Category Archives: 美食

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Haru Chisen

About this time of the year Tokaiken Co. offers a seasonal ekiben at Shizuoka JR Station called “Haru Chisen/春千扇”, or “The Thousand Fans of Spring to celebrate the most important season in Japan! It is slightly more expensive (1,000 yen), but it is certainly worth it!

The box is the color of cherry blossoms, the symbol of Spring!

The contents are clearly indicated as usual!

As you lift the cover you will find another film of transparent paper protecting the food inside.

Now, what do we have?

Sansai maze gohan: Rice steamed together with wild mountain vegetables. Another indication that we are in Spring!

Shiozuke sakura no hana: edible cherry blossom preserved in salt!

Let’s have a look at the section on the left… beautiful colors!

Flower-shaped daikon pickled in sweet vinegar on na no hana/rapeseed flowers and umeboshi-pickled daikon.

Tara no me/a Japanese wild mountain vegetable.
Tofu edamame fuwafuwa: deep-fried tofu cake containing edamame and other vegetables.
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette.

Now, let’s turn to the right section: More colors!

Nimono/simmered vegetables: Carrot, taro, shiitake mushroom, green peas in their pod, bamboo shoot and cherry-blossom-shaped jelly.

Now for the “main dish”: pork shuumai/dim sung, sawara/young Spanish mackerel (from the Suruga Bay) and deep-fried chikuwa/fish paste roll stuffed with umeboshi paste.

By now you should know the color of Spring in Japan!

To be continued…

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Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Shizuoka Monogatari

Even if the many ekiben/Raliway bento/Railway Box Lunches at Shizuoka JR Station are all prepared by the same company, Tokaiken Co., they still have to satisfy not only a great variety of individual tastes but also “multiple tastes”.
Some people don’t want rice only or not one kind of the latter.
Shizuoka Monogatari/静岡物語 (Shizuoka Story) is a typical example of an ekiben conceived to satisfy an eclectic customer!

Orange is the official color of Shizuoka Prefecture!

As usual everything is clearly indicated!

No, the picture is not blurry. It is only that the food is protected by a film of hard transparent paper!

Now, what do we have here?

Due to the design of the ekiben I will have to repeat myself!
The rice at the bottom is topped with deep-fried cherry shrimps/sakura ebi, only found in Shizuoka Prefecture!
The spaghetti are peperocino style!

The rice at the right has been steamed with Shizuoka green tea!

Bottom left: Nimono/stewed vegetables: carrot, bamboo shoots, string beans.
Bottom right: Yaki saba/grilled mackerel and sweet beans dessert (called “uguisu mame”)
Top left: Unagi kabayaki/broiled eel with pickled leaf ginger and lettuce
Top right: Maguro Kakuni/stewed tuna cubes, Kuro hanpen/Sardine paste (both Shizuoka specialties)

Bottom right: Shuumai, soy sauce bottle and apricot preserve dessert
Top right: Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette (containing minced meat) and pickled daikon

To be continued….

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Japanese Cuisine: Shizuoka Agricultural & Marine Products at UZU!

Mixed salad of organic vegetables from Matsuki bio Farm

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

I just can’t stop re-visiting Uzu. I just have too many reasons for that: the food there is exclusively seasonal and so healthy.
For once I was lucky to have dinner there on a National Holiday, meaning that smoking was completely prohibited!

Uzu is off the beaten tracks away from the bustling centre of Shizuoka City, a small haven of Japanese tradition.

But it is safe to say that their sign is modern calligraphy art!

The day’s specials are always hand written on paper posted outside.

They are written by Chef Yoshimura’s wife. Bring a Japanese friend with you to help you understand the menu. It is worth it as all the farmers and breeders of the food served inside are clearly stated!

The snack coming with the first drink included Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps tofu! A great way to serve the specialty from Yui!

We first had the haru Yasai Gorogoro salad, a salad made with all kinds of organic Spring vegetables grown at Matsuki Bio Farm in Fujinomiya City!

From another angle to show the beautiful raw mushrooms. The dressing was also vegetarian!

For once we didn’t have a sake from Shizuoka Prefecture but Hitakami/日高見 from Miyagi Prefecture. We had to pay cash for this sake as part of it woill go to help the victims of the recent earthquake in Miyagi Prefecture! What a great way to contribute!

For the sashimi we had a combination of the sea and the land!

Benimasu/salmon trout from Fujinomiya City!

Isaki/Chicken grunt from the Suruga Bay.
The freshly grated wasabi is from Umgashima, Shizuoka City!

Amagi Shamo Chicken bred in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula: Amagi Shamo Chicken innards and leaf Ginger in Shichuan style/Amagi Shamo Naizou to Ha Shouga, shisen style.

For a closer look!
This dish has been inspire by a friend of Mr. Yoshimura’s. I will dine there soon!

A cute serving on a beautiful earthenware dish!

We did drink fresh water, with the difference that all the fresh water served at Uzu come from the well of Hatsukame Brwery in Okabe!

Amagi Shamo thighs grilled to perfect balance served with fresh wasabi sauce!

Now, I know a lot of people who would like to try this dessert:
Vanilla and brown sugar ice-cream topped with umeshu and its chopped ume! Ume is Japanese plum, and ume shu is made with ume, sake and shochu!

Don’t worry, there will be many other reports on this great Shizuoka Izakaya which is the epitome of our Prefecture’s gastronomy!

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

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Ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen-Professional Recipe

Here is the “professional Recipe for Tonkotsu Ramen as promised!

INGREDIENTS: (will provide 3.5 litres of soup, enough for quite a few servings!

-Pork bones: 5 (2500 g)
-Water: 13 litres

RECIPE:

Bring frozen bones to room temperature in plenty of water.
It should take about 2 hours. If you cook frozen bones directly, the blood will solidify and will be very difficult to get rid of.
If you can get fresh bones, skip this step.

Fill a very large cooking pot with water and bring to boil.

Switch off fire as soon as the water boils. Drop in the bones and let cool. This process will help you get rid of the blood and blood vessels easily.

Leave it to cool down for 30~40 minutes.

Drain the water off the bones in a large strainer.
Throw off the water.
Check and take off any blood or blood vessels for the bones.
Don’t forget to clean the pot!
Break all the bones in two with a hammer.

Fill the pot again with clear water and bring to boil.
Drop the bones inside.

Keep cooking over a strong fire and scoop out foam and unwanted matters coming up on the surface (this should take 20 minutes at the most).
As the bottom might get hooter than near surface, stir with a large ladle from time to time.
If the inside of the pot over the water surface gets clogged with matter or gets dark, switch off fire, clean with a clean cloth and switch fire on again.

Above picture shows the soup after all unwanted matters have stopped coming up.

Cover with a lid and a weight to prevent steam coming out from under the lid. Keep simmering on a low fire.

That’s how it looks after 1 hour.
Keep cooking.

That’s how it looks after 3 hours.

That’s how it looks after 6 hours.

That’s how it looks after 10 hours.

And after 12 hours (start early in the morning!)!

Keep cooking. Remember you are aiming at 3.5 litres of soup.
After 12 hours you may raise the fire to accelerate the cooking.
Keep the lid on!

This is what you are looking for!

This is how the bones will look after 15 hours of cooking!
Cooked at last!

Filter the soup and here you have your tonkotsu base soup ready!
After that it is up to you and your preferences: add miso, tofu, salt, sesame oil, garlic chips and your little secrets!

Now what secret ingredients have I thrown in? LOL

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