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Doburoku Trial

Doburoku Trial

It is illegal to make alcoholic beverages without a license, regardless whether it is for sale or for personal consumption in Japan. And the process of obtaining the license is so difficult and expensive, that it is only worth it for businesses. In this busy 21st Century, not so many people are interested in brewing […]

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Koji Making

Koji Making

I’ve made miso, sake (doburoku), amazake, or other fermented products using rice koji. But I’ve never made koji itself. Koji is cereal covered with cultured mold. Most common koji is rice koji, which can be bought at a Japanese grocery store or through several online shopping sites. There are other types of koji exist, such […]

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Fish Head

Fish Head

I live in Queens, New York. It is one of the most racially mixed neighborhood in the United States. Within a short distance, I can find specialized grocery stores for Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and so on. I love to visit those stores to look around foreign food items, and […]

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What to Do with Molded Mochi

What to Do with Molded Mochi

Please excuse me to post a gross photograph. But if you make mochi or are given handmade mochi, it gets molded pretty quickly. The above photograph is my handmade kagamimochi and a New Year’s door decoration. Kagamimochi looked great when it was made at the end of last year. But while it was displayed at the […]

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Mochi

Mochi

Mochi or omochi is made from pounded sweet rice. Sweet rice is also called glutinous rice, sticky rice, or waxy rice. If you intend to make mochi on your own, you have to find Japanese sweet rice, which is short grain sweet rice. Traditionally, steamed sweet rice is pounded in a wooden motar with one […]

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Japanese Calendar of Dates and Food

Japanese Calendar of Dates and Food

In Japan, certain dates in the calendar year are associated with food. It’s somewhat similar to the United States custom to have turkey, cranberries, and applesauce on Thanksgiving, but the Japanese do not commemorate specific past events by eating certain food on these days. In many cases, we don’t know why we eat certain foods […]

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Win a Nesting Bamboo Tray/Basket Set!

Win a Nesting Bamboo Tray/Basket Set!

The nesting shallow bamboo tray/basket set comes in a set of 5. The smallest is about 9″ diameter, and the largest is about 13″ diameter. The thickness is about 1.5″, so that they can be stored away easily. I use them to pick tomatoes in summer, and dry umeboshi and herbs on my windowsill or car […]

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Shiso

Shiso

A basil-like green shiso leaves (also called ohba) is a common Japanese herb. They are often sliced into thin ribbons to be used as a condiment of cold somen noodles or hiyamugi noodlesduring summer. The leaves have distinctive refreshing aroma. Other than used as condiments, a whole leaf can be lightly battered and fried as a […]

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Miso Soup Ingredients Combination Chart

Miso Soup Ingredients Combination Chart

Ingredients of miso soup are usually the combinations of 2 or 3 items. Also depending on the preference, you can sprinkle some chopped scallion at the end. Most often, ingredients are combination of different colored items, such as white and green. For instance if you use tofu as one of the ingredients, another would be […]

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Seto Hongyo Gama: A Potter's Workshop

Seto Hongyo Gama: A Potter’s Workshop

One summer afternoon, I visited a potter’s workshop called Seto Hongyo Gama at Seto city in Japan. Inside of the work studio, just fired bowls, plates, and cups were piled up on the floor. It is a family-run workshop that has been in operation since around the year 1800 to provide commodity pottery to Japanese […]

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Iga Mono (also known as Iga-yaki or Iga Ware)

Iga Mono (also known as Iga-yaki or Iga Ware)

In Japanese, Iga mono means either someone from Iga or something from Iga. When the words refer to a person, it indicates a ninja from Iga School. On the other hand, when the words refer to a thing, it indicates earthenware made at Iga. Iga is a remote village in deep mountains. But the place […]

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Ayu (fish)

Ayu (fish)

Ayu lives in streams in Japan, and it is considered to be a summer treat in mountain villages. Even though they are not endangered, the fishing is banned from fall to spring in order to protect the resources. From early summer to fall, many people enjoy fishing and eating ayu. Actually, I am not familiar […]

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