Japanese Chicken Stew (Mizutaki)

Mizutaki is a popular Fukuoka cuisine which is north shore of Kyushu Japan. It was original  said to be Chinese-style cooked chicken or consomme soup which is western. If you plan to have a delicious Mizutaki, taste the soup before eating the chicken, and when the soup taste has become strong enough to your discretion, add vegetables to the soup and get yourself ready for a delicious soup.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1kg chicken with bones
  2. Soup stock
  3. 600g chicken bone
  4. 2000cc water
  5. Pinch of UMAMI
  6. 50g chicken liver
  7. 50g chicken gizzards
  8. 1 block tofu
  9. 1/2 bunch shungiku/kikuna (chrysanthemum) leaves
  10. 4 shiitake mushrooms
  11. 1/4 head of Chinese cabbage
  12. 150g cauliflower
  13. Ponzu soy sauce (sauce containing soy sauce and vinegar or citrus juice)
  14. 20g sliced konegi leek
  15. Momiji oroshi
  16. 100g grated radish
  17. 2 red peppers
  18. 4 rice cakes

DIRECTIONS:

1. Rinse chicken bones in hot water. Add the cold water to the pot and boil over high heat, skim off any foam, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1/3. While simmering, take chicken bones out of the pot, grind with a pestle, and put back into the pot. When the soup turns milky, strain.

2. Chop chicken into pieces (about 50g), and place in a deep pot. Add hot water to twice the depth of the chicken and simmer over high heat while skimming off any foam for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 30 minutes, so that the bone can be removed from the chicken easily.

3. Shave chicken liver and gizzards thinly with a knife, let bleed, boil, and then drain.

4. Chop vegetables and tofu into chunks, arrange on a plate, and serve with momiji oroshi and sliced konegi leek.

5. Put (2) into the earthen pot, and add stock (1) and the meat (3). While simmering, enjoy ingredients in ponzu soy sauce. Add tofu and vegetables to the pot, and enjoy the dish while it simmers over low heat in the middle of the dining table.

HERE IT IS AND HOPE YOU WILL LOVE IT.

 

Daikon Nimono!

Hello, All!

A little while back, I posted about Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha, nimono. Do you remember what nimono is? It is a Japanese method of cooking where you slow cook foods with traditional seasonings like dashi (stock), mirin, sake, and soy sauce, among other things.

Slow-Cooked Daikon Ajinomoto

Slow-Cooked Daikon

Daikon is not very common in countries other than Japan and the taste is often thought of to be very strong and tangy, like other typical radishes. However, if you cook it nimono-style, the Daikon is actually very soft and sweet! I love it and am excited to share the recipe with you!

Often times, instead of just cooking the Daikon alone, the Japanese will pair the daikon with a thick fish. However, I`ll just show you how to make the Daikon on its own and you can decide from there what you`d like to pair it with!

Daikon Nimono Recipe (Side dish):

-1 Large Daikon

-1tbsp sugar (I like healthy brown sugar)

2tbsp Ajinomoto Dashi

-1/4 cup sake

-1thumb size knob of fresh ginger, grated

-2tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup water

Directions:

1) Cut the daikon into 2cm thick chunks, and then cut those in half so you have half moon shapes.

2) Put the daikon into a large pot with the sugar, dashi, ginger, and sake. Cover with a lid.  Bring the heat up until the sake starts to boil, then put the heat on low to slow cook (there shouldn`t be much liquid in the pot, if you are wondering) for 15 minutes.

3) After 15 minutes, add in the soy sauce and water and slow cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the daikon is very soft (it should almost break apart when you touch it with your chopsticks).

4) Take off heat and you can eat it hot or wait for the flavors to continue to set in and eat it room temperature.

Enjoy!

