Noodles are found in many dishes and make up a large portion of the Japanese diet, but what most people don’t realize is that the noodles used in these dishes are not all of the same variety. There are around four main categories of Japanese noodles, with each category unique in terms of appearance and texture. On top of that, within each class of noodles, there are variations introduced by individual businesses or local areas....Read More
Foods you’ve never seen
When many people think of sushi, they imagine only raw fish, sticky rice, and crisp seaweed. Although Japan boasts dozens of varieties of fish, other countries do not offer the same spectrum of choices. But what about vegetarian options? In the US, there are many varieties of California rolls, cucumber rolls, and other non-fish choices. While true Japanese sushi rolls are simple and not crazy combinations like their American...Read More
It’s not often that a chain restaurant can conserve quality and freshness throughout its shops. While convenient, many franchised restaurants serving Japanese food replace fresh taste with quick service. During a recent visit to Fukui, this was not at all the case. When my friend recommended we dine at つるつる(Tsuru Tsuru), I was eager to give it a try. Entering the restaurant, it immediately felt more like a comfortable small-town...Read More
“Tsukudani” are cooked marine products such as small fish, shellfish and seaweed, boiled down in sweetened soy sauce.
Tsukudani originated in “Tsukuda-jima” island, Chuo Ward, Tokyo. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, ordered the thirty-four fishermen in present Tsukuda, Nishi-Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, to move to Edo, present Tokyo, and gave them fishing rights. These catches were to be presented to the Tokugawa family. They were allowed to live on a manmade island at the mouth of the Sumida River, which was named...Read More
“Hoshigaki”, also known as “korogaki” or “tsurushigaki”, which is made by dehydrating an astringent persimmon, is a kind of dried fruit tasting very sweet.
Hoshigaki is made not only in Japan but also in China, Korea and Taiwan. This is eaten as a preserved dessert in winter in Japan. On the other hand, the people in the other three countries make it mainly for a medicine or tea. This sweet is widely produced throughout Japan, especially in Gifu and Yamanashi Prefecture. Many hoshigaki dangling from the eaves of farmhouses are familiar rural scenery early in winter, as shown in the...Read More
“Shunpan-ro” in Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture is Japan’s first authorized “fugu” blowfish restaurant, and is also known as the place where the peace treaty with China after the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 was concluded.
Shunpan-ro stands on a high point, commanding “Dan-no-ura” strait, the final naval battle site between the two biggest “samurai” families in the 12th century. This historic restaurant is the first “fugu ryoutei” blowfish restaurant that was authorized in 1888 thanks to then prime minister “Ito Hirofumi”. Fugu blowfish dishes had long been prohibited to be served at any restaurant...Read More