Essentials of Japanese Cooking:  Herbs & Spices

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As we’ve learned in previous posts, ryori no sa shi su se so and umami-rich dashi are the essential seasonings used in Japanese cooking. But what other flavorings does Japanese cuisine rely on?

In our post this month, we explore the most popular herbs and spices used in cooking both traditional and modern Japanese dishes. Let’s begin by answering these questions: What is an herb? What is a spice? And how are they different?

According to the Herb Society of America, herbs are “small, seed-bearing plants with fleshy, rather than woody, parts. They are valued for their flavor, fragrance, medicinal and healthful qualities, economic and industrial uses, pesticidal properties and coloring materials (dyes).” Commonly used herbs in European cooking include parsley, basil, thyme, sage, oregano and chives. In Japanese cooking, popular herbs include mitsuba, shiso and negi.

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Herb negi

By contrast, spices are “any dried part of a plant, other than the leaves, used for seasoning and flavoring a recipe, but not used as a main ingredient.” Well-known spices include cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, ginger and turmeric. In Japanese cooking, popular spices are wasabi, togarashi and shoga.

Herbs and spices can sometimes come from the same plant. For example, cilantro, the herb, produces coriander, the spice made from its seeds. And shiso leaf (top photo), the herb, produces shiso seeds, the spice. Herbs and spices exhibit different properties during cooking and are prepared and stored differently. Herbs are best used while they are fresh and green, usually picked just before using. Spices are generally dried, with the exception of some spice roots, and are either ground, made into a paste or used whole. Both herbs and spices can be used uncooked and cooked, adding different tastes to food.

Japanese herbs such as mitsuba, shiso and negi are commonly used in Japanese dishes. Mitsuba, or trefoil, has a thin greenish-white stalk and a three-pointed leaf. It looks similar to flat-leafed parsley, with a flavor similar to sorrel or celery, and is most famously used in Chawanmushi. Shiso is a member of the mint family and has an earthy flavor. It is fried as part of tempura dishes and used to garnish and season various dishes such as Salmon Chazuke, salad and sashimi, or slices of fresh cut fish.

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Mitsuba

Negi is a member of the allium family and is used as an herb in many dishes. Both the white and green parts of negi are used in Japanese cooking, although different regional dishes use one or the other more often. Negi has a taste similar to scallions and leeks, with the white portion becoming sweet when cooked and the green portion used as a garnish atop dishes such as miso soup, cold soba noodle, and cold tofu.

Herbs generally add a fresh, light, green flavor to dishes. Spices, by contrast, add depth and intense flavor. Togarashi, or hot red chili peppers, are used both fresh or dried. Crushed into a powder, ichimi togarashi, which means “one flavor chili pepper”, is commonly added to soups and udon noodles just before eating. Ginger, or shoga, is another spice typically found in Japanese cooking. The freshly ground root is highly aromatic and pungent, and is often used in seafood dishes to mask any unpleasant smell of the fish. When pickled, ginger is served as a condiment alongside such dishes as sushi, okonomiyaki and takoyaki. One of our favorite summer recipes is Shoga-Yaki, or Ginger Pork, and we know you’ll enjoy it too!

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Wasabi root

Wasabi is probably the most iconic of all Japanese spices. Made into a paste from the grated root of green horseradish, wasabi has antimicrobial properties that can keep food from spoiling. Wasabi is highly pungent and spicy and is most often served with Nigiri Sushi and other types of sushi or sashimi.

Subtle to strong, herbs and spices are essential for bringing out the flavor of Japanese foods. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-LGC05)

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We’re excited to introduce our newest small-capacity, microcomputerized rice cooker this month!

The Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer (NS-LGC05) is stylishly designed, and has innovative technology and cooking features that make it easy and convenient to use.

This rice cooker’s microcomputer uses advanced fuzzy logic technology to make fine adjustments to cooking temperatures, so that rice cooks perfectly each time. The multiple settings let you easily cook a variety of rice, including white, mixed, sushi, brown, and—for the first time—long grain white rice. Expanded healthy menu options include settings for steel cut oatmeal and GABA brown rice, which soaks the brown rice before cooking for enhanced nutrition. Each of these menu settings can be selected on the easy-to-read LCD control panel, which also has a clock, and delay timer function.

