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Everything posted by itch22

  1. Thanks for the info. The Botan brand, which falls into the musenmai category, was the bland one I didn't care for. The Shirakiku brand had a distinct but mild nutty flavour. I'm just going to keep trying different varieties.
  2. I need some clairification on Japanese and Japanese-style rice. Calrose is a type of medium grain rice grown in California suitable for use in Japanese cooking, correct? Titles such as Botan and Shirakiku are brand names of Calrose rice? (A side note, Botan labels their rice as Calrose on the front but referes to the rice as musenmai on the back.) If so, how come some information sources list Shirakiku rice as a type of rice? How come Botan's calrose rice tastes COMPLETELY different from Shirakiku's calrose rice? I compared the two, both bags being "new crop" rice. Can the soil and/or milling process really make THAT much differece? What are the types of rice used in Japan? Does anyone know of any good and thorough sources of information about the types of Japonica and calrose rice?
  3. Looks good, but unfortunately for me they do not ship to Canada.
  4. Acctually, the momo I usually get are round like a steamed bun and not cresent shaped like a pot sticker. Though I suppose shape may have little to do with it.
  5. I was introduced to these by a local Himalayan restaurant. They only offer the beef version, sha momo. They offer it either steamed or deep-fried. Looking around on the Internet I see there are numerous variations such as chicken (chasha), vegetable (Tse), and spinach (tsoma). At the local restaurant the seasoning for the beef momo seems to be minced onion, garlic, and a bit of soy sauce. Maybe salt and pepper. Anything I'm missing? Anyone familiar with making momo and its varieties?
  6. Now THERE I can't agree! I know I spend ten minutes looking for my favorite ballpoint pen to write a one-line memo...it's a pleasure to use something that works efficiently! ← Yes, it is always nice to have something that works well, which is becoming increasingly rarer these days... I just meant that my wusthof, and many western knives, don't carry the same kind of traditions in its manufacturing. New wusthof knives are developed in laboratory style settings and finished in marketing rooms. The high end knife makers of Seki and other areas have a much more organic approach to the evolution of their knife designs. They seem more... alive. Korin makes a line that are traditional Japanese knives with honiki wood handles and resin bolsters, but utilize a blend of stainless steel for blade construction. You can see them here. I think this is the route I might have to go. At work I am required to wash my knife in hot soapy water, which worries me about the impact of this on the carbon steel blades of other lines of Japanese knives. In the future I may buy some really nice, really expensive carbon steel Japanese knives for home use where I can use only hot water (no soap) to clean them, as recommended by Japanese knife manufacturers' sites. At least at home the health inspector can't get me.
  7. I have found on the above posted site a line of Korin that uses 8A stainless steel for their blades. Might be best for what I am going to using them for. The proper cleaning techniques used for carbon steel to prevent staining does not meet the guidlines of the health inspector or my chef/boss. The problem with professional Japanese kitchen knives is they are several times more expensive than western kitchen knives. It must be the quality, artistry, and traditional forging techniques used. I bet a young Japanese chef who weilds a professional Japanese knife is probably connected to centuries of tradition, a culinary ancestory of sorts. I feel nothing when I pick up my wusthof, just like when I pick up a hammer or screw driver.
  8. They look nice. I'll need to find a place that carries them so I can try them, see if the feel is nice. I am worried about being not able to find a Japanese style knife for myself as I have big hands. Some brands I am considering: Masahiro, Kershaw Shun, Masamoto-Sohonten, and MAC. Anyone here use masahiro or masamoto-sohonten? There is a brief reference to masahiro in this other forum. EDIT: Here is a site I found during my research I want to share with you. It's a site dedicated to Japanese knives and is in English. www.japanese-knife.com
  9. Michael Potter's Milford Bistro is in, and charge a $7.00 uncorking fee.
  10. I am interested in find out from Japanese cooks here on eGullet about their experience with traditional Japanese knives. I am looking at getting the following: deba, usuba (and maybe a nakiri), and a yanagi-ba (or a tako-biki). I have some concerns though... First is a reliable brand that produces professional grade knives. Kikuichi look great but are too expensive for me right now. Some of their knives top $1000.00 USD. Realistically I am looking at maybe MAC or Masahiro. What brands, available to the west, do any of you prefer? The second is more of a concern. Traditional Japanese knives are made from carbon steel or a carbon derivative. According to Chad's knife clinic, the high acidity of fruits, vegitables, and other sources in a kitchen can cause micro-rusting and will eat away at the blade's edge. However, is this really a problem or any seriousness? Many Japanese and non-Japanese chefs must use carbon I am sure. So what I am asking is, anyone here who has used carbon steel Japanese knives please let me know how they preformed for you. I'm primarily interested in how they preformed in the professional kitchen environment, because that's where my knives will be, but all experiences are welcomed.
