Cuisine #Recipes

Smooth Tamago-dofu: Cold Savory Egg Custard Recipe

Tamagodofu is a Japanese savory egg custard that usually served cold as an appetizer. The texture is cold, smooth, soft and light, so it’s good for the summer dish.

Making and tasting Tamagodofu is similar to chawanmushi, When we eat the chawanmushi, we can enjoy combination with various ingredients. On the other hand, there are very few ingredients, we enjoy smooth texture and dashi flavor of tamagodofu

Recipe: Tamagodofu


Ingredients (4-6 servings)
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup (200ml) dashi stock
• 2 teaspoons soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons mirin (optional)
• 1 pinch salt


Sauce (optional)

• 1/2 cup dashi stock
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon mirin (optional)Equipments
• Heat-proof molds or cups or glasses
• StrainerDirections

1. Preheat the oven to 302 ℉ (150℃) and boil the water. Beat the egg well and put into the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Mix all ingredients well.
2. Pour the egg mixture into the square mold or a cup with strainer.
3. Place the mold in the baking tray and pour the boiled water in the tray.
4. Cover the mold with tin foil, and bake until set, about 40-50 minutes. Leave to cool with a fridge. After cooling it, cut and serve that you like.
Optional

Pour the sauce, garnish with grated ginger, mituba leaves, or yuzu citrus.

Note

1. You can use any heat- proof molds or cups.
2. If you don’t have bonito dashi, you can use the vegetable stock instead.

If you need some other egg recipes, here! EGG RECIPES

Cuisine #Recipes

Sakura Flavored Sweets (Cherry Blossom Sweets) in Japan

In the Sakura (cherry blossom) season, the Sakura flavored foods start rolling out in Japan. Last time, I posted about the Sakura flavored drink. We can find a variety of Sakura sweets as drinks in Japan. They usually have a cute pink color and a lovely smell of Sakura (cherry blossom). Sakura sweets are popular as a souvenir in the spring season. If there is any chance, please try and enjoy Sakura sweets!
Lindt: Delice Sakura
Ginza Tamaya: Sakura hitohira
nenrinyabaumkuchen
TORAYA: monaka sakuraori
HaagenDazs: Sakura
Kyoto Kitayama MALEBRANCHE: Sakura macaron & meringue

Cuisine #Recipes

Sansai Tempura (deep fried edible wild plants) in Japan

Sanai Tempura (deep fried edible wild plants)

 

Sansai is edible wild plant that means mountain vegetables in Japanese, generally grows wild, not grow to force. There are many Sansai in Japan, and people enjoy Sansai flavor, the taste of spring. During the spring, you can find some Sansai at near mountains or some supermarkets in Japan. And also you can raise some Sansai easily in the garden. I raise and enjoy some Sansai, like Nobiru (wild rocambole), Mitsuba (Japanese honewort), Myoga (Japanese ginger), etc., too.
Many Sansai (edible wild plants) have slightly bitter tastes, can be eaten as tempura (deep fried foods), soup, salad, pickles, or jam, etc. When I was a child, I hate Sansai  because of its bitterness, but now, I love them. Sansai’s bitter taste is addicting! One of my favorite ways of Sansai cooking is tempura (deep fried foods). Sansai tempura is a very good match with cold beer!

Fuki-noto : Edible flower bud of the Fuki (Petasites japonicus) plants

 

Udo: a plant related to ginseng & Taranome: Fatsia sprouts.

 

Kogomi: Ostrich fern

 

Last weekend, I cooked Sansai tempura. I fully enjoyed the taste of the only spring seasons! During the spring, you can eat Sansai tempura at many Soba restaurants in Japan. There is a menu of tempura or tenzaru (soba with tempura).
Enjoy!

Cuisine #Recipes

Ume: Japanese Apricot

Nanko-ume

 

Ume is a Japanese apricot that looks beautiful and has an aromatic flavor. Ume blossom blooms in the early spring, and Ume grows ripe in the early summer. It has the recovery from fatigue effect, an antiseptic action, and digestive facilitatory effect. So It has been eaten since 1000 or more years ago in Japan. We can’t eat Ume as raw because ume seed includes amygdalin, So it’s necessary to preserve in salt, sugar or liqueur in order to decompose amygdalin. At this time every year, I make four preserved foods from Ume.

