Tag Archives: Vegan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Exquisite and so aromatic herb tea!

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The veggie burger!

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Home-baked vegan bread!

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

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Organic herbs providing extra seasoning!

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

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

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

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

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

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Deep-fried Tofu & Vegetables Balls-Ganmodoki-がんもどき

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Here is another recipe for my vegan (I’m not) friends which has the advantage and possibility of being served hot or cold!
It is also fulfilling and so healthy!
Ganmodoki-がんもどき/雁擬き/”pseuo goose”.
The recipe on Wikipedia indicates the use of egg-white but this is a very common vegan version!

INGREDIENTS:

Tofu
Carrots
Burdock/Gobou/牛蒡
Kikurage mushroom(Auricularia auricula-judae, known as the Jew’s ear, wood ear, jelly ear)
Vegetable oil
Cornstarch/Katakuriko/片栗粉
Salt

RECIPE:

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Use fairly solid tofu and press out as much water as possible.

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Put tofu inside a mortar (preferably use the Japanese-style “suribachi/すり鉢 mortar and pestle).
Add cornstarch and salt according to your preference and grind to a paste.

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Cut the kikurage into fine strips and then cut across into 1~2 cm-long strips.
If using dried kikurage soften it first in lukewarm water (sponge off excess water then).

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Cut carrot and burdock into fine strips and cut acroos into strips of the same length as kikurage.

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Incorporate vegetables to tofu and mix well.

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Apply oil to your palms first.
Make balls the size indicated in above picture.
Of course you can choose to make small round balls or spoon-shaped patties.

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Deep-fry in oil at 170 degrees Celsius until balls have attained a nice light fox brown color.
Serve them hot or cold.
My personal preference is serving them seasoned with grated fresh daikon and soy sauce!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Dessert Recipe: Daigaku Imo-Deep-fried Sweet Potatoes in Syrup-大学芋 (Professional Recipe)

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A lot of sweet potatoes are found in the supermarkets these days and as the scholar year second term is starting, the Japanese, young and old alike are looking forward to eating traditional desserts made with these tubers.
“Daigaku Imo” in Japanese means “University Potato” as the University students in the Kanda District, Tokyo, were very fond of this dessert back in Taisho Era. The same dessert, which has somewhat disappeared during WWII came into fashion again thanks to the students of the prestigious Tokyo University!

I already have introduced a recipe some time ago, but this is one is more professional (but still easy).
As usual I leave the proportions to your liking!

INGREDIENTS:

Raw sweet potatoes
Oil
Black sesame seeds

Water
San-ontou sugar/三温糖 (if not available use red sugar or brown sugar)
Mizuame/水あめ/”Water sugar” (if not available use corn syrup)

RECIPE:

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Clean the sweet potatoes thoroughly.

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Better than a knife use a vegetable peeler to peel all skin.

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Make sure not to leave any skin or “eye”. Clean rapidly in water.

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Cut to bite size and clean in new water.

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Important tip. Cut the sharp edges away. The potato will not crumble when being deep-fried and the “bite” will be improved!

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In a proportion of 1 for water and 2 for sugar, heat until sugar has completely dissolved stirring all the time.

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Add the syrup and stir until completely dissolved.
As an indication, the proportions i use is:
Water: 200 cc (1 cup)
Sugar: 400 g
Syrup: 150 g

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When the whole has dissolved turn off the fire.

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Deep-fry at 170 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.

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Scoop out and keep out for a while.

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Check that the oil is at 170 degrees Celsius and deep-fry a second time until the sweet potatoes have attained a nice “fox brown” color.
leave them on a piece of kitchen paper for a while to absorb excess oil.
Place on a place and pour plenty of syrup over them.
Sprinkle black sesame seeds liberally and serve!

Point:

Proceed with the first deep-frying first.
Deep-fry them a second time only when you are ready to eat them.
Deep-frying in two will give you crisp potatoes!
Re-heat the syrup if necessary although this dessert can be appreciated at any temperature!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Deep-fried Tofu-Atsuage-厚揚げ

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Tofu is a very important and healthy food both for vegans and omnivores as it is made with soy beans.
But some people understandingly would like to eat it in a more solid form.
Nothing is easier. You just need oil!
Seasoning is up to you and I’ll give you some suggestions there!
Here are the steps for a simple recipe for atusage/厚揚げ/”Thick fry”!

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First, what tofu should you choose.
I personally prefer silk tofu/kinudofu/絹豆腐 but some might want something with a better bite. In this case use momendofu/木綿豆腐 or something even firmer.

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First cut the tofu into slices of your preference.

