Tag Archives: トマト

Shizuoka Prefecture Appetizer: Fujiyama Beef, Utogi Wasabi & Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes!

There are days when things seem to click out of nowhere!
The Missus last night brought home some beef from the newly opened Cenova Department Store.
This was Fujiyama Beef, the equivalent of Kobe Beef bred in Shizuoka Prefecture!
It is expensive but when the Missus noticed the 30% discount tag when she visited the place in the evening she did not hesitate!

The Missus sauteed the four slices (two for each…) up to medium rare in top-class olive oil. Nothing else, good girl!

We had a small pack of Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes from Iwata City in the fridge. These tomatoes are being grown here and there in Japan these days but until recently only two farmers were growing them in our Prefecture in the whole of Japan. These are very firm and sweet and are eaten like a dessert!

I also happened to have quite a few fresh wasabi roots in the fridge. These were offered to me by farmers who grow them in Utogi, Shizuoka City, the very birthplace of wasabi!
Since Shizuoka Prefecture grows 80% of the total crop in Japan, it is quite a common pleasure here to grate your own wasabi!

Just some grated wasabi and salt for the beef… Simple is best and most extravagant!
incidentally, the red salt is a present from Hawai!
Mind you, true to tell, the rest of the dinner was a bit of an anticlimax! LOL

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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

Ice Plants & Tomatoes in Yaizu City: Ooba Garden

Mr. Hiroyuki Ooba/大場弘之, growing ice plants and tomatoes at Ooba Garden/おおば農園 in Yaizu City/焼津市

“Looking forward to diversify!”

Meeting 100 students in my classes at University does prove useful when I wish to discover new producers and farmers as in Shizuoka Prefecture some of these very students are bound to be the sons and daughters of local farmers!

One such student was kind enough to introduce to her father, Mr. Hiroyuki Ooba (51) growing ice plants and tomatoes in his farm!
He kindly accepted to pick me up at Fuijeda City JR Station last Sunday on a beautiful day.

Yaizu City and its surroundings being a very flat area we can admire Mount Fuji in the distance all day long!

Mr. Ooba is second generation farmer.
His father was mainly cultivating tomatoes and cucumbers before he took over.
He has since stopped growing cucumbers to concentrate on other green vegetables, always experimenting on new varieties and species.

Mr. Ooba apologized for the “messy” farm, but actually I found it very welcoming with those old pine trees at the entrance!

Well, this certainly looks like a real farm!
Many bicycles! Mr. Ooba has two daughters, the second one being my student and a son, the youngest of his children still at high school, but who already has decided to attend Agricultural university to follow in his father’s steps!

Mr. Ooba grows ice plants in greenhouses covering 6a and 5a, whereas tomatoes are grown in 3 greenhouses for a total area of 12a.

Mr. Ooba started growing ice plants/アイスプラント a couple of years ago, thinking that these African vegetables should be easy to grow in a hot environment. He was surprised to find out that they didn’t like heat much after all!

Enormous ice plants!

The Japanese eat only the top part of the ice plant raw which is crispy and are not interested in the larger leaves as they don’t cook them. on the other hand the plant grows quickly and can be continuously harvested for its top crispy young leaves.

Mr. Ooba allots some space for his own needs: Qing geng cai/チンゲンサイ and thin leeks/細葱.

He also grows and partly sells cabbages as the land is propitious to vegetables whereas trees such as orange trees are not really suited.
Incidentally a great part of Yaizu City farmland is dedicated to rice, which is of very good quality.

Mr. Ooba and his father have been growing tomatoes for about 40 years.
They used to grow Momotaro tomatoes, but Hiroyuki thought he was getting better results with Misora 64 tomatoes.
he grows between August and December and again between January and May. Between May and August he will grow some Momotaro tomatoes.

The cultivation system is nutriculture/養液栽培, a system that he found most practical over the years allowing for a better control and reduction of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

For all the practicality of this system, cultivation is not that easy.
Plants have to be regularly trimmed and prunes.
One big tomato might look good (above picture) but all tomatoes after that big beauty will not develop properly.

You have to choose two sizes and the consequent technique according to consumer and market demands.
Either you grow them big and few as above or,

or clusters of smaller but more regular and abundant tomatoes!

I personally tend to like them in-between but I’m being selfish.
In any case we already agreed on a second interview next may when i will be able to find great quantities to choose from!

Messrs. Hiroyuki Ooba/大場弘之 and Hajime Matsuda/松田肇 of Six berry Farmers!

