Tag Archives: Vegan

Shizuoka Sobaya (Soba/Buckwheat Noodles): Setsugetsuka


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Last week, during that memorable day spent in the merry company of Etsuko Nakamura, Melinda Joe and Timothy Sullivan, we had lunch at a sobaya I had planned to visit for quite some time in Shimada City: Setsugetsuka.

This is the kind of place I can recommend to a lot of people with very different culinary tastes, be they vegetarian, vegan or omnivourous (that’s for me).
The interior has just been revamped into a great Japanese semi-traditional atmosphere, which should please guests in search of a true Japanese setting.

The food from complimentary soba tofu (see above picture) to dessert is of refined quality at very reasonable prices.
The 7th generation chef (the place was opened 90 years ago) tries to combine classics and original recipes:


“Fuwa fuwa tamagoyaki”/a Japanese omelette with a twist: The tamagoyaki is first cooked, put inside a bowl with “dashi/soup stock”, then covered with beaten eggs and cooked again in an oven to attain a “cloudy omelette” reminiscent of a souffle!


Tenpura are served one at a time to ensure freshness.


Tenpura includes “sakura Ebi Kakiage”, made with Sakura Shrimps which can be caught only off Yui-cho shore in the Prefecture!


Soba come in many varieties from stright “10-wari” to:


violet soba (mixed with violet yam!)

Frankly speaking one cannot exhaust all the possibilities, so visit their homepage (Click on anything printed in blue or violet!). Even if you do not understand Japanese, you will enjoy the pics!

Incidentally, they serve great local sake from their neighbours at Oomuraya Brewery!

Setsugetsuka
Shimada City, Hotoori, 2-3-4
TEL: 0547-35-5241
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays and third Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE

Simple Recipes: Shiso/perilla Flowers and Leaves


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I felt compelled to answer a question from Rowena and provide some useful information on “shiso” or perilla/beefsteak plant in a simple posting that I hope will help Japanese food lovers and vegetarians!

First of all, one can grow shiso, be it green or violet, almost anywhere as long as you have plenty of sunshine and water opportune times (as long as you water it yourself, fine!).
For example, Rowena presently lives in Italy and has successfully grown some from seeds I sent her.

Seeds should be planted in March/ April. The hotter the prevailing climate, the earlier it should be done. Prepare some moist vegetables-growing soil and make small shallow holes on top at a comfortable distance from each other. drop 2 or 3 seeds in each hole. Cover with more soil and spread a newspar sheet over the lot. Keep in shade. Once the first shoots have come out, take newspaper out and expose to sun all day long. Water morning and evening at the base of the stems, not on the leaves (or they wuld “burn”!).


By August (or earlier) to September the shiso will start flowering!
These flowers, if picked early enough are edible!

(Pic taken at Tomii)
Reputable Sushi and Japanese restaurants extensively use them all year round. They make for exquisite decoration and are really tasty!

Now, if you want your own seeds, wait until the folwers and stems turn brown and shake them over a plate. You should get plenty of minuscule seeds for the following year. I checked this very morning with my neighbour, a retired farmer who is looking after his own garden. He said there is little use to keep them indoors in winter unless you want to start a greeh House business with all the hassles involved! Just collect the seeds and replant! Actually such seeds could become a source of business in Italy and elsewhere!

Now, the leaves can be accomodated in hundred of ways. Pick them up young and tender enough. The Missus keep them in a plastic Tupperware-type box with a sheet of clean kitchen paper imbibed with clean water (put it at the bottom of the box) before storing it in the fridge vegetables compartment.

You can wrap them around nigiri/rice balls instead of nori/seaweed.


(Pic taken at Oddakui)

Make a liberal use of them with sashimi!

They are also great as tenpura!
Do not hrow away the small or damaged leaves. Chop them fine and add them to fresh salads or to any stews and ratatouille!

The violet variety is edible of course, although the Japanese do not use for decoration like the gree one, except for the flowers.
They usually pickle them for their sake or add them to other pickled vegetables such as cucumber.
They also make juice, sherbet or sauces with them, too.

Vegetables Sashimi at Yasaitei


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As often happens on a long work day, I needed a quick fix around 7 p.m. keeping in mind that I would eat dinner at 9:30 back home.
I have taken the habit in such a dilemna to visit Yasaitei and eat vegetarian food there.
I have already introduced their specialty, “Vegetables Sashimi”. As it changes with the season I know I will eat something fresh and different every time!

Allison and maybe Rowena would jump on that, I’m sure!

From left to right:
Small red radish, freshly cut ginger root (still thin and just out of the garden with leaves and all), “myoga” leaves (another variety of ginger, thinly sliced daikon on shiso leaf, radish again and Japanese cucumbers (very crunchy and juicy at the same time!)

The seasoning plate contains miso, salt and sesame oil.
A repast for vegetarians and vegans alike! (I’m neither, sorry!)

Yasaitei
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

Vegetable Sashimi at Yasatei


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It was another one of my quick “evening breaks” this evening, and I just decided to pop up at Yasatei as I knew I would be able to nibble on a great morsel or two.
Now, what I ordered should please vegetarians and vegans alike (I’m neither), but I suspect Simaldeff (because of his weight problems). Allison (she loves her veg) and Lindsay (always keen on Healthy food) would particularly be curious to find out what I ate.

Well, I ordered “yuuki yasai no sashimi”.
Translation: bio vegetables sashimi.

From left to right:
“Eshyaletto/Japanese echalottes”, “daidai piman/soft orange pimento”, “myoga/ginger sprouts”, “aka radisyu/red radishes”, “shiso/perilla”, “daikon/Japanese long radish”, and “kyuuri/cucumber”.
All vegetables, except for the orange soft pimento also have the merit to be grown in Shizoka Prefecture!

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As for “seasoning”, I was offered “goma abura/sesame oil” from Kyoto (see pic) with salt and miso paste.

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended

Sushi for Vegetarians & Vegans (2)


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Here are other very typical examples of sushi fit for Vegetarians and even vegans!
So next time you are planning to eat sushi, come armed with your knowledge and tease your favourite sushi chef with it!

Top picture:
From right to left, top to bottom:
Yuuba (tofu sheets), Takenoko (bamboo shoot), Myoga (ginger sprout), Gobo (burdock roots)
Ki no mi (leaf vegetable variety), Awafu (cooked tofu), Kamo Nasu (pickled eggplant/aubergine variety), Hakusai Maki (Chinese cabbage roll)

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From top to bottom:
Sugiku no Ha Maki ((pickled chrysanthemum plant roll), Kabu Tsukemono (pickled turnip), Takenoko (bamboo shoot)

Sushi for Vegetarians & Vegans (1)


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Although I’m not a vegetarian nor a vegan, I do understand the needs of people with different regimen and always try to inform them about gastronomic options available in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now, sushi for strict vegetarians or vegans exist as sown in those two pictures I took yesterday in a very small but famous Sushi Restaurant called Sushi Iroha in Iwata City, south of Toyoda JR Station.

The picture above features vegetables all grown in then neighbourhood Which were first cooked or/and marinated:
From left to right and top to bottom:
Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Yuber Paste (nigiri)
Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and Umeboshi/salted Japanese plum (nigiri)
Shiro Negi/white leek (nigiri)
Na no hana/Rape Blossoms (nigiri)
Gobo/Burdock Roots (nigiri)
Satsuma Imo/Yams (gunkan)
Daikon/Japanese Long Radish (gunkan)

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Next I was served a sublime creation concocted with Ebine Imo/Ebine Tuber served mille-feuilles style intersped with sushi rice and presnted with dashes of olive oil, seame oil/goma abura and soy sauce/shoyu.

Look forward to reading Part 2!
HOMEPAGE

Tea Buckwheat Noodles: “Tya-soba”


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Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
Vegeterians (and vegans!), rejoice! A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Tya-soba!.
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.

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As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to samll. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025