In this installment of our discussions on Sake, we will discuss the basic ingredients of Sake, the different kinds of ingredients and how they affect the final result. These main ingredients include:
This installment will concentrate on rice and water, the most important ingredients by volume only. Yeast and koji will be discussed later. Read more on “Sake – The Basic Ingredients (Rice and Water)” »
Cedar Sake Barrel
This is part one of a series of discussions on Sake. Hopefully these discussions will help you better understand, and ultimately, appreciate Sake more. Many people who have tried Sake outside of Japan often say they did not like it. It is important to remember that the quality of the rice and the purity and quality of the water have a tremendous effect on the eventual quality of the Sake. So if you have tried Sake produced from outside of Japan, it will be much different (and usually not as good due to the difference in the water) as Sake made in Japan. To truly understand Sake, you first need to understand the brewing process. Read more on “Sake – Part 1 – The Brewing Process” »
I may be dating myself, but my first exposure to Japanese food came long before anyone in America even knew sushi existed. Like many my age, my introduction to Japanese food came at a teppanyaki restaurant. I know you have all been to one of these restaurants where the cooking of the food is as much entertainment as it is food preparation.
While teppanyaki is popular in Japan, I’m sure it is not surprising the menus at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants are much different than the typical beef, chicken or seafood teriyaki and fried rice served at American teppanyaki restaurants. What you may not know is there is no food throwing, knife juggling or cooking oil induced fires up to the vents at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants. While there are exceptions, teppanyaki in Japan usually means Yakisoba and Okonomiyaki. Read more on “Japanese Teppanyaki – It’s Not Your Father’s Teppanyaki” »
Miyajima Grilled Oysters
As you travel around Japan, you will find each region has its type of food (or foods) that it is known for. My mantra when it comes to Japanese food is to eat the local specialties. One of the specialties, among others, of the Miyajima Island/Hiroshima area are oysters. Read more on “Oysters – Miyajima Style” »
Genkotsu-ame (literally translates to Fist Candy) is a specialty of the Hida (Takayama) region of Japan. It is one of the most popular sweets made in the area, and can be found in just about every souvenir shop in Takayama. They can even be found in supermarkets and convenience stores as well.
It is relatively easy to make. First, soybean powder is mixed with mizuame (literally translates to water candy). Mizuame, a starch syrup and Japanese sweetener, is usually made by converting rice or potato starch to sugars and looks and tastes much like corn syrup. Sometimes green powder tea, chocolate and other ingredients are also added to the genkotsu-ame for flavoring. Read more on “Making Fist Candy” »