Tag Archives: Japanese cuisine
Akita Hotpot

’nother nabe

Another recent nabe that I made, this one called the “Akita Hunter Hot Pot.” The defining characteristic of this hot pot is a rice preparation called kiritanpo. It’s made by cooking rice, mashing it up, forming it into a cylinder (around a chopstick or similar) and grilling or broiling it before adding it to the […]

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Black Cod Nabe 1

Nabemono for New Year’s

In keeping with my annual tradition of starting off the year on a Japanese-cuisine kick, I made my first nabe of the year last week – a fitting dinner given how cold and snowy it’s been. I turned to Japanese Hot Pots, which is the indispensable reference on the subject, and used the recipe for […]

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Tofu by-products: Okara

Making tofu is both labour- and resource-intensive. (I can’t imagine it would ever have been developed anywhere that water was scarce.) But that doesn’t mean it’s wasteful: after the ground beans have been steeped to make the soy milk for tofu, they still have lots of nutritional value, especially fibre! This leftover soy mash is […]

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Tofu scramble

Homemade tofu redux

Time to take another shot at making my own tofu. I followed the same process as before, but used less nigari this time. Not enough less, as it turned out: the tofu was still overcoagulated (though not as much as last time), producing a very fragile, somewhat crumbly result. I also tried pressing it in […]

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Japanese hot pots: yosenabe

It has long been a source of frustration to me that sushi is so much better known than any other aspect of Japanese cuisine. Even in a big city like Toronto, the ratio of sushi restaurants to other types of Japanese restaurants is about a zillion to one. Japan’s culinary traditions are so much broader […]

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Homemade Tofu

“Meat from the fields”: Homemade tofu

The technical term for my first foray into tofu-making is “qualified success.” The parallels between tofu and cheese-making are extensive. (I never used to understand why tofu was glossed as “bean curd,” but that’s probably because the first type of “curd” I ever encountered was lemon.) The biggest difference is, for tofu, you have to […]

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Toshikoshi soba

Toshikoshi soba: Noodles for New Year’s

Every culture has its New Year’s Eve dishes that are traditional for bringing luck in the coming year: in my family it was mincemeat, in Italian culture it’s cotechino and lentils, and in Japanese culture it’s toshikoshi (“year-crossing”) soba noodles. Although they have a special name, there is no specific recipe for toshikoshi soba; you […]

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Pickled myoga

Pickled myoga

At times, I have a certain compulsion around food: when I read about an ingredient enough, I eventually have to try it, no matter the cost. (OK, within reason.) In this case, it was myoga, a Japanese ingredient related to ginger. Nearly every Japanese cookbook I have mentions it, but I had never seen it […]

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Ramen bowl

Lucky Peach ramen part 2: Broth and garnish

If the noodles are the body of a bowl of ramen, the broth is its soul. There are lots of different styles of broths, from basic dashi to chicken stock to intense, pork-based tonkotsu, or any blend of the above. These are then seasoned with a tare or kaeshi sauce concentrate, which roughly determines the […]

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Cutting ramen

Lucky Peach ramen noodles

It would be hard to read the first issue of Lucky Peach and not come away with an increased appreciation – and appetite – for ramen noodles. From the instant noodles that students subsist on to the most obsessively produced restaurant ramen in Japan, the magazine lovingly explores every aspect of this bright star in […]

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