Monday, November 7, 2011

Japanese Menu - Yakisoba Pan

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

 

I was surfing the internet, looking at various stuff until my eyes caught on something that greatly interest me. It was yakisoba pan!! I thought that it is a really unique kind of food. It’s kinda disappointing that I did not find any stall that sell yakisoba pan while I am holidaying at Japan couple years ago. I went to one of the New Year’s Eve festival but all I could find was yakisoba vendor. So I decided to research about it a bit. I tried cooking it myself several weeks ago. The hardest part was finding the required ingredients, especially the packaged chuka noodle, couldn’t find it anywhere except one store. Anyway making yakisoba pan is really fun, just scroll down to find the ingredients and directions on how to make it.

If we are talking about the taste, the yakisoba itself is sweet, savoury, a wee bit sour and salty. I can just enjoy the yakisoba itself since it taste so good. Now how about the yakisoba pan?? So when I put it inside the hotdog roll, top it with seaweed, katsuobushi and mayonnaise, I give it a bite and my brain was like…. OMG!!! Soo goodddd… really rich in flavour and I can’t even describe it!!! All I can say… YOU GOTTA TRY IT YOURSELF!!! So what are you waiting for, start making it and enjoy :D

Menu Description


Yakisoba, literally "fried noodles", is a dish often sold at festivals in Japan, but originates in China. The dish was derived by the Chinese from the traditional chow mein, but has been more heavily integrated into Japanese cuisine like ramen. Even though soba (noodles made from buckwheat) is part of the word, yakisoba noodles are not made from buckwheat, but are similar to ramen noodles and made from wheat flour.

Yakisoba usually refers to sōsu yakisoba, flavored with yakisoba sauce, a sweetened, thickened variant of Worcestershire sauce.

Yakisoba is most familiarly served on a plate either as a main dish or a side dish. Another popular way to prepare and serve yakisoba in Japan is to pile the noodles into a bun sliced down the middle in the style of a hot dog, and garnish the top with mayonnaise and shreds of pickled ginger. Called yakisoba-pan, pan meaning bread, it is commonly available at local matsuri (Japanese festivals) or konbini (convenience stores).
Sometimes, Japanese white Udon is used as a replacement of Chinese style Soba and called Yakiudon. This variation was started in Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture.

In Okinawa, Yakisoba is popular with Okinawans and U.S. servicemembers stationed on the island alike. Mess halls and other on-base eateries often serve yakisoba. Ham is a popular addition to yakisoba made in Okinawa, in addition to other meats such as chicken, beef, or pork.




Menu Ingredients:

(makes 2-3 servings)

  • Steamed chuka noodles packaged (~300gr)
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 200gr pork meat, thinly sliced (chicken or beef or prawn meat can be used)
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 Tbsp vegetable/olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • Cabbage, chopped
  • 4-6 Tbsp yakisoba sauce or tonkatsu sauce or worcestershire sauce
  • Beni-shoga (pickled red ginger) thinly sliced
  • Japanese Mayonnaise 
  • Dried seaweed thinly sliced
  • Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
  • Boiled egg, cut in half (optional)
  • 2-3 Hotdog Roll


Menu Directions:

 

  1. Loosen packaged noodle and set aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat
  3. Stir-fry meat until half cooked
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Add onion and stir fry until golden brown
  6. Add cabbage and stir fry for around 1 minute
  7. Stir in noodle, add water and fry for around 2 minute until the noodle are properly loosen and mixed
  8. Add in sauce, sugar and mirin; stir fry until the noodles are evenly coated
  9. Turn off heat and set aside.
  10. Take hotdog bun, open and fill in with yakisoba.
  11. Spread mayonnaise on top of yakisoba, sprinkle with seaweed, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and benishoga (pickled red ginger). You can also add boiled egg if you like.
  12. Serve


Menu Related Videos:

 

Making Yakisoba:


Making Yakisoba Pan:



Menu Sources and References:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Japanese Menu - Ramen

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

 

Chashu Ramen
The first thing that comes to my mind when talking about ramen is …. OISHIII!!! It’s bloody delicious and one of my top picks for Japanese food. Since I like spicy food, I always add some chilli flakes or chilli pepper to “enhance” the taste. I’ve tried it at different countries like Australia, Indonesia and Japan itself. All of them taste superb (varies in taste and toppings) but the best one I’ve tasted is the one at Japan (but of course), at Shinjuku area. My friend took me to one of the ramen-ya and I ate the tonkotsu soup ramen with chashu (and yes I had secondsJ).


If we’re talking about cup ramen (instant ramen) then my favorite would be the Korean made cup ramen “Shin Ramyun Hot & Spicy”. I ate it quite often for breakfast or even for dinner when I am too lazy to prepare my meal.

I’ve never actually made ramen myself and would be interested to make it in the near future.

Menu Description:

 

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork ,dried seaweed, kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn. Almost every locality in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.
Contents

Ramen is of Chinese origin, however it is unclear when ramen was introduced to Japan. Even the etymology of the word ramen is a topic of debate. One theory is that ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese (la mian), meaning "hand-pulled noodles." A second theory proposes (laomian, "old noodles") as the original form, while another states that ramen was initially (lǔmiàn), noodles cooked in a thick, starchy sauce. A fourth theory is that the word derives from (lāomiàn, "lo mein"), which in Cantonese means to "stir", and the name refers to the method of preparation by stirring the noodles with a sauce.

Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba (literally "Chinese buckwheat noodle") but today chūka soba (also meaning "Chinese buckwheat noodle") or just Ramen are more common, as the word (shina, meaning "China") is considered offensive by many.

By 1900, restaurants serving Chinese cuisine from Canton and Shanghai offered a simple ramen dish of noodles (cut rather than hand pulled), a few toppings, and a broth flavored with salt and pork bones. Many Chinese also pulled portable food stalls, selling ramen and gyōza dumplings to workers. By the mid 1900s, these stalls used a type of a musical horn called a charumera (from the Portuguese charamela) to advertise their presence, a practice some vendors still retain via a loudspeaker and a looped recording. By the early Shōwa period, ramen had become a popular dish when eating out.

After World War II, cheap flour imported from the U.S. swept the Japanese market. At the same time, millions of Japanese troops had returned from China and continental East Asia. Many of these returnees had become familiar with Chinese cuisine and subsequently set up Chinese restaurants across Japan. Eating ramen, while popular, was still a special occasion that required going out.

Korean Shin Ramyun Cup
In 1958, instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese founder and chairman of Nissin Foods, now run by his son Koki Ando. Named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll, instant ramen allowed anyone to make this dish simply by adding boiling water.

Beginning in the 1980s, ramen became a Japanese cultural icon and was studied around the world from many perspectives. At the same time, local varieties of ramen were hitting the national market and could even be ordered by their regional names. A ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994.
Types

A wide variety of ramen exists in Japan, with geographical and vendor-specific differences even in varieties that share the same name. Ramen can be broadly categorized by its two main ingredients: noodles and broth.

Noodles

Most noodles are made from four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui, which is essentially a type of alkaline mineral water, containing sodium carbonate and usually potassium carbonate, as well as sometimes a small amount of phosphoric acid. Originally, kansui was named after the water from Inner Mongolia's Lake Kan which contained large amounts of these minerals and was said to be perfect for making these noodles. Making noodles with kansui lends them a yellowish hue as well as a firm texture. For a brief time after World War II, low-quality tainted kansui was sold, though kansui is now manufactured according to JAS standards. Eggs may also be substituted for kansui. Some noodles are made with neither eggs nor kansui and should only be used for yakisoba.

Ramen noodles come in various shapes and lengths. They may be fat, thin, or even ribbon-like, as well as straight or wrinkled.
Soup

Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, shiitake, and onions, and then flavored with salt, miso, or soy sauce. Other styles that have emerged later on include curry ramen and other flavors.

The resulting combination is generally divided into four categories (although new and original variations often make this categorisation less clear-cut):

  1. Shio ("salt") ramen is probably the oldest of the four and is a pale, clear, yellowish broth made with plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish, and seaweed. Occasionally pork bones are also used, but they are not boiled as long as they are for tonkotsu ramen, so the soup remains light and clear. Chāshū is sometimes swapped for lean chicken meatballs, and pickled plums and kamaboko are popular toppings as well. Noodle texture and thickness varies among shio ramen, but they are usually straight rather than curly.
  1. Tonkotsu ("pork bone"; not to be confused with tonkatsu) ramen usually has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). Most shops, but not all, blend this pork broth with a small amount of chicken and vegetable stock and/or soy sauce. The noodles are thin and straight, and it is often served with beni shoga (pickled ginger). Currently the latest trend in tonkotsu toppings is māyu, a blackish, aromatic oil made from either charred crushed garlic or Sesame seeds. It is a specialty of Kyūshū, particularly Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (hence sometimes called "Hakata ramen").
  1. Shōyu ("soy sauce") ramen typically has a brown and clear color broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that’s tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Shōyu ramen usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones, but this is not always the case. It is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots or menma, green onions, kamaboko (fish cakes), nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts and/or black pepper; occasionally the soup will also contain chili oil or Chinese spices, and some shops serve sliced beef instead of the usual chāshū.
    Karaage Miso Ramen
  1. Miso ramen is a relative newcomer, having reached national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup. Miso ramen broth tends to have a robust, tangy flavor, so it stands up to a variety of flavorful toppings: spicy bean paste or tōbanjan, butter and corn, leeks, onions, bean sprouts, ground pork, cabbage, sesame seeds, white pepper, and chopped garlic are common. The noodles are typically thick, curly, and slightly chewy.
Seasonings commonly added to ramen are black pepper, butter, chili pepper, sesame seeds, and crushed garlic. Soup recipes and methods of preparation tend to be closely guarded secrets.

Some restaurants also offer a system known as kae-dama, where customers who have finished their noodles can request a "refill" (for a few hundred yen more) to be put into their remaining soup.

