Bits and pieces/調理のあれこれ

2013年1月23日 (水)

Cinema and wine/映画館でワイン

I watched Les Mis at a cinema in a former capital city of England.  It seems that the cinema used to be a church and it has a typical British architecture with bricks.  So, it’s almost hard to know that it’s a cinema without a sign of ‘screens’.  As this is a food blog, it’s not about the architecture, not about La Mis, but about the foods and drinks there.

Popcorns and soft drinks are common in movie theaters, but besides hot drinks, they sell wine, sprits, prosecco and sparkling wine.  They also sell bites like brownies.  How nice to watch a film over a glass of wine!  According to the people who I asked, that’s not a standard here, though.




2012年5月20日 (日)

Reduction food/低カロリー食

In-flight meals could be one of the joys around traveling, but I haven’t found it fun as I fly long distance a couple of times a year. Business-class meals on Air France and bibimbap on Korean Air were the only meals I remember as fun. For these years I tend to book my flights directly with airline company on line and special meal has been hooked on my mind. (You can make request in booking online.) I took the opportunity this time and chose resuction food. Compared with my neigbhor’s regular meal, only vegetables for salad (hers had fish), fish not meat for main, furits not mousse for dessert, 60%-fat margarine not butter (80% or above fat for butter) for bread were the differences.

Depending on the airline companies, but usually choices are diabetic diet, gluten free food, reduction food, low cholesterol food, low sodium food, lactose free food, vegetarian meals, fruit meal, lightwhole food, meal without fish, and meals for certain religions (Kosher, Muslim, Hindu). If you feel uncomfortably full with in-flight meals, choosing special meals could be a solution.




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。

2011年7月 6日 (水)

Fatty acid 3 Omega-6 and omega-3/脂肪酸の話3 n-6系とn-3系

In the article of Fatty acid 1 Saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid, its mentioned that polyunsaturated fatty acid is divided into omega-6 and omega-3 by where the double bond is in the carbon chain.  Polyunsaturated fatty acid is vital to human body, therefore, it’s called essential fatty acid (EFA).  As it cannot be produced inside the body, we must take it from foods.

Most of the omega-6 is linolic acid, which is contained vegetable oil, and its metabolized to γ-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid.  Omega-3 is linonenic acid (contained in perilla oil and chestnuts, synthesizes IPA and DHA inside the body), icosapentaenoic acid/IPA (contained in mackerel and sardine) and docosahexaenoic acid/DHA (contained bonito and tuna).  The ideal balance of intake of omega-6 and omega-3 is 4:1.



2011年7月 4日 (月)

Fatty acid 2 Monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid/脂肪酸の話2 一価脂肪酸と多価脂肪酸

In the article of Fatty acid 1 Saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid, it’s mentioned that unsaturated fatty acid is divided into monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid by the number of double bond.

Olein acid, contained olive oil, canola oil and nuts, is representative monounsaturated fatty acid.  It’s the least easy to be oxidized among unsaturated fatty acids. 

Representative unsaturated fatty acid is linolic acid, which is contained in soybean oil and sunflower oil.  Ideal intake balance of saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid is 3:4:3.  Fat of bluefin tuna has that balance.




2011年7月 2日 (土)

Fatty acid 1 Saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid/脂肪酸の話1 飽和脂肪酸と不飽和脂肪酸

Fatty acid is lipid component, and if described chemically, its a carbon chain that contains carboxyl (COOH).  The property differs, depending on the number of carbons, with/without double bond, and the number of double bonds.  (Carbon has four hands that connect with other carbon and hydrogen.  Some of the carbon chains are partially doubly connected using two hands.  Thats called double bond.)

Firstly, fatty acid is divided into two by with or without double bond; unsaturated fatty acid for with double bond and saturated fatty acid for without.  Unsaturated fatty acid is further divided into two by the number of double bonds; the one with one double bond is monounsaturated fatty acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acid if more than two.  Polyunsaturated fatty acid is even furthermore divided into two by where the double bond is; omega-6 and omega-3.

Many of the animal fat are saturated fatty acid, and its solid at room temperature and difficult to be oxidized.  On the other hand, many of the vegetable fat is unsaturated fatty acid, and its liquid at room temperature and easy to be oxidized.





2011年6月16日 (木)

Soluble and insoluble dietary fibers/水溶性・不溶性食物繊維

There’re two types in dietary fibers; soluble and insoluble.  Cellulose (contained in plants) and chitin (contained prawn and crab shells) are insoluble dietary fibers.  They’re not soluble to water but absorb fluid in body and become big.  As a result, the defecation is improved, the risk of colon cancer is reduced, the function of intestines is regulated, and the noxious substances are eliminated.

Pectin (contained in fruits), Algin acid (contained seaweeds), and glucomannan (contained in konnyaku) are soluble dietary fibers.  They’re soluble to water and turn into a gel.  It works for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, as it delays absorption of carbonhydrate.  It helps keep blood pressure down, as it inhibits sodium absorption.  Intestinal bacteria are improved, as it increases good ones.  That is, it’s effective for the prevention of adult diseases.



2011年4月30日 (土)

Aminocarbonyl reaction/アミノカルボニル反応

Chicken teriyaki has savory aroma and shiny brown color.  When sugar contained in sugar and mirin/Japanese sweet wine and amino acid contained in soy sauce are heated, aminocarbonyl reaction is caused.  It makes chicken brown and also creates melaoidin, fragrance substance.


2011年4月18日 (月)

Reuse of cooking oil/使った油の再利用

You’ll need a lot of oil for deep-fried dishes, and it’s “mottainai” if used only once and discarded.  Water remaining in oil causes the damage.  Try this before it’s stored:  Heat used cooking oil until popping sound is unheard.  You’ll see white smoke rises.  Remove offscum floating on the surface and remaining on the bottom.


2011年4月12日 (火)

Pottery festival/多治見陶器まつり

Tajimi has been known as the town for Mino-yaki (ceramic ware), though it could be more famous as the “hottest” town in Japan for these years. Potteries made in the region is called Mino-yaki, and Shino, Oribe, Kiseto and Setoguro belong to it.  The town holds a big pottery festival on the second weekend of April, and it was the 59th this year.

There’re two venues for the event; one is at the Oribe Street near the municipal government and the other is at Ichinokura, where locates at the border of Seto-shi, a town of potteries known as Seto-yaki.  There’re more than 30 potteries in Ichinokura, Koubei-gama would be the most well-known among them.  You can visit one by one and directly buy ceramic wares from them.  They serve you Japanese tea and sweets, and you can take a rest inside.



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Vendors who manufacture and/or sell ceramic wares are along Oribe Street.  You can buy nice tableware for reasonable prices (some are real bargain) at the two-day event. 


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Oribe is just beautiful.  やはり、織部は美しいです。

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