Tag Archives: Japanese Gastronomy

Sushi: Japanese~English Lexicon (latest amended in October 2017, including history)

I thought that such a lexicon would become handy both for English-speaking newcomers and long term residents!

I wrote the Japanese pronunciation first, the Chinese (Japanese kanji) characters and the English translations.

Bear in mind that many varieties of sushi have many names depending on the Japanese region. These are the common names.
If you have a question I will be glad to investigate!

By sushi I meant everything used in making it, be it omnivorous or vegetarian!
As for name of fish and seafood see separate articles!Sushi

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Traditional Japanese Fish & Seafood Classification

Akami/赤身: red-fleshed fish (tuna, bonito, etc)
Ebi-Kani:海老・蟹: crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, etc)
Gyoran/魚卵: Fish roe (salmon roe, etc)
Hikarimono/光り物: “shining fish” (scabbard fish, etc.)
Ika-Tako/烏賊・鮹: Squids (cuttlefish) and octopuses
Kai/貝: shellfish
Nagamono/長もの: “long fish” (eels, etc.)
Others/その他: squilla and sea urchins, sea slug (sea cucumber),seaweed, tamagoyaki, vegetables, etc.
Saamon/サーモン: salmons
Shiromi/白身: white-fleshed fish (sole, etc.)

Sushi History

Although “sushi” is presently written “寿司”, it is only a modern way of writing it (“ateji/当て字”, onomatopoetic writing).
The real kanji caharacters for “sushi” are “鮓”, that is the combination of “sakana/魚/fish” and “su/酢/vinegar”.
One can also find “sushi” written as “鮨”, a combination of “sakana/魚/fish” and “abura/脂/animal fat”, but it is actually the original word for “shokara/塩辛/salted fish or squid
Actually “sushi” is the abbreviation of “sppashi” which meant “sour”!
Sushi chronologically appeared as such:
-Narezushi /熟れ鮨 (Nara and Heian Eras, 710~1185), when it was introduced from Soth East Asia. Its mst famous representatives (still found in Japan) are: funazushi/鮒ずし/Crucian Carp fermented with rice in Shiga Prefecture, sabanarezushi/鯖なれずし/mackerel fermented in rice also in Shiga Prefecture (also called sabazushi/鯖ずし) and sanmanamanarezushi/さんまなまなれずし/fermented Pacific saury/sanma/秋刀魚 traditionally presented with three slices of fish (Mie Prefecture).
Note: Narezushi is the abbreviation of Namarezushi. The concept of sushi was then completed different of modern day sushi as such sushi was only to accompany freshly steamed rice or rice balls at meals. Sushi in those times were the equivalent of modern pickles.
-During the Heian and Kamakura Eras (epecially during the 12th=14th Centuries) appeared the single word “sushi” which meant “hanzushi飯ずし/steamed rice sushi” aand “Tsukemonozushi/漬物ずし/Pickled sushi”. A typicla Hanzushi was Hokkaido salmon sushi called “Sake no hanzushi/鮭の飯ずし”, Ishikawa Prefecture “Kaburazushi/かぶらずし” made with buri/鰤/yellowtail-Japanese amberjack and Osaka “Osakazushi” made with mackerel.
-The present Osaka Style sushi, Hakozushi/箱ずし also called “Oshizushi/押しずし” or sushi pressed inside a box and cut in rectangular or square pieces appeared durin the Muromachi Era (14th~16th Centuries).
At the same time appeared the “Bozushi/棒ずし/sushi in the shape of a log”, notably in Ehime Prefecture, although the fish was then fermented together with rice. Nowadays the whole fish is pressed above normal sushi rice.
Steamed rice blended with vinegar in particular as the base for sushi appeared in the middle of Edo area (18th Century then). Its best example was the “Sasamaki tenuke zushi/笹巻き手抜きずし”, when pickled seafood and else were laid on longish ric”stickks” and left to pickle for a short time rolled inside leaves.
-The modern form of sushi appeeared in Edo (presently Tokyo) under the name of Edomaezushi/Edomaenigirizushi/江戸前ずし・江戸前握りずし/finger pressed sushi (around 1820), but stayed confined to the Tokyo area for a long time before getting known all over Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. But sushi was almost exclusively using pickled or marinated “neta/topping” until the end of WWII. modern times with the advent of better refrigerated and preserved fresh food witnessed more and more fresh raw fish used in the making of sushi. Edomaezushi is still popular in Tokyo but foreign visitors in particular should realize it has become only a small part of the sushi world and remember that any of the 47 Japanese Prefectures has its own particular sushi and neta/topping to boast! Therefore nowadays sushi is more of a whole country gastronomic adventure!

