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Daily Nihongo (2003 - 2004)


torakris
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word for 10/8:

行者にんにく­

gyoujaninniku (gyoo-jah-neen-nee-koo)

These are the Japanese version of ramps, if not the exact same then they are a very close cousin. Ninniku is the word for garlic and gyouja is the word for an ascetic. According to a book I read they were often eaten by the priests as they were walking through the mountains during religious training and the name stuck. The Japanese eat them lighty boiled and then used as ohitashi, dressed salads or sunomono.

gyoujaninniku:

http://www.sansaiya.com/goods_img/gyoujal300g2.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/9:

よもぎ

yomogi (yoe-moe-ghee)

Called mugwort in English, this is a member of the chrysanthemum family and is found wild all over Japan. Unlike most of the other sansai this one is found most commonly in wagashi (Japanese sweets), in the boiled leaf form, dried or powdered. It can also be used in savory dishes like takikomi gohan, ohitashi, soups and even tempura.

picture and recipe for kusamochi:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/pico-pg/e-cooki...ng/e-yomogi.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/10:

わさび

wasabi (wah-sah-bee)

We already covered this way back but this time we are talking about the leaves and stems rather then the root. These have a milder wasbi taste then the root and are great in dressed dishes, simmered dishes as well as hitashi.

wasabi:

http://arakifoods.kir.jp/zukan/wasabi.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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although that is not any where near all of the sansai found in Japan, those are the most common ones. These were the ones that make appearances in supermarkets and people are mostly to run across on a regular basis. I will add the the list some of the ones we have talked about in previous posts:

the ferns ( warabi, zenmai and kogomi)

udo

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Another holiday in Japan, today 10/12@is:

体育の日

taiiku no hi (tye-ee-koo-noh-hee)

Sports Day was additionally introduced as a national holiday in 1966 to commemorate the start of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. This day is designed to make people aware of the importance of health through sports. Originally the day was set at October 10, but now it is the 2nd Monday of October. The undokais (Sports or Field Days) are held around tis time. They have undokais at all levels of school as well as at companies and community ones as well. For a little more about undokai:

http://www.worldandi.com/specialreport/199...ber/Sa20551.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/15:

‰ºm“c‚Ë‚¬@@‚µ‚à‚É‚½‚Ë‚¬

shimonitanegi (shee-moe-knee-tah-neh-ghee)

A type of negi (Japanese long onion) named after it place of origin, the Shimonita area of Gunma Prefecture (see map http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1002.html ). It is rather short and squat with a white bottom and dark green top, it looks quite similar to a leek. It can be quite pungent in its raw state and it nearly always served cooked which mellows out the flavor and sweetens it. It is most popular in nabes (especially sukiyaki), simmered dishes, and nikomi udon. The leaves are often eaten as well.

shimonitanegi:

http://www.yaoya-tokyo.com/photo/shimonitanegi.html

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/16:

‚¶‚Ⴊ‚¢‚à

jyagaimo (jyah-guy-mow)

These are potatoes, you may remember the word imo ("potato") from a couple other words, nagaimo, yamaimo, satoimo, satsumaimo, etc. The name jyagaimo is another place name, this time for Jakarta, the way through which they entered Japan. In Japan, the northernmost prefecture Hokkaido is famous for its poatoes, the most popular of which is a good all purpose potato of a smallish size. Spring sees the wonderfully delicious, shin-jyaga or new potato.

Potatoes are used pretty much the same as other places in the world, boiled, deep fried, simmered, stirfried and in salads.

the jyagaimo:

http://www.maruka-ishikawa.co.jp/images/ve...ure/potato3.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/17:

ƒVƒƒƒ“ƒcƒ@ƒC@@Ø@

shantsuai (shan-tsu-eye)

This is cilantro and the name and characters come from the Chinese, the characters meaning fragrant leaf. Occasionally it will be found under the English name coriander (ƒRƒŠƒAƒ“ƒ_[. This almost never used in Japanese dishes rather those of Chinese or South East Asian origin.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/18:

c‚Æ‚èØ@@‚µ‚ñ‚Æ‚è‚È

shintorina (sheen-toe-ree-nah)

I am unsure of this greens English name if it even has one. Its Japanese name is a descriptive name rather then a place name (which we have had a lot of lately), the first character shin is composed of two part the top 3 lines which represent a grass crown and the bottom character which means heart, thus the character is referring to the core or heart of a plant. The second part of the word, tori, is from the verb toru ot to take and the last character is the one for greens, na, which we have seen many times before. So if you put it all together this is the green of which you take the core and this is how the Japanese eat it, the leaves are removed and usually just the heart is eaten. This fall to winter vegetable is a popular pickle, but will also be found in hitashi, stirfries, soups and simmereed style hitashi.

shintorina:

http://www.yaoya-tokyo.com/photo/shintori.html

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/19:

‚¸‚¢‚«

zuiki (zoo-ee-key)

These are the stalks of the taro (satoimo) plant and occasionally are referred to as imogara. They have vary in color from red white or green and are also sold in a dried form called hoshizuiki. They can be eaten raw but they are more commonly boiled and then added simmered dishes, soups, or used as a sunomono or ohitashi.

zuiki:

http://www.pref.kagawa.jp/eizo/vol003/en/5...5ki/fuyu/01.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/20:

ƒYƒbƒL[ƒj

zukkiini (zoo-kkey-knee)

zucchini, these are the same as the ones in the US, though they tend to be on the smaller size. The baby ones are about 3 inches long often with the flowers still attached (these are usually only found at speciality supermarkets), the others tend to average 5 to 7 inches. The prices can vary according to season, but in my area of Tokyo/Yokohama they tend to average about $2 for one, when I see them for less then $1 a piece I snap them up! :biggrin: The Japanese tend to use them as a garnish adding just a couple sauteed slices to a plate, they are also popular in tempura and stirfries.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/21:

ƒZƒƒŠ

serori (say-roh-ree)

celery

I am not sure how long celery has been in Japan, but it is pretty much a staple on supermarket produce shelves today. The Japanese use it in pickles both Western style and Japanese aswell as in stirfries, salads and braised dishes.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/22:

‹Ê‚Ë‚¬@‚½‚Ü‚Ë‚¬

tamanegi (tah-mah-neh-ghee)

onion

You may remember that negi refers to the Japanese long onion, the word tama means ballor spherical object, thus a round "negi". The most common onion in Japan is a medium sized yellow onion, white onions are popular in the spring and red onions can be found all year round, though they are not as common. the uses for onions in Japan are endless just as in most other countries around the world.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/23:

Â[Ø@ƒ`ƒ“ƒQƒ“ƒTƒC@

chingensai (cheen-gehn-sai)

This green, originally Chinese in origin, has made quite an impact in Japan. Normally quite low in price chingensai is a regular on produce shelves. Normally boiled, steamed or stirfired, and sometimes added to soups this vegetable is called by various names outside of Japan the most common being baby bok choy.

chingensai:

http://www.maruka-ishikawa.co.jp/images/ve...ure/chinge6.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/24:

ƒTƒ“ƒ`ƒ… or @‚‚‚ÝØ@i‚‚‚݂Èj

sanchu (sahn-choo) or tsutsumina (tsu-tsu-me-nah)

This is a type of leaf lettuce that is almost always sold with all of the leaves separated into individual leaves of the same size. This type of leaf is most commonly used in Korean BBQ restaurants as a wrapping for grilled meats and has been showing up in supermarkets recently as it is quite "fashionable" to have yakiniku parties at home. I am sure it could be used in a salad though I have yet to see it used that way.

sanchu:

http://www.sanchu.jp/

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/25:

‚‚܂ÝØ@@‚‚܂݂È

tsumamina (tsu-mah-me-nah)

If you have been following the thread religiously you maybe able to figure out this word for yourself! :biggrin:

na is the character for greens and tsumami (the same as otsumami or snacks eaten with drinks) from the verb tsumamu which means to grasp or pick up with your fingers. So these are greens that are picked up with the fingers? something like that, they are the young seedling of various plants such as daikon, turnip, komatsuna, hakusai, etc, imagine mesclun (baby lettuce leaves) at a 1/3 to a 1/4 of the size. Very fragile they should be used the day they are purchased and are most popular in hitashi and dressed salads and are a great addition to miso soup.

Couldn't find a great picture, but here you go:

http://www.tokyo.info.maff.go.jp/tokyo/siz...a/tsumamina.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/26:

“~‰Z@‚Æ‚¤‚ª‚ñ

tougan (toe-gahn)

This gourd, Chinese in origin, is quite large about a foot or more in length and about 6 to 9 inches in diameter. Medium to dark green in color it has a white flesh that is over 90% water, it is used mostly in Chinese style dishes like soups and simmered dishes. The characters it its name can be confusing as they mean winter gourd, and this is a summer vegetable, at peak in July.

Warning! do not do what my fellow American friend here in Japan did, she mistook it for an American watermelon (Japanese watermelons are round) and brought it to a 4th of July BBQ a large group of us were having. I pointed it out before it got cut up and then she gave it to me to take home, since she had no idea what to do with it. :biggrin:

tougan:

http://www.maruka-ishikawa.co.jp/images/ve...ure/tougan4.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/27:

‚Æ‚¤‚à‚낱‚µ

toumorokoshi (toe-moe-roh-koh-shee)

corn

It is usually referred to as tomorokoshi when it is in its whole state, but when it is just the kernels either canned or frozen it is usually called coun (ƒR[ƒ“ cohn) after the English pronunciation of corn. Teh kernels find their ways into may dishes including the corn soup that is so popular in Japan and as a pizza topping. the whole corn on the cobs are either eaten "Japanese" style, brushed with soy sauce and grilled, or they are boiled and then served with.a meal, usually broken into thirds or quarters for easier eating and they are rarely eaten with buuter or salt.