Kaori

Ikura Don Topped with Salmon

If you have been in Japan and moved up north to the place called Hokkaido, you would have noticed what I am going to share with you now. It is called IKURA DON a popular Hokkaido food. Why do I love this food, it is made of seafood and has low cholesterol meaning that is what every healthy person wants to eat.  However, I have taken it to another level by adding extra dimensions to it. Normally in Japan we serve it at every family dinner in addition with other foods. When you visit Tokyo you can find it in restaurants but if you really want to try it out and see the real taste take the jump and go to Hokkaido. You will enjoy eating it while having fun in this nature blessed region of Japan. I served this out today at a restaurant in Tokyo were I was creating a new Menu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 servings Japanese premium short grain rice.
  • 2 shiso leaves (perilla)
  • 5 oz salmon sashimi
  • 3-4 Tbsp. ikura (salmon roe)
  • 3 Tbsp. kizami nori (shredded nori seaweed)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Wasabi
  • A dash of ajinomoto umami
And you are ready to have a special lunch or dinner.

 

Japanese Recipes with Ajinomoto: Steamy Stuffed Tofu

Tofu can be fun and delicious meal for kids, not to mention healthy, especially when added with Ajinomoto’s Aji-Shio Seasoning Mix. The tofu’s flavor and texture, when combined with ground pork, shrimp, and sauces, is enhanced by Ajinomoto. It turns this simple dish into a delight to the palate!

Steamy stuffed tofu is very easy to prepare, even by kids! All you need are the following:

For the Tofu Blocks:

  • 1 ½ blocks of fresh tofu. Cut into 12 equal rectangular pieces. For each block, scoop out each center of the tofu to leave a hollow part. Set aside the scooped out tofu.

  • 1/8 kilo ground beef or pork

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • ½ pack of Ajinomoto’s Aji-Shio Seasoning Mix with Pepper (6 gram pack)

  • ½ pack of Ajinomoto’s Aji-Shio Seasoning Mix with Garlic (6 gram pack)

  • 12 pcs shrimp (peeled)

For the Special Sauce:

  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp ginger (grated)

  • 3 tbsp minced onions

  • 1/8 cup water (or soup stock)

  • 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 ½ tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp soysauce

Combine the scooped out tofu, ground beef and beaten egg in a small bowl. Mix with Ajinomoto’s Aji-Shio Seasoning Mix with Pepper and Aji-Shio Seasoning Mix with Garlic. Mix well. Next, spoon this mixture on the small craters you created on the tofu blocks when you scooped out their centers. Place the shrimp on top firmly and make sure it does not topple over. Steam the tofu – ground pork – shrimp combination for about 20 minutes.

For the sauce, saute ginger and onions in hot oil. Add the water (or soup stock), oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and bring everthing to boil. Make sure to mix everything well.

After the sauce has been boiling for around 3 minutes, pour it evenly over the tofu blocks. Serve hot. Enjoy it!!!

Secret To Life, The Japanese Story.

Japanese life expectancy is the highest in the world with men having an average life span of 78 years while women have 85 years. For the past 20 years, the life expectancy of Japanese women has been ranked the highest in the world. One might now ask, what is the secret behind this longevity of life that Japanese people enjoy? This question has been going on for so many years and there have been many answers to it. But the most important of the answers was the one from a Japanese professor called Yasuo Kagawa at Jichi Medical School in Tochigi prefecture Japan. In order to answer this question, the professor conducted a research and came to a final conclusion that Japanese have a low cholesterol blood content. We all know how high level of cholesterol can be harmful to the human body and could lead to deadly health issues. He compared the Japanese cholesterol content with that of Americans and the result showed the American nutritions have high cholesterol content.

Now another question to be answered is, how do Japanese get to achieve such low cholesterol in their blood? The answers comes back to what I advocate each day, Eating healthy. He found out that Japanese foods contain very low cholesterol and that is the secret. As a Japanese who has dealt with food and Japanese nutrition, I can attest to the research and will say it is the truth. For example, in the restaurants that I go to teach or create menu, the most important questions that are being asked is how healthy will the Japanese people find this food. It is impossible for you to go to any Japanese breakfast, lunch or dinner table without finding one of these. 1. Seaweed 2. Vegetables 3. Raw fish (or Sushi component). What is important among these three things? They contain little or no cholesterol. Even though these have been successful in Japan it is unfortunate that many people around the world have not invested a lot in trying to adopt these eating habit. I would not blame anybody because sometime Japanese foods don not appear yummy like most western foods. However, below that non-yummy looking food is the secret to healthy long life. It is important to work out and do exercises. However, if you have not gotten in tune to eating the right things, working out and exercise can do little to help. Am not saying this because am Japanese but am saying it because I love life and healthy eating will give you a lovely and lasting life.

