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Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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Japanese Food Questions
« on: 07. November 2016, 13:03:09 »
Well I am not Japanese :) but since I cook a lot I got some Japanese food questions on TS and hence I thought maybe I write up some of the most common ones and maybe BaYan-san can elaborate in more detail as my knowledge is from about 6 months working in a very closed environment at Sony.

So here are the FAQ :)

#1 Natto
People tend to ask about Natto but very few know what it actually is, there seems to be a myth around Natto in Europe :)

Natto is fermented Soybeans. Thats it.
This is no more or less disgusting than eating cheese, however for our European perception it looks different and of course smells strong. It actually smells like some very strong cheeses with a nutty and bitter component to it.
Natto is very very healthy and yes it looks very slimy. It contains a lot of Vitamin K and essential amino acids.

Eating pure Natto was not my thing, however it was served at least 2-3 times a week for breakfast with rice, soy sauce and mustard and that way it was actually quite good. I especially like one that came in a round container with the soy and mustard in the container, I do not know the brand as I suck at Japanese reading, but it is a very common flavour as I saw it in all stores.
There are not many Europeans that liked Natto at my place, however my landlady was very fond of me because I always ate mine and also the next one...

#2 Raw Eggs

Do Japanese eat raw eggs?
Yes they do. Common also for breakfast was rice with a raw egg and a little soy sauce. Again while slimy I like it a lot. It is a very simple dish with flavour, protein from the egg and nice rice with a little soy sauce flavour.
I actually make this dish at home sometimes for breakfast :) and I had ZERO issues. Of course I only use eggs from a local farm where the chickens are held outside and can run around.

# other raw stuff

Since Sushi is quite popular most people have no issue with eating raw fish. However in Japan you might encounter chicken, pork or horse Sashimi. I did not particularly like that and many Japanese people I know do not like it either and it is not that common, but yes it exists and can be found.
(I more like the hot pot dishes where you get the raw meat and boil it by yourself with tasty toppings... much like our Fondue.)

# black eggs
Actually most people confuse the Japanese black eggs with the fermented eggs from China.
The Japanese black eggs I got are actually just normal eggs that are cooked in sulfur water from hotsprings. Due to the sulfur the shell becomes black and the inside a little more yellow. I found they tasted not much different than other hard boiled eggs, but look cool :) They are most common in places where they have hotsping Onsen (Japanese bathing houses). However I could not go to Onsen often sadly, as I had to book private Onsen (which is more pricy than public), but people with Tattoos are not allowed in Japanese public Onsen.

# fishy
There are funny fish dishes in Japan right?
I do not know if funny, but I enjoyed them all. I love fish and fish and seafood is really cheap in Japan. So I ate my fair share of it all. I loved the many different types of tuna, but also more uncommon things for Europeans like "spicy fish egg", tiny transparent fishes I do not know the name off but you eat as a whole and different types of squid and crabs.
Yes there are loads of fish that seem strange to us, but they all tasted wonderful :)

# weird snacks
Japanese eat weird snacks right?
That is the only myth I can agree on. There are flavours of chips and beans that are just strange and to Europeans taste like fish that has gone bad (for months). But I also know some of my Japanese friends that hate those. So I guess it is a matter of taste, as I hate some Europeans flavours of chips also.

If you have further questions feel free to ask. (and I have some picture of natto and egg rice also...)
Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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Offline Yoshi "FlynnTheAvatar" Abe

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Re: Japanese Food Questions
« Reply #1 on: 07. November 2016, 13:30:26 »
You can also combine #1 and #2.
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Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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Re: Japanese Food Questions
« Reply #2 on: 07. November 2016, 13:44:36 »
Indeed there are many variations, however I did not particulary like them. I also liked the more mustard flavoured Natto better than the more sweeter flavours with like Jasmin and basil.
Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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Offline Randur

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    Re: Japanese Food Questions
    « Reply #3 on: 07. November 2016, 13:46:40 »
    Thank you very much for the write-up!

    I do have a question regarding curry.
    I was in Japan once in 2010 and there were so many curry-places that I just had to try one (as I always saw it on anime shows).
    Now, my question: How can I get my hands on that super curry? It's not like Indian curry or something its... way better and not hot. I want to cook it myself but I have no idea on any sorts of ingredients that goes into a "japanese curry". Could you help me out?
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    Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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    Re: Japanese Food Questions
    « Reply #4 on: 07. November 2016, 13:58:13 »
    Well while curry is not inherently Japanese, they do like it and there have been some brands developed.

    So maybe you can find Curry from S&B (a japanese brand) in an Asian store near you.

    For my typical Japanese curry dishes I use the following ingredients (with chicken, beef or whatever):
    1 teaspoon   Salt
    1/4 teaspoon   Black pepper
    1 tablespoon   Oil
    14 grams   Garlic grated (~2 large cloves)
    14 grams   Ginger grated (~1/2-inch piece)
    500 grams   Onion sliced thin (2 large onions)
    2 1/2 tablespoons   Curry powder Japanese brand such as S&B
    3 cups   Chicken stock
    300 grams   Carrots cut into chunks (~ 2 carrots)
    1   Small apple peeled cored and grated
    2 tablespoons   Chunou sauce
    1 tablespoon   Tomato paste
    1 teaspoon   Cocoa powder
    1   Bay leaf
    1/2 cup   Green peas

    You can add potatoes, sweat potatoes and any form of meat of fish to that curry base. If it is to thin use cornstock to thicken the whole thing.
    Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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    Offline BayYan

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      Re: Japanese Food Questions
      « Reply #5 on: 07. November 2016, 16:44:50 »
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      Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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      Re: Japanese Food Questions
      « Reply #6 on: 07. November 2016, 20:00:05 »
      # weird snacks

      What does it refer to?

