Category Archives: vegetables

Shizuoka Food Fair 2

Shizuoka Wasabi! (80% of the national production!)

As I said in my first installment, Shizuoka Prefecture has put some efforts into advertizing their own goods, as for agriculture and crafts, for some time, and a fairly big Food Fair (しずおか食の彩典) was organized on the 19th and 20th of February at Twin Messe in Shizuoka City.

This is the second part of my report, so please follow me!

M C Food Service Co. Ltd. Now, what is that lonely gentleman serving?

Croquettes and Spicy fried potatoes! Can you guess which one is called Mount Fuji Croquette?

Fujieda Asa Ramen/Fujieda City Morning Ramen. Yes, they eat ramen in the morning there!

They are also called “Chuuka Soba/中華そば”. Unfortunately they didn’t serve any but in their packs!

Marumatsu Co. Ltd. in Hamamatsu City. They make gyooza/餃子!

The free samples were already gone!

Some stands offered specialties from other prefectures: Yonezawa Beef Charcoal-Grilled Beef/米沢牛炭火焼肉!

They also had croquettes!

Rooster Foods. Now, where did they come from? Among others they served yakisoba!

And Okonomiyaki! They are from Fujinomiya!

Masaki Shoten, specializing in beef from Sasebo (Kyushu Island), 100% beef and American style…

Sasebo Beef Brochettes!

Marikomine Giant Tai Yaki!

Never saw such big Tai Yaki before!

Izumi Foods serving Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki/広島焼 and yakisoba wrapped in omelette/オムそば!

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, unless it is another variety just called Hiroshima Yaki!

Shioya Foods also serving Sasebo Beef, but as hamburgers!

Beef Tongue Sausages/牛タンソーセージ! Now, that’s a first!

Field Co. from Miyazaki Prefecture (Kyushu Island) serving their own beef!

These doughnuts are not a Miyazaki Prefecture’ specialty, but Okinawan Saataa-andagi/サーターアンダギー!

El Corazon Co. were serving Japanese favorites.

Deep-fried seafood cakes made from octopus, shrimps, scallops and so on.

Yokote yakisoba from Akita Prefecture!

The fried eggs will be served on top of the yakisoba!

Back to Shizuoka with the famous oden restaurant, Umi Boozu/海ぼうず!

Shizuoka Oden!

To be continued soon (hopefully still in the proper sequence! LOL)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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

Shizuoka Food Fair 1

Shizuoka Prefecture has put some efforts into advertizing their own goods, as for agriculture and crafts, for some time, and a fairly big Food Fair (しずおか食の彩典) was organized on the 19th and 20th of February at Twin Messe in Shizuoka City.

The event was a good start, but I wished it would have been a bit better organized and more lively, but Shizuoka is probably the most conservative prefecture in Japan for all its incredible products and producers and it will take some time before it really becomes a full-fledged event. At least let’s give them a chance!

Still, there was a lot to see (and taste), and I will try to show everything in a series of easy-to read articles!

Next time I meet some of the organizers I will tell them (it is my “job”, actually!) to better indicate the way!
Only one board (in the wrong place) and no sign at the entrance of the actual hall!

Although I came at the very time of the opening, I can’t say that the information desk was very useful…

I tried to follow the “official sequence” and started with the JA/Japan Agriculture (government-sponsored) booths.
This is the JA Suruga (Suruga Bay) booth with plenty of oranges.

JA Shimizu (Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku) does represent a very large area and products.
They chose to concentrate on “Red Ole” tomatoes and “Harumi” oranges!

The JA Shizuoka City, covering an even larger area!

Beautiful green tea for all to enjoy!

JA Oigawa, from Central Shizuoka Prefecture.

“Aoshima” Oranges. So cheap!

JA Hainan, a vegetable-growing area.

Beautiful lettuces and shiny daikon!

JA Shizuoka Prefecture. Now, that is covering an area with the population of New Zealand….

Celery! Fair enough, Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of the total national crop!

Shizuoka Prefecture Strawberry Growers Association.
Now, we are talking about big business!

I must say that the “Strawberry Lady” had a great way with customers and reporters!

“Benihoppe/Red Cheeks” Strawberries! Considered as the best in Japan!

The next series of booths dealt with ready-to-serve-food in general.
Pizza Nao from Hamamatsu City.

Oven-Baked pizzas inside a trailer!
Looking forward to my next trip to Hamamatsu City! LOL

Soft Ice creams at the Cornette trailer!

Judging form the looks of the lady, these soft ice creams ought to be delicious!

Shirokiya Cakes!
After proceeding from A7 directly to H1, I found myself searching in the program for E20…. (Organization, please!)

But the Japanese cakes/wagashi certainly looked beautiful and yummy!

To be continued soon (hopefully in the proper sequence! LOL)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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

Japanese Vegetables 2: lotus Roots/Renkon/蓮根

lotus-root1

Lotus roots come from a plant called Nelumbo nucifera, also known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years.
A common misconception is referring to the lotus as a water-lily (Nymphaea), an entirely different plant.

