Tag Archives: Shiitake

Japanese Gastronomy: Omelet Ribbons for Decoration!

The Japanese not only make great tamagoyaki/omelettes but extensively use eggs for decoration, especially in sushi and salads.
One such decoration is omelette ribbons.

Here is the basic recipe that could help you with future ideas!

Japanese Omelette ribbons!

INGREDIENTS:

-Eggs
-Oil

RECIPE:

-Having beaten the eggs, sieve/filter them through a large piece of gaze (this is the little secret!) into another bowl as shown on picture above.
Organize yourself so as not to spill egg everywhere. Use large bowls and plenty of gaze!
No need to season the eggs as the thin size of the ribbons will facilitate the absorption of any environmental seasoning.

-Use a square or rectangular non-stick tamagoyaki frypan.
Pour and spread a small quantity of oil.
Pour the eggs into a thin layer.
Bear in mind that the oil needs not to be so hot or the eggs will “crackle”.
Also bear in mind that not enough egg will not spread evenly all over the surface of the frypan. Not enough or too much will end in failure. Practice will soon make you a master!

-One more reason the omelette ought to be thick enough is that, when you turn it over with a long chopstick as shown on above picture, it will not break up.

-Fry both sides.

-Spread the omelette sheet on a working table while you eventually fry more.

-First cut the sheet into wide strips/bands. Think about the eventual lenghth of your ribbons.

-Finally cut across into thin ribbons.

-Enjoy the fun of easy decoration later!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

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Japanese Gastronomy: Chawanmushi-Basic Recipe

Chawanmushi or Chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸し is the Japanese equivalent of a French flan with the big difference that is not a dessert, but an appetizer!
It is quite easy to prepare and open to so many variations.
Here is the basic recipe. Just let your imagination fly!

Chawanmushi!

INGREDIENTS: For 2

-Eggs: 2
-Shrimps: 10 small
Shiitake mushrooms: 2
-Chopped leeks: to decorate and taste (or trefoil/mitsuba)
(you can use gingko nuts, kamaboko, crab, sea urchin, etc.)
-Dashi: 100 cc/ml (of your choice)
-Japanese sake: 50 cc/ml
Soy sauce: half a teaspoon
-Sugar: half a teaspoon
-Salt: 1 pinch
-Water: 2 cups, 400 cc/ml

RECIPE:

Take shell and head off every shrimp.
Let shrimps marinate in the sake for a while.
If you use frozen shrimps, thaw them and sponge off their water first.

Cut the shiitake in two.
If you use fresh shiitake, fry them just a little in butter and sponge them off.
If you use dried shiitake, let them marinate in lukewarm water for two hours. Their water can be used as part of the dashi.
If you use frozen shiitake, thaw them and sponge them off first.

in a saucepan, drop dashi, water, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Heat to before bubbles come up (bubbles will be the main reason for failure!).

Beat eggs and pour them slowly into the dashi, whisking them all the time.

Once all the eggs are mixed in, switch off fire and strain/sieve soup.

Place half of the shrimps and mushrooms at the bottom of each cup.

Slowly pour half of the soup in each cup/ramequin/small bowl.

Pour 3 cm of water into your steamer pan and bring to boil.

Place steaming tray inside steamer and place cups on it with lids on.

Cover as shown on above picture.
Cook over strong fire for 2 minutes, then 10 minutes over low fire (over high fire all the way through will end into failure!).

Check if chawanmushi are properly cooked. If you stab a toothpick in it, no dashi shoud come out.

Decorate with leeks or trefoil and serve!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Shiitake Mushrooms Cultivation without Agrochemicals: Shizuo Nanjyo in Shizuoka City!

It is never too late to become conscious of health and to contribute to its betterment!
I did not enquire about his age but Shizuo Nanjyo is definitely my elder but he has never lost his enthusiasm and belief when it comes to insure a healthy product of the highest quality.
A second-generation tea grower for 58 years but a first-generation shiitake mushroom grower for 50 years he decided to get away from the beaten tracks this year and assume not only the cultivation but also the marketing of his shiitake mushrooms.

Logs to be used for shiitake cultivation.

I finally managed to pay him a visit thanks to my good friend Asami Ito who kindly drove me all the way up the Abe River in Shizuoka City into the middle of wasabi and green tea land (mountains) in Do District.

Mr. Nanjyo grows his shiitake in a large greenhouse in a very clean environment without the use of any agrochemicals to ensure the heath and safety of his products.

As a further proof of his attention to health he had the government survey his crop and give him a certificate stating that his mushrooms are radioactivity free!

Insects and pests are taken care of with sticking tape traps (can you see the yellow pieces overhead?)
The wood logs come from kunugi/椚/Sawtooth Oaks (90%) and nara/楢/Japanese Oak from neighbouring Yamanashi Prefecture.

Logs are first inoculated with shiitake mushroom mycelium (also from Yamanashi Prefecture).

The logs are then soaked into clean water to help the mycelium to spread inside the log.

When the first tiny mushrooms start appearing the logs are then stacked and stored outside for 6 months.

They are protected from the sun, rain and big temperature gaps with reeds imported all the way from lake Biwa!
What about that for ecology!
Vinyl sheets are ineffective as they don’t allow air drafts and actually negatively help the temperature to rise under them.
This type and method of cultivation is only a return to traditional farming after all!
Logs are used for 4 years and then will be sent to specialized companies who will turn them into compost or sawdust for effective recycling.

When the logs are ready for fructification Shizuo will then move them inside the greenhouse kept at a regular temperature of around 25 degrees between October and May. Each log will be dated to know exactly when the mushrooms will be ready for harvest.

After that it is a question of timing as some customers want their mushrooms small,…

Others larger…

Shizuo kindly offered me to choose mine from those beauties as a souvenir!

Actually, I was still very busy talking with the kind producer about farming in general and Asami kindly picked some (plenty!) for me (in her left hand!), but Shizuo would not let me go without accepting an even bigger bunch of them (in Asami’s right hand!)!

Not only that, but I also ended up with two succulent daikon and a truly enormous cabbage from their personal garden!

Their garden is very popular as they have to protect it with a double netting to fend off monkeys, wild boars and deer which regularly pay an unwelcome visit to farms in the mountains!

It was only natural to put all these beautiful super fresh mushrooms to good use and bring plenty of them to Yasaitei Izakaya to be served and introduced to customers!

There is no better way to advertise great produce than having them served at once to happy gastronomes by knowledgeable chefs!

Shizuo Nanjyo, Shiitake Grower
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Do, 504-2
Tel.: 054-298-2155
Individual orders welcome
Mr. Nanjyo’s shiitake mushrooms will also be on sale every Sunday from 9:30 to 12:30 from December 11th at the car park of Marufuku Tea Company, Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu, 112.
Fpr more details call Ms. Asami Ito: 0120-36-4188

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

Vegetables Facts & Tips 9/1: Shiitake Mushrooms (Amended & expanded)

mushrooms-market
(Mushrooms at at a Shizuoka Supermarket)

I don’t intend to talk about wild mushrooms here as I would need a very thick book to post!
Japan is arguably the country cultivating the greatest number of varieties (new ones appear and disappear every year!), so I will limit myself to give information on at least some of them and furthermore introduce most varieties I have found in Japanese supermarkets (most of them should be available in many countries).

SHIITAKE

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FACTS:
Shiitake/Lentinula Edodes (Black Forest Mushrooms) are native to China but have been grown in both Japan and China since prehistoric times[2]. They have been cultivated for over 1000 years; the first written record of shiitake cultivation can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang, born during the Song Dynasty (AD 960–1127). However, some documents record the uncultivated mushroom being eaten as early as AD 199.
Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of East Asia. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sauteed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha’s delight. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Korean cuisine, they are commonly used in dishes such as bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), jjigae (stews), and namul (sauteed vegetable dishes). In Thailand, they may be served either fried or steamed.

Shiitake are often dried and sold as preserved food in packages. These must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavour from the dried mushrooms by breaking down proteins into amino acids and transforms ergosterol to vitamin D. The stems of shiitake are rarely used in Japanese and other cuisines, primarily because the stems are harder and take longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. The highest grade of shiitake are called donko in Japanese.
Extracts from shiitake mushrooms (such as ichtyol) have also been researched for many other immunological benefits, ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies, as well as arthritis.
The Japanese actually consume them from their raw form more than in any other country.

FACTS:

-Season: best in October~March for outdoors cultivation

-Main beneficial ingredients: Vitamin B1, B2, B6, c, N6, Ergosterol, Lentinan, Fibers, Potassium, Magensium, Phosphorus.

TIPS:

-Loosely wrap them in clean Newspaper or Kitchen Paper and store them in fridge away from the light.

-Choose specimens with unbroken “umbrella” and no black marks under.

-Fresh Shiitake are best enjoyed for their taste by keeping their cooking simple such as fry them over a grill with a dash of soy sauce and sake!

-If you want to dry them, do so under sunlight for best taste!

-Preserve dried shiitake in fridge to avoid mold and insects!

HEALTH FACTS:

-Dried shiitake contain more Vitamnin D!

-Combined with burdock root, or broccoli, or carrot, or asparaguses, helps combat cancer and helps with skin rejuvenation.

-Combined with konbu/seaweed, or spinach, or sardines, or sesame, helps combat bone diseases, activates blood circulation, helps combat nervous problems and rheumatism.

-Combined with sesame, or walnuts, or kabocha, or mayonnaise, helps combat ageing.

-Combined with celery, or cuttle fish/squid, or octopus, or mackerel, helps reinforce liver, combats high blood pressure, heart diseases and artery hardening.

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, Social Culinaire, Sushi Nomads, Cook, Eat & Share, Gourmet Fury, 5 Star Foodie

Please check the new postings at:
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Japanese Vegan Udon, Dried Shiitake and Konbu Salad

SHIITAKE-UDON-UMEBOSHI-SALAD-1

I’ve been looking around me recently for ideas so as to help my vegan and vegetarian friends with new ideas. Here is a simple one I just found for a healthy and tasty salad:
Japanese Vegan Udon, Shiitake and Umeboshi Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For one dish

-Udon: 1 pack of boiled udon ready for use
-Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: 4
-Konbu/seaweeed
-Salad Oil: 3 large tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 ml
-Real mineral water: 100 ml
-Cucumber, lettuce, mini tomatoes: as per taste

RECIPE:
SHIITAKE-UDON-UMEBOSHI-SALAD-2
-In a pan, drop cut dried shiitake, cho@@ed konbu/seaeed and oil. Fry gently.

-On a low fire add soy sauce and mirin.

SHIITAKE-UDON-UMEBOSHI-SALAD-3
-When you are satisfied that the shiitake are soft enough, drop the whole into mixer,nlender. Add water and process unti you obatin a sauce like in the picture.

-Boil udon quickly. Cool them under running clear water. Drain throuroughly and place on a dish.

-Arrange lettuce, cucumber on top of udon as on the picture, showing up enough of the udon.

SHIITAKE-UDON-UMEBOSHI-SALAD-4
-pour the sauce on top and decorate with mini tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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