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eG Foodblog: Hiroyuki - Home-style Japanese cooking


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My father, who lives in Chiba (adjacent to Tokyo), is retired (ran a small construction company), and grows all kinds of vegetables and fruit.  He kindly sends some of them to us.  These negi are just one example. 

I'd love to hear what your father grows in addition to negi, and how much he is able to consume himself.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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So much for fridge photos.

(BTW, it didn't realize that image uploading takes so much time...)

Next, some items in my kitchen.

First, microwave/oven combo, Milser (small blender), and toaster oven:

gallery_16375_4570_36714.jpg

When I say that I have an oven, I mean that I have one of those microwave/oven combo, like tens of millions of other Japanese. Few houses in Japan have an oven preinstalled. Japanese cuisine doesn't require an oven, anyway.

Rice cooker and thermos:

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They are both indispensable in a Japanese home.

Gas stove:

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When I planned my new house back in 2005, I didn't think of having an induction stove installed in my kitcken for possible health hazards. I learned then that 18% of new home owners opted for an induction stove (as of 2005).

Sink:

gallery_16375_4570_130890.jpg

Salt, instant dashi, black pepper, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, etc.:

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Soy sauce, mirin, oil, sake, vinegar, etc.:

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These seasonings are about all I need to make Japanese dishes.

I'll be back later. :wink:

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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Hiroyuki, I think you win the prize for having the neatest fridge and freezer in any blog! What is usually in the thermos?

I look forward to your blog, and send wishes for health and happiness to your family.

Edited by Abra (log)
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I'm so glad to see you are blogging. I find your post in the Japan forum very enlightening.

As to your English, it's better than many native speakers so don't feel self concious. You're doing fine.

No questions at the moment but carry on, I'm sure there will be some.

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That is not only a very neat fridge, it's also well designed! Especially the separate doors for the ice compartment, barely-freezing storage for meat and fish, and vegetable crisper.

You say Japanese cooking really doesn't require an oven. I thought that, like most Asian cuisines, it made no (or next to no) use of dairy products either. Yet those look like milk cartons in your right-hand bottom door shelf, and there's something by Kraft right above that -- I can't tell whether it's cheese or some other dairy product, but it sure looks like something made from milk. Do you drink a lot of milk? Are these used in cooking at all? Do dairy products figure into Japanese cuisine in some way?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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sanrensho: OK, I will, but later. :smile:

Abra: Just plain boiling water, used to make green tea. :smile:

BarbaraY: Thanks for your compliment!

Now, the breakfast photos, at last!!

Gin zake saikyo zuke (a type of salmon marinated in saikyo miso:

gallery_16375_4570_123901.jpg

I selected this fish for my first eGullet foodblog breakfast because some people talk feverishly about black cod marinated in miso.

Here's a little secret I need to tell you. I have a fish grill in my kitchen (like in so many other Japanese kitchens),

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but I have never used it since I moved here in October 2005. It's rather cumbersome to clean it after grilling the fish. So, I use the toaster oven instead!

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You can remove the miso by washing under running water, or you can just scrape it with a paper towel or your hand. Either way, it tastes good. This time, I scraped it with a paper towel.

Another dish:

gallery_16375_4570_37324.jpg

Atsuyaki tamago (thick omelet). It's rather time-consuming to make it, but my children like it, so I made it.

Negi, washed, skinned:

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Just in case you are wondering, I use a used milk carton for a cooking board. (I do have a wooden cooking board.)

I have plenty of them here:

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I used to wash milk cartons and take them to the supermarket for recycling, but no more.

See, I do have a cooking board:

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Finely sliced negi, together with two packs of natto:

gallery_16375_4570_132586.jpg

Don't jump to the conclusion that I am an adventurous eater simply because I eat natto. In fact, more than 80% of the Japanese like it, according to a recent survey. There are still some die-hard natto haters in the Kansai area (area in and around Osaka). My Osaka-born brother-in-law, for example, hated natto before she got married my Tokyo-born sister. Now he likes it. It's the power of... love?

Here is it! Cooked rice!!

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It can be very, very misleading to say that rice is Japan's staple depending on your perception of the word staple. It's much more appropriate to say that rice is the king of foods in Japan. You may not believe it, but it is. I'd like to talk about it later in detail, because it is VERY important!

My breakfast:

gallery_16375_4570_42690.jpg

A bit of table manners in Japan: The photo shows the proper way to place the three main items, chopsticks, rice bowl, and soup bowl. The rice bowl is placed on the left, and the soup bowl on the right. The chopsticks are placed sideways, along the edge of the table, near you, with the pointed end facing to the left (sorry for the lefties).

I'd like to write more, but I have to go back to my regular work.

(BTW, working with ImagGullet is torture!