One of my favorite Japanese cookbooks gives the following directions for boiling corn:

drop into salted boiling water and boil for about 9 minutes, drain and then cool.............

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/28:

ƒgƒ}ƒg

tomato (toe-mah-toe)

The most popular tomato in Japan is probably the momotaro, a Japnese tomato that has been breed as a mild tasting tomato with little acidity and (not sure how to transalte this into English :blink: ) no taste of "green-ness" or "raw-ness".

Tomatoes in Japan are probably used the same as other places, raw in salads, cooked in stir fries or sauces or added to soups.

the momotaro tomato:

http://www.maruka-ishikawa.co.jp/images/ve...ure/tomato2.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/29:

ƒ~ƒjƒgƒ}ƒg@or @ƒvƒ`ƒgƒ}ƒg

minitomato (me-knee-toe-mah-toe) or puchitomato (pooh-chee-toe-mah-toe)

These are both words for cherry tomatoes, the minature version of tomatoes. In Japan they are used mainly as a garnish especially in bentos where they add a nice color with no effort! :biggrin: They are also popular in salads and a popular otsumami is to wrap them in bacon and grill them.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/30:

ƒgƒŠƒ…ƒt

toryufu (toe-ryu-fu)

truffle

The ones seen in Japan are only imports, only in seaon and only in specialty supermarkets. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 10/31:

‚Æ‚ñ‚Ô‚è

tonburi (tone-boo-ree)

Sometimes referred to in Japanese as ”¨‚̃LƒƒƒrƒA@ihatake no kyabia) or caviar of the fields. These are seeds of the broom cypress, also known as goosefoot grass) a branch of wild spinach. They have a look and mouth feel similar to caviar and are often referred to as land caviar in English.

more information (including medicinal properties) and picture:

http://www.media-akita.or.jp/akita-shoku/tonburiE.html

for a bigger and better picture click in the link in the last paragraph

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Hello Kristin,

Tonburi? I was born in Kagawa-ken, and I have never heard of it and seen it before. It does look like black cavier! Is this Tonburi unique food item in Akita and is sold only in Akita or available anywhere around Japan? I live in NY now, and I don't think I can get Tonburi here in NY. But, I am really curious how it is taste.

thanks,

anko

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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Hello Kristin,

Tonburi?  I was born in Kagawa-ken, and I have never heard of it and seen it before.  It does look like black cavier! Is this Tonburi unique food item in Akita and is sold only in Akita or available anywhere around Japan?  I live in NY now, and I don't think I can get Tonburi here in NY.  But, I am really curious how it is taste. 

thanks,

anko

I am sure it is most popular in Akita (and other parts of the Tohoku region), see the map Akita is #4

http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1002.html

I have seen it and eaten it in the Yokohama-Tokyo area on numerous occasions. It is usually sold in the refrigerated area of the produce section, pre-boiled and the outer skin removed in a vacuum packed bag or jar.

I have no idea of its availability outside of Japan.

here are pictures of it in jars and cans (I have never seen the cans before)

http://www.ink.or.jp/~apple/apple-shop/tonburi.html

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 11/1:

‰ÖŽq@‚È‚·

nasu (nah-sue)

eggplant

There are a lot of eggplants in Japan! They range in size from the size of a thumb, to the monster globe ones we see in the US, these by the way are called •Ä‰ÖŽq@beinasu or American eggplant, then there are the long skinny ones sometimes over a foot in length.

Eggplants were introduced from China in the 7th and 8th centuries and have since found their way into every style of cooking. They are grilled, deep fried, simmered, stirfried, pickled and even tossed in soups.

Some varieties you may run across:

¬‚È‚·@konasu, these are the tiny ones that are often pickled whole or cut into a whisk shape

’·‚È‚· naganasu, the long thin ones, some of the longest ones come from the Kyushu prefecture

‰ê–΂Ȃ· kamonasu, this one comes from the Kyoto region and has a nice fat, round, slightly oblong shape and is most famous in the dish nasu dengaku

ŠÛ‚È‚·@marunasu, this name "round eggplant" covers a variety of egglpants that are round in shape, the kamonasu included

some pictures of eggplants in Japan:

http://www.kennou-ehime.jp/shinsen/know/no...o4/yasai004.htm

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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