Essentials

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Today my home cooking is much simpler than that of the past years. I can prepare delicious dishes, say, with seasonally changing, locally available vegetables, with only four basic ingredients. They are dashi, shoyu, sea salt and butter.

snack peas fav a in skilletDashi: I make quality dashi from scratch with Rishiri Kombu and katsuobushi. When I am pressed with time I take a short cut and use Kayanoya dashi powder, which produces quality dashi in 3 minutes’ emersion in simmering water.

Shoyu: After moving from Japan to...

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Hokkaido with Hiroko, May 2016

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Hokkaido with Hiroko 2016

I would like to report you the result of my brand-new tour, Hokkaido with Hiroko, 2016, conducted in this May.

We had so much fun, so many varied experiences and we learned a lot. Below are some brief summaries of the day-by-day episodes of Hokkaido with Hiroko 2016 . If you are interested in knowing more about joining this tour next year – Hokkaido with Hiroko 2017, please write me and let me know...

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Hitsu-Mabushi

Category: Hiroko's Blog

imageIt was my first experience to eat unagi (grilled eel) not in unaju style but in an out-of-the-box concept. The dish is called ‘hitsu-mabushi’ and is from Nagoya Prefecture. ¬†Hitsu means ‘wooden rice bowl’ and mabushi means ‘to scatter’.

Fukinuki at Kagurazaka, Tokyo, is famous for this dish. They also use domestically grown eel. Upon hearing my order I was told to wait for a while – eel is grilled after the order is made; rice is rinsed and cooked upon receiving the order...

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Hokkaido with Hiroko

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Shiretoko GokoTsuruga Dinnerhorse riding

This year my tour group meets in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The tour runs from May 22 through June 3rd. I will post the stories and photos as we travel through the beutiful country. Tour is all about experiencing culture, food, history, geology and nature of Hokkaido. Activities which we will enjoy include horseback riding, canoeing, caldera valley walking, Geo Park trekking, soba noodle making, local small fish market visit, Ainu culture center and more. Please follow us!

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Dashi is POWERFUL

Category: Hiroko's Blog

dashi 1dashi 2

Dashi does magic. I enjoy cooking tender spring greens such as ramps, broccoli rabe and mustard greens from the farmers market with dashi, shoyu and butter. They are the golden team. I parboil the firmer stem of these greens in salt added boiling water first. In order to do this I hold the greens upright so that the top leaf part is not submerged into the water. When the stem is partially tender, remove the greens from the pot and transfer them to the olive-oiled skillet...

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‘Shun’, Herring, Spring

Category: Hiroko's BlogRecipes

herring wholeherring end of cooking

Japanese cuisine emphasizes the use of seasonal ingredients. We call ingredients in season “Shun” . In Japan seasonal ingredients are not limited to just vegetables, which may be the case here in America. We love to enjoy seasonal seafood harvested in different parts of Japanese water. I, however, admit that the consumer’s awareness of seasonal seafood has been changing. Today most of the fish we eat are aqua-cultured...

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Edible Garden Speaker Series at Ramapo College

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Hiroko podiumgroup1 group3 group4 group5asparaguschicken

A Big Thank You Note to Ramapo College https://www.ramapo.edu/, NJ, and its president Dr. Peter Phillip Mercer and Dr. Jackie Ehlert for holding the Japanese Dinner Event on May 4th.

I was honored to be there to prepare the dinner to 60 attendees and offer a talk – ‘What is Japanese Cuisine?’. My appearance was the 15th Havemeyer Edible Garden Speaker Series.

Havemeyer Eddible Garden is run and managed by Jacqueline Ehlert, a professor of dietitian and nutritionist.

All o...

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Unrolled Ro-ru Kyabetsu

Category: Hiroko's BlogRecipes

unrolled cabbage dishThe other day Dorothy Cann Hamilton, the founder and CEO of International Culinary Center, invited me to her popular radio show, Chef’s Story, on Heritage Radio. “What was your favorite mother’s dinner when you were grown up?” “Rolled cabbage” It took half a second to answer this question. “My mother also made a delicious rolled cabbage! What’s going on here!”, Dorothy replied. When the interview airs, I will post it.

Ro-ru kyabetsu, rolled cabbage, is a dish in which cabbage leaf is stuffed wit...

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How Many is Sufficent?

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Japanese MealFrom time to time while eating dinner (which I prepared) I count how many different ingredients are in my dinner dishes. It has become a custom to do this. My mother planted ‘counting’ seeds in me. Rice, fish, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, rutabaga, fennel bulb, onion, wakame, fried tofu, scallion…. I write down the number; then, I go back to my breakfast and lunch in order to get the total number of ingredients, which I have consumed, in that particular day...

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Comfort Me: Chikuzen-Ni, Friendly and Delicious

Category: Hiroko's BlogRecipes

ChikzenSo many uncertain things are circulating around us at the age when everything became trashy, reality show quality. Food…….quality food always comfort us and push our spirit high. This is only me speaking.

Recently ramen has become a culinary star in America, but not soba or udon noodle soup bowls. All of these dishes are comfort food in Japan. So, why only ramen? Ramen is packed with punching, rich meaty flavor, which Americans love to taste in a hot noodle soup bowl...

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