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Archive for the ‘Japanese food’ Category

Last summer, I was invited by my friend to the baking class for free trial class. Having her doing the reservation, I just went right away to the Roppongi studio of ABC, craving for Chiffone with fresh orange and mango. At the end of the class, I ended up signing membership as it’s a very tempting offer. 50% discount for student.

They have a lot of studios throughout Japan with 3 courses: cooking, cake, and bread.
After thorough consideration, I decided signing for cooking course. It would be the best for me, it will be quite applicable for daily life. Yeah, it’s too bad, I never cooked for myself. I started cooking since I came to Japan. In my childhood, my mom’s so busy so we ate catering food. And when I moved to Jakarta for the bachelor degree, a lot of cafetarias offering variety of food with affordable price. So I never really cook. f(^^

Ok, to make story short, I did enjoy the cooking class. I went there couple times and invited some friends for trial classes as well. It’s nice due to the studio atmosphere, and the class’s delivered in a small group, consists of up to 4 persons in one session. And the most important thing, it’s not a cooking demo class like in Indonesia – we are all involved for the practical cooking.
As for the cooking course, there’ll be 3 different kinds of menu each month. And last December, Inge and I attended for the Osechi ryouri-御節料理 menu. (Japanese new year’s food)

Originally, during first three days of the New Year it was a taboo to use a hearth and cook meals. That’s why Osechi was traditionally home made, prepared by the close of the previous year, as women did not cook in the New Year. ^^

Here we go..

Each of the osechi symbolizes particular meaning to celebrate the coming new year.
And the presentation may differ from one region to others. Like the shape of mochi as well, will be different from Kanto area(in my case, Tokyo) to Kansai area(Osaka, Kobe, etc)

Shrimp have long whiskers and their backs are curved, they are associated with elder people. People eat shrimp hoping to live a long life.

* Ebi (エビ), skewered prawns cooked with sake and soy sauce,  symbolizes long life as the shrimp have long whiskers and curved backs which associated with elder people.

* Zouni (雑煮), a soup of mochi rice cakes in clear broth (in eastern Japan) or miso broth (in western Japan). The source of the sweetness doesn’t basically come from sugar, but rice with the natural sweetness. The vegetables in the soup symbolizes smooth human relations, having many descendants, being promoted in the world, not to become jealous or petty and to put down strong roots.

* Tazukuri (田作り), dried sardines cooked in soy sauce. The literal meaning of the kanji in tazukuri is “rice paddy maker”, as the fish were used historically to fertilize rice fields. The symbolism is of an abundant harvest.

* Toori yasai maki (鶏野菜巻き), vegetable rolled in the chicken. I don’t know the meaning, sorry.

* Kuro-mame (黒豆), black soybeans. Mame also means “health,” symbolizing a wish for health in the New Year.

*Kurikinton(栗きんとん)、mashed sweet potatoes with chestnuts

I got the chance sharing about Indonesia in front of the elementary school students. And they asked me what’s the food for new year in Indonesia? As Indonesian are multicultural nation, so I just gave them example that we have different types of new year celebration. And as for the Moslem who are the majority in Indonesia, they usually eat ketupat. Am I correct? And of course, a very big big meal is waiting right? Gulai kambing, rendang, and so on..

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“To know a country is to eat the food of the country”
Agree??? 😀

Somehow food reflects the character gives you the insight of taste preference, life style, etc of a country, that’s why food is part of culture learning and for sure it’s fun, isn’t it?

I bet you know Japanese food, starting from sushi, tempura, soba, udon, ramen, sukiyaki to snacks like dorayaki, takoyaki, and so on..
But have you ever tasted Natto? ^^
Well, I believe some of you know and some don’t..

Back in 2007, in the summer camp I got the chance to know what Natto is.. I didn’t have any appetite and unwilling to take it, and somehow the American guy sat beside me, eating it deliciously..
Wanna see how it looks like? Here, we go..

(more…)

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The Japanese are generally fond of sushi, and it’s been world-wide too.
寿司屋(Sushi-ya/sushi restaurant) can be found over the countries.
The price and quality of sushi vary greatly from restaurant to restaurant.
There’s the 回転寿司(kaiten zushi-rotating on wheel sushi).
I often went to the kaiten zushi during my stay in previous dorm, since I need to cross the street only. The price is cheap 100 yen/plate, and for the lunch it will be like 90 yen/plate. Mostly we ate like 10 plates, and the guys finished about 15-20 plates. ;P

But now just wanna share about the hand made sushi-ya. It’s the real fresh ones, prepare right away after the order’s made.
See this youtube, but dun take it too serious, because I couldn’t stop laughing as it’s presented in so much fun way, and not all is exactly correct.
Notice on the noren(half curtain) hanging out side with the restaurant’s name. It’s opened when the noren is opened, but when it’s closed, it’ll be taken in..

Dewa, dewa.. enjoy the video.. really recommended to watch (esp for the big fan of sushi)

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