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torakris

kamaboko

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kamaboko is one of those products that I have never grown to love. I eat it and actually enjoy it when served to me, but I rarely purchase it and serve it myself.

My favorite has to be pretty much any of the kamaboko type products in oden, the gobo maki being my favorite.

Sometimes a couple slices of a really good kamaboko dipped in a wasabi-soy sauce really hits the spot.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I'll eat kamaboko, but as you say, it's not something I get a craving for and eat a whole block of it. I think I was also scarred by how closely it resembles the little Japanese erasers which, strangely, I think were made to look like kamaboko. I know, I'm confused, too.

It's nice for visual interest and as garnish in a nice bowl of udon or something. Before there was such a thing as imitation crab, people used to grate kamaboko and mix it with mayonaise to make a sort of seafood salad. Generally, too sweet and rubbery for me.

~Tad

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In Odawara there is a kamaboko museum, we drive past it every time we travel to the Izu penninsula and I always think someday we will actually pull off the road and give it a look. They have hands on classes where you can actually make your own kamaboko, but really a whole museum dedicated to it? :blink:

their webpage (Japanese only):

http://www.kamaboko.com/

to view the museum click on the 4th image down on the left, it says kamaboko hakubutsukan ‚©‚Ü‚Ú‚±”Ž•¨ŠÙ


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I try to keep some on hand in the freezer for people to add to quick noodle dishes or such.

I'm not disgusted if there is a slice or two in something someone else made that I am eating.

But I'd never serve it.

Basically, it's fish spam.


"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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WARNING: Admission of guilty pleasure

I'm not generally a kamaboko fan. However, like Jinmo, I don't mind a bit of it as an accent or small item in a dish that is otherwise interesting. As a tidbit in udon, it's fine.

However, when I am pressed for time and eat sushi for lunch in a cheap kaitenzushi place where I can't get excited about the kind of things that I usually do (which normally require pristine freshness and close attention to detail), I do enjoy the kanikamaboko nigiri. Typically, it is very sweet and a slightly shameful guilty pleasure. I don't eat California rolls or kanikamaboko almost any other way, though.

Okay, I do eat it one other way. In Korean-Japanese restaurants, they broil corn on a sizzle plate with a little mayo and soy, as well some kanikamaboko and some other seasonings. That's actually pretty good too and is another guilty pleasure.

I don't know if it's classified as kamaboko (I doubt it), but I do like what Koreans call odaeng. This is the softer fish cake (almost a bread or soft aburage texture). This is great simply marinated and eaten alone or added to udon.

Jim


Jim Jones

London, England

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

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Just to push this argument past natural limits . . . The most deluxe dish at Hawai`i Saimin restaurants is something called the "dondonpa" which is saimin garnished with char siew, spam, AND kamaboko (the pink spirally kind). Sometimes they even add hot dogs to boot! So there.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Could someone explain the precise difference between kamaboko and surimi?

On a related topic, how do they give these pastes the consistency to become cole-slaw-like shredded imitation crab meat (kani-kamaboko?) as opposed to the gelatinous cake-like patties so often found in soups?

I believe in North America, pollock is used as a base for these, but can I safely assume that in other parts of the world other fish are used instead?

Sorry to, erm, "spam" this forum,

Rocks.

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Could someone explain the precise difference between kamaboko and surimi

On a related topic, how do they give these pastes the consistency to become cole-slaw-like shredded imitation crab meat (kani-kamaboko?) as opposed to the gelatinous cake-like patties so often found in soups?

I believe in North America, pollock is used as a base for these, but can I safely assume that in other parts of the world other fish are used instead?

Surimi is the ground fish paste and it is the basis for the various kamaboko foods. You can make your own surimi by scraping the flesh out of a fish and grinding it up, purchased surimi will contain salts, sugars, preservatives etc.

It its freshly prepared state it will look something like this:

http://www.tarako.com/shop/showcase/surimi.jpg

Surimi isn't normally eaten as is, it can be mixed with some flavorings and formed into balls for a simple soup or it can be ground until completely smooth and formed into shapes (like the kani kamaboko or te kamaboko you see in soups) and then steamed. Sometimes they are deep fried or grilled after steaming to give you things like chikuwa:

http://www.inet-shibata.or.jp/~ytoshi/japa...pot/chikuwa.jpg

or satsumage:

http://www.kasuiko-hs.makurazaki.kagoshima...en/satumage.gif


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I picked up a wonderful satsumage yesterday, this one was flavored with sakura ebi (a kind of tiny shrimp), I heated it in a frypan and then served it with soy sauce.

gallery_6134_1003_15619.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I like thin slices of kamaboko in hot pot, actually. It's not so much the taste I like, but the visual appeal, as compared to the other ingredients. I figure that's why they make it pink and white (the regular block that I'm thinking of). also, I like the one that has pink and white swirls and is a round log, to be sliced crosswise.

I have a dog that is about 10-12 inches high and about 5 pounds, but if there is kamaboko anywhere on the table, he can jump up and get it! That's like 2.5x his height! We were wondering where it all went one day and then someone caught him in the act. He is very smart when it comes to getting food he likes. He takes after me.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I like thin slices of kamaboko in hot pot, actually.  It's not so much the taste I like, but the visual appeal, as compared to the other ingredients.  I figure that's why they make it pink and white (the regular block that I'm thinking of).  also, I like the one that has pink and white swirls and is a round log, to be sliced crosswise.

I have a dog that is about 10-12 inches high and about 5 pounds, but if there is kamaboko anywhere on the table, he can jump up and get it! That's like 2.5x his height! We were wondering where it all went one day and then someone caught him in the act.  He is very smart when it comes to getting food he likes.  He takes after me.

I am the same.

The only time I buy the pink and white kamaboko is when I want it for the color.

very smart dog you have there!! :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Last week at Kitano Ten Mangu Temple in Kyoto (they have an Antique flea market on the 25th of every month), we ate some super yummy tempura-chikuwa kamaboko. These are elongated tube-shaped kamabokos, and maybe they have thing stuffed inside sometimes?

The first one we had was on a stick and dipped into a nori-tempura batter (maybe there was some paste-like stuff inside, but maybe it was uncooked tempura batter?). It was so yummy, we went back for another one (there were three flavors), and got the curry-batter flavored one. Yum!!!!

Too bad I didnt take pictures (it was snowing).

This is chikuwa:

http://japanesefood.about.com/library/graphics/chikuwa.gif

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These are elongated tube-shaped kamabokos, and maybe they have thing stuffed inside sometimes?

My wife and I sometimes put cucumber and cheese sticks inside, like this:

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/hoyoyo1203/e/b611fcd...9d0cd739f7bf38e

http://www.qbb.co.jp/special/recipe/candy_4.html

Chikuwa with cheese inside are available at any supermarket:

http://www.takahama.co.jp/html/lineup03.html

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chikuwa stuffed with a cucumber slice is a great filler for a bento.... :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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picked up kamaboko that had shiso inside, these were really good.

Sorry for the bad picture/styling

gallery_6134_1003_30512.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I just heard about a new restaurant in Daikanyama (Tokyo) that sells only fish cakes.

Fish Cake & Deli


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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picked up kamaboko that had shiso inside, these were really good.

Sorry for the bad picture/styling

gallery_6134_1003_30512.jpg

Looks like the sasa kamaboko from Sendai, which apparently is supposed to look like bamboo leaves but I don't remember them having any shiso in them. Whenever my family was in Sendai visiting the foreigner visa office, we would buy a box of them for the train ride home.

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I really like the gobo tenpura kamaboko, and that half circle neon pink and white stuff. Mom sometimes tosses the former into yakisoba.


Cheryl

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satsumage (the deep fried fish paste cakes) are also great in simmered dishes, last we had some satsumage and carrots simmered with hijiki

gallery_6134_1960_37884.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Torakris, that looks yummy!

My niece eats tons of kamaboko - so does my cat. I personally don't really enjoy it, but I do like the chikuwa and such in oden.

On the other hand, using the tsurimi is great for won ton fillings when mixed with sesame oil, green onions, etc. Tsurimi mixed with chopped shrimp and other ingredients, floured and then fried is also great!

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I have a slight feeling that neither the Japanese or the world take kamaboko/surimi seriously, so I have decide to write the story about the origin, development, consume and globalization of kamaboko/surimi : ) In the first run anyhing about the historical kamaboko is of interest.

Right now I focus on a Heian feast (1115) in the new villa of Fujiwara no Tadazane in Uji between Kyoto and Nara. The party there might have been the first documented use of kamaboko(chikuwa) ( alittle poorly documented, but let's go)

Does anyone one have an idea of what such a banquet would be like. Would the chikuwa have been grilled at the fire in the middle of the rooms. Were the guest sitting separately, being served each course after another. What room would they sit in? What would they drink? Could it be that the guest held the chikuwa over the fire themselves?

My intention is of course to describe this meal in a few sentences. It's my job, but if anyone has something to tell, I listen. (and no matter what, I might come back with a few more kamaboko questions...) (and if you don't take kamaboko seriously, that is of course allowed:)

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