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Place them on a tray lined with a piece of clean dry cooking cloth.

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place another piece of clean dry cooking cloth over the tofu and some improvised weight (see above) to press water out.
The cloth will imbibe with the water making the later transfer of the tofu slices easier.
Press the water out for a s long as you want, depending of how firm you want your atsuage.

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Do not coat the tofu with flour or cornstarch as this is a very different recipe!
Utilize oil you have already used 2 or 3 times for better coloring of the atsuage. Filter the oil beforehand, though, so as not mix the tofu with any other food particles.
Use sesame oil (used for tempura for example) if possible but any good frying vegetable oil is OK.

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Bring the oil temperature to 180 degrees Celsius.
Drop the tofu gently into the oil.
As it will float, wait until one side is well cooked to a “kitsune iro/Color of a fox” as they say in Japan.
Turn over gently to cook the other side.
The length of the frying will depend on how well cooked you want your tofu.

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for more practicality I cut the tofu thin enough to make nice “tiles” I can serve in many ways, but of course this is to you. Large dices is also a good idea!
Place the atsuage over a grill of kitchen paper to take away excess oil.

As for seasoning my preference is serving the atsuage hot or cold (or reheated) topped with finely sliced leek, grated fresh ginger and ponzu.
Naturally a lot of people use their favorite soy sauce or/and add chili pepper powder or/and other spices.
Cold, it is great served as a salad with fine greens and dressing!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The hot soup!
No dairy products is used whatsoever!

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

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Whatever the angle it is definitely tempting!

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Home-made vegan bread!

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Home-made jam/chutney!

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Plenty of natural spices!

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

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

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

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

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Simmered Daikon with Miso Sauce-Furofuki Daikon-風呂吹き大根

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I’m no vegan and never will be, but many of my friends are!

Now, daikon, or Japanese radish, has become a universal vegetable and recipes to accommodate it are innumerable!
The Japanese, especially in winter, have a very interesting way to cook it and serve it with a miso-based sauce, which even me, a meat eater, just can keep my fingers away from: furofuki daikon!
It si served in many restaurants from modest ones to very expensive establishments who keep their recipes secret, although there is very little to hide!

Here is a basic recipe that will allow you plenty of leeway.
bear in mind that this the basic recipe. I will leave precise proportions to your skills and priorities!

INGREDIENTS:

Daikon
Rice: a few grams
Konbu/seaweed
Irigoma/ground sesame seeds
Daikon leaves

Sauce:
White miso
Red miso
Mirin
sake
Sugar
Konbu Dashi/Seaweed soupstock

RECIPE:

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Cut the daikon into round slices about 4~5 cm thick.

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Peel the daikon slices.
Do not throw the peeled skin away. You can cut it fine and use it in many recipes such kinpira!

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Cut away the sharp edges. This will prevent the daikon to break into pieces during the cooking!

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Make a cross shallow cut on both sides. There are many reasons for doin this!

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Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the daikon. Add konbu/seweed. drop the daikon in water.
Let simmer over a light fire for about an hour or until the daikon ha become soft. If daikon emerge because of insufficient water, add hot wter (cold would stop the cooking!) so as to cover the daikon.

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Adding rice to the daikon (form the start) will sweeten it and also help whiten it.

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While the daikon is simmering prepare the sauce with white miso, red miso, mirin, sugar, sake and konbu dashi soup stock.
This is when your taste preferences can be taken into account!

Cook all the ingredients together in pan stirring all the time with wooden spoon.
Cook until you obtain a thick paste.

Serve the daikon topped with sauce and sprinkled with ground sesame (irigoma). sesame seeds can be served whole, too, naturally!
Serve it together with its steamed leaves!

It can served hot in winter or cold in summer!
Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

RECIPE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So easy and healthy!
Enjoy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Gastronomy: Tokoroten-Agar-Basic Recipe

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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

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

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Push the cut agar through the “tokoroten Tsuki”.

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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

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Deep-fried Burdock.Age Gobou.揚げ牛蒡

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Burdock or Gobou.牛蒡 in Japanese is also called greater burdock.
Its Latin name is Arctium lappa.
Although it is a root vegetable with great nutritious and even medical properties, it is commonly eaten only in Japan and Taiwan.

This species is native to the temperate regions of the old world, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and from the British Isles through Russia, and the Middle East to China and Japan, including India.

It is naturalized almost everywhere and is usually found in disturbed areas, especially in soil rich in nitrogen. It is commonly cultivated in Japan.

