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Fugu, Blow fish season in Japan!

Since I go to Tsukiji fish market almost everyday, The seasonal seafood is very obvious for me now :)

I bought blowfish this morning to prepare sashimi for my family this weekend.

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I guess some of you are afraid of poison, but you can get pre-poison removed blowfish in fishmarket.
You need special blowfish lisence to remove poison here in Japan, so the pro’ve already done the preparation!

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The blowfish is very different shape compared to the other fish, so the fillet process is also different.

This weekend I’m going to fillet it into sashimi, for porridge, and blowfish Karaage! :)

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Amazake sweets Recipe- How to make Amazake cookie

In the last blog, I wrote about Amazake and the recipe to make it from scratch.

It’s super good for your health, we sometimes call it as “drinking IV (intravenous infusion”..
Amazake includes a lot of Vit.Bs and amino acid.

I love to drink just hot Amazake, but today I iwant to introduce you how to use it for sweets.
You can keep it in the fridge about one week, so please use it for your main dish/sweets etc instead of using sugar, you will taste the deepness of the flavor :)

Amazake Cookie Recipe (non egg, non sugar, non daily product)

Ingredients:

All purpose flour 100g
Whole wheat flour 60g
(A) 110g Amazake
(A) 40g oil
(A) a pinch of salt

If you like, please add any kind of nuts or chocolate chips or  dried fruits.
This time I use carob chips :)

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  1. Mix whole wheat flour and all purpose flour well.

  2. Mix all the (A)s in the other bowl until the color became whitish color.

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  1. Mix (1) and (2) well. This time I add some carob tips at this point.

  2. Make the shape. about 7-8mm thickness and 3cm circle shape.

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  1. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes with 160 degree C.

  2. Enjoy!! :)

If you make this cookie without any carob tips or dried fruits, it’s not sweet compared to pre-made cookies since it doesn’t include any sugar. But you can taste very natural sweetness from the Amazake (the sweetness is like crackers) and the texture is crispy outside and a little moist inside. It’s very nice! If you like more sweet one, please add chopped dried fruit or carob chip etc. I made plain and carob one, half and half :)
And you can also make it with rice flour as well, in this case, please adjust the oil or Amazake amount (liquid amount) depends on the dough!

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If you like more sweet one, you can add dried fruits,

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How to make Amazake – sweet drink from framented rice Recipe

Do you know what is Ama zake?

It’s very sweet drink which we often drink it on New year’s day.
I often make it all around the year since it’s very tasty and good for your health!
There’re no sugra in it, natural sweetness from the rice and you’ll be amazed how sweet it is!
( you can get the pre made one from super market, too but most of them use sugar or something not proper ingredients for it)

Ama zake means sweet Sake, but it doesn’t include alcohol, Japanese kids also drink it as their snacks :)

Ingredients:
3 cups of rice porridge
3 cups of Rice Koji

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  1. Make rice porrige with 1 cup of rice and 5 cups of water.

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  1. Place 3cups of rice porridge in a bowl then cool it down until it became 65degree C. ( very important)

  2. Add 3 cups of Koji then mix well. Replace the mixture in the rice cooker then leave it for 6hours at least with lid open and place clothes on top to prevent dry.

Please don’t push “cook” button, push “keep warm” button. Then the Koji can frament in the warm environment :)

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  1. After 6-7 hours, it became like this (thick liquid). then place in the pot and boil it for few minutes to stop framentation.

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You can use it as many ways.
I often drink it deluted with hot water with ground ginger in winter.
Or I use this pase instead of sugra to make sweets :)

This time I used brown rice and brown rice Koji, but people usually use white rice and white rice Koji.

 

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Aji Fry Recipe- How to make Deep fried Japanese mackerel

I could buy very fresh Aji (Japanese mackerel) so I cook half Aji for Sashimi and the other half for Aji fry.

My mom often made it when I was child, so it’s one of my confy food

Ingredients (2-3 servings):
2 Aji (Japanese mackerel)

flour
Panko

Tonkatsu sauce

  1. Fillet the mackerel and remove big bones on belly side.

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  1. Mix flour and small amount of water, then make the batter. Toss the flour on the mackerel, dip in the dough, and place Panko on all the surface of the fish. (You can use beaten egg instead of flour batter as well)

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  1. Deep fry it until it became golden brown.