Regional variations

  • Tokyo-style ramen 
  • Kitakata ramen 
  • Hakata ramen with tonkotsu soup 
  • Tsukemen dipping ramen 
  • Aburasoba oiled noodles 
  • Takayama ramen 
  • Hiyashi (chilled) ramen 
  • Butter corn ramen, a Hokkaido speciality 
  • Zaru ramen 
Restaurants in Japan

Varieties of restaurants like izakaya drinking establishments, karaoke halls, and amusement parks offer ramen - but the best quality ramen is usually only available in ramen-ya restaurants. These restaurants generally boast of 10 to 20 seats at a bar and three or four tables.

The menus in ramen-ya restaurants offer mainly ramen dishes, so they lack much variety. Besides ramen, some of the dishes generally available in a ramen-ya restaurant include fried rice (called Chahan or Yakimeshi), Gyōza (Chinese dumplings), and beer.

Ramen vending machine

Ramen Xpress Vending Machine
The "Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum" is a unique museum about ramen. In a gallery on the first floor, the museum presents the history of ramen in Japan, including the big success of instant ramen. It displays the variety of noodles, soups, toppings and bowls used across Japan, and shows how the noodles are made. On the two basement floors, visitors can explore a 1:1 replica of some streets and houses of Shitamachi, the old town of Tokyo, circa 1958, when the popularity of ramen was rapidly increasing. Nine ramen restaurants can be found there, each featuring a ramen dish from a different region of Japan. For visitors who wish to try multiple ramen dishes, the restaurants offer "mini ramen" small portions. Tickets for the meals are purchased at vending machines in front of each restaurant before entering.

Canned version

In Akihabara, vending machines distribute warm ramen in an aluminum can, known as ramen can. It is produced by a popular ramen restaurant and contains noodles, soup, menma, and pork. It is intended as a quick snack, and includes a small folded plastic fork. There are few kinds of flavor such as tonkotsu and curry.

Miso Ramen with Chashu

 

Menu Ingredients:

 (Makes 1 servings )

          Soup

  • ½  tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½  tbsp minced garlic
  • ½  tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock powder
  • ½  tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 cups water
Toppings
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 - 4 chashu (braised pork) (sliced) – see below recipe on how to cook chashu
  • 1 sliced narutomaki
  • Dried seaweed/kelp
  • Scallions/spring onion (sliced) as desired
  • Bamboo shoots as desired
  • Bean sprouts as desired
  • Cabbaged (chopped) as desired
  • Carrot (strips) as desired
  • ½ boiled egg
  • Dried/Powdered chilli to taste
Other
  • 1 package of chukamen/ramen noodles

    Menu Directions:

     

    1. Heat skillet/pan and put the oil in.
    2. Add minced garlic and ginger until the golden brown
    3. Add water into the skillet.
    4. Add chicken powder, sugar, pepper and soy sauce
    5. After the soup is boiling, add miso paste and stir well.
    6. After everything is mixed well, stop the heat.
    7. In another pot, bring some water to boil.
    8. Put the noodles into the boiling water and cook following the directions on the package (until the noodle attained the desired texture)
    9. Drain the noodles and serve into noodle bowls.
    10. Pour soup over the noodles.
    11. Arrange toppings as desired and serve.

      Japanese Chashu 

       

      Menu Ingredients:

      • 300 gr pork belly
      • 3/4 C water
      • 1 Tbs sugar
      • 1 Tbs miso
      • 2 Tbs soy sauce
      • 2 Tbs mirin
      • 2 Tbs sake
      • 1 piece of ginger sliced
      • 2 cloves garlic smashed
      • 12 white pepper corns

        Menu Directions:

         

        1. Roll the pork belly (outer part is the fat/skin) and tie with cotton threads if needed
        2. In a pot, combine all ingredients and stir well
        3. Put the rolled pork belly into the skillet
        4. Close the lid and let the pork belly simmer under low heat for 1 hour or more. The longer you let it simmer, the tastier it will get. Pierce the pork with fork/knife to check the tenderness.
        5. After simmering, take out the pork belly. Let it cool down for sometime.
        6. After cooled down, cut the threads if you’re using them and slice the pork into thin slices and serve

        Menu Related Videos:

        Shibuya Ramen:



        4.9kg Ramen Contest:



        Ramen Robot:





        Menu Sources and References:

        Wednesday, June 29, 2011

        Japanese Menu - Mochi

        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

         

        Japanese Menu Red Bean Mochi
        Red Bean Mochi
        Bought it, tasted it and have tried making it myself. Two words for this menu, delicious and sticky!! In my opinion, the taste of the mochi really depends on the fillings that are used and the one that I really like is the red bean filling. There are lots of other fillings that can be used like coconut, fruits, green bean, ground nut, ice cream, chicken floss, etc.
        If you want to try making this menu I really suggest that you pay attention to the stickiness of the dough. Never forget to use either oil or flour to prevent the dough sticking to your finger or kitchenware. Once it sticks, it's like a glue and it's quite hard to wash it. Nevertheless, this menu is one of my favourite Japanese dessert menu.

        Menu Description:



        Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice (not to be confused with gluten) pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.
        Preparation

        Japanese Menu Mochitsuki
        Mochitsuki
        Traditionally, mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process. The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is called Mochitsuki:

        1. Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
        2. The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
        3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).
        Mochi can also be prepared from a flour of sweet rice (mochiko). The flour is mixed with water to a sticky opaque white mass that is cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave. until it becomes elastic and slightly transparent.

