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Japanese foods-- yasai


trijbits
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My first time to post, and sorry it's a question.

When one prepares moyashi, is it really necessary to remove the me and hige as described in most Japanese recipes? I've always just ignored those instructions--dumping out the bag into a strainer basket, washing well, and picking out a few loose bean skins.

Yesterday evening I decided to try doing it the "right" way just for the hell of it, and planted myself in front of the TV with a couple of bags worth of moyashi. One episode of Star Trek DS9 later, I had worked through about 1-1/2 bags worth.

I can't believe that busy Japanese housewives actually do this, and I'm curious to know if anyone does? When is it not OK to use the quick&easy shortcut? Thanks for any input

Karen in Ikoma, Nara :unsure:

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karen,

I almost never bother to trim them.

it is a presentation thing, they look better if they are trimmed, but I don't think there is any difference in taste.

By the way I have only every trimmed the hige (tail) never the me (eye, head what ever it is called).

I had a moyashi stirfry a couple nighta ago using 2 bags, there is no way I was about to clean them like that It would ahve taken 30 minutes at least! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Welcome@Karen. And Arrrrrgh! The sprout debate!

I had no idea that the little tails were supposed to be snapped off until last year. During a visit to the in-laws, MIL comes to the table with a strainer full of moyashi and asks me to help. I didn't even know what she wanted help with and was snapping off both heads and tails for a while, to the amusement of my husband (it's easy to laugh when you're sitting there doing nothing, isn't it!).

Funny, he'd never noticed I didn't remove the tails before, but from then on whenever I cooked moyashi my husband would ask why I left the tails on. He actually claimed they tasted bitter (so why hadn't he said something earlier?). He gave up eventually, thank God.

I would never remove the 'me', in fact I won't use any sprout other than mame-moyashi (the one with the big firm bean on the end). Without that yummy bean, what's the point? If I want that kind of 'shaki-shaki' texture provided by the stalk, I'll use lotus root or water chesnut instead.

Another debate is stringing beans and snowpeas. Do you do it?

I think all the beans back in Canada have had the strings bred out of them, so stringing is no longer necessary. What about in Japan?

And snowpeas- it seems you're supposed to string BOTH sides of snap peas, which I haven't been doing. Is this true or is my husband just a sadist?

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I do a bite test on all the beans I buy and if they are stringy I pull them off, sometimes both sides.

The green beans here are usually okay, but snow peas and sugar snap peas almost always need to be pulled.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thanks for your replies. Amy, I've seen the ones with the big bean only used in Korean cooking. Is that a different kind of bean, or it it just more mature? I'd probably get some grumpy objections if I tried using them in a recipe for the standard moyashi. They certainly would be easier to trim, but as you said, what would be the point?

I do remove the strings from snow peas, usually attempting both sides. Snap beans don't seem to have enough string in 'em to make it worth the effort.

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Thanks for your replies. Amy, I've seen the ones with the big bean only used in Korean cooking. Is that a different kind of bean, or it it just more mature? I'd probably get some grumpy objections if I tried using them in a recipe for the standard moyashi. They certainly would be easier to trim, but as you said, what would be the point?

I do remove the strings from snow peas, usually attempting both sides. Snap beans don't seem to have enough string in 'em to make it worth the effort.

The big bean (yellow in color) ones are soy bean sprouts and the smaller ones (sort a green color) are mung bean sprouts.

I also almost always use the big soy bean ones, I find the flavor much better.

When i am looking to use them raw in nama harumaki (pring rolls) I look for what is called (at least in my area) Narita moyashi, they have no 'me' or 'hige' and are a very crisp white, great for using raw.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

torakris: So now you're unmasked. Welcome. I come to Japan once or twice a year, Tokyo primarily and the Kansai region. I find such excellent western food in Japan that I end up not eating much Japanese food. For example last November I stayed at the magnificent Cerulean Tower hotel. I had the highest price dinner in the Japanese restaurant and it was poor. Kozue at the Park Hyatt is vastly superior. On the other hand the food in the hotel's Italian restaurant and coffee shop was always very good. I did not try Chen Kenichi's outpost and the French restaurant at the hotel. The best meal on that trip was a sashimi/sushi lunch at Kyobey in the Ginza. It was the best of its kind I've ever had. As to vegetables which what you posted about I've noticed a wide use of burdock especially in the pot dishes.

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Its interesting, I really dont see vegetables being a huge feature of Japanese food in the way that vegetables are in Chinese cooking. Maybe its just the way Japanese food is presented in the states. To me, they always seem like garnish or condiments, or as part of sushi. Sunomono being the possible exception. And tempura.

I haven't had a true kaiseki meal, so I realize I am probably missing out on a major portion of the Japanese culinary experience, having only had sushi, nabemono and ramen and fried and broiled/grilled dishes here.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Jason it is interesting that you mention that because it is so true of some of the more well known dishes are based on proteins with a side accent of vegetables. Tonkatsu with a side of shredded cabbage, teriyaki something or other with some misc veggies, oyakodon with a sprinkling of green onion, green peas or mitsuba for color, etc.

In the everyday meals in the home those dishes would be just one small part of the meal rather then the whole meal itself. It is more common to eat vegetables just on their own, or vegetables with a small bit of protein added

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I love Japanese bamboo shoots. Yesterday we had some sauteed with some belly pork and onions, it was just fabulous with rice.

does japanese sweet potato count as a vegetable- that is another favourite.

also spinach and japanese cucumbers.

Do not like mountain yam.

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I have yet to run across a Japanese vegetable that I don't like.

