Okonomiyaki Otafuku Kit (Japanese pizza/pancake)

otafuku okonomiyaki kit

This time, I used Otafuku Okonomiyaki kit. I have made it from scratch on the other page.
For this one, you need water, cabbage, eggs, okonomiyaki sauce and meat. It is easy.
And I thought it would be a small one, but one package makes 2 big okonomiyaki.
So you can make a total of 4 large okonomiyaki.

okonomiyaki

 

okonomiyaki kit

This time I used mochi and shrimp. I cut them small. I would put cheese and shoga, if I had them.  The yellow package is Tenkasu – tempura clum.  The orange package is Okonomiyaki mix flour.  One package contains enough for two people.  The left one is Nori – Seaweed and Yamaimo flour is in the pink bag.  Put Yamaimo flour in the bowl with flour.

Ingredients:You need to buy those package above
Cabbage
Water
Eggs
Thin sliced meat or bacon




okonomiyaki okonomiyaki mochi shrimp

Put Okonomiyaki flour and Yamaimo flour in the bowl.
Add water and eggs and mix it. The white square stuff is Mochi which I cut into small cubes. Another white one is shrimp

okonomiyaki okonomiyaki okonomiyaki & agedama okonomiyaki cooking okonomiyaki cooking cover

The red stuff is dried red shrimp. I like this flavor, and it is common to put it in Okonomiyaki. You may not find this, and you may think this is fishy. You don’t need to add this – this is optional. Add all other ingredients and mix. At this time, you want to mix with air – mixing and fluffing it. This way, you will make a soft textured Okonomiyaki.

Put oil in the heated pan and put Okonomiyaki dough and make a round shape. Medium heat and add pork slices or bacon slices and put a lid on. Make sure the inside cooks. Flip to the other side and cook on the other side.

When finish cooking Okonomiyaki, put it on the plate and decorate with mayonnaise, Okonomiyaki sauce, Katsuobushi, and Aonori on top of Okonomiyaki.

You have to buy Okonomiyaki sauce to eat this recipe. You may want to buy Katsuobushi, but this is optional.

okonomiyaki

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Japanese Harusame rice noodle salad recipe

Harusame salad
Cellophane noodles = Harusame (also known as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles) are a type of transparent noodle made from starch (such as mung bean starch, yam, potato starch, cassava or canna starch), and water.

Harusame (rice noodle) dry —–30g
Bacon ————————–2slices
Carrots————————–1 inch
Cucumber————————1/3 size

Sesame oil ———————–1tbs
Vinegar ————————-2tbs
Sugar —————————1 1/2tbs
Sesame seeds ——————–1tbs
Soy sauce ———————–2tbs
Water —————————100cc

Cut carrots, cucumber, and bacon into juliennes. Put dry harusame, bacon and carrots in the pot. Pour water and sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Put lid on the pot but not completely, and mid heat until water boil. Turn off the heat once the water boiled and leave them until cool down. Put cucumber and sesame into the cooled pot and mix them all together.

You can put in the refrigerator and chill them and eat it if you want to have cold salad.




Nikujyaga, Japanese meat and potato recipe

Nikujyaga

 

Nikujaga (肉じゃが?) (meaning meat-potato) is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce, sometimes with ito konnyaku and vegetables. Generally, potatoes make up the bulk of the dish, with meat mostly serving as a source of flavor. It usually is boiled until most of the liquid is evaporated. Thinly sliced beef is the most common meat used in Nikujyaga, although minced/ground beef is also popular. Pork is often used instead of beef in eastern Japan.

Nikujaga is a common home-cooked winter dish, served with a bowl of white rice and miso soup. It is also sometimes seen in izakayas. Nikujaga is considered comfort food, and some Japanese claim they crave it if they do not eat it for a long period of time[citation needed].




Nikujaga was invented by chefs of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 19th century. The story that Tōgō Heihachirō ordered naval cooks to create a version of the beef stews served in the British Royal Navy was devised as part of an ongoing campaign beginning in 1895 to promote the city of Maizuru, Kyoto, which hosted an Imperial Japanese Navy base where Tōgō was stationed, as the birthplace of nikujaga.[1] The municipal government of Kure, Hiroshima, responded in 1998 with a competing claim that Tōgō commissioned the dish while serving as chief of staff of the Kure naval base. If you want to read more, go to this page.

