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May 2011

Monthly Archives May 2011

Keiko’s Dinner from Everywhere in Japan

Category: Hiroko's Blog

How lucky I was to be invited by my sister, Keiko Arakawa, to a dinner at her house on a day that was two days shy of my birthday. If you have read a couple of blogs related to Keiko, you already know that she is an excellent cook. The dinner was a wonderful family affair attended by Keiko, her husband Yoichi, their sons Kazaharu and Takahiro, Chikako – Kazaharu’s wife of just one week, my husband and me.
family photo

family photo

appetizer

beef tataki

skipjack tuna tataki sashimi

chicken ball...

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Mr. Kuniji Maruyama

Category: Hiroko's Blog

The famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is in danger of demolition, and Mr. Kuniji Maruyama, president of Maruyama Nori Company in Tsukiji (a 150 years old shop that specializes selling the finest quality of nori and Japanese tea www.maruyamanori.com ) agonizes...

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La Bombance

Category: Hiroko's Blog

The name of this restaurants sound like a French establishment, but it is a one Michelin star Japanese restaurant, where a chef owner-chef Makoto Okamoto entertains his regulars and visitors with his creative dishes using seasonal fresh ingredients.   No chemically manipulated, unnatural dishes appear in his preparation.  You will enjoy the photos of the course which I savored.  It is a must visit place on your next trip to Tokyo (www.bombance.com 03-5778-6511).  Chef Okamoto is very humble, and, at the same time, ambitious.  His big dream is to open his restaurant in New York City someday in the future!

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Electric Situation

Category: Hiroko's Blog

train

I always boasted to my friends in America that trains in Japan are super efficient – not just the huge number of on-time arrivals and departures, the very frequent train services (a Shinkansen bullet train every 5 minutes or so from Tokyo; subways on 2 – 3 minute headways), but also the presence of multi-lingual ubiquitous signs and escalators in all stations providing travelers with great comfort and convenience...

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Pleasant Bitter Surprise

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Gyoja ninniku (ramps!)

What I have always longed for at the beginning of every spring when I was growing up in Tokyo were the delicious varieties of wild mountain vegetables, called sansai.  Spring sansai have pleasant astringency and bitterness which was the reason for my craving.  Every spring when my mother served us sansei dishes she repeated the story of benefit of eating bitter tasting spring sansai:

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Higaeri Ryoko (The one-day trip to the country)

Category: Hiroko's Blog

On last Sunday my husband and I decided to engage in a very typical Japanese weekend activity, the hi-gaeri ryoko – the one day round trip (by train, of course) to the countryside for some activity that nearly always involves an interesting meal and a dip in a hot bath at a local onsen (hot spring bath)...

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Narita Express

Category: Hiroko's Blog

When I visit my country, each time I find some improvements in our society, especially in technological and service areas.  This is a story of Narita Express which transports Japanese and foreign visitors between the Narita International Airport and the city of Tokyo in 55 minutes over a distance of about 60 km.  Today when you are on board of the Narita Express you find bright written information displays and recorded announcement in four languages – Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English...

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THE Birth Certificate

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Everyone is aware of the controversy and the resolution of the President Obama birth certificate affair. Perhaps this has made everyone more aware of the status and uses of their own birth certificates. In Japan, where I am now, there is yet another important (?) side of the birth certificate issue. Here I’m talking about birth certificates for beef cattle!  Take a look at the photo accompanying this entry...

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Mother’s Day memory

Category: Hiroko's BlogRecipes

Today is Mother’s Day both in the US and Japan. My mother, now in her mid-80s in Tokyo, has always been my inspiration for my cooking and my career.  She remains among the most knowledgeable of all of my professional acquaintances in matters of Japanese cuisine and its preparation. In her honor and on the occasion of Mother’s Day, I’d like to publish a delicious recipe – based on my mother’s dish somewhat modified by me – for braised beef tongue...

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Gassed or not?

Category: Hiroko's Blog

At the time of purchasing frozen tuna, please make sure that it is not gassed using carbon monoxide. This treatment has long been practiced for meat in order to preserve the color and disguise the quality; now it is being applied to frozen tuna. Gassed tuna, no matter how old it is, it presents beautiful reddish pink color. Check out this Website: http://www.wedge.coop/newsletter/february-march-2005/gassing-tuna-unnatural-pink-comes-dinner . Ask the staff about the tuna where you shop...

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