Yakitori-ya (grilled chiken restaurant)

Last week , I had been tied up all days. In addition to regular doctor's visit for my parents , my wife got hospitalized. I had a much stress for caregiving.
I went grilled chiken bar (Yakitori-ya) for a break from the stress of caregiving.
I ate Kashira ( Pork cheek meat) and Siro-Motsu(pork stomach congee).
Even both meats are not chiken but we call these Yakitori(grilled chiken). I don't know why.
By the way these meats are only offerred by cheeper Yakitori-ya, Expensive Yakitori-ya don't want to offer. Kashira tasts like a beef, Siro-Motsu tasts like ,,?? I don't know.
But both cheeper meats make me relaxed.


Ramen is national food in Japan

It is not at all an exaggeration to say that ramen is the national food of the Japanese. However ramen came from China, its cooking has been developed in Japan to meet Japanese taste for so long that it is considered to be Japanese food. There are many ramen shops in Japan and the taste differs between regions and shops. Since the ramen boom, there are many magazines and TV programs that feature stories of "shops that create lines.  Though ramen is good taste it is very difficult to explain how does it taste in English. So I gathered some English statements which explain the taste of ramen.



a bowl of ramen : 一杯のラーメン
Pickled bamboo : メンマ
Firm texture : 硬い食感
The soup has run out : スープ売り切れ
plenty toothy and springy : 歯ごたえがあって弾力がある
The soup is full-bodied : コクのあるスープ
noodle suits soup :  スープに合う麺
The soup is very fishy, a bit more than other tonkotsu gyokai shops. : 魚介風味の豚骨スープ
slow-roasted pieces of pork cartilage : ゆっくり焼いた豚の軟骨
Even if it isn't good for your weight, the collagen is supposedly great for your skin
This bowl was a complete let down. No depth. このラーメンは味が深くなく、がっかりした。
As for the ramen, it is simple and hearty. Many ramen enthusiasts give this shop a solid normal ranking. There isn't much of an impact, but it is a good bowl that shows it's roots. : 多くのラーメンファンが普通の評価をする 愛情のこもったシンプルなラーメンでインパクトはあまりないが、元祖を思わせる素晴らしいラーメン。
I won't say it was worth it, because that is a lot of cash to drop on some noodles. このラーメンはマズイ、金をドブ(ラーメンの丼)に捨てるようだ。


How to cook rice (米の炊き方)

Rice is the staple of Japan.
Mrs Tokiko Suzuki, who is called the cooking teacher,
gives instructions on everything from the correct way to how to cook it on the TV.


A suihanki(炊飯器), or rice cooker, is used to cook rice,
and is found in most Japanese households.
However Mrs Tokiko Suzuki doesn't recommend to use Suihanki(炊飯器).
She recommend to use Japanese pot.(文化鍋)

Following is that Mrs Tokiko Suzuki instructs us haw to cook rice.






Umami (旨み)

Umami is the Japanese typical taste.
Most of Japanese foods are having Umami taste.

It was generally believed that human beings distinguish four tastes,
sweet, salty, sour and bitter.
Almost 100 years ago, Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University
found fifth taste which is called Umami.

The Umami is extracted by boiled seaweed.
The Umami is the basis of all Japanese boiled dishes and soups.


After that, Dr. Ikeda introduced the new seasoning monosodium glutamate,
or MSG (味の素), which has a strong umami taste.


When I was child, there was MSG in our dinning table.
However, Japanese believe that the MSG is not healthy ,
so the MSG disappeared from Japanese dining table.

Below picture is tongue map which shows specific regions of tongue sense four
basic tastes.

tongue map

Where is the specific regions which sense Umami?

I personally think , front and back of tongue can sense Umami.

Umami is the taste most Japanese like.

Natto and Miso    (納豆、味噌)

There are many kind of fermented foods in Japan.

I personally think the most popular fermented foods are Natto and Miso.

I will explain Natto first.

CIMG0278.jpg CIMG0281.jpg

Natto is made from soybeans fermented by natto bacillus,
it is sticky and has strong smell and taste.
Because of the smell, some people dislike eating natto.

Soybeans are said to be the most complete nutritious crop.
In Japan it is known as "meat, grown in a field.
Actually Natto is a good source of protein , which makes your muscle more.

20 years ago, most of people who live in western Japan don't like to eat
Natto. Now Natto is very popular everywhere in Japan.

I have served Natto for many foreigners before.
But nobody can eat Natto for this strong smell.

The Most popular way to eat Natto:

1. Stir natto at first until Natto become slippery.
2. Add some soy sauce and karashi mustard and further stir well.
3. Add chopped green onion if you want.
4. Put seasoned natto on steamed rice and eat together.

Then you slurp Natto together with rice.

Miso is also popular in Japan.
The Miso is commonly used for soup.
People who like Miso soup eat Miso soup in breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Miso is also made from soybean fermented by malted rice and salt.( see 2nd picture)

Following are the pictures when I made a Miso by myself.
It took about 6 months until Miso fermented.


I believe most of Japanese like Miso.

Next time , I will show you another fermented foods.


テーマ : 日々の暮らし
ジャンル : ライフ