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This rice cooker uses a triple heater on the bottom, sides, and lid to generate heat all around the inner cooking pan so that the rice heats evenly. The removable steam vent cap located on the outer lid allows for high-temperature cooking without messy overflows. Once rice is cooked, the rice is automatically kept warm, and the REHEAT cycle brings the rice back to serving temperature when you’re ready to chow down.

Along with these great features, the rice cooker comes with a practical and easy-to-clean nonstick coated spherical inner pan. High-contrast water level lines on the inside of the pan make it simple to read how much water should be added to the pan for the specified amount of rice. The pan and the detachable inner lid are both hand washable, and the clear-coated stainless steel exterior is easy to wipe down after use. The built-in retractable power cord and sturdy fold-down handle make it easy to store and transport this compact rice cooker.

The NS-LGC05 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer comes in a 3-cup capacity, making it ideal for small kitchens. Individuals and small families can make as little as ½ cup of rice or oats and as much as three cups of perfectly delicious rice. Accessories include a rice measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder.

We know you’ll love this new rice cooker as much as we do, and you’ll be able to purchase it from our great retail partners this month! As always, we’d would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment below.

 

Zojirushi’s Secrets for Delicious Rice: Storing & Measuring Rice

 

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Nutritious, cultivated all over the globe, enjoyed as part of global cuisines–rice is truly a universal food. Delicious rice begins with high-quality seeds and careful cultivation, and ends with fastidious storage, measurement, washing and cooking.

Over the next few months, we’re sharing our secrets for preparing delicious short-grain Japanese rice. Our first post focuses on how to correctly store and measure short-grain rice so that it’s ready for cooking in our rice cookers.

Purchasing the freshest, highest-quality rice possible is the first step in preparing delicious rice. Buying rice in smaller quantities means it will be used quickly, with less chance of spoiling. Rice is typically packaged in breathable bags, in sizes ranging from as little as two pounds to larger 15-pound bags, and at Zojirushi, we recommend buying the amount of rice you can consume within a month or so.

Once the rice is brought home from the market, it’s important to store it in such a way as to preserve its freshness. Rice should be stored in dry, airtight containers with the milling date, if available, noted on the container. Storing rice in airtight containers helps prevent the fatty acids in the rice from oxidizing and keeps it free of other contaminants. Rice should also be protected from humidity and high temperatures. Rice stored in cold pantries or refrigerators will stay fresh longer, as high temperatures speed up the degradation of the rice grains. Keeping rice in low-humidity environments protects it from the growth of molds and mildew.

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Measure accurately by leveling off each cup

Knowing how to measure rice correctly is the next key to preparing delicious rice. Each type of rice uses a specific rice-to-water ratio, and using too much or too little water causes the rice to cook too hard or too soft. In Zojirushi’s rice cookers, the amount of water needed to cook rice is easy to figure out, but the rice needs to be measured accurately first. The key to accurately measuring rice is to use the “overfill and level off” method. Using the rice measuring cup that comes with each Zojirushi rice cooker, scoop rice out of its container. Overfill the cup to above the brim, and then remove the excess by gently leveling off the top of the cup. Shaking excess rice off the cup or pressing rice into the cup could change the amount of rice that fits in the cup, affecting the way the rice cooks, and ultimately, its taste and texture.

Many other cultures have their own methods of buying, storing and measuring rice. How do you do it? Let us know in the comments below!

Son Of A Peach!

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August is National Peach Month; and if you really love peaches, August 24th is National Peach Pie Day, and August 22nd is National Eat a Peach Day. But in Japan, the most famous peach is MOMOTARO, the Peach Boy! So in honor of Peach Month in the USA and Peach Boy in Japan, I want to take some liberties and retell the legend of MOMOTARO from a slightly peachier perspective…

Many, many years ago, there lived an elderly couple in the rural lands of Japan known as Okayama. They were childless but were content to live a simple, uncluttered life. One day, as the old woman washed their clothes by the clear, crisp water of the river, to her utter amazement she saw the biggest, juiciest looking peach come floating downstream. Elated with her good fortune, she quickly scooped it up and took it back home.

One thing the old lady was good at, was her skill in the kitchen. And her specialty just happened to be Peach Pie. Her pies were so delicious, just the smell of one of her freshly baked pies was enough to bring her husband home, even when he was deep in the woods gathering firewood. In fact, during those days, it worked better than a cell phone ever could.