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That is a very cool looking fridge! And the negi looks like what we call green onions here.

And as a leftie, it would be fairly easy to pick up those chopsticks and slightly reverse them to use left handed!

My best wishes to your wife for a good recovery.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Tell me more about natto. It looks like ramen in your picture.

Bear with me. I'm probably going to pepper you with lots of questions like this as your blog progresses.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Tell me more about natto.  It looks like ramen in your picture.

Bear with me.  I'm probably going to pepper you with lots of questions like this as your blog progresses.

While Hiroyuki is otherwise occupied, I'll answer this one. Natto is a fermented soy bean product, quite an acquired taste for some. More information can be found here.

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Yes! I've also been hoping for ages that Hiroyuki would do a food-blog one day.

I'm glad to see that you have PICKLES on your breakfast table :laugh: . That breakfast looks like a fine start to the day.

Your kitchen looks very easy to work in - but don't you think you should put the toaster oven on top of the microwave :rolleyes: ? And then stack some saucepans on top as well?

One question: what do you use your Milser for most of all?

Your children were looking very serious in their photo - awed by the responsibility of representing Yuzawa to the world of eGullet?

My family will be thinking of you and your wife and family, and hope that her stay in hospital will make a big improvement in her health. You have our prayers and best wishes.

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Marlene:

Thanks for your comments. Here's some discussion about how to call negi in English in the Japan Forum.

Cadbury:

Thanks for your reply. You saved my time. :smile:

It's 11 o'clock, and I haven't finished talking about the breakfast!

My daughter, who is much pickier than her brother, said she wanted to have granola instead of rice, as she sometimes does.

gallery_16375_4570_21604.jpg

Granola, together with the rice, miso soup, and fish she left uneaten.

Maybe she is a new type of Japanese. I can't think of granola or corn flakes as a meal. Don't bite me for saying so. I like them as a snack, but not as a meal.

Dishwasher with dishes and other stuff in it:

gallery_16375_4570_92770.jpg

This is one of the latest models (as of 2005), but I still need to wash some items manually. :sad:

I'm off to have lunch. See you later.

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My blog officially starts tomorrow.  Until then, good night!

A belated welcome to your blog! Japanese cuisine is my favorite, and I will admit to being more than a little interested in the culture as well. Looking forward to reading - thanks!

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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Yes! I've also been hoping for ages that Hiroyuki would do a food-blog one day.

I'm glad to see that you have PICKLES on your breakfast table :laugh: . That breakfast looks like a fine start to the day.

Your kitchen looks very easy to work in - but don't you think you should put the toaster oven on top of the microwave :rolleyes: ? And then stack some saucepans on top as well?

One question: what do you use your Milser for most of all?

Your children were looking very serious in their photo - awed by the responsibility of representing Yuzawa to the world of eGullet?

My family will be thinking of you and your wife and family, and hope that her stay in hospital will make a big improvement in her health. You have our prayers and best wishes.

Hi, Helen, good to see you here. :smile:

The pickle is daikon stems and leaves. Boil for 2-3 min., drain, sprinkle some salt, let stand for 5 min., and then squeeze.

Milser? To grind sesame seeds. You will see it in action later.

Do they look serious? They are shy, that's all, like I am. As I implied, I didn't take this photo as a teaser photo. I casually took it before going to see my parents on April 7 and 8.

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do you ever cook foods that are not Japanese at home? I was surprised by the number of seasonings you have. I have one of those metal racks full of different seasonings, and a cabinet full of pantry (dry) items and seasonings. Really liking your blog so far. I live in Japan but I don't have a lot of insight into what the daily life of a Japanese family is like (food wise). I liked the explaination of the proper placement of the three dishes. I never knew that! がんばって!

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do you ever cook foods that are not Japanese at home? I was surprised by the number of seasonings you have. I have one of those metal racks full of different seasonings, and a cabinet full of pantry (dry) items and seasonings. Really liking your blog so far. I live in Japan but I don't have a lot of insight into what the daily life of a Japanese family is like (food wise). I liked the explaination of the proper placement of the three dishes. I never knew that! がんばって!

Well, I once made something similar to cornbread :biggrin: , in my mediocre oven. Other than that, sorry to say I don't.

You were surporsed by the small number of seasonings that I have? :blink: I really don't have many seasonings.

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Could you please tell us more about the thick omelet?  How is it prepared?

I previously posted a recipe for that omelet in the RecipeGullet. The trick is to pour beaten eggs in three parts. If you find chopsticks hard to use, simply replace it with a turner.

I don't know why, but the Japanese like to sweeten eggs! I like mine unsweetened.

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Can you talk a  little about bento boxes? It seems as if they are an important part of Japanese culture and the arrangement and ingredients are symbolic of different things.

