In Juzo Itami’s definitive movie on ramen, “Tampopo,” a woman fights for her economic survival by learning the art of ramen (Chinese noodles in soup) making. Kitakata, Fukushima Prefecture, the local economy survives due to the largest concentration of ramen shops in Japan. Why? Ramen is a successful Chinese import, made from wheat flour, eggs,
THIS DISH IS SIMPLE, elegant, and absolutely delicious. In my house, whenever I’m in doubt as to what to serve guests, I make this. The Eastern ingredients are of course, the ever-versatile soy sauce, which can be used to highlight many different types of sauces. I also use perilla leaves (shiso) as a refreshing garnish.
NOBODY REALLY SEEMS TO KNOW the origins of sukiyaki. One theory is that in the old days farmers slipped a little flesh into the vegetarian diet imposed by Buddhist strictures by grilling (yaki) meat on a plowshare (suki). In 1873, Emperor Meiji declared that beef was acceptable for consumption, and from that time on it
What the Japanese originally called kashi first came to Japan from China during the Nara period (710-93) in the form of fresh or dried fruit. Although not our modern idea of what a sweet should be, fruit was still referred to as kashi right up until the Muromachi period (1333-1573). Later, sweets made of rice
THERE IS NOTHING MORE RESTORATIVE in summer than a slurp of cold somen, Japan’s thinnest noodle, made from wheat. As a hot dish, somen is known as nyumen; cold, it’s called hiya-somen or hiya-mugi, and is traditionally eaten from early July to mid-August. The word “somen” is derived from the Chinese sakumen, meaning “cable noodles”
A Savory Surprise from Japan Until I began my love affair with Japanese food, at the age of fifteen, I wasn’t very thrilled to be served custard of any form or flavor. For me, the word “custard” conjured up a vile, sickeningly sweet concoction that was best consigned to the garbage. But chawan-mushi, Japan’s delectable
The Japanese savory pancakes known as okonomiyaki are fun, inexpensive, and make a ﬁlling meal for all seasons. Okonomi means “as you like it,” and being able to mix just about any meat or vegetable you want into a batch of them is a great incentive to clear out your refrigerator. Another of okonomiyaki’s charms
Bamboo shoots are often seen as a seasonal treat so it’s worth having recipes on hand to know what you’re going to make should you come into fresh shoots. Boiled Bamboo Shoots Recipe “Kye no kidaore Osaka no kuidaore.” If we’re to believe this old adage, the people of Kyoto go bankrupt because of their