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But just as she made her first shallow cut into the peach, a baby boy sprang out from inside and nearly gave both the old woman and old man a heart attack. They recovered quickly though, when they saw what a cute little boy he was. And so the legend of MOMOTARO was born. The bonus was that the rest of the peach was still good, so the elderly couple was still able to have their peach pie.

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In time, MOMOTARO grew up to become a healthy and noble young man, having been raised by old fashioned parents who loved old fashioned peach pie. So when he learned of a band of delinquent Ogres terrorizing the townspeople of Onigashima, he couldn’t stand idly by and watch the injustice. He decided to clean up the village.

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Japanese ONI (ogre)

Reluctantly, his parents sent him on his mission with nothing more than a handful of homemade kibidango (millet dumplings). Of course, these kibidango were about as delicious as his mother’s peach pies, so he had no trouble recruiting allies on his way to Onigashima, just by offering them the soft chewy desserts in exchange for their fighting spirits. And so it was that this motley crew of a brave boy, a pheasant, a dog and a monkey, approached the great gate to the lair of the Ogres.

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Kibidango

The plan was simple. Pheasant flies over the gate and starts the attack on the Ogres, distracting them long enough for MOMOTARO, Dog and Monkey to sneak through a secret passage and launch a full scale offensive. It worked to perfection–after a lot of snarling, biting and yelling, the Ogres just gave up. In a symbolic gesture of surrender, the Ogres had to cut off their horns so they could never threaten the townspeople again, and all the treasures they had stolen were given to MOMOTARO to be returned to the people.

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Statue of MOMOTARO in the city of Okayama

Thus it was that MOMOTARO and his brave band of unlikely soldiers returned home triumphant, heroes with great tales to tell. And since that great adventure, the region of Okayama has been known to grow the best peaches in all of Japan.

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Okayama white peaches

Happy National Peach Month everybody!

 

 

Images: Peach Pie by Aliston Ashton, Ogre by gapyear.com, Peaches by Ackley, Momotaro and Kibidango by jpinfo.com and web-japan.org

Japanese Street Food:  Chukaman

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It might be summer, but we’re feeling nostalgic for the cooler days of autumn and winter, and thinking fondly of eating chukaman!

Chukaman are soft, steamed buns filled with sweet or savory ingredients. These buns were introduced into Japanese cuisine by Chinese immigrants, and over time, have become part of the food culture of Japan. “Chuka” loosely translates to “Japanese-style Chinese cuisine” and “man” means “steamed bun”.

Most people who’ve grown up in Japan fondly remember eating these steamed buns on cold winter days, buying them piping hot from local convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Circle K on the way home from school or work. Popular food bloggers and writers publish recipes about how to make homemade chukaman, from fresh ingredients and using expert wrapping techniques.

But the best part of eating chukaman is choosing which filling to get!

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Nikuman

In Japan, chukaman come in many varieties. Nikuman are the most commonly available savory buns, filled with seasoned minced pork, scallions and ginger. Anman are the most popular sweet buns, filled with red azuki bean paste. Pizaman and kareman are filled with pizza sauce with cheese and curried vegetables and meat, respectively.

Regardless of which filling is selected, the softness of the bun is what makes chukaman addictive. There are various recipes for the dough, but it is usually made using flour, yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder, oil and water. The dough is mixed, kneaded and allowed to rise, infusing it with air bubbles that makes it soft and light. The dough is then formed into discs and stuffed with the filling. Each disc is pulled into the shape of a small pouch and twisted at the top to seal it. Once the filled buns are formed, they’re steamed and ready to eat!

Everyone has their own favorite way of eating chukaman but the easiest way to eat them is hot out of the steamer, without any extra seasoning or sauce. Really, there isn’t time to wait once you have a bun in your hand!

Have you eaten chukaman? Share your “steamed bun” stories with us and don’t forget to look out for next month’s post about Japanese street food!

