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Japanese Food & Dishes

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Nabe | Bagels | Japanese Knives | Restaurants in Japan | Food Book Reviews | Food Replicas | Ponshu | Sakenojin | Japanese Cooking Videos

Nabe shabu shabu, sukiyaki, chanko nabe


In Japanese, nabe simply means pot. nabe ryori (pot cooking) has become a generic term for meals cooked in a pot - vegetables, meat and noodles or rice cooked at the table in a communal pot.
The pot is filled with a broth or flavouring and then the ingredients are gradually added to cook. Everyone helps themselves from the pot in the middle of them.
Depending on the dish, iron or clay cooking pots may be used, but when one eats nabe at home, it tends to be from a clay pot.
These dishes are definitely a healthy, winter warmer and are known to originate from rural areas sometime around the 9th century.

by Caroline Klein

Bagels Bridging Cultures with Bagels


Bagels are starting to sprout up by the dozen in bread shops, coffee shops and train stations in Japan, even in the small city in the south where I live.
The taste is mostly light and soft; and although there are great-tasting breads, none that I tried had yet come close enough to compare with a New York Bagel.
Nor could I even imagine a cross-cultural comparison between these and the dense, chewy New York varieties that I practically grew up.
My meeting with a bagel from Hokkaido was the first time I had to even re-consider my stance.
The encounter took place on the eighth floor of our 'hometown' department store, Tokiwa. Every year they hold a week-long Hokkaido Festival where vendors of well-known products from the northern most island of Japan --- known for ramen and Sapporo beer --- come to our southern most island of Japan to sell their gastronomic wares.

by Joanne G. Yoshida

Japanese Knives The Knives of Sakai

Japanese Knives.

Those who cook for a living, often take pride in having the best kitchen knives. Until recently knives from Germany were held in that regard, but now chefs around the world are recognizing Japan as another contributor of top standard cutlery.
What makes Japanese knives outstanding are the qualities that result from a centuries old practice of craftsmanship. Traditionally made Japanese kitchen knives inherit techniques employed in making katana, the swords of the samurai, that were not only weapons upon which warriors' lives depended; they were symbols of honor and devotion to discipline. Japanese kitchen tools embody the identity and pride of the nation, and preserve a part of her cultural history, to get better acquainted with them, the place to go is the city of Sakai, just south of Osaka.

Alan Wiren

Umibudou Sea Grapes From Okinawa

Umibudo - sea grapes.

Umibudou literally translates as "Sea Grapes." It's a kind of seaweed but instead of leaves it has little bubbles growing on its stems. Thus the serving looks like small, green grapes. The bubbles break on your tongue and release a slightly salty taste of pure Southern Sea freshness. This breaking of little bubbles is called puchi-puchi in Japanese, an expression recreating the sound of the pop of a small air bubble. Not many foods provide that puchi-puchi sensation on the tongue - making the umibudou an especially exciting experience for many Japanese gourmets.

Johannes Schonherr

Restaurants in Japan Where To Eat In Japan.

Restaurants in Japan.

Choose from our selection of quality restaurants, cafes and bars on where to eat out in Japan's major towns and cities:
We have listings for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Kobe, Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata.
Our growing entertainment and dining recommendations include Japanese, Italian, Indian, Nepali, Turkish, Thai, Moroccan, Irish and Asian cuisine as well as tradcitional izakaya, yakitoriya, okonomiyakiya, plus sports bars, British, Irish and Aussie-style pubs, clubs and coffee houses.

To list your business, whether it is a restaurant, cafe or bar, on at reasonable rates or for free:
Contact JV

Books On Japanese Food Japanese Food Books Reviews.

Books on Japanese food.

Read our reviews of the latest best-selling books on Japanese food and cuisine and eating out in Japan.

Interest in the low-fat, healthy Japanese diet has increased in recent years and our comprehensive review of food books includes titles on traditional Japanese recipes, sushi, fusion food, new trends in Japanese cuisine, Japanese dishes for wine lovers, vegetarian dishes, dining-out, restaurant guides, cooking utensils, Japane knives, sake, vegan food and green tea.

Authors include Hiroko Shimbo, Harumi Kurihara, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Yuko Fujita, Machiko Chiba, Mari Fujii, Eric Gower, Robb Satterwhite and Ming Tsai.

Food Replicas Authentic Food Samples From Japan.

Food Replicas from Japan.

Over 80% of Japanese restaurants now display food replicas in their shop windows to help customers decide what to order and give information on prices. The first food replicas in Japan date back over 80 years.
Food samples gained added popularity with restaurant owners after 1945, when the arrival of more westerners post-war, created the need for a simplified ordering system. Now this art in the window is becoming popular overseas, too.

Ponshu Sampling Sake at Echigo-Yuzawa Station.

Ponshu-kan, Niigata.

The Japanese fondness for drinking is unashamedly displayed at JR Echigo-Yuzawa Station, Niigata Prefecture, where a section of the station has been set aside for enjoying sake-themed art, tasting sake from all parts of Niigata, eating foods made with sake, and, of course, buying sake. Another amusement for hedonistic travelers is soaking in a bath filled with sake and hot spring water.

Visitors to this center of sake madness, called the Ponshu-kan, are warmly greeted at the entrance by the statue of a ruddy-faced grinning salaryman who is enthusiastically waving a large sake bottle. He seems so friendly that many visitors stop to have their photographs taken with him. Hanging around his neck and laid upon his grey suit is a sign welcoming people inside. The sign is written in the casual way that a drunken man using the local Niigata dialect might speak.

Sakenojin Sake Fair in Niigata.

Sakenojin, Niigata.

Are you a sake connoisseur desiring to taste some of the most delicious sake in Japan, a sake neophyte wanting to learn more about Japan's best drink, or a tightwad trying to drink as much sake as possible for just 2,000 yen (about US $25.00)?
If the answer is "yes" to any of the above, the Niigata Sakenojin is an occasion not to be missed.
It is the Octoberfest of Japan: in fact, the Niigata Sake Brewers Association's website proclaims that the Octoberfest of Germany was the inspiration for the first Sakenojin, held in 2004. However, Sakenojin always happens March. March is the month when the clear-liquid gold of Niigata cascades from bottles into sake cups and then into open mouths, like glittering water cascading off waterfalls into pools.
If Bacchus were a Japanese god, he would absolutely be in attendance with a sake cup in his hand.

Sayama Tea Join the tea harvest in Tokorozawa.

Sayama tea.

Sayama Tea is one of the northern-most teas grown in Japan. The plantation area reaches from Higashi Murayama in Northwest Tokyo to Iruma in Saitama, with Tokorozawa being more or less in the center of it. The neighboring town of Sayama lent the tea its name.
But if you really like Japanese tea, go there in April and ask the question: "Need a harvest helper?" What better way could there be to get a real hands-on education on tea than by experiencing the harvest first-hand?
The harvest season is in late April and you will most likely get the answer, "Sure, always." You get the approximate harvest time and the phone number of the farm.
Call in and get the final details for the harvest once the dates have eventually been set. They depend on the weather - you can't harvest tea in the rain.

Tsuji Culinary School

Buy the 'Essential Japanese Cooking' video series.

Learn how to create authentic Japanese dishes in your own kitchen
* Discover classic Japanese recipes
* Observe special cooking techniques
* Watch our professors demonstrate the use of Japanese kitchen utensils
* Find out how to garnish and present Japanese dishes to your guests.

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Books on Japanese Food

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