Tag Archives: Japanese Cakes

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 1: Introduction

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Dorayaki No Kawauchiya in Shizuoka City: The Best Dorayaki in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Dorayaki (どら焼き) is a very popular Japanese cake enjoyed by all genders and ages consisting of two pancake-like layers sandwiching sweet red beans paste/ankou (鮟)!

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Now if you are in Aoi ku, Shizuoka City walk in the general direction of Sengen Shrine, about 20 minutes walk from Shizuoka JR Station north exit and you will discover an enormous red torii/sacred gate at the entrance of Sengen Street. Go past it and you will discover the best dorayaki shop in the whole Prefecture soon on your right hand side!

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You can’t miss it as there is always a queue of customers in front of it, especially at dorayaki “baking” time!

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Dorayaki no Kawauchiya (どら焼きの河内屋)!
One of the very rare individual shops left in Japan!

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I arrived just before the 4:30 dorayaki baking time!
Such times are always announced due to their enormous popularity!

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Plenty of famous visitors’ signatures!

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The Lady of The House is always present to sell other confectioneries!

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The dorayaki are limited to 5 per person and may not be ordered in advance, although other confectioneries may!

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The Lady of the House is always busy packaging the purchases!

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Banana castella!

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Kuri no ko yokan/”sweet red beans jelly with chestnuts”!

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Neri yokan/煉羊かん/”red red beans jelly” and shio yokan/塩羊かん/”salted red beans jelly”!

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Shoga Satou Zuke/しょうが砂糖漬/”candied ginger”!

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Dangou maki/だんごう巻/”soft rice cake wrapped in red beans paste and pancake roll”

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The hot plate which can produce 15 pancakes simultaneously, 3 more than a usual hot plate!

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The bear-like Man of The House who is actually a very jovial gentleman constantly joking with his customers!

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The chef makes his own batter and red beans paste from scratch! Absolutely authentic!

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And he is so deft and quick!
It is always a good idea to come early as the first batch is usually a trial that will be given away!

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The very fluffy and light pancakes almost ready!

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Bemused customers!
On week ends in winter the queue may easily stretch to 30 customers!

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The red bean paste is immediately sandwiched between two pancakes!

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Ready to be packed!

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The Lady of the House wraps them individually with an antique hand-operated contraption and then put them inside a paper bag itself contained inside a vinyl bag!

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Ready to be taken home unless you cannot resist from eating them on the way!

Dorayaki no KAWAUCHIYA/どら焼きの河内屋

420-0867 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Baban Cho, 12-1, Chuo Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054–271-4363
Opening hours: 10:00~20:00
Closed on Sunday Afternoon and Monday

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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

Japanese Vegan Gastronomy: Veggie Burger at Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Friendly, smiling and helpful
Facilities: Overall very clean. Washroom a bit small but clean.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Exclusively vegan cuisine. A great scope of vegan ingredients on sale. Entirely non-smoking!

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I paid my second visit today to Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, where I was looking forward to a different vegan (I’m not, sorry!) lunch!

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I also noticed that a young couple of local potters living in Mori Machi, Kakegawa City, were exhibiting and selling some exquisite pottery!

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I understand that interviewing will quite a challenge as they usually do allow it, but I’m confident I will succeed. Their art is just too good to ignore!

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There was a choice but since Mrs. Miho Maki/牧美穂さん recommended her veggie burger, I didn’t hesitate!

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Her vegan soy milk based soup would please anyone with a health-conscious and epicurian mind! I particularly love the ginger included in it and the herbs sprinkled on top!

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Exquisite and so aromatic herb tea!

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The veggie burger!

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Home-baked vegan bread!

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Two deep-fried veggie/vegan patties in between with plenty of fresh local vegetables!

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Organic herbs providing extra seasoning!

Not only very healthy, but more fulfilling than expected! Who would complain? Certainly not me, in spite of being an omnivore!

Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-5
Tel.: 054-266-3845
Business hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesday
Entirely non-smoking

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

Rama
422-8052 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Midorigaoka, 19-6
Tel.: 054-260-5186
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Shop with Intent by Debbie
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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: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Vegan Restaurant & Shop in Shizuoka City: Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop!