Green-ume

 

Ume blossom blooms in the early spring

 

1, Umeboshi (Pickled Ume)

Umeboshi are pickled plums and renowned as great health foods. They are very salty and sour, so generally eaten in small quantity. But, they have a great act as antibacterial, recovery from fatigue, and helps digestion. Umeboshi are usually eaten with plain boiled rice, Onigiri (rice balls), Makizushi (rolled sushi), Ochazuke, Bento, etc. And they are often eaten as a cooking accent for some noodles, tofu dishes, salads and some fish dishes.

 

Making the Umeboshi is simple, but it takes about a month. First, wash and salted ripe ume, After ume juice appeared, put the red perilla, and dry in the sun for three days and three nights. After that, we can eat them, but after a year, It becomes good taste. Umeboshi can be preserved for several years or more.

 

 

2, Ume Juice

This juice is made from green-ume and sugar, It also has an effect as recovery from fatigue, so It’s a nice summer drink for preventing summer heat fatigue. My son likes this juice mixed with soda water.

 

 

3, Ume jam


Ume jam is similar to apricot jam, but it tastes sourer than apricot jam. Recently, many fruits in Japan are becoming sweeter, so some fruits aren’t suitable for making jam because of their too much sweetness. Ume jam’s sour-sweet taste is precious for me.

 

 

4, Ume liquor

Ume liquor (plum wine) is a popular drink as called Umeshu. You can find Ume liquor at the convenience store, supermarket, and almost all the liquor shop. You can also make it easy at home. Making Ume liquor is as the same as other fruit wine. I like this clear and rich taste.

 

 

 

 

Beverage #Cuisine #Recipes

Japanese Popular Beer – Yebisu Beer

 

My favorite Japanese beer is a series of YEBISU beer that made by Sapporo beer. YEBISU beer was first brewed in 1887. According to a label statement, BLACK YEBISU is the ‘Premium Roast Malt’ roasted with care, sends out the deep taste and grand roasted scent. Silk YEBISU is brewed with wheat malt, fine barley malt and select hops for an elegant flavor and creamy ” smooth as silk” taste. YEBISU is a rich and mellow premium beer brewed from 100% fine malt and select hops with Sapporo’s traditional art.
Each YEBISU has the feature, so I choose it according to the kind of meals. I think BLACK YEBISU has deep taste, so it’s good to drink with deep fried meals etc. SILK YEBISU has refined taste and herbal smell, I usually drink it with Washoku (Japanese traditional dish).
I loved this limited edition – KOHAKU YEBISU, too. KOHAKU means amber in Japanese. It tastes deep, but very smooth.  It hasn’t been sold recently. I hope it’ll be sold one more time!

Cuisine #Recipes

Ochazuke: Japanese Boiled Rice with Tea

 Ochazuke is a very simple and nice Japanese dish. It generally made by pouring green tea or bonito dashi over cooked rice. And we put some topping what we like such as umeboshi (plum pickled), tsukemono (Japanese pickled), seaweed, sesame, tarako(salted cod roe), sea bream sashimi, salmon, wasabi, etc.
People eat Ochazuke for a midnight snack, a hangover cure, end of full course meal, or light lunch. There are ready-made ochazuke packets at the supermarket in Japan. So people can use it easily for eating Ochazuke. It’s very easy and good taste, too, but different taste of cooking it at home.

Kyoto pickles, Senmaizuke, and Takuanzuke.

The other day, I got traditional Kyoto pickles, Senmaizuke, and Takuanzuke. So I ate them with Ochazuke. Some of Japanese pickles are good match with Ochazuke. I prefer bonito dashi to simple hot water, so I usually eat Ochazuke pouring mixed bonito dashi and green tea. It’s really good taste.
Enjoy!

Cuisine #Recipes

Fresh Creamy Yuba: Bean Curd Skin

 

Yuba is a bean curd skin that made from soy milk. In the process of making tofu, skin forms on the liquid surface of the boiling of soy milk. The skin forms are removed from the soy milk very carefully, because yuba is so delicate thin skin form.
There are three basic Yuba forms such as fresh, half-dried, and dried. These three forms has different texture and taste, and eaten by different ways of cooking. I recommend you that fresh Yuba as sashimi, half-dried Yuba as tempura or steamed food, and dried Yuba as soup, etc.
Japanese fresh yuba called ‘kumiage yuba
Dried yuba
Fresh Yuba is similar taste to tofu. But it’s so creamy and It has a nutty deeper flavor than tofu. If you like Tofu and soy milk, you may like it as well. You can eat fresh yuba at the some Japanese restaurants, and you can also get fresh yuba at the some supermarkets in Japan. I love fresh yuba very much, and I usually eat it with wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and a little bit salt or soy sauce. It’s a good match with some alcohol drink such as sake or beer.

