All posts filed under: Food

Authentic Japanese Cucumbers |神田四葉・相模半白きゅうり

As far as my memory goes, this year’s rainy season in Tokyo seem to go back to a norm cycle of raining since the start, early June to the present day. It has been wet, raining, drizzling, mizzle, downpour, cats and dog…name it, it has been raining a lot and still no signs of end proclamation yet from the weather bureau. So this is our view from our kitchen, most everyday. Rather grim looking, not much sunlight. 今年の東京は「ザ・梅雨」というほど長雨が続いています。梅雨宣言がされた6月の初旬から今日までここ数年でほぼ連日雨が降っています。我が家のキッチンから見える朝の風景は雨、雨、雨。通勤の方々や学生さん、びしょびしょ、びしょびしょとお疲れさまでございます。 This weekend, our family friend, who takes cares of a piece of farm land outside Tokyo has brought to us, an unusual cucumber which I personally have never seen. Cucumbers in Europe and/or the United States tend to be large in size, but Japanese cucumbers as like our nationality are dainty and small. Apparently these cucumbers are as large as ones encountered in Ireland and Los Angeles, to know it is called “Kanda Suyo Long Cucumber” and “Sagami Hanjiro Cucumber”. さて、週末に我が家の友人で埼玉の方に畑を管理している人から珍しい胡瓜をいただきました。神田四葉胡瓜 (かんだすうようきゅうり)、相模半白胡瓜 (さがみはんじろきゅうり)というそうでどちらも私には馴染みのない胡瓜でした。神田四葉胡瓜 は細長く、30cmほどの長さと存在感は外国の胡瓜を伺わせます。相模半白胡瓜はお尻のほうが黄色くなっていて、半分くらいが白いきゅうりです。どちらもイボイボがかなりゴジラ風でサラダには堪え難い力強さを感じました。 しかし、調べると「神田四葉胡瓜」は中国山東省から日本人に知られる。なんとなく硬い感じを受けますが、歯切れ良い食感と「やわらかさ」がある品種。 「相模半白胡瓜 」江戸以前に渡来した華南系。 どちらも一晩考えて食材として使用してみました。 “Kanda Suyo Long Cucumber“, it’s origin seems to from China’s …

Osechi

our traditional Japanese New Year Food On New Years Day, the ‘Osechi’ is our traditional food accompanied with mochi (rice cake) in a soup broth called ‘Ozoni’. The Osechi comes in a infinite variety of styles, differ in region and household but the most common ‘Osechi’ (dishes or items) have a certain meaning to it’s portion. What I have prepared this year is very simple, most probably the minimal as my intentions on New Years Day family get together was to go ‘Western Style’ upon request from my children and grandchildren. However the ‘Osechi’ which I put together were as follows – Kuro-mame (Syrup stewed black beans) | Representing longevity Kamaboko (Red and white fish cake)| Genuine meaning quite ambiguous but the color-red and white represents festivity. (This is an off the shelf item) Datemaki (Egg Roll) | The roll having similarity to the old scroll books represents the wish to the cultural development. Namasu (Red and White radish and carrots blend) | Representing happiness through the colors of red and white. White Beans | …

Welcome 2019

  I often wonder why we love to organize our time into segments; minutes, hours, weeks, months and then years. Every moment of our lives must be just as precious as any but the accomplishment of completion, achievement bringing satisfaction quite often is measured by time, I the same. Year 2018 had been quite a turbulent year to our family, not as gentle as we hoped and expected it to be. My husband underwent surgery after cancer test claimed in doubt, my daughter is suffering from serious migraine attacks unfortunately with no successful remedy disabling her daily life. Unfortunately we do not live in a world of fantasies, miracles and abracadabras, nor do I have a magic wand to let troubles and worries go away. But this is the start of a brand new year 2019. Letting our worries aside, January 1st which we call ‘gantan‘ in Japan, calls for a day to celebrate with gratitude from our hearts. Although we have our own traditional ritual food for New Years Day, ‘osechi’ ; I’ve decided …

New Year’s multi-culture washoku | 2018年に願う「彩り」元旦

New Years Day, dinner. For us Japanese, New Year’s celebration is a traditional event, most likely THE important day of the year in which we celebrate the day with ‘traditional Japanese osechi’. If anyone of the readers are curious of what ‘osechi is?’, many sites will explain the meaning of some of the osechi dishes. This year I decided to venture out from the tradition to a somewhat non-tradtional ‘washoku cuisine’ to something which I call it ‘multi-cultured washoku’.

Hokuriku Camping Car Travelog | 北陸キャンピングカー旅 ②

The Noto Peninsula (Noto-hanto) is a peninsula which extends out to the ocean (Sea of Japan), Ishikawa prefecture. To us, Noto instantly resonates ‘fresh fish’,’good sake’ ,’salt’ and ‘rice’, basically the main food ingredients our form of Japanese food. It was my first visit to Noto-hanto, although the weather did not welcome us; sunshine-cloudy-mist-rain-gusty wind storm all in one day. According to the locals, the diversity of weather produces good crops, good fish and a flexible lifestyle; a norm in Noto Penisula.

Japanese ceremony for new borns – “Okuisome” | お食い初め

先週の日曜に行われた、、3度目の孫。3度目のお食い初め。 一番小さく生まれた孫(男)でしたが、順調に成長しお食い初めをすませる事ができました。

Miraculous Coffee Art | コーヒーはアーティスト?

This is truly a natural ‘miraculous’ art which appeared from my bottom of my finished coffee cup. (apologies for the dirty cup) A bird? A dove? A chick? A Japanese cookie called hato sabre? What ever it is, it is truly (I swear) untouched, art created by itself.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience. By the way….2017 is the year of the bird, in Oriental zodiac.   昨日コーヒーカップの底から現れた「鳥」のアート。 びっくりしました。 本当に自然に作られたアートで一瞬目を疑いましたが、、 うわぁ〜鳥だ。鳩だ。鳩サブレー? おそらく人生で一度しか遭遇しないこと。 ところで、、来年は「酉年」の予兆かな?   保存 保存