Now below are some basic Japanese food ingredients I will like you to get accustomed to: Eat Healthy and live longer.

 

Tofu: This is made from Soybean.

 

 

 

 

Prawn or Shellfish

 

 

 

 

Soba noodles: This is made from buckwheat flour.

 

 

 

 

Wakame Seaweed.

 

 

 

 

Shiitake- Mushroom.

What is Umami Taste?

Umami has been recently documented as the fifth taste in human beings, but it has been exploited over the years in the preparation of delicious foods. The umami taste comes from the use of ingredients that contain naturally occurring glutamate to give the food a rich, delicious, savory taste. These ingredients also enhance other tastes, thus minimizing the use of other cooking ingredients like fat and salt. The umami ingredients come from natural healthy sources like tomatoes, soybeans, seaweed, asparagus, and certain meats and fishes. Many people from different parts of the world have their own ingredients that they use to make umami.
The umami taste is now being listed alongside salty, bitter, sweet, and sour as the main tastes in humans. There are other flavors that have been counted as tastes in some cultures but are not yet universally accepted. Some of these ‘tastes’ include minty, metallic, fatty, or spicy. Humans and animals are able to perceive the different tastes through the use of taste buds in the tongue and mouth. There are thousands of these taste buds and each of them contains sensory receptor cells and nerves. There are specific receptors for each type of taste, and the taste buds contain different taste receptors.
Many cultures have their own way of making and describing the umami taste. Foods rich in umami require less salt and fat to prepare. The French add veal stock to their meals to increase umami while the Japanese add seaweed for the same purpose. The unique, delicious umami taste results from free amino acids in the food and not the ones bound to proteins. The amount of free amino acids in foods is increased during ripening, fermentation, aging, or heat exposure. The foods that undergo these processes are usually rich in umami and are delicious when used for cooking.

What is Ajinomoto?


Are you wondering what is Ajinomoto? Ajinomoto is the brand name for MSG (monosodium glutamate). Ajinomoto is a popular food ingredient that has been used ever since 1909. Several bodies, including the SCF (Scientific Committee for Food) of the European Commission, the FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), and the Foods Standards Australia New Zealand all assert that MSG is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorize it as ‘generally recognized as safe’ (or GRAS).

Aji no Moto literally translates to ‘Essence of Taste’. So, what is Ajinomoto history? The Chinese and the Japanese had been tapping into the advantages of the flavor enhancing properties of glutamate for hundreds of years before Professor Ikeda at the University of Tokyo isolated glutamate from a dried Konbu broth. This was back in 1908.

The protein molecule is made up of 20 amino acids, one being glutamatic acid. MSG is the salt version of this acid. Ajinomoto is found in different products that are on food shelves. These include sugar cane molasses and fermented sugar beet. Ajinomoto is popular because it stimulates the umami taste. The 4 basic tastes have traditionally been sour, sweet, bitter, and salty, but it is not believed that there is a 5th basic taste called umami, which is the savory taste. This is the taste that you find in such foods as ripe cheese and tomatoes. Eating foods that are seasoned with Ajinomoto will therefore stimulate the umami or glutamate receptors in your tongue and will enhance the foods’ savory flavor.

The biggest producer of Ajinomoto is Ajinomoto Co. Inc. The Japanese food and chemical corporation is involved in the production of seasonings, amino acids, TV dinners, cooking oils, sweeteners, and even pharmaceuticals. Outside Asia, North America is the biggest consumer of Ajinomoto.

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