Most of all, making bento is a way to show affection to someone you love. A girlfriend making bento for her boyfriend, a mother making bento for her children. Some people can go to extremes. I recently saw a TV show where a mother wakes up 4:30 every morning (if I remember correctly) to make her child a kyara ben (character bento), which is a bento featuring an anime character(s).

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That is not only a very neat fridge, it's also well designed!  Especially the separate doors for the ice compartment, barely-freezing storage for meat and fish, and vegetable crisper.

You say Japanese cooking really doesn't require an oven.  I thought that, like most Asian cuisines, it made no (or next to no) use of dairy products either.  Yet those look like milk cartons in your right-hand bottom door shelf, and there's something by Kraft right above that -- I can't tell whether it's cheese or some other dairy product, but it sure looks like something made from milk.  Do you drink a lot of milk?  Are these used in cooking at all?  Do dairy products figure into Japanese cuisine in some way?

I missed those questions of yours.

I liked milk when I was much younger, but now I find myself intolerant to it. (Some medical explanation for that?) My two children like milk a lot. I seldom buy them juice or any other sweet beverage, and I ask them, "Which will you have, barley tea or milk?"

The two packages contain cheese. I like cheese!! :rolleyes: I'm the biggest consumer of cheese in the house.

I usually don't use milk when making Japanese dishes. In Hokkaido, where dairy products are produced in large quantities, they like to use milk in their nabe (one-pot dish), ramen, and so on.

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I liked milk when I was much younger, but now I find myself intolerant to it.  (Some medical explanation for that?)  My two children like milk a lot. 

Lactose intolerance is very common among a large percentage of the population of this planet, beyond a young age, after which the proper enzyme is no longer produced to digest that sugar. I would expect that this would be even more pronounced among the population in Japan, since dairy products are rather expensive there. How much is a quart of milk where you live, these days? Not a lot of dairy grazing land in Japan, I'd guess.

I seldom buy them juice or any other sweet beverage, and I ask them, "Which will you have, barley tea or milk?"

Barley tea? I didn't know that barley tea was popular in Japan, as I usually associated that with Korean food. Do you always drink it unsweetened? Hot or cold?

Very exciting blog! Thank you ever so much for sharing your views of Japan, as it is a country that I'd love to visit! So interesting that you like cheese, too! Have you had the Japanese cheese snacks that are made of fish?

I'm looking forward to learning so much more! Thanks again!

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Hiroyuki, I'm so excited to see you blogging. Your posts on the Japan forum are always great, so I'm looking forward to this week!

What kinds of local foods do you have in your area? Rice obviously... I'm also interested in the close attention paid to food in season in Japan, so I hope to see some examples of that in your blog.

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I liked milk when I was much younger, but now I find myself intolerant to it.  (Some medical explanation for that?)  My two children like milk a lot. 

Lactose intolerance is very common among a large percentage of the population of this planet, beyond a young age, after which the proper enzyme is no longer produced to digest that sugar. I would expect that this would be even more pronounced among the population in Japan, since dairy products are rather expensive there. How much is a quart of milk where you live, these days? Not a lot of dairy grazing land in Japan, I'd guess.

I seldom buy them juice or any other sweet beverage, and I ask them, "Which will you have, barley tea or milk?"

Barley tea? I didn't know that barley tea was popular in Japan, as I usually associated that with Korean food. Do you always drink it unsweetened? Hot or cold?

Very exciting blog! Thank you ever so much for sharing your views of Japan, as it is a country that I'd love to visit! So interesting that you like cheese, too! Have you had the Japanese cheese snacks that are made of fish?

I'm looking forward to learning so much more! Thanks again!

Thanks for your scientific explanation. :smile:

Sorry, I'm not familiar with "quarts" :sad: . I can get a 1-liter carton of milk for 158 to 168 yen.

Barley tea is a very popular summer beverage in Japan. Unlike many other Japanese, I like to drink it all year round. I always drink it unsweetened, and I like it both hot and cold.

Here is a thread (started by me) on barley tea (mugicha in Japan), which is the oldest tea in Japan!

Cheese snacks that are made of fish?? Can you tell me what they are? Cheese kamaboko (shortened to chee-kama)?

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Hiroyuki, I'm so excited to see you blogging. Your posts on the Japan forum are always great, so I'm looking forward to this week!

What kinds of local foods do you have in your area? Rice obviously... I'm also interested in the close attention paid to food in season in Japan, so I hope to see some examples of that in your blog.

OK, I will do it when I visit Yuzawa some day during the week. :smile:

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That breakfast looks good enough to be dinner! I'm almost ashamed to admit that I eat granola for breakfast every day.. I really could not face making an elaborate breakfast like that first thing in the morning.

We drank a cup of Gyokuro green tea last night in honour of your blog. :smile:

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