Category Archives: Wagashi

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi for Vegans/Vegetarians 2: Recipe-Anko/Sweetmeats

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One main ingredients in traditional Wagashi/Japanese Cakes is “anko/餡子” (or more simply “an”) which can be translated as “sweetmeats” or “bean jam”.

Actually few people know that it was first conceived and made in a temple in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

I would like here to introduce a simple way to make one’s own “anko” at home:

INGREDIENTS:

Azuki/Adzuki/red beans (in Japanese: 小豆): 150 g
Sugar: 150g
Salt: a little

RECIPE:

a) Wash azuki lightly. Put in a large basin with an equal amount of water and turn on heat to high.

b) Bring to boil. If beans level is higher that of water, add water till beans are completely covered. Let simmer. Add water 2 or 3 times as soon as the water does not cover completely the beans and this until beans stop floating on water.

c) Drain beans, put them back into basin with same amount of water and turn fire to high. Repeat a) operation.

d) Cook as c) for 40~60 minutes.

e) Mash azuki beans lightly. Add sugar. Simmer and stir to mix, making sure the jam does not overboil.

f) Add a little salt (to your taste) and mix.
Let cool completely.
You can eat it as it is of course, but you will need it to make your cakes!
You can either sieve it to make it a very fine paste, sieve a part and mix it with the unsieved part, or use it as it is. In any case it will be easy to fashion!

WAGASHI-ANKO

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

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi for Vegans/Vegetarians 1: Introduction

WAGASHI-1

There is a traditional way of making cakes in Japan that ought to please no end vegans, vegetarians and people allergic to wheat flour and dairy products, namely Wagashi!

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from naturally based (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana (phonetic writing).

Generally, confectioneries that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

WAGASHI-2
Assortment of wagashi for a tea ceremony

During the Edo period, the production of sugarcane in Okinawa became highly productive, and low quality brown sugar as well as heavily processed white sugar became widely available. A type of sugar, wasanbon, was perfected in this period and is still used exclusively to make wagashi. Wagashi was a popular gift between samurai, in significance much like a good wine. Wagashi is served as part of a Japanese tea ceremony, and serving a good seasonal wagashi shows one’s educational background.

WAGASHI-3
Wagashi in the shape of rape flowers/Na no Hana

There are many, many kinds of Wagashi!
I will introduce them in the next postings, followed by other postings on the basic preparation.

WAGASHI-ABEKAWAMOCHI-2
Shizuoka’s Abekawa Mochi

Just know that about every region in Japan has its own traditional Wagashi!

Availability:
Wagashi is widely available in Japan, but quite rare outside it.
Minamoto Kitchoan (源 吉兆庵)
Has a varied selection, and stores in New York City (shipping throughout the US), London (shipping throughout Europe), and Singapore, in addition to Japan.
Toraya (とらや)
Has a full Paris store, stores in Japan, and sells a limited selection (yōkan only) at New York stores.
Fugetsu-do
Family owned and operated in the USA, since 1903, Fugetsu-do now ships anywhere in the USA.

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

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 1: Introduction

WAGASHI-1

There is a traditional way of making cakes in Japan that ought to please no end vegans and people allergic to wheat flour and dairy products, namely Wagashi!

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from natural based (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana.

Generally, confectioneries that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

WAGASHI-2
Assortment of wagashi for a tea ceremony

During the Edo period, the production of sugarcane in Okinawa became highly productive, and low quality brown sugar as well as heavily processed white sugar became widely available. A type of sugar, wasanbon, was perfected in this period and is still used exclusively to make wagashi. Wagashi was a popular gift between samurai, in significance much like a good wine. Wagashi is served as part of a Japanese tea ceremony, and serving a good seasonal wagashi shows one’s educational background.

WAGASHI-3
Wagashi in the shape of rape flowers/Na no Hana

There are many, many kinds of Wagashi.
I will introduce them in the next posting, followed by another posting on the basic preparation.

WAGASHI-ABEKAWAMOCHI-2
Shizuoka’s Abekawa Mochi

Just know that about every region in Japan has its own traditional Wagashi!

Avaibility:
Wagashi is widely available in Japan, but quite rare outside it.
Minamoto Kitchoan (源 吉兆庵)
Has a varied selection, and stores in New York City (shipping throughout the US), London (shipping throughout Europe), and Singapore, in addition to Japan.
Toraya (とらや)
Has a full Paris store, stores in Japan, and sells a limited selection (yōkan only) at New York stores.
Fugetsu-do
Family owned and operated in the USA, since 1903, Fugetsu-do now ships anywhere in the USA.

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

Shizuoka Green Tea & Wagashi Cake at Shizuoka JR Station: KIssa Issa Tea Cafe!

