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Simple Japanese Recipe

The best ways of enjoying Japanese food

A feature of Japanese food is that it draws out the flavor of the ingredients. In order to realize this, it is important to identify the unique features of each ingredient and then prepare dishes to reflect these features. The visual appeal of each dish is also important. I make sure that the season is expressed in each dish that I create so that the meal has both visual appeal and flavor.

Komei Nakamura, Chef

Owner of” Komei Ariake.” One of Japan’s leading chefs of Japanese-style cuisine who gained popularity on television as an “Iron Chef.”

Japanese Food Tips

How to cook delicious rice

Although rice cookers are commonly used in Japanese homes, rice can be cooked in a pot if a rice cooker is not available. Japanese rice is even more delicious when cooked in a claypot. The secret to delicious rice lies in the type of water and the amount of heat used when cooking.

1.Wash the rice - Rinse the rice once or twice using a generous amount of water. Next, fill the container with just enough water to cover the rice, press down gently two to three times with the base of the thumb, and wash the rice again.
2.Add water - Place the rice in the pot and add 1.2 times that amount of water. Soft water, rather than hard water, is recommended for fluffy rice. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes in summer or an hour in winter.
3.Cook the rice - Start the rice off on high heat. Reduce to low heat once the water begins to boil and cook for 15 minutes. Make sure the lid stays on the pot while the rice is cooking.
4.Allow the rice to steam - Once the rice is done, allow it to steam in the pot for approximately 10 minutes, which seals in the rice’s delicious flavor. To keep steam from escaping, do not remove the lid from the pot during this time. After about 10 minutes, gently stir the rice to release the steam.

Tips for making your fish even more delicious

In Japanese cooking, fish features in a wide range of dishes and can be eaten raw, simmered or grilled. To truly savor the flavor, the Japanese have developed innovative ways of preparing and eating fish.

Sprinkling salt over fish
Sprinkling salt over fish and allowing it to stand before cooking will extract any excess moisture. Wiping this off reduces the distinctive odor of the fish and makes it easier to prepare.
Eating fish with grated daikon radish
Grilled fish is often accompanied by raw grated daikon radish. This not only allows you to enjoy a fresh flavor but neutralizes the odor of fish with a distinctively spicy flavor as well.

Various ways of cutting vegetables

In Japan, with its four clearly defined seasons, seasonal vegetables feature in all meals, enabling the seasons to be enjoyed and appreciated through food. As aesthetics is also an important aspect of Japanese cooking, there are many different ways of slicing and cutting ingredients.

How to brew delicious green tea

As the fermentation process is arrested in green tea by steaming the tea leaves, the result is a beautifully vivid color and depth of flavor. There are several key points to unlock this rich flavor.

1.Use soft water - It is recommended that you use soft water to draw out the smooth, delicious flavor of the tea.
2.Warm the teapot and bowls - Warming the teapot and bowls before pouring the tea prevents the tea from cooling and also enhances its flavor.
3.Use hot, but not boiling, water - Boiling water tends to strengthen the bitterness found in tea. For a more natural flavor, let the water cool slightly before using it to make tea.

Types of dashi ingredients

Dashi refers to a liquid in which animal or vegetable ingredients have been steeped or simmered to extract the umami flavor. Dashi forms the taste and flavor basis of a wide range of Japanese dishes including miso soup, simmered and boiled dishes, and takikomi gohan (savory rice).

Small dried sardines
Fish such as anchovies that are simmered and dried.
Kombu kelp
Seaweed found on the coast off of northern Japan. Used dried.
Dried bonito
Flesh of the bonito, dried and fermented until it hardens.