All posts filed under: Pickles

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 …

Frying Pan baked Focaccia|フライパンで焼くフォカッチャ

Following my “Frying Pan baked English Muffin recipe“, this is a simple bread recipe using a similar method, frying pan to bake Foccacia. The focaccia can be adjusted (slightly) to the size of the frying pan and it can be a fun recipe for parties and outdoor events. Frying Pan Baked Foccacia Recipe 【Ingredients】Makes 1 large focaccia Bread Flour・・・・・・・300g Sugar ・・・・・・・・・1 Tbs Salt ・・・・・・・・・・3/4 Tsp Dry Yeast ・・・・・・・・1 Tsp Warm Water ・・・・・・・200ml Olive Oil ・・・・・・・・2 Tbs < MIX > Mix all the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a large bowl and mix until smooth. While mixing together with both you hands and weight, add the butter after 2~3 minutes of mixing. In total, mix for about 10 to 15 minutes occasionally smashing the dough into the bowl to stimulate the surface. When the dough feels like a earlobe texture, smooth and elastic, the it is ready for the next step.  < PRIMARY FERMENTATION > Lightly oil a container with a lid and ferment for approx. an hour at a normal temperature (28 ° C …

jamming season…ume works

It’s already July, unexpected early arrival of summer (over 2~3 weeks) and departure of a short ‘rainy season’ which depicts an reflection in change climate. Temperatures are soaring to a level beyond body temperature of 36 degrees celsius (all over Japan) and the trend is an annual recurring tendency. Consequently, the harvest of fruits and my jamming works has been bumped up, at least over 2~3 weeks. Nevertheless, June and July being one of busiest jamming season, on being the use of Japanese plums, which we call ‘ume’. It is a sour plum which is used in numerous washoku dishes and no doubt ‘ume’ comprises our basis of our history, culture and Japanese nationality, our identity. Sa-Shi-Su Umeboshi |さしす梅干 ’Umeboshi’ is an authentic Japanese pickles which I am most certain you have encountered at Japanese restaurants or peeking out from the rice balls, ‘onigiri’, a extremely sour pickle made from the Japanese plum called the ‘ume’. The Sa-Shi-Su Umeboshi is not a traditional process but a easy short cut cooking which I’ve made this year and …

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

This ceremony was first posted last year for our very first grandchild and time has come for our second grandchild, now turned over 100 days in which to celebrate her first taste of food – a traditional Japanese ritual called ‘okuisome’.

Summer Preserves & ‘Aubergine’ pâté | 茄子のパテ

The hot sun, the hot summer yields an abundant amount of summer vegetables. More than one can consume at once in a household. My friend from our ad agency days drops by now and then, very so often on a late Saturday after spending a full day at his ‘organic farm’.

Pickled Red Shiso Leaves | 赤シソの塩漬け

The rainy season is finally over to encounter a hazardous heat wave. It has been over 35C (95F) with humidity over 80 even 90 percent, a cruel weather continuing for at least a week or so and yet to continue until the middle of August so tourist contemplating to visit Tokyo should be well prepared to ‘sweat like mad’ – visit the natural Tokyo Sauna Habitat, guaranteed to loose a couple of unwanted pounds. (Think positive!!!) These thunderhead clouds are signs of very hot weather. 『梅雨明け10日』という言い伝えがある様ですが、、 『梅雨明けずっと』とおもうほど過酷な暑さが続きますね。 お仕事をされて方は通勤で大変。 家にいる方は外にも出る勇気が出ずに殺人的だと日々呟いております。(我家の主人?のこと、、笑)入道雲は日本の夏の風物とはもうおもえず、天気予報を見るたびに気象庁に憤りを感じずにはいられない日々です(笑)。 Even our little dog sleeps upside down to cool herself down. 我家のワンも28℃のエアコンの効いた室内でも熱を逃がすため、、上むきで寝ています。 Well getting back into the main topic…. After the rainy season comes Japanese plum making. The Japanese plum is called ‘umeboshi’, an authentic pickle which most every household stores in their refrigerator. Since the ‘umeboshi’ is pickled with ‘red shiso leaves’; this is the season to see ‘red shiso leaves’ which I was lucky to purchase a natural grown stem (no use of pesticide) from a farm. The shiso leaves can be used in …