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torakris

Japanese spaghetti

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I don't feel the same conflict... butter-shouyu (butter/soy sauce) is one of the great flavor combinations not yet abused by western cooks, but used with fair skill in Japan, especially in izakaya and robata-ya type venues. Besides, Hokkaido's butter production makes it less incongruous.

It has been (ab)used by French Chefs for decades. I'm sure in Japan it's used with the same skill as Mayonaisse is in the States.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

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Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Strange Japanese spaghetti...I have not been interested in this thread till now because I have just heard of the strangest Japanese-style spaghetti ever.

A friend of mine once lived in Nagoya. She said that she was at a restaurant that had strawberry spaghetti. That's right, strawberry spaghetti. How odd is that? Is does, actually, get a little more odd. Not only are the noodles strawberry-flavoured, and not only is it served with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, but it is also served warm!

They also have a banana version...

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I guess I don't find this terribly shocking; when I lived in Kennewick, Washington in the early 1990s a local pasta-making company focusing on the gift market made several sorts of sugary pastas and sauce mixes, and seemed to create a mini-fad for sweet pastas. They actually had national distribution for a while. I remember they had some sort of apple cinnamon pasta with a matching sauce mix.

A girl I knew in Germany couldn't cook anything else, as far as I know, besides spaghetti with sugar sprinkles: the kind that you use on cookies. She apparently lived on that stuff on weeknights, and got the rest of her nutrition from the university cafeteria and from weekend trips home.

One Kawasaki-area okonomiyaki shop I visited served okonomiyaki with chocolate chips and offered some kuromitsu (black sugar honey syrup). We had to try it, and I can say it was much more pleasant a combination than I expected. It should have been jarring to have cabbage and bits of sweet chocolate in the same dish, but it wasn't. A sweet pasta dish is less incongruous to me than that.

Sugary pasta may be novel, but the ingredients are functionally compatible; you're talking about wheat and sugar, which are the basis of nearly every western dessert imaginable, and cream, which can sometimes dramatically improve an otherwise unremarkable dessert.

In Germany and a deception of strawberry sauce atop extruded ice cream is a popular dessert with children. See http://spaghettiicecream.com/welcome.htm.

Strange Japanese spaghetti...I have not been interested in this thread till now because I have just heard of the strangest Japanese-style spaghetti ever.

A friend of mine once lived in Nagoya.  She said that she was at a restaurant that had strawberry spaghetti.  That's right, strawberry spaghetti.  How odd is that?  Is does, actually, get a little more odd.  Not only are the noodles strawberry-flavoured, and not only is it served with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, but it is also served warm

They also have a banana version...


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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but is it served as a dessert? or a main dish?


<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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Kris

Great blog! I know you have heard this a million times but your kids are absolutely adorable! I also have two kids and am always amazed at parents who are brave enough to consider having a third...

Back on topic - in your blog, you mentioned spaghetti with tomatoes and butter - just to clarify, you mean diced tomatoes and not tomato sauce or tomato paste? And no parmesean? I'm always in search of quick and easy recipes...

Thanks!

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Think of all the Capellini, Vermicelli, Fusilli and Linguine crying out for consumption!  The Rotini, Farfalle, Gemelli, Radiatori, Penne, Orecchiette and Rigatoni lingering uneaten in boxes!  The poor neglected Fettuccine...

Okay, joking aside, do you ever stumble across "fresh" pasta, or only the dried stuff?

"Fresh" pasta, or "nama" (literally, "raw") pasta has gained popularity in Japan recently.

http://www.horenso.com/shop/pasta_set.html

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/seimen/

http://x68k.net/futagami/pasta/pasta.shtml

The point is, spaghetti has been so easy to assimilate into Japanese noodle culture, which includes soba (buckwheat noodles), udon (Japanese wheat noodles), ramen (Chinese noodles), and other types of noodles. It is no wonder that Japanese use spaghetti in just the same way as other types of noodles.

I suppose my question would be if other kinds of semolina wheat based pastas have appeared as well. Or is "spaghetti" just being used as some kind of shorthand for all of them?

The Italians seems to have a very strong belief that the different shapes convey very different eating experiences. Then again, I think the Italians tend to use thicker sauces than the Japanese--so the way in which the noodle holds the sauce might mean more to them. They also place on premium on the mouthfeel of different noodles. I mean restricting things JUST to strand pasta, there are still probably as many as 20 different types.

