Category Archives: Chinese Cuisine

Gastronomic Wine Bar: “BEBER” in Hamamatsu City!

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Service: Smiling, friendly and very attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Overall spotless clean. Small but beautiful washroom
Prices: Reasonable~a little expensive
Strong points International wine list. Japanese whiskeys including one from Shizuoka Prefecture. High standard Chinese cuisine. Bistro gastronomy

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With the ever increasing number of visitors, the City of Hamamatsu City is quickly changing and you do need local friends’ help to keep abreast of the new developments!
One such establishment is BEBER which opened only a few weeks ago!
Incidentally “beber” in Portuguese means “drink”!

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A good friend, himself restaurateur, took us there last Thursday just before it got crowded by all kinds of customers, some of them really influential citizens in Hamamatsu City.
It does not prevent the Master of the Place, Mr. Toshio Iguchi/井口敏郎さん, to be equally attentive and welcoming to all his customers, whatever the status!

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As it is first of all a wine bar, it does have a fine international list!
We started the celebrations with a “vino tinto” from Argentine, TERRAZAS de los Andes, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005!
Lots of red fruit! A discovery!
Have a good look at the drink menu as it also includes some fine whiskeys, even featuring “Fuji Sanroku” distilled in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Chinese-style fresh salad!

Although they have all kinds of bistro favorites from terrine to foie gras, their chef is a talented Chinese Cuisine specialist whose creations are simply perfect with wines!

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Juicy Xiaolongbao/小龍包!

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A exquisite steamed dim sung with lettuce!

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Cold spicy ramen!

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The wine was quickly disappearing and we ordered this reliable Bourgogne Chardonnay (20139 by Jean Bouchard, not far from my very own birthplace!

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Now, this deep-fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce was definitely way above average!

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Talk about global gastronomy: Chinese-style fish and chips with cheese!
The British cannot come up with such a fine rendition!

A first but very short visit which will definitely warrant many more!

BEBER

430-0944 Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Ta Machi, 331-13
Tel: 053-452-5711
Opening hours: 18:00~last customer
Closed on Sunday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Chinese Gastronomy: Lamb Gyoza (dumplings) at AOI BEER STAND, Shizuoka City!

Service: easy-going and very friendly
Equipment & Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb washroom shared inside Den Bill Bldg.
Prices: reasonable~slightly expensive
Strong points: Craft beer only. Home-made sausages!

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The other I had the occasion to sample yet another of Ryousuke Ono/大野良輔さん’s creations!
Lamb gyoza!
Gyoza is the Japanese version of Chinese dumplings either fried or boiled.
The difference is that the meat inside contains lamb instead of pork with leeks, celery, Chinese cabbage among others!
Again, bear in mind that such treats are limited and you might have to wait some time before Ryousuke prepares the next batch!

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They might come a bit more expensive than your cheap Chinese restaurant’s offerings, but they are bigger and heads and shoulders above in texture and taste!

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They are full of beautiful juices and the bite excellent!
The perfect snack to go with a Golden Pale Ale by Aoi Brewing!

Will never tire of them for sure!

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Gastronomic Destinations: Taiwan

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just came back from a very short stay in Taiwan!
Although my sojourn lasted only two nights, one day and a few hours, I still had time to form a first idea of the country, its people and food!

Until my next trip I can already affirm that:
-The general welcome felt better than I had expected. Warm people, comparatively soft-spoken and very helpful in spite of the language barriers.
-A lot lot lot cleaner than I had expected. No smoking in any buildings. No spitting. Old, sometimes very old buildings, but always clean inside. Old facilities, but clean. Station scrubbed to perfection.
-Great safety, Well I don’t know the seedier side (there is one even in every big city, even Tokyo!), but i flet safe walking in back streets at night.
-Last but not least great food, although nots as spicy as expected.
In a single sentence, i had to forget my expectations and learned a delightful lesson!

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having really little time and a dragon to deal with all the time, I took whatever pictures I could. I hope they will give you a little idea of what to expect!

Taipei Railway was spotless clean and the many shops reminded very much of Japan.

