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Everything posted by Cheeko

  1. I don't know if its true, but I hear that a a tablespoon of butter is supposed to help your potatoes hold up.
  2. Now I am curious as to how the different processing affects the end product. Shiratamako – flour made from mochigome that has been soaked in water for a few days Mochiko – flour made from dry mochigome Jyoshinko – made from nonglutinous rice Wagashi uses different combinations of these flours. I can see and feel the differences, but if I wanted to change the texture/bite of a wagashi, I’m wondering which one is “chewier” and which one is tender? Is there really a noticeable difference between mochiko and shiratamako once the cake is finished? I often see it used interchangeably – is that more for convenience? And what role does the jyoshinko play. I guess I am thinking too much like a baker, but it does make me wonder. I guess what I should do is a taste-taste with hanamidango – do one that’s exclusively mochiko, the other shiratamako, then one that’s a blend of shiratamako and jyoshinko.
  3. Loved this series, and as I think the consensus is, the best was for last - more congrats to Officer Chris Cognac. It was the only episode I could get my husband to watch and he really enjoyed it. I love AB and would have to agree that the show, for the most part was a little disappointing, but at the same time, there were moments that were poetically honest (pig's feet and brain sandwich insights). For me it was worth the 20 minutes or so for a slice everyday guy wisdom. I also wonder if the 4 part hour format really stymies the whole cross-country journey -- seems too little time. Maybe it will work better as that expensive DVD set with "unseen" footage or a book. Some of those still shots they showed before commercial breaks said it all - it ain't the food. Its the people. I also think that's why the last episode worked so well -- for the first time, we got to spend some quality time with someone who knew the food -- knew the local "thing". I'd like to see more of those faces. I hope there will be more of AB's journeys!
  4. Hiroyuki - yes! I have seen pictures and again, had to improvise because we never had them growing up. Then again, onigiris are simple creatures as long as the rice is good. I will post my barrel onigiris the next time I make them, although I should make my mom do it. She ridicules my technique and would be sure to send all her friends here to laugh at my onigiri...like all good home cooks Torakris - already figured out a replacement for pumpkin pie (kabocha steamed cake) and some kind of stuffing-seasoned mochi was floating around in my head a few weeks ago. However, now I'm wondering about trying the stuffing-seasoned thing with onigiri and then grilling it. Then for the turkey substitute, I'll try the houtou. ..clearly, I need to go to bed
  5. Argh!! My third day posting and I've already repeated a thread! Thanks for pointing me to the original thread because I don't understand enough Japanese to be sure what some of the tips really are...
  6. I think I've found a new favorite...This is one dish I must learn to make!! I know its quite expensive, but when I REALLY, REALLY need to try a food and its pull date is at least 30 days, I use a deputy service and order non-meat items like fresh ramen, udon and kishimen. I will be placing an order for houtou noodles as soon as squash comes into season here. I know I am playing russian roulette, but I will die with a smile on my face There are a few places here in the US where they sell imported "fresh" noodles that have been frozen for shipment. Unfortunately, that too is expensive (they have to ship overnight) and a lot of times, the noodles don't survive the freezing process, especially ramen which ends up like a giant, melting blob of dough.
  7. I found this site for Kyogashi (a particular kind of traditional wagashi...I think...??) This site has a few instructional videos on the Kyogashi currently associated with summer http://kyogashi.kyoto-np.co.jp/modules/tinyd5/ A YouTube user has posted a series of "how-to-videos" that include a number of cooking tips videos. Like this one for Cooking Perfect Gyoza http://youtube.com/watch?v=bKs8N0xS7og&mod...&search=urawaza and this one for Crispy Tempura http://youtube.com/watch?v=OpGTTrUVSfY&mod...&search=urawaza
  8. ...this is why I fell in love with this forum. Reading every past post has me starving for onigiri and a desire to try some new techniques. Made a version with shrimp tempura (tail sticking out of the top) - what my proper mom would call 'truck driver style' for my husband. He loved it. I make mine with water and salt on my palms and steaming hot rice (ow, ow, oww!!). Mom always made the barrel shaped onigiri (which appears to match with Hiroyuki's map), so I do the same. But now after seeing all of these beautiful pics and ideas from everyone, Thanksgiving may be looking a little less like turkey...