Sushi presentations

Ankimo/安肝: frogfish/monkfish liver steamed in sake and served as firm paste. Also nicknamed “Japanese Foie gras”!
Bara sushi/ばら寿司(also called Gomoku sushi/五目寿司, Tekone zushi/手こね寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Battera Sushi/バッテラ寿司: from “bateira” in Portuguese.Traditional sushi made with spotted gizzard shad
Bougata/Bougata Sushi/棒型寿司 (also called Bou Suhi/棒寿司: Fish wholly placed onto a long rice ball or whole fish pressed over pressed rice/oshi zushi. Served whole or cut.
California Roll/カリフォルニアロル: Californian style sushi roll including at least some avocado. Can be presented rolled with the dry seaweed outside or inside (often sprinkled with roasted black sesame seeds in the latter case)
Chirashizushi/散らし寿司: “Decoration Sushi”. Usually home-made style sushi consisting of a large dish, wooden vessel filled with sushi rice and topped with all kinds of ingredients
Dashimaki/だし巻き: a variety of Japanese omelet served as a roll
Donburi/Sushi Donburi/丼, 丼寿司: Sushi served as bowl full of sushi rice topped with a single or many toppings
Edomaezushi/Edomaenigirizushi/江戸前ずし・江戸前握りずし: traditional Tokyo-style sushi which first appeared around 1820. The present form was born in 1947
Funa Zushi/鮒寿司: Pickled crucian carp sushi (one of the traditional Narezushi/熟れ鮨)
Futo Maki/Futo Maki Sushi/太巻, 太巻き寿司: Large sushi roll, traditionally including at least seven ingredients rolled inside. Served cut into thin slices.
Gomoku sushi/五目寿司 (also called Bara sushi/ばら寿司, Tekone zushi/手こね寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Gunkan/Gunkan Nigiri/Gunkan Nigiri Sushi/軍艦, 軍艦握り, 軍艦握り寿司: “mother Ship style sushi. The rice ball is wrapped with a narrow band of dry seaweed slightly higher than the rice ball to allow space for ingredients otherwise difficult to present as simple nigiri sushi.
Hanzushi/飯ずし: traditional sushi in Heian Era (794 to 1185 A.D)
Hoso maki/Hoso maki Sushi/細巻, 細巻き寿司: long and thin sushi roll, usually served cut, unless requested otherwise
Inari/Inari zushi/稲荷, 稲荷寿司: traditional sushi presentation where a pouch made of fried tofu is filled with sushi rice alone or mixed with finely cut ingredients to resemble a traditional rice pack
Kaburazusi/かぶらずし: Traditional sushi prepared in Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures
Kaki no Ha Sushi/柿の葉寿司: traditional pressed sushi enveloped inside persimmon leaves
Kanpyou Maki/干瓢巻: traditional dry gourd shavings sushi roll
Kappa Maki/河童巻: cucumber sushi roll (Kappa/Water goblin are supposed to be fond of cucumbers!)
Ko Donburi/Sushi Ko Donburi/子丼, 寿司子丼: small donburi/sushi bowl, popular with ladies
Maki/maki Sushi/巻き, 巻き寿司: sushi roll
Matsumae Sushi/松前寿司: traditional mackerel sushi presented in Bogata style
Mehari sushi/めはり寿司: traditional sushi balls enveloped inside pickled leaves
Millefeuille/ミルフィーユ: A modern sushi style reminiscent of a French mllefeuille
Miso Shiru/味噌汁: miso soup
Namarezushi/なまれずし: traditional sushi form in from Heian and Muromachi Eras ( 13th~14th century)
Narezushi/熟れ鮨: Original form of sushi imported from South eastern Asia (710~). Pickled fish was wrapped around sushi rice for transport away from the sea.
Negitoro Maki/ネギトロ巻き: sushi roll containing grated tuna fat belly flesh
Nigiri/Nigiri sushi/握り, 握り寿司: sushi made with a hand-made ball of sushi rice topped with any ingredient
Oshi Sushi/押し寿司: type of sushi popular in the Kansai region where the sushi rice and toppings are tightly pressed inside a mold instead of being manually pressed rice balls.
Piri Kara Hotate Maki/ピリ辛ホタテ巻き: sushi roll containing scallops in a spicy mayonnaise
Sabanarezushi/鯖熟れ鮨: Pickled mackerel carp sushi (one of the traditional Narezushi/熟れ鮨)
Saimaki/最巻: a traditional presentation for shrimp sushi
Rainbow Maki/レーンボー巻: a modern form of Futo maki/太巻/large roll containing seven ingredients rolled inside. Served in slices.
Sake/shake hanzushi/鮭飯ずし: traditional salmon sushi made in Hokkaido
Sanma namarezushi/秋刀魚なまれずし: traditional sushi made with fermented mackerel pike im Mie and Wakayama Prefectures
Sasamaki tenuke sushi/笹巻き手抜きすし: traditional form of sushi dating back from the beginning of the 18th Century
Shiba ebi no suruimi ire tamagoyaki/芝海老のすり身入れたmご焼き:Japanese omelet containing striped shrimp paste
Shiyokara/塩辛: salted fish or squid
Tekka Maki/鉄火巻き: tuna sushi roll
Tekone zushi/手こね寿司 (also called Bara sushi/ばら寿司, Gomoku sushi/五目寿司): A simple form of Chirashi zushi
Te-Maki/Te-Maki sushi/手巻き, 手巻き寿司: hand-rolled sushi, usually in the shape of a cone
Te-mari Zushi/手毬寿司: Sushi presented in small round balls, especially popular with ladies
Tamagoyaki/卵焼き: traditional Japanese omelet