Any thoughts? Is all "Japanese spagetti" basically the same noodle type because of lack of availability, or lack of interest?


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Back on topic - in your blog, you mentioned spaghetti with tomatoes and butter - just to clarify, you mean diced tomatoes and not tomato sauce or tomato paste?  And no parmesean?  I'm always in search of quick and easy recipes...

Thanks!

they were fresh tomatoes that I diced. The dish was topped with romano (pecorino) cheese but parmasean would be fine.


<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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Is all "Japanese spagetti" basically the same noodle type because of lack of availability, or lack of interest?

Well, I think this goes back to what Hiroyuki alluded to, which is the Japanese familiarity with strand noodles (somen, soba, ramen).

Availability is not a major factor, IMO. Although spaghetti is certainly the most common type of pasta available in Japan by a wide margin, it isn't at all difficult to source other shapes.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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This is very interesting for me as a northern european, never heard about such things as japanese spaghetti.

How come spaghetti has been so incorporated in Japanese food since japan is a country with an allready perfectly well-functioning delicious noodle culture. And why has the japanese made there own sauces instead of just snitching the italian dishes. Here in Sweden, there's mostly only italian or italian-inspired pasta dishes though pasta is a eaten daily by almost every swede. Except a dish with baked macaroni , eggs, milk, ham and chopped leeks which is really swedish.

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Think of all the Capellini, Vermicelli, Fusilli and Linguine crying out for consumption!  The Rotini, Farfalle, Gemelli, Radiatori, Penne, Orecchiette and Rigatoni lingering uneaten in boxes!  The poor neglected Fettuccine...

Okay, joking aside, do you ever stumble across "fresh" pasta, or only the dried stuff?

"Fresh" pasta, or "nama" (literally, "raw") pasta has gained popularity in Japan recently.

http://www.horenso.com/shop/pasta_set.html

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/seimen/

http://x68k.net/futagami/pasta/pasta.shtml

The point is, spaghetti has been so easy to assimilate into Japanese noodle culture, which includes soba (buckwheat noodles), udon (Japanese wheat noodles), ramen (Chinese noodles), and other types of noodles. It is no wonder that Japanese use spaghetti in just the same way as other types of noodles.

I suppose my question would be if other kinds of semolina wheat based pastas have appeared as well. Or is "spaghetti" just being used as some kind of shorthand for all of them?

The Italians seems to have a very strong belief that the different shapes convey very different eating experiences. Then again, I think the Italians tend to use thicker sauces than the Japanese--so the way in which the noodle holds the sauce might mean more to them. They also place on premium on the mouthfeel of different noodles. I mean restricting things JUST to strand pasta, there are still probably as many as 20 different types.

Any thoughts? Is all "Japanese spagetti" basically the same noodle type because of lack of availability, or lack of interest?

Generally speaking, except for some pasta enthusiasts, the interest of the Japanese in pasta is limited to macaroni and spaghetti only. And, many just don't care about the proper texture of pasta. Many know what al dente is, but just don't cook pasta that way. Most pasta is overcooked in Japan, even at Italian restaurants.

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This is very interesting for me as a northern european, never heard about such things as japanese spaghetti.

How come spaghetti has been so incorporated in Japanese food since japan is a country with an allready perfectly well-functioning delicious noodle culture. And why has the japanese made there own sauces instead of just snitching the italian dishes. Here in Sweden, there's mostly only italian or italian-inspired pasta dishes though pasta is a eaten daily by almost every swede. Except a dish with baked macaroni , eggs, milk, ham and chopped leeks which is really swedish.

That's a distinctive characteristic of the Japanese - We like to absorb and assimilate foreign cultures, first from China and Korea, later from Europe and the United States, and now from all over the world.

As for sauces, the Japanese always go for bland diets rather than greasy ones.

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I just picked up the recent copy (June 2005) of Syokusai Roman (食彩浪漫) a combination magazine/cooking show from NHK and it is mostly about pasta.

They have some really good looking Japanese style pasta dishes.


<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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that picture is gorgeous!

I like the idea of beef and maitake together.


<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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I like to go to the japanese grocery store, because they have fun items I like to try out and this caught my eye

its basically a sauce packet of "pasta sauce uni cream" and its from the company, Nippn. unfortunately there are no instructions on how to cook it (at least not in english) and I was wondering if any of you knew?

Im assuming you just dump it on some cooked pasta.

have any of you tried this product? does it taste good?

I also bought some spicy cod roe pasta, but I think i'll have this uni cream one tonight for dinner

also, any garnish suggestions or side dish suggestions? thanks

also, what does: namafumi uni kurimu sauce mean? I only know what uni means


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I just found the uni cream packet that I bought through trial and error on the nippn homepage if you want to see what it looks like.

uni cream pasta sauce


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I rarely eat Japanese prepared pasta sauces but have been served them on occasion, they really run the gamut from inedibly awful to not half bad...

I have never tried this product you are referring to though.

The package says they use real uni in the sauce but I just wonder how much. :biggrin:

namafumi uni kurimu sauce

namafumi 

nama means raw/fresh

fumi refers to a taste or a flavor

kurimu is cream

So essentially it is a cream sauce with the flavor of fresh uni

but I guess you will need to be the judge of that. :biggrin:


<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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I should've figured that "kurimu" means cream.

yeah, I'm scared to eat this. It was kind of expensive too: $4.19 for a packet (yes I think that's expensive, I'm cheap). At least sea urchin is listed 4th on the ingredient list after soy bean oil, whole milk, and whole egg.

do you have any suggestions for garnishes or side dishes, torakris? I wonder if it would taste good with parmasean cheese or basil


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I should've figured that "kurimu" means cream. 

yeah, I'm scared to eat this.  It was kind of expensive too: $4.19 for a packet (yes I think that's expensive, I'm cheap).  At least sea urchin is listed 4th on the ingredient list after soy bean oil, whole milk, and whole egg.

do you have any suggestions for garnishes or side dishes, torakris?  I wonder if it would taste good with parmasean cheese or basil

Maybe I am becoming too Japanese but I think it would be best with a nice sprinkling of shredded nori.

A quick search on of Japanese pages pulls up a couple blogs in which almost everyone comments that it is quite good. One person described it as salty but also said it would go well with sake. :biggrin:

It is quite a bit cheaper here, in the 200 to 250 yen range ($1.70 to $2)


<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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I should've figured that "kurimu" means cream. 

yeah, I'm scared to eat this.  It was kind of expensive too: $4.19 for a packet (yes I think that's expensive, I'm cheap).  At least sea urchin is listed 4th on the ingredient list after soy bean oil, whole milk, and whole egg.

do you have any suggestions for garnishes or side dishes, torakris?  I wonder if it would taste good with parmasean cheese or basil

Maybe I am becoming too Japanese but I think it would be best with a nice sprinkling of shredded nori.

A quick search on of Japanese pages pulls up a couple blogs in which almost everyone comments that it is quite good. One person described it as salty but also said it would go well with sake. :biggrin:

It is quite a bit cheaper here, in the 200 to 250 yen range ($1.70 to $2)

I knew I wasn't crazy when I said that I thought $4.15 for a packet was rediculous...yet I paid for it, didn't I?

oh yeah, it comes with shredded nori. I forgot to add that and I think I'm going to add some diced tomato to the product. I figured that it wouldn't be that bad, because I understand all of the ingredients on the package and there aren't that many. I'll let you know how it tastes...too bad I don't have a digi cam that works

thanks so much for the help and suggestions :raz:

p.s. sake would be good with this pasta sauce (or added directly to the sauce) but I sick so I think I'll just drink some roasted barley tea. I think japanese drink that, don't they? in korea its called "hori cha" and its delicious yum yum


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I think I'll just drink some roasted barley tea.  I think japanese drink that, don't they? in korea its called "hori cha" and its delicious yum yum

Yes, we do. We call it mugicha.

Shredded nori is almost a "must" in a Japanese-style spaghetti. :biggrin: I can also sprinkle some katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).

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sorry guys, but I opted against the nori. Instead I added chopped tomatos and shredded basil

boy does it taste yummy! oh and it reeks of sea urchin (which is a good thing). I have to eat in the kitchen so I don't make my boyfriend sick - booooooooooo. But I like it, I think it tastes very yummy and tastes alot like sea urchin


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I noticed these (or similar) expensive prepared pasta sauces at Uwajimaya recently. I was wondering who might buy them... I couldn't imagine people as nostalgiac for packaged pseudo-Italian Japanese pasta sauces as I could for curry roux or the like.