        Other popular uses for mochi:


        1. Ice cream mochi
        Small balls of ice cream are wrapped inside a mochi covering to make mochi ice cream.

        1. Toppings for frozen yoghurt
        Frozen yogurt chains (such as Red Mango, J.CO Donuts) also offer mochi as standard topping on their yoghurts.

        1. Moffles
        A waffle made from a toasted mochi. It is made in a specialized machine as well as a traditional waffle iron.

        1. Dango
        A japanese dumpling made from mochiko (rice flour).

        1. New Year specialties
          Japanese Menu Kinako Mochi
          Kinako Mochi
          • Kagami mochi is a New Year decoration, which is traditionally broken and eaten in a ritual called Kagami biraki (mirror opening).
          • Zōni soup is a soup containing rice cakes. Zoni is also eaten on New Year's Day. In addition to mochi, zoni contains vegetables like taro, carrot, honeywort and red and white colored kamaboko.
          • Kinako mochi is a mochi dish that is traditionally made on New Year's Day for luck. This style of mochi preparation includes roasting the mochi over a fire or stove, and then dipping it into water, and before finally briefly coating it in kinako (soy flour) with sugar.
        1. Soup
          • Oshiruko or ozenzai is a sweet azuki bean soup with pieces of mochi. In winter, Japanese people often eat it to warm themselves.
          • Chikara udon (meaning "power udon") is a dish consisting of udon noodles in soup topped with toasted mochi.
          • Zōni soup. See New Year specialties.


        Menu Ingredients:

        300g Mochiko (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour)
        60g Rice Flour
        ½ cup coconut milk (Optional)
        200ml hot water
        3 tbsp sugar (Optional)
        160ml evaporated milk (Optional, if not using add more water to mixture)
        240ml fruit nectar/juice (Optional, depends on the taste you want to make)
        Fillings as desired (eg: red bean paste, ice cream)
        Butter/Oil to grease

        Note: Traditionally it was made from cooked glutinous rice pounded intensively while adding a bit of water between each pound.


        Menu Directions:

         

        Japanese Menu Mochi Again
        Mochi
        http://www.pjvoice.com
        1. Mix glutinous rice flour, rice flour and sugar into a big mixing bowl.
        2. Dissolve sugar in 200ml hot water. Add in the evaporated milk. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix till smooth and well blended. Stir in the fruit nectar. Strain if mixture is lumpy.
        3. Pour batter into a greased tray/bowl and steam on high heat for 30 minutes.
        4. Remove from steamer and stir the cooked dough with a plastic knife till smooth. Leave aside to cool.
        5. Dust your hand with flour, take a small piece of cooked dough and flatten it into a round disc. Wrap in the fillings as desired. Seal the edges tightly and shape them into round balls.
        6. Serve.


        Menu Related Videos:

         

        Traditional mochi making:


        How to make colorful mochi:


        Mochi maker machine:


        Menu Sources and References:

        Friday, May 27, 2011

        Japanese Menu - Oyakodon

        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

        Japanese Menu Oyakodon
        Oyakodon Set Menu
        Oyakodon was actually my very first Japanese menu that I tried so this menu really has a special meaning for me. This menu makes me fall in love with Japanese food. Making it was actually quite simple but the taste and smell is really delicious. Even though the actual taste itself is delicious enough, if I ordered this menu in a restaurant, I would always add chili powder on top of the toppings since I really like my food to be spicy. Also do not forget to have miso soup as a side, they really complement well with each other. I can say without doubt that this is my favourite donburi :).


        Menu Description:

        Japanese Menu OyakodonOyakodon is actually a donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish), in which chicken, onions, eggs and other ingredients are all simmered together in donburi sauce and then served on top of a bowl of rice. The name of the dish, parent and child donburi, is a poetic reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in the dish. In Japan, oyakodon is often served in soba restaurants and other traditional Japanese restaurants.
        The donburi simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredient, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin. Proportions vary, but usually there is three to four times as much dashi as shoyu and mirin. For oyakodon, Tsuji (1980) recommends dashi flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar.

        Menu Ingredients:
        (Makes 4 small bowls of oyakodon)
        • Cooked rice as needed
        • 400 grams og chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
        • 1 onion, thinly sliced
        • 1 3/4 cups dashi soup stock (can also be replaced with powdered dashi/katsuobushi boiled in water)
        • 4 eggs
        • 4 tbsp mirin (japanese sweet rice wine, usually used for cooking)
        • 3 tbsp sugar
        • 7 tbsp soy sauce
        • nori dried seaweed *optional

        Menu Directions:

          Japanese Menu Oyakodon
        1. Pour dashi soup stock in a pan or skillet and put on medium heat.
        2. Add mirin, sugar, and soy sauce into the soup.Stir to blend.
        3. In different pan, fry chicken until half cooked. 
        4. Add onion into the pan and stir fry until the chicken are almost cooked.
        5. Pour the soup from the other pan/skillet into the chicken and onion. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
        6. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Add pepper to taste (optional)
        7. Bring the soup to a boil, and pour the eggs over the mixture.
        8. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid.
        9. After one minute, turn off the heat.
        10. Put cooked rice into deep serving bowls, then serve the cooked toppings on top. Sprinkle strips of dried seaweed on top (optional).