Native to Greater India and commonly cultivated in water gardens, the lotus is the national flower of India and Vietnam.

The flowers, seeds, young leaves, and “roots” (rhizomes) are all edible. In Asia, the petals are used sometimes for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food. In Korea, the leaves and petals are used as a tisane. Yeonkkotcha (연꽃차) is made with dried petals of white lotus and yeonipcha (연잎차) is made with the leaves. The rhizome (called ǒu (藕) in pinyin Chinese, ngau in Cantonese, bhe in Hindi, renkon (レンコン, 蓮根 in Japanese), yeongeun (연근) in Korean is used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried and braised dishes. Petals, leaves, and rhizome can also all be eaten raw, but there is a risk of parasite transmission (e.g., Fasciolopsis buski): it is therefore recommended that they be cooked before eating.

FACTS:

-Season (in Japan): September~December

-Analytic data (as per 100g):

Energy: 66 kcal
Water: 81.5 g
Protein: 1.9 g
Carbohydrates: 15.5 g

Inorganic qualities:
Natriu: 24 mg
Potassium: 440 mg
Calcium: 20 mg
Iron: 00.5 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg
Manganese: 0.78 mg

Vitamins:
B1: 0.10 mg
B6: 0.09 mg

Dietary fibers: 5.7 g

HEALTH FACTS:

-Combined with liver, or beef, or pork, or chicken, helps revitalize human blood and organs.

-Combined with turnips, or daikon, or beansprouts, or trefoil, helps digestion and bowels.

-Combined with leafy vegetables, or potato, or apples, helps combat cancer and obesity.

-Combined with konnyaku, or celery, or lettuce, or green peppers, helps lower blood cholesterol. helps combat artery hardening and prevent heart diseases.

VARIETIES

Kaga Renkon/加賀れんこん

Very fine texture and high content in starch,
Best appreciated steamed.

Iwakuni Renkon/岩国れんこん

Large specimen with large holes.

TIPS:

-Choose specimens with a clear white cut section. There should not be any black spots.
-Use large specimen as they are easier to cut and use.
-To prevent oxydising, wrap cut specimen into wet kitchen paper.
-Add vinegar to water when boling them to keep them white.
-The easiest way to peel them is to use a potato peeler!

COOKING:

The stamens can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea called liánhuā cha (蓮花茶) in Chinese, or (particularly in Vietnam) used to impart a scent to tea leaves. The lotus seeds or nuts (called liánzĭ, 蓮子; or xian liánzĭ, 鲜莲子, in Chinese) are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn, phool makhana. They can also be boiled until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to make a tong sui (sweet soup). Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste becomes one of the most common ingredient used in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku, and rice flour pudding.

Japanese popular Renkon dishes:

lotus-root-nimono

“NIMONO”

lotus-root-sumono

“SUMONO”

lotus-root-kimpira

“KIMPIRA”

“STUFFED LOTUS ROOTS”

“DEEP-FRIED LOTUS ROOT SANDWICH”

lotus-roots-chips

“CHIPS”

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
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Japanese Vegetables 1: Burdock Root/Gobou/牛蒡

Burdock root, greater burdock or edible burdock root is called “gobou/牛蒡” in Japanese.
Its Latin name is Arctium lappa.

Although it is a root vegetable with great nutritious and even medical properties, it is commonly eaten only in Japan and Taiwan.

This species is native to the temperate regions of the old world, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and from the British Isles through Russia, and the Middle East to China and Japan, including India.

It is naturalized almost everywhere and is usually found in disturbed areas, especially in soil rich in nitrogen. It is commonly cultivated in Japan.

It prefers a fresh, worked soil, rich in humus, and should be positioned in full sunlight. Burdock is very reactive to nitrogen fertilizer. Propagation is achieved through sowing the seeds midsummer. The harvest occurs three to four months after the seeding until late autumn, when the roots become too fibrous.
In shizuoka it is more and more cultivated in organic fashion with natural/organic fertilizer and no pesticides.

Greater burdock was used during the Middle Ages as a vegetable, but now it is rarely used, with the exception of Japan where it is called gobō (牛蒡 or ゴボウ), Taiwan (牛蒡), Korea where it is called ueong (우엉), Italy, Brazil and Portugal, where it is known as bardana. Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about 1 meter long and 2 cm across.

Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear. The taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related.

The root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. The harshness shows excellent harmonization with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and takikomi gohan (a Japanese-style pilaf).

A popular Japanese dish is kinpira gobō, julienned or shredded burdock root and carrot, braised with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and/or sake, and sesame oil. Another is burdock makizushi (rolled sushi filled with pickled burdock root; the burdock root is often artificially colored orange to resemble a carrot). In Kyoto, gobō can also be found as a snack food similar to potato chips. The root is eaten cooked and the young sprout can be eaten just like asparagus. Gobo is also used in tempura.

