Thank you for watching my interview on NHK World
Thank you for watching my interview on both BIZ STREAM & NEWSLINE IN DEPTH on NHK World!
Although the influence of the pandemic is still continuing, I started my online class with the hope that we can feel the connection between people through cooking and help enrich your life.
To commemorate this broadcast, I decided to hold a special campaign. If you make a reservation using this campaign code, you will get 20% off the tuition fee for online classes. Please take this opportunity to invite your friends and family to experience the online class.
Online Cooking Class : https://yjc.tokyo/category/virtual-japanese-cooking-class
Campaign code : NHK2021BIZ
I look forward to cooking with you online!
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 10, 2021
I found the cherry blossoms flavor KitKat at convenience store.
Not only beautiful package, you can make a donation to plant cherry trees in Tohoku region by purchasing this product.
It was March 11 yesterday and special programs were broadcasted all day in Japan. 10 years have passed since the big earthquake and tsunami happened in Tohoku area of Japan.
I believe that this event changed many people’s lives and way of thinking.
From this day onward, I began to think that unexpected things happen suddenly in life. I have to take more responsibility, independence in my life. Feel grateful for the normal day every nights.
And now, I became a mother of two children who were born after this event. As a parent, I will continue telling my children what happened in northern part of Japan and what we should prepare for the future.
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 9, 2021
Have you ever heard the word “Asa Ra”(朝ラー)？
This means “Easting Ramen from the morning”.
It has been a hot topic just before Corona and was popular with tourists as well, especially Ramen Lovers !
A Japanese famous ramen company Ippudo 一風堂 recently started offering Soy sauce ramen & Special rice porridge at their limited shop in Asakusabashi. So, my family and I visited weekday morning from 8:00!
The price is reasonable at 500 yen, and those who wish can drink coffee for free. *This service is weekday only!
Though Ippudo is famous for Tonkotsu ramen but the soy sauce ramen and their homemade egg noodles were really fresh, chewy and went well with light flavor soy based soup.
And our surprise was that their special rice porridge is made of Tonkotsu soup! Umeboshi, Zha cai, and paprika, which are thought to have been added to change the texture, were also interesting and delicious.
Both dishes warmed my body on a cold morning.
If you are interested in making Shoyu ramen (soy sauce based ramen), please check this recipe!
Hinamatsuri (Japanese Doll Festival / Girls’ Festival)
The 3rd of March is the traditional and representative spring event day called “Hina Matsuri” in Japan.
Hina Matsuri is a special time to pray for the growth and happiness of Japanese girls. It is also called “Peach-Blossom Festival” because in olden times, people believed that peach blossoms had special powers to drive away evil spirits. According to the lunar calendar, peach blossoms were in full bloom around March 3. This is the reason that even today peach blossoms are always displayed together with Japanese dolls called Hina Ningyo (ひな人形).
There is a tradition if the baby is a girl, the parents of the mother give a traditional dolls called Hina-kazari (ひな飾り) to their daughter’s family. Hina-kazari is a traditional dolls of Emperor, Empress, their servants and accessories on the tiered stand.
In very ancient times, display stands used to consist of just two or three tiers but over the years they grew more elaborate and gorgeous. I had 7 tier Hina-kazari at my house and my younger brother always tried to climb up. His heroic story is still α hot topic every year among my family. His heroic story is still a hot topic every year.
This day, parents having daughter invite their families and friends to celebrate this event. They display Hina-kazari and serve guests traditional dishes. When I was a child, my family always celebrated the Hina Matsuri together. So, this event reminds me of my childhood every year.
Home Party Menu Ideas
If you are planning to celebrate this Japanese family event, here are the recipes that we prepare here in Japan and also I recommend for home party.
🌸 Main : Chirashizushi (Chirashi Sushi)
🌸 Soup : Hamaguri no osuimono (Cherrystone clam soup)
🌸 Side dish : Potato Salad / Chawanmushi
🌸 Dessert : Sakura Mochi / Hinaarare / Hishimochi
🌸 Drink : Amazake
Do you know this?
It is important to dismantle the display and put away the dolls as soon as the festival is over. The dolls’ faces are covered with special soft paper and each item is carefully wrapped and retuned to its designated box.
People have traditionally believed that if the dolls are kept out for too long after the festival, the daughter of the family will have a hard time getting married. I remember that my mother was rushing to clean up when the Hinamatsuri was over. I hope her annual effort worked!?
– Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Festival)
– Seasonal Event : Hina-Matsuri (March 3rd)
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 8, 2021
Since I created various Fruit Sandwich, I have so many leftover bread crusts in my kitchen. So, I would like to introduce some ideas of how to cook with bread crusts.
IDEA 1, Homemade croutons and snack
It’s really easy and simple. You can just cut the bread crusts into small pieces and toast them on the frying pan. I don’t add oil. Just stir occasionally until it gets brown color. Done! How about adding to the soup or salad ? (I made a potato soup for my children and they liked it!) It might be fun to add seasonings to eat like a snack. For example, I would experiment with butter, soy sauce, aonori (seaweed), curry powder for savory flavors. And for sweet flavors, I might choose Honey, cinnamon, Sugar, maple syrup, cacao powder etc.
IDEA 2: Toppings for ice cream
After making the homemade croutons, how about using them as a topping for ice cream? I made homemade matcha ice cream and sprinkled one for chocolate syrup, choco chip and croutons, and the other for kinako (dried soy bean powder), Kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and croutons. The crunchy and crispy texture of croutons is really unique and also go well with matcha ice cream.
IDEA 3: Homemade rusk
This time, you can enjoy bread crusts as a rusk. Place bread crusts separately on a parchment paper and microwave 1 min. Then, coat with melted butter and microwave again until it gets crispy. At last, sprinkle sugar over it. Done!
IDEA 4: Daigaku Pan(?)
This is Daigaku Imo inspired sweets. Daigaku means “university” and Imo means “potato” in general. But I used bread (pan) crusts for this recipe. To make this, you can bust toast the bread crusts with using frying pan until brown color and caramelize with honey, soy sauce and black sesame same as making Daigaku Imo.
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 7, 2021
When I was taking a walk in the neighborhood, I found UME (梅) plum blossoms starting to bloom.
The early plum blossoms are called Kanbai/kambai (寒梅). It means Cold (寒) and Plum (梅) because they bloom at the coldest time of the year. Spring is just around the corner in Tokyo!
Harikuyo (Memorial Service for Needles)
Do you sew clothing for yourself using needle and thread?
In Japan, sewing was an essential part of everyday life long time ago.
On February 8, women took a day off from their sewing responsibilities and collected the old needles they had used during the previous year. This memorial service for needles is called “Harikuyo” (針供養).
People stuck the needles into a block of tofu or other soft things like cakes of konnyaku (gelatin made from the root of a plant called devil’s tongue). They gave thanks and offered prayers for the repose of the needles. They also prayed for improvement in their sewing skills.
There are some shrines today that perform memorial services for needles. This important tradition is still kept at schools which teach kimono-sewing skills and also at dressmaking schools.
Since my son entered kindergarten, I have more opportunities to sew. To be honest, I’m not good at sewing, but I want to do my best as much as I can. With that in mind, I prepared tofu and konnyaku and offered this event.
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 6, 2021
Konnichiwa! How are you?
It’s still cold here in Tokyo. We don’t have snows here but my hometown (northern part of Japan) snows a lot every winter.
February 3rd is normally the day of Setsubun. Setsubun refers to the day before the beginning of each season. (the first days of spring, summer, fall and winter). The literal meaning of the word Setsubun is “seasonal division”. Out of all the 4 Setsubun days, Risshun (the first day of spring) is the most special day.
To celebrate this special day, my family and I visited the Japanese restaurant and had the huge Ebi-Furai (fried shrimps)! I have never seen and eaten in my life! Just surprised. The shrimp itself was big and also it’s coated with lots of panko (bread crumbs). So, super crispy and fulfilling!
I use small to medium size shrimps in my recipe video but if you are interested in how to make the Ebi Furai (Japanese fried shrimp) & Japanese version Tartar sauce, please check here!
Keep warm & Stay healthy!
Setsubun (節分) comes as soon as the fluttering January is over. This year, Setsubun will be February 2nd for the first time in 124 years since February 2nd, 1897. Setsubun is a seasonal division and has been an important time-honored rite to welcome the New Year by banishing evils and keep the house from calamity.
On the day, 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.
This year, I put more than 7 ingredients! I put Japanese omelette, Cucumber, Minced tuna, Kanpyo(seasoned dried gourd strips), Anago(conger eel), Kanikama(fake crab meat), Seasoned shiitake mushrooms, Sprouts and Denbu(sweetened fish powder colored in pink). 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 2021, the happy direction is South-southeast!!!
If you are interested in making thick sushi roll, please check this recipe! : Thick Sushi Roll
From Kitchen In Tokyo : Week 5, 2021
We had the first snow of this year in Tokyo. It was only a few hours but Kengo and Sui-chan were so excited to the snow. Maybe Sui-chan didn’t understand what was happening. It’s really rare to see the snow in Tokyo. Hopefully, we can see it again this winter!