Bring Seasonal Change into Dining Room – Matsuba-yaki

Posted on Nov 10, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

I foraged for pine needles in upstate New York two weeks ago to try a delightful, traditional autumn dish: Matsuba-yaki. Matsuba-yaki is a dish in which seafood and/or mushrooms and vegetables such as Matsutake mushrooms are placed on fresh pine needles and cooked together in a stove-top pot or in the oven.   It is a fundamental principle that Japanese cuisine respects and honors the seasonal changes in nature. Chefs and home cooks alike try to bridge nature and dining...

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Gingko Nuts: Hard to Do, but Limit to Ten

Posted on Oct 24, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

When something is delicious it is hard for us to stop eating. When it comes to gingko nuts, we should limit consumption to about ten nuts at a sitting. Over-eating can bring a reaction to methyl pyridoxine, a chemical found in the nuts.  This can cause a stomach ache and, in extreme, vomiting. On other hand, gingko nuts has been used as a constituent of Chinese medicine to cure some illness for centuries, so limiting to about ten nuts a day seems to be a good idea.  This...

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Yakinasu: Eggplant without Oil, Cheese & Tomato Sauce

Posted on Oct 14, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

You may be surprised that, if you are given a chance to taste simply grilled eggplant prepared by the Japanese Yakinasu method, how delicious eggplant is. The texture is amazingly creamy; the flavor is a combination of smokiness, natural sweetness and hint of pleasant bitterness. Now we are in the midst of autumn. It is the very best time for you to discover the true flavor of eggplant! I have posted three short videos related Yakinasu preparation techniques on Instagram...

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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...

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Awesome Local Blue Fish & Yuan-yaki

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

No to butter. No to olive oil or any other cooking oil. Blue fish enjoys a Japanese treatment. The fish shines in the traditional Yuan-yaki style of grilling producing a dish that is moist, juicy and flavorful. The ‘Yuan-yaki’ grilling method is timeless. See my Instagram Yuan-yaki grilling video. Here you see the photos in which fish was prepared in ‘Yuan-yaki’ grilling and takikomi gohan. Blue fish from the Atlantic waters was a bit of a disappointing “oily”...

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