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Japanese Cooking at Home


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#31 yunnermeier

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:14 AM

OT:

Just noticed that Gabriel Lewis has the same bowls as I do....

BTW, the gyudon recipe I used also asked for 1 tsp of sake.

Hmm what's for dinner tonight...

#32 Hiroyuki

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:00 PM

Posted Image
Top: Saba (mackerel)
Middle: Inada (young yellowtail)
Bottom: Blobal santoku

Thus, yesterday's supper
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Ara jiru,made with saba and inada trimmings and yuugao (a type of gourd).
Inada sashimi
Saba no miso ni (mackeral simmered with ginger, miso, mirin (and/or sugar), water, and sake)

I need to get a good deba and learn to fillet and cut fish more beautifully. :sad:

#33 helenjp

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:21 PM

I noticed wonderful, fresh, yellowtail and mackerel in my local supermarket yesterday too! Unfortunately dinner was already cooked when I spotted it (Late guitar lesson = western food!).

If you don't have a knife you like for slicing fish thinly, in a pinch you could try a ceramic knife ( tend to be a bit small for the job, but excellent for cutting soft things neatly). The deba will do a good job of filleting, but not so handy for slicing. A good pair of sturdy fish tweezers is handy for pulling out bones.

Did you grow the yuugao yourself? It's never sold around here as a vegetable.

#34 Hiroyuki

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:54 PM

I  noticed wonderful, fresh, yellowtail and mackerel in my local supermarket yesterday too! Unfortunately dinner was already cooked when I spotted it (Late guitar lesson = western food!).

If you don't have a knife you like for slicing fish thinly, in a pinch you could try a ceramic knife ( tend to be a bit small for the job, but excellent for cutting soft things neatly). The deba will do a good job of filleting, but not so handy for slicing. A good pair of sturdy fish tweezers is handy for pulling out bones.

Did you grow the yuugao yourself? It's never sold around here as a vegetable.

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Unfortunately, I don't have a ceramic one... :sad: I think I'll buy a deba first, and then a sashimi slicer (yanagi? ro something). I have already bought one pair of tweezers, but I had difficulty pulling bones with it yesterday.

Yuugao (pronounced you-goh here in the Uonuma region) is very popular here. My sister-in-law gave some to me the other day.

#35 SheenaGreena

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:14 AM

ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it? If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.
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#36 Hiroyuki

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:14 AM

ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it?  If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/ 

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.

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What?? Ara jiru is a type of soup that you make using what's left of a fish after you fillet it.
We even have a thread on arajiru here.

You are probably referring to shime saba.

#37 SheenaGreena

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:43 AM

ara jiru, is that the method of placing mackerel in vinegar and then eating it?  If so, I have yet to do that. There is no way I am going to take all of the bones out of the mackerel before eating it :/ 

That's why I am a huge fan of salt grilling mackerel, or eating it out of the can (this way the bones are soft enough to chew).

I really do need to try the vinegar method, cause it sounds very tasty and refreshing.

View Post

What?? Ara jiru is a type of soup that you make using what's left of a fish after you fillet it.
We even have a thread on arajiru here.

You are probably referring to shime saba.

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haha, whoops! I knew I was wrong, but I guess I thought I would just wing it and assume you were talking about the vinegar marinated fish. Sorry about that :raz:
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#38 helenjp

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 03:21 AM

Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu
Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.
Posted Image

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...

Edited by helenjp, 07 October 2007 - 03:21 AM.


#39 nakji

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:27 AM

That fish looks lovely, helenjp. Is that a flower garnish next to it? I was so surprised to see flowers for sale in the produce department in my local grocery store. Are they edible, or just for looks?

Here's yesterday's lunch, made with some leftover curry rice I had from earlier in the week, and some rosu katsu from the supermarket. I also included some cucumbers as a side, so I felt like I was eating something healthy. It's the first time I'd tried Japanese cucumbers, and they're fantastic! I'm not sure if I can ever go back to North American ones.

