The Wonderful World of Shochu

Along with ramen and sushi, sake is a part of Japanese food and drink culture that is ubiquitous here in New York.  But as someone who spent the majority of my time in Japan in Kyushu, I sometimes wonder why shochu doesn’t get its fair share of the acclaim.  Down there shochu is the go-to drink, and since 90% of domestic production takes place at distilleries in Kyushu it is known as Shochu Island.

Read more...
1031

Portlandia's Noodle Monster

Last night IFC’s Portlandia Season 6 finale featured a tsukemen ramen monster taking over the town, with potentially disastrous results.  This monster was brought to life when leftover tsukemen noodles, intended to be just dipped and not soaked, were dunked into their broth due to a lack of refrigerator space...

Read more...
1116

和食

This weekend I had the chance to check out the documentary Washoku at Cinema Village, where it will be playing through the end of the month.  It features interviews with sushi chefs and other Japanese food proprietors, and asks them about their philosophy, preparation and overall view of Japanese food.  Many of them in talk in detail about the sacrifices they make for their craft, and how much pride they have in their work.  This film is truly a must see for all washoku lovers. 

Read more...
788

Food Culture - Ramen

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is through food. It's a way for you to eat delicious meal while also learning about the country from which the dish originates. Ramen (ラーメン or らーめん) is a perfect example of this food culture. It's one of Japan's most well-known foods, aside from sushi. The Brief History of Ramen Types of Ramen Where to Get Ramen? How to Make Your Own Ramen! The Brief History of Ramen Though ramen is most associated with Japan, it actually came ...

Read more...
1126

Sakura Season!

I am down in DC for my latest interpreting assignment, and the whole city seems to be getting ready for its cherry blossom festival due to start in exactly two weeks.  Of course, nature doesn’t always abide by man’s schedule, and some sakura were already starting to bloom.  This makes me wonder whether there will be any blossoms left for the duration of the festival, as last year most were long gone by the end.

Read more...
820

Asian Food Blog: Springtime Sweets

The newest addition to the Hills Learning blog - Asian Food Blog A section devoted to introducing Asian dishes and giving step by step instruction for fool-proof Asian cooking. Since the weather is warming up and signs of spring are popping up all around, I thought it would nice to introduce some deliciously light sweets from China, Japan and Korea. This entry will quickly introduce each of the desserts, and over the next three weeks, the recipe for each dish will be explained. So if you ...

Read more...
974

Konbini – Convenience Stores in Japan

Oh, how I love the konbini (コンビニ: it’s short for “convenience store” in English). Whether it’s Lawson, 7 Eleven, AM/PM, or Family Mart, they’re a reliable place in Japan for late night snacks, booze, and even a full meal. Plus you can also pay your bills there! Items are packed just so, and potentially embarasing hygiene items are double and even triple-bagged using opaque brown paper so that no one will be the wiser. I now present to you a brief rundown of some of my favorite konbini ...

Read more...
2125

American Fast Food In Japan

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for junk food. Since living in New York, my consumption of fast food has gone up dramatically, despite the wide array of quality food here. Now I’m not advocating that you visit McDonald’s or any of these other restaurants while in Japan, but sometimes you just gotta eat. Here is a list of some of the major differences you’ll find between your US fast food place and that same burger joint in Japan. McDonald’s – マクドナルド One of the most obvious differences ...

Read more...
2885

Fall Foods in Japan

America has some favorite fall foods like pumpkins and candy apples, and Japan is no different with certain dishes and ingredients strongly associated with autumn. How many have you tried? Satsuma-imo (薩摩芋): Sweet potato These are very similar to yams, though the flesh is softer and the inside is more yellow than orange. The outside is often purplish in color, and satsuma-imo are often used in tempura or candied as a dessert (pictured). In Kyoto, I often heard the loud...

Read more...
1288

rss_feedRSS

Categories