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Osechi – New Year’s Food in Japan

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Special dishes known as osechi-ryouri (御節料理 or お節料理) are served on New Year’s in Japan. Large stackable boxes known as juubako (重箱) hold the food, and the dishes can stay good for several days since osechi are traditionally eaten through January 3rd. Cooking was finished by New Year’s Eve since long ago it was forbidden to cook during the first three days of the new year. These days, many people purchase osechi in stores since the cooking process is long and difficult, and waiting ...

Fugu: A (Sometimes) Deadly Delicacy

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After 11 people were poisoned by pufferfish in Toyama last week, I thought I would take some time to talk about the full fugu (河豚 – blowfish, pufferfish) dinner in Japan. My host mother just recently returned from such a meal, thankfully unharmed. What can you expect at such a pricey dinner? The full fugu experience can cost upwards of $200, so here is a guide to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Tessa (てっさ): Fugu sashimi Raw fugu sashimi (刺身) is a delicacy, and ...

Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Sweet Potatoes

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(For more information on where these recipes came from and more Japanese cooking vocabulary, check out my previous posts for Yellowtail Teriyaki, Cashew Chicken, Roast Chinjao, and Tonkatsu!) Did you read about Fall foods in Japan yet? If you have, you’ll notice that the first food listed is sweet potatoes. Have you ever wondered how to make them into a dessert, Japanese style? Read on and learn how! スイートポテト – Sweet Potatoes Yield: 4 ...

Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Tonkatsu

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Here is another recipe from the Nintendo cooking game しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ. To catch up on Japanese cooking vocabulary, be sure to check out my previous recipes (Yellowtail Teriyaki, Cashew Chicken, and Roast Chinjao). This time, it’s a popular dish found at many Japanese restaurants all over the world. It’s tonkatsu, which is a thin, deep-fried cutlet of pork. Also, the vocabulary section is a little different than usual. After our hiragana lessons, you should be able to read hiragana, so no ...

Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Roast Chinjao

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(Note: Please check out the recipes for Yellowtail Teriyaki and Cashew Chicken for more useful Japanese cooking vocabulary!) More Nintendo cooking, and once again we have a rather Chinese dish, but it’s very well-known in Japan. Next time I will feature something more traditionally Japanese. Any requests? We’ve gotten through a lot of cooking words with the past two recipes, so if you see words here you don’t recognize, check back in the links posted above. With that said, let’s get ...

Fall Foods in Japan

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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, ...

Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Cashew Chicken

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It’s time for another edition of Nintendo cooking! Be sure to check out this post for background about where this recipe came from, and more useful cooking vocabulary which will be built upon in this post. This is technically a Chinese dish, but this is a Japanese version of it complete with ingredients like red miso paste. Just as Chinese, Japanese, Italian, etc. food has been Americanized in many places here in the US, so foreign recipes are “Japanified” to appeal to local palates in ...

Japanese Grocery Stores in New York

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How can you make Japanese or other Asian recipes without the right ingredients? Large US grocery chains often have an “international” aisle, but the pickings are usually slim. But there are many small Japanese grocery stores in Manhattan and the other boroughs, as well as several online resources available for those who don’t feel like traveling to a brick-and-mortar store. Many Chinese or Korean markets also have a lot of common Japanese ingredients for cheaper prices, so it’s probably best ...

Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Yellowtail Teriyaki

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In addition to hitting the books, a fun way to learn new Japanese vocabulary is by making a Japanese dish. While I lived in Japan, it was tempting to resort to Cup Noodle or instant curry every night, but I eventually bought a video game called しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ (Shaberu! DS o-ryouri nabi) for my Nintendo DS when it was released in 2006. This game—which will work on Japanese and American systems alike—is a portable, interactive cookbook with 200 common Japanese recipes. Sadly, an English ...

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