It prefers a fresh, worked soil, rich in humus, and should be positioned in full sunlight. Burdock is very reactive to nitrogen fertilizer. Propagation is achieved through sowing the seeds midsummer. The harvest occurs three to four months after the seeding until late autumn, when the roots become too fibrous.
In shizuoka it is more and more cultivated in organic fashion with natural/organic fertilizer and no pesticides.

Here is a simple way to prepare it that should please vegans and and vegetarians alike!
Bear in mind to use a vegan dashi for the recipe!
This is a basic recipe. I will leave the proportions to your liking!

One piece of advice: when you buy burdock roots, choose them with soil still on them! Important!

INGREDIENTS:

Burdock
Cornstarch (katakuriko or kudzuko in Japanese, but any cornstarch should do)
Dashi
Salt
Black pepper

RECIPE:

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First wash, brush/scrape skin off, rinse and cut the burdock root in small enough pieces.

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Now, the most important point in the rcipe:
marinate the cut burdock root in dashi in a vinyl pouch or Tupperware box for at least half a day!

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Drain the burdock root thoroughly. Roll in plenty of cornstarch.

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Once fried to your liking shake oil away as quickly as you can, season with salt and black pepper and eat them like fried potatoes while hot. Great with beer!

Simple, satisfying and healthy!

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

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Natto Cha Zuke・納豆茶漬け

NATTO-CHAZUKE-1

I’m not a vegan and never will be, but I do have many friends who are and when I can find a recipe for them it os always a pleasure to put it online!
Now beans, especially fermented beans/natto/納豆 comes with a lot of healthy ingredients for such a priority.
Rice (you may use it whole of course and tea have also plenty!
Chazuke/茶漬け is a Japanese way to accommodate cold leftover steamed rice by basically warming it up through pouring hot tea over it. A cold version is also possible, especially in summer!

INGREDIENTS (I leave the proportions to your appetite!):

Cold steamed rice (leftovers)
Hot tea
Natto
Soy sauce
Chili pepper powder
Finely chopped scallions/white leek
Optional: sesame oil, grated ginger, etc.

RECIPE:

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Pour some plain natto inside a bowl.

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Mix/stir natto with chopsticks or fork long enough to see natto completely linked with sticky filaments. As a criteria stir it a hundred times!

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Season it with soy sauce (and sesame oil as an option) and chili pepper powder and stir.

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Add finely chopped scallions/white leek (and grated ginger as an option) and mix well.

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In a bowl place enough cold teamed rice and natto on top.
Pour hot green (or oolong) tea over the rice up to the top of the ice.
For the cold version pour ice-cold tea.
Enjoy!

So simple and healthy!

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

Wasabi Grower: Masahiro Sugiyama/杉山昌弘 in Umegashima, Shizuoka City!

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Masahiro Sugiyama/杉山正浩!

Shizuoka City, in Utogi for that matter, is the birthplace of wasabi. But the city itself is very large, the second largest city in Japan, area wise, and wasabi is grown in many other spots along the Abe River in particular.

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my chef friends and I had to drive a long way up as proved by the snow still clinging to the mountains in the background. Actually these mountains are still part of Shizuoka City!

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This is still much rural traditional Japan as typified by the Sugiyamas’family farmhouse!

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It still took us one more mire to meet Masahiro’s family busy harvesting wasabi in their fields at 600 meter-altitude!
As Masahiro is the third generation as far as wasabi is concerned (he also grows tea, shiitake, konyaku roots and so on) you can see the second generation represented by his parents and the 4th generation in the person of his daughter still studying at Agricultural University in Hokkaido!

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The wasabi fields which have to be protected from monkeys, wild boars, deer and other pests!

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These wasabi which take about 12 to 18 months to grow from seedlings are almost ready for harvest which is conducted all year round.

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Wasabi seedling

Wasabi culture is organic when sawa wasabi/fresh running water wasabi is concerned.
Masahiro, for better protection against disease and insects prefers to buy his seedlings from a nearby grower than to make his own seedlings.

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Uprooting and cleaning the fresh wasabi.

Wasabi culture is a tough job daily conducted whatever the temperature although the water has a constant temperature between 12 and 16 degrees all year round.

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Seedlings recently replanted.

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The wasabi fields water is directly pumped from the Abe River flowing along.

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We are not far from the source of the Abe River and the water here is pure and untouched!

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But for the wasabi fields this is wild country here!

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If it were not for the blue tents you wouldn’t know that agriculture is conducted there!
I can assure you that all protection is needed as we discovered whole groups of monkeys prowling nearby!

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Only a single narrow road, recently paved, gives access!

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It is still winter up there!

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Those “steps/dams” were built a long time ago and they don’t interfere with the purity of the water.

