Asian and others/中華・エスニック

2013年8月21日 (水)


As I wrote the other day, the solutions when ‘foreign’ foods are hard to get are either to buy at home and bring back with you or to make/grow on your own. I’ve just had another solution - friends! 

That’s how I got ‘kimchi’. A Korean friend, who knows the best kimchi after having tried many kinds available in this country, shared it with me. It was very tasty. As I haven’t had it at least for a year, it sent me a nice shockwave throughout my brain. Thank you, D!

先日、手に入らない食材を手に入れるには、自分で調達するか、自分で作る/育てるかだと書きました。友だちという方法もありました。 その方法で頂いたのがこのキムチです。色んなキムチを試し、自分以上にキムチを食べる人はいないという彼女一押しのものです。本当に美味しく、キムチを口にしたのがほぼ一年ぶりだったので、脳に衝撃が走りました。ありがとう、Dさん。


2013年1月 6日 (日)

鶏肉とコリアンダーのトマト煮 カレー風味、と コリアンダーチャツネ/ Chicken and coriander braised in curry-flavored tomato sauce and coriander chutney

There has been a TV commercial that is on air only during New Year holidays in Japan since I was a child.  The commercial about curry blocks and it says “What about curry, if you get tired of osechi (New Year dishes)?”  I had only ozoni (soup with rice cake) and no osechi first time in my life for this New Year.  Still, curry is so tempting.

This chicken curry is easy to make.  Cooking spices in oil well before mixing with other ingredients and seasoning chicken well with spices like garam masara are the keys.  Coriander chutney is the dish that I learned from my friend’s Indian mother-in-law, who was visiting Tokyo.  You just mix coriander, tomato, garlic, ginger, and (mustard) oil. 




2012年12月11日 (火)

Kimchi nabe/キムチ鍋

Nabe (hot pot) is popular in winter in Japan.  It’s easy to prepare, nice to share with family and friends, and nutritious with lots of different vegetables and fish/meat.

Kimchi is Korean pickles that vegetables (Chinese leaf, mouli, cucumber etc) are pickled with salt and red chili pepper.  Kimchi nabe is a hot pot with kimchi, Chinese leaf, mouli, enoki mushrooms, leeks, bean sprout, tofu etc.  Kimchi is a must ingredient and others are anything you like or have in the fridge.  The tips to make the nabe delicious are to marinate pork with Gochujang (hot pepper paste) and to stir kimchi and marinated pork first of all.  It looks spicy but the spiciness is not sharp like Thai curry but rather mild.



2012年8月27日 (月)

Meatballs and repertories of cooking/肉団子と料理のレパートリー

I wrote an article “How to become a good cook” about a year and half ago.  There’re people who wish to have more repertories of cooking, and for that, I would say the same as I did in “How to become a good cook”: know about foods (then, you’ll know how they’re to be prepared and maximized), and master the basics (then, you’ll need only creativity to develop).

Giving an example of meatballs, a Swedish friend and I had a funny discussion, argueing about the origin of meatballs.  He said “They’re from Sweden”, while I said “There’re meatball dishes in China and we have tsukune in Japan.  And what about hambuergers?”  (His logic was meatballs are often served with cranberry sauce in Sweden, which is very unique to the country.  That’s true.)

The meatballs in the photo are in a Chinese style, as they’re seasoned with black bean sauce, chili bean sauces and Shaoxing rice wine.  They'd be Japanese meatballs, if the seasonings are changed to, for example, red bean paste, shichimi and sake.  They'd be in a western style with cardamom, nutmeg, allspice etc -  the meat is the same.  These meatballs are minced pork, and prawns are added to increase umami (flavor) and to create a different texture.  As with tuskune, Japanese meatballs tend to be with minced chicken, ginger and green onion, and Western style is more minced beef (or mixed with pork) and onion.





2012年4月24日 (火)

Project Roots/プロジェクトルーツ

Finally, the time to leave Tokyo has come. When I started this blog, the first artilce was “To begin with”, where I wrote a bit about why I’m starting this blog. The article on my last day in Tokyo, I write about how Project Roots was started and how it has been developed.