        Menu Related Videos:

        How to make oyakodon: 



        A Chef cooking oyakodon: 



        Another style to cook oyakodon: 


        Menu Sources and References:

        Thursday, May 19, 2011

        Japanese Menu - Yakitori

        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

        Hmm what can I say about this dish, so many things actually. Just imagine the succulent chicken thigh marinated and basted with the sweet and savory sauce, combine it with fresh spring onion, grill them in piping hot charcoal ... ahh.. so heavenly!!
        Whenever I went to a Japanese restaurant, I will almost certainly tried their yakitori. Even though I did experience some bad tasting yakitori like undercooked meat, really salty sauce, etc. But if you manage to taste the good ones, you won't stop thinking about it, just like me :)

        Menu Description:

        Japanese Menu Yakitori
        Yakitori is a type of Japanese skewered chicken. The term Yakitori can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both Yakitori and Kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society.

        Yakitori is made from several bite-sized pieces of meat (usually chicken) and vegetables skewered on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over charcoal.

        Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked. According to urban legend, there are chefs who refuse to clean the pot. In theory, they just add new ingredients every day to the same pot and never throw away the old sauce. It is said that some chefs have been using the same pot since the establishment of the restaurant. By doing that, the sauce is supposed to become more concentrated.

        Yakitori is the perfect culinary match for beer. If that alone doesn't convince you that yakitori is delightfully in all regards, the bear in mind that it's an inherently fun food
        Japanese Menu Yakitori
        In the 1950's (post war era), the spread of chicken broilers which were brought by the US occupation helped cut the cost of chicken meat. This helped yakitori to gain its popularity in Japan.
        Nowadays, Yakitori is widely loved for its delicious taste and low price. Some restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves from others by using the region's specially bred chicken, such as “Coochin”, “Shamo”, and “Hinaidori”.


        Common Poultry Dishes

        * hatsu or kokoro, chicken heart
        * rebā, liver
        * sunagimo, or zuri, chicken gizzard
        * tsukune, chicken meatballs
        * kawa, chicken skin, grilled until crispy
        * tebasaki, chicken wing
        * bonjiri, chicken tail
        * shiro, chicken small intestines
        * nankotsu, chicken cartilage
        * toriniku, all white meat on skewer

        Japanese Menu Yakitori ChefCommon non-poultry dishes

        * ikada (lit. raft), Japanese scallion, with two skewers to prevent rotation
        * gyūtan, ox tongue, sliced thinly
        * atsuage tōfu, deep-fried tofu
        * enoki maki, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of  pork
        * pīman, green pepper
        * asuparabēkon, asparagus wrapped in bacon
        * butabara, pork belly
        * ninniku, garlic


        Menu Ingredients:
        (Makes 4 – 6 Yakitori)

        • Chicken thigh fillets (1kg), cut into 2.5 cm cubes
        • Spring onions/Leeks, cut into 2.5 cm lengths (can also be changed to other vegetables to your liking, eg: cherry tomato or paprika)
        • Bamboo skewers

        Yakitori sauce (makes 2 cups)

        • 6 table spoons sake
        • 3/4 cup dark soy sauce
        • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
        • 1 clove garlic, crushed
        • 3 table spoons Morita Mirin Seasoning
        • 2 table spoons sugar
        • ½ table spoons of chicken stock (powder)

        Menu Directions:

        • Soak skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain.
        • Meanwhile, combine all Yakitori Sauce (refer above) ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Allow to cool completely.
        • Thread chicken and onions onto skewers. Place onto a plate. Brush with sauce.
        • Grill skewers over charcoal (recommended because it gives yakitori its unique scent and taste) while basting them with sauce, for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Can be served with rice.

        Menu Related Videos:

        How to make Yakitori: 



        Yakitori Vendor: 



        Yakitori bar: 



        Menu Sources and References:

        Monday, April 11, 2011

        Japanese Menu - SUSHI

        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

        Japanese menu sushi boat
        Sushi Boat
        Who did not know sushi these days? This popular Japanese food has been known world wide for its beauty, variety and delicacy. The taste varies and it really depends on its fillings or toppings. I have tried making this menu a couple of times and I really enjoy making it : ). Nowadays, most of the sushi restaurants/bars that I have come across are equipped with sushi trains/sushi boats where prepared sushi are being placed on a plate and they circle around the tracks/waterways. These tracks/waterways usually located past counter seats and/or tables. Billings are done based on the color/shape/pattern of the plate.

