Now this recipe is actually different from the super pretty one I made above but its all the same. Most supermarkets here will stock kaisendon sashimi kits, they basically just include サーモン (salmon), まぐろ (tuna) and 鯛 (sea bream) that have been cut up into bite sized chunks. Unlike the super fancy kaisendon above this one only set me back about 400円 for the fish. I picked up a packet of Kaisendon no tare 海鮮丼のたれ (soy based seasoning for the kaisendon) while I was grabbing the fish, it can either be used to marinate the sashimi before it is placed upon the rice or pored over the top once it is assembled. Here is one of the little packets of the sauce. Tare たれ is used in a huge array of Japanese dishes from nabe to sashimi to yakiniku, and is essentially flavored or thickened soy sauce with added dashi, vinegar, etc. That said each variation is a little different depending on the dish it is to be used with. I really like sushi rice so I decided to make some to go underneath the fish. Its super easy to do, this is the 米酢 (rice vinegar) that I like to use, you simply add it to the freshly steamed rice with a little sugar and salt straight out of the rice cooker. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Sushi-Rice But i don’t need to get into that. And here is the finished product, garnish with some shredded nori 海苔 (dried seaweed) and a little wasabi, Enjoy!
Welcome to another instalment of the Mochi Diaries, Chapter 15 Gomatamago ごまたまご! Once again these guys really aren’t mochi but in fact intricately designed cakes, however they are omiyage お土産 nonetheless and so kawaii I couldn’t resist!!!
During my last top to Tokyo 東京 I picked a box of Gomatamago ごまたまご (Lit. Black Sesame Egg) cakes on my way home as the packaging intrigued me. Furthermore Gomatamago are a meibutsu 名物 (Specialty product) of the Tokyo region, so it’s not as if I would have the opportunity to purchase them again in the near future.
As far as omiyage go these are on the pricy side of things at 700円 for a box containing 8 pieces, that said they are each individually wrapped and sizeable.
The centre is a sweet paste consisting of kurogoma 黒胡麻 (Black sesame seeds) and anko 餡子 (red bean paste) which is supposed to constitute the ‘yolk’ of the egg…… Perhaps they are piitan 皮蛋 (Chinese century eggs) ( ^ω^ ).
This ‘yolk’ is then coated in a thin layer of kasutera カステラ (castella cake), a type Japanese cake originating in Nagasaki through trade with the Portuguese in 16th century that is immensely popular here. Finally the tamago is coated in a thin layer of white-chocolate to form a delicious crispy ‘shell’!
All in all I was quite impressed by this tasty treat, I imagine they to well hand in hand with a cup of afternoon tea.
The centre retained a perfect level of moistness and was not overly sweet.
If your ever in Tokyo give a box a try! 4/5
Welcome to Chapter 10 of the Mochi Diaries, Kaki Mochi 柿餅!
During a recent trip to Nara I picked up one of these boxes, having quite the affinity for anything Kaki 柿 (Japanese Persimmon) related I was quite excited to have a nom these guys.
Now firstly upon opening them I was completely taken aback at the intricate detail that went into producing every single mochi in the box!
Made to resemble the fruit of which they are flavored the mochi consist of four separate ingredients.
Essentially they are mostly kaki flavored mochi filled with a core of kaki an 柿あん (persimmon flavored red bean paste).
The leaves are made of dango 団子 held in place by a thin piece of konbu 昆布 (dried sea kelp), honestly the konbu is some what annoying since you must remove it before eating each mochi being inedible.
So you ask, ‘but Daniel what is the difference between mochi and dango?’
Well they are pretty much the same thing, the only difference being in the technique used to make them.
When making mochi, you begin by grinding glutinous rice to a paste which is then steamed and l finally pounded into a sticky dough.
Dango on the other hand is made from rice flour that has been mixed with hot water to make a dough, before being boiled in salted water.
Anyhow beyond the novelty of the mochi, the taste was just ok, that said it was more than made up for by the awesomeness of the presentation of the sweets!
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Now there is a little bakery near one of my schools whos amazing looking pastries I always end up drooling at as I pass by each morning.
This morning I finally admitted defeat and headed in to purchase a couple if the more interesting looking Danish pastries on offer.
The first goes by the name of Kinako Denisshu きな粉デニッシュ (Soy Bean Flour Danish). This is a very ‘Japanese’ inspired baked good, including a fusion of Danish and Japanese ingredients, essentially the ingredients are those one might expect to find in mochi! Topped with kinako きな粉 (roasted soy bean flour) granting it its name, the centre is filled with anko あんこ (sweet red bean paste) and cream with 2 small mochi on top. All in all certainly on the delicious side of things ^_^
The other was a Purin Denisshu プリンデニッシュ (Pudding Danish), Purrin プリン a Japanese word referring being a katakana bastardization of pudding are immensely popular dairy treats in Japan, smooth and creamy they are actually more akin to what most would consider custard. Anyhow basically they have wrapped one of these delicious creamy puddings in a Danish pastry, resulting in a subtly sweet, smooth buttery texture. Another WIN in my books!
やった Kyoto-sensei 教頭先生 (Vice Principal) at one of my shougakkou 小学校 (Elementary School) just tapped me on the shoulder shoved a large paper bag into my hands and grumbled ‘Daniel sensei presento’. Peering inside I discovered half a dozen roasted satsumaimo さつま芋 (sweet potatoes). Omnomnom, so much for my diet (^｡^)
Many who know me will be aware of my grand love of teishoku 定食 (Japanese Set Meal) which are always ever so special when you make them yourself.
Last night I came across some sashimi at a local produce store that I though looked fair delicious, so I though I would try my hand at slicing up sashimi.
The pack I purchased included Saba 鯖 (mackerel), ika いか (squid), maguro 鮪 (tuna) and hamachi 魬 (yellowtail).
Although I am a decade off becoming a master sushi chef I’m down with the fundamentals of slicing raw fish, basically the most important part is you cut fish across the grain not along it otherwise its going to end up tough and chewy instead of melt in your mouthy.
There are different techniques used for cutting different varieties of fish, for sashimi mostly the hira zukiri 平ずきり (thick sliced sashimi) technique is used which is good if the fish is to become sashimi.
However with squid it is first scored then cut using the ito zukiri 糸ずきり(thread sliced sashimi) technique.
Alongside this I simply prepared some steamed garlic shoots, miso soup and various tsukemono 漬物 (Japanese pickles). Normally this would also be accompanied by a bowl of rice but I’m on a diet so I skipped it to save the empty carbs ☆〜（ゝ。∂）
I noticed these limited edition bauble shaped Christmas Coke bottles popping up in stores recently, coming in both regular and zero flavours. Only containing 350ml and priced at 118円 a bottle their a tad on the expensive side for beverages in Japan, considering you can usually get a 500ml bottle for around 98円.
Anyhow their meccha cute so I thought I’d invest in a bottle or 2 just for kicks, way to give into marketing huh （−＿−；）