Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu, Happy New Year!

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

This is what you enjoy in Japan when you wake up on January 1st and for the following two days. This is Osechi ryori, the New Year’s feast that has been diligently prepared during the final week of December. The photos shown here are dishes that were prepared by my sister, Keiko Arakawa in Tokyo, Japan. Each food item in its own compartment in a beautiful lacquerware box has its own reason to appear in the New Year’s meal. Take a look at some of these...

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Shrimp for our toshikoshi soba and final dish

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

I found fairly large size shrimp ( 12 to 15 pieces per pound; not head-on; farmed in Vietnam, frozen, and defrosted) at my neighbourhood Whole Food store. It was pricy at  $19.99 per pound but I purchase some for the special occasion. Before frying the shrimp I did usual trick. First I made several shallow diagonal cuts on the belly side of peeled shrimp (without cutting through the shrimp). Then, I picked the shrimp and pulled both ends, bending backward. This prevents...

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Toshikoshi soba, New Year’s Eve soba noodles

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

Today, December 31, is Omisoka, New Year’s Eve. I am going to include a soba noodle dish as part of our end-of-the year meal tonight as…… my mother always did at our home in Tokyo. My family’s New Year’s Eve dinner was one of the most elaborate and enjoyable meals of the year. Sukiyaki (thinly sliced marabled beef cooked in the iron skillet with winter vegetables in shoyu, sake and sugar broth cooked at the table) was the regular center piece...

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Unique production of Suzu-shio

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

My favorite salt, Suzu-shio, is made by a very unique process. The collected salt water is sprayed over a bamboo curtain that looks like the…… Venetian blinds that may be in your home. These blinds are hung from the ceiilng and reach to the floor. When the salt water runs down along the blinds, some moisture evaporates (Japan is humid, so moisture evaporataion goes painfully slow). The collected salt water at the bottom is re-sprayed again on the bamboo blinds....

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Recipe: Aromatic Lavender Venison

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 in Recipes

I almost forget to post this recipe! Here you are the delicious venison dish for you. I am going to prepare it this coming weekend….and serve it with Spanish red wine made of Garnacha grape. 1 1/3 pounds venison loin 5 juniper berries, ground 8 black peppercorn, ground 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers 2 tablespoons sweet sherry 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt to taste Mix the juniper berries, peppercorn, lavender and sherry in a bowl and marinate the meat for 5 hours....

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