Tag Archives: ワイン

Gyudon: Basic Recipe


Gyūdon (牛丼) can be literally translated into English as (Japanese-style) beef bowl. It is a typical Japanese comfort food consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi, soy sauce and mirin. It also often includes shirataki/translucent konyaku noodles. It is commonly served with beni shōga (pickled ginger), shichimi/seven flavor chili pepper, and a side dish of miso soup. Mixing in a raw egg is also very popular.

Here is the basic recipe:

INGREDIENTS: For 2 persons
-Two bowls of freshly steamed rice
-Beef, thinly sliced: 200 g
-Onion: 1
-Ito konyaku/shirataki/translucent konyaku noodles, 1 pack/180 g
-Fresh ginger: 1 medium-sized piece.
-Dashi (seaweed dashi): 2 cups/400 ml
-Soy sauce: 4 tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet Japanese sake: 4 tablespoons
-Beni shoga/red pickled ginger: to taste


-If you have bought the beef in one block, cut in very thin slices.

-Cut the onion in halves first, then in slices about 5 mm thin slices.

-drain ito konyaku. Cut into 5 cm long strands. Wash well with cold clear water and leave in water for a while. Drain well.

-Cut the frsh ginger in thin slices.

-Bting dashi to boil and add soy sauce and mirin. Stir. Drop in beef, sliced onion, ito konyaku and sliced ginger all at the same tome. Let simmer on strog fire until onion has become translucent. Switch off fire.
Pour on top of a bowl filled with freshly steamed rice. Add some beni shoga and serve with a raw egg in a separate dish.


If you have the time, cook the beef beforehand. Let cool completely.
Re-heat quickly on a hot fire just before serving. It will taste even better!

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Oyakodon: Basic Recipe


Oyakodon must count as one of the top 5 as far as poplular food comes in Japan.
It is easy to prepare and improvise with.
Bear in mind that depending upon the region you are in Japan, the ingredients are totally different. For example, in Hokkaido you will be served salmon sashimi and salmon roe!
After all, “oyakodon” means “parent and child bowl” (ingredients!)!
Being asked about a recipe, I decided to introduce the main lines of a basic one here made with chicken and eggs, not bothering about quantities but concentrating on the method.

Steam rice beforehand.
Oyakodon prepared with freshly steamed rice is miles ahead of reheated rice as far as taste is concerned!

Choose breast or thigh chicken. It is up to you to use or discard the skin. I prefer to discard it, unless I deep-fry the chicken first.

Choose the freshest ones as possible with large deep-coloured yolks.

Thinly sliced onion to be cooked together with the oyakodon.
A lot of people feel like adding other vegetables. Keep in mind they have to be cut thin and need to be fried.
Fresh leaved greens for the final and important touch. My favourite is fresh trefoil. If not available, I use flat parsley or chopped leeks.
In many regions they also add chopped dry seaweed for the final touch.

-Stock soup/sauce:
You may use water, but dashi is a lot better. I pesonally use seaweed dashi. One might use chicken stock, too.
I add a little soy sauce, sugar, Japanese sake and sweet Japanese sake/mirin.
That is where improvisation and personal taste come in!
You may season with salt and pepper, but bear in mind that soy sauce already contains salt, so easy on that one!


-Cut chicken in small enough pieces. Fry or deep-fry them first. If you fry/sautee them, just season chicken with a little salt and pepper. If you dep-fry them, season them with salt and pepper and cover them with plenty of cornstarch, unless you prefer the flour, egg and breadcrumbs method.
Once the chicken has been fried to 90%, take out and leave in another plate or on a metallic grill to get rid of excess oil.

-Using only a little oil (that left by the chicken is fine), fry the onion (and other vegetables) until almost properly cooked.
Add soup/stock. bring slowly to boil on a small fire. Add chicken and boil for a minute just to let the taste penetrate the chicken.
During that time, beat eggs (quantity is up to you!) with chopsticks to leave some parts white (some people like well beaten).
As soon as the chicken has completely cooked, dicard some soup if too much of it, and add the eggs.

Point 1: the chicken should be tender, not overcooked.
Point 2: Too much soup/stock will prevent the eggs from cooking fast, or you might end up with scrambled eggs
Point 3: the “real” (debatable) recipe calls for the eggs to be only half cooked before transferring the lot onto the rice.
In Kyoto, for example the eggs are most of the time well cooked and topped with a raw egg yolk.

-As soon as you are satisfied with the eggs, transfer the lot on top of a bowl filled with steamed rice.
Decorate with trefoil and serve.

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Wine-marinated Scallops and their Red and White Wine Jelly


It’s Summer.
That is when French and Japanese cuisines tend to fuse in a new natural dimension with the need for lighter gastronomic ventures.

here is a simple recipe that will impress your friends:
Wine-marinated Scallops and its Red and White Wine Jelly!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 persons

-Scallops: 12 large
-Red wine (Chinon, or a wine both spicy and solid, but not too heavy): 450 ml
-White wine (Loire or Vouvray, or a slightly sweet white wine): 200 ml
-Gelatin: 6 sheets
-Olive oil (EV): 2 large tablespoons
-Green leaves of your choice: ~250 g
-Salt & pepper to taste


-Marinate the scallops in 250 ml of red wine for 2 hours.

-Drop the gelatin sheets in a bowl filled with cold water.
Separately heat both wines slowly to lukewarm in two pans.
Take gelatin sheets out of cold water bowl, drain them and add 3 of each to each wine pan.
Wait until gelatin has dissolved.
Pour the wine jelly into two deep plates or molds.
Put in refrigerator until jelly has completely solidified.

-ake the scallops out of their marinade.
Cut them into thin slices.
heat and reduce the marinade down to one third. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to marinade.
Let cool completely.

-Clean the vegetable leaves and place at the centre of plates.
Make a rondo/circle of slices callops. Cut the jelly into small cubes and place them over or with the salad.
Pour a spoon of the sauce over the salad.

Enjoy the rest of the wine with it!

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Peach Clafoutis


Peaches being in season, it is only a queation of finding enough recipes to accomodate them!
Here is a simple recipe:
Peach Clafoutis!

INGREDIENTS: For a baking mold of 15 cm diameter
-Sugar: 6 g
-Rhum/rum: a little (to taste)
-Peach: a large one, 200g
-Egg: 1 large/52 g
-Fresh cream: 45 g
-White chocolate: 45 g
-Ready-made 15cm tart (of your choice)

-in a frypan drop in sugar with some butter and heat slowly until they turn into caramel.

-Cut peach in appropriate sized wedges and fry them coating with the caramel.

-Just as the edges of the peach wedges start losing shape pour in rum.
Switch off fire and let cool.

-Drop egg in a bowl and beat well into a uniform omelette.

-Add fresh cream, beat. Heat and melt white chocolate inside microwave oven for 30 seconds.

-Pour in the egg/cream mixture into the bowl containing melted white chocolate and mix well.

-Place peach wedges inside tart.

-Pour clafoutis mixture onto peaches.

-Bake at 120 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until you are satisfied.
Let cool completely and chill before serving.

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Blueberry and Red Wine Ruby Mousse


Here is a seasonal dessert for adults with a wicked liking for wine!

Blueberry and Red Wine Ruby Mousse!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 cups (to share?)

-Blueberry Mousse:
Powdered gelatin or agar agar: 5 g
Water: 2 large tablespoons
Plain yoghurt: 200 ml/1 cup
Honey: 40 g
Frozen blueberries (or fresh in season): 7
Lemon juice: a little
Fresh cream: 50 ml

-Red wine jelly:
Red Wine: 100 ml
Sugar: 15 g
Lemon juice: a little
powdered gelatin or agar agar: 2.5 g
Water: 2 large tablespoons

-For decoaration:
Blueberries: to taste
Mint leaves


-Blueberry Mousse:
Pour water into a bowl, add gelatin and mix in (in that order, please otherwise you will fail!)
Drop yoghurt, honey (liquid) and blueberries in a mixer/food processor. Mix until smooth.
Beat up fresh cream until it “horns” stand. Add to mousse mixture. Season with lemon juice.
Dissolve gelatin in water by gently heating it. Add to Mousse mixtureand mix. Pour the the blueberry mousse into 4 recipients of your choice and leave inside fridge for 30 minutes or until properly solidified.

-Wine jelly:
As for the bleberry mousse, add gelatin to water.
In a small pan heat red wine and sugar together to dissolve. Stop fire as soon as you think that the alcohol has evaporated. Season with lemon juice.
Let cool completely.
Dissolve gelatin in water by gently heating it. add to red wine jelly mixture and let cool completely.
Pour jelly over Blueberry Mousse and put v\back into refrigerator to solidify.
Only when the whole mousse and jelly are firm enough decorate with blueberries and fresh mint leaves.

Make a point to scoop both parts for top enjoyment!

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Wine Tasting at La Vigne


Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value

As I found myself not busy with cricket due to heavy rain the night before I took the opportunity to visit la Vigne, the new French wine shop in Shizuoka which is conveniently equipped with a standing bar.
As usual I had the opportunity of making new from vastly different regions and ways of life as I tasted one of the dozen wines on offer:


Region: Alsace
Grapes: Pinot d’Alsace
Year: 2007
Producer/owner: Laurent Barth at Bennwihr


Clarity: Very clear and clean
Colour: Golden hue
Aroma: Light and fruity. Muscat. Elegant
Taste: Light, fruity, well balanced by pleasant acidity. Shortish tail. Light impression lingering at the back of the plalate. Muscat, memories of sweet raisins. Fleeting.

Overall: Would do well as an aperitif. Would marry well with light vegetables hors d’oeuvres and white flesh fish.
On the other hand, was subdued by the cheese I ate with it,
Probably best drunk on its own, very slightly chilled.


The “cheese tray” included (from top left around the clock):
Laguiole, Brie de Meaux, Bleu de Gex and 25-month Gouda.

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku-Cho, 17-2, 1F (within walking distance for Shizuoka JR Station in front of Fugetsuro!)
Tel. & Fax: 054-2054181
Business hours: 10:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Italian Restaurant: Aquavite (first visit in 2009)

(pics by Haruka Yamaguchi)

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to expensive.
Specialty:Top-class Italian wines, Charcoal grill.

Last week was my first “visit” to this old favourite Italian Restaurant of mine in Shizuoka City, namely Aquavite.
A ever-solid reference, I have introduced it time and again, therefore I will keep to the basics, that is the food I enjoyed in the company of my good friend, Haruka Yamaguchi, who was kind to help me with the photographs!

(Haruka Yamaguchi)

I’m slowly introducing my (young, and don’t start gossiping! I know her whole family!) friend to wine, and I’m sure that friends like Jen would approve! Haruka wanted white wine.
(Haruka Yamaguchi)
Aquavite had this (for a reasonable price!) 2002 Tenuta Castellino, Terre di Francia Acorta in Coccaglio (12.5 proof). Rowena, have you heard of it?
A very pleasant aroma of Muscat, dry and fruity was rediscovered in tasting it, fruity, dry flowery with a gentle lingering. Proved as soft, elegant and complex for the whole meal. Haruka was not holding up this time!


The first hors d’oeuvre was a succulent Iwate “Sanriku” Oyster served with just enough sesaoning.


The second hors d’oeuvre,”Shirako Gratin” did not make my friend blush! (“shirako” is what male cod fish are proud of!). Light, eminently tasty, I wish I could serve it online!


The pasta dish was a beautiful creation in its simplicity: Shizuoka-grown mizuna with “Taragani” Crab Peperocino Spaghetti!
Light, elegant and the perfect amount of spiciness!


Grilled scallops with mizuna and Parmeggiano. Need I comment?


The Milano Risotto and its Foie Gras! Perfect balance with a very light risotto and rich foie gras sauteed with balsamico!


Charcoal-grilled “Shamo Niwatori” Chicken (extravagant in Japan!) with grilled new potatoes and its ramequin of liver and heart!


And then it was time for dessert:
Tiramisu for me (let’s keep things simple! LOL)

(Haruka Yamaguchi)

Haruka kept very silent as she devoured her Torta di Bosaiola with prunes and nuts!

Well, well, where are going next (actually expect something soon about Italian Cuisine!)

Address: 420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg. 3F
Tel. & fax: 054-2740777
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00 (on reservations only), 18:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

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