Chicken Hot Pot (Mizu taki 水炊き)

buy clomid online Hello! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year! The weather in my area has become very cold recently. Every morning there is a frost on the ground, puddles are frozen and it is really a struggle to get out of bed!

In Japan we have just the right dish for this kind of weather, a hot pot called Nabe (pronounce nah-bay and which in Chinese characters is written as 鍋もの). Nabe has a variety of ingredients cooked in a stock (usually kelp based). In Japan it is often cooked in a clay pot on a portable heat sauce on your dining table. As with lots of other Japanese meals, we share the hot pot with everyone in the family. Everyone picks up some food from the pot with their own chopsticks and dips it in a sauce before eating. So you have to be quick to pick out the popular ingredients like chicken before they disappear, especially if you have teenage sons!

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Mapo Tofu, the Japanese Way

Today I’m going to share a recipe for the most popular Chinese dish in Japan, Mapo Tofu. Yes, it’s not really Japanese, but we seem to have changed it completely from the original version, which is fiery and highly aromatic to something else to suit our taste buds. Japanese Mapo Tofu is much less oily and spicy, and it’s much easier to cook on ordinary domestic hobs.

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Okonomi-yaki (Japanese cabbage pancake)

Strolling down a busy street in the afternoon in Tuscany, the smell of garlic cooking on top of a crisp pizza will make you hungry, even if you’ve just finished lunch. Imagine that pizza with a thin and crispy base smothered with garlic flavoured tomato sauce and mozzarella. In Japan too, we have been enjoying something similar to pizza for a long time. It is called Okonomi-yaki.

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Pan-fried Salted Mackerel

It’s getting sunny and very warm in my part of England. When the sun is out on a Sunday afternoon, the air is filled with the aroma of sizzling meat on BBQ. In Japan we also love a BBQ, but in Japan we cook lots of fish and seafood. Especially mackerel and sardine! These fish don’t seem to be so popular in England, but they are much cheaper and have much more flavour than cod. You can always ask your fishmonger to fillet the mackerel if you don’t want to bother removing bones when you eat. One thing you have to be careful with  dark oily fish is the freshness. They seem to go bad much faster than white fish, so you have to make sure the fish is fresh when you buy them. If the fish is fresh, you don’t need to have a complicated way of cooking at all. Just put some salt on and cook. It’s sooo tasty! Probably the best way to cook them is on your BBQ, but you can cook under the grill or even on a frying pan which I always do at home! Try this simple recipe and you will understand why mackerel are so popular in Japan.

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Teriyaki Tofu Steak

I’ve had a request for some veggie recipes from my vegetarian friend. Interestingly you cannot find many vegetarians in Japan nowadays apart from Buddhist monks, but even they eat meat and fish once they are qualified as a monk, as actually eating meat and fish is not prohibited by their religion anymore. It used to be very different, though. We had an official ban on eating meat on and off for almost 1000 years! People say that the ban wasn’t that strict, but there was no official meat production, so ordinary people couldn’t really obtain meat apart from some hunters. Even after the ban was removed, people were not keen on eating meat because they still felt it to be barbaric as well as being put off by it’s smell. (You might think the aroma of sizzling meat is irresistible, but not at all for non-meat eaters!)

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Simple Japanese cooking ingredients for our cupboards

Last week Mie shared her traditional recipe for teriyaki chicken with us. In this post she further helps to simplify the art of Japanese cooking and gives us advice on the essential Japanese ingredients we can easily buy.

Have you tried the teriyaki chicken recipe? I hope you liked it. Please send me any comments and questions!

Last time I said that you can cook Japanese food with common ingredients which you can buy from supermarkets. In this country everyone has basic everyday seasonings such as mustards, mayonnaise, ketchup,etc. in a fridge. We have equivalents of those for Japanese cooking, and I recommend you to get them and keep them in your pantry and fridge. I’m sure you can get most of them from your local supermarkets anyway, and they don’t just add authentic flavour to your meal, but also add extra umami and lots of health benefits such as vitamins, amio acids, etc! All of them are fairly cheap, so what are you waiting for?!

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Mie demystifies Japanese cooking!

Hi. I’m Mie. I’m Japanese and my passion is healthy cooking and eating. I’ve started running my own business to prepare and sell Japanese Koji products. Koji, which is the basic ingredient in many Japanese recipes, has amazing properties. Koji is a kind of mould and when it grows on steamed rice it produces a vast variety of amino enzymes and vitamins, and these work wonders for our health and our tastebuds.  They tenderize meat and fish, aid digestion, provide essential vitamins and enzymes to maintain health and add umami to your cooking! If you are interested in knowing more, please check my website, www.umamia.co.uk.

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