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Dairy Products in Japanese Cuisine


Jinmyo
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Margaret, shoyu can be brought into a butter-based cuisine easily enough. Especially with meats and mushrooms. But bringing butter and, especially cheese and cream, into a palette of dashi, fermented bean pastes, vegetables, and very fresh seafood is like a raging bull in a sushi bar.

Jinmyo-san,

I am catching up (page 64!) in the Dinner thread, so I am very aware of your considerable talents.

Being that miso and shoyu are so closely related, I am surprised by your strong statement against butter, cheese and cream with miso. I think diary has a softening or blending effect on flavors, and miso is so concentrated that it would not suffer if done properly. Although, I agree that dashi and seafood probably cannot support cheese and cream. Would you please elaborate?

Hm. That miso is concentrated seems irrelevant. Certainly if one is using too much miso then dairy would soften that. But so would using the right proportion of dashi or whatever it might be to the miso. And the butter would clog the other flavour profiles and distort the mouthfeel.

For example, the way that I make miso shiru even chopped scallions would throw off the luxurious balance. I use freshly shaved bonito in the dashi and the roughness of the scallions would cover the depth of that flavour just as butter would coat over it. (A bit of citrus peel however works to brighten, if carefully done.)

I can see butter used more with fried items but I prefer a very clean oil like grapeseed as the crisp profile is what I want to present, not a rich or oily flavour.

I love butter, by the way. Very very very much. And cheeeeese.

I suppose it is a matter of what I most value as the archetypal flavours/textures and general aesthetics of various cuisines.

Butter in a South-east Asian dish (except a few Vietnamese dishes) would also fill me with a creeping dread that would bring horrors untold to my dreams. Let alone cheese.

"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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For example, the way that I make miso shiru...

hi Japan board and Jinmyo--

and so (see quote) the inevitable question i've wanted to ask for months:

i have my katsuoboshi (bonito flakes), my konbu (kelp), my niboshi (dried fish), and my hoshi-shiitake (dried mushrooms). i also have a nice amber-coloured miso paste.

i should reference perhaps the dashi thread for this, but how do *you* make miso soup? if left unattended, i would probably make the ichiban-dashi (first stock), add some negi (green onions), miso paste, and whatever i have lying around that's savoury: shrimp or scallops, sesame oil, a few pieces of a Nova Scotian seaweed i have now (called dulse).

but i'm sure i would be a bit wrong... :blink:

please elucidate, and thanks as usual in advance! :biggrin:

gus

ps: does this need a new thread?

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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For example, the way that I make miso shiru...

hi Japan board and Jinmyo--

and so (see quote) the inevitable question i've wanted to ask for months:

i have my katsuoboshi (bonito flakes), my konbu (kelp), my niboshi (dried fish), and my hoshi-shiitake (dried mushrooms). i also have a nice amber-coloured miso paste.

i should reference perhaps the dashi thread for this, but how do *you* make miso soup? if left unattended, i would probably make the ichiban-dashi (first stock), add some negi (green onions), miso paste, and whatever i have lying around that's savoury: shrimp or scallops, sesame oil, a few pieces of a Nova Scotian seaweed i have now (called dulse).

but i'm sure i would be a bit wrong... :blink:

please elucidate, and thanks as usual in advance! :biggrin:

gus

ps: does this need a new thread?

this and more is covered in the dashi thread!

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=19&t=21765&

and I will going over it during the Japanese cooking classes next month!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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this and more is covered in the dashi thread!

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=19&t=21765&

and I will going over it during the Japanese cooking classes next month!

Otay, boss.

"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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Ghastly.

"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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Just minutes ago I was flipping through tv channels and there was a show about how to lower the calorie contents of food to help you lose weight, essentially diet food, this is a Japanese show by the way.

They were making macaroni gratin and instead of a bechamel sauce they made a sauce of pureed tofu mixed with powdered formula (yes the stuff for babies) and powdered cheese, the dish was then baked with a little more of the powdered cheese sprinkled on top.

The entire dish had 500 less calories then the original, but I have to wonder what it tastes like................. :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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They were making macaroni gratin and instead of a bechamel sauce they made a sauce of pureed tofu mixed with powdered formula (yes the stuff for babies) and powdered cheese, the dish was then baked with a little more of the powdered cheese sprinkled on top.

The entire dish had 500 less calories then the original, but I have to wonder what it tastes like................. :blink:

You know, Kristin, you don't have to wonder what it tastes like. I'd even advise not to think about it too much. You'll be too queasy to create another great series of photos for the dinner thread!!!

Yuck. If that's what it takes to be thin, I'll continue to be a mild spectacle on the streets of Asia with my 15 or so excess pounds.

Powdered dairy really is a ghastly thought.

However, I must admit that I sometimes use powdered essences of green tea, mushroom, (fake green) wasabi, and similar items mixed into an emulsified type sauce when I'm in a bit of hurry, but feeling a little experimental. Powdered dairy? Haven't been down that road. Can't imagine that trip.

Jim

Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some interesting combinations of sushi rolls (maki-zushi) I saw on Japanese tv.

French toast roll -- the nori and rice was filled with cucumber(and something else I can't remember) topped with a slice of processed cheese then rolled up in white bread, dipped in a egg-milk mixture and then cooked in a fry pan, this was drizzled with a mayo-paprika sauce

Pasta roll what looked like fettucine wrapped in nori with tomatoes and then sprinkled with parmasean cheese (from the green bottle)

Pizza roll --sliced steak rolled in rice and nori then topped with a slice of processed cheese and popped under the broiler

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Aren't Asians way more inclined to be lactose intolerant?

that is a good question.

I am not a medical doctor and actually know very little about lactose intolerance but here are my observations on dairy in Japan.

The Japanese adults actually drink very little milk, the children however have been drinking it with their school lunches since they were about age 4 or 5 and most children drink quite a bit at home too. In close to 15 years in Japan I have never noticed products designed for the lactose intolerant (milk allergies yes, lactose intolerance no), infact I don't even know the word for lactose intolerance (though that isn't saying much :biggrin: )

The Japanese eat dairy based products on a much smaller scale than in other parts of the world. Maybe it depends on how much you eat? or maybe certain products?

For example my (Japanese) husband can have problems with diarrhea if he drinks about 500ml (2 cups) of milk straight at one time, an entire large pizza covered with cheese does not bother him though....

So who know............... :blink::biggrin:

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My understanding is that someone who is lactose intolerant, in other words who doesn't produce the necessary lactase enzyme to digest lactose, can still handle about a pint of milk a day without noticable effect.

Indeed, I'm lactose intolerant and I can still eat a scoop or two of ice cream, have some cheese (which has little lactose), or even consume some cream sauce or milk. I just limit the amount consumed and I'll be fine. On the other hand, you won't see on a "Got Milk?" poster anytime soon. Maybe "Had Milk?" is more like it. I recall something out of McGee about Northern Europeans having the enzyme and most people in the rest of the world not having it. If you're lactose intolerant, you're in the majority in this world. Have your dairy but just don't have too much at once.

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Note that aged cheeses don't have lactose. I'm lactose intolerant, though I've been much less so since I've stopped drinking soda pop and primarily drink water. Ice cream is still a killer often, but a pint of milk would probably do me in, and that's really not that much. But a bowl of cereal, once a favorite of mine, is a no-no. I might as well eat a few handfulls of sugar free Jelly Bellies.

According to this site, a huge percentage of non-whites are lactose intolerant:

http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rjh9u/lacdata.html

Of course, it doesn't say how intolerant, only that they are.

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My husband can't eat much dairy, but finds yogurt OK -- eats it daily -- and for some reason, is devoted to a "live-culture" yogurt-based digestive aid.

He is fond of cheese and icecream, but has to be careful how much he eats.

Talking of Japanese dairy products, I found a string cheese flavored with karashi-mentaiko (or so they claimed) at the konbini recently...

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Yes, yogurt has bacteria that takes care of the problem as well. Supposedly, eating yogurt can improve your lactose tolerance in general. I went on a diet for about a year where I ate yogurt nearly every day and it certainly had an effect. I've been off yogurt for a while now, though, and my lactose intolerance is probably back to where it was.

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Talking of Japanese dairy products, I found a string cheese flavored with karashi-mentaiko (or so they claimed) at the konbini recently...

Although I find this lactose intoerance talk fascinating :biggrin:

This sounds REALLY good!!

Which conbini?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 year later...

For any of you who have used Japanese sour cream, how do you use it for Western cake recipes? Japanese sour cream is much, much thicker than US/Canadian sour cream and I fear if I use it as is, it will not blend so well. I'm thinking of using either yoghurt or milk (or maybe cream?) to loosen it up a bit. Is this an unnecessary step? Any ideas of proportions of yoghurt/milk to sour cream?

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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sorry i cant give you any exact numbers but i usually just add milk until it looks like the consistency i remember from home.

what i want to know - why is it so expensive?? and why cant i buy large containers? my local supermarket only has these tiny little containers....

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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sorry i cant give you any exact numbers but i usually just add milk until it looks like the consistency i remember from home. 

what i want to know - why is it so expensive??  and why cant i buy large containers?  my local supermarket only has these tiny little containers....

Those tiny containers are a pain the butt! Sometimes I can find a container that's about twice the size of the tiny ones, but that's rarely.

I think sour cream might be expensive because it seems to be real soured cream, as opposed to the stuff in Canada which is some kind of doctored-up milk product. Heavy cream here is very expensive, so it follows that sour cream would be more expensive. A couple of weeks ago, I left out a little carton of heavy cream by accident, and after a week-ish it had turned into a big clump--not unlike what is sold as sour cream here. I still used it, and it tasted fine--it didn't taste spoiled at all.

In the past, I've always used yoghurt that has been drained a little, instead of sour cream. But that's only for things like dips or with pirohy. I'll get a teeny tiny container of sour cream and add some milk, then if I still don't have enough, I'll add a bit of yoghurt, too. Hopefully my cupcakes will turn out just fine!

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I have never tried to use the sour cream here in baked products as I had the same worries. I normally only use it on things (like dips/soups/etc) that has it being mixed with something else.

The price is a killer and I probably buy it once a year and then I use it sparingly.

If you decide to experiment with it let us know hoew it goes... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Those tiny containers are a pain the butt!  Sometimes I can find a container that's about twice the size of the tiny ones, but that's rarely. 

hi prasantrin,

i went to costco today and i found sour cream! i believe the container is 500 mls....and a heck of a lot cheaper than the stuff in the 100 ml containers that i usually buy.

i thought i would let you know :biggrin:

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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