Japanese Food – Onigiri or Omusubi

Miso-rice balls

Miso-rice balls

“Onigiri,” also known as “Omusubi,” is the most widespread snack in Japan. This fist-sized rice ball, which, having been industrialized, comes in somewhat disturbing triangular shapes as well, is made from white rice and wrapped in seaweed, called “Nori.” The rice could be flavored with fillings such as salt and black sesame seeds, and/or stuffed in the middle with sour or salty ingredients like salmon, pickled plums (“Umeboshi”), and “Tarako” (cod roe). The stuffing options are endless – pretty much anything goes.

Onigiri/omusubi is distinct from sushi as plain rice is used rather than special sushi rice that contains vinegar, sugar, and salt. This makes it even easier to prepare, and thus is very popular as snacks to take on picnics, to work, and even to ball games. Who would not want to munch on some rice during the 7th inning stretch, right?

To prepare this dish you will need a small bowl, thin plastic wrap, a rice spoon to scoop, a bowl full of white, round rice properly cooked (and cooled off), nori to wrap the rice, fillings of your choice, and a little bit of water and salt to taste. Take the small bowl and line it with the thin plastic wrap. The wrap should be big enough so that rice does not overflow when you make a ball out of it.

Sprinkle some salt, fill the bowl with cooked rice and make a hole in the center with the help of your finger. Add your desired fillings in the hole. Bring the ends of plastic wrap together and twist them tightly so that it looks like a ball. If you succeed in making this a triangle, let me know. Take off the plastic slowly, and wrap the rice ball partially or completely with some nori.

Of course, as is almost anything else in Japan, you can find onigiri/omusubi in 24/7 convenience stores that daily stock up on them and offer a wide selection of filling types. This is an ideal budget snack when traveling in Japan.

Josh Shulman, Author of All-You-Can Japan http://smartjapantravel.wordpress.com

For Those Cold Winter Nights – Oden

Oden (おでん)

Oden (おでん)

In today’s world of dreary sandwiches, and canned and frozen food, conventional Japanese cuisine has come up as a blessing to people. Refined and elegant, the Japanese gastronomy is considered as one of the best all over the world. Japanese food items have evolved greatly over the past centuries owing to several political as well as social changes. Whereas much of conventional Japanese cuisine was influenced by the Chinese and Korean cultures in ancient times, Japanese cookery transformed with time, bringing in new flavors and tastes. One of the more traditional foods, “Oden” is a perfect, healthy fusion of the simplicity and distinct tastes of Japanese cooking.

Oden is eaten mostly during winter season in Japan. It is a special type of Japanese stew which incorporates boiled eggs, yam cake, daikon radish, fish cakes, and more. The ingredients are cooked in a kelp-based stock for many hours. Oden is all about the various ingredients soaking for long hours in the soup, making each and every one of them juicer than the next, extracting hot soup that gradually warms your body with every bite you take on those cold nights.

At home, Oden is often prepared in a central big pan on a table, making it yet another ideal dish to merrily eat around the table with friends or family. Once prepared, Oden is usually served with “Karashi,” essentially Japanese hot mustard. Some even include a bit of Karashi on every bite. There are other Oden-specific sauces that the Japanese use as well.

Though it is quite easy to prepare Oden, the soup base and boiling time can make a significant impact on the outcome. There are many specialty Oden vendor shops and Oden restaurants in Japan where you can enjoy this traditional dish during your Japan travel, including 24-7 convenient stores like Family Mart. Because of different habits, various parts of Japan may have their unique styles of preparing Oden, so go ahead and experiment with different soup elements.

Josh Shulman, Author of All-You-Can Japan [smartjapantravel.wordpress.com]

Recipe: Corn Korokke (Japanese Style Corn Croquette)

Korokke

Korokke

Corn Korokke (Japanese Style Corn Croquette)

Ingredients:

* low-fat margerine

* flour

* non-fat milk

* 1 (11 oz) canned whole kernel sweet corn

* eggs

* Japanese bread crumbs (panko)

* korokke sauce

* Japanese mayonnaise

* Jthinly sliced cabbage

* olive oil

* Koshur salt

* freshly ground pepper

Prep Time: 40-50 min

Cooking Time: 15 min

Instructions:
Place 3 large unpeeled potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil, and cook for about 40 minutes or until done. Test potatoes with a skewer to see when done. Place them in a bowl, then peel while hot.