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They even served Taiwan-style oden!

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Peking Ducks in a small shop in Yingge!

As trains and taxis are really cheap ( a thiid of Japan!) we traveled to Yingge/鷲歌/Eagle song, a city famous all over Taiwan for its ceramics. Check Yingge Ceramics Museum!

Yingge is a small city full of sights worthy of a longer visit!
Like every city Yingge is full of small bikes and one has to be careful before crossing a street, the only drawback I found in this lovely country!
I took the picture a bove as I was waiting for the green light!

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Now, what does 金牛角/Golden Bull Horns stand for?
Taiwan-style Croissants!
Apparently very popular!

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We found this small noodle restaurant in the Ceramic Street, a site you must absolutely visit, but I don’t know how to pronounce its name.

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The small two characters at the top mean “Yingge”. And the last means “noodles”, but I don’t know how to pronounce the first two characters.
Maybe Tina can help me?

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The menu written in three languages was very useful!
You mark the orders on a special leaflet, you pay beforehand 8cheap!) and wait for the food!

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Look at both sides of the menu!

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Pork noodles!

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Appetizers: Simmered tofu, boiled eggs and seaweed!

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Seafood noodles!

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It was then back in Taipei in the rain and the dark looking for a restaurant called 杭州 小龍湯包 famous for its steamed 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao located near the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial.

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As usual we last our way but finally found it by sheer luck after interminable arguments!

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A very popular place with the locals!

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As in Yingge, same system with a menu to choose from and a leaflet on which to write your orders. This time you pay after the meal at the entrance.

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Our first taste of Taiwan beer!

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We had come for the sole purpose of sampling those 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao!

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Steamed pork 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao!

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Juicy Royal 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao with pork and crab brains!

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And then it was back in the rain, loosing our way again and finding our destination by sheer luck again after many arguments again! the restaurant was supposed to be only 5 minutes from Taipei Central Railway Station….!
The dragon wouldn’t give me the time to take a picture of the restaurant sign board….
It is very famous (with quite a few Japanese businessmen among the guests), and the old lady taking the orders could speak English and Japanese!
But I somehow found the name as HAW JI or Haoji Dan Zai Noodles/好記担仔麺! Address in Taipei: Address: Qi Lin Lu 79, five minutes from Railway Station.

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A very interesting concept:
First you choose your orders pointing at the ingredients exhibited outside the first small eating room.

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one of the three kitchens!

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And then you move to the larger restaurant at the street corner where you are given a table and served!
You pay on your way out.

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More Taiwan beer!

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Fried rice and crab steamed inside bamboo leaves!

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Pork and shrimp noodles!

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Fried string beans and minced pork!

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Mapo doufu/麻婆豆腐/”Pockmarked-Face Lady’s Tofu”!
Not as hot as expected by the Dragon, but I personally loved it!

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Deep-fried prawns and pineapple!

We were absolutely full and satisfied after these two dinners!

This time we came to the hotel by taxi!

Looking forward to my (our?) next visit!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Chinese Gastronomy with a Modern Japanese Twist: Quick dinner at Hana Oto in Shizuoka City (Late Spring 2012)!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness. Beautiful toilets
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local ingredients in beautiful Chinese Cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

The Japanese have two concepts of the Chinese Gastronomy, the tradtional ones, especially with ramen, gyoza and the lot, and a modern one more Japanese as far as the creation is concerned but with Chinese-style condiments.
The latter has become a genre of its own allying the inherent qualities of both cuisines.

A typical example is Hana Oto in Shizuoka City, where it is increasingly becoming difficult to find a seat in spite of their moving to a larger address!

They endeavor to introduce and advertize local products whenever possible!
They have a special affinity for Japanese sake brewed at Takashima Brewery in Numazu City who also introduce local products such a edible seaweed on their labels!

Definitely the Japanese way to enjoy your drink!

The other night I had (would never complain about such a duty!) to pay them a quick visit for dinner with a couple of gentlemen. What did we order?

