Strong Influence


Special occasions call for memorable meals, and for many North Americans, “Japanese” steakhouses such as Benihana or Shogun stir fond recollections.  These places value entertainment, and they feature flashy, wisecracking chefs preparing meals, teppanyaki-style, on an iron griddle immediately in front of guests.  The freshest ingredients served alongside puns (some cringe-worthy, some not), knife gymnastics… Continue reading Strong Influence

Advertisement

New Toy


On the doorstep is a box, shipped straight from Japan! Packed inside, carefully, is a donabe, a lidded clay cooking pot beloved all over the island nation for the full-flavored moistness it bestows. Lots of ideas for dishes to try, but most of them seem oriented to winter. You know, steaming pot and all. It’s… Continue reading New Toy

It’s Quick


That’s the whole concept of tempura – once the oil is hot enough to begin bubbling, lightly battered food is dipped in it just long enough to flash cook it and to seal in the flavors.  The batter actually protects the food from the oil and ensures the edibles are steamed, not fried, and that… Continue reading It’s Quick

Mushrooms, Most Honorable


Indeed, not only do shitake mushrooms bring today’s entry much regard, they also glorify it with anticipation of a great meal.  The Japanese invented a word to describe the fifth element to engage the tongue, umami.  The term has gained wide acclaim lately, both in and out of food circles, and it signifies a delightfully… Continue reading Mushrooms, Most Honorable