Service: Extremely kind and hospitable
Facilities and Equipment: Spotless clean. Entirely non-smiking!
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great variety of green tea from Shizuoka City only on sale. Choice of three different teas offered every week. Local wagashi cakes!

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4 years ago, in June exactly, Shizuoka JR Station was completely renovated and the basement linking the city to the north exit saw the birth of some very interesting shops!
If you arrive directly at Shizuoka JR Station take the stairs down and you will find Kissa Issa Tea cafe on your left. You will find it on your right if you reach the station from the basement passageway!

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You are graciously invited to taste Shizuoka City Green Tea!
This cute little cafe was the idea behind a collaboration project between the Shizuoka City Tea Growers Association and the Municipal Government of Shizuoka City!

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A great range of green tea bags, regularly changed, for a very reasonable price!
Bear in mind that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan and that Shizuoka City is one of the main growing areas!

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The whole list of Green Tea Growers and Companies in Shizuoka City!

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You can also buy take-out hot green tea (but consume it on site. This is not Starbucks!)!

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Green is the color of tea!
Closed on Wednesdays only, but always open on week-ends and National Holidays for the pleasure of the many visitors!

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Smokers, keep out if you please!

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More green teas on sale inside! The tea on offer is regularly changed to enable the sale of all the Shizuoka City green tea!

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The Tea Cafe! A great place for a break between two trains or a rendez-vous with a special one!

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Great staff! Local, smiling and so attentive!

SN3O0333The menu!

Written in Japanese, but the staff will try their best to explain it!

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The three teas proposed on the menu every week are also displayed for purchase near the cash register!

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There were two different Japanese wagashi cakes available made by Friand Kadoya, a top-class wagashi shop in Inagawa Cho, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City, just south of the JR Station!
The one I chose is a kinton and sweetmeat/anko cake named Na no Hana/rapeseed flower!

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And the tea I chose was a Tamachi No Aji Ichiban (made with first tea crop leaves)!

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My set!
The staff prepare the first cup of tea and serve a pot of water for the next cups!

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The first cup of green tea!

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The brown pot contains enough hot water for the second and third cups of tea.
For the second cup of tea you pour hot water into the green pot first and then into the small tea pot filled with leaves.
This way your tea will be at the right temperature.
As for the third cup you pour directly the hot water from the brown pot into the small tea pot as the temperature will just right inside the brown pot by then!

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The wagshi cake, a little jewel!

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It is supposed to represent the shape of rape seed flowers!

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Filled with sweetmeat!
And it’s vegan!
Made by Friand Kadoya (see below for details!)!

KISSA ISSA/一茶
Shizuoka JR Station, North Exit, Basement Square
Tel.: 054-253-0030
Opening hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Entirely non-smoking!

FRIAND KADOYA Western and Wagashi Cakes
422-8062 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Inagawa, 1-2-29
Tel.: 054-285-6860
Fax: 054-284-7037
Opening hours: 09:00~19:00
Closed on Mondays and some holidays in January and August

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, 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: 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

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

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Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

Here are some more suggestions for Christmas Cakes through re-published articles!
Have fun!

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

christmas-wagashi-2

Flowery Christmas!

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What’s in Santa’s bag?

christmas-wagashi-4

Bring your forks and knives!

christmas-wagashi-5

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

christmas-wagashi-6

For the toddlers!

christmas-wagashi-7

Pity you have to eat it!

christmas-wagashi-8

Definitely Japanese-style!

christmas-wagashi-9

They almost look like sushi!

christmas-wagashi-10

Elegant simplicity!

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 18: Sweet Potato Wagashi Recipe

Sweet potatoes or Satsuma Imo/薩摩芋 in Japanese are a popular vegetable throughout the world as it can be accomodated both as a vegetable dish or a dessert!
The Japanese make a great use of it in Wagashi/和菓子/Japanese cakes, especially in home-cooking!
Here is a very simple and easy to adapt recipe that will please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, kids and adults!
The style is ohagi/おはぎ!

SATSUMA IMO OHAGI/薩摩芋おはぎ RECIPE

-INGREDIENTS (for 6 balls)
Sweet potato (steamed): 70g
Marmelade or yuzu (Japanese Lime) jam: 1 tablespoon
White miso paste (shiro miso): 2.5g (small teaspoon)
Sweetmeats/Anko/餡子: 120=150g
Ground sesame seeds: as you like

-RECIPE

Steam the sweet potato or soften it ina microwave oev. Mix it well with the white miso and the jam.

Form 6 balls of equal size.

Divide the sweetmeats into 6 equal portions.
Spread one portion over a piece of cellophane paper into a circle large enough to wrap around the whole sweet potato ball.

Place a sweet potato ball in the center of the sweetmeat circle.

This is the only “difficult” part you will master easily enough: bring the cellophane paper sides up and twist them together so as to form a ball by bringing the sweetmeat around the sweet potato ball.