Spicy stir-fried tuna and lotus root with leeks!

Seared Amagi Shamo chicken bred in Shuzenji, Izu peninsula, whose feed includes local wasabi leaves and soy milk!
Sorry for the fuzzy picture, Hana Oto is a very dark place! LOL

Hot spicy vegetable salad, most of them organic from Matsuki farm in Fujinomiya City!

Organic Oura burdock root chips from Matsuki Farm!
Better than any fried potato!

Now, this is traditional Chinese gastronomy: Feep-fried pork meatballs! A beauty!

Alright, that was a delicious but very brief dinner, so let’s meet soon again there! LOL

HANA OTO/華音
420-0032 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Ryougae Cho, 5-8, Shin Kamogawa Bldg., 2F-D
Tel: 054-273-8591
Business hours: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Mondays

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Gastronomy: Char Siu/Chyashyu-Basic Recipe

Charsiu Pork (Chinese-flavored Barbecued Pork)
Origin
Alternative name(s) chasu, cha siu, chashao, and char siew, barbecued meat
Place of origin China
Region or state Chinese-speaking areas, Japan, Southeast Asia
Details
Main ingredient(s) Pork, mixture of honey, five-spice powder, fermented tofu (red), dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sherry or rice wine

Char siu (also spelled chasu, cha siu, chashao, and char siew), otherwise known as barbecued meat (usually pork) in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat. It is listed at number 28 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
That is for the wikipedia information.

But the Japanese also have their own recipes and her is the basic one:

INGREDIENTS:

As this is the basic recipe, I will explain the procedure only. I will leave it to you to decide on the exact amounts as priorities are vastly different!

-Pork Belly
-Salt
-Twine
-Sesame seeds
-Seven Spices/Shichimi/七味
-Thin leeks
-Large leeks
-Garlic
-Light taste soy sauce
-Japanese sake
-Laurel

RECIPE:

Choose a block of pork belly with the right proportion of meat and fat.
Personally, I ctually prefer blocks cut out the thighs or back.

Make a few shallow cuts across the pork and salt it lightly. That step will ensure an even seasoning.

Bind the pork with cooking twine as shown in above picture with the fatty side outside.
Bind it tightly as to effectively shape the pork.

As the char siu has to be boiled first, prepare a large enough pan filled with water.
Drop the meat into the water.
Add just a drop of soy sauce, one clove of garlic, two leaves of laurel, some roughly cut leeks (thick variety), some Japanese sake and bring to boil.

Boil over a strong fire for one hour, scooping unwanted matters and scum from time to time.
Bear in mind the boiling water can be used as soupstock for other dishes!
Once taken out of the pan, let it cool and cut the twine. The meat should hold by itself.
It can be consumed as it is.

The Japanese then grill it (aburi/炙り) for an even deeper taste.

They use a special grill called nanarin/七輪 using charcoal.
Take care not to overgrill it and bear in mind oil could start flying!

Cut the char siu to the thickness wanted.
I like it very thin and eat it a it is. But when using it for ramen, I might cut it a bit thicker.

If you want to it eat and serve it for its own sake, cut many slices and arrange them on a serving dish and season it with seven spices mix/shichimi/七味, sesame seeds (whole or ground), chopped thin leeks, and a little ponzu.

Doesn’t that look appetizing!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Kakuni (角煮) & Recipes!

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Kakuni (角煮) is a Japanese braised pork dish which literally means “square simmered”.

Kakuni is a meibutsu (名物/famous regional product) of Nagasaki Prefecture.
Actually this is not a strictly traditional Japanese dish as its most likely Chinese, similar to Dongpo’s pork, though not as heavy in sauce.

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Kakuni as served in some restaurants cut and cold

During the Ming Dynasty and Song Dynasty, the main Sino-Japanese trading route existed between Hangzhou and Kyūshū. Many Chinese lived in major Kyūshū port cities, such as Nagasaki and Japanese in Hangzhou. Therefore pork, was popularized in major Kyūshū cities.
These days kakuni is popular all over Japan with very many varieties depending on the region, climate and prevailing tastes.

KAKUNI-RAFTI

Okinawa, probably the region in Japan consuming the largest quantity of pork in Japan has its own recipe called “Rafti”!

PREPARATION:
Kakuni is made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake. By cooking it for a long time over a low temperature the collagen breaks-down into gelatin keeping the meat moist while becoming extremely tender allowing it to be consumed with chopsticks easily. The dish is often served with scallions, daikon and karashi/Japanese hot mustard.

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DONG PO ROU

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For the record, as it is the origin of Kakuni, Dongpo’s pork is a famous Hangzhou dish which is made by pan-frying and then red cooking pork belly. The pork is cut to around 2 inches square in dimensions, consisting of half fat and half lean meat. The mouth feel is oily but not greasy, with the fragrance of wine.

ORIGINS:
Legend has it that while Su Dongpo was banished to Huangzhou, in a life of poverty, he made an improvement of the traditional process. He first braised the pork, added Chinese fermented wine and made red-braised pork, then slowly stewed it on a low heat. This dish was first launched in Huangzhou, then spread to Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, flourished, and then became one of Hangzhou’s most famous dishes.

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KAKUNI RECIPES

1) BASIC RECIPE

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Here the first of a series of 3 recipes for Kakuni, that is, a very basic one!

INGREDIENTS:

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 or 2 (depending on thickness and width)
-Fresh ginger: 1 or 2 pieces (5×5 cm)
-White leek: 1
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml
Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Sweet sake/mirin: 50 ml
-Honey: 1 tablespoon
-Water: 400~500 ml

RECIPE:

-Thinly slice the fresh ginger. Cut the leeks into small trunks. Punch holes in the pork with a fork to help “taste going inside”.

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-Fry pork on a frypan on all sides on a strong fire until all colour has completely changed and fat has changed colour.

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-In a large pot, drop/pour all ingredients, add pork, cover with lid and simmer over low medium fire for 60 minutes.
If meat does not cook as quickle as wanted, raise fire after 30 minutes.
Simmer until juices have reduced as low as on pic.

-Cut the pork into large size bites and simmer again for 5 minutes.

-Place on a serving meat cuts on a serving dish. Pour juices/sauce all over and add some chopped thin leeks.

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2) SIMPLE RECIPE

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Here the second of a series of 3 recipes for Kakuni, a bit more sophisticated than the first one, but still very easy!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger: choose a root (or part of), about 5cm long and 2 cm thick/Sliced
-Brown sugar: 50 g
-Honey: 50 ml (liquid)
-Japanese sake: 60 ml
-Soy sauce: 120 ml
-Water: 600 ml
-Star anise: 1

RECIPE:

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-Steam pork in steamer on a low fire for 2 hours.

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-Cool down pork completely. This is important as this will help tenderize the meat!
Cut in bite size.
Put all the pork in deep pan. Add water, Japanese sake, sliced ginger, brown sugar and honey.

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-Add soy sauce and star anise. Simmer on a low fire for 30 minutes. Keep taking out the foam to remove harshness.

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-When ready serve with its juices/soup and strong mustard.

NOTE:
Do not add star anise at once as the taste might become overwhelming for some people.
Of course, this recipe is adapatble.
You may add chili pepper and other spices of your preferences, or even Chinese ingredients!
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3) PROFESSIONAL RECIPE

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This is the third of a series of 3 recipes for preparing Kakuni.
This particular recipe can be considered as the basic “professional” one, altough it is open to variations as far as spices and presentations are concerned!

INGREDIENTS;

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1~2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 cups
-Soy sauce: 2 cups
-Sugar: 2 large tablespoons
-Salt: 2 pinches

NOTE:
One can and ought (according to prefences) to add mirin/sweet sake, star anise, lemon zest, green parts of leeks and so on!

RECIPE:

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-Get everything prepared first!

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-Cut the pork into about 6cm wide slices.

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-Fry pork on both sides first. This will help the meat suck in the “juices”!

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-Fry until the colour above is reached.

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-Scoop out the excess fat, taking care not to run it over the meat.
The picture above shows how much fat can scooped out!
If you use a non-stick frypan, there is no need to add oil before frying the pork, meaning less fat to scoop out!

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-In a large and deep pan, drop in the meat. Add water just to cover meat. Switch on the fire. You can add water later litle by little to keep it above the meat.
Add ginger, leeks (green part), lemon zest (whole or minced) and star anise.
If you want to make it sweet, add a whole sliced onion!

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-Make sure that all ingredients are clean. Check that the lemons are not waxed (in that case clean it out!)!

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-Once brought to a boil, add soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin/sweet sake and sugar.
Last, add salt (important!).

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-Lower fire to low and continue scooping out any scum.

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-When no more scum appears, cover with lid or a large piece of foil paper and simmer for a whole hour.
Check from time to time if there is enough soup in the pan. If the soup level goes under that of top of the meat, the taste will become too strong. Add water and Japanese sake until the soup reaches the meat level.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-k

-Above picture shows starting point of the simmering process.

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-Above picture shows the finished product inside the deep pan!
Check if the meat is well cooked. A pointed (Japanese-style) chopstick should easily go through the meat all the way.
But this does not mean you can eat it at once.
It is best to switch off the fire, let the cover on, and let it cool completely. Only then, the meat will be fully impregnated with the taste!
It will taste a lot better re-heated before serving it!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Taberu Rayu/Okinawa Chili Oil. Home-made Recipe!

Chili oil (also called hot chili oil or hot oil) is a condiment made from vegetable oil that has been infused with dried chili peppers and sometimes also additional ingredients. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine, East and Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Particularly popular in Sichuan cuisine, it is used as an ingredient in cooked dishes as well as a condiment. It is sometimes used as a dipping sauce for meat and dim sum. It is also employed in the Korean Chinese noodle soup dish jjamppong.

The Japanese variety of Chinese chili oil is known as rāyu (ラー油 or 辣油), used in Japan as a cooking ingredient or as a condiment. The default kind is typically a clear, chili-infused sesame oil, and the chopped chili pepper used is typically red, imparting a reddish tint to the oil. Other ingredients used may include soy oil, corn oil, dried aloe, ginger, guava leaves, leek leaves, paprika, and turmeric.

Beginning in 2009, a new type of product originating from Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, known as taberu rāyu (食べるラー油 or 辣油, literally, “rāyu for eating”) became a trend in 2010. This variety is known for reduced spiciness, and in addition to the usual oil, chunks of food are included such as fried garlic and fried onion. However, the variety that includes food in the chili oil, as noted above, has existed in China since ancient times.

Here is a recipe to prepare it at home!

INGREDIENTS:

-Salad oil: 100 ml
Sesame oil: 50 ml
-Dried chili pepper: 1
-Fresh ginger: as appropriate (pieces)
-Fresh thin leek: 1 10-cm long piece
Dried shrimps: 10 g
-White sesame seeds: 10 g
-Korean chili powder (or chili powder): 15 g
-Gochujang: 20 g (See recipe for gochujang here)
-Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons
-Sugar: 1 teaspoon
-Fried garlic: 10 g
Fried onion: 10 g

RECIPE:

in a large bowl drop dried shrimps (chop them beforehand), chili powder, sesame oil (1 tablespoon out of the 50 ml needed) and white sesame seeds.
Mix well.

In a fry pan, pour the salad oil, the remaining sesame oil, and add the dried chili pepper, thin leek (cut) and ginger.
Fry over a light fire for 2 minutes to perfume the oil.

Take chili pepper, leek and ginger out before they get burned.
Heat the oil over a strong fire until its starts smoking.
Take off fire at once.

Add hot oil in two or three steps into the bowl containing mixed shrimps, chili powder, seasmes seeds and sesame oil.
The whole should hiss when you add the oil!

Add all the other remaining ingredients and mix well.

Once cooled down you can preserve it in a sealed jar for up to a month at room temperature.

Note: If you cannot find dried garlic or onion cut some in slices and dry-fry them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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