  11. What are people's opinions of MAC knives? I am looking to get a set of Japanese kitchen knives including deba-bocho (cleaver), nakiri-bocho and/or usuba-bocho (vegetable knife), and probably a yanagi-ba but not a tako-biki. I like the rounded point of the Osaka style sashimi knife. Anyway, being Canadian I am finding MAC to be the brand of Japanese knives easiest to come by.
  12. Well spring is fast approaching and I wanted to check out some shops this Saturday for condiments useful for spring cookery. I am always on the look out for quality vinegars and oils. EDIT: I am also looking for north Mediterranean foods - Greek, Italian French, etc...
  13. Yes I've been to the Galleria and spent far too much at the tea shop there. I forgot about Harvest Wagon, never been there but was told about it. I should check it and Whole Foods Market out.
  14. It's a Japanese grocer in Kensington Market, expensive (even for Japanese goods) but pretty good. Saves you the trip to Vaughn or Markham if you just shopping downtown.
  15. I'm open to all Italian anti-pasti, and even ones influenced by neighbouring contries.
  16. I thought a topic like this would already be exist, so I looked for one using Google, and though I found many topics where antipasti is mentioned I did not find one dedicated to antipasti. I'd like to broad my ideas of antipasti. Typically you have veggies, cured meats, olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, stuffed peppers, etc... but what are your favourites, or perhaps something you thought to be quite original?
  17. I am familiar with Pusateri's and Little Tokyo, as well as the St. Lawrence Market, but any others? (I'm sure there are others, but I am looking for recommendations for the best ones.) I am also looking for a good Greek groccer.
  18. I found a cornucopia of juniper bushes. I picked only fully ripe berries, however they lacked both aroma and flavour.
  19. 20 minutes, hmm... Maybe I should read posts before replying to them, eh? How about ma po doufu?
  20. Dim sum can be quite dazzling if you have a variety.
  21. I was reading Chef Tsuji's Complete Japanese Kitchen cookbook, which aims to teach westerners how to prepare "authentic" Japanese cuisine. To paraphrase a section in the preface concerning "authentic sashimi (raw fish). Tsuji says that if one lives inland and does not have access to fresh fish (and fresh by Japanese standards is still alive), it'd be more authentic to server river fish sashimi then ocean fish sashimi. He says that the essence of sashimi is to server raw and incredibly fresh fish. Serving salmon or yellowtail sashimi with fish that has been flash frozen and then shipped across the country would not be fresh enough and thus not in the true spirit of Japanese cuisine. To use, lets say trout, though you would not see such a fish used in Japan it would be much fresher and thus true to the spirit of Japanese cooking. The spirit, not the ingredient, is what keeps a dish authentic in Tsuji's mind. Another perspective is Mario's show Ciao America. Is the food on this show "Authentic Italian"? I don't know for certain, but if it is being made by Italians in the spirit of Italian cooking, can't it be considered authentic? I think authentic gets mistaken for traditional. As long as you stick to the philosophy of the cuisine, respect the ingredients, culture, and techniques, it's good enough to be authentic in my opinion.
  22. I get some comments from non-Asian wait staff at Asian restaurants when I ask for chopsticks about how slow chopsticks are, but I find that I am just as quick. I guess if you use them nearly everyday, they indeed become an extension of the hand.
  23. I use a French steel crepe pan and a plain old wooden spatula to smooth the batter tissue thin. As far as a recipe goes, I pretty much stick to the Larousse Gastronomique. Fillings is where I get create. Some days I use home made jam, other days it is asparagus with a a lime hollandaise.
  24. There were some recommendations in this thread.
  25. Vietnamese cooks make their's by tieing a cloth drum tight over a steamer or pot and pouring the slurry over that. Great texture and taste, compaired to the plate method, but if you are not cooking on a regular basis your hands may not be used to the gusts of hot steam and could be burned.
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