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Not only the roots of these wasabi but also the leaves and stems are very popular with the local chefs who order directly from Masahiro Sugiyama according to their own specifications!

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Another big crop of the precious vegetable!

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Ready to to the farmhouse!

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For a clsoder look!

These will be cleaned and separated in roots, stems and leaves and even flowers which are all edible!

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Now this was a great discovery: wild cress growing in the same water!
We all took batches back home! So sweet and crunchy! You will find such at supermarkets!

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More hard work back at the farm where all the roots, stems, leaves and flowers have to be separated, cleaned and packed for immediate delivery!

No wonder these beauties fetch such a price (mind you, they are comparatively cheap here!)!

SUGIYAMA NOEN/SUGIYAMA FARM
Masahiro Sugiyama, Wasabi Grower
421-2301 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Umegashima, 5504
Tel.: 054-269-2420
Fax: 054-269-2450
Mobile: 090-8376-3854
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
E-mail: kanesima@grape.piala.or.jp

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Soba Restaurant: Tsudono in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Very kind and a bit shy
Equipment & Facilities: Spotless clean. Superb washroom.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Soba! Very Japanese atmosphere.

Soba or buckwheat noodles must be one of the healthiest staple food in this world.
And it complies with almost with any dietary requirements be they those of vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free dieters and what else!
And to top it all it is simply delicious!

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The other day after interviewing a local wasabi grower in Umegashima, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, my chef friends and I decided to visit a local soba restaurant up in the mountains among farms.
You certainly need a navigator to drive there!

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The windows of Tsudono Restaurant overlook a landscape of fields, farms and mountains, and nothing else!

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Very traditional atmosphere where you can sit either at a table and chair or on the tatami straw floor!

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Definitely worth looking at in detail, even the superb washroom!
And it is all non-smoking!

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Don’t forget to take your shoes off before venturing on the beautiful parquet!

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Ordering is very simple:
They serve only one kind of soba and one miso yaki!

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Mind you, they have no less than three kinds of Japanese sake available!
Don’t forget that not so long ago people had to go to the local soba shop to drink Japanese sake!

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Your simple but beautiful tray served with soba tsuyu/soupstaock, chopped scallions, grated daikon and grated local wasabi!

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Delicious miso yaki to go with our beer!
Miso yaki, a typical offering at a good soba restaurant is a mixture of miso and buckwheat grilled on a wooden spoon! A must-try!

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Don’t forget to mix these ingredients in the tusyu/stock soup before dipping your buckwheat noodles!

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The soba are made on the day only, served exclusively at lunch and the restaurant will close as soon as the soba have been all served! So come early!

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Pour plenty of soba-yu/water in which the soba were cooked/ in your soupstock vessel to make a very healthy drink!

TSUDONO Zaru Soba
421-2121 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tsudono, 514-2
Tel.: 054-294-1005
Opening hours: 11:00~15:00 or until the soba are sold out!
Closed on Mondays (except on National Holidays)
Car parking available
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Christmas Cake: Vegetarian & Vegan Japanese Wagashi/和菓子-Christmas Cakes Pictures

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Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

Here are some more suggestions for Christmas Cakes through re-published articles!
Have fun!

NOTE: I’m an unrepentant agnostic hedonist (and an omnivore to boot!), but since some of my vegan and vegetarain friends are Christian, I hope these pictures will inspire them!

christmas-wagashi-2

Flowery Christmas!

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What’s in Santa’s bag?

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Bring your forks and knives!

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Holy (Holly) Christmas!

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For the toddlers!

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Pity you have to eat it!

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Definitely Japanese-style!

christmas-wagashi-9

They almost look like sushi!

christmas-wagashi-10

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Recipe: Takuan Chahan-Takuan Fried Rice

here is another recipe for vegans, hungry ones in this case!
You need very little and can used leftover rice!

INGREDIENTS: (For two people)

Takuan: as appropriate
Steamed rice (cold leftover is best!): 2 Japanese bowls
Finely chopped scallions or leeks: as appropriate
Sesame seeds: as appropriate
Sesame oil: as appropriate
Salt: “shokoji/塩麹” if possible. If not available salt of your choice. As appropriate.

Optional: Herbs, vegetables and spices of your liking!

RECIPE:

Chop the takuan finely.

In a large fry pan pour some sesame oil. Fry takuan first for a little time.

Add rice and mix with takuan and fry all the time.
Add chopped leeks (and optional herbs), mix and continue frying.
Add sesame seeds. mix and continue frying.
When rice is properly fried add salt and spices (optional), mix quickly and serve!