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  1. Sprinkle the Tonkatsu sauce on top.

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Enjoy!

This time I also made blowfish Karaage too.. :)

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Tofu cheese cake recipe – How to make Tofu cheese cake

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Last night, I was craving for something sweets.
But I feel guilty to eat too sugarly things at late night, because I knew that I couldn’t be satisfied with small portion, so I made my favorite healthy sweets – Tofu cheese cake.

Many natural healthy concept pastry shop offer Tofu cheese cake too, since Tofu texture can be cheese texture and has thickness of the taste so they often replace half amount of cheese wit Tofu.

Today I introduce no cream cheese nor egg one, and If you don’t know the ingredients, I’m sure that you can’t tell it’s made from Tofu :)!

And one thing, please use good Tofu! (cheap Tofu is not real one sometimes)

ingredients( 1 whole of 20cm pan):
(A) 25g Rape seed oil ( or any kind of oil)
(A) 25g Maple syrup
(A) 10g soy milk

(B) 90g of flour ( I used whole wheet flour and regular flour half and half)
(B) a pinch of salt

2 packs of HARD Tofu (about 600g)
(C) 40g Almond powder
(C) 15g Kuzu starch
(C) 50g of Rape seed oil
(C) 60g Maple syrup
(C) 110g Rice syrup (Kome ame)
(C) 3 Tbs. lemon juice

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  1. Place all the (A)s in a bowl and mix well. Shift all the (B)s, add it to the bowl then mix well with spatura.

  2. Place the crust dough under the cake pan, make some whole with folk thek back it for 15mins. with 180degree C.

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  1. During baking the crust, wrap the Tofu with kichen paper then microwave (600W) for 4-5mins. to drain water.

Before

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After

Can you see the water from Tofu?

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  1. Place 350g of drained Tofu in food processer then make it into paste.

  2. Add all the (C)s then mix well.

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  1. Place the Tofu mixture in the pan then bake it for 40-45mins. with 180degree C.

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  1. Cool it down well and enjoy!

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… I’ve already ate half whole of the cake only for 1 day.. :P

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Harumaki Recipe- How to make Japanese spring roll

Haru-maki is originally from China, but it’s one of the very popular Japanese home dish now.

When I was living in China, I tried their Haru-maki but it’s very different.
Chinese one (maybe it also depends on region, I tried at Anhui province) is more for enjoying the crispy skin, they have many kinds of filling but filling amount is very small.

Japanese one, is definitely for eating the filling. We place meat, some kinds of vegetables.. it can be your main dish, you would be full with 2-3 pieces :)

It’s easy, and healthy compared to the other deep-fried foods. My brother’s favorite food is the Haru-maki which my mom often cooked.
Last time I went back to my hometown, I asked my mom’s recipe but she said she lost one since she’d been using the same paper over 40 years.
My Haru-maki taste is close to hers, but I still feel something is missing but my mom can’t tell me what’s difference.
If there’re 100 family then there’re 100 kinds of Haru-maki recipe.

Please try my recipe, and adjust the ingredients depends on your taste :)

ingredients (5 servings)

10 sheets of Harsumaki skin (1 pack)
1 piece of garlick
1 piece of ginger
150g of sliced pork (cut into
100g of bamboo shoot
2 green sweet bell pepper
1/2 onion
2 piece of deied Chinese black mushrooms (soaked in the water)

(A) 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
(A) 1 teaspoon of sugar
(A) 100cc of Dashi (or the water for soaking mushrooms)
(A) a pinch of salt
(B) 1 Tablespoon of potato starch
(B) 2 Tablespoons of water

Wheat flour
Water

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  1. Mix all the (A)s in a bowl. Mix (B)s in the another bowl.

  2. Place a little sesame oil or vegetable oil in a pan, then sauté ginger and garlick. Then add pork, bamboo shoot, onion, bell pepper.

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  1. When the ingredients are almost cooked, add the (A) mixture then bring to boil. Turn the heat to lower heat and add (B) mixture, cook it again for few more minutes to make it sticky.