It was the year 2008. With an ambition to open a Japanese restaurant in Munich in my mind, I quit work to get enrolled full-time at a cookery school, worked at a Japanese restaurant at night, and visited Munich for market research during summer break. I aimed to introduce Japanese home-style cooking to foreign people who know only sushi, tempra and sukiyaki as Japanese foods. My mother’s cooking is my root in Japanese cuisine, and my dream was big enough to wish that my cooking becomes Muncheners’ roots to Japanese cuisine and food culture. Therefore, I knew already then that I’ll name my restaurant “Roots”. Though I was so resolute, I had to give up my business plan and came back to Tokyo and the business world in August, 2009.

My original plan was scrapped, but I didn’t want to give it up and thought that there should be other ways to introduce wonderful Japanese cooking to non-Japanese. While I was looking for a job, I was preparing for “another” business plan; teaching Japanese cooking to foreign residents in Tokyo. That’s how the concept of Project Roots was created, developed, and the project was launched in September, 2009. Most of my students were expats. Some have already left the country to go back their home, and some have been coming since the launch. Living in Japan, their experience of Japanese foods is rich, and they’re willing to try and learn unique (for us common, though) Japanese food materials, preparation, cooking methods, cooking utensils etc. “Basic Japanese Cooking” course was the most popular, and it was actually the course that I think the best. Most of my students, after completing “BJC”, took “Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter Table on Japanese Table”, which focused on seasonal materials. Contrary to my expectation, “Sushi Club” was not so popular. Just before my students were leaving for home, I often tailored special lessons upon their request. After about a year, Japanese students started to come for lessons. Some were for Japanese cooking, and some were for Italian/French/confectionery lessons. To add more to my cooking portfolio, I took Italian cooking lessons in the last two years. Also, some fun events with my students, such as, a tour to the Kappabashi cooking tools street and outdoor potluck party, were held. As it’s mother’s joy to see their husband/children’s smiling and hear them saying “Yummy”, it delighted as well as encouraged me when my students were eating what they’ve prepared, saying “Yummy!”

My life is to be based in the UK.  Part of me feels it’s pity that I have to leave this country, which is my roots, and to give up the project in Tokyo only after two years and half. But my hope is to continue the project in the UK. It could take some time though, because a plan that meets the market demand should be prepared and procurement of certain unique but essential Japanese food materials should be set up (or learning substitutes if any). As my original business plan to set up a Japanese restaurant “Roots” was transformed to the cooking lesson project “Project Roots”, still realizing its bottom-line, some different form to tak eover the concept of "Roots", that is, introducing Japanese cooking to the world, might be achieved. And, I’ll continue to write articles on this blog. As I wrote “Sign of life” on the next day after the 3.11 northeastern earthquake disaster, this is my sign of life.


とうとう、東京を離れる日が来ました。このブログを始めるきっかけは、「はじめに」で、ほんの少しだけ触れましたが、そもそもProject Rootsを始めるきっかけとこれまでのことを最後に書いておこうと思います。


レストラン経営ではなくても、外国人に日本の家庭の味を伝える手段はあるはずと、就職活動の傍ら準備をしていたのが、日本在住外国人向けの和食の料理教室です。そして、20099月から、Project Rootsが始まりました。生徒さんの多くは駐在員で、プロジェクト開始当時からずっと来て下さっている方もいれば、母国に帰られた方も多くいます。日本にいる方たちなので日本食の経験値も高く、日本独特の食材、下準備、作り方、調理器具など、高いアンテナをもってレッスンに臨んで下さいました。いちばん人気があったのが「基本の和食」コースで、手前味噌ですが、よく出来たプログラムになっているものでした。大抵の生徒さんは、「基本の和食」終了後は、四季の食材を使ったコースを取って下さいました。プロジェクト開始から一年ぐらいから、日本人の生徒さんも増え、レッスンは、和食だけではなく、イタリアン、フレンチ、製菓にも広がっていきました。私自身も、見識を深めるため、昨年、一昨年続けて、フィレンツェでトスカーナの家庭料理を習う機会も設けました。また、生徒さんをお誘いし、かっぱ橋道具街ツアーや隅田川の川辺でポットラックパーティーも企画しました。作ったごはんを、旦那さんや子どもたちが「美味しい」と言って食べてくれると、お母さんたちは嬉しいのと同じで、生徒さんが作った料理を試食するとき、「んー、おいしぃー」と言う姿は本当に嬉しく、やりがいを感じるものでした。

