Tag Archives: World Cuisine

Gastronomic Destinations: Taiwan

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just came back from a very short stay in Taiwan!
Although my sojourn lasted only two nights, one day and a few hours, I still had time to form a first idea of the country, its people and food!

Until my next trip I can already affirm that:
-The general welcome felt better than I had expected. Warm people, comparatively soft-spoken and very helpful in spite of the language barriers.
-A lot lot lot cleaner than I had expected. No smoking in any buildings. No spitting. Old, sometimes very old buildings, but always clean inside. Old facilities, but clean. Station scrubbed to perfection.
-Great safety, Well I don’t know the seedier side (there is one even in every big city, even Tokyo!), but i flet safe walking in back streets at night.
-Last but not least great food, although nots as spicy as expected.
In a single sentence, i had to forget my expectations and learned a delightful lesson!

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having really little time and a dragon to deal with all the time, I took whatever pictures I could. I hope they will give you a little idea of what to expect!

Taipei Railway was spotless clean and the many shops reminded very much of Japan.

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They even served Taiwan-style oden!

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Peking Ducks in a small shop in Yingge!

As trains and taxis are really cheap ( a thiid of Japan!) we traveled to Yingge/鷲歌/Eagle song, a city famous all over Taiwan for its ceramics. Check Yingge Ceramics Museum!

Yingge is a small city full of sights worthy of a longer visit!
Like every city Yingge is full of small bikes and one has to be careful before crossing a street, the only drawback I found in this lovely country!
I took the picture a bove as I was waiting for the green light!

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Now, what does 金牛角/Golden Bull Horns stand for?
Taiwan-style Croissants!
Apparently very popular!

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We found this small noodle restaurant in the Ceramic Street, a site you must absolutely visit, but I don’t know how to pronounce its name.

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The small two characters at the top mean “Yingge”. And the last means “noodles”, but I don’t know how to pronounce the first two characters.
Maybe Tina can help me?

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The menu written in three languages was very useful!
You mark the orders on a special leaflet, you pay beforehand 8cheap!) and wait for the food!

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Look at both sides of the menu!

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Pork noodles!

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Appetizers: Simmered tofu, boiled eggs and seaweed!

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Seafood noodles!

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It was then back in Taipei in the rain and the dark looking for a restaurant called 杭州 小龍湯包 famous for its steamed 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao located near the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial.

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As usual we last our way but finally found it by sheer luck after interminable arguments!

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A very popular place with the locals!

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As in Yingge, same system with a menu to choose from and a leaflet on which to write your orders. This time you pay after the meal at the entrance.

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Our first taste of Taiwan beer!

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We had come for the sole purpose of sampling those 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao!

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Steamed pork 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao!

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Juicy Royal 小龍湯包/Xiaolongbao with pork and crab brains!

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And then it was back in the rain, loosing our way again and finding our destination by sheer luck again after many arguments again! the restaurant was supposed to be only 5 minutes from Taipei Central Railway Station….!
The dragon wouldn’t give me the time to take a picture of the restaurant sign board….
It is very famous (with quite a few Japanese businessmen among the guests), and the old lady taking the orders could speak English and Japanese!
But I somehow found the name as HAW JI or Haoji Dan Zai Noodles/好記担仔麺! Address in Taipei: Address: Qi Lin Lu 79, five minutes from Railway Station.

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A very interesting concept:
First you choose your orders pointing at the ingredients exhibited outside the first small eating room.

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one of the three kitchens!

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And then you move to the larger restaurant at the street corner where you are given a table and served!
You pay on your way out.

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More Taiwan beer!

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Fried rice and crab steamed inside bamboo leaves!

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Pork and shrimp noodles!

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Fried string beans and minced pork!

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Mapo doufu/麻婆豆腐/”Pockmarked-Face Lady’s Tofu”!
Not as hot as expected by the Dragon, but I personally loved it!

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Deep-fried prawns and pineapple!

We were absolutely full and satisfied after these two dinners!

This time we came to the hotel by taxi!

Looking forward to my (our?) next visit!

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

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Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 18: Sweet Potato Wagashi Recipe

Sweet potatoes or Satsuma Imo/薩摩芋 in Japanese are a popular vegetable throughout the world as it can be accomodated both as a vegetable dish or a dessert!
The Japanese make a great use of it in Wagashi/和菓子/Japanese cakes, especially in home-cooking!
Here is a very simple and easy to adapt recipe that will please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, kids and adults!
The style is ohagi/おはぎ!

SATSUMA IMO OHAGI/薩摩芋おはぎ RECIPE

-INGREDIENTS (for 6 balls)
Sweet potato (steamed): 70g
Marmelade or yuzu (Japanese Lime) jam: 1 tablespoon
White miso paste (shiro miso): 2.5g (small teaspoon)
Sweetmeats/Anko/餡子: 120=150g
Ground sesame seeds: as you like

-RECIPE

Steam the sweet potato or soften it ina microwave oev. Mix it well with the white miso and the jam.

Form 6 balls of equal size.

Divide the sweetmeats into 6 equal portions.
Spread one portion over a piece of cellophane paper into a circle large enough to wrap around the whole sweet potato ball.

Place a sweet potato ball in the center of the sweetmeat circle.

This is the only “difficult” part you will master easily enough: bring the cellophane paper sides up and twist them together so as to form a ball by bringing the sweetmeat around the sweet potato ball.

If you think that the ball is too warm to unwrap easily after all this work, leave it in the fridge until before serving (not in the freezer!).
Unwrap the balls over a serving plate and sprinkle them with ground sesame seeds.
Naturally it is open to your imagination!

Have the kids make them!

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

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 17: Wagashi Christmas Cakes Pictures

Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

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!

Flowery Christmas!

What’s in Santa’s bag?

Bring your forks and knives!

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

For the toddlers!

Pity you have to eat it!

Definitely Japanese-style!

They almost look like sushi!

Elegant simplicity!

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 16: Yatsuhashi/-Tabe

Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋 or 八橋) is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet (miyagegashi/土産菓子). It is one of the best known meibutsu/名物 (famous regional products) of Kyoto.
It is also widely known under the name of O-Tabe/お食べ (“please eat”).

It is made from rice flour (上新粉, jōshinko), sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei, making it suitable for both vegans and flour allergics!

Baked Yatsuhashi

Raw Yatsuhashi

Raw, unbaked yatsuhashi (Nama yatsuhashi/生八橋) has a soft, mochi-like texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste (餡, an), and may come in a variety of different flavours.

Black Yatsuhashi

Most notable to the Kyoto area is the black version of this. The addition of black bean powder and black sesame seed powder to the wrapper and the an give a distinctive black color.

Different flavoured Yatsuhashi

Not so long ago, there were only a few flavours available.
Now, all kinds of flavours are on sale for the pleasur of all:
Cinnamon, Matcha Tea, Ume an (sweetmeats mixed with Jpanese plum), Mandarine, Strawberries, Cherry blossoms, Ramune, Chocolate-banana, Chocolate, Kyoto baked sweet potato, Chestnuts, Green apple, Blueberries, Mango, Orange, Red wine and more seasonal offerings!

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

Vegan Gastronomy: a Heaven in Shizuoka, Japan!

Chinese vegan gastronomy at Cham!

How many times have I heard expats and Japanese telling me, “I dare not go out of Tokyo as I’m vegan!”
Well, you may have some specialized vegan restaurants in Tokyo, but here in Shizuoka, the Prefecture counting (officially!) the greatest number of vegetable varieties in Japan, you do not need to look for (in vain!) a vegan restaurant!
Either you can find enough in the local markets, or better explore the many restaurants of this Prefecture and City of the same name that is THE gastronomic region of Japan. As you will discover below you are bound to find something absolutely delicious according to your priorities in menus of all genres!

Let me take your hand (or arm) and leave it to me! And we are visiting Shizuoka City only!

Vietnamese Sauteed vegetables at Annam!

Italian sauteed organic vegetables at Aquavite!

West African lunch, all vegetables cooked in coconut milk at Capu!

Chinese steamed vegetables at Cham served with a scented oil and soy sauce, or just plain salt and matcha powder!

Vegan sushi at Sushi Ko!

Organic shiitake at Yasaitei!

Vegetables baked in skillet from Solio Italian Restaurant’s own garden!

Tomato tempura (no egg white used) with yuzu koshio at Uzu Izakaya!

“Goro goro” fried and steamed salad at Uzu Izakaya!

Vegetable sashimi at Yasaitei!

Vegan steak at Tetsuya Sugimoto French Restaurant!

Fried Vegetables at Yasaitei!

Yomogi Wagashi, anywhere in town!

Misoyaki (miso paste and buckwheat), a personal favorite of mine at Yoshino Soba Restaurant!

If you need more explanations and guidance, I’ll be glad to help!

Incidentally I’m neither a vegan or vegetarian, but I understand my friends’ priorities!

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

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 15: Daifuku

DAIFUKU-1

Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

The traditional daifuku, like all Wagashi are vegan in concept.

But Daifuku comes in many varieties.
The most common is white, pale green or pale pink colored mochi filled with anko.
These come in two sizes, one approximately the diameter of a half-dollar coin, the other palm-sized.
Some versions contain whole pieces of fruit, mixtures of fruit and anko or crushed melon paste.
Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Some are covered with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa.

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HISTORY:
Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (大腹餅) (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions

VATIETIES:

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Yomogi daifuku (蓬大福)
A version made with kusa mochi (草餅), which is mochi flavored with mugwort.

DAIFUKU-4
Ichigo daifuku (イチゴ大福)
A variation containing strawberry and sweet filling, most commonly anko, inside a small round mochi. Creams are sometimes used for sweet filling. Because it contains strawberry, it is usually eaten during the spring time. It was invented in the 1980s. Many patisseries claim to have invented the confection, so its exact origin is vague.

DAIFUKU-5
Mame daifuku (豆大福)
Another variation made of mochi mixed with red peas or soy beans.

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