I found out that Mr. Ooba is actually a friend of Hajime Matsuda, one of the six merry Berry Farmers growing Toukun/桃薫, peach strawberries!
Funnily enough it was discovery for Hiroyuki!

The three of us shared a long constructive talk about future ventures.
Hiroyuki is seriously thinking of starting grapes and fancy pumpkins next year. great fun in store for me!

Although Mr. Ooba’s vegetables are sold in Yaizu City markets, direct orders are gladly accepted through the phoneor by mail!

Ooba Garden, Mr. Hiroyuki Ooba
421-0212, Shizuoka ken, Yaizu Shi, Riemon, 250-2
421-0212静岡県焼津市利右衛門250-2
Tel.: 054-622-2661
Mobile: 090-3839-7027
E-mail: rynca@live.jp
Mobile E-mail: lycoper@ezweb.ne.jp

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Polyculture: Shigehiko Suzuki at Shige-Chan Garden

Shigehiko Suzuki/鈴木重彦 goes by the nickname “Shige-Chan”, which is also the name of his agricultural enterprise. Actually people have called him simply Shige-chan, a mark of respect from his peers in the local world of agriculture.

As usual On Wednesdays, my good friend Natsuko Koyanagi was on hand to help!

Shige-chan is a polyvalent farmer.
He grows a lot of cress/cresson, a vegetable which has become increasingly popular. He grows it on no less than 220 tsubo/~700 square meters! The above culture is done on “Buckets”.

He also grows “Fruitical” tomatoes on 600 more tsubo~2,000 square meters.
All agricultural land is rented!

Although he says that the tomatoes are not up to par in summer, they certainly look beautiful!

The best season is in February but they need great care all year round.
Shige-Chan’s hooby is arm wrestling, so I’m sure he has the stamina!
Would you believe he has only one gentle old lady to help him do all the picking?

Tomatoes are not attached to poles but kept standing by ropes attached to the “ceiling” of the greenhouses!

It was very hot that day (26 degrees on September 22nd!) and it was even hotter inside!

The gourds seemed to have a good time though!
Shige-chan uses as little pesticides as possiblle and works with his own brand of fertilizers.

And walking between each greenhouse contributed to a lot of lost sweat if not weight!

His other hobby is pisciculture!

This cress is cultivated in “hedge-style”
A central-heating system keeps the temperature above 8~10 degrees in winter while a ventilator systems keep the cress cool in summer.
Incidentally cress must be allowed to flower!

These tomatoes were seeded 6 weeks ago.

But his very first culture has always been roses for the last 22 years after he finished high school!
Quite a lot of them on 80 tsubos/~260 square meters!

An interesting variety, although

Shige-chan specialises in mini-roses of his own brand.

All roses ae grown in the “arch method” for even culture and straight stems.

Tomatoes ready to be delivered.
Shige-Chan spends every morning of the year (with the sole exception on New Year) from 06:00 t0 11:00 sorting, packaging and sending his tomatoes and cress all over Shizuoka Prefecture and as far as Tokyo!

Tough guy!

Shige-Chan Garden (Mr. Shigehiko Suzuki)
421-2118 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Uchimaki, 1720
Tel.: 090-2773-5182
Fax: 054-207-7268
HOMEPAGE (Japanese
BLOG (Japanese)

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Vegan Italian Cuisine: Appetizer at Il Paladino

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Sicilian Cuisine. Top-class Italian wines and great collection of Grappa.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking at tables.

With the scalding heat frying us all day long, what can we possibly eat without overcrowding our system?
When I visited Il Paladino, probably the best Italian restaurant in the Prefecture (BG is going to kill me again for that kind of comment!), the chef genially replied: “Just eat vegetables, more vegetables, and even more vegetables!”

Shizuoka Prefecture is blessed with an almost limitless array of vegetable varieties. Actually one has to keep his eyes, nose, and even ears well open, as many more new ones come by the day! I am certainly not one to complain as such knowledge comes inhandy at work when interviewing local farmers!

Present (notice I said “present”) Italian gastronomy wouldn’t exist without tomatoes. Well, I know some good Italian friends who would love to discover the local cultivars.
Shizuoka is receiving a lot of attention for its tomatoes, especially the “Ameera/Very Sweet” genus, which comes in various sizes, from minuscule to large plum-sized.
Il Paladino’s chef chose the latter to prepare his appetizer. They are not only very sweet and fleshy, they also are red all the way through with very little water and pips. You thoroughly enjoy cutting them with a knife, a rarity in Japan!

