A Taste of Culture
A Fish Called SANMA
@Copyright. September 2015. All rights reserved by Elizabeth Andoh.
Slender, sleek, and steely-colored SANMA are perfectly named. In Japanese these three calligraphy say it all!
After a long and blisteringly hot summer, fall is finally in the air. And so is the distinctive aroma of sanma on the grill. Typically, sanma is sprinkled with coarse salt, then grilled, ungutted. Served with a small mound of grated daikon radish that is drizzled with soy sauce, and perhaps a wedge of sudachi lime, sanma is one of the great plebeian pleasures of autumn.
Sanma has always been considered shōmin no aji, or "food for the masses." All the major Japanese beer companies picture smoky, sizzling, slightly charred sanma in their autumn ads, in distinct contrast to upscale saké producers who, in their commercials, offer images of outrageously expensive matsutaké mushrooms (an aristocratic fall delicacy in Japan).
In a food culture that places importance on tableware — choosing vessels to enhance the food — its not surprising that some types of plates are named after specific foods. Case in point: Sanma-zara (literally "saury plates") are long and narrow to accommodate the fish.
Find out more about WASHOKU, Japan's traditional food culture.
Balancing flavors, colors, and preparation methods while sourcing ingredients from land and sea, a washoku approach creates harmony in the kitchen and at table.
Kansha means appreciation. Demonstrating kansha in the kitchen and at table means using food fully while conserving energy, and preserving and sustaining our natural resources.
A Taste of Culture
Programs offer a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy Japan's culture through its food. Classes offered in Tokyo combine spicy tidbits of food lore with practical, skill-building lessons on how to prepare Japanese food. Instruction is in English to meet the needs of foreign residents of Japan and visitors from overseas.
Hope to have the pleasure of cooking with you in my Tokyo kitchen this fall…
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