 

Essentials of Japanese Cooking:  Unlock Umami-Rich Dashi

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“Dashi is a subtle broth with the capacity to enhance and intensify the flavor of those foods with which it is cooked or blended. That ability is locked within kombu (kelp) and katsuo bushi (smoky bonito fish flakes), the two ingredients used to make this basic sea stock: Both are both rich in water-soluble glutamates.” – Elizabeth Andoh, author of Washoku and Kansha, and leading expert on Japanese cuisine

If umami represents the soul of Japanese cooking, then dashi certainly represents the heart, enhancing and harmonizing the flavors in many Japanese dishes. This month, we continue our series about umami with a tutorial about how to make dashi. We also feature recipes that use dashi, showcasing the breadth of dishes that rely on this essential ingredient.

In classical Japanese cooking, dashi is commonly made with water, kelp (konbu) and the shavings of dried, smoked skipjack tuna (bonito flakes or katsuobushi). Two types of dashi can be prepared from one batch of ingredients: ichiban dashi and niban dashi. Ichiban dashi is the first extraction of umami from the konbu and katsuobushi, resulting in a pale, clear and delicately fragrant broth. Niban dashi is the second extraction of umami from the leftover konbu and katsuobushi used to make ichiban dashi and results in bolder flavor. Japanese cooks use both types of dashi to flavor specific types of dishes and to fully utilize the ingredients without waste.

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Ichiban dashi is simple to make, as long as a few techniques are followed with precision. To extract the full flavor-enhancing properties of the glutamate-rich ingredients, start with cold water. Place the water in a saucepan, along with a square piece of konbu. Heat the water over medium heat until just before it boils, when bubbles start to appear along the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove the konbu, and let the water come to a full boil. Removing the konbu at this precise time prevents the glutamates extracted from the seaweed from becoming bitter due to prolonged exposure to high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool. Then, add the katsuobushi to the saucepan and heat the mixture again until it reaches a boil. Turn the heat off and let the bonito flakes steep in the liquid. Finally, strain the liquid through several layers of paper towel or cheesecloth, into a clean glass container, so that no small pieces of fish or seaweed are left in the broth to muddle the flavor.

This step-by-step recipe for Ichiban Dashi notes the actual proportions, temperatures and cooking times…and we know you’ll find it enjoyable to make!

Niban dashi is made using the already-cooked seaweed and fish left over from preparing ichiban dashi. Add both ingredients back into the saucepan, add a few cups of water, simmer the mixture for several minutes over low heat, then strain.

In the case of both ichiban and niban dashi, the keys to creating the best dashi lie in extracting and preserving the glutamates from the konbu and katsuobushi. Prolonged cooking, excessively high heat and inadequate straining can result in a dull and fishy broth that sullies, rather than enhances, the dishes that rely on dashi to infuse them with umami.

Ichiban dashi is used in many types of dishes, from soups to appetizers to salads. We have some great recipes that use ichiban dashi on our website, like Tofu Misoshiru, Shrimp Ball Broth, Hiyashi Chawanmushi and Crab & Cucumber Sunomono.

Bringing out the flavor of fresh, high-quality ingredients using umami-rich dashi is at the core of Japanese culinary tradition. We encourage you to make your own dashi, and as always, would love to hear about your experience!

Zojirushi’s Fresh Brew Plus 12-Cup Coffee Maker (EC-YGC120)

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Is one of your favorite experiences waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee? Or sharing a glass of iced coffee with a friend on a hot afternoon? We love our coffee here at Zojirushi, and are excited to share the new Fresh Brew Plus 12-Cup Coffee Maker (EC-YGC120) with special features for brewing iced coffee with you!

This stylish coffee maker brews up to 12 cups of hot coffee, or up to  6 cups of iced coffee! Ideally, coffee should be brewed at 200°F, and our coffee maker quickly heats water to this temperature to maximize the flavor of your coffee. For hot coffee, open the easy-access swing basket and fill the filter basket with your desired amount of ground coffee.  Then, fill the removable water tank with fresh water corresponding to the amount of coffee you’re brewing using the clearly-marked ‘HOT’ water measure lines as a guide. Press START. Your coffee is all set to brew!

The heating plate that the glass carafe sits on has four keep warm settings–HI, MED, LOW, OFF–and keeps the brewed coffee warm at the temperature you like. When the carafe is removed, the machine inhibits messes with the drip prevention mechanism, and the clean spout design of the glass carafe makes pouring smooth and easy, helping to avoid dribbles and dripping.

