Travel Japan – Matsushima and KYUSHU with Hiroko 2018

Posted on Mar 7, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, is known for its scenic view so the tourists from all over Japan flocks to the area. But, there is one more reason for the popularity. Check the CNN Travel story below! https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/matsushima-bay-japan/index.html Most importantly; Join me Kyushu in November, 2018. You will stay at very unique and 4 star hotels/inns and experience something which you never dreamed of. The first place where we visit is Kunisaki...

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Ashirai Garnish and Grilled Fish in the Japanese Way

Posted on Feb 27, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Have you noticed that when you order grilled fish at a Japanese restaurant that the fish is always served with some accompanying condiment: grated daikon and lemon (for oily fish such as mackerel and sardine), pickled turnip, pickled hajikami ginger (ginger with a red stem), pickled cucumber, pickled myoga ginger, sweet simmered broad bean, sweet simmered kumquat to name a few. These garnishes are called ‘ashirai’. All of them serve to refresh your palate while consuming...

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Sawara Yuan-yaki

Posted on Feb 27, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Sawara can be enjoyed in many preparations including Teri-yaki, shio-yaki (salt grilled), saikyo-miso yaki and yuan-yaki.  All are variations on grilling. “yaki” means grill. Here is my favorite yuan-yaki recipe: For yuan marinade mix mirin, sake, usukuchi shoyu (light colored soy sauce), koikuchi shoyu (all-purpose soy sauce) in 1.5 : 0.5: 0.8: 0.1 proportions in a bowl. Add 2 slices of yuzu citrus fruit or lemon if yuzu is unavailable. Marinate the sawara pieces for 15 to...

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Spanish Mackerel, Sawara and Cooking Tips

Posted on Feb 17, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

You may have had sawara (Spanish mackerel) sashimi or sushi at a Japanese restaurant and remember its rich and sweet flavor. Sawara is a seasonal fish which is wild-caught during winter and early spring. The other day I had the chance to purchase a wild-caught in Florida, very fresh, 3 pound sawara at New York’s Citarella food market. Sawara in Japanese literally means ‘narrow body’. The long, slender, but round body allows this fish to be one of the fastest swimmers in the...

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Sukiyaki is Our New Favorite

Posted on Feb 9, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Here is the preparation of the always popular sukiyaki dish. As I have mentioned before, prepping nabemono dinner (in this case a sukiyaki dinner) in your kitchen is super quick and easy. It requires cutting of certain raw ingredients, and blanching (quick simmering) some ingredients as necessary. This sukiyaki recipe is Tokyo style. Sliced beef and vegetables are cooked in flavorful ‘warishita’ sauce. The vegetable, including shirataki noodles (made of konnyaku, taro root...

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Tips of Enjoyable Nabemono Dinner

Posted on Feb 9, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Here are some tips for enjoyable nabemono dinners at your home. By the way the attendees of my Kyushu with Hiroko 2018 (November 11-23) will have Fugu (blowfish!) nabemono experience in Oita Prefecture. This is surely one of the many excitements which you experience during the tour.  You can find Trip Overview and Photos on my Tour Page. Send me an e-mail to Hiroko if you want to join the tour. Hiroko also run the same tour in 2018, November 3-14. Everyone should share...

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