        Menu Description:

        History

        The traditional form of sushi is fermented fish and rice, preserved with salt in a process that has been traced to Southeast Asia, where it remains popular today. The term sushi comes from an archaic grammatical form no longer used in other contexts; literally, "sushi" means "it's sour", a reflection of its historic fermented roots.
        Japanese menu sushi platter
        Sushi Platter
        The vinegar produced from fermenting rice breaks down the fish proteins into amino acids. This results in one of the five basic tastes, called umami in Japanese. The oldest form of sushi in Japan, narezushi, still very closely resembles this process. In Japan, narezushi evolved into oshizushi and ultimately Edomae nigirizushi, which is what the world today knows as "sushi".
        Contemporary Japanese sushi has little resemblance to the traditional lacto-fermented rice dish. Originally, when the fermented fish was taken out of the rice, only the fish was consumed and the fermented rice was discarded. The strong-tasting and smelling funazushi, a kind of narezushi made near Lake Biwa in Japan, resembles the traditional fermented dish. Beginning in the Muromachi period (AD 1336–1573) of Japan, vinegar was added to the mixture for better taste and preservation. The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness and was known to increase its shelf life, allowing the fermentation process to be shortened and eventually abandoned. In the following centuries, sushi in Osaka evolved into oshi-zushi. The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds. By the mid 18th century, this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporary Tokyo).
        The contemporary version, internationally known as "sushi", was created by Hanaya Yohei (1799–1858) at the end of the Edo period in Edo. The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands at a roadside or in a theatre. Originally, this sushi was known as Edomae zushi because it used freshly caught fish in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay). Though the fish used in modern sushi no longer usually comes from Tokyo Bay, it is still formally known as Edomae nigirizushi.

        Nigirizushi

        Japanese menu nigiri sushi
        Nigiri Sushi
        Nigirizushi (hand-formed sushi) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses into a small rectangular box between the palms of the hands, usually with a bit of wasabi, and a topping draped over it.






        Japanese Menu Gunkanmaki
        Gunkanmaki
        Photo by Phu Son Nguyen
        Sushiday.com
        Gunkanmaki (warship roll) is a special type of nigirizushi: an oval, hand-formed clump of sushi rice that has a strip of "nori" wrapped around its perimeter to form a vessel that is filled with some soft, loose or fine-chopped ingredient that requires the confinement of nori such as roe, natto, oysters, sea urchin, corn with mayonnaise, and quail eggs.Gunkan-maki was invented at the Ginza Kyubey restaurant in 1931; its invention significantly expanded the repertoire of soft toppings used in sushi.



        Japanese Menu Temari Sushi
        Temari Sushi
        Photo by whatsonxiamen.com
        Temarizushi (ball sushi) is a ball-shaped sushi made by pressing rice and fish into a ball-shaped form by hand using a plastic wrap. They are quite easy to make and thus a good starting point for beginners.









        Makizushi

        Japanese menu maki sushi
        Maki Sushi
        Makizushi (rolled sushi), Norimaki (Nori roll) or makimono (variety of rolls) is a cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat, called a makisu. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori, but can occasionally be found wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or parsley.






        Japanese Menu Futomaki
        Futomaki
        Photo by dineouthere.com
        Futomaki (thick, large or fat rolls) is a large cylindrical piece, with nori on the outside. A typical futomaki is three or four centimeters (1.5 in) in diameter. They are often made with two or three fillings that are chosen for their complementary tastes and colors.







        Japanese Menu Hosomaki
        Hosomaki
        Hosomaki (thin rolls) is a small cylindrical piece, with the nori on the outside. A typical hosomaki has a diameter of about two centimeters (0.75 in). They generally contain only one filling, often tuna, cucumber, kanpyō, thinly sliced carrots, or, more recently, avocado.







        Japanese Menu Temaki
        Temaki
        Temaki (hand rolls) is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters (4 in) long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks. For optimal taste and texture, Temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness and becomes somewhat difficult to bite.




        Uramaki (inside-out rolls) is a medium-sized cylindrical piece, with two or more fillings. Uramaki differs from other makimono because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds.







        Oshizushi

        Oshizushi (pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka. A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako. The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block. The block is removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
        Inarizushi

        Inarizushi

        Japanese Menu Inari Sushi
        Inari Sushi
        Inarizushi is a pouch of fried tofu filled with usually just sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu. The pouch is normally fashioned as deep-fried tofu (abura age).









        Chirashizushi

        Japanese Menu Chirasi Sushi
        Chirasi Sushi
        Chirashizushi (scattered sushi) is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes (also refers to barazushi). Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) is an uncooked ingredient that is arranged artfully on top of the sushi rice in a bowl. Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi) are cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of rice in a bowl. It is eaten annually on Hinamatsuri in March.






        Narezushi

        Japanese Menu Nare Sushi
        Nare Sushi
        Narezushi (matured sushi) is a traditional form of fermented sushi. Skinned and gutted fish are stuffed with salt, placed in a wooden barrel, doused with salt again, then weighed down with a heavy tsukemonoishi (pickling stone). As days pass, water seeps out and is removed. After six months this funazushi can be eaten, remaining edible for another six months or more.


        Western-style sushi
        Japanese Menu California Roll
        Western Style Sushi

        The increasing popularity of sushi around the world has resulted in variations typically found in North America and Europe, but rarely in Japan. Such creations to suit the Western palate were initially fueled by the invention of the California roll. A wide variety of popular rolls has evolved since.