Sashimi presentations

Moriawase/盛り合わせ: large assortment
O-Makase/お任せ: Chef7s choice
O-Tsukuri/お作り: Sashimi plate
Sukeroku Zushi/助六寿司: traditional combination of Inari sushi and Futo maki
Tataki/叩き: 1) sashimi served finely cut like a tartar style
2) the fish fillet, especially bonito, is first seared over a charcoal or straw fire, then plunged into cold water before being served sliced

Ingredients (other than fish and seafood)

Baniku/馬肉 (also called Sakura/桜): horsemeat
Goma/胡麻: Sesame seeds, golden or black, both roasted
Gomatare/胡麻たれ/: sesame seeds dressing
Kanpyou/干瓢: died gourd shavings
Kome/米: rice
Momiji/紅葉(also called Shikaniku/鹿肉): venison
Miso/味噌: fermented soy bean paste
Niika/煎烏賊: simmered squid
Nori/海苔: seaweed, dry seaweed
Sakura/桜(also called Baniku/馬肉): horsemeat
Satou/砂糖: sugar
Shouyu/醤油: soy sauce
Shikaniku/鹿肉 (also called Momiji/紅葉): venison
Su/酢: vinegar: rice vinegar
Tamago/卵: egg
Uzura no tamago/鶉の卵: quail eggs
Yasai/野菜: vegetables (s)
Wagyu/和牛: wagyu beef
Wasabi/山葵

Technical terms

Bettarazuke/べったら漬: a traditional sweet pickled daikon
Dashi/出し: Japanese-style soupstock (also called dashi Jiru/だし汁)
Gari/ガリ: pickled ginger
Konbujime/昆布締め: raw fish pickled between fresh seaweed sheets
Neta/ネタ: sushi balls/nigiri toppings
Shari/シャリ: the ball of rice in a nigiri sushi
Zuke/漬け: pickled or marinated

Vegetarian Sushi/Vegan Sushi Ingredients ( also see “Algae/Seaweed” below!)

Daikon/大根: Japanese large radish
Gobou/牛蒡 (includes Yama Gobou/山牛蒡): burdock root
Goma/胡麻: sesame seeds
Goya/ゴーヤ (also called Niga uri/苦瓜 ): bitter gourd/ goya
Himesoba/姫蕎麦 (also called Soba no Me/蕎麦の芽): buckwheat sprouts
Kaiware daikon/カイワレ大根: daikon sprouts
Kanpyou/干瓢: dried gourd shavings
Kappa Maki/河童巻: cucumber sushi roll
Kinoko/茸:mushroom (s)
Kyuuri/胡瓜: cucumber
Matsutake/松茸: matsutake mushroom
Me/芽: Sprouts
Menegi/目ネギ: leek sprouts
Miso/味噌: fermented soy bean paste
Mitsuba/三つ葉: a trefoil
Myouga/茗荷: myoga ginger
Nameko: 滑子: nameko mushroom(s)
Nattou/納豆: fermented soy beans
Negi/葱: leek
Niga uri/苦瓜 (also called Goya/ゴーヤ): bitter gourd/ goya
Shiitake/椎茸: shiitake mushroom
Shyouga/生姜: ginger
Soba no Me/蕎麦の芽 (also called Himesoba/姫蕎麦): buckwheat sprouts
Takuan/沢庵: traditional pickled Japanese radish
Ume/梅: Japanese plum. Can be eaten only processed, not raw
Umeboshi/梅干: pickled (salt-pickled) Japanese plums
Ume Natto/梅納豆: a traditional combination of pickled Japanese plum and fermented soy beans
Wasabi/山葵
Yasai/野菜: vegetable(s)

Algae/Seaweed

BROWN ALGAE:
-Konbu/昆布, or Laminariaceae Bory (Latin), comprises many varieties, some of them regional: Makonbu or Saccharina japonica(真昆布), Onikonbu or Laminaria diabolica(羅臼昆布), Rishiri Konbu or Laminaria ochotensis(利尻昆布), Hosome Konbu or Laminaria religiosa(細目昆布), Hitaka or Mitsuishi Konbu or Laminaria angustata(日高昆布、三石昆布), Naga or Hamanaka Konbu or Laminaria longissima(長昆布、浜中昆布), and Kagome or Kjellmaniella crassifolia(籠目昆布).
-Hijiki or hiziki (ヒジキ, 鹿尾菜 or 羊栖菜, hijiki) (Sargassum fusiforme, or Hizikia fusiformis) is a brown sea vegetable growing wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea, and China. Its two names mean deer-tail grass and sheep-nest grass respectively.
-Hibatama or Fucus, a genus of brown alga in the Class Phaeophyceae to be found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores almost everywhere in the world.
-Hondawara or ホンダワラ(馬尾藻、神馬藻 (Sargassum fulvellum)
-Mozuku, or Cladosiphon okamuranus (水雲; 藻付; 海蘊; 海雲) , a type of edible seaweed in the genus Cladosiphon, naturally found in Okinawa, Japan. Most of the mozuku now is farmed by locals, and sold to processing factories. The main use of mozuku is as food, and as source of one type of sulfated polysaccharide called Fucoidan to be used in cancer treatment aid health supplements.
-Wakame (ワカメ), Undaria pinnatifida, a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. In Japan it is most widely used in miso soup.

VIOLET ALGAE:
-Asakusa Nori, or アサクサノリ(浅草海苔 (Porphyra tenera).
-Tengusa/天草, which gives agar agar, a gelatinous substance. Historically and in a modern context, it is chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Japan, but also as solid jelly used as decoration in salads and others.
GREEN ALGAE:
-Aosa/碧草 or sea lettuce comprising comprise the genus Ulva, a group of edible green algae that are widely distributed along the coasts of the world’s oceans.
-Aonori /青海苔 ,アオノリ, “blue seaweed” or “green seaweed”), also known as green laver, a type of edible green seaweed, including species from the genera Monostroma and Enteromorpha of Ulvaceae. It is commercially cultivated in some bay areas in Japan, such as Ise Bay. It contains rich minerals such as calcium, magnesium, lithium, vitamins, and amino acids such as methionine.
-Umibudou/海葡萄: or sea grapes from Okinawa, a delicacy of its own!
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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
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Gastronomic Destinations: Dinner at Yuki Gion Izakaya Restaurant in Kyoto City!

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Service: Smiling and attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Old but very clean overall. Excellent gender-separated washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Kyoto-style izakaya cuisine. Okamura Honke Brewery sake! English menus.

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Yuki Gion does not advertise much but it is always crowded even on weekdays as it is an old-style izakaya where the atmosphere is really informal and where customers sit elbow to elbow enjoying some very reasonable cuisine and fine sake!
Japanese tourists, foreign tourists and locals mix in at ease and the staff is simply easy-going but very attentive at the same time.

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The restaurant is actually the property of Okamura Honke Brewery in neighboring Shiga Prefecture!

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The whole range of their sake is available from 90% to 40% millage!

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One of the sake we had, with rice milled down to 60%!

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A nama genshu, it was served to you directly the Japanese izakaya traditonal way, that is very generously!

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Everything is prepared in front of you!
Note that the top chef (there are at least four of hem!) is the only one wearing a neck tie and also the only in charge of the raw fish!

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As this is typically slow food style, you have plenty of time to enjoy the sight of chefs at work!

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We started with sashimi moriawase/raw seafood assortment!

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Urchin, tuna, salmon, black seabream!

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More of the same as we were two of us!

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Tomorokoshi kakiage/Japanese-style corn fritters!

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Local vegetable salad!

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Kyoto City specialty: Hamo/conger eel pike tempura!

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Grilled nodokuro/a variety of rosy seabass!

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Sake white lees pickles vegetables!

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To finish, mentaiko gohan/steamed rice with spicy cod roe for the Dragon!

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And grilled salmon chazuke for me!

A discovery!

YUKI GION, Izakaya Restaurant

605-0078, Kyoto City, Higashiyama Ku, Gion Tomi-naga Cho, 111-1
Tel.: 075-525-2666
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (weekdays), !7:00~24:00 (Saturdays and days before National Holidays)
Closed on Sunday and National Holidays
Credit cards OK

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

Osaka-style Pork Egg Roll at Tonbo in Shimada City!

TENBO-TAMAGO

Service: shy but very kind and smiling
Equipment & facilities: Old but very clean. Clean washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: takoyaki and okonomiyaki and other traditional izakaya foods. Local sake

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Having some time on hand before an assignment in Shimada City I decided to make a quick visit to Tonbo, a popular Osaka-style restaurant near the JR Station and sample something new!
“ふわふわ卵ロル”/”fuwafuwa tamago roru/””fluffy egg roll! Interesting!
It came in two varieties, one with “ぶた”/”buta”/”pork” and “ぶたチーズ”/”buta chiizu”/”pork and cheese”!
I opted for the pork one this time!

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The chef first of all fried some pork rashers on a very hot plate and seasoned it with his special sauces (one secret chefs will never tell you!)!

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Once the pork has been cooked he pushed aside onto a cooler part of the plate.

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He then spread beaten eggs (3, I think) and started working quickly as obviously the eggs should not be overcooked. For all its simplicity it does need a quick and experimented hand!

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Then the eggs are carefully lined with the pork near the inside edge.

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Then the inside edge of the eggs is carefully rolled over the park with the help of metal spatulas.

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The chef keeps rolling the lot carefully as quickly as possible.

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Done!

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The top of the roll has been pasted with at least three sauces and sprinkled with fine herbs.

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You are provided with a metal spatula to cut it yourself along to your liking!

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At 670 yen, very good value when you consider the volume sufficient for two and the simple and great taste!
To be savored with beer or local sake!

TONBO

427-0029 Shimada City, Hinode-Cho, 1-1 ( few minutes’ walk straight from Shimada JR Station North exit)
Tel.: 0547-35-7635
Opening hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays and national Holidays.
Orders on the phone and take-out OK!

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

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

Green Tea and Wagashi Cakes at Momijiyama Japanese Garden in Sumpu Park in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Impeccable cleanliness. Washroom outside the Garden inside Sumpu Park (equipped for physically-impaired visitors)
Prices: very reasonable
Strong points: top-class local tea. Beautiful wagashi. Splendid Japanese park.English pamphlet available. English-speaking staff.
Entirely non-smoking

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If you visit Sumpu Park in the center of Shizuoka City you ought to visit one place secluded inside for a true Japanese experience: Momijiyama Japanese Garden and its tearoom!

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If you come to the right time of the year you will be welcomed by flowering cherry trees!

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Once past the entrance where you can book tea and wagashi cake at the tea room walk along the wooden platform to reach the inner Japanese garden.

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The general view of the park, an ever-changing landscapes according to the seasons!

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Beautiful pond with Japanese carps!

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Take your time and walk around!

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Plenty of flowering trees along the seasons!

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This part of the garden was design to represent Mount Fuji looming over green tea fields!

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The tea room!

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Water well!

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A look at the “engawa/surrounding hall” on the right of the tea room!

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Inside view!
You are invited inside as soon as a seat is available and upon producing your ticket you will be served either sencha tea or macha tea with a wagashi Japanese cake.

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You can put your bag under the table!

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I personally asked macha tea!

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My Wagashi Japanese cake represented a rape flower and plant!

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Good news for vegans and vegetarians!

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The macha was served in beautiful bowls!
Mine was decorated with wisteria!

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Some of my friends had ordered sencha sets!

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With a different type of wagashi Japanese cake!

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We were all served houji cha before leaving!

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A peaceful corner!

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Check the tea selection on sale!

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Take your time to enjoy the park before leaving!

MOMIJIYAMA JAPANESE GARDEN IN SUMPU PARK, SHIZUOKA CITY

Access (inside Sumpu Park):
5 minutes on foot from Shin-Shizuoka Station on the Shizutetsu Railway Line
10 minutes on foot from JR Shizuoka Station
15 minutes by car from Shizuoka Interchange on the Tomei expressway
Shizuoka City is one hour by Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo and two hours from Kyoto

Opening hours: 09:00~16:30
Closed on Mondays (if Monday is a National Holiday, open on Monday and closed on Tuesday).
Closed from December 29th to January 3rd
Check admission fees at entrance
Interpretation services by citizen volunteers are available on reservation in several languages. For further details contact the Parks and Green Areas Division of City Hall at (054) 221-1121 or the Tea Room Office at (054) 251-0016

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

Japanese Gastronomy: Eel Lunch at Unagi No Hirota in Gotemba City!

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Service: Shy but friendly and attentive
Equipment & facilities: Old-fashioned but very clean overall. Excellent washroom
Prices: slightly expensive (Japanese eels are not cheap in Japan!)
Strong points: Eels! Seafood and yakitori. All local! Good sake and shochu list.

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Unagi no Hirota Restaurant is located within walking distance of the north exit of Gotemba JR Station on the second floor of a somewhat derelict building dating back to the bubble era.
Most of the shops in the building are closed but Unagi no Hirota has survived, a good indication of its quality!

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The place is busy even on week days, half with tourists, half with locals, who choose a seat at the counter, around the square central table or on the tatami floor.

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I would recommend lunch in particular when the prices are more reasonable as eels are increasingly becoming expensive at restaurants serving Japanese eels, not the cheap imported Chinese variety!

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All the eels have been raised in Yoshida Cho, by the Suruga Bay in Central Shizuoka Prefecture for the last 40 years and are prepared form live fish on site, ensuring a safe traceability!

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Dragon with a smaller appetite had ordered a “Ieyasu” set lunch!

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For a closer view of the main dish!

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As for me I ordered the “Nobunaga” lunch set which included an extra length of eel!

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My eels!

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Side vegetable dish for good balance!

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I particularly appreciated the fact that the skin (underneath) was more grilled than greasy as in other establishments, making it not only to easier to eat but also far more tasty!
Moreover the eel was basted with the right amount of sauce, not hiding the taste of the eel but actually accentuating it!

Definitely above average. No wonder it had been recommended to us by the locals!

Unagi No Hirota/鰻のひろ田

〒412-0026 Shizuoka Prefecture, Gotemba City, Higashi tanaka, 870-1, Fashion Plaza, 2F
静岡県御殿場市 東田中870−1 ファッションプラザ 2F
Tel.: 0550-83-3114
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit cards: OK above 5,000 yen
Check their FACEBOOK SITE for more pictures and information!

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

Japan Wine Tasting: Yamanashi Prefecture-The Jewels of Kisvin 2012, Viniferia Mix 34 White by Team Kisvin & Château Sakaori (conducted at la Sommeliere in Shizuoka City)

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The other day I had the occasion to taste a very unusual white wine made in Yamanashi Prefecture at La Sommeliere in Shizuoka City with good friend sommelier, Mrs. Hiromi Hasegawa/長谷川浩美さん!

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The Jewels of KIsvin 2012, Viniferia Mix 34 White?
That is going to take some explanations!

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Team Kisvin & Château Sakaori under the name of Kinoshita Commercial Company/木下商仕(株) made this wine in Sakaori City/酒折市 in Yamanashi Prefecture with no less than 34 different grapes harvested locally!

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White
Alcohol: 12 degrees
Year: 2012
Grapes: Check this WEBSITE! Go to the year 2012! Good luck!

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Clarity: very clear
Color: golden
Aroma: assertive, dry, fruity. Muscat, raisins, Sherry wooden cask, white flowers, grapefruit, lychees.
Taste: very dry and fruity attack.
Almost completely unrelated to aroma.
Old-fashioned taste with dominant dry white flowers, dry citruses, ending up on faint notes of figs.
Constant on the palate and slowly fading away.
Stays dry with food while tending to reveal some petillant.
Will turn into some dry cherry sweets and desserts but will show more acidity with salty dishes.
Although it seems to be willing to start on a complex note, will quickly reveal a stolid and uncomplicated character.

Overall: Remarkable wine for its search into new fields, although 34 grapes might shock quite a few connoisseurs!
Ought to be sampled for the sake of knowledge or as an intriguing quizz!
Very rustic in approach.
Would do well with Japanese food in the place of a dry sake such as an uncomplicated honjozo.
Suggested pairings: sashimi, fruits confits.

LA SOMMELIERE

420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 7-5, Aiseido Bldg, 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-266-5085
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00, 12:00~18:00 on Sundays & National Holidays
FACEBOOK (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

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