What is Shirataki? (or Itokon nyaku)

shirataki

Shirataki (白滝?, often written with the hiragana しらたき) are very low carbohydrate, low calorie, thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from devil’s tongue yam (elephant yam or the konjac yam).[1] The word “shirataki” means “white waterfall”, describing the appearance of these noodles. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they have little flavor of their own. 

There used to be a difference in manufacturing methods; in the Kansai region of Japan, ito konnyaku was prepared by cutting konnyaku jelly into threads, while in the Kantō region, shirataki was prepared by extruding konnyaku sol through small holes into a hot lime solution in high concentration.[7] Nowadays, both are prepared using the latter method. Ito konnyaku is generally thicker than shirataki, with a square cross section and a darker color. It is preferred in the Kansai region.




Japanese Cake Shop in Osaka Station

osaka station cake shoposaka station cake shoposaka station cake shop




osaka station cake shoposaka station cake shoposaka station




2012

Takoyaki in Osaka Trip

takoyaki osaka

takoyaki osaka

takoyaki osaka




takoyaki osaka

takoyaki

Takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼?, literally fried or grilled octopus) is a popular ball-shaped Japanese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan (see below). It is typically filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki




Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice – Kimchi chahan is getting popular in Japan. Kimchi is already popular and had been it about 20 years. It is spicy but delicious fried rice this time, I put Natto. You don’t need to put Natto, maybe for Japanese cooking beginner, you should cook without Natto first.

KimChee fried rice

 

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This video is not Kimchee ingredients but the cooking method is similar.

Ingridents:
Cooked rice ————————————-1lb
egg ———————————————3
Kimchi—————————————-1/2lb
Pork (thin sliced small cut) or bacon ————–1/4lb
Ginger ——————————————1
Garlic ——————————————-1 clove
Soy sauce  ————————————–1tbs
Sesame oil ————————————–2tbs
Salt and pepper ———————————pinch
Natto ——————————————–1/3cup (natto is option)




KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice

Cook Egg first, Heat wok or frying pan very hot and make almost smoking oil in the pan. Put beaten eggs and make scramble eggs. Do not over cook, and take out from the pan.

KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice

Put bacon (if you use pork, put oil on the pan again) and cook it. Put Kimchi, grainded ginger and garlic and star fry them. (If you think need to put oil here, add a tbs of oil)

KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice KimChee fried rice

Add rice (if it worm rice, it is easly break out) star fried it and add Natto here.
You star fry them all then put egg lastely. Mix all together and salt and pepper and soy sauce on them.

KimChee fried rice

 



5 Ways to Cook Japanese Inspired Dishes with Tofu

Tofu originated 2000 years back in some part of ancient China. It is one of the favorite ingredients used in east and south east cuisines. Tofu has an enormous amount of health benefits, like large amounts of proteins and iron. It has relatively low calories and fats which makes it eminently suitable for heart patients. Tofu has a unique taste and sweet smell and can be used in many dishes, including savory as well as sweet dishes.

Tofu kaiseki, Fu 麩
In China and Japan, tofu is cooked in various forms including in stew, in its raw form, in soups, and in stuffing. In Japan, many scrumptious dishes are cooked with tofu.

Here are five ways to cook Japanese inspired dishes with tofu.

1 Hiyayakko

In Japan, this is a common lunch delicacy in the summer season. It is also known as cold tofu. It is made up of chilled tofu with various toppings. It is the easiest recipe which cooks in just 10 minutes.

Cut chilled tofu in square shaped blocks and put these in a bowl. Add grated ginger, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, sliced okra, and chopped green onions on top. Pour mustard paste, soy sauce, and plum paste to make it even more delicious.




2 Agedashi-dofu

agedashi tofu

It is another famous Japanese dish made of tofu. It is deep fried tofu with some sizzling sauce.

Take a piece of tofu and press it hard to drain excessive water from it. Now make dashi stock. Fry tofu in peanut oil until light brown, and put it in a bowl. Serve with grated daikon radish and add dashi stock to the top.