  9. I've done that too! I have a picture somewhere of mochi I didn't pay attention to. It blew into a bubble, then went molten-black. That was when I decided I should try old-fashion heating methods for the time being. Thanks Hiroyuki for the advice. I think I might need to stick to stove-top and steamer just so I can get used to what consistencies I need to look for in the various doughs before using the microwave. Many of the recipes I have found online are microwave-based. Granted, the microwave is faster and more convenient, but is unforgiving to a novice like me. I tend not to trust the initial few minutes of microwaving, and then go too far.
  10. I was never that interested in wagashi until my dad passed away. He loved these sweets so when I came across a Kyoto sweet, nama yatsuhashi (both my parents were from Kyoto) I wanted to try some. Of course, I’m in Florida, nama yatsuhashi isn’t so I asked my mom if she had ever made it. I knew she had made lots of daifuku, but sadly she said she never tried to make nama yatsuhashi. Ontop of it, the nama yatsuhashi she remembered never had fillings as they do now. However, she was fascinated and we made a deal; if I found the recipe, we’d make it together when I visited her over the summer. After foraging through this terrific forum, I tracked two or three recipes and emailed my mom about the ingredients we would need. I had no idea what the difference was between shiratamako and jyoshinko and to be honest, my mom wasn’t sure either. Her favorite Korean market had neither, but my mom said we could use mochiko instead of the shiratamako and the grocer recommended a non-glutinous rice flour from Thailand. All in all, it was a straight-forward recipe, except the first attempt was a “microwave” disaster. It would be the first of many before I would finally give up on doing wagashi near a microwave. We dumped the first batch (thank god the recipes were all small batches) and used the steaming method. I had a hard time trusting that the brownish blob in the steamer would turn into a pliable dough but my mom’s experience with making the mochi for daifuku overruled my initial concerns. The best part of the cooking was doing this with my mom and having my niece and nephew watch the process. At first they seemed pretty bored, but then they started to become fascinated because they had never seen anything like this before. Granted the first batch was not a pretty sight. My mom kept telling me I was rolling the dough too thin, but I was being a little too fixated with the fancy pictures I had seen on websites of transluscent pink, green and white yatsuhashi cakes filled with an. Again, mom won the battle so the nama yatsuhashi was thick, like a pie crust. Some of them I filled with the koshian, some I left au naturuel. The peanut gallery was divided down the middle as to which was superior: nephew went for the plain, niece went for the koshian. The thing that surprised me the most was that I liked the filled version. It’s surprising because I really don’t like koshian. But there was something about the combination of the cinnamon, the slight contrasts in texture (grainy koshian, smooth mochi) that was very appealing. We ended up making a total of three batches during my two weeks visit. It was an approachable wagashi, but more importantly, I really became addicted to making them. Maybe because they use ingredients that are foreign to me, or maybe it's the family connection. Either way, I’m addicted.
  11. Absolutely -- not an overall Kitty geek, just for those omiyage style Kitties. They're actually the reason why I started to investigate wagashi... but that's another thread
  12. Firstly - I have been a fan of these forums for the past month, finally got around to writing my "brief" essay and am so happy to finally say "THANK YOU" for all these wonderful threads on food. I would have to say without any intent to do so, Mom raised us to practice "kouchuu tabe." To this day, no matter what I eat, it must be mixed or followed with a mouthful of rice. Although I have never heard of "sankaku tabe" I've started to think about this manner of eating quite a bit lately, partly because of my diet I had to find out ways to eat more consciously and slowly and remembering how my Dad ate at dinner time (always the last one to finish) seemed to provide a partial solution.
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