I have had daikon so crunchy and juicy that it was actually dripping with its own juice and the sweetness....

kabocha quickly became my favorite squash and I often use it in Western style preparations as well.

takenoko,gobo and renkon are truely some of the worlds best foods and I can never understand why they are not used more around the world.

then there are the greens: komatsuna, mizuna, seri, mibuna, takana, nozawana, nanohana, etc

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Renkon and takenoko are my favourites. And Japanese cucumbers and eggplants are much better than western ones.

Kristin, you are right that everyday home-cooked meals have lots of veggies. There is a big difference between eating out, especially at Japanese restaurants overseas, and eating at home. Most of my meals are based on vegetables, and even the protein- tofu, fish, or pork usually, is rarely served without somekind of veggies mixed in.

Pirate- do you mean Chen Kenichi's outpost and the French restaurant at the Park Hyatt? Or the Cerulean? I have been to the Park Hyatt's New York Grill and am dying to go back again, or to try Kozue or Girandole (I think that's the Italian place you mentioned), but I didn't know anything about French. Sigh, I have to start saving my yen, there are just too many good places to try.

So next time you're in town you're taking Kristen and I out, right?

Kristin, check out the Park Hyatt's website for something to dream about:

http://www.parkhyatttokyo.com/

I don't know how to link directly to the restaurant pages, so click “ú–{Œê@ithe Japanese site is way cooler than the English site), then ŠÙ“àƒKƒCƒh, then ƒŒƒXƒgƒ‰ƒ“•ƒo[.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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  • 2 weeks later...

"We have a friend who was taught in Chinese cooking class to pluck off the tip and string end of bean sprouts--a far more elegant manner of serving bean sprouts than simply leaving them as they come from the Chinese greengrocer. He is one of those rare people who still have a devoted servant in the kitchen, but, after spending an entire afternoon at that task, she informed him that if he ever brought another mess of bean sprouts in for cleaning, she, for one, was leaving. Now he does it himself."

--The Chinese Cookbook, Craig Claiborne/Virginia Lee.

:laugh:

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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  • 1 month later...

SobaAddict70 posted this on Media but I thought it should go here as well.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Today I went to Natural Harmony-Coa (on page 2 of the article) with 4 friends. It was wonderful

They have 4 choices on their lunch menu

a salad (quite big I am assuming by the price)

a vegetarian course

a fish course

a chicken course

The menu changes daily and are accompanied by two side dishes, miso soup, and a choice of whole grain bread or brown rice.

I had the fish course, which were kamasu (sorry don't know the fish in English) sauteed, dressed with a balsamic sauce and topped with a daikon salad. The sides were a hiyayakko on a bed of finely minced okra with some ginger and topped with chopped tomatoes and a simple nimono of gobo, carrots and kombu. the miso soup contained satsumaimo, nameko. and daikon greens.

We ordered the extra set consisting of coffee and a dessert, the dessert menu had about 10 choices. I had a walnut tart and ordered a kiwi sorbet for my son.

The restaurant was excellent and we all plan to be back!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 3 months later...

Here is the article:

http://www.asahi.com/money/topics/TKY200309300358.html

(Japanese only)

Japanese supermarket Jusco will start selling mini daikon this month. The daikon which are half the size of their counteparts are being targeted at those who prepare who live alone or prepare one person meals. Until now many large vegetables were often sold cut in half or even quarters, but growing mini vegetables can save on the cost involved in the cuttting and wrapping of the vegetables as well as giving them a longer shelf life. Jusco plans at the end of October to bring into the market mini hakusai (Chinese cabbage) that are just 1/4 of the average size. Other vegetables being planned for in the future include gobo (burdock root) and kabocha (Japanese squash).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Hm. Just a few days ago I bought 30 whole daikon that were about the size of my palm. This was at Kowloon Market in Chinatown, Ottawa. I braised them in sake and served them with a miso sauce.

I often find teeny versions of vegetables like this, just randomly amongst the larger.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Japan actually has a wide variety in daikon sizes, though most of them never see store shelves away from where they were grown. Nearly all of the small sized daikon are are the karami (spicy) variety and are not really suitable for braising, soups and pickles, I think they are trying to market a regular everyday daikon in a mini size. I have seen mini kabochas around for a little while now and actually ate some last night, but I am curious to see the hakusai and gobo.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have a question about a Moyashi dish so I thought I would post it here. Kristin let me know if you want me to start a new thread.

Here in the US many Japanese restaurants start the meal with a small dish of moyashi with a light soy based dressing. (I am pretty sure it is moyahsi, based upon the pictures on this thread).

Is this a traditional Japanese dish and custom (presenting a small dish of somesort, or is it yet another Americanization? Is there a basic recipe? If you eat more than a small bowl to you get sick of it really easily?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I have a question about a Moyashi dish so I thought I would post it here.  Kristin let me know if you want me to start a new thread.

Here in the US many Japanese restaurants start the meal with a small dish of moyashi with a light soy based dressing.  (I am pretty sure it is moyahsi, based upon the pictures on this thread). 

Is this a traditional Japanese dish and custom (presenting a small dish of somesort, or is it yet another Americanization?  Is there a basic recipe?  If you eat more than a small bowl to you get sick of it really easily?

This sounds like it could a type of otsumami, a small sncak to nibble on while drinking alcohol.

These are often given to customers when their alcohol is served, usually in a small dish that may contain about 2 to 4 bites. It can be anything from dried foods to stirfried foods to simmered foods to salads and varies from restaurant to restaurant and season to season, it can also vary according to the type of alcohol you order.

Though they seem like a free dish (since you don't specifically order it) in most restauants in Japan you will be charged for them.

here is an otsumami thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...446&hl=otsumami

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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