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Service: Friendly, smiling and helpful
Facilities: Overall very clean. Washroom a bit small but clean.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Exclusively vegan cuisine. A great scope of vegan ingredients on sale. Entirely non-smoking!

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The (small) Rama Group which has been serving for some time vegan food inside the home of some of their members in the south of Shizuoka City at last on August 6th opened a real Cafe & Shop in Gennan Street, Gofuku-Cho, Aoi Ku, in the middle of the city for the pleasure of all vegans and health food lovers!

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I’m no vegan myself, but I do appreciate it from time to time, and I’m really happy for my friends and visitors to Shizuoka City who have such priorities!

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The shop itself offers an enormous (by Japanese standards!) array of vegan, organic and macrobiotic foods including home-made jams….

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and pickles made with fruit and vegetables locally and organically grown.

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It is all set in a beautiful and very natural environment, the more for it as it is open as a Cafe all day long!

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The general design makes use of a lot of wood.
You can either sit a t tables, or in my case at the counter overlooking the street outside!

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The young owners at work1
Mr. Tomonari Maki/牧知成さん and Mrs. Miho Maki/牧美穂さん!

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As for the food served the lunch is unique but changes regularly depending on the seasonal ingredients.
They serve all kinds of drinks, including organic beer!
If you don’t speak Japanese speak slowly in English and I’m sure mutual understanding will be easy!

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The lunch of the day!
Very appetizing, indeed!
As far as I know this is the sole truly vegan restaurant in town, and probably in the whole prefecture

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The hot soup!
No dairy products is used whatsoever!

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It is not only healthy but has a beautiful cachet attached to it!

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Whatever the angle it is definitely tempting!

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Home-made vegan bread!

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Home-made jam/chutney!

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Plenty of natural spices!

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I’m glad to admit that the deep-fried vegetables patty was delicious!

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The kinako/roasted soy bean powder jelly dessert and herb tea!

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Not only a very healthy dessert but also a traditional Japnese one!

Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-5
Tel.: 054-266-3845
Business hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesday
Entirely non-smoking

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

Rama
422-8052 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Midorigaoka, 19-6
Tel.: 054-260-5186
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Japanese Vegan Dessert: Chetsnuts Wagashi-Kurikinton-和菓子の栗きんとん

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The chestnut picking season is just around the corner in Shizuoka Prefecture and more particularly in Makinohara where it is officially announced as starting on the 14th!
Chestnuts have been since ancient times a great source of food not only for its nuts but also as a basic ingredient for cakes and even bread (far healthier than wheat flour bread incidentally!)!

Here is recipe for a typical wagashi cake called kuri kinton that should please any priorities!

INGREDIENTS:

Chestnuts: 500g
Maple syrup: 100cc~
Water: 50cc~
Natural salt: a pinch

RECIPE:

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Wash the chestnuts well before making a thin indent with a knife steaming them for about 50 minutes.

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Spoon out the chestnuts into a bowl taking care not to scoop any skin with it.

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Pour all the chestnuts inside a food processor and process until all the chestnuts are well broken. Add salt. Adding water and syrup a little at a time process until all ingredients are used.

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Sieve into a pan.
Cook over a little fire for a while to lower the humidity.

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Spread thinly over a clean cloth to take out excess humidity.

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Roll small balls (size of your liking!) and wrap them into cellophane paper. Twist paper hard to create shape.

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Unwrap and top with some syrup and a nicely cut piece of steamed chestnut!

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By adding some soy milk and more maple syrup you can create a beautiful marron paste!

So easy and healthy!
Enjoy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: 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!
-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

Wagashi/Japanese Cakes at Mochi No Ie in Shizuoka City

If you happen to visit the Toro Ruins or the magnificent Serizawa Keisuke Art Gallery in Shizuoka City take the time to visit Mochi No Ie just inside the Toro Ruins Park!

You are in for a time slip!

The whole 180-year old farm house was brought piece by piece from Okkaizu/奥会津 City in Fukushima Prefecture some time ago!