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  1. Cool it down completely.

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  1. Wrap the filling with Harumaki skin then stick the edge with flour and water mixture.

-Please be careful to close all the edge completely otherwise the filling explodes when you deep-fried

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  1. Deep fry them with 170-180 degree C oil until the color became golden brown.

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Enjoy! <3

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Japanese rice crackers store in Tokyo – Mochi kichi

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Do you know Osenbei is very popular Japanese snack?
It’s rice cracker and you can find it at any shop in Japan.

What is Senbei

I usually don’t eat them so much because I love chocolate more than crackers, (actually I’m very obsessed with chocolate) but this store’s Osenbei are sooo good!
If you’ve never had good Osenbei, or you like it, please try this store’s one!

They offer many kinds of Osenbei (Japanese rice crackers), like soy sauce taste, salt, mayonnaise, hard texture, soft texture, baked, deep-fried etc…
All of them are so tasty, I think because they use very good rice to make them.

They have also crunch chocolate with rice crackers- this one is my favorite now, salty-sweet taste is always nice!

Please try it if you come to Tsukiji area, they’re good small gifts for your friends :)

Mochi Kichi もち吉 HP

もち吉

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Omurice Recipe – How to make japanese omurice – Yoshoku dishes

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A large number of Western dishes have been introduced to Japan over the centuries. We think “Yoshoku” are Western dishes but many of them have become completely Japanized. Today I want to introduce one of my favorite Yoshoku recipes, “Omu rice” (Japanese rice omlette).

In Japan, you can see this Omu rice at a kid-friendly family restaurant or a Yoshoku restaurant and Japanese kids always love it. It’s an omelette stuffed with ketchup-flavored chicken rice and topped with ketchup. It’s really yummy and I hope you love it, too!

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 cups of cooked rice

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

100g of chicken thigh

3 Tablespoons of Ketchup

20g of butter

4 eggs

salt and pepper

  1. Cut the chicken tight into small dice. Saute the chicken until the color changed. Add the chopped onion and carrot and saute until it’s done.
  2. Place the rice in the same pan and toss until thoroughly heated, add 3 Tbs. of Ketchup and keep tossing.
  3. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the chicken rice into two and place it on a plate and make omelette shape.
  4. Beat the eggs in a bawl. Place the butter in the frying pan until the butter melt, pour the half egg into the pan and make an omelette.
  5. When the omelette is half done, place the chicken rice down the center of the omelet. Flip one side of the omelette over the rice then roll the rice-filled omelette over the other side and onto a plate.
  6. Squeeze some decorative lines of a ketchup on the top.
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Tori no Karaage recipe- How to make Chicken Karaage ( Japanese Fried Chicken recipe)

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The Karaage is a Japanese-style fried chicken. Unlike the other Japanese dishes, it doesn’t require much ingredients so I think it’s one of the easy-quick dishes you can cook in any country. It’s very delicious not only soon we deep-fry it, but also after it cools down, so we often put it in our Bento box.

The taste is based on soy-sauce and this is a really simple recipe. I love to use chicken thigh but you can also use chicken breast.

For vegetarians or all the Tofu lovers, I will show you how to make Karaage without meat next time!

-Karaage

ingredients (4 servings)

2 Chicken thigh (about 500-600g)

potato starch

vegetable oil

(A) 3 table spoons of soy sauce

(A) 4 table spoons of sake

(A) 2 pieces of ground ginger

(A) 2 pieces of ground garlic

(A) 2 tea spoons of sesami oil

salt

pepper

  1.  Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  2.  Mix all the (A)s and chicken in a bowl. Leave it in the fridge at least 10 minutes.

( Leave it one night if you have time.)

  1.  Drain off a bit of the chicken marinade if it’s too watery, then toss the marinated chicken into the enough potato starch.

  2.  Heat the oil to 170-180 degree C. Fry the chicken pieces a few at a time until a deep golden brown.

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Renkon salad Recipe – How to cook Lotus root

Today’s dish doesn’t have name – Actually there’re so many dishes don’t have name, we usually call them as “simmered carrot” or “tasty pumpkin with seeds” or whatever.
But I think these dishes tastes so good and more popular at home compared to famous Japanes dishes.