The tomatoes are peeled first before being marinated with garlic, cucumber (that is served together), lemon, vinegar, olive oil, laurel leaves, sugar, salt, pepper and some “secrets”.

The tomato is then served chilled with the cucumber. Red pimento (not marinated) and basil leaves are added for taste and looks. Finally marinade will be sieved above the whole before being served with toasted home-made bread. I cannot guarantee that the latter was vegan, though, but you certainly need the bread to sponge off the marinade (make sure your bread is vegan, then!)

Tratorria Il Paladino
420-9839 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajo, 2-8-19
Tel.: 054-253-6537
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK (Dinner only)

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Indecent Tomato?

I’m bound to be for a lot of flak from Bazooka Gourmet with this one! LOL
Rainy Sunday today, and the Missus before going to work asked me to prepare some ratatouille for dinner.
I still needed quite a few ingredients vefore starting cooking and went to the neighbourhood supermarket.

I noticed some locally grown organic tomatoes sold in a small bunches.

They looked and felt pretty ripe (BG, keep quiet!), just perfect for the ratatouille.

When I opened the vynil bag they were wrapped in at home I discovered two “siamese twins” in a very peculiar arrangement.
I just couldn’t help taking pics before “separating” them for cooking!
I don’t really know how to call them; indecent? Sensuous? Pervert?…

I’m sur BG will come with something!

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Vegan Caprese-Style Tomato & Tofu Salad

I’ve already introduced vegan tofu salads for my friends.
This is another one with a lttle twist!

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons

-Tofu (kinu tofu): 1/2 block: 200g
-Tomato: a large whole one
-Basil leaves: 10 (large and fresh!)

Dressing:
-Wine vinegar: 1/4 cup: 50 cc/ml
-Salt: 1/3 teaspoon
-Whole black peppers: 3 seeds, ground (use a bottle!)
-Garlic: 1/2 clove (fresh!)
-Red chili pepper: 1/2 (fresh if possible) (Chopped finely)
-Olive oil (EV): 1.1/4~ tablespoon
-Onion: 15 g (Fresh and new if possible!)

RECIPE:

-Cut the tofu in 1 cm-thick slices.

-Cut out the stem end off the tomato and cut into half-moon slices.

-Crush the garlic and throw it into a small pan with the wine vinegar, Salt, black pepper, and red chili pepper and heat it until reduced to half.

-Transfer the dressing into a bowl floating on a larger bowl half-filled with water and ice and leave until chilled.

-Take out unsightly pieces out of the dressing. Grate the onion over it and mix. Add the oil oil and mix.

-On a serving dish place the slices of tofu and tomatoes and the basil leaves alternatively as shown on picture above. Season with dressing and serve!

-Very low in calories!

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Tomatoes marinated in Sweet Vinegar

Like the Aubergines/Eggplants, Tomatoes are available all year round!

Here is a very simple and healthy recipe that anyone can use and eat at will!

Tomato No Amazu tsuke/Tomeatoes marinated in sweet vinegar!

INGREDIENTS:

-Tomato: 250 g
-Onuon: 15 g (finealy chopped)
-Celery: 10 g (finely chopped)
-Coriander: to taste (fresh and finely chopped

Marinade:
-Sugar: 2,1/2 tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml/cc
-Water: 100 ml/cc

RECIPE:

-Pour allthe marinade ingredients in a saucepan and heat until just before boiling point. Switch off fire, let cool completely and chill.
Chill chopped onion, celery and coriander inside the fridge.

-Plunge the tomatoes in hot water, then ice-cold water and peel.
Cut into small enough pieces and add them to the marinade. Chill inside fridge.

-Serve tomatoes with chopped vegetables on topas shown in above picture.

You may add optional chopped vegetables and leaves.
As for salt ot spices I would experiment very carefully!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES
Not-Just-Recipes, Bengal cuisine, Cooking Vegetarian, Frank Fariello, Gluten-free Vegan Family, Meatless Mama, Warren Bobrow, Wheeling Gourmet, Le Petit Cuisinier, Vegan Epicurean, Miss V’s Vegan Cookbook, Comestiblog, To Cheese or not To Cheese, The Lacquer Spoon, Russell 3, Octopuspie, Bread + Butter, Pegasus Legend, Think Twice, The French Market Maven

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