Apart of its obvious culinary value, it is also valuable for its high content in dietary fibers and beneficiary nutrients.
It has been utilized as a medicinal plant with diuretic, diaphoretic, and blood purifying capabilities. The Japanese have also recognized it to prevent cancer and combat diabetes.

FACTS:

-Season (in Japan): November to January and April to May

-Analytic data (as per 100g):

Energy: 65 kcal
Water: 81.7 g
Protein: 1.8 g
Carbohydrates: 15.4 g
Ash: 0.9 g

Inorganic qualities:
Potassium: 320 mg
Calcium: 46 mg
Magnesium: 54 mg
Phosphorus: 62 mg
Iron: 0,7 mg
Zinc: 0.8 mg

Vitamins:
B1: 0.05 mg
B6: 0.10 mg

Dietary fibers: 5.7 g

HEALTH FACTS:

-Combined with seaweed (wakame), or celery, or enoki mushroom, or konnyaku, helps prevent high blood pressure and blood vessels hardening, helps with hair health and recovery from constipation.
-Combined with dried daikon, or shiitake mushrooms, or celery, or turnips, helps prevent cancer, helps fotiify stomach, and increases skin qulaity.
-Combined with hijiki sweet seaweed, or tofu, or bamboo shoots, or agar agar, helps reduce blood cholesterol and general diets.
-Combined with whole rice (genmai), or oatmeal, or corn flakes, helps prevent diabetes, helps combat obesity and helps prevent blood vessels hardening.

VARIETIES:

Common burdock/gobou/牛蒡

Oura Gobou/大浦ごぼう (on the left), a very thick variety, which reaches 10cm in diameter for 1 meter in length.

Yama Gobou/山gpぼう, a thinner and shorter variety.

Super Risou Gobou/スーパー理想ごぼう, a75 cm long and thin variety with a smooth skin.

TIPS
Do not peel before cooking as the skins contain a lot of nutrients.
Just brush the dirt away under clear running water
Can be easily preserved frozen once cooked

GASTRONOMY

Steamed and seasone burdock root

Simmered burdock appetizer

“Kinpira” burdock, thinly cut and fried with sake, soy sauce, mirin and chili sesame oil.

Simmered Oura Gobou.

Grilled gobou salad

Mixed vegetable “kinpira”

Super Risou Gobou salad/appetizer

Steamed/fried Yama Gobou

Vegan Yama Gobou Sushi

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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

Simple Recipes: Ratatouille

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ratatouille.jpg
Ratatouille as accompaniment to Stuffed Tomato and Grilled Goat Cheese

In Summer Ratatouille will please both omnivores and vegetarians as it can be served on its own as it is or as an accompaniment to other foods (see pic above).
It can be made in almost any country in the world, but particularly here in Shizuoka Prefecture due to the abundance of great vegetables!

Ingredients (for 4 to 6 people):
Onions: 3 large
Aubergines (egg-plants): 4
Courgettes (zucchini): 4
Tomatoes: 500g
Peppers (pimento): 2 to 4 (mix colours)
Garlic: 2 cloves
Olive oil: 1 cup (extra virgin oil PLEASE!)
Bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, laurel)
Salt & pepper to taste
Soft spices to taste (clove, nutmeg, sage, etc.)

Recipe:

Peel and slice the onions, aubergines and courgettes. Cut the tomatoes in pieces. Cit in strips the peppers after ridding them of their seeds.
Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan. Throw in the onions first and one minute later all the vegetables the garlic cloves , the bouquet garni, salt, peppers and spices.
Cover and let simmer on small fire for one hour and thirty minutes, mixing now and then to prevent the stew to stick on the bottom of the saucepan.
If too much water is rtill left in the stew, half cover halfway. Take garlic and bouquwr garni before serving.
NOTES: This the basic recipe. I usually add some tomato puree. The size of the cut vegetables depend on their purpose. The smaller they are cut, the shorter the cooking time. Can be served hot as accompaniment (side dish) or as main course for vegetarians (add chick peas!) or refrigerated as snacks for beer in summer.

Today’s “bento”/boxed lunch

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bento1.jpg

On Mondays, as I’m too busy to come back home for lunch, my better (worse?) half usually prepares a boxed lunch, or “bento”, in various guises.

This time, it was all very Japanese:
bento3.gif
As for staples, she made “shirogoma to tobiko tsuke shyouga nigiri” (balls of rice steamed with fresh ginger topeed with white seame seeds and flying fish roe), “tamafoyaki” (Japanese omelette) and pickled fresh ginger roots.

bento2.gif
As for garnish, she fried asparaguses inside bacon to go with French pickles, fresh mini tomatoes, golden kiwi fruit, lettuce and processed cheese.

All this with avegetable juice pack.
Cannot complain, can I?