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Welcome to YUCa’s Japanese Cooking(YJC)!

YUCa’s Table : vol.263

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Menu:
– Onigiri [Recipe]
– Miso soup with Fu, fried tofu and wakame [Recipe]
– Kinpira gobo [Recipe]
– Simmered pumpkin [Recipe]
– Japanese Omelette [Recipe]
– Simmered sweet potato with lemon and honey
– Hijiki seaweed salad
– Cucumber and wakame pickles

Salted Onigiri

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In this recipe video, I will introduce how to make Salted Onigiri. Onigiri is a rice ball with various fillings. This time, I’ll show you one of my family’s favorite and the most EASY, SIMPLE & DELICIOUS onigiri. 🍙  Don’t forget to read YUCa’s Tips to master the basics to make Japanese rice balls.

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Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi) かつお節

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Katsuobushi (かつお節), dried and shaved bonito flakes, is a key ingredients in dash, brings a smoky richness to the broth. It can be made from a variety of fish including yellowfin tuna, mackerel, and anchovies – each, of course,  with its own flavor profile.

To make katsuobushi, the bonito is simmered and its bones are removed after which it is dried and smoked. Sometimes a mold that promotes fermentation is added to the bonito, other fish are processed in a similar fashion.

It is commonly used for dashi (Japanese soup stock), but it is also sometimes placed on top of okonomiyaki or ohitashi to be tasted with the dish.

After being roasted in vacuo and seasoned with soy sauce or other seasonings, it is called “okaka”, and is sometimes mixed with rice balls or rice to make yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls).

There are two major types of Katsuobushi:

Arabushi (荒節) : Light in flavor, this dried and smoked katsuobushi is the most popular type, especially in the Kyoto and Osaka region.
Karebushi (枯節) : A mold that promotes fermentation and imparts a stronger umami flavor is added to arabushi, resulting in this type of Katsuobushi, popular in the Tokyo region.

Different ways to shave fish flakes:

Atsu kezuri (厚削り)
 : Thick-cut shavings that make an intense dash, used in dishes that are simmered for a long time.
Hanakatsuo (花かつお) : Thinly shaved flakes used for making dash quickly
Hana kezuri (花削り) : Very thin shavings also used to make instant dashi
Ito kezuri (糸削り) : Thin strands often used as a garnish for tofu or vegetables

Recipes to use:

Dashi (Japanese Soup Stock)
Okaka onigiri
Bonito Flakes & Cheese Onigiri
and more!

Shop at YJC’s store on Amazon:

Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi) 

* Reference of this article : Food Sake Tokyo (The Terroir Guides) 

Kid-Friendly Japanese Food: vol.81

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Menu:
– Rice topped with Natto
– Miso soup with wheat gluten, tofu and wakame [Recipe]
– Potato salad [Recipe]
– Meat balls
– Nikujaga
– Simmered Hijiki seaweed [Recipe]
– Mikan

YUCa’s Table : vol.262

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Menu:
– Japanese rice
– Miso soup with Fu, fried tofu and wakame [Recipe]
– Grilled salmon
– Potato salad [Recipe]
– Namul with spinach, bean sprouts and carrot
– Simmered hijiki seaweed
– Natto
– Sweet potato with lemon and honey

Egg Noodles (Noodles for Ramen)

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In this recipe video, I will introduce how to make Egg Noodles for Ramen. Egg noodles are important part for enjoying ramen. People usually buy the pre-made one but it’s easy and fun to cook at home!

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Kelp (Kombu)

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Kelp (Kombu 昆布) is the king of sea vegetables. It is an essential component in Dashi, the broth used in many Japanese dishes. A natural source for glutamic acid, it is rich in umami. Kombu thrives in the cool, mineral-rich waters surrounding Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.

The cold, mineral-rich waters surrounding Hokkaido provide 99.5% of the country’s kombu. Most kombu is sold in long strips. But it is also available in shavings (tor0ro or boor) to add to soup or sprinkle over the rice. Kombu can also be wrapped around was fish in a process called kobujime, which changes the fish’s texture and adds umami.

There are more than forty types of child and farmed kombu. The name of a specific variety of kombu often reflects where it was harvested.

These are the five most popular:

Rishiri kombu (利尻昆布) : Harvested near Rishiri Island, this is an aromatic kombu that makes a clear broth, popular with chefs in Kyoto. It is considered a high-quality kombu and is often used in top restaurants.

Rausu Kombu (羅臼昆布) : This thick kombu has a stickiness to it, and a deep. Rich flavor that is slightly sweet. Also a high-quality kombu, it is the kombu that is used to make other shaved kombu products such as tororo and oboro.

Ma Kombu (真昆布) : Thick and rich in umami, slightly sweet, with an elegant flavor, this is also considered a top kombu.

Hidaka Kombu (日高昆布) : From the Hidaka region, this kombu is a popular variety used by busy home cooks because it quickly imparts its flavor when simmered in water. It is also reasonably priced and can be used as an ingredients for fish cake stew (oden), sea vegetables and seafood simmered in soy (Tsukudani) and other kombu dishes.

Naga Komnbu (長昆布) : A very long kombu (more than ten meters long), naga kombu is also used in dishes such as oden and Tsukudani. It is found only in the wild – not farmed- and is reasonably priced.

Some Kombu products (not the Kombu used in dashi) include:

Komochi Kombu : Kombu layered with herring eggs.

Kombu cha : Kombu that has been dried and crushed into a powder; most often used for tea, soup stocks, or for thickening non-oil salad dressings.

Musubi Kombu : Knots of Kombu, often found in fish cake stew. (Oden)

Oboro : Shaved Kombu, used for soups

Tororo : Shaved Kombu, used in soups and wrapped around rice and other items.

Shop at YJC’s store on Amazon:

Kelp (Kombu) 

* Reference of this article : Food Sake Tokyo (The Terroir Guides) 

Japanese Home Meals class collaborated with Kokoro Cares

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Collaboration class with Kokoro Cares is finished!
Thank you for everyone at Kokoro Cares and for all the guests who joined this special Japanese set meal cooking lesson.

Although we had a limited amount of time to conduct the event, it was a valuable opportunity for me to efficiently prepare a set menu while talking with familiar guests and guests meeting for the first time through the screen. I found that as long as I was prepared, I could prepare so many menus even in the limited time of one hour.

If you are interested in making this kind of Japanese-style set meals, please join my “Healthy Japanese Meals” class (online) or Home Meals class (in-person).

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