If you think that the ball is too warm to unwrap easily after all this work, leave it in the fridge until before serving (not in the freezer!).
Unwrap the balls over a serving plate and sprinkle them with ground sesame seeds.
Naturally it is open to your imagination!

Have the kids make them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

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

Flowery Christmas!

What’s in Santa’s bag?

Bring your forks and knives!

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

For the toddlers!

Pity you have to eat it!

Definitely Japanese-style!

They almost look like sushi!

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

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

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

Baked Yatsuhashi

Raw Yatsuhashi

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

Black Yatsuhashi

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

Different flavoured Yatsuhashi

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

DAIFUKU-1

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

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

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

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

VATIETIES:

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

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

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-1

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

RECIPE:

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

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

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

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

-Pass through a sieve, or process.

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

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-3

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-1

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

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

RECIPE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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

DANGO-1a
(Mitarashi Dango)

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

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

RECIPE:

DANGO-RECIPE-1

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

DANGO-RECIPE-2

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

DANGO-RECIPE-4

Let the rice dry for two hours.

DANGO-RECIPE-3

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

DANGO-RECIPE-5

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

DANGO-RECIPE-6

Finish the job with mortar and pestle.

DANGO-RECIPE-7

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

DANGO-RECIPE-8

Add water and mix well with spoon.

DANGO-RECIPE-9

Divide into small portions and steam for 15 minutes.

DANGO-RECIPE-10

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

DANGO-RECIPE-11

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

DANGO-RECIPE-12

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子11: Dango-団子-Sweet Dumplings

DANGO-1a
(Mitarashi Dango)

Dango (団子) is a Japanese dumpling made from mochi-ko (rice flour), related to mochi. It is often served with green tea.
In Edo times, they were very popular at tea stands along the country roads.

Dango are eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten in given seasons. Three to four dango are often served on a skewer. One variety of dango from Hokkaidō is made from potato flour and baked with shoyu (soy sauce).

Types of dango:

There are many different varieties of dango which are usually named after the various seasonings served on or with it.

DANGO-2
Chadango: Green-tea flavored Dango.

DANGO-4
Dango served covered with anko.

Actually, if you want to write all about Dango, you’d need to publish a whole book!

But I will publish an easy recipe tomorrow!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子10: Youkan-Easy Recipe-Mizu Youkan

MIZU-YOKAN-1

Youkan come in many guises. Here is an easy and very basic recipe for “Mizu Youkan” that you will be able to adapt into many creations of yours! For vegans, vegetarians and omnivores!

INGREDIENTS:
-Boiled azuki beans: 1 can (430 g)
-Brown sugar: 60 g
-Salt: a pinch
-Agar agar Powder (“kanten” in Japanese): 4 g
-Water: 300 ml + 300 ml

RECIPE:

MIZU-YOKAN-2

Blend beans and 300 ml of water until smooth.

MIZU-YOKAN-3

Pass mixture through fine sieve.

MIZU-YOKAN-4

In 300 ml of water drop agar agar. Bring to boil, stiring at the same time. Then keep stiring vover medium fire for 1 minute.

MIZU-YOKAN-5

Switch off fire. Add sugar and salt. Mix well. Add bean paste. Mix well.

MIZU-YOKAN--6

Pour in recipients of your choice (that is when the fun starts!) and let cool completely. Keep in fridge (not too cold, please). Take out of recipient and serve!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子9: Youkan/羊羹

YOUKAN-JELLY

Here is another popular type of Japanese Wagashi fit for Vegans and Vegetarians: Youkan!

YOUKAN-MIZUYOKAN
Mizu Youkan

Yōkan (羊羹) is a thick jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar (寒天/”kanten” in Japanese), and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices.

There are two main types: neri yōkan and mizu yōkan. “Mizu” means “water”, and indicates that it is made with more water than usual. Mizu yōkan is often chilled and eaten in summer.
Although most yōkan found in Japan and abroad are typically made with red bean paste, yōkan made from white kidney bean paste (しろあん, 白餡, “shiro an” in Japanese) are also relatively common. This type of yōkan is milky and translucent with a much milder flavour than the ones made of red bean paste.

YOUKAN-GREENTEAYOUKAN
Tea Youkan

As such, they can be effectively flavored and colored by using green tea powder or matcha.

YOUKAN-TRICOLOUR

MizuyōkanYōkan may also contains chopped chestnuts, persimmons, whole sweetened azuki beans, figs, and sweet potato, among other additions. Sugar can be also be substituted with honey, dark brown sugar, or molasses to alter the taste of the yōkan produced. There is also shio yōkan, which uses small amounts of salt (shio/塩) as an additive.

Other Pictures of Youkan:

YOUKAN-BICOLOUR

YOUKAN-CHERRY

YOUKAN-PINK

I will introduce an easy recipe soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery