Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Japanese food for the New Year

I don’t know about you but come the new year I feel the immediate need to switch to Japanese food. It could be the fact that I used about 50 kgs of butter & or shortening in the last 2 months or the fact that I somehow was left with all the left overs from our Christmas dinner & had to literally munch my way through the fridge to get to the tofu & moyashi.

Not that I mind the munchies, I’m all about the snackies. One small joy in being a human cow is that I can eat pretty much anything & everything and only loose more weight. But eventually I start not only craving the simple food but I’m getting the feeling that “Old Faithful” the oven & “Bruce the Manly Mixer” want a bit of a break too. It’s time for Japanese.

It doesn’t help that Oshogatsu means Japanese traditional music playing in all the stores & big sales on nimono & oden ingredients, or the fact that a majority of my childhood New Year's memories are filled with Obachan's cooking.

I find Japanese food simple, pure, for the most part healthy & always easy to make. I don’t mean to oversimplify Japanese cooking but if all I had was shoyu, mirin, sugar, dashi & sake, I would probably be able to make 1oo's of great Japanese meals. Too easy people. And the next best thing about it is you can make a 5 or 6 dish meal in under an hour. You can’t go wrong. The perfect thing for a busy mom trying to get back into gear with school. All I need do is grab something from the fridge, pour shoyu & mirin on it & VOILA....dinner is served.

Suddenly I’m just dying to go to the onsen and soak in a yuzu bath drink a massive nama beer with some sukemono. Seriously who wouldn’t want to spend a lazy day under the kotastu drinking ocha & eating mikans, or kinako covered mochi.

Before my screaming sister went home I got her over for a good old fashioned oden dinner. Terribly fun!! If I was going to have a "pot luck" dinner, I'd choose this. What’s your favorite Oden food? Mine’s Kinchaku. Those little deep fried tofu pockets stuffed with mochi & tied with a string of gourd. Gooood stuff.

Hope to get some recipes your way once I get the school situation up & running again. Till then, it’s still not too late to say, Yoi Otoshi O!


BladeMaster said...

Um for those of us who enjoy cooking but don't speak Japanize is there a chance of finding out what you were talking about in this post?

crazynik said...

Awww Natsukashi....waaa I miss Japan during Shogattsu. I adore kamaboko and hanpen in oden. Those have to be my faves, I think. Oh and konnyaku and daikon come in close second I think.
What I wouldn't give for an authentic bowl of oden right about now. Sigh.
Miss you hun xxx

Crazy People said...

Sniff, now you've gone and made me want 'homestyle' Jap Jap food. Speaking of which I have never found a recipe for 'Okonomiyaki' that I'm trult happy with, they all tend to come out a little gluggy. Any Hints?

Babylove said...

Sorry BladeMaster:

Moyashi: bean sprouts
Oshogatsu: New Years
Nimono/oden: Japanese one pot simmering meals
Obachan: Grandma
Shoyu: Soysauce
Mirin: Sweet sake
Dashi: Fish stock
Sake: Rice wine
Yuzu: Japanese citris fruit like lemon
Nama beer: tap beer
sukemono: japanese pickles
Kotastu: low table with heater under covered with a blanket
Ocha: Japanese tea
Mikans: Tangerines
Kinako: Soybean powder
Mochi: Glutunous rice cakes

Dude, I hope you really wanted to know all that! :)

Niki: I can only imagine, I remember well your love of kamaboko.

Crazy: I'm not sure about that, I cheat with Okonomiyaki flour mix usually! I know it has cornstarch & baking powder added.

Kenji said...

"I can eat pretty much anything & everything and only loose more weight."
Damn Youuuuu!!
That aside, I would die for a authentic oden or sukiyaki dish right now- it looks so good!!

Lil said...

aww totally! For the new year we always go to my grands, and my grandma isn't an ordinary grandma, she's a bonafide licensed cook who only uses it when all 11 grandkids pile in her small apartment! This post makes me 100% home sick, before I was 70% there...:(
Do you make or eat that yummy yellow chestnut dish and those big sweet black beans...?

BladeMaster said...

Thank you so much i will now reread the article and try to understand it. Yes it is totally worth having the translation, thank you for your time. As a cook it's interesting to read recipes and find ideas, but yeah doesn't help if you don't understand them. But from reading your blog often you are miles ahead of me in the cooking race to perfection.