Japanese Chopstick Etiquette

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It’s no secret that Japan is huge on tradition and etiquette. Even something as simple as the way you use your chopsticks can be a scandalous affair if you don’t do it correctly.

Keep the following in mind the next time you’re dining at your favorite Seattle Japanese restaurant:

  • Be Wary of Insulting the Dead: You may be surprised how many ways a common meal can be similar to a Japanese funeral ritual. If you leave your chopsticks standing up in your rice, you are imitating the way that rice is offered to the deceased. If you pass food from one set of chopsticks to another, you are imitating the way that the bones of the dead are moved during a funeral. Even leaving your sticks crossed on the table or using an unmatched pair can be associated with funerals, and is considered offensive at meal times.
  • Don’t Play With Your Sticks: Don’t point with them, don’t use them to pass bowls around the table, and don’t put on a hilarious walrus act.
  • Do Not Rub Your Sticks Together: People generally rub their sticks together to clear away the splinters on a cheap pair of sticks. This can be seen as an insult to your host.
  • Chopsticks Aren’t Worn in the Hair: Have you ever seen a woman wearing chopstick in her hair? In truth, this is actually an accessory called the kanzashi that only resembles chopsticks, and the two are not to be used interchangeably any more than you should be combing your hair with a fork.
  • Always Keep the Sticks in Pairs: A pair of sticks should always act in tandem. Don’t ever use one independently of the other. In particular, never use a stick to skewer a piece of food.
  • Be Mindful When Eating From Communal Plates: If people are serving themselves from a “family style” dish, there may not be a special utensil set aside for this purpose. In such cases, it’s acceptable to serve yourself with the end of your chopsticks that you don’t eat off of.
  • Put Your Sticks Back Where You Found Them: When you’re done with your meal, replace your sticks as you first found them.

October 10th, 2016

How Does Eel Make You Feel?

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Have you ever tried unagi? This is a popular item in Japan, and can be found at our Federal Way Japanese restaurant in the form of the classic nigiri-sushi topped with that distinctive strip of cooked brown fish. The word “unagi” comes from the particular species of Japanese freshwater eel used in this sushi. It is a rich source of vitamin A, and vitamin E, and protein, which has given it a long-standing reputation for giving strength and vigor to the people of Japan

Because of its nutritional properties, eel is often enjoyed during the hot months of summer so as to help the people resist the energy-sapping effects of the heat. It is customarily eaten on Doyo no Ushi no Hi, which is the midsummer “Day of the Ox” according to the Japanese lunar calendar. This day land on some point in late July.

However, regardless of the heat, unagi is always delicious and always available at I Love Sushi. Come on down for a taste today, and feel the raw power of the Japanese eel!

September 12th, 2016

The Incredible Health Benefits of Miso

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Have you ever had miso soup? It’s a charming little side dish, frequently enjoyed while you’re waiting for the real food to come out at our Bellevue sushi restaurant. You might have casually sipped your way through hundreds of bowls of this brothy concoction, never once suspecting just how amazingly beneficial it is for you. In truth, miso may be the greatest health secret Japan has to offer.

A big part of miso’s value is the fermented soy it is made from. Though soy products have for a long time enjoyed a good reputation, in recent years it has come to light that it is strictly the fermented soy products that offer such incredible benefits. Now it seems that it may be Japan’s high consumption of miso that is responsible for their low rates of heart disease and a number of the bigger cancers.

And the list of benefits doesn’t stop there. Miso is packed with valuable nutrients that can boost your immune system, preserve healthy skin, fight the effects of age, and even protect you against radiation. Though its sodium level is generally high, it has even been shown to lower the blood pressure of salt-sensitive individuals battling hypertension.

So come to I Love Sushi, and start making miso soup a regular part of your diet. You might be surprised how delicious it can be to do your body an amazing favor!

August 30th, 2016

Udon: A Burst of Energy in Every Bowl

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Udon are thick, hearty wheat noodles, often found swimming in a savory broth or with a dipping sauce at our Federal Way Japanese restaurant. They are a great source of quick energy, as they provide you with a healthy serving of carbohydrates with a moderate glycemic index. In simple terms, this means that they’re able to provide you with long-lasting energy without having a big effect on your blood sugar levels, which is good news for anybody who needs to control their blood sugar.

Udon is also well-known for its easy digestibility. Scientific tests have determined that udon break down much faster than other noodles, and a full three times as fast as beef. This is due to the process that goes into making the udon noodles. The kneading of the wheat flour mixes the proteins with the starch molecules to make them more available to your digestive enzymes. For these reasons, people fighting the flu in Japan are often served this dish. As the noodle digests so easily, blood doesn’t need to rush to the stomach and is therefore able to provide sustained energy and heat where your body needs it.

July 28th, 2016

Tonkatsu: A Japanese Foray into Western Food

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Tonkatsu is a Japanese pork cutlet, breaded and deep fried. You can find Tonkatsu and other katsus at our Federal Way Japanese restaurant, as it represents a form of “fast food” style Japanese dining that has been particularly well received within the United States. This is hardly surprising, of course, because the tonkatsu may in fact be considered one of the older forms of Japanese/Western fusion.

Indeed, the first tonkatsu came about in Japan as a type of yoshoku, meaning a Japanese version of a European-style meal. The idea of “katsu” had existed long before Japan first established contact with the West, the deep-frying technique that made tonkatsu possible was only introduced sometime around 1890. This original tonkatsu is believed to be the invention of a small restaurant in Ginza that was well known for its European-inspired cooking. Japanese diners would actually have first enjoyed tonkatsu with a fork, even though such utensils were largely unknown in the country until this point!

July 11th, 2016

Try a Taste of Tako Yaki

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People walking the streets of Japan’s cities are often treated to the smell of street vendors selling tako yaki to passersby. This is a popular Japanese snack and street food. It is made by mincing or dicing octopus and mixing them into a batter made with wheat flour, along with tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onions. This batter is cooked in a special tako yaki pan to give it a small, spherical shape that is good for eating on the go. Vendors will then coat the final product in tako yaki sauce, which is similar to Worcestershire sauce, and mayonnaise, then sprinkle it with green laver and dried bonito shavings.

Tako yaki was first popularized in Osaka back in 1935 by a street vendor by the name of Tomekichi Endo. It gradually caught on throughout Japan until specialty shops devoted to the dish sprang up in cities around the country. Today, you can experience the great taste of tako yaki at K-Ton. Come and visit our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way today!

June 30th, 2016

Ramen: It Doesn’t Have to Come in a Cup!

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If you’ve grown tired of the bland and nutritionally bankrupt varieties of processed noodles that have been giving “ramen” a bad name, then come and let K-Ton’s Japanese Restaurant in Federal Way show you how the dish ought to taste. With heartier, more flavorful noodles and a rich mix of meat and vegetables, you may be surprised what ramen noodles taste like when they don’t cost twelve cents a bag.

Real ramen traces its origins back thousands of years to ancient China. It is here that lo-mein, literally “boiled noodles”, were first perfected. As Japan shares an alphabet with China, they took this name and applied their own pronunciation of “ramen” to the dish. It was originally embraced in the Sapporo area sometime in the 19th century, where it became synonymous with the city. Japan made ramen its own in the following years and, as the post-war era brought a call for quick, cheap food, the noodles that are known and loved throughout the world today quickly took off.

June 10th, 2016

Soy Sauce Production Methods

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Japan consumes a lot of soy sauce every year, demanding a fresh supply of this popular condiment be produced at all times. This is a lengthy process, one which spans several months and involves several key stages. In general, this process includes the following:

  • The key ingredient of soy sauce is always the soybeans, which are soaked and steamed. In most Japanese soy sauces, the soybeans will then be mixed with roasted wheat.
  • The next step is to cultivate koji mold on the soybeans. Over the course of three days, the mold acts to break up the proteins in the beans, as well as the carbohydrates in any wheat that may be used. The end result is something called shoyu koji.
  • After the shoyu koji is complete, it is combined with salt and water. This mixture then sits for several months so that it can ferment.
  • Once the aging is complete, the mixture has turned into a thick mash that needs to be pressed and strained through a cloth filter. The fluid that is squeezed out of this is “raw” soy sauce.
  • Finally, the soy sauce is cooked. This serves to pasteurize the sauce and arrest the chemical reactions. Now it is ready for use.

At our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way, you can experience the final product in the form of our shoyu ramen, our yakisoba, and other classic dishes.

May 23rd, 2016

Is Miso a High-Sodium Food?

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Sodium is a big concern for many Americans. Though this is an important nutrient to keep your body running properly, it is far too common for people to get too much in their diets. With the copious salt found in preserved food and a lot of restaurant fare, many of us develop a dangerously high blood pressure because of our sodium levels. Since a single teaspoon of miso has between 200 and 300 milligrams of sodium, this may seem like an unhealthy dish for people struggling with high sodium. Fortunately, the truth is very different.

Though the reasons behind this are not well understood, it has been demonstrated that miso does not raise your sodium levels as much as one might think. Test animals who were fed miso did not experience an increase in their blood pressure, compared to animals who were fed a comparable amount of salt. Further, it has been observed that Japanese people who regularly consume miso enjoy many heart-healthy benefits.

With this in mind, you shouldn’t be afraid of enjoying miso. At our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way, you can try a quality miso ramen. Come and experience the great taste and nutritional benefits of miso today!

May 10th, 2016

The Benefits of Omega-3

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Omega-3 is a very important nutrient. Getting a regular dose of this healthy fat gives you numerous benefits, including the following:

  • Pain Management: Omega-3 is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, reducing pain and swelling.
  • Heart Health: The plaque that builds up in your veins can be cleared away by omega-3. People at risk of heart attacks and similar heart disease can greatly reduce their risk of dying from heart disease with the help of such fatty oils.
  • Brain Health: A diet rich in omega-3 is associated with superior memory, recall, reason, and focus. Some studies have indicated that it may also prevent dementia and similar age-related disorders. Pregnant mothers who eat omega-3 are improving the intelligence of their babies.
  • Emotional Health: Psychiatry researchers have demonstrated that omega-3 has the potential to improve your mood, alleviating the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. Children may also exhibit an improvement in ADD and ADHD symptoms.

When you want to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, consider a visit to K-Ton in Federal Way. Our Japanese restaurant has many great seafood dishes to get you the healthy fats you need.

April 20th, 2016

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