        Condiments
        Sushi is commonly eaten with condiments. Sushi may be dipped in shōyu, soy sauce, and may be flavored with wasabi, a piquant paste made from the grated root of the Wasabia japonica plant. However, some consider the use of condiments with sushi to be rude, as it implies that the chef's original preparation was inadequate.
        Japanese Menu Gari
        Gari - Japanese Pickled Ginger
        True wasabi has anti-microbial properties and may reduce the risk of food poisoning. The traditional grating tool for wasabi is a sharkskin grater or samegawa oroshi. An imitation wasabi (seiyo-wasabi), made from horseradish, mustard powder and green dye is common. It is found at lower-end kaiten zushi restaurants, in bento box sushi and at most restaurants outside of Japan. If manufactured in Japan, it may be labelled "Japanese Horseradish".
        Gari, sweet, pickled ginger is eaten with sushi to both cleanse the palate and aid in digestion. In Japan, green tea (ocha) is invariably served together with sushi. Better sushi restaurants often use a distinctive premium tea known as mecha. In sushi vocabulary, green tea is known as agari.


        Sushi Rice Recipe

        Menu Ingredients:

        3 cups uncooked sushi or sticky or plain rice
        3 cups water
        ½ cup rice/white/brown vinegar
        ½ cup sugar
        1 teaspoon salt

        Menu Directions:

        1. Wash the rice and rinse thoroughly.
        Japanese Menu Sushi
        Sushi
        2. Place rice and water in a rice cooker and set until cooked. Alternately, place rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook covered until done, 35 to 45 minutes.
        3. Meanwhile, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.
        4. Put the cooked rice into a large mixing bowl; pour the vinegar sauce over the hot rice and mix. Allow to cool slightly before using in sushi recipes.

        For other sushi recipes, please have a look at the sushi section of Japanese Menu.

        Menu Related Videos:

         

        How to make Japanese Menu Temaki Sushi


        Sushi restaurant at Tokyo


        Tokyo sushi train


        Sushi Boat


        Menu Sources and References:

        Wednesday, February 16, 2011

        Japanese Menu - OKONOMIYAKI


        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:



        Japanese menu Okonomiyaki
        One of my in laws friend is a japanese and she made one for us. She made the kansai/osaka style snack menu okonomiyaki where she mix all the ingredients. It tastes very yummy with differenct flavours of sweet, a little bit sour, savory, and salty. Whats more she even put different kinds of fillings like prawns, chicken, beef, etc which makes things more interesting.

        Menu Description:


        Okonomiyaki is a Japanese snack menu for savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked" (cf. yakitori and yakisoba). Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country. The menu's toppings and batters tend to vary according to region.

        Kansai area

        Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated yam, water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (generally pork or bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelette or a pancake and may be referred to as "a Japanese pancake" or even "Osaka soul food."
        Most okonomiyaki restaurants are grill-it-yourself establishments, where the server produces a bowl of raw ingredients that the customer mixes and grills at tables fitted with teppan, or special hotplates. They may also have a diner-style counter where the cook prepares the dish in front of the customers.

        In Osaka (the largest city in the Kansai region), where this dish is said to have originated, this Japanese snack menu is pretty much prepared like a pancake. The batter and other ingredients are fried on both sides on either a teppan or a pan using metal spatulas that are later used to slice the dish when it has finished cooking. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with ingredients that include otafuku/okonomiyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce but thicker and sweeter), aonori (seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), Japanese mayonnaise, and pickled ginger (beni shoga).

        Hiroshima area

        A lantern beckons customers into an okonomiyaki restaurant

        In Hiroshima, the ingredients are layered rather than mixed together. The layers are typically batter, cabbage, pork, and optional items such as squid, octopus, and cheese. Noodles (yakisoba, udon) are also used as a topping with fried egg and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce.

        The amount of cabbage used is usually three to four times the amount used in the more common Osaka style. It starts out piled very high and is pushed down as the cabbage cooks. The order of the layers may vary slightly depending on the chef's style and preference, and ingredients vary depending on the preference of the customer. People from Hiroshima claim that this is the correct way to make okonomiyaki. This style is also called Hiroshima-yaki or Hiroshima-okonomi.

        Okonomi-mura, in Naka-ku in Hiroshima, was the top food theme park destination for families in Japan according to an April 2004 poll.
        Other areas

        In Tokyo, Tsukishima town is popular for both Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki. Monjayaki is a liquid, runny variant of okonomiyaki. The main street of this town is called Monja Street.

        In Hamamatsu, takuan (pickled daikon) is mixed in okonomiyaki.

        In Okinawa, okonomiyaki is called hirayachi (ヒラヤーチー) and is thinner than ins other areas. People cook it at home, so there are no hirayachi restaurants in Okinawa,[citation needed] although okonomiyaki restaurants can be found in a few places.