3 Mapo Tofu

This is one of the best known dishes in Japan. It originated from China but boomed into Japan in the last century. It is cooked in Japanese style now to give it an authentic Japanese touch.

First, make a sauce adding one third cup sake, oyster sauce, red miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, potato starch, and tobanjan. Add pork chunks to the sauce and cook it. Now, add tofu to the mixture and coat it well. Keep cooking until it becomes thick. Serve with steamed rice.

4 Stir Fried Tofu

Stir fried tofu is used as a wrap, in salads, or in different sandwiches. It gives a unique taste of Japanese origin.

Marinate tofu with white miso paste, Ponzu sauce, dark brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, wasabi paste, and ginger garlic paste. Put it aside for 24 to 48 hours. Pour vegetable oil in a pan and gently fry marinated tofu until nicely brown.




5 Silk Tofu with Soy Sauce and Carrot

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger root until the sugar is fully dissolved. Finely grate some carrot. Put tofu in a bowl and serve with grated carrot and soy sauce mixture.

shira ae 白和え

 Andrew is a food blogger with a strong passion for Asian and more specifically Japanese. Being a sushi maker distributor, Andrew had the chance to visit some of the best restaurants in Japan.

 




Udon Japanese noodle soup dish

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udon cutting Udon Japanese  noodle soup dish.  You may heard the name Udon, before.  Udon means noodles in Japanese.  I went to Takamatsu this winter.  There are famous for Sanuki udon (讃岐うどん).  It is a noodle soup dish popular in the Kagawa Prefecture,in Japan.  The main ingredients are udon (wheat-flour noodles) served al dente with tuna and kelp. Sanuki udon are named after the previous name of the Kagawa Prefecture, Sanuki Province.  Iwrote how to make dashi before on this page but this Sanuki udon Japanese noodle soup dish soup use different ingredents.  If you want to know more about Udon, see this page. sanjuki This picture is Udon and raw egg. The udon was just cooked from boiled hot water so it cook raw egg in this bowl. I put topping graind ginger and negi (onion) and Agedama. It comes with dashi in the small container. You pour that before you eat it. It was VERY GOOD!  It’s called KAMATAMA.  (kamaage udon and tamago=egg) Around Tokyo, there are Mizusawa udon and this is close to where my mother grow up with so Mizusawa udon is the more familiar to me. By the way, Mizusawa udon is a one of three famous udon in Japan. And this is a very East-side type of taste of Udon.  I wrote this Osaka udon before, see this page. Also, Curry Udon page.




See this page for very intereting dashi color change where you go to West to East. East (Tokyo) is darker in color, and West (Kyushu) is lighter color. Osaka is left of the pink arrow on the picture. Tokyo area usualy uses Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) for dashi (broth). Kansai (Osaka) area uses Konbu (sea weed) dashi and Shikoku area uses Iriko (sardine) dashi. Iriko is baby dried sardine and I often use them for my Japanese cooking. Bonito and Konbu are kind of a delicacy in taste for cooking but Iriko is more likely ordinary mother’s taste. However Sanuki udon uses a high gluten noodle needs strong dashi flavors. Also Kagawa in Shikoku is the district the Iriko is the caught so they use strong Iriko dashi for Sanuki udon. I have been in the United State so long, I have never went to a self service Udon restaurant. They started self service udon restaurants in Tokyo area about 15 years ago. I think it is like Japanese fast food like American McDonalds. sanuki self service udon shop Any way, this is my first time going to a Self service Udon restaurant. You can choose the Udon topping. sanuki sanuki sanuki when i asked him to taking a picutre, he smiled at camera, thanks! sanjuki this is like American Cafe (like college cafe self-service) you can pick Tempura, Tonkatsu, Eggs, Korroke and put on your Udon or side. And if you want, you can buy Onigiri (rice ball) or other things. They have Oden, too. sanuki sanuki udon This is the other restaurant Udon.  I choose Tempura, but this tempura is not what you think.  This is not what Amrican know from Japanses restaurant Tempura. There are also free toppings.  there are ground ginger, agedama (same as Tenkasu: crunchy bits of deep fried flour-batter used in Japanese cuisine, for example in takoyaki, okonomiaki, and udon.  Tenkasu is also called agedama), long onion, sudachi. This is an other Udon restaurant, but this is like a Mom and Pop restaurant. Customers keep coming in to eat udon for about 15min and leave. They don’t stay long. Yes just like fast food restaurant. udon shop udon shop udon restaurant inside inside mom pop udon shop udon cooking inside the shop cooking udon self service udon You are pouring Udon dashi soup into your bowl. Self-service.




