Autumnal Eggplant  秋茄子 “aki nasu”
Sep12

Autumnal Eggplant 秋茄子 “aki nasu”

by Elizabeth Andoh Botanically a fruit, not a vegetable, eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a member of the nightshade family (as is the tomato and potato). Thought to have originated in India thousands of years ago, the Chinese were probably the first to make use of eggplant in a culinary manner. Widely known throughout Asia, eggplant most likely traveled to Japan in the 7th or 8th century A.D. (though it was not eaten by the general...

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Stagiaire by David Israelow
Sep04

Stagiaire by David Israelow

Stagiaire, literally “trainee” in French, often refers to short kitchen stints where a cook works for free.  This labor exchange is generally to learn from a great chef or as part of the process to obtain a job.  I was in Tokyo for the former. The only issue was I had no contacts, knew no Japanese and basically had no idea what to do.  But I was in Tokyo … step one, check.  Step two … Alone at tempura lunch in Roppongi, at...

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Master chef raises vegetables and creates magical lunches in an old farm house called Wappado
Aug16

Master chef raises vegetables and creates magical lunches in an old farm house called Wappado

by Mora Chartrand, the Foodies’ Foodie Wappado, a haven for those who yearn for a meal that expresses the terroir of the northern Kyoto countryside. Ōhara, a sleepy, agricultural hamlet just outside of Kyoto, is best known to visitors as the home of Jakko-in and Sanzenin temples, among others. It’s hard to match the rural beauty of this area, especially in the autumn. Ōhara is also well known for its fields of red shiso (赤ジソ) that is...

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Clams are superstars at Ibaraki destination restaurant: Hamaguri-ya
Aug15

Clams are superstars at Ibaraki destination restaurant: Hamaguri-ya

by Akemi Koyama, Cultural Ambassador Restaurant in Hitachinaka city serves only one special prix fixe hamaguri meal.  Hamaguri is Japanese for clam, I mean a huge clam that is a size of the palm of a hand. I stopped with friends at Hamaguri-ya on the way to Fukushima from Haneda airport.  It was a pleasant ride with an ocean view, driving along the coast line of Ibaragi Prefecture. This unique restaurant is located next to Hitachi...

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