As one can see, the image of tofu being a white block of gelatinous blandness is a result of a lack of exposure to what can be made from it and with it. Even the simplest tofu dish,hiyayakko,a dish consisting of fresh chilled tofu garnished with grated ginger, katsuobushi flakes, scallions, and soy sauce, can be incredible in its subtlety and depth of flavor.
The general process of making tofu is rather simple, probably deceptively so. And it is this simplicity that has led to innovation and experimentation over time, the result of which is an astounding amount of variation in the ways that tofu can be made.
There’s a lot to love about Japanese sake. It’s much more than a drink. It’s a story of Japanese craftsmanship, of human terroir, of a connection to nature, of understanding the past and looking towards the future. Sake is all of these things and more, constantly evolving, finding new ways to bring people together.
Another great aspect of sake, or nihonshu as its referred to in Japan, is how it harmonises with just about any type of food you pair it with. Although it would be easy to assume that it goes best with Japanese food, I’d ask that you resist the temptation and think about unconventional food pairings.
So, join me ask I take you through five sake and food pairings that are unique to my own experiences.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how Japan and the US differ in terms of organic farming and what Japan is doing to try and improve their position in the global initiatives towards larger scale sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural methods.
While urban migration and falling fertility rates are contributing to the declining agricultural industry in Japan, there are other complicated reasons that make revitalization difficult. These mainly include issues of landownership and the restrictions on farming organizations. Luckily, there seems to be some hope for the industry’s recovery with recent surges in investing and ideas about rural revitalization.
Our ideas about food (the foundation of life) truly shape the ways in which we live. And while there are many diets that take a philosophical or mindful approach to eating, there are few cuisines that embrace this concept as much asshōjin ryōri (精進料理.)
Tsukemono or “pickled things” are a staple in Japanese cuisine. Their bright colors, unique shapes and wide range of flavors are almost often found as a side dish or garnish to any Japanese meal. They serve the purpose of cleansing one’s palate and aiding in digestion.
Like wine, Japanese teas are often paired alongside meals, snacks and sweets to enhance and complement flavors while providing a full taste experience. Out of the myriads of pairings available, here are some tea and food combinations we recommend.
For centuries, Hakone has been a destination for people to relax and enjoy its famousonsens (natural hot springs). Just over an hour away from Tokyo, it’s an easy getaway from the city and has numerous activities to enjoy including hiking, art museums, traditional craft-making and all its delicious local food. Enjoy these sties to see!
For centuries, Hakone has been a destination for people to relax and enjoy its famousonsens (natural hot springs). Just over an hour away from Tokyo, it’s an easy getaway from the city and has numerous activities to enjoy including hiking, art museums, traditional craft-making and all its delicious local food. Enjoy my afternoon food adventure!
For centuries, Hakone has been a destination for people to relax and enjoy its famous onsens (natural hot springs). Just over an hour away from Tokyo, it’s an easy getaway from the city and has numerous activities to enjoy including hiking, art museums, traditional craft-making and all its delicious local food. Enjoy my morning food adventure!
The Iwai family has been making sesame oil for nearly two centuries in Yokohama. They use their own time honored method called "assaku" to extract the nutty oil from their sesame seeds, without the use of chemicals or preservatives.
Kaneko Seimen has been handcrafting noodles since 1877, milling their own flour from Norin 61, a domestic variety of whole grain wheat. We had the unique opportunity to speak with Takashi Kaneko, CEO of Kaneko Seimen, as he shares the history of Kaneko Seimen and their vision for preserving domestic grown wheat in Japan.
From the beginning, it has been Hekizanen's priority to offer as many opportunities for the community as possible and to provide an environment to learn about their local agriculture. Many people from the town of Aiko-gun, Aikawamachi' (Ai means love in Japanese), contribute to the Tochu tea making process - from elementary and college students, to the local Ji-jis (grandpas) and Ba-bas (grandmas).
Motivated by the link he saw between agriculture and environmental issues, Kazuhiro Aizawafounded Japan Energy Food. To him, eating means consuming foods grown in a natural and sustainable way, because environmental issues are also human health problems. With this in mind, Japan Energy Food makes their energy bars using responsibly grown ingredients inspired by the traditional Japanese diet.
In the historical town of Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture, is a quaint little shop called Dagashiya Kamakura Hase which captures the spirit of the old-fashioned Japanese candy shop (dagashiya). We sat down with the owner, Ms Sakai, to hear about her motivations for preserving the nostalgia of dagashiya and her hopes for creating fond memories for those visiting in the future.
Masahiro Okamoