Tag Archives: Seaweed

Seaweed: The Vegetable of the Oceans!

Mozuku in amazu/sweet vinegar as served at Yasaitei, Shizuoka City.

Seaweed or algae have been used for eons by humans, but have only been recently rediscovered as a food of their own.
Seaweeds are consumed by coastal people, particularly in East Asia, e.g., Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, but also in Indonesia, Belize, Peru, the Canadian Maritimes, Scandinavia, Ireland, Wales, Philippines, and Scotland.
It is rich in calcium and magnesium and seaweed noodles can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti or carbonara.

Nori

In Asia, Zicai (紫菜) (in China), gim (in Korea) and nori (in Japan) are sheets of dried Porphyra used in soups or to wrap sushi. Chondrus crispus (commonly known as Irish moss or carrageenan moss) is another red alga used in producing various food additives, along with Kappaphycus and various gigartinoid seaweeds. Porphyra is a red alga used in Wales to make laver. Laverbread, made from oats and the laver, is a popular dish there. Affectionately called “Dulce” in northern Belize, seaweeds are mixed with milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a common beverage.

Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance as food additives. The food industry exploits their gelling, water-retention, emulsifying and other physical properties. Agar is used in foods such as confectionery, meat and poultry products, desserts and beverages and moulded foods. Carrageenan is used in salad dressings and sauces, dietetic foods, and as a preservative in meat and fish products, dairy items and baked goods.

Alginates are used in wound dressings, and production of dental molds. In microbiology research, agar is extensively used as culture medium.

Seaweed is a source of iodine, necessary for thyroid function and to prevent goitre.

Seaweed extract is used in some diet pills. Other seaweed pills exploit the same effect as gastric banding, expanding in the stomach to make the body feel more full.

Konbu Tsukudani, a popular Japanese seaweed dish.

The Japanese divide their edible seaweed into three main groups:
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.

Yes, these violet and green algae are edible!

VIOLET ALGAE:

-Asakusa Nori, or アサクサノリ(浅草海苔 (Porphyra tenera).

-Tengusa, 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 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 or 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, or sea grapes, a delicacy of its own!

MARKET AVAILABILITY IN JAPAN:

In Japan it is interesting to note you can easily buy seaweed in paste form:

Konbu

Aosa

Hijiki

Next here are some pics to help you discover/recognize edible varieties in the markets:

Akamoku

Makusa

They often come as a mixture!

Red Algae

JAPANESE GASTRONOMY:

Here are some examples of the use of seaweed in Japanese gastronomy that can be expanded and inspired from wherever in the world you are, you being vegan, vegetarian or omnivore!
I have reduced the size of the pictures. Click on them to enlarge and copy them!

Agar or Crystal Kaiso/Crystal Seaweed!

The same in a salad!

An example of seaweed salad with wakame and agar.

Another seaweed salad with samples harvested in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture!

An Okinawa variety called somen nori!

Another local variety called Tsunotama/Horns and Balls!

Wakame appetizer!

Wakame Noodles!

Another Wakame salad!

Wakame sticks cooked with miso paste!

Wakame and Miso Paste mix from Kanzanji, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Wakame and Miso Bread!

Wakame Miso Soup!

Wakame, tofu and miso Soup!

A bowl of freshly steamed rice with seaweed paste!

Soba/Buckwheat noodles with nori and green leaf vegetables!

Seaweed, trefoil and ground sesame seeds salad!

The best way to eat rice?

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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Seaweed: The Vegetable of the Oceans! (updated)

Mozuku in amazu/sweet vinegar as served at Yasaitei, Shizuoka City.

Seaweed or algae have been used for eons by humans, but have only been recently rediscovered as a food of their own.
Seaweeds are consumed by coastal people, particularly in East Asia, e.g., Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, but also in Indonesia, Belize, Peru, the Canadian Maritimes, Scandinavia, Ireland, Wales, Philippines, and Scotland.
It is rich in calcium and magnesium and seaweed noodles can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti or carbonara.

Nori

In Asia, Zicai (紫菜) (in China), gim (in Korea) and nori (in Japan) are sheets of dried Porphyra used in soups or to wrap sushi. Chondrus crispus (commonly known as Irish moss or carrageenan moss) is another red alga used in producing various food additives, along with Kappaphycus and various gigartinoid seaweeds. Porphyra is a red alga used in Wales to make laver. Laverbread, made from oats and the laver, is a popular dish there. Affectionately called “Dulce” in northern Belize, seaweeds are mixed with milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a common beverage.

Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance as food additives. The food industry exploits their gelling, water-retention, emulsifying and other physical properties. Agar is used in foods such as confectionery, meat and poultry products, desserts and beverages and moulded foods. Carrageenan is used in salad dressings and sauces, dietetic foods, and as a preservative in meat and fish products, dairy items and baked goods.

Alginates are used in wound dressings, and production of dental moulds. In microbiology research, agar is extensively used as culture medium.

Seaweed is a source of iodine, necessary for thyroid function and to prevent goitre.

Seaweed extract is used in some diet pills. Other seaweed pills exploit the same effect as gastric banding, expanding in the stomach to make the body feel more full.

Konbu Tsukudani, a popular Japanese seaweed dish.

The Japanese divide their edible seaweed into three main groups:
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.

Yes, these violet and green alagae are edible!

VIOLET ALGAE:

-Asakusa Nori, or アサクサノリ(浅草海苔 (Porphyra tenera).

-Tengusa, 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 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 or 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, or sea grapes, a delicacy of its own!

MARKET AVAILABILITY IN JAPAN:

In Japan it is interesting to note you can easily buy seaweed in paste form:

Konbu

Aosa

Hijiki

Next here are some pics to help you discover/recognize edible varieties in the markets:

Akamoku

Makusa

They often come as a mixture!

Red Algae

JAPANESE GASTRONOMY:

Here are some examples of the use of seaweed in Japanese gastronomy that can be expanded and inspired from wherever in the world you are, you being vegan, vegetarian or omnivore!
I have reduced the size of the pictures. Click on them to enlarge and copy them!

Agar or Crystal Kaiso/Crystal Seaweed!

The same in a salad!

An example of seaweed salad with wakame and agar.

Another seaweed salad with samples harvesyed in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture!

An Okinawa variety called somen nori!

Another local variety called Tsunotama/Horns and Balls!

Wakame appetizer!

Wakame Noodles!

Another Wakame salad!

Wakame sticks cooked with miso paste!

Wakame and Miso Paste mix from Kanzanji, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Wakame and Miso Bread!

Wakame Miso Soup!

Wakame, tofu and miso Soup!

A bowl of freshly steamed rice with seaweed paste!

Soba/Buckwheat noodles with nori and green leaf vegetables!

Seaweed, trefoil and ground seame seeds salad!

The best way to eat rice?

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

Japanese Vegan Gastronomy: Tokoroten-Agar-Basic Recipe

TOKOROTEN-1

“Toroten” or 心太 (or 寒天) in Japanese is Agar or agar agar.
It is made with a variety of small red Gelidiaceae.

TOKOROTEN-2

The seaweed is called Tengusa/天草/Heaven Grass in Japanese and is particular abundant in Western Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture!
The picture above was taken in Western Izu peninsula where it is regularly harvested in its natural element and sun-dried before being processed.

TOKOROTEN-1a

It has been for unknown ages in Japan and is still used extensively in food and even cosmetics and fertilizers.
It is first washed in clear water and su-dried 4 to 5 times before use.

TOKOROTEN-1b

Its use has been recorded in Izu as far as 1822!

TOKOROTEN-3

This is the form it is sold in Japan. The red color has naturally disappeared after all the washing and drying.

TOKOROTEN-4

In a large pan add plenty of water and rice vinegar.

TOKOROTEN-5

Boil it over a medium fire for an hour or until the liquid becomes a boiling syrup.
make sure ther is enough though during the boiling, otherwise the the syrup will stick on the bottom of the pan.

TOKOROTEN-6

Take off fire and sieve the tengusa into a large bowl.

TOKOROTEN-7

Then pour it into a clean cloth and press it out. Proceed twice! The agar must be pressed out at least twice for best quality!

TOKOROTEN-8

Pour the agar into a flat square cooking metal dish and let cool down for 20^30 minutes at room temperature.
The agar should slide out if you incline the dish.

TOKOROTEN-9

The Japanese use the above tool called ところてん突き/Tokoroten Tsuki!
Check the use in this video!

TOKOROTEN-10

The agar will get through this grill to make “noodles”

TOKOROTEN-11

Cut out strips of agar the size of the pushing handle.

TOKOROTEN-12

Push the cut agar through the “tokoroten Tsuki”.

TOKOROTEN-13

foe a better view!

Serve the tokoroten as they are seasoned with ponzu and whatever chopped seaweed or greens of your liking.
Naturally the agar can be seasoned with spices!
Enjoy!

Check this video, too!

TENGUSA

As an indication in Japan the above containg 100 g of dried tengusa is sold for 698 yen (about 7 US$.

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
-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 and Vegetarian Vegetable of the Oceans: Seaweed!

Mozuku in amazu/sweet vinegar as served at Yasaitei, Shizuoka City.

Seaweed or algae have been used for eons by humans, but have only been recently rediscovered as a food of their own.
Seaweeds are consumed by coastal people, particularly in East Asia, e.g., Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, but also in Indonesia, Belize, Peru, the Canadian Maritimes, Scandinavia, Ireland, Wales, Philippines, and Scotland.
It is rich in calcium and magnesium and seaweed noodles can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti or carbonara.

Nori

In Asia, Zicai (紫菜) (in China), gim (in Korea) and nori (in Japan) are sheets of dried Porphyra used in soups or to wrap sushi. Chondrus crispus (commonly known as Irish moss or carrageenan moss) is another red alga used in producing various food additives, along with Kappaphycus and various gigartinoid seaweeds. Porphyra is a red alga used in Wales to make laver. Laverbread, made from oats and the laver, is a popular dish there. Affectionately called “Dulce” in northern Belize, seaweeds are mixed with milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a common beverage.

Seaweeds are also harvested or cultivated for the extraction of alginate, agar and carrageenan, gelatinous substances collectively known as hydrocolloids or phycocolloids. Hydrocolloids have attained commercial significance as food additives. The food industry exploits their gelling, water-retention, emulsifying and other physical properties. Agar is used in foods such as confectionery, meat and poultry products, desserts and beverages and moulded foods. Carrageenan is used in salad dressings and sauces, dietetic foods, and as a preservative in meat and fish products, dairy items and baked goods.

Alginates are used in wound dressings, and production of dental moulds. In microbiology research, agar is extensively used as culture medium.

Seaweed is a source of iodine, necessary for thyroid function and to prevent goitre.

Seaweed extract is used in some diet pills. Other seaweed pills exploit the same effect as gastric banding, expanding in the stomach to make the body feel more full.

Konbu Tsukudani, a popular Japanese seaweed dish.

The Japanese divide their edible seaweed into three main groups:
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.

Yes, these violet and green alagae are edible!

VIOLET ALGAE:

-Asakusa Nori, or アサクサノリ(浅草海苔 (Porphyra tenera).

-Tengusa, 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 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 or 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, or sea grapes, a delicacy of its own!

MARKET AVAIBILITY IN JAPAN:

In Japan it is interesting to note you can easily buy seaweed in paste form:

Konbu

Aosa

Hijiki

Next here are some pics to help you discover/recognize edible varieties in the markets:

Akamoku

Makusa

They often come as a mixture!

Red Algae

JAPANESE GASTRONOMY:

Here are some examples of the use of seaweed in Japanese gastronomy that can be expanded and inspired from wherever in the world you are, you being vegan, vegetarian or omnivore!
I have reduced the size of the pictures. Click on them to enlarge and copy them!

Agar or Crystal Kaiso/Crystal Seaweed!

The same in a salad!

An example of seaweed salad with wakame and agar.

Another seaweed salad with samples harvesyed in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture!

An Okinawa variety called somen nori!

Another local variety called Tsunotama/Horns and Balls!

Wakame appetizer!

Wakame Noodles!

Another Wakame salad!

Wakame sticks cooked with miso paste!

Wakame and Miso Paste mix from Kanzanji, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Wakame and Miso Bread!

Wakame Miso Soup!

Wakame, tofu and miso Soup!

A bowl of freshly steamed rice with seaweed paste!

Soba/Buckwheat noodles with nori and green leaf vegetables!

Seaweed, trefoil and ground seame seeds salad!

The best way to eat rice?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Vegetarian Italian Cuisine at Piatto!

Service: Very friendly and relaxed. Slow food!
Equipment: Great cleanliness and splendid washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong Points: Vegetables, especially local and organic whenever possible. Local products. Good French and Italian wine-list

I’m not a vegetarian, but if one can come up with a superlative vegetarian dish I will not hesitate!
And if the vegetables are organic and local to boot I will ignore meat and fish for the whole meal (and postpone the latter to my next visit! LOL)

Kazuo Igarashi originally comes from Tokyo, but with a wife from Shizuoka and a constant access to extravagant ingredients convinced him to open Piatto in downtown Shizuoka City on June 12th 2006.
Since then he has acquired such a fame that his own peers advised me to pay him a visit as soon as possible!

Kazuo’s cuisine is definitely Italian in inspiration but his small establishment is a happy fusion of European and Japanese influences with plates and dishes being chosen among the artworks of three different potters. Food is served on wooden (wood and fabric material and colors are everywhere!) trays with wooden chopsticks and spoons (although you can ask for forks and knives!) and in art glassware. Frankly speaking I would need to write a separate article to describe the place (which I will do next time!)!

I almost cried when I found a Mercurey white wine on his menu! Mercurey is my home-place back in Bourgogne, France!
A very tasty appetizer was served in a beautiful glass: yuuba (skimmed tofu sheet) with parmegiano, pepper and olive oil!

A first for me!

“Bagna Couda”: Italian-style hot dip vegetable tray!

The small deep dish was placed on larger pot containing a combustible to heat the dip.
Both the dish and “burner” were made of sophisticated Japanese pottery!

The dip recipe is a secret of course but it does contain parmegiano and anchovy paste!
I did not leave a drop!

The vegetables, all local and most organic, were more of a Japanese concept, proving that superlative Italian gastronomy can be successfully achieved anywhere if you have quality ingredients!

A little explanation here:
The eggplant is mizu nasu/水茄子, a variety which is eaten raw. The renkon/蓮根/lotus root and takenoko/筍/bamboo shoot are definitely Japanese in concept.
And even more so the mini melons eaten as vegetables in our Prefecture!

Kazuo’s focaccia seems to be known all over town.
Carrot focaccia to finish my dip sauce!

What did I tell you about pottery?
I know some people who would visit the place just to have the pleasure in eating with them!

A risotto was of course on the cards!
I just asked Kazuo to concoct me one with vegetables!

It just shows that green can be become such an appetizing color in the hands of a great chef!

Even the dessert was local!
Can you guess?

I almost took the same picture: Cherry tree flower Ice cream! Yes you read well: flowers!

I’m afraid this is still a bit short of an article as Kazuo Ishigarashi’s cuisine will take time to explore, but don’t woory, I’ll be back soon!

PIATTO
Shisuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Kooyamachi, 5-12, 2F
TEl.: 054-253-8844
Business hours: Lunch, 11:30~14:30 on Monday, Saturday, Sunday & National Holidays. Dinner: 17:30~23:00
Closed on Thursdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese and a little English)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Vegan Feast with Shizuoka Products at Yasaitei!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb toilets.
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Great choice of local & Japanese vegetables. Kansai-style oden. All traditionally-clad ladies staff in a traditional izakaya. Good wines, shochu and sake List.

Chef Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 never rests on her laurels in a constant search for new local vegetables of the best quality and freshness to please and titillate her customers.
Luckily enough, Shizuoka Prefecture is fast developing into THE reference when it comes to variety and quality of vegetables in Japan.
Moreover, whenever a producer cannot achieve a full organic culture the predominant trend is to reduce any artificial fertilizer or pesticide to a strict minimum.

The result is that the general level has reached such an elevated status that vegetables imported from other Prefectures are of an unheard quality.
It is thus easy to understand why restaurants and izakayas in Shizuoka Prefecture are increasingly using only the safest vegetables as a matter of course!

A very Japanese setting!
With my first glass of my favorite local rice-shochu, “Doman” by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery, the o-toshi/first snack was a morsel that vegans would run for!

Tokoroten/心太/seaweed jelly!
Served with some finely chopped dry nori/seaweed and Japanese hot mustard, it makes for a delicious healthy snack, even for an omnivore like me!

The sashimi plate of the day!
All the vegetables came from Shizuoka Prefecture and almost half of them were organic!

I know this corn as I have already written about it. Kankan Musume Corn by Takeshi Ichikawa in Iwata City. Served raw, it is so juicy and sweet!

This ko aka daikon/radish/小赤大根 come from Shizen no Chikara Organic Farm in Shizuoka City. Their raw leaves are great with grain mustard!

Juicy daikon and crisp perilla leaf/shiso/紫蘇. The sweet onion/tamanegi/玉葱 behind the shiso leaf is also from Shizen no Chikara Organic Farm.

Juicy tomatoes (from the same farm!), crispy cucumber and quaint ice-plants!

Organic carrot backing up the chopped sweet onion!

As usual the “dressing” consisted of top-class kome miso (the miso paste contains whole rice grains), sesame oil and salt!

Aki san had just received organic broad beans (you can eat them raw!). I asked her to prepare some as tempura!

Little jewels!

And I was off to my second report of the night… LOL

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 12 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Vegan’s Paradise in Shizuoka: Yasaitei!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb toilets.
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Great choice of local & Japanese vegetables. Kansai-style oden. All traditional ladies staff in tradtional izakaya. Good wines, shochu and sake List.

Spring is a boon for an izakaya like Yasaitei which specializes in vegetable cuisine (although you can get anything from fish to meat). Although I’m not, it is always great fun to ask for vegan or vegetarian dishes to Ms. Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋, chef at Yasaitei.

As vegetables are only seasonal, it is a good idea to sit at the counter and have a good look at them:

I will let you guess them out (mind you, it is not too difficult!)!

Enormous, aren’t they?

Local, fresh and big!

While I was teasing Aki San I was brought my snack with my first drink.

This seaweed is called “mekabu/和布蕪”. It is found in the shape of balls in the nearby sea and has to be chopped first before serving it with some ponzu and sesame seeds. It is said to be extremely healthy, full of nutrients and especially beneficial to humans! After all, seaweed is the vegetable of the ocean!

As for my drink I chose a rice shochu, brewed by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, called Acho no Tsubome.
Incidentally, this shochu is vegan! And the art so cute!

I was not here for a full dinner but for a quick snack before going back to work.
So Aki san fried shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and plenty of Spring cabbage in peperocino style and served them decorated with local fresh cress.

For such cuisine Aki San will use only absolutely top-class Italian virgin olive oil and a minimum of seasoning, mainly salt, pepper and chili so as to preserve the true taste of the vegetables.
Let me show you some closer shots for a better look!

From the top.

From the top, a little bit closer.

A side view.

And another.

Although she cooks all kinds of dishes, including omnivore, Aki San will be glad to oblige and devise strictly vegan or vegetarian dishes for you and even a full meal if requested at least a day in advance!

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 12 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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