Wholesome Vegetables: COOKING KABOCHA

Posted on Nov 25, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

After the harvest when kabocha is stored properly it remains fresh and delicious for the next 2 to 4 months. In order to survive this long kabocha is protected by a hard, green skin. Attacking it raw with a dull knife can cause you injury. The best way to soften it is to heat it in the oven. First rinse the kabocha thoroughly under tap water and clean with a hard scrub brush. The attractive green skin is quite edible so it should be clean. The skin becomes tender when it is...

Read More

Hey New Ginger! Why Don’t You Turn To Pink Color?

Posted on Oct 24, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

The new ginger season is over….but let me tell you this story before getting too old. Anthocyanin, color pigment in new ginger reacts with vinegar in the pickling liquid and turns the sliced ginger to petty pink color.  No synthetic food coloring is involved. Changing of the color, however, does not happen all the time. This summer I pickled new ginger roots that came from two different farmers at Union Square Market here in New York. One farmers’ new ginger did not...

Read More

Awesome Shiogama Blue Fish

Posted on Oct 5, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

The Shiogama , salt encrusted, technique is used for the remaining filleted blue fish described in my previous blog and it produced a gorgeous and delicious result. French do it. Chinese do it. And also Japanese do it. Legend has it that this particular cooking technique in Japan is said to have been developed during the civil war era of the 16th century. Before leaving for the battlefield, a prominent warrior sent his mother a whole gorgeous sea bream cooked in a solid...

Read More

Rolling Cucumber on Chopping Board

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Did you watch my hands rolling cucumbers on Instagram scant video? Instagram: hirokoshimbo Technique tip: Don’t roll your eyes; let’s roll cucumber! Cucumber has rather thick skin whose taste is a sort of ‘too green’ and rather unpleasant. This is why, I think, I see most cucumbers served in America are peeled in prepared dishes. In order to tackle this problems this is what we do in Japan. Sprinkle some sea salt over the cucumber and with both of your hands, roll them...

Read More

A GOOD Mirin Substitute

Posted on Aug 2, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

If you read my previous blog post – Have Fun With ….Tofu, you have to find the answer to the GOOD mirin substitute question. I had several unused bottles of a similar specialty product in my kitchen pantry for a couple of years. All of them came as gifts. I do not make pancakes or French toast, so the bottles were left unopened. Recently I visited Vermont and tasted some of the best products there. Then, my unused bottles came to mind. I promised myself to start using them...

Read More

Limit to 4-5 Bulbs a Day

Posted on Jun 23, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Two powers which this bulb possesses: It is aphrodisiac. It was banned to be consumed at Buddhism temples. Consumption should be limited to 4-5 bulbs a day. Overeating causes minor, unpleasant health problems. Have you eaten sweet pickled, extremely crunchy, little garlic like bulbs, which are served with thick, stew-like Japanese curry dish? A little bulb is neither garlic nor shallot. It is rakkyo. Rakkyo, belongs to the Lily family, Allium. Onion, scallion and shallot...

Read More