      Flavours that Europeans would not expect in candy, like roasted seaweed, Matcha flavour Kitkat, Chocolate Wasabi beans, Sriracha Peas, Matcha Oreos, Chocolate Potato Chips, Camambert Fish Cookies, are just a few that come to mind.
      They are not all bad, just flavours a European does not expect to see in small snacks. Some are actually quite good if you develop a taste for it.
      For example when I was young I did not like Olives, but over time I developed a taste for it. So I guess some of those snacks you are just not prepared for as a European but are actually quite nice after a few tries. The only ones I did not really get a hang of were the more fish flavoured ones, although I like fish, some of them had for my nose an offputting texture.
      But again a lot of it is personal taste and you have to try things with an open mind.
      And thankfully there are enough vending machines in Japan to get something else if you made a choice that is not to your taste :)
      Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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      Offline BayYan

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        Re: Japanese Food Questions
        « Reply #7 on: 07. November 2016, 20:17:43 »
        Naruhodo & I see.  :-D

        It is such a thing, isn't it? lol

        Natto potato chips

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        Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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        Re: Japanese Food Questions
        « Reply #8 on: 07. November 2016, 20:54:32 »
        Hai :)
        Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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        Offline Teknotic

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        Re: Japanese Food Questions
        « Reply #9 on: 08. November 2016, 01:07:41 »
        Shabu-Shabu

        Offline Randur

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          Re: Japanese Food Questions
          « Reply #10 on: 08. November 2016, 08:11:12 »
          Thanks for the recipe! I'll give it a shot :D
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          Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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          Re: Japanese Food Questions
          « Reply #11 on: 08. November 2016, 08:52:29 »
          You are welcome Randur!

          Ah Teknotic that looks fantastic.
          Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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          Offline BayYan

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            Re: Japanese Food Questions
            « Reply #12 on: 08. November 2016, 10:26:41 »
            Hoshi-san, Please let me do the supplementary explanation of your commentary.


            >>#2 Raw Eggs

            Japanese surely eat raw eggs well.
            For example, there is such a dish.
            卵黄の醤油漬け(Ranou no Syo-yu-Zuke): Egg yolk marinated in soy sauce


            This can be made very easily and is one of my favorite dishes. :-D



            >># fishy
            >>There are funny fish dishes in Japan right?

            Speaking of funny fish dishes in Japan, I recommend 鍋料理(Nabe-ryouri, it means a pot dish.)

            When Nabe-ryouri is eaten on a cold winter day, a body becomes warm.


            If you like sake, how about あん肝(Ankimo)?

            Ankimo is steamd Monkfish liver and called the foie gras of the sea.
            It in winter is very delicious.
            I cook it every winter.
            So Drinking Sake while eating it a little, Im Happy. lol :lol:



            >># fishy
            >>spicy fish egg
            Probably, It's a 明太子(Mentaiko).

            Mentaiko is cod ovum slowly marinated in chili pepper sauce or salted.
            It's used for various dishes.
            For example.
            明太子茶漬け(Mentaiko-Chazuke), After having drunk Sake, it is eaten well.

            明太子スパゲティ(Mentaiko-Spaghetti), It is one of the popular pasta dishes in Japan.


            Of course, you can eat it straight.
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            Offline Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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            Re: Japanese Food Questions
            « Reply #13 on: 08. November 2016, 11:02:46 »
            BaYan san, arigato gozaimasu.

            Those dishes look awesome, thank you very much for posting them.
            Yes I really love the first one (Ranou no Syo-yu-Zuke) very much too. I often prepare it in the morning myself, thankfully now that I have a import market close I even get real naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce, which makes it so much better than the fabricated stuff you get in most places here.

            Those pot dishes look awesome, especially with the clams :)

            I have sadly never tried Ankimo, I have to make sure to taste it next time.

            Indeed I meant Mentaiko, I forgot so many Japanese words it is embarassing :( . I really loved it and no way of getting it here.

            You made me want to visit Japan again so much :) I hope I can do it in the future, I have to save some money, but 2018 seems like a valid goal.
            Hoshi "Terry" Toranaga

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            Offline BayYan

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              Re: Japanese Food Questions
              « Reply #14 on: 08. November 2016, 11:38:50 »
              Hoshi-san, If you cook "Ranou no Syo-yu-Zuke", plz buy みりん(Mirin) with soy sauce.

              Egg yolk only ..... 2

              soy sauce(Koikuti-type) ..... 80ml
              Mirin ..... 20ml

              Mix soy sauce and Mirin (About ratio, soy sauce 4:Mirin1 )
              So, Egg yolk is marinated in it in the refrigerator 1day at least. (I like thing done so 3days)
              Sometimes, turning over yolk.




              « Last Edit: 08. November 2016, 16:13:35 by BayYan »
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