Press the potatoes through a strainer while still hot. If potatoes are cool they will be sticky, making it difficult to pass them through the strainer.

Season with salt and pepper. Mix these ingredients with the mashed potato. Mix well, and cool.

Meanwhile, melt margerine in a frying pan then add flour.

Add the milk and stir until the sauce becomes creamy.

Wait until the sauce thickens, then add the canned corn and mix them well. Refrigerate the sauce in a bowl for several minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add sauce and mix it with the mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper.

Form potato mixture into patties, and dredge patties in the flour until they are coated evenly, dip in beaten egg then coat evenly with panko.

Deep fry the korokke pieces until they are golden brown. Then place on paper towel to absorb extra oil.

Place thinly sliced cabbage on a plate, place korokke pieces over it. Serve them with korokke sauce or mayonnaise.

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

Recipe: Japanese Oven Baked Flounder

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

Japanese Oven Baked Flounder

Ingredients:

* 4 flounder fillets

* 1 tablespoon low-fat margarine

* 2 tablespoons sake

* 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

* 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

* 2 teaspoons sesame oil

* 1 teaspoon honey

* 1 teaspoon lightly toasted black sesame seeds

* 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

* 4 leeks, green tops only, cut into 1-inch pieces

* 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch long matchstick strips

* 1/2 large red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

* Steamed rice, accompaniment

* Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms

Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms:

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 3/4 cup sliced shittake mushrooms

* 1 tablespoon sesame oil

* 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

* 2 tablespoon sake

* 4 lemons, zested and juiced

Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 30 min

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut 4 large squares of heavy aluminum foil large enough to hold 1 flounder fillet and one-quarter of the vegetables. Lightly put margerine one side of each and set on a work surface.

Lay the fish flat in a baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together the sake, light soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, honey, and black sesame seeds. Pour over the fish and let marinate for up to 45 minutes. Arrange 1 fish fillet on each sheet of aluminum foil and top with one-quarter of the shiitake mushrooms, leeks, carrots, red peppers, and marinade. Wrap tightly and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap each package. Transfer the fish and vegetables to 4 large plates and top with the cooking juices. Serve with Sauteed Shiitakes and hot steamed rice.

Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms:
Place a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute until they begin to give up their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the sesame oil, light soy sauce, sake, and lemon juice and zest and cook for 3 minutes.

 

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

Recipe: Green Tea Cream Puffs

Green tea cream puffs

Green tea cream puffs

Green Tea Cream Puffs

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup white sugar

* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

* 1 pinch sea salt

* 1 tablespoons matcha powder

* 2 cups non-fat milk

* 2 egg yolks, beaten

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1/2 cup shortening

* 1 cup green tea (sencha works very good)

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 1 pinch sea salt

* 4 eggs

Prep Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 40-50 min

Instructions:
Custard:

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 5 tablespoons flour, a pinch of salt and a 1 tablespoon of matcha powder. Stir in milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 60 seconds, then pour a small amount of hot liquid into the 2 egg yolks, and stir. Then return now heated egg yolks to saucepan and stir, over heat, until mixture starts to bubble again. Remove from heat, add vanilla. Cover and chill in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. This step is done first so that custard can be properly chilled by the time the pastry is ready for filling.

Pastry:

In a medium saucepan, combine shortening and green tea and bring to a boil. Sift together 1 cup flour and a pinch of salt and pour all at once into boiling mixture. Stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, and add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet, or pipe into desired shape.

Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake 25 minutes more, or until golden. Cool completely, split, fill with custard, and replace tops.

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

The Best Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo

Japanese RestaurantSushi is the specialty of Japanese food. Sushi is widely eaten and appreciated the world over. If you are visiting Tokyo then do not miss the golden opportunity of tasting authentic sushi. Tokyo has many restaurants which serve sushi; some of them are as follows:

Sukiyabashi Jiro

Sukiyabashi Jiro Restaurant in Ginza serves the best Sushi in town. It was awarded three stars by Tokyo Michelin Guide. The place is known for its warmth and excellent food. The place offers the best sushi and every piece is surely a masterpiece.

Kyubei

Kyubei was established in 1936 and has since maintained its reputation of producing mouth watering sushi and also introducing innovations in the art of sushi making.

Tsukiji Fish Market

The Tsukiji fish market is located in central Tokyo and is a famous place for buying fish. It actually is a wholesale fish market and also features several restaurants which are open for business from as early as 05:00a till afternoon. The Sushi Dai is a famous restaurant of Tsukiji; it is one restaurant in Tokyo that comes with rare reviews. Sushi Dai serves the best fresh fish. Each bite is full of delight. The flavor tantalizes your taste buds. However to taste that delicious out of this world fish you have to be up early. Late comers can join the long queue. The place closes down at 2:00 P.M.

Diawa Sushi

The Diawa Sushi is also located in Tsukiji. It serves generous portions of amazing sushi. The food is delicious though the service is pretty average. It is reasonably priced restaurant where you have to reach early to avoid disappointment.

Tsukiji Sushi Sei

Another restaurant worth mentioning in the Tsukiji area is the Tsukiji Sushi Sei. This restaurant has 20 outlets all over Japan and is famous for its original Edo Mae style sushi.

Iwasasushi

You can also go to the Iwasasushi in Tsukiji. Here the décor is purely Japanese with a counter having capacity for 15 people. Fresh sushi is prepared before you and is served on a green leaf pieces by pieces as the food is prepared. The menu is in English

Sushi Bun

Sushi Bun also in Tsukiji is a great place to the delectable Japanese food. The best thing about this place is that you get super food without having to wait in a long queue. The staff is also quite friendly. Satisfied customers claim that sushi here is better than that at Diawa and Sushi Dai but then you have to eat it to know it.

 

Ms. Pinky is a mom of 3 school children. She is a Systems Engineer, a Technology Researcher and an Independent Medical Billing and Coding Consultant. She and her family is well-traveled all over the world!

Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business [http://www.mommyisworkingathome.com].

Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia’s Culture and Great Food! at http://www.goingplacesinasia.com

Recipe: Green Tea Tofu Harumaki (Spring Rolls)

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

Green Tea Tofu Harumaki (Spring Rolls)

Ingredients:

* 6 tb soy sauce

* 6 ts sesame oil

* 375 g tofu; cut into cubes

* 6 tb olive oil

* 3 leek; cut into thin strips

* 3 carrot; cut into thin strips

* 225 g mangetout; cut into thin strips

* 6 cloves garlic; chopped

* 3 ts fresh root ginger; chopped

* 375 g button mushrooms; sliced

* 1 1/2 ts five spice powder

* 225 g beansprouts

* 3 ts cornflour

* 3 ts salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tsp Matcha powder

* 3 200 g pack Spring Rolls Sheets

* 120 g solid vegetable oil; melted

Prep Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 15-20 min

Instructions:
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil and 6 tablespoons cold water and add the tofu and marinate for approx 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and stir fry the leek, carrot and mangetout strips for 2-4 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and mushrooms and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.

Add the tofu (reserving the marinade) with the five spice powder and beansprouts.

Blend the cornflour, the marinade and matcha powder and pour over the vegetables and cook gently until thickened, add seasoning and leave to cool.

Lay out spring rolls sheets to cooking sheets. Place a spoonful of vegetable mixture at one end of the sheet and roll up gently, folding the sides in.

Brush the other end with a little more vegetable oil to seal the pastry. Repeat for the remaining spring rolls.

Deep fry the spring rolls in hot oil preheated to 180 C, 350 F for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown. Drain well on absorbent kitchen paper.

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

Recipe: Green Tea Baked Kobe Beef Ribs With Ginger-Plum Barbecue Sauce

Seared Japanese Beef

Seared Japanese Beef

Green Tea Baked Kobe Beef Ribs With Ginger-Plum Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

Ribs

* 6-8 lbs. Kobe beef ribs (more inexpensive types of ribs can be substituted)

* 1 large white onion, chopped

* 1 cup cider vinegar

* 2 TBSP fresh ground pepper

* 3 TBSP koshur salt

* 1 large garlic clove, peeled

* 3 gallons green tea (brew it beforehand)

Ginger-Plum Barbecue Sauce

* 2 TBSP dark molasses syrup

* 1 cup ketchup

* 1/4 cup brown sugar

* 24 oz. ripe plums (8-10 plums), pitted

* 1/4 cup +2 TBSP soy sauce

* 2 TBSP ginger, grated

* 1 tsp orange zest

* 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

* 1/4 cup honey

* 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

* 2 TBSP rice vinegar

* 2 large clove garlic, minced

* 4 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped

* 2 hot chiles, seeded (for hotter sauce, leave seeds in)

Prep Time: 2 hr

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Instructions:
1) Bring 3 gallons of green tea to boil in a 5 gallon stock pot. Add all ingredients and boil for 30-40 minutes or until meat is tender. Remove ribs from boiling green tea.

2) Brush ribs with ginger-plum barbecue sauce generously. Place on sheet pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour or until meat is falling off bones.

3) Brush baked ribs with more ginger-plum barbecue sauce and serve.

Sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy, non-reactive saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the plums are very soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender to process to a puree, then return to the pan. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce, honey, or lemon juice as necessary. The sauce should be sweet, sour, and spicy. If too thick, thin with a little water. Makes about 3 1/2 cups of sauce.

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

Recipe: Le Chevrot and Tomato Soba

Soba Noodles

Soba Noodles

Le Chevrot and Tomato Soba

Ingredients:

* 6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

* sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup

* 1 teaspoon finely shredded fresh basil leaves or Italian parsley

* 1 large ripe tomato, coarsely chopped

* 5 oz le chevrot, cut into thin slices

* 1 lbs soba noodles

Prep Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 20 min

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the garlic cloves, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet. Roast on the middle shelf for 15 to 20 minutes; the garlic should feel tender when tested with a fork or small knife. Set aside.

In a large pasta bowl, gently mix the tomatoes, chevrot, 1/3 cup olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and half the basil or Italian parsley. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. (The recipe can be made ahead of time up to this point. Cover and refrigerate the garlic and the tomato and chevrot marinade.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles bit by bit, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking each other. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until soba noodles are al dente. Drain them, rinse them in cold running water, and scrub them against each other by hand to remove all the surface starch. Drain, rinse, and let it sit.

In a large skillet, add the roasted garlic cloves (and the oil from the skillet) and place over a moderate heat. Add the drained soba noodles and stir well to coat with the olive oil and garlic. Add the tomato/chevrot mixture and cook, stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes and cheese just begin to melt and everything is hot. Place in a serving bowl, add the remaining basil or Italian parsley and toss well. Serves 4.

Eric Newman is an author for Teanobi.com where you can find fresh green tea and more!

Pompoko: A Great Place to Eat Japanese Food in Brighton

Brighton North Laines

Brighton North Laines

Pompoko is Brighton’s most authentic Japanese restaurant with a fantastic choice of dishes and a bustling atmosphere. To put it simply, the Pompoko experience is delicious food, great value and polite, speedy service. The restaurant always hosts a varied crowd and is great for couples or larger groups, there is also the option to bring your own bottle, which is perfect when you’re on a budget! All of the food is authentically Japanese and cooked freshly to order, but you’ll rarely have to wait more than fifteen minutes for your food to arrive, no matter how large the group. Choose between a rice bowl dish like the Tori Chilli Don- a chicken dish with a tangy sauce, or a stir fried noodle/rice dish with your choice of meat, seafood or a vegetarian option such as tofu or mixed vegetables. There’s no need to play it safe, try something new- everything is so tasty that you’d struggle to find a dish you didn’t like.

The food comes in awesome Japanese rice bowls or plates, and you have the choice of chop sticks if you feel comfortable. Pompoko is the perfect place for a group celebration or just a quick drop in on your lunch hour, and the busy atmosphere allows for good conversation, in keeping with traditional Japanese communal eating. Another fantastic reason to visit Pompoko is the price! A main meal can come as cheap as £4, and you’ll certainly leave feeling full whilst still spending under £10. This means you can have a one of a kind independent restaurant experience for half the price of a high street food-chain alternative. The restaurant has two floors, with small tables slotted around each other and plenty of interesting Japanese knick-knacks to look at on the walls. As it’s always busy they don’t take bookings- the quick service and attentive staff make sure that you’ll be seated and eating as quickly as possible.

This quaint eatery is located near Brighton’s lanes on Church Street, near Brighton station and very close to the Dome Theatre and The Pavilion. Pompoko is truly unique, and great for when you’re feeling spontaneous. It’s suitable for anyone, but the low price and cozy layout means you’re always likely to find students and people wanting plenty of food on a budget. Open as early as 11.30 and as late as 23.00 on Saturdays, be sure to drop in and experience Pompoko for yourself!

 

We Love Brighton.com is your Brighton Guide, where you can find Brighton Whats on; the review of Pompoko.

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