Microwave oven and konbini bento

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

I know that by now you are tired of konbini blogs, so this is my last one.  During my time in Tokyo I stayed at a temporary apartment which my husband who is renting the place for his business.  This small apartment has a standard Japanese kitchen which is equipped with small freezer-refrigerator, a two gas burner rangeand a small microwave oven.  The microwave oven does more than the usual jobs such as defrosting, beverage heating, re-heating and microwave cooking.  There...

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Food Waste at Konbini Store

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

While I was in Japan I have attended a food event as a panelist at the Asian Studies Conference Japan that was heald at Sophia University in Tokyo.  During the conference I attended a lecture given by a University professor whose theme was the food that thrown away after the sell-by-date, shohi kigen, at konbini stores.  According to the professor the number of thrown-away konbini bento reaches a staggering 19 millions tons every year!  In order to investigate this...

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Posted on Jul 23, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

“Konbini” is the abbreviation used in Japan as a corruption of the English “convenient store”.  Konbini stores such as Seven-Eleven, Lawson and Family Mart are extremely popular among consumers of all walks of life in Japan.  Today there are over 48,000 stores scattered across the country.  They are everywhere!  Ready-made foods, such as bento (lunch boxes) of many varieties, including sandoicchi (sandwich) and onigiri (rice balls), and snacks make...

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The Slow Food Movement in Japan

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

I have a friend whose family business continues to produce the best rice vinegar in Japan for over 100 years.  The company has been assisting rice farmers, all of whom are over 65 years old, to grow rice organically in rice paddies placed at one of the highest elevations in the local in order to secure safe, uncontaminated water for rice production.  Then, the vinegar company uses the rice to produce high quality alcohol, actually sake.   They employ traditional artisan,...

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Bincho-tan 2

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

For bincho-tan cooking there are two ways to build the fire – one in a vertical way, tatezumi, and the other, in a horizontal manner, yokozumi.  The photo (in the previous blog) with the fish is the former structure.  Durign the cooking oil drops down to the ground but not over the charcoal, so it does not cause any undesirable flame flair-ups.  In this way you can enjoy the natural, clean flavor of each ingredient uncontaminated by smoke from burning fat and oil.  On...

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