Ramen, Udon and Soba: The American View

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A Quick Western Guide to Japanese Noodles

Noodles are the quintessential food of the Japanese. Japan is such a noodle-loving country. When Westerners, like Americans, visit, they see noodles practically everywhere. From street stalls to high-end restaurants, in offices and in homes, there is just no escaping noodles. The Westerner knows there are different types; they’ve seem different colors, sizes, and might say even taste different from each other. A Westerner is aware of at least three types of Japaneses noodles and can tell them apart.

The Evolution of The Katsu

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Katsu Then and Now

Originally, katsu, a shortened version of katsuretsu was traditionally made using beef. During the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), the Japanese technique of cooking tempura was applied to meat coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried in oil. The forward-looking Emperor Meji wanted to to see Japan become a modern westernized country to lead in development, and that included embracing some new world cuisine. It was the western adaptation that introduced pork into the mix.

Discovered: The Oldest Japanese Curry Recipe

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Curry Then And Curry Now

You probably didn’t know that curry has become so integral to the Japanese diet, you’d think it’s only so in India. For example, down Tokyo streets, you’re as likely to find a curry joint as you are a sushi or soba restaurant. The dish was unknown in Japan until about 150 years ago. Japan’s feudal system isolated the country for so long that when Japan opened up its doors to the outside world in the late 19th century, not only foreign science and technology entered, but foreign food as well.

Oodles of Fun Facts About Japanese Noodles

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Tickle Your Friends and Sound Smart with These

Did you know that some people would eat instant ramen noodles raw? Yes, they wouldn’t wait 5 minutes to cook them. Over the hard and crunchy noodles, just a sprinkling of the seasonings, and that’s it.

A vacuum sealed package version of ramen skyrocketed into space in the Discovery space shuttle when Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi brought some along. It’s the very first of its kind.The noodle were smaller and the brought thicker, so it’s easier to eat in zero gravity.

A History of Frying in Japan

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When the Japanese Started to Fry Food

Fried food in Japan is common, an easy way to serve vegetables and meats, especially to express the seasons. Fried chicken and tempura is popular during summer and autumn festivals. Kentucky Fried Chicken is everywhere during Christmas. It seems hot and delicious finger-foods are famous in a country that doesn’t rely much on ovens. What influences shaped some of Japan’s most popular fried foods?

Japanese Food Facts To Blow Your Mind

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Interesting Bits of Knowledge

Tokyo is the International Capital of the Top Restaurants. It beats even Paris. The undoubted world capital of fine dining is Tokyo, with a remarkable 302 Michelin stars in total in 2017. The breakdown as follows: 12 are 3 stars, 53 are 2 stars, and 160, 1 star. Two other Japanese cities make up the top 5 of this list – Kyoto and Osaka.

Amazing Benefits of the Nutritious Nori

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A Strip of Nori for Health

Nori is that blackish green, thin strip of edible seaweed you see wrapped around sushi, or just placed on top of your soup as garnish. It is widely used in Asian cuisine, particularly that of the Japanese and Korean. Nori is the Japanese word for do and it refers to dried seaweed sheets made from the edible red algae species.

Nori is generally regarded as safe to eat in moderate amounts and provides an abundance of healthful properties.

Seaweeds: Flavors and Colors from The Deep

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From The Deep to Your Dinner Plate

Seaweeds (kaiso) have been an important part of the Japanese diet for many centuries. Today, various types of seaweed are used extensively as soup stock, seasonings and other forms in daily Japanese cooking. There’s even seaweed salad. Over the past decades, foreigners have become more familiar with their flavors though seaweed and the full extent of its culinary applications remain a bit mysterious to many. Let’s have a look at these delicacies of the deep.

Rice: Integral Part of Japanese Culture

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Japanese Rice Varieties

Did you know that rice accounts for around a quarter of the daily caloric intake of Japan. On a daily basis, whichever time of day, the traditional Japanese meal is rice, one soup and three side dishes. Cooked rice is central to Japanese tradition and for over 2,000 years it was cultivated all across the country. It is barely absent on the dinner table and has come to symbolize the Japanese way of life.

There are several main varieties of rice in Japan. There’s the most common white rice, called ‘hakumai’. It is short grained and sticky when cooked. Most of Japanese rice is polished rice where the outer skin or bran is removed and served as white rice, served with most Japanese meals.

Eel: The Nutritious Unagi

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Rejuvenation, Vitality, and More

Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eel. The freshwater eels and other marine eels are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Anago is another eel variety and this one is the saltwater type. Unagi in particular is prized for its soft, fatty meat and bold, rich taste. Unagi is cultivated mainly during May to October, and is generally regarded amongst Japanese as being a summer food, as its high content of vitamins and minerals is believed to provide the energy necessary to “beat summer fatigue.”

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