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Gabriel Lewis

Japanese Cooking at Home

190 posts in this topic

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.

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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.

gallery_16375_4595_81821.jpg

Right: Wild honey mushrooms (about half of what he collected)

Top: Cultured white buna shimeji

Bottom: Cultured nameko

gallery_16375_4595_56648.jpg

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)

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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!

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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...


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Two nights ago:

mizuna and tofu salad with an ume dressing

gallery_6134_4148_53519.jpg

grilled eryngii mushrooms

gallery_6134_4148_198370.jpg

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

gallery_6134_4148_121975.jpg


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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1539726842_0a76a5cf90.jpg

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.

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.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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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 -

gallery_41378_5233_311306.jpg

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.

gallery_41378_5233_26464.jpg

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?

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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.

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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.takarashuzo.co.jp/cooking/honmirin/index.html

What I really want to try is this 10-year mirin:

http://www.hakusenshuzou.jp/can/kokomirin.html

500 ml, 2,000 yen (tax included)

Looks very good, doesn't it?

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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.

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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.

Don't worry. If I ever buy it, I think I'll drink most of it as an aperitif and try only a small amout of it in cooking.

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

My mom makes beef nikujaga, but in her defense, her family is from Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kagoshima.

I didn't know it could be made from pork until I started reading Japanese cookbooks.

Speaking of home cooking... Hiroyuki, I made your foolproof takikomi gohan recipe tonight, and it's very good. I used white buna shimeji mushrooms instead of oyster mushroom.

3 of my 4 kids cleaned their bowls entirely. :biggrin:


Cheryl

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

My mom makes beef nikujaga, but in her defense, her family is from Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kagoshima.

I didn't know it could be made from pork until I started reading Japanese cookbooks.

Speaking of home cooking... Hiroyuki, I made your foolproof takikomi gohan recipe tonight, and it's very good. I used white buna shimeji mushrooms instead of oyster mushroom.

3 of my 4 kids cleaned their bowls entirely. :biggrin:

Thanks! The beauty of my recipe is that you can keep the mushroom fragrant and firm by not cooking the mushroom in the rice cooker.

My recipe is based on this one, if you are interested and can read Japanese, which uses four different mushrooms, maitake, buna shimeji, fresh shiitake, and enoki. As for me, I don't like to use that many types of mushroom in takikomi gohan. I'd rather use enoki in miso soup together with tofu, and pan-fry buna shimeji and fresh shiitake or heat them in a toaster oven.

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Forgot to mention:

Ask people in Aichi prefecture in Central Japan what meat they use to make nikujaga, and some (many?) of them will answer, "Chicken". As you may know, Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture, is famous for the chicken variety called Nagoya Kochin.

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Beats cutting frozen meat with my hand powered meat slicer.

I'm glad I don't have to face that at the end of a long day. :raz: I want to make some of these recipes for my family when I go home for christmas, but you made me realize that it might be difficult to get the right cut of meat.

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.takarashuzo.co.jp/cooking/honmirin/index.html

Thanks! I'll look for it at the supermarket. I wouldn't feel so bad about spending that much on mirin - I bought a bottle of marsala last week for the same price, and I'm sure I use that much less often. Chicken nikkujyaga sounds delicious, is the meat thinly sliced as well, or do they use cubes?

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Beats cutting frozen meat with my hand powered meat slicer.

I'm glad I don't have to face that at the end of a long day. :raz: I want to make some of these recipes for my family when I go home for christmas, but you made me realize that it might be difficult to get the right cut of meat.

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.takarashuzo.co.jp/cooking/honmirin/index.html

Thanks! I'll look for it at the supermarket. I wouldn't feel so bad about spending that much on mirin - I bought a bottle of marsala last week for the same price, and I'm sure I use that much less often. Chicken nikkujyaga sounds delicious, is the meat thinly sliced as well, or do they use cubes?

I have never made or had chicken nikujaga, but as long as I look at these photos, I think the latter is true. Besides, thinly sliced chicken doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?

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Yes of course, but once you get lamb and potato together, you are halfway to Mongolia, and rapidly leaving Japanese cooking behind you! Add cabbage or hakusai, nira, and some fat udon, flavor the broth with salt and ginger...

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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?

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

1539726842_0a76a5cf90.jpg

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:

1539730290_c95b387eb2_m.jpg

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!

1539728394_85b52456c7_m.jpg

I just saw these tofu at Nijiya Market here in Mountain View CA and purchased one. They come in small three pack, one pictured in your post, and larger one. I can't wait to try it. And of course for comparison too!

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I can get that tofu at my local shop, but my husband doesn't like tofu. Anyone have any recipes for converting tofu haters? One of my favourite ways to make tofu is korean style - plopped on a plate with sesame oil, gochugaru, sesame seeds, and chopped green onion sprinkled on top.

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So many wonderful and delicious looking dishes from all.

I had quite a bit of leftover filling from the gyoza and used that to make wafu style cabbage roll. I also added leftover rice and tofu.

gallery_16106_722_6210.jpg

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Can you tell me what the sprouts in the picture are? I bought a bag of them last week and love them! I've been sprinkling them on everything!

It's kaiware - sprouted daikon. I really like them as topping for many dishes especially on salads and soups.

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Anyone have any recipes for converting tofu haters?

Mapo tofu.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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Anyone have any recipes for converting tofu haters?

Mapo tofu.

I second this, this is the dish that turned me onto tofu and the only one I make for my tofu hating family in the US.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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