これからは、私の生活の拠点はイギリスになります。私のルーツであるこの国を離れること、Project Rootsを終えなくてはいけないのは残念ですが、イギリスでもProject Rootsは継続したいと思っています。マーケットの需要を知るのと、独特かつ入手困難な食材の調達、または、代替を自分が経験していく必要があるので、時間はかかるかもしれません。ただ、、当初の計画(レストラン)が料理教室になったように、ボトムラインである日本の家庭料理を伝える他のカタチが生まれるかもしれません。そして、このブログも継続していくつもりです。東日本大震災のとき、「無事です」の記事でも書いたように、これが私の生きている証です。


This is where I've lived and the lessons were held for Project Roots. Hoping to come back someday.

ここが私が住み、Project Rootsのレッスンを行った場所です。いつの日か、戻ってこられますように。

2012年3月10日 (土)

Bird’s nest beverage/ツバメの巣のドリンク

Coincindent with my recent artile on laksa, a friend of mine gave me a bottle of “Bird’s nest beverage” from Singapore. According to the information on the Internet, it works not only for women but also anyone of of age or gender.



2012年3月 5日 (月)


Laksa is a popular noodle in Singapore and Malaysia with spicy coconuts soup. Seafoods and/or chicken can be added, or surimi, vegetables such as sprout, and deep-fried tofu are also popular ingredeients. Arriving in Singapore at night, I requested Laksa for dinner, and a friend of mine living there told me that it’s rather for lunch as it’s heavy for dinner with coconuts.



2012年2月18日 (土)

Masala chai/マサラチャイ

I drink masala chai almost every day in winter. Bring water to a boil in a small pan, then add tea leaves and spices and simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes. Pour the same amount or 1.2 times of milk, and sugar or honey is also added. As I’d better be careful with sugar consumption, I don’t sweeten the masala chai, though sweet one tastes better.  As to the spices, whatever you like is fine. Basically my masala chai has caldamon, clove, and cinnamon, sometimes, ginger and pepper are added. You can buy a mixed spice power, which I bought in India this time last year.

マサラチャイは、特に寒い冬は毎日のように飲みます。小さいお鍋に水を沸騰させ、茶葉とスパイスを入れて、弱火で数分煮出します。そこに、水と同量か1.2倍ぐらいの牛乳を加えます。このときに、砂糖かはちみつも加えますが、私は砂糖の取り過ぎが気になるので、甘くせず、「我慢」します。(マサラチャイは、甘くしたほうが美味しいですが・・・) 使うスパイスは好みでいいですが、私はカルダモン、クローブ、シナモンは必ず、ときには生姜や胡椒も加えます。パウダー状のミックススパイスもあります。写真のものは、去年の今頃、インドで買ったものです。



2011年11月 6日 (日)

Fried chicken/鶏の唐揚げ

You don’t have to use fried chicken powder to make tasty fried chicken but you just need to follow three points  The three points are; marinate chicken so that it’s well seasoned, deep-fry twice (turn up the heat for the second), pat the chicken after the first fry.  It’s really that’s all.



2011年6月30日 (木)

Marinated fried eggplant, Chinese style/茄子の中華風煮浸し

My mother likes to try recipes that she learned from cooking programs.  I used to ask “Is this what was on TV today?” when something new was on dinner table.  She repeatedly cooked, if we find good, and some never, if our thumbs are down.  That’s how this dish has become my family’s summer staple.  It goes well with beer.