolate chips cookies: 150 g
-Margarine: 70 g

RECIPE:

– Bring back cream cheese to room temperature. 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 with 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 WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cheese Cake (7): Baked Tofu Cheese Cake

BAKED-TOFU-CHEESE-CAKE

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

One way to lighten your cheese cake and invest into a new taste is to introduce tofu!

Here is a simple recipe that will please anyone worrying about unwanted calories:
Baked Tofu Cheese Cake!

INGREDIENTS:

-Cream Cheese (Philadelphia): 230 g
-Tofu (kinu tofu): 200g (before pressing water out)
-Sugar: 70g (of your choice)
-Eggs: 2
-Vanilla bean pod: 1 (small) (if not available use vanilla essence)
-Soy milk: a little
-Flour: 2 tablespoons (flour of any kind is fine)
-Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon
-Biscuits (crushed to form a solid base under the cheese cake/optional)

RECIPE:

-Line the bottom of a oven cake mold with a layer of crushed biscuit.
You may do without it but it will help absorb excess water from tofu.

-Soften cream cheese to room temperature (you may warm it a bit inside a microwave oven) and mix with sugar.

-Once the cheese and sugar misture has become smooth, add the tofu by crushing it between your palms, addd the whole eggs and mix well with an eletric whisker until you obtain a smooth mixture.

-Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and extract the inside (or use vanilla essence), mix it with some soy milk and add to the mixture. Mix well.

-The last three steps may be done with a food processor, but mixing all ingredients one by one give you a “right feel”!

-Pour the mixture inside the mold over the biscuit layer and flatten the surface with a spatula.

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for 50 minutes or until you have obtained the right colour and a raising mound in the middle.

-If the colour even then is too white, raise temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 10 more minutes.

-Let cake completely cool down.
Only then may you take it out of its mold and leave it inside the refrigerator overnight before eating it.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cheese Cake (6): Baked Matcha (Green Tea) Cheese cake

MATCHA-CHEESECAKE

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

Here is a Shizuoka recipe with matcha!
Shizuoka Prefecture, where I live, produces no less than 45% of the national crop of green tea. You can imagine the quality of green tea consumed in homes in our Prefecture!
Matcha, high quality green tea powder has increasingly become popular in cooking not only in Japan, but abroad.
It does make for a beautiful combination with cheese cakes!

INGREDIENTS:

-Cream Cheese (Philadelphia style): 250 g
-Sugar: 90 g
-Eggs: 2
-Fresh cream: 100 ml/half a cup
-Cornstarch: 1 large tablespoon
-Matcha: 1 and a half large tablespoons

RECIPE:

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Place a sheet of cooking paper inside the cake mold
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature

-Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and mix with a hand mixer. Next add eggs, one at a tim e and mix well.

-Add fresh cream and mix well.
Mix cornstarch and matcha, then sprinkle the mixture in a “rain” over the cheese cake mixture and mix.
Pour the mixture into baking mold.

-Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 40~50 minutes.
Atfer having cooled the cake completely leave in refrigerator to chill probably before serving.

Easy, isn’t it?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Jaanese Cheese Cake (5): Rare Blueberry Cheese Cake

BLUEBERRY-RARE-CHEESECAKE

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

Here is another recipe for the summer:

INGREDIENTS: For an 18 cm diameter mold
Cheese cake
-Cream Cheese (Philadelpia type): 250 g
-Sugar: 80 g
-Eggs: 2 medium-sized
-Fresh Cream: 200 ml
-Lemon Juice: 1 large Tablespoon
レモン汁 大さじ1
-Flour: 3 large Tablespoons
-Blueberries (frozen): 130 g
-Biscuits: 100 g
-Butter: 50 g

Sauce:
-Blueberries (Frozen): 130 g
-Sugar: 50 g
-Lemon Juice: 2 small teaspoons

RECIPE:
-Drop biscuits in a food processor and process until you obtain fine crumbs. Add melted butter and process.

-Place baking paper inside mold. Pour biscuits mix in and spread evenly. Leave inside fridge until further use.

-Clean the food processor. Drop in the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, fresh cream, lemon juice and flour. Process one at a time until mixture is smooth before dropping in the next ingredient.

-Transfer the mixture into a separate bowl. Add three fourths of the frozen blueberries. Mix them in carefully so as not to break them.

-Pour the cheese cake mixture directly onto the biscuit base. Place remaining blueberries on top. Cook in bain-marie at 170 degrees Celsius for 60 minutes.

-Leave cake inside the refrigerator after having completely cooled down.

-Blue berry sauce:
Drop blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a cooking recipient.
Cover with cellophane paper and cook inside a microwave oven at 500~600 W fro 3~4 minutes. Take out and stir for a while. Let cool completely and leave inside refrigerator.

-Serve the cheese cake chilled with a good dose of chilled sauce.

NOTE:
When you add blueberries to cheese cake mixture, do not overmix, otherwise the whole thing will turned blue!
Best served when chilled.
Think about about extra decoration for better efffect (mint leaves, etc…)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cheese Cake (4): Baked Blueberry Cheese Cake

BAKED-BLUEBERRY-CHEESE-CAKE

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

Here is a very popular recipe in Japan:

INGREDIENTS: For a 15 cm wide mold
-Cream Cheese (Philadelphia style): 200 g
-Sugar: 4~5 large tablespoons
-Eggs: 2
-All-purpose flour: 3 large tablespoons
-Fresh cream: 100 ml
-Lemon juice: 1 large tablespoon
-Blueberries (frozen): 120 g

RECIPE:
-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place baking paper inside mold.

-In a larg bowl drop cream cheese. Add sugar, eggs, flour, fresh cream in that order and mix well one by one. Last add lemon juice and mix well.

-Drop bluberries in and quickly mix. Pour cheese cake mixture into mold and bake for 40~50 minutes.

NOTES:
-You could use an 18 cm wide mold, but it will take less time to bake.
You may use a square mold to allow you to cut the cake into “sticks” for a different presentation.
Above picture shows a cake to which 60 g of crushed Graham Crackers mixed with 15 g of butter to provide a more solid base!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Cheese cake (3): Japanese Mango and Rare Cheese Cake

MANGO-CHEESE-1

I have been recently asked a lot of questions, notably by Sissi at Withe a Glass about Japanese-style cheese cakes. Incidentally I had never heard of cheese cakes before I came to Japan 36 years ago. After investigation, cheese cakes have been around the world for quite a long time and developped into many varieties. Among them, the Japanese style seems to have acquired a lot of popularity, to the point that many customers expect them to be on offer in Japanese Izakayas abroad!
I decided it was about time to re-publish a series of them!

The Japanese make a distinction between two kinds of cheese cakes:
-Just “cheese cake” means it has been baked
-“Rare Cheese cake” means that the cake is not cooked.

INGREDIENTS: For 4 servings (18×9 cm pound cake mold)

-Cream cheese (Philadelphia): 150 g
-Lemon juice: 1 large Tablespoon
-Sugar: 45 g
-Plain yoghurt: 150 g
-White wine: 3 large tablespoons
-Gelatin powder or agar agar powder: 5 g
-Fresh cream: 100 ml (half a cup)
-Rum: 1 large tablespoon
-Cake margarine: 30 g
-Coconuts sable biscuits: 60 g
-Allspice: half a teaspoon
-Dried mango: 3~4 slices
-Fresh or canned mango: 4 cubes
-Green pistachio: 4

RECIPE:

MANGO-RARE-CHEESE-2

Place cooking paper inside a pound cake mold.
Mix crushed coconuts sable biscuits, margarine and allspice.
Spread equally on bottom of the mold.
Leave inside refrigerator.

MANGO-CHEESE-3

Cut dried mango into small pieces and season with rum.

MANGO-RARE-CHEESE-4

In a separate small bowl/deep plate pour in wine. Then (the other round will result in failure!) sprinkle with gelatin powder and mix until smooth.

MANGO-RARE-CHEESE-5

Soften cream cheese in a microwave oven for about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, sugar and yoghurt. Mix well until smooth.

MANGO-CHEESE-6

Add wine and gelatin to cheese cake mixture and mix well, taking care not to make bubbles!

MANGO-RARE-CHEESE-7

In a separate bowl, whisk fresh cream up to 7/10 solidity (too solid is not welcome!) . It should still be bubbly. Add a small part to cheese cake mixture and mix well. Add rest of fresh cream and mix carefully, taking care not tobreak bubbles.

MANGO-CHEESE-8

Add rum-soaked dried mango to cheese cake mixture. Mix just enough for uniformity.
Pour the lot into mold and leave insid eefrigerator until it has completely solidified.

MANGO-CHEESE-9

Decorate with whipped cream, pistachio and mango cube before cutting and serving!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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