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2012年11月19日 (月)


Oni-menu literally means ‘demon bun/cake’.  I suppose why it’s called that way might be because this rockiness reminds of demons themselves as well as where demons live, though the image of demons in Japan and western countries may be different.  Main ingredient is sweet potatoes.  It’s a local and popular sweet in Nagoya, where I’m from, and this menu cannot be found in other parts of Japan.

Harshness is strong with Japanese sweet potatoes, and it contains pigment near the skin, which changes the color (yellow) to green.   Peel the skin thickly and soak in water after cutting, the yellow color that sweet potatoes have will be kept and the harshness will be removed.  It turns beautiful yellow by soaking in water with alum.




2012年11月18日 (日)

White vegetable stew/野菜のホワイトシチュー

The daytime is getting shorter and shorter and it’s getting colder and colder here, which gives up appetite for the dishes to warm up.  Recently we have more dishes with crème béchamel on our table.

Tips to make crème béchamel are: Put flour after butter is completely melted and stir well.  In pouring milk, place a pan off the hob and pour milk and stir all at once (not little by little).  Cook over the medium heat and constantly stir.  Tips to make the cream delicious are: Add bay leaf in warming up milk, add nutmeg, and use full-fat milk,




2012年11月17日 (土)

Stuffed turnip with shrimps/蕪の煮物

Turnip is one of my favorite winter vegetables.  I think it’s a genius vegetable.  First of all, you can cook turnips in many ways - simmering, frying, steaming, even without cooking (as fresh).  Secondly, turnips go well with most of foods - meat, fish, seafood, or vegetables.  It will turn out to be a delicate dish, if cooked with simple-taste foods, and it will be a rich one, if with robust-taste ones.  Furthermore, if you choose small turnips, not like ‘shogoin turnips’ (baby head size turnips originate in Kyoto), they can be used as serving cups.

It’s getting colder and colder in the U.K, and simmered and steamed dishes are nice to get oneself warm up.  Chopped shrimps and turnips are stuffed in turnips and simmered till they’re cooked tender.  Turnips are parboiled to avoid overcooking shrimps.




2012年11月15日 (木)

Scallops and prawns gratine/帆立と海老のグラタン

French cooking teacher at the cookery shool I went to has worked at a prestigious hotel in Nagoya, Japan.  His French was rather tradisional one with lots of butter and cream, while modern French is more health-contious.  When my father had clients from overseas, he often brought them to the hotel to dine.  I was small then, but I often went there with him from my basic instinct that “I can eat something nice there.”  Considering the time, it’s likely that I was eating the dishes that he cooked back then.

I learned this gratine from him, but I’ve arranged a bit so that less butter and cream is used.  Using scallop shells for the dish looked a bit outdated presentation for me, however, my husband liked it.




2012年11月12日 (月)

Danish food/デンマーク料理

It’s not to do with foods, but I’m in Copenhagen on business today and tomorrow.  As I flew here this afternoon to accompany my client tomorrow and will fly back to London in the evening, tonight is the only chance to try Danish foods.  I walked to a restaurant district that a taxi driver recommended.

I really don’t know much about Danish foods.  It’s easy to categorize ‘Scandinavian foods’ including Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish, and I don’t know if there’re differences among those countries’ cuisines.  Having googled last night and studied menus at each restaurant (there’re around 15 restaurant on the street), what I had was Danish openstyle hamburger (served on toasted white bread) with beetroot, onions, capers, pickles, horseradish and egg yolk.  The little jar on the left has egg yolk, and all the side dishes were sour.  Behind the onion on the right is all capers.  They looked as much as a whole jar would have.  I wondered why Scandinavian people eat pickles and sour foods so much, and of course I asked a waiter.  He said, “I don’t know.  I’m even scared to eat raw egg yolk.” As a food expert, I’d like to be knowledgeable and able to answer similar questions about Japanese cuisine.




2012年11月11日 (日)


Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) is one of the popular Japanese foods among foreigners.  As I’m from Nagoya, where people use miso for many dishes, I prefer misokatsu (pork cutlet with miso sauce).  (It seems the word ‘miso’ is getting popular.  ‘Miso’ and ‘miso soup’ can be found in supermarkets here.)  I tailored special lessons for an American expat who was coming to my lesson in Tokyo, before she was going home.  Her request was Japanese dishes to bring home, and one of them was katsu-don.

Pork loin is suitable for tonkatsu.  To make juicy and tender ton-katsu, cut fibers in meat, tap meat with tenderizer, and bring it back in to the original shape.  By cutting fibers, meat doesn’t get shrunken when fried, and it prevents bread crumb from falling.  Also, by adding water to egg, it increases stickiness.




2012年11月 9日 (金)

Chili con carneチリコンカルネ

Chili con carne is an easy dish, but I haven’t cooked if for a while.  When my husband and I visited his parents last week, I learned that it’s his favorite.  So, I thought “Why not, then.”  Chili con carne is a dish from Mexico and southern America.  Little things, like lowering the heat from medium to low in sauteering onion, using red wine not water, make cuts for bay leaves, make the dish tastier.  It goes well with nachos, pasta, bread, and rice (turmeric or saffron rice is nice.)




2012年11月 1日 (木)

Kakiage bowl/かき揚げ丼

Kakiage is a round shape of tempura, which stripped vegetables and shrimps are mixed in dough.  It can be eaten as it is, but I think making it for a bowl dish is the most popular.

Tipps for kakiage are: keep all the igredients cool in the fridge until deep-frying, do not mix the ingredients and dough too much, add whipped egg white (which makes it fluffy and clispy).  Whether it’s fried or not, you can check with your eyes and ear.  It’s done when the bubbles are becoming bigger and the sound gets smaller.




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