It harbors a traditional Japanese restaurant serving local o-mochi/rice cakes and soba/buckwheat noodles at hours coinciding with the opening hours of the Serizawa Keisuke Art Gallery.

The watermill wheel was also brought all the way!

This is Japan!
Can you see the goldfish?

Beautiful noren representing a rabbit pounding rice cakes on the moon!
They have another shop inside Shizuoka City JR Station with the same noren!

Of course inside is all wood!

Traditional Japanese fireplace!
The whole house is a microcosm of country life in 19th Century Japan!

Green tea is served in cups with the design of the place!

The small shop inside the house where you can buy o-mochi and soba to take back home!

One can either sit at tables or on tatami straw mats.

They also serve soba (for another report) but they are famous for teir mochi/soft rice cake of various kinds.
The above is Karamimochi/からみもち, an appetizer version served with grated daikon and freshly grated wasabi!

You break the whole thing with your chopsticks and mix it before savoring it. Great with beer!
Moreover, it is vegan as they use only rice flour to make them!

A combination of two true Shizuoka wagashi/Japanese rice cakes: Abekawa mochi/安倍川もち made of rice flour covered with sweatmeats/anko/餡子, and Kinako mochi/きなこもち rice flour cakes served with dry soy beans flour.
Again these cakes are vegan!

For a closer view! A great healthy dessert!

The owners always kindly invite newcomers to visit the upper floor!

Up the wooden stairs…

A cute noren/curtain!

Upstairs is a real museum but you can eat there upon reservation and make it a wholy non-smoking private room!

Beautiful overview of the entrance garden!

Farm crop baskets!

Original drawings by Serizawa Keisuke!

I’d love to possess this fan painted by the same artist!

Many things to discover in dark corners…

I’m planning to visit their shop at Shizuoka Station soon, but I must come back here again soon to enjoy their soba!

To be followed…

MOCHI NO IE
Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Toro, 5-15-13 (Just inside the Toro Ruins Park)
Tel.: 054-263-1663
Opening hours: 10:30~17:00
Closed on Mondays

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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 Cake: Dorayaki-Basic Recipe

Dorayaki (どら焼き, どらやき, 銅鑼焼き, ドラ焼き) is a type of Japanese confection which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet red bean paste.

It has been made popular by the famous manga character, Doraemon.

Here is a simple recipe that will please children and adults alike!

Japanese Cake: Dorayaki!

INGREDIENTS: For 6

-Pancakes:
Eggs: 2
Sugar: 100 g
Honey: 1+1/2 tablespoons
Salad oil: 1 tablespoon
Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
Sodium bicarbonate: 1/3 teaspoon
Flour: 150 g
Water: 40~60 cc/ml

-Salad oil for cooking

-Sweetmeats/Anko/Bean jam:
300 g: (50 g per dorayaki)Look HERE for basic recipe!

RECIPE:

-Use a hand whisker instead of an electric whisker/blender as overmixing will achieve poor results!
Respect the order of the ingredients!
Beat the eggs and add the sugar. Mix until the mixture whitens.
Add the honey and mix until it has completely nblended in.
Add oil and mix.
Add bicarbonate sodium and mix.
Add mirin and mix.

-Add half of flour and mix well.
Add other half and mix well.

-Add water and mix. The amount of water might vary with the kind of flour.
Experiment!

-Heat a frypan over a medium fire first.
take frypan off fire.
Lower fire.
Once the frypan has cooled down bring over the fire again.
Wipe it with a kitchen paper soaked with salad oil.
Wipe off excess oil if necessary.

-Pour pancake mixture. Bear in mind that the size of the panckes must be the same. The amount, whatever it is must be the same. Choose your ladle/spoon well beforehand!

-Cover with lid.

-When bubbles have appeared across the surface turn the pancake over.

-The very minimum of oil will garantee an even cooking!

-Too much oil and your pancake will have that look!

Sandwich sweetmeats/anko between two pancakes and serve hot.

Once cooled down you may deep-freeze them wrapped in cellophane paper.

A perfect look!

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