Many Japanese companies don't offer very good pricing for export, sometimes treating even large companies like JFC/Nishimoto as nothing more than ordinary retailers, even for large volumes. Since the products also need to be distributed and sometimes brokered, it's not too surprising to see products costing about 3 times the Japanese retail price... 2 times the original price is sometimes a bare minimum unless the manufacturer offers better discounts.

Granted, most of the upscale Italian-focused specialty shops have $4 and $5 ready-to-heat pasta sauces, but they're usually fresh and often not bad.

I'm a bit at a loss, though... do any Japanese consider such prepared pasta sauces important for making pasta? Somehow, prepared curry roux managed to become indispensible, even though it's not hard to make a brown roux and not hard to add spices to it, but I think it's because of perceived value: the ingredients are not sold separately and cheaply (namely, the spices) in that case.

However, a little cream and a little uni and a little salt, in the quantities used in such packages, shouldn't be that much of an expense. A small package of cream, more than twice what you'd need, is about 300 yen, and I'm sure you could occasionally find 20 grams of uni on special at a supermarket for 300 yen.

A roux will deteriorate less when packaged than retort packed uni. I find it hard to imagine that the flavor would be special without resorting to various flavoring additives.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I think because the fact that most of these sauce packets are sold in one and two person serving, they are aiming at a younger or even a much older market of either singles or couples. It is pretty much a convenient food for those who don't feel like cooking. If you are only cooking for one, it is much cheaper (and easier clean up as well)to pick up this packaged uni sauce than to go the store for fresh uni and cream and half most of it left over.


<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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I think because the fact that most of these sauce packets are sold in one and two person serving, they are aiming at a younger or even a much older market of either singles or couples. It is pretty much a convenient food for those who don't feel like cooking. If you are only cooking for one, it is much cheaper (and easier clean up as well)to pick up this packaged uni sauce than to go the store for fresh uni and cream and half most of it left over.

yep you are exactly right and I'm one of those people who cooks for one.

I noticed these (or similar) expensive prepared pasta sauces at Uwajimaya recently. I was wondering who might buy them... I couldn't imagine people as nostalgiac for packaged pseudo-Italian Japanese pasta sauces as I could for curry roux or the like.

Many Japanese companies don't offer very good pricing for export, sometimes treating even large companies like JFC/Nishimoto as nothing more than ordinary retailers, even for large volumes. Since the products also need to be distributed and sometimes brokered, it's not too surprising to see products costing about 3 times the Japanese retail price... 2 times the original price is sometimes a bare minimum unless the manufacturer offers better discounts.

Granted, most of the upscale Italian-focused specialty shops have $4 and $5 ready-to-heat pasta sauces, but they're usually fresh and often not bad.

I'm a bit at a loss, though... do any Japanese consider such prepared pasta sauces important for making pasta? Somehow, prepared curry roux managed to become indispensible, even though it's not hard to make a brown roux and not hard to add spices to it, but I think it's because of perceived value: the ingredients are not sold separately and cheaply (namely, the spices) in that case.

However, a little cream and a little uni and a little salt, in the quantities used in such packages, shouldn't be that much of an expense. A small package of cream, more than twice what you'd need, is about 300 yen, and I'm sure you could occasionally find 20 grams of uni on special at a supermarket for 300 yen.

A roux will deteriorate less when packaged than retort packed uni. I find it hard to imagine that the flavor would be special without resorting to various flavoring additives.

I don't know where I'm going to get uni (I bet its in the refridgerated section at the grocery store). Believe it or not the japanese grocery store I go to is incredibly small and really lacking in alot of ingredients. I also don't know how to prepare it at all so I will leave it up to the fine people at nippn. I assume that you just eat it as is, but still the japanese pasta sauce is cheaper, more efficient, and MOST importantly lasts a long time.

If I bought uni, I'd have to use it like within a day or so. I've had this sauce packet for over a week now and its nice that I can eat pasta whenever I want to. I guess that's the most important thing to me.

you should try the pasta sauce, its really not that bad. Although after eating pasta + the sauce, I feel like I just ate a stick of butter...it was soooo rich


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