oden This is Oden, you can pick the stick. sanuki udon

 







Global Santoku is the best Japanese kitchen knife

Global Santoku

Global Santoku is the best Japanese kitchen knife, I think.  I tell you Global Santoku Japanese kitchen knives are the best Japanese kitchen knife for daily use in the ordinary kitchen both cooking Japanese or non-Japanese.  If you buy one knife that fits all for cooking, what would you need to buy? I really recommend Global Santoku kitchen knife. I tell you why you should buy Global Santoku and especially for Japanese cooking.

I volunteer a lot at my friends’ kitchen. They know I can cook and they enjoy my food so I cook for them. But I have problem (most of the time, if my friends are not Japanese) because they don’t have good knives to cut food. They usually have a Chef’s knife, also known as a French knife. Those non Japanese kitchen knives are not suitable to use for Japanese cooking. Well, some Japanese person would say it is perfectly fine but I don’t like to use it for my Japanese cooking.  Simply, those are difficult to use.

What is Santoku knife?
If you want a great knife for ordinary use, I recommend Global Santoku kitchen knife. This is not only for Japanese cooking but also any kind of your cooking!  You may have heard of this name. Santoku translates from Japanese to – “developed knife”. San means three the number and Toku means benevolence. That means you can have three times benevolence. Because this knife is good benevolent for meat, fish and vegetables (three). Also these are very popular knives in a Japanese household.
And I found it is not heavier than a Chef’s knife and it is usually shorter. So especially for women, I think it is easy to handle this Japanese-knife than Chef’s knife. You can even peel the vegetables or fruits skins with it. Chef’s knife is too difficult to do so.

The best Knife for Japanese cooking
Vegetables are big ingredients for Japanese cooking because Japanese people eat so many vegetables. Also, they cut them very small or thin. Cutting small is important for Japanese cooking.
Japanese use chopsticks, not knives and forks. You can not really cut anything using chopsticks. I think Japanese cooking is prepared to eat in a one bite size so you don’t need to cut on the plate (actually you can not cut it). So if you were a chef, you have to prepare to cut a certain way for people who can eat the food easily.

Japanese or German brand
I usually recommend my friends Japanese or German brand knives. Those two countries are very famous for knives. Both have very good knives traditionally. Also Gloval Santoku knife is coming from Japan but German company makes this Santoku type.
You can choose whatever you like, but I will put my two recommendation here.

My favorite Japanese kitchen knife
I tell you my favorite Japanese knife name. Global knife is Japanese brand and I have this one for my own Global Global G48 7-Inch Hollow-Ground Santoku. You may also like Global 5-1/4Inch Hollow Ground Santokuor Global G-46 7-Inch Santoku Knife.
I like Global brand because it is light weight and is made from one piece of metal. No wooden handles to worry about. It is very easy to clean and stylish also.  Most of all, very sharp and very good quality.

The second best Japanese kitchen knife

If you would buy a second knife, I recommend Global Petty knife. Petty knives are the Japanese version of a paring knife. Actually, this is my favorite. I use this knife for almost everything! They typically are thin without a bolster on the blade and are very light. This is very good for pastry cooking or fruits. It is great as a peeling, paring, boning and carving knife for vegetables, fruits, herbs and other delicate work. It will also take on some of the slicing and dicing jobs of a large chef knife. Also, it is small and light – very handy! Actually, I like this size knife so very much and I am usually use this knife most of the time. Time to time, I need to have bigger knife so I use santoku. If you have Chef knive you already satisfy, but looking for next one, I strongly recommend this one!
gloval petty1
Global G48338 3-Piece Hollow Ground Santoku Knife Set

However, I prefer having Global Santoku and Petty knives when you start cooking Japanese. If you try it, you maybe surprised that you are enjoying cutting many things on the board!
You may think, all knives are the same. I just need to cut food. Well, the way you can makes your end result which food taste different (believe me!). Also looks better (presentation) like art. Plus, it is easy and make enjoyable when you cook food!

When I bought this Global Petty knife and cut Chinese scallion first time, I was very surprised the way I cut them. I am telling you, probably it was my first time I cut them like a professional very skilled person. I cut them for Yakumi (small cut vegetables for flavor) for Soba (Japanese buck wheat noodle) and it was a very fine cut. I used the same technique, so it was obviously that my new tool, which is Global knife, is the difference. So I really recommend this product for your happy Japanese cooking.

By the way, Amazon doesn’t sell Perry knife alone, so if you are interested to buy Global knife, this is the set Global G48338 3-Piece Hollow Ground Santoku Knife Set. They have Santoku and Petty knife in the set.
I really recommend this. I think you will appreciate and be glad that you have these Japanese knives for your kitchen!

The first tools hat human being have invented were the knives, which were made of stone. Thus, cutlery is the most important tool for humans to live. After the Stone Age, in a long period of history, no matter which region in Europe, people have offered knives with wishes for prosperity at wedding and festival. Of course, cutlery is still important in our daily lives. With wishes to make a happy family life, please use the Global knife.

Characteristic
The design which integrates the handle and the blade into one is beautiful, not only in the kitchen, but also on the dining table. It has been receiving a high appraisal from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Holland, France, England, United States, and other countries all over the world.

Hygienic Concern
The idea of easy grip makes the handle fit firmly inside the hand. By all-in-one structure of blade and handle keeps the knife sanitary and rejects bacteria.

Resistance
The all in one structure of the blade and handle is easy to wash and keep sanitary. As a matter of fact, it solved the problem of the handle slipping off from the blade, caused by rust.

Sharpness
The secret of the long lasting sharpness of the thin blade, it the super hand molybdenum vanadium stainless steel which contains 18% of chrome. This stainless steel is the same grade used for the medical implements, which were developed in the medical science field. Therefore, it is tougher and more durable than previous knives.

Caution
DO NOT cut the bone of fish and meat directly. The blade may chip. Please cut at the joint.
To avoid from damaging the blade, DO NOT use this knife to cut frozen food.

Maintenance
DO NOT use dishwasher or dish dryer. The ingredient of detergent used for the dishwasher and the use of dish dryer is uncongenial to the stainless steel. They may cause rust on the knife.
Please wash with dishwashing liquid and after washing, wipe the water completely off from the knife. The knife will not rust if properly cleaned and dried before putting away.

 




Japanese New Years Food Osechi Ryori

2012 new year japan

I wrote Japanese new years food Osechi Ryori before and it is this page.  This is my second time writing about Osechi.  So it:s been 2 years after I startedd this blog.  I just came back from Japan visit my parents this New Year.  I post pictures of my mother’s Osech and my family’s Osechi.

osechi ryori

osechi

The term osechi originally referred to o-sechi, a season or significant period. New Year’s Day was one of the five seasonal festivals (節句 sekku) in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. This custom of celebrating particular days was introduced from China into Japan. If you read more about Osaechi ryori, go this page.

I realized this year that Osechi doesn’t have much meat. Traditionally, Japanese people eat fish. So, there are many cooked fish and vegetable foods. Also those are preserved foods, so they use a lot of sugar. I figure out, that is why I like Osechi Ryori so much!

Some of my friends said they don’t care about Osechi. I love this food very much and I must have them once a year, otherwise, I don’t feel like New Year come.




sushi

assuage tofu

new year food

nimono

kegani crub

Also i write about my family traditions here. We have a New Year’s reunion every year. I missed it these past 2 years, because I didn’t go back home.

My grandmother is very good with Osekihan which is red bean (azuki) bean rice. Azuki bean rice is famous for celebration food. It is very popular that Japanese people eat this rice when they have some celebration. (ex:new year, marriage ceremony, have a baby, etc) If you want to read more about Osekihan, go to this page.

I think still my grandmother’s Osekihan is the best, but her son’s wife (my aunt) is continuing making it every year after my grandmother passed away. Those are mother’s taste which is comfort food for Japanese and rustic food but I love them. She is very good at making it just like my grandma. Some of the other dishes on this page, I made these differently. I truly love my aunt taste of those foods when I go to her house for New Year’s day reunion.