Easy and very healthy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Oh Bento by Keith in Hull, UK, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, 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, PepperBento, Hapabento , Jacki’s Bento Blog, 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: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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

Vegetarian & Vegan Japanese Gastronomy: My Best 10 dishes (and extras!) in Shizuoka City in 2012!

Roasted organic vegetables plate at Le Comptoir de Bio-s, all vegetables grown by Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Shizuoka Prefecture is a haven for vegetarians and vegans, and I will never tire to repeat it!
Although I’m neither, I do appreciate the needs and priorities of my friends who take the time to visit our region.
The reasons why Shizuoka is blessed land for my friends is 1) that the climate allows for vegetable culture all year round, 2) Shizuoka Prefecture has always been a research center for agriculture resulting in the greatest number of vegetables (and fruit) varieties in a single Prefecture in Japan, 3) that it is also the most active Prefecture when it comes to organic agriculture.

All the photos represented in this article were all taken in restaurants in Shizuoka City (except for the last two!), demonstrating that with a little research you can find restaurants catering to your priorities and pleasure!

The title mentions the number “10” for appeal, but I included more to convince you!

Cold corn soup (Vichyssoise) at Aquavite Italian Restaurant!
The corn was grown in the mountains of Ikawa in Shizuoka City.
It includes only a little salt, olive oil and water used to boil the corn!

Vegetable appetizer at Yasaitei Izakaya!
It includes shiso/perilla leaf, finely sliced myoga ginger and fresh ginger, sweet hijiki seaweed, sesame seeds and a simple dressing based on olive oil and amazu sweet vinegar!

Vegan sushi at Sushi Ko Restaurant!
Menegi/leek sprouts nigiri.
The one on the left is not vegan/vegetarian as it includes katsuo bushi but the latter can be easily not included for a real vegan/vegetarian sushi.
Secured with a thin band of dry seaweeed/nori and topped with umeboshi/pickled salty Japanese plums!

Another vegan sushi at Sushi Ko Sushi Restaurant: Manganji chili pepper nigiri!
Manganji chili pepper is a long soft green variety of chili pepper.
The one at the left is topped with yuzu kosho, the other one with umeboshi/pickled salty Japanese plums!

Boiled jumbo peanuts at Taihei Izakaya!
These jumbo peanuts are at least three times the size of “normal” ones and are grown only In Shizuoka and Gunma Prefectures (until now!) and incidentally are eaten boiled only in these two Prefectures! A must-try!
These were grown in Fuji City.
Some organic varieties have also appeared on the Shizuoka tables!

Waga-style cucumber salad at Waga Izakaya!
Waga uses thin and crunchy Japanese cucumbers sprinkled with crushed peanuts and served with sweet miso dressing!

Daikon Katsu at Waga izakaya!
The picture above is not vegetarian/vegan but here is the vegan version:
Simmer a small daikon (peel it first but simmer it whole!) in vegan dashi, soy sauce and a little sake until it has got soft and beautifully colored.
Drain and cool down completely.
Wipe water/humidity off the surface.
Roll it plenty of cornstarch dissolved in a little lukewarm water.
Roll it in vegan breadcrumbs to cover it completely.
Deep-fry to a nice brown color.
Leave it for a couple of minutes over some kitchen paper to soak off excess oil.
Cut it as shown in picture above and season it with a vegan dressing!

Potatoes are staple food for vegans and vegetarians!
Here are a few examples!
The above is Yutoo Style fried potatoes at Yutoo Izakaya!
The potatoes are organically grown at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Roasted potato gnocchi at Le Comptoir de Bio-s!
Note that the gnocchi contain only potato, flour and salt!
Made with potatoes organically grown by Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Belgian Fries at Caravin French Restaurant!
Note that potatoes were first fried in Belgium! French fries are a historical mistake!
The fries are served with mustard (not ketchup nor mayonnaise!) and fine premium chili pepper!

Uzu-style fried potatoes at Uzu Izakaya!
Note that potatoes are not all white!
Potatoes organically grown at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Greens and mushroom salad at Le Comptoir de Bio-s!
The mushrooms are organically grown in Fuji City at Hasegawa Farm while the other vegetables are grown organically at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Simmered tougan/winter melon at Kagatsu Japanese Restaurant in Fujinomiya City!
The vegan version would be to simmer in vegan dashi! Served with fresh organic okra!

Vegan yuzu jelly cake at Myouken Sushi Restaurant in Gotemba City!
The jelly was made with local agar agar and yuzu!
A dessert fit for any vegetarian/vegan repast!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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,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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-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