HOBA-YAKI, Rustic Mountain Dish

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Hoba-yaki is a dish, in which scallion slices and mushrooms are cooked together over a charcoal fire on the bed of flavored, simple miso sauce placed that are placed on a dried hoba (magnolia) leaf. In the past in the mountainous, rural areas where not many cooking tools were available, this preparation was born. The leaf was used as a cooking vessel. Since the leaf has antiseptic property, the use of leaf in the kitchen was win-win situation. Of course, the leaf must be...

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NIZAKANA WITH FLOUNDER, SALMON OR POMPANO THIS WINTER

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

There is a Japanese technique which may be new to you in this recipe. Taking this special step is necessary in order to produce clean and delicious flavor in the prepared dish. The technique is called Shimofuri, which literally means ‘frost-covering’. In this technique we first blanch scaled and cleaned fish in hot water in a pot until the surface turns white resembling frost. Then carefully cool and rinse the fish in a bowl of cold water with tap water running into it. By...

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KAREI OR HIRAME? FLUKE OR FLOUNDER?

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

How to distinguish a flounder from a fluke? Both are bottom-feeding flat fish. Both have two eyes on the upper side of their flat and thin body. But their flavor and texture are different. On one recent early morning at the Blue Moon fish monger at the Tribeca Framers’ Market in NYC a lady customer and a young sales person were in conversation about the difference of these two bottom-feeding fish. The lady insisted that they are the same fish; the sales person repeated that...

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AZUKI GOHAN (Rice cooked with Azuki beans)

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

The color of this azuki gohan displays a mellow but very elegant red hue. It consists of rice cooked with azuki (sometimes spelled “adzuki”) beans.  Because of its attractive color azuki gohan is considered a good luck meal item and is served at auspicious occasions in Japan. Azuki beans are rich in minerals including magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. They are also rich in protein, B vitamins and soluble dietary fibers. It is clinically proven that azuki has antioxidant,...

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GINGKO NUTS/ Gin’nan

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

FORAGING IN NEW YORK CITY: Gingko nuts are DELICIOUS! Here female gingko trees (there are male and female gingko trees) drop their mature fruit onto the sidewalks, streets and parks from the beginning of November through the end of the month. Every year the timing is a bit different, though. Most of the fruits which hit the ground break and expose its flesh inside. The flesh releases a very strong disagreeable smell.  But this hideous smell is not the issue here. The...

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Japan Tour: Kyushu with Hiroko 2019

Posted on Sep 28, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

Announcement of Kyushu with Hiroko 2019: Now it is the time to announce the Kyushu with Hiroko November 3-14, 2019. This is the second Kyushu tour to be offered and conducted by Hiroko; It is designed expressly to accommodate those who expressed interest in the 2018 tour, but because of scheduling issues could not join, and for those who have not previously been acquainted with this unique travel, educational and thoroughly enjoyable experience. The 2018 tour is fully...

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