I introduce Lotus salad with Miso and mustard today :)
Very easy and tasty <3

ingredients:
300g of Lotus root (Renkon)
1 Tbs. Whole-grain mustard
1 Tbs. White Miso (sweet Miso)

  1. Cut the Lotus root into bite-size pieces. Mix Miso and mustard well.

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  1. Boil the Lotus root for 15minutes.

  2. Mix with seasoning mixture well.

  3. Enjoy! :)

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Butter Shoyu Mochi Recire – How to make butter and soy sauce rice cake

We normally eat Mochi on New year season, so prepared them at the end of year then stoch dried Mochi.
( Or you can buy dried plain Mochi) from Japanese market)

Then now, the holiday is over and we still have some leftovers.
We’ve already had them a lot with popular taste (Anko, Kinako etc) so I like to cook them with something different way.

Today’s recipe is one of my husband’s favorite – if you like Mochi, please try it since it’s super yum!

Ingredients:
2 pieces of Kiri Mochi (dried Mochi)
1 Tbs of butter
1 Tes. of soy sauce
Nori

  1. Place butter in a pan and cook Mochi both sides until it became soft.

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  1. Add soy sauce and cook for 30secs.

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  1. Cut the Nori sheets into small pieces then wrap the Mochi.

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  1. Enjoy it during it’s hot <3
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My favorite Tempura restaurant – Abe 阿部

Tempura is one of the popular Japanese foods, but actually we have Tempura (or Sushi) only sometimes a year.
I and my husband only go to good Tempura restaurant, not cheap one for Tempura, since it’s so different so this is another reason we don’t go to have Tempura so often.

My favorite one is Abe, which is located at Ginza area, offers very good quality food with good price.

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Do you know that good Tempura restaurant uses very fresh ingredients/sashimi quality seafood then they don’t need to cook for long time?
and they serve the piece one by one at the counter seats so you can get crispy piece?

Today I upload Lunch menu pictures.

2pieces of shrimp

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5 kinds of vegetable

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rice, miso soup, pickles

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tempura flitter

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Lunch is about 2000JPY (about 20US dollers).
When we had Dinner here, the course (they have only course menu) costs about 7000JPY per person.
It’s very good deal since Proper Tempura restaurant usually costs about 15000JPY- per person.

I recommend you to make reservation in advance :)

阿部 Abe

http://r.gnavi.co.jp/e540700/map/

中央区銀座4-3-7 B1
4-3-7 Ginza chuo Tokyo B1

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Mochi Anpan recipe-How to make Japanese mochi & bean paste bread – anpan recipe

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Hi there!
This recipe is for Anko (Japanese bean paste) and Mochi lovers <3

Some Japanese bakery offers Mochi An-pan (Mochi and Anko inside of bread), it’s so tasty but you can also make it from scratch, Please try! :)

…I love this combination and can’t stop eating even though it’s late night in Japan now :(

Ingredients:

 - The dough
(A) 160g of strong flour
(A) 25g of butter
(A) 1 Tablespoon of beaten egg
(B) 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
(B) 1.5 Tablespoons of sugar
80cc of warm water (or 75cc. It depends on the dough)

250g of Anko
(C) 2 pieces of dried Kiri-mochi (切り餅)
(C) 2 Tablespoons of sugar
(C) 2 Tablespoons of water
potato starch

1 beaten egg

-Prepare the filling

1.    Make 6 Anko balls.
2.    Place all the (C)s in a cup and microwave for 1 minutes. Mix well with spatura then microwave again for 30 seconds. Mix well.
3.    Place potato starch on a bat then pour the Mochi. Toss the potato starch all over the Mochi then cut into 6 pieces.
4.    Combine each Anko ball with 1 piece of Mochi.

-Make Bread
1.    Place (B)s in a cup, mix with the half of warm water and let sit for few minutes.
2.    Place all (A)s in a bawl, (1), and the lest of the warm water. Keep mixing with wooden spatula until you have a ball.
3.    Place the dough on a big plate, knead and stretching until the dough become smooth, coherent and pliable. (The dough is sticky at first but it’s become stiff)
4.    When you have a nice smooth dough ball, put into a ball, cover with plastic film and let rise for about 25-30 minutes. (The best temperature is about 40 degree C)
5.    Take out the dough, pinch down, and divide into 6 pieces with scraper. (about 50g for each) Roll each piece into a ball, let rest for 10 minutes under a damp kitchen towel.
6.    Flatten out each piece into a thin round with a rolling pin. Place the Anko-Mochi filling in the center and gather up the opposing edges of the circle above the filling. Pinch the dough all around to seal well.
7.   Cover with wet cloth and leave them in a warm place for about 20-25 minutes.
8.   Brush the top with whisked egg. Prepare the oven to 190degree C  and bake them for 15-20minutes.

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Yomogi mochi recipe (Kusa mochi recipe) – How to make Japanese mugwort rice cake

Do you like sweets Mochi?
If you do, this recipe is for you today :)
During winter holiday, I made some sweets for my family, it’s alyays nice to share the home made food/sweets with peaple you love.

Kusa mochi is green color mochi, because of Yomogi leaves(mugword) and there’re Anko inside.

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When I was kid, I went out with my mom to pick up Yomogi leaves to make this sweets, but I can’t do that now in Tokyo since there’re no Yomogi around you. It’s very sad.
So I bought dried Yomogi at market this time.

Ingredients( 8 servings):
200g Joshin-ko 上新粉 (Japanese top grade rice flour)
20g sugar
about 200cc warm water

2Tbs. of Yomogi powder
2 Tbs. water

about 250g Anko paste

  1. Combine Joshin-ko and sugar in a bowl. Add the warm water little by little until the dough became earlobe texture then mix well.
    Place Yomogi powder and 2 Tbs. water in the other cup.
    Make 8 Anko balls.

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  1. Make the dough into small pieces then steam them for 30minuves.

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  1. When it’s done, combine all the dough then mix with Yomogi. Pound it with stick then knead/mix them well by hands when it cools down a little.

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  1. Wet your hand, place some dough on your hand, spread it circle shape, place Anko ball then wrap it.
    If the dough is too much, pinch it to take out the excess dough.

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Please keep it in room temparature ( otherwise mochi became so hard!) and finish it in 1-2 days since it made by rice flour.
You can also freeze it as well :)

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This time my husband joind to make the shape together :)
It’s fun to make.

Enjoy!

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Japanese Curry restaurant at Tsukiji fishmarket – 中英 “Nakaei”

Tsukiji fish market is famous for seafood, there’re many sushi restaurants and most of tourists line up for Sushi.
But do you know there’re many kinds of restaurant in Tsukiji inner market instead of sushi?

If you go there, I suggest you to try something non-sushi restaurant which’re full with locals.
You will see no locals go to sushi restaurant, and you know, the workers of fish market knows what’s good quality ingredients, so the restaurant which uses bad stuffs can’t keep their restaurant there for long time.
So therefore there’re only good ones leave.

On the other day, we try one of them, Japanes curry restaurant.

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The restaurant is called as Naka
ei 中英 and located at the inner market.

It’s very old restaurant, their history is already 100years.

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small place

Their menu is very simple and good price. “indian curry” “beef curry” “hayashi rice” are 500JPY.
But please don’t expect indian curry, it’s totally Japanese curry but which I love!

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I ordered ” ai gake” which means half and half,this time I choose Indian curry and hayashi rice.
It’s very tasty, but the Indian curry is a little spicy for me so I might order only Hayashi next time.

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It’s Nanakusa-gayu day! – seven herbs rice porrige Recipe

After the big event “Oshogatsu” (Japanese New Year’s Day), it’s another event today, Nanakusa no sekku.
It’s seven herbs day and peaple eat seven herbs rice porrige to hope health for a new year.
What is Nanakusa no sekku

Seven herbs is

If you live in Japan, you can easily find the ingredients.
Especially this week, you can find the Haru no Nanakusa ( Spring seven herbs) package for the porrige.

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Ingredients:
1 cup of Rice
4 cups of water
1 pack of seven herbs ( only one piece for each)

  1. Place the rice and water in a pot then cook for 45minutes. with lower heat.

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  1. During that time, Cook the herbs in boiled water for 10sec – 1 minute with a pinch of salt. Drain the water then chop into small pieces.

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  1. When the porrige is done, add the chopped herbs and a pinch of salt.

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We traditionally have it in the morning on Jan 7th.
Japanese herbs are very light flavor but good for your health, and it’s so nice too since our stomach is tired because we kept eating during the holiday!

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Nice Ramen restaurant at Tokyo station – 俺式 (Ore shiki)

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This is for Ramen lovers – have you ever had a hard time to choose Ramen restaurant in Tokyo since there’re so many here?
There’re thousands of Ramen restaurant and each of them have different “secret” soup recipe..
Sometimes I have tough choises as well, but I always choose Tonkotsu (soup based on pork stock) Ramen restaurant finally.

If you come to Tokyo, there’s Ramen street at the basement of Tokyo station.

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There’re 8 Ramen restaurants at the same floor, and each of them have different soup base. (pork stoch restaurant, chicken, seafood etc..)

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Today we chose this one, again, Tonkotsu soup one (pork stoch).

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They have many kinds of menus, but basically they’re based on pork stock and the souis very thick, whitish color :)

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Side dishes

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You can add the noodle

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You can choose the noodle texture from hard, soft, super hard etc.

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we ordered Tonkotsu Dx

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It was super yum, I like thick soup but not too fat, and it’s perfect!
If you’re garlick or spice lover, you can adjust the taste with them :)

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The location is very convenient, this’s one of the things during you’re waiting your train at the station!

Gochisou sama! :)

 

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What you find on New year’s day at shrine – chikara udon, udon with mochi, obanyaki, hiroshimayaki, jaga butter

On New year’s day, my French friends came to my house and I had a great time! He taught me how to make Buche de Noel and we had it and New Year food.. :) It was super tasty!! 20140104-161518.jpg 20140104-161539.jpg Chikara- Udon( Udon noodle with Mochi) 20140104-161608.jpg We had a lot of foods (much more than pictures) then went to shrine to make a wish. Usually there’re no store at the shrine, but since there’re so many people on this special day, there’re Yatai ( small shops) there like Matsuri (festival). small sweet pancake 20140104-162015.jpg fresh small apple candy 20140104-162037.jpg potato butter 20140104-162207.jpg Hiroshima-yaki(Okonomiyaki plus noodles) 20140104-162317.jpg 20140104-162335.jpg 20140104-162406.jpg It’s a pity that we’re too full to have snacks there, but obviously it’s one of the things we’re looking forward to!

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Special Mochi in Yamanashi prefecture – How to make mochi – mame mochi, Bean rice cake

When we pound Mochi, we made two kinds – plain one and Yamanashi special one!
I think each region in Japan, or each family has seciet recipe especialy for traditonal food.

Their Mochi use,
roasted peanuts
sugar
Aonori (green seaweed powder)
Mikan’s skin (Japanese orange’s skin, dried and roasted)
… with sticky rice.

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when you pound the rice, add all of them ( you don’t measure the ingredients, just as much as you like) then pound together.

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It’s same way to make regular Mochi. Make the shape, slice, then dry.

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I had no idea to use seaweed with orange peel for Mochi until I got married and have relatives in Yamanashi, but I just fell in love with it!
It’s rich flavored with the roasted orange peel and good texture of peanut.
When you make home-made Mochi, please try! :)

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Onigiri recipe (How to make Japanese rice ball) – Recipe and my childhood

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When you travel to Japan, you may have many chances to see Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) at convenience stores or Onigiri shops or the markets. Onigiri (sometimes called Omusubi) are rice balls with tasty fillings. I guess Onigiri is not so famous in foreign countries but it’s a very popular food for local people and I really love them!

We’re very familiar with Onigiri from our childhood. They’re very portable so Japanese moms often make them for their kids(maybe for husbands, too) as lunches or snacks. I remember my mom making several kinds of Onigiri when my family went on hikes or to the sea for shell gathering. Also she made for me some for school outings. I was looking forward the lunch time and I still can not forget the taste of them.

As Wikipedia, Onigiri has their long history- at 11th century, Japanese people’s already ate them, mostly when people go out. After I read it, I kind of get the point that why we are so attached to Onigiri somehow.

If you want to make Onigiri, they must be made with sticky, short- or medium-grain rice like Japanese rice. As for the fillings, there’re many kinds we eat. Popular Onigiri fillings are salted salmon, pickled plum(Ume), tuna with mayonnaise, Konbu(seaweed) etc. At Okinawa, which is located in south Japan and there’s U.S. base at, they even use SPAM for Onigiri because they’re influenced by American culture.

They are really yummy and easy to make, so I hope you enjoy them, too!

Ingredients (4 servings):

4 cups of hot cooked rice (medium-grain rice or Japanese rice)

4 sheets of Nori seaweed

salt

Fillings:

-Umeboshi (pickled plum)

-Shake(cooked salted salmon flake)

-Katsuo(bonito flakes moistened with soy sauce)

-Tuna(tuna flake mixed with mayonnaise)

  1.  Wet hands with cold water and sprinkle them with salt.

  2.  Place one cup of rice on one hand, make a dent in the center, and put in the filling in it.

  3.  Wrap the rice around the filling and form into triangle or ball shape.

  4.  Wrap the rice ball with Nori seaweed.

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Houtou Recipe – How to make hoto udon – Yamanashi local speciality noodle houtou udon dish recipe

At the end of year, I stayed Yamanashi prefecture and we cooked some local speciality :)
I LOVE to learn local speciality since you can learn not only about their weather/land, but about their culture as well.

Do you know Houtou?
It’s Japanese noodle dish and local speciality of Yamanashi prefecture.
It’s similar to Udon but more flat noodles, and stewed in kind of Miso soup.
Actually noodle ingredients are completely same as Udon. but the way of making/cooking them are very different. Udon texture is very smooth but Houtou noodle and soup are very sticky and thick as like stew.
This dish make you warm, so I recommend you to cook it in cold winter day!

what is Houtou

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Ingredients:
middle strength flour
warm water

1/4 pumpkin
1/2 sweet potato
1 carrot
300g sliced pork
1-2 spring onion, sliced

Miso

  1. place flour ( this time we used 500g for 6 servings) in a bowl and add warm water little by little. when you can make one ball, stop adding water ( if you put too much water then please add flour). knead well.

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At this point, you should let sit the dough for a while if you make Udon, but you don’t need that for Houtou.

  1. Spread the dough into few mm then cut into 5-6mm noodles.

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  1. Cut all the vegetable into small cubes. Sautee the pork and vegetables with vegevable oil.

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  1. When they’re almost cooked, pour hot water to cover all the veggies ( the amount is up to your pot size or veggies amount) then simmer until they became soft.

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  1. When ingredients became soft, melt Miso paste litte by little. (please ajust the miso amount since the saltiness is depends on Miso). Then add the noodles in the soup then cook for about 10minutes.

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  1. At the last moment, add the sliced spring onion then it’s done!
    It’s noodle stew, so it tastes even better next day! :)

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A Happy New Year 2014!

How was your New years day?
I came back to Kamakura area, which is my hometown, and spent time with my family.
It’s very calm outside (no fireworks!) since everyone just spend time with family.

After I had new year meal with family, we went to temple at Kamakura area to make a wish, then had a coffee at my favorite cafe “Milk Hall”.
This cafe is on a narrow alley and tiny place as they use old Japanse house.
They opened this cafe 35 years ago and nothing changed, I come here every few years, and it brings my memories a lot..

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They use antique faniture, we had good coffee and jazz.

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Kamakura area is famous for tourist since there’re big buddha statues and it’s old capital in Japan as same as Kyoto.
But I want you to try local places too, not only famous places, if you come here because there’re great old places as it used to be and I think it’s very treasure.
It’s hard to find them since they’re not on your guide book, so please get lost in Japan especially at old places then you come across hidden gems…

Oh I planned to write about New years food, but maybe next time.
Have a happy new year and I wish you have a wonderful day! :)

with Love,
Mari