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Hokkaido

Hokkaido tagged posts

Hokkaido is A Gem

Category: Hiroko's Blog

This is the ski season, and everyone in Japan is enjoying skiing in Hokkaido. Niseko is one of the most popular skiing sites and lots of Australians come to enjoy the powder snow. Today’s temperature at Niseko is max. at 15F and minimum at 10F. The snow fall from this morning was 3.5 inches. In January it received so far 3.8 feet of snow. The 2016/2017 season accumulation by now is 13 feet. Great accomplishment.

IMG_1730 Hokkaido Intro photo

canoe cofeeIMG_1730

fish lunch making

Shiretoko 5 lake waling

Need a good vacation in early summer? Do you like Japan? Do y...

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Discover Osechi Ryori (5) Kazunoko – Family Prosperity

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Are you still with me in the preparation of Osechi Ryori? Hope that you are not put off with too much superstitious ideas. Kazunoko is a salt-cured herring roe consists of hundreds of tiny eggs grouped together in one piece, encased in a very thin membrane. The size of dried herring roe is about 5 inches long. We hydrate it and marinate it in the mixture of shoyu and mirin overnight. Kazunoko symbolizes family prosperity...

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Hokkaido with Hiroko, May, 2016

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Shiretoko GokoI have been operating a culinary and cultural tour of Japan for a very limited number of participants – less than dozen people in the past years. For the 2016 trip I am taking you to a very different destination: a visit to the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido that is focused on the natural environment as well as the amazing local Japanese culinary scene. The tour has been thoroughly researched and experienced during my recent trip to Hokkaido, Japan.

Here is the introduction to the Tour...

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Kuromame black soy beans

Category: Hiroko's Blog

Today I cooked kuromame thinking of the approach of the end of the year (anyway it was raining outside).  Kuromame are black soybeans whose shape is perfectly round and they are much larger than their yellow colored-cousin.  The flavor of this black variety is robust and much tastier than….

their cousin.  Furthermore, its dark purplish (almost black) color suggests that it is rich in anthocyanin, a well known anti-oxidant.  So, I love kuromame.  The best kuromame in Japan comes from the rich soil of Tanba in Hyogo Prefecture in Honshu and also from Hokkaido, the northern most island.  The beans that I cooked are from Tanba – my first choice.  I brought back some of the bags from Japan on my latest trip (you can order the beans online and I recommend the Mitoku brand).  Cooking kuromame at the end of the year as a part of Osechi-ryori, the New Year’s Feast is like the roasting the turkey, baking pumpkin pie or preparing cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner here in America.  Preparing Osechi-ryori is a ritual based on our tradition.

A part of the annual tradition says that eating kuromame beans at the beginning of New Year will bring a healthy year to us.  Why?  In Japanese “beans” are “mame”.  But, the word “mame”, though written differently but pronounced the same as for “beans” (a homonym for those of you who remember your high school grammer – if such things are still taught in American schools) has several other meanings: hard-working, serious and healthy.  I will post the recipe next week with an explanation of why I am cooking the beans with the egg-shaped iron ball that you can see in the photograph.

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The arrival of spring – ramps!

Category: Hiroko's Blog

When I was raised in Japan, early spring was announced by the arrival in the markets of takenoko (bamboo shoot), fukinoto (a bud-like plant with a very “green” and bitter taste; see the right hand photo below), and taranome (a young bud of angelica tree). My mother always prepared…

many varieties of dishes using these wonderful vegetables to say the spring has also arrived in the Shimbo household...

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