If you prefer your brew iced, the Fresh Brew Plus makes brewing complex and bright iced coffee a cinch. Fill the Ice Basket in the glass carafe with ice, add water to the water to the level line on the water tank marked “ICED”, put your ground coffee into the filter basket, then turn the heating plate keep warm setting to OFF. Press START to brew your coffee. The coffee is instantly chilled as it brews, locking in delicious flavor and aroma… ready to drink!

Our Fresh Brew Plus 12-Cup Coffee Maker is easy to clean and maintain, just like our other products. A Clean Indicator illuminates when cleaning is recommended, and the filter basket and swing basket are easily removed for washing in the sink.

We’ve even added a few other great features to this new coffee maker:  a convenient clock timer that can be set at night so you can wake up to the enticing aroma of freshly brewed coffee, a measuring spoon that works perfectly with our coffee maker to make filling the filter basket easy, and sample filters, so you know exactly what fits!  All food contact zones are BPA-free.

We know you’ll love this new coffee maker as much as we do, and you’ll be able to purchase it from our great retail partners this month! As always, we’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment below.

What Is Rice Really?: Delicious and Nutritious!

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We’ve been writing all year about rice–how it’s cultivated, harvested, consumed. But at the end of the day, it’s all about eating it! Rice is one of the most delicious and nutritious foods eaten by people all over the world.

Rice is packed with nutrition. Nutritionally classified as a carbohydrate, rice provides sustaining energy. It depends on the type, but generally rice is a good source of calcium, thiamine, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamin E. Red rice provides additional levels of iron and zinc, and black rice is rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. And rice that hasn’t had the bran polished off provides high levels of fiber and small amounts of protein.

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Raw black rice

Because rice is eaten around the world, it is a key crop used to help reduce or prevent hunger and malnutrition. As a source of readily-absorbed energy, eating rice mitigates starvation. Genetically-modified rice such as Golden Rice, “iron-clad” rice and “high zinc-uptake” rice are new varieties that help to provide vitamin A, iron and zinc to people whose diets severely lack these necessary nutrients.

So, rice is good for you… but people really love rice because of how it tastes.

Rice is considered a delicious food across numerous cultures, whether it is served plain or highly seasoned. While different types of rice are preferred in Southeast Asian, Indian, Latin American and Western cultures, Japanese people typically find short-grain rice to be the most delicious.

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Short-grain white rice in a Japanese bento

Rice is composed of two types of starch molecules: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a long-chain starch molecule that keeps rice firm and prevents it from gelatinizing. Long-grain rice has a high amylose content and will cook up defined and fluffy grains that won’t stick together. Amylopectin is a short-chain, branched starch molecule and rice that has a high amylopectin content will cook up sticky, soft, and creamy depending on the amount of water added to cook.

When rice cooks, the heat and cooking liquid break down the starch molecules and activate them, so the grains become soft to eat. Short-grain rice is higher in amylopectin than in amylose, so when it is cooked, the rice grains will plump up and stick together. Many Japanese people prefer the texture and the taste of this type of rice because it is the perfect complement to delicately flavored Japanese dishes.

What kind of rice is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Eat Japanese

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You’ve been served a traditional Japanese meal for the first time. So many plates, so many dishes all at once! What happened to the soup course, the salad course? What do you eat first? The miso soup is the best bet, right? But maybe you need to respect the rice or something by taking a bite of that first. The side dish looks like an appetizer—that seems like a logical starter. But you’re a foreigner, so you might be forgiven for diving right into the main dish. Or does that make you look like you have no class?

Lucky for you, there is no wrong answer. The typical meal you see above is called Ichiju Sansai, which means, “one soup, three dishes”. For more on this classic style of Japanese meal, look up this article from Zojirushi. Some people do indeed go for the soup to whet their palates. Others dive into the main dish or one of the side dishes, especially if it’s calling out to you, begging you to taste it NOW! But the second move is almost always a bite of the rice. Once you have a mouthful of salted fish, or vinegary pickles, or sweet sour vegetables, you’ll crave a bite of hot, moist, fluffy rice to balance out what you just ate!

Are you beginning to understand why it’s not necessary to flavor your white rice with soy sauce? Ugh!

But even before you scarf up, let’s put you into a Zen type of mood so you don’t inhale your food. You may have heard about the custom of saying “Itadaki-masu” before actually taking that first bite. You may have even seen your Japanese friends clasping their hands in prayer and bowing to their meal. As much as it seems like this is the Japanese version of saying Grace in Western culture, it really isn’t. The literal translation is “I shall take” (the food before me); but it really implies, “Thank you for this meal.” Thank you to the farmers who raised this food with their hard work, thank you to Nature for allowing the farmers to do so, etc. It’s a more holistic gratitude than a worship.

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By the same token, the companion phrase, “Gochiso-sama” is used after you’ve finished the meal to indicate being very satisfied with the feast, and to give thanks again before leaving the table.

OK, so now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s talk chopsticks. You can save yourself a lot of embarrassment by knowing some simple rules about chopsticks. You can be forgiven for not knowing how to use them properly–after all, you’re a novice, right? But you don’t want to commit any of these faux pas:

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In particular, don’t stick them upright in your rice (they resemble sticks of incense at funerals), and don’t pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks (again, a ritual performed at cremations when metal chopsticks are used to pass the bones of the remains from relative to relative). Whew! You can see why these acts might actually make people uncomfortable. I’ve got another one to add to this list that’s strictly my pet peeve: “Kosuri-bashi”, the way everyone seems to think it’s necessary to rub and scrape their chopsticks together to get rid of splinters. In reality, unless you’re using some very poor quality chopsticks, modern wooden ones these days don’t really have splinters. In fact, you might be creating more shavings this way, or you might start a fire!

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NOW you’re ready to start eating Japanese without looking like a Barbarian. Keep in mind that the rice and miso soup bowls can be picked up and brought to your mouth to drink directly from the bowl. Don’t slurp–just because you’re allowed to do it with noodles, doesn’t mean you can do it for soup. And don’t shovel the rice into your mouth; take a bit with your chopsticks and eat. The rest of the dishes should stay on your tray or table and eaten from the plates directly. If you’re serving yourself from a communal large dish of food, just bring some to your own plate before eating. It’s OK to bring your plate to the food to shorten the distance. And try to use the other end of your chopsticks instead of the end that you’ve just stuck in your mouth–better yet, hopefully a utensil has been provided for that purpose.

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A lot of this is common sense, i know…but not all of it. Don’t even get me started on the ritualistic ways of eating sushi, or the formalities involved with drinking in the company of your boss or colleagues. That’s a whole topic for another day.

Photos courtesy of Iromegane, Zojirushi, Nairaland

 

Japanese Street Food:  Korokke!

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Warning: korokke is addictive!

If you’ve never had this Japanese dish, you’re in for a treat! Korokke, or croquette in English, is a satisfying mixture of potatoes, meat and spices, coated with panko breadcrumbs, fried up into patties or balls and often eaten with piquant tonkatsu sauce. (Is your mouth watering yet?)

Butchers in Japan prepare korokke in their shops, where they have the ingredients needed to make these fried patties on hand. Children would buy one or two korokke patties on their way home from school or sports, and Japanese mothers would be famous for making their own family recipes as snacks and dinner favorites.

Korokke, at its most essential, is a fried patty made of simple, easy-to-find and inexpensive ingredients. Like American hamburgers, they’re ubiquitously available and can be found at many street festival or corner convenience store… even Seven Eleven! Korokke are generally made using cooked ground beef, smashed boiled potatoes, sautéed minced onions, salt and pepper, all mixed together. The mixture is formed into a palm-sized patty, coated with flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Adventurous cooks add curry or cheese or make them vegetarian by replacing the beef with carrots and other vegetables! McDonald’s in Japan even introduced their own seasonal version of korokke and made a burger out of it, called the “Gracoro Burger”, although their recipe deviates quite a bit from traditional korokke.

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Korokke patties are even better in sandwiches, called korokke pan. These sandwiches, made with a korokke patty stuffed into either a sesame seed bun or dinner roll along with finely shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce, can be found at bakeries and sandwich shops across Japan. Korokke pan are perfect for packing into a bag or taking on a trip, and are great when you’re on the go. Convenience stores sell them packaged and sometimes warmed, so even if you don’t make them at home or aren’t near a specialty shop, you can find them easily when traveling around Japan.

If you’re ready to try korokke, check out this recipe using rice on our website, or try out a patty or sandwich from your local Japanese grocery store.

Stay tuned for our continuing series about Japanese street food!