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Apologies for the tonkatsu sauce and the curry sauce. Appalling, I know, but I can't give up an opportunity to have it.

I wanted to post a picture of tonight's dinner, which was nikkujaga following Torakris's recipe from the eGCI course, but Image Gullet isn't letting me upload, for whatever reason. I'll try again tomorrow, I guess.

#40 Hiroyuki

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 05:39 PM

Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu
Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.
Posted Image

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...

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I've never seem a sanma presented like a circle. I must say that's very innovative. Besides, this doesn't require a long, sanma plate.

nakji, pouring tonkatsu sauce (and other types of sauce like chuunou) over curry is not unusual in Japan. Some Japanese even do it without tasting the curry first!

#41 nakji

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:06 AM

Glad to hear it! I don't feel so decadent now. With Torakris's help, I finally uploaded my nikkujaga picture. I cooked this meal on Sunday - Canadian Thanksgiving! Not exactly traditional, but I had just come from seeing a hockey game, so I guess that was Canadian enough for the day.

I made nikkujaga, and cut the carrots into flowers, because I know Hiroyuki is looking.

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I made it on the soupy side, but I liked it.

Side dishes were fusion-y. I made stir fried bean sprouts with sesame oil, something I ate a lot in Korea, and spinach with sesame dressing, a kind of spin on the traditional spinach with sesame.

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I think there was a bit too much orange on the plates, but there you go.

#42 Hiroyuki

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 08:07 PM

Thank you for cutting the carrots into flowers especially for me, they are beautiful to look at, but I myself have never cut carrots that way. :raz: I usually cut them into "icho giri" (quarter circle) shapes. Icho literally means gingko or gingko leaf. Also popular are "han getsu" (lit. half moon) or semi-circular shapes and "ran giri" shapes.
For ran giri, cut a carrot diagonally, turn it so that the cut end faces upward, cut it again, and repeat the cutting and turning. The results are like these.
Be sure to make a pork version nextt time!

#43 Hiroyuki

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 03:13 AM

Just wanted to post this chicken breast kara-age photo:
Posted Image
1:1:1 mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sake for marinade liquid, as usual.
I simmered the liquid in a pan for 30 seconds or so. Nice dipping sauce for the kara-age. I also used the bottled sudachi juice (right) and yuzu kosho (left). I used them separately, not all of them at once.

#44 smallworld

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:18 PM

smallworld: Is there another full picture of your tofu salad? It looks really delicious from the little that I can see of it (on the left right?). How'd you make it?

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Not from that meal, but this one is pretty much the same:

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The base is spinach (as you can see, Japanese spinach has smaller, flat leaves) and wakame seaweed dressed with ponzu, ground sesame and sesame oil. Next is tofu, topped with katsuobushi and drizzled with a bit more ponzu.

This is my standard salad, with the greens and dressing changing depending on what's available (ponzu and olive oil is also a really nice dressing for tofu salad or hiya-yakko).

It's important to use good tofu-- here I've used one from my favourite tofu maker, Otokomae Tofu, called Masahiro:

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The bottom of the package is stamped with the kanji for "otoko", or man. The tofu retains the stamp when out of its package, which looks pretty cool when splashed with soy sauce as for hiya-yakko but is invisible when covered with katsuobushi!

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#45 smallworld

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 10:21 PM

Dinner...sanma (saury) grilled with salt, served with grated daikon and soy sauce, spinach and enoki hitashi topped with yellow chrysanthemum petals in amasu
Miso soup with sweet potato and green pepper, rice.
Posted Image

The "circular" grilled saury means the fat along the spine drips off instead of lying on top of the fish, but the shape also makes it harder than usual to remove small bones!

P.S. cell-phone photo sorry, still haven't figured out where son put digital camera cable...

View Post


Interesting! Do you cook it in the fish grill part of the stove, or on one of those stove-top fish grills?
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#46 Gabriel Lewis

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 12:23 AM

Posted Image

The base is spinach (as you can see, Japanese spinach has smaller, flat leaves) and wakame seaweed dressed with ponzu, ground sesame and sesame oil. Next is tofu, topped with katsuobushi and drizzled with a bit more ponzu.