Cuisine #Recipes

Japanese Vegetable Cutter for 4 Seasonal Occasions

There are many shapes of vegetable cutter in Japan. They are similar to cookie cutter. Many plants and animals are used for vegetable cutter as the motif. Their shapes are used for expressing seasons or special occasions in the dishes. It’s important to express seasons when we cook washoku (traditional Japanese dishes). Cut vegetables tell us the visit of a season at the time of a meal.
1, Spring
In Japan, many people call Sakura (cherry blossoms) to their mind. In addition, butterfly and bush warbler are used as spring motifs.
2, Summer
The weather warmer and summer is here, we use summer motif like bamboo, green leaves, gourd,  plover, sweet fish, turtle, etc..
3, Autumn
The crop and the color of autumn are expressed by the shapes of ginkgo leaf, maple leaves, mushrooms, chestnuts, bellflower, etc..
4, Winter
We sometimes use the auspicious shapes for the New year’s dish, for example, ume (Japanese apricot blossoms), pine tree, etc.
Cut vegetables look beautiful and cute, so I sometimes use them for Bento (lunch box), soup, and steamed dish, ect. You can also use them for many types of foods. Enjoy!

Cuisine #Recipes

How to make Dashi stock (Japanese fish broth) Recipe

 

Dashi is the base for many Japanese cuisine such as miso soups, noodles, vegetable dishes and so on. It’s really simple and easy, but very important elements for making Japanese food. There are several types of Dashi stock in Japan. But basic Dashi generally made from kombu seaweed and dried bonito.

 

 

Recipe Japanese Dashi stock

Ingredients
* 5×10㎝ piece kombu seaweed
* 1 cup shaved dried bonito (15g)
* 4 cups water (800ml)
Directions
  1. Cut the kombu seaweed into 2㎝ by using kitchen scissors(Don’t wash kombu, because washing it would remove the umami. )
  2. Put the 4 cups of water into a pot with Kombu. And let it sit for 30minutes and more. ( You can make it in the last evening, and it can be placed overnight in the refrigerator.)
  3. Heat at low temperature until it starts to simmer, then take out the kombu. And turn off the heat after hot water boils.
  4. Put the dried bonito into the pan. Let it set until dried bonito sinks. After that, take out the dried bonito with a strainer or a skimmer.

 

 

Dashi broth has a clear golden color and umami smell. It contained perfect ‘umami’ from kombu’s glutamine acid and dried bonito’s inosinic acid. Dashi broth will give you the best results for making Japanese dishes!

 

Cuisine #Recipes

Chawannmushi (Japanese Savory Egg Custard) Recipe

This is the second post of my egg recipe. Chawannmushi is a Japanese egg custard dish. It’s different from many other custard dishes. Chawanmushi is very, very soft and smooth.  It consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, salt, dashi, with some ingredients.

 

Recipe Chawannmushi

Ingredients (6 servings)
* 3 eggs
* 3 cups room temperature bonito dashi
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1and1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
* 2 shimeji or shiitake mushrooms
* 6 shrimps
* 1 chicken fillet, without sinew
* 6 ginkgo nuts (If you can get)
* mituba trefoil, to your taste
Directions
  1.  Preheat the oven to 340°F(170℃) and boil the water. Prepare the ingredients. Slice the mushrooms into 5mm pieces. De-vein the shrimp and remove the shell seasoned with a tablespoon sake and pinch of salt. Cut off the hard bottom of mushrooms and separate them. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and seasoned with a tablespoon sake.
  2.  Make the egg mixture. Beat the eggs well and put into dashi, salt, and soy sauce. And then, strain the egg mixture with a strainer until smooth.
  3. Add the ingredients into the little bowl, and then, Add the egg mixture gently.
  4. Place the bowls in the baking tray and cover the bowls with tin foil. Pour the boiled water into the tray. Bake until set, about 40-50 minutes. Garnish with mituba leaves.

There are a variety of ingredients of chawannmushi. We can put the ingredients what we like, such as ginkgo nuts, mushrooms, shrimp, chicken, camaboko, Mitsuba (Japanese honewort), mochi, cheese, and so on. I make it with many types of ingredients or only egg mixture that doesn’t contain other ingredients. We can enjoy smooth egg custard, and umami (dashi flavor).