Archive for December, 2011

Japan pics

I’ll probably write up some proper posts about food in Japan at some point, but for now, here are links to some food pics.

More will be added to this album.

I also visited Tsukiji market, for which I got up at 4:30 am on Christmas, and took some bad photos.

My pics are but few and don’t capture it at all. For more info, visit For more info, see http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3021.html. Or a video: http://www.geobeats.com/video/7e1798/tsukiji-fish-market

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In Japan now…

I’ve made an unexpected trip to Japan, and I plan to return with lovely pictures to post here. In the meantime, suffice to say that I’m basking in food glory.

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Jerusalem artichoke stew

Yusuke said that this stew tasted was reminiscent of にくじゃが (nikujaga), which is a meat and potato stew. (Sometimes, shirataki “noodles” are also included.)

First, Yusuke sauteed chicken and white onions. Oil could be added, but he chose not to. Next, he added chopped (unpeeled) Jerusalem artichokes. He then added water to the pot, along with cut carrots and let everything cook until it was soft.

Finally, he added the foundational Japanese seasoning mix: dashi, sugar (a pinch), soy sauce, and mirin, all to taste.

These ingredients were added in order to highlight the vegetables’ own taste rather than cover it. In other words, it brought out the taste of the earth. This is why our summer and autumn food baskets were so great: REAL TASTE. Store-bought food, in contrast, is often tasteless. This particular dish was even tastier the next day, becoming sweeter when the flavours came together and really soaked in.

I would like to comment again that Jerusalem artichokes are awesome. The little knobby things look like ginger, and evidently the chemical compound that is released when you eat it works similarly to insulin. Yusuke was interested to find lots of recipes with them in Japanese (キクイモ – kikuimo). The texture is similar to potatoes, but more liquidy and sweeter.

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Shredded leek delight

The original recipe that inspired this dish called for chicken, but Yusuke used tilapia instead, that versatile and cheap! fish.

He steamed the tilapia in white wine to enhance its subtle flavour.

The fish was dressed with fresh leeks: the white parts were eaten raw. He was afraid that the green bits would be tough, so he boiled the pieces briefly, for less than one minute. The shredded leeks were mixed with sesame oil and sea salt. Once the leeks were arranged on the fish, we added a sprinkling of shichimi powder.

We ate the dish by itself with rice on the side, but it would also be lovely on top of ramen.

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