On the 3rd of February, we have the day of “Setsubun” (seasonal division) in Japan.
Setsubun has been an important time-honored rite to welcome the New Year by banishing evils and keep the house from calamity.
On the day, people threw beans to banish demons who cause various evil things and plagues. The beans used in “Mame-maki” (bean throwing) are parched and edible. It is believed that one can maintain good health throughout the year by eating the sam e number of thrown beans as one’s age. And they shout, in principle, “In with good fortune! Out with the demon!”
At the same time, we eat “Eho-maki”, sushi roll containing 7 ingredients associated with the Seven Deities of Good Fortune “Shichi-fukujin”, facing the direction of Eho that is most lucky for the year as determined by the Way of Yin and Yang. (I use more than 7 ingredients! :-D)
It is also customary to eat Eho-maki while making a wish in the mind with the eyes closed and without uttering a single word. You will eat the whole roll at a stroke in order not to lose ties. In 2018, the direction of Eho is south-southeast!
It’s already the end of the year but I visited the Gyoza town in October. I am sure you are wondering “Is there a Gyoza town in Japan? Where is it?” Don’t worry! There are several Gyoza town in Japan but Utsunomiya, which is a city name is the most popular gyoza town in Japan. Utsunomiya-city is the capital of Tochigi prefecture and is located north west from Tokyo. It takes about 2 hours to go there by express train. Since it was a quick trip so my family and I tasted 12 different plates of Gyoza in 2 days!
These are sneak peak photos. For more detail, please check our YouTube channel. It’s coming soon!
My family and I visited Kochi prefecture last week.
Kochi is located in the south western from Tokyo and belongs to shikoku, which means four islands/prefectures.
Thanks to the warm weather and rich atmosphere with plenty of mountain and sea side, Kochi offers various local cuisines including tuna steak, Sarabachi-ryori (a course of small dishes in a big plate), Hat-shape bread, Sweet potato chips, Yuzu and more!
The highlight of our trip was “YUZU Hunting”!
We visited local YUZU farm in kitagawa village which is about 2 hours drive from Kochi-city.
On weekend, I make homemade pizza for dinner. My son Kengo is interested in cooking (or tasting) recently so I put small chair next to me so that we can cook together.
We usually make four kinds of pizza. Recently, we tried those four.
1. Tomato sauce, Cherry tomato, Garlic, Basil, Cheese, Olive oil
2. Natto (fermented soybeans), Nori seaweed, Salted kelp, Lotus root, Sesame oil
3. Cheese, Sweet corn, Mayonnaise, Bacon
4. Basil sauce, Avocado, Kale, Potato, Asparagus
It’s always fun to do the experiment to find the best combination.
I think Kengo eats more vegetables than before.
Next time, what ingredients shall we put? If you have a recommendation, please tell us!
In our classroom, my husband put a new shelf under the TV. So, I decorated my favorite travel guides and cookbooks as well as “Maneki-neko” (Beckoning cat / good-luck cat). So inspiring!
The height of those shelves are the same as of those in my kitchen.
Can you see that? What a good design!
Under the shelf, we put a giant sake barrel from Tatenokawa sake company. So COOL!!! Tatenokawa is a premium sake company from Yamagata prefecture. Yamagata prefecture is located in the northern part of Japan, which makes amazing clear water and sake rice. For more about Tatenokawa and their premium sake products, please check their website here !
The third (and maybe the last in this series) family cooking video with Disney Babble.com has published!
In this video, I introduce a Japanese-style sweet rice balls called “Ohagi” !!
Enjoy the recipe video and try it out for your family and/or for yourself.