        Osaka-style Okonomiyaki Recipe

        Menu Ingredients:

        • 2 cup all purpose flour
        • 1 1/4 cup dashi soup stock or water
        • 4-6 eggs
        • 1 - 1 1/4 lb cabbage
        • 6 tbsps chopped green onion
        • 2/3 cup tenkasu (tempura flakes)
        • 12 - 18 strips of thinly sliced pork or beef
        • For toppings:
        • Ao-nori (green seaweed)
        • Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
        • Okonomiyaki sauce (or tonkatsu sauce)
        • Mayonnaise

        Menu Directions:


        Japanese Menu Okonomiyaki
        People Eating Okonomiyaki
        Photo by http://www.nnanime.com
        Pout dashi soup stock in a bowl. Mix the flour in the soup stock. Rest the batter for an hour in the refrigerator. Chop cabbage finely. Take about 1/2 cup of the batter (to make one sheet of okonimiyaki) in another bowl. Mix chopped cabbage (about 1/4 lb), chopped green onion (about 1 tbsp), and tempura flakes (about 2 tbsps) in the batter. Make a hole in the middle of the batter and add an egg in the hole. Stir the batter. Heat an electric pan and oil slightly. Pour the batter over the pan and make a round. Fry meat or your choice of toppings on the side. Cook 5-7 minutes and place meat (toppings) on top of the okonomiyaki. Flip the okonomiyaki and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Flip the okonomiyaki again and spread okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise on top. Sprinkle aonori over the sauce. Sprinkle katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and beni-shoga (red ginger) if you would like. Makes 4-6 sheets.

        Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki Recipe

        Menu Ingredients:

        • 1 cup all purpose flour
        • 3/4 cup dashi soup or water
        • 4 eggs
        • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
        • 2 cups bean sprouts
        • 12 pieces thinly sliced pork
        • 4 packages pre-steamed chucka noodles for yakisoba
        • Seasonings:
        • yakisoba sauce or salt
        • okonomiyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce
        • Toppings:
        • chopped green onion
        • aonori (dried seaweed powder) 

        how to make Hiroshima style Japanese menu Okonomiyaki

        Menu Directions:

        Mix flour and dashi soup stock to make okonomiyaki batter. Heat and oil a large skillet or iron plate. Spread a scoop of the batter into a thin round over the pan. Place a handful of cabbage and bean sprouts on top of the batter. Place pork slices on top of the vegetables. Pour some okonomiyaki batter over the ingredients. Flip the okonomiyaki over with spatulas. Cook it on low heat until meats and vegetables are cooked. Meanwhile, fry yakisoba noodles on the side and lightly season with okonomiyaki sauce or salt as you like. Replace okonomiyaki with spatulas on top of yakisoba noodles and press on the top firmly. Fry an egg on the side an break the egg york with spatula. Replace the okonomiyaki on top of the fried egg and again press on the top firmly. Serve the okonomiyaki on a plate with the egg side up. Repeat this process to make more okonomiyaki. Spread okonomiyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise on the okonomiyaki. Sprinkle chopped green onion and ao-nori (dried seaweed powder) on the top.
        *Makes 4 servings 

        Menu Related Videos:


        Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki Vendor



        Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki



        Osaka Style Okonomiyaki



        How To Make Snack Menu - Okonomiyaki



        Menu Sources and References:

        Sunday, January 16, 2011

        My First Japanese Menu is TAKOYAKI.

        Menu Taste and Personal Experience:


        I love this snack menu. Basically they taste sweet, a little bit sour, savory, and salty with crispy batter skin and chewy fillings (octopus). In conclusion, they are very delicious and tasty. People also sell takoyaki with different fillings, eg: Sliced beef sausage/ham, sliced chicken sausage, vegetarian fillings, cheese, etc.

        Menu Description:


        japanese menu takoyakiTakoyaki (literally fried or grilled octopus) is a popular Japanese dumpling made of batter, diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, ponzu, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori), and katsuobushi (fish shavings).

        History:

        It was first popularized in Osaka where a street vendor named Endo Tomekichi is credited with its invention in 1935. Takoyaki can be found in shops called issen-yoshokuwhich roughly translates to "one-penny Western food". Yaki is derived from "yaku" which simply means "to fry or grill" in Japanese, and can be found in the names of other Japanese cuisine items such as teriyaki or sukiyaki.


        Takoyaki Street vendor

        Menu Ingredients:


        Batter

        • 100 gram flour
        • 1 egg
        • 400 ml water 
        • 1/4 tbsp kombu dashi (bonito/fish stock)
        • 1/4 tbsp soy sauce 

        Fillings

        • Half Boiled octopus - cut into 1cm square (other fillings can be used like prawns, beef sausages, etc)
        • Bread Crumbs (Optional)
        • Cheddar Cheese - cut into 1/2cm square (Optional)
        • Gari (Pickled Japanese Ginger) - chopped (Optional)
        • Chopped spring onion (scallions) (Optional)
        Toppings
        • Nori (dried seaweed) - chopped or powder
        • Katsuobushi (Dried bonito flakes)
        • Japanese Mayonnaise
        • Takoyaki sauce ( or Worcestershire sauce )

        Menu Directions:



        Takoyaki Pan

        1. Warm up iron plate and oil the surface.
        2. Put the batter into the hole to almost full.
        3. Then put all fillings into the hole.
        4. When batter on the edge of the molds become cooked (the inside batter should still be liquidy), turn over takoyaki with pick.
        5. When batter browns turn over to form balls. Continue to heat while turning it over and over until balls become evenly browned and well cooked inside.
        6. Serve on plate, top with sauce, mayo,  katsuobushi and nori to taste.

        Menu Related Videos:


        How to make snack menu - takoyaki



        Takoyaki Vendor



        Automatic Tako Pan for making the menu




        Menu Sources and References: