Beef Tataki and Wagyu

Pork Belly

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John Farren

Meeting 386 - "A Japanese Evening"

1. More about Japanese food
2. Ingredients
3. How to eat and drink the Japanese way
4. How to eat rice and use chopsticks
5. Japanese Sakes
6. Return to main text.

        Dashi is a fish stock and forms the base for miso soup. The element of umami, considered one of the five basic tastes in Japan, is introduced into dashi from the use of katsuobushi, preserved, fermented skipjack tuna, dried kelp and dried small sardines.

       Mirin is a type of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content and is an essential condiment. The sugar content is a complex carbohydrate formed naturally via the fermentation process; it is not refined sugar. The alcohol content is further lowered when the liquid is heated.

       Ginger - 'Shoga' is widely used in Japanese cooking and is always peeled and grated. It is often just the juice that is used. Ginger is also pickled and eaten with sushi or just as a palate cleanser.

       Wasabe is hot green Japanese horseradish and is mainly eaten with sashimi.

       Nori is a paper thin dried layer of seaweed and is best known for its use in rolled sushi.

       Shiso is a member of the mint family. The Japanese name shiso is a loan word from Chinese, whose first character shi means "purple".So it stands to reason that traditionally in Japan shiso denoted primarily the purple-red form of mint, although now a green variety is very popular.

       Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It's special in two aspects of farming and processing: The green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing.
       The traditional tea ceremony centres on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha. In modern times, matcha has also come to be used to flavour desserts, ice cream and Swiss roll. It has a slightly bitter but savoury taste.