That salad is beautiful smallworld, and I would really like to try it. I'm curious though, how is the wakame prepared exactly? Is it fresh? I'm perplexed as to how one might include dry wakame, which is the only available kind here. It doesn't seem like it would be much good without rehydrating it first, and then it seems like it would be necessary to cut it into small bits. Also, what firmness of tofu do you use? It seems like you're using something similar to what I would call silken tofu as you didn't cut it up. Silken tofu hasn't been pressed, and can easily be broken into pieces.

#47 SheenaGreena

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:00 PM

nakji, did you dip the cucumbers in miso or daengjang? I love to dip cucumbers in homemade daengjang (feels like i'm eating healthy).
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#48 nakji

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:25 PM

That was miso. But I also love dipping in daengjang - are miso and daengjang functionally the same? I've never done a side-by-side taste test. I can't find any Korean sauces at my local grocery store - at least; not the ones in the brown and red tubs. I'm dying for some gojujang. There's probably a Japanese brand in the store somewhere, but my kanji doesn't stretch far enough to identify it.

#49 torakris

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 05:27 PM

That was miso. But I also love dipping in daengjang - are miso and daengjang functionally the same? I've never done a side-by-side taste test. I can't find any Korean sauces at my local grocery store - at least; not the ones in the brown and red tubs. I'm dying for some gojujang. There's probably a Japanese brand in the store somewhere, but my kanji doesn't stretch far enough to identify it.

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Hi nakji,
Kochujang can be found in most stores now, look in the "ethnic" section and you will see tubes or little jars that say コチュジャン on them. If you want to get the larger tubs that are imported from Korea see if you can find a Yamaya or a Kaldi near you. Then of course you could also head to Tokyo's Koreantown in the Shinokubo area just 1km away from Shinjuku.

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#50 SheenaGreena

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 02:49 AM

miso and daengjang taste pretty much the same to me....except dangjang tastes a little beanier (if that makes any sense). Miso is also smoother and dangjang is more chunkier and of course they are prepared differently as I'm sure you know.

I think I"m going to try dipping some cold cumber in miso. Sounds like a good beer snack too.
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#51 nakji

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:36 AM

Kochujang can be found in most stores now, look in the "ethnic" section and you will see tubes or little jars that say コチュジャン on them. If you want to get the larger tubs that are imported from Korea see if you can find a Yamaya or a Kaldi near you. Then of course you could also head to Tokyo's Koreantown in the Shinokubo area just 1km away from Shinjuku.


D-uh. (smacks head) Of course, it's in katakana. I'll know what to look for now. I can always hit Koreatown, too, though. I go through Shin-Okubo every day on my way to work. It's the stop between Takadanobaba and Shinjuku, where no one gets on or off.

I like to mix a little ginger and sesame oil into the miso when I use it for dipping. It is indeed a great beer snack.

#52 Hiroyuki

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:55 AM

On his way home from school yesterday, my son found some honey mushrooms (naratake) on the grass. So, I made kinoko miso soup for supper tonight.

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Right: Wild honey mushrooms (about half of what he collected)
Top: Cultured white buna shimeji
Bottom: Cultured nameko

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Besides the mushrooms, the soup contains:
daikon, carrots, gobo (burdock root), satoimo (taro), and pork.
For this kind of miso soup, the more the ingredients the better!

Other dishes: Sanma mirin boshi (dried, mirin-flavored saury)
Boiled green vegetable (which I forgot the name of)

#53 helenjp

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 04:29 AM

That soup looks good! What is it about autumn I wonder, we've been having lots of multi-ingredient miso soups recently too. I like to add Chinese cabbage too.

Rest of our menus have not been "purely" Japanese recently, so no photos!

#54 torakris

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:26 PM

Except for the mushrooms we had the same soup last night too!
Ours included pork, satoimo, gobo, daikon, carrot, onion and konnyaku. Sorry I didn't think to take a picture...

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#55 torakris

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 04:07 PM

Two nights ago:

mizuna and tofu salad with an ume dressing

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grilled eryngii mushrooms

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and garlicky pork mazegohan (mixed rice), it would have been prettier if I had had some scallions in the house

Posted Image

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#56 smallworld

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:03 PM

Posted Image

The base is spinach (as you can see, Japanese spinach has smaller, flat leaves) and wakame seaweed dressed with ponzu, ground sesame and sesame oil. Next is tofu, topped with katsuobushi and drizzled with a bit more ponzu.


That salad is beautiful smallworld, and I would really like to try it. I'm curious though, how is the wakame prepared exactly? Is it fresh? I'm perplexed as to how one might include dry wakame, which is the only available kind here. It doesn't seem like it would be much good without rehydrating it first, and then it seems like it would be necessary to cut it into small bits. Also, what firmness of tofu do you use? It seems like you're using something similar to what I would call silken tofu as you didn't cut it up. Silken tofu hasn't been pressed, and can easily be broken into pieces.

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The wakame I used is semi-fresh. I don't know the exact term for it, but it's sold in long bunches, refrigerated with the other seafood. It is partially dried and heavily salted and needs to be soaked both to re-hydrate it and to remove the salt. It has a better flavour and texture than dried, pre-cut wakame but the difference isn't huge and you could use easily dried wakame. Dried wakame does indeed need to be soaked, with some types needing to be cut and some types already cut.

I'm not sure how to classify the tofu. While tofu meant for cooking is labeled as either "cotton" or "silken", there is a lot of tofu with other names, usually meant to be eaten fresh. I have no idea how to classify all the different kinds of tofu available here-- can anyone else help?

In any case, this tofu was similar to oboro tofu (which I suppose is related to silken tofu): smooth, rich, custard-like and so flavourful that it didn't really need any dressing-- I could eat it plain with a spoon.

Sorry to be so vague. Hopefully there are some wakame and tofu experts around here who can help out.
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#57 nakji

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:39 AM

Well, after a terrible day that culminated with the JR Yamanote line shutting down at Shinjuku station in the middle of rush hour, I really needed one of these when I crawled in the door at 9 pm -


Posted Image


After I downed it in about one gulp, I put some nikkujyaga on - this time with pork, for Hiroyuki. It was good, but Japanese beef is so much more richer than any beef I've ever eaten before, so I have to prefer the beef version! But the pork was delicious, too, and even better, there's a bit left for my bento tomorrow.

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I used the long potatoes instead of the round potatoes this time, and I think they held together better than before. I also used up all of my cheapy mirin, and I'd like to upgrade a little - can anyone post a photo of a good brand of mirin for me?

#58 Cadbury

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:36 PM

I had nikujaga last night too, left over from the night before. Nicely matured. Mine was with beef, as I've finally educated my butcher to cut in thinly enough for Japanese dishes. Beats cutting frozen meat with my hand powered meat slicer.

#59 Hiroyuki

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:13 PM

So, everyone likes beef nikujaga? :blink: Don't tell Kanto people about this, or you will get a :blink: or :shock: look.

nakji, I can't recommend a good brand, but Takara produces a wide selection of mirin and mirin-like products, like this one:
http://www.takarashu...irin/index.html

What I really want to try is this 10-year mirin:
http://www.hakusensh.../kokomirin.html
500 ml, 2,000 yen (tax included)
Looks very good, doesn't it?

#60 helenjp

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:47 PM

The Takara Hon Mirin is a good choice, and readily available.

And Hiroyuki, if you ever buy that 10 year old mirin, I should hope you don't bury it in equal quantities of soy sauce!

I remember an Ariyoshi Sawako novel where the rather vain elderly mother insists that buying a good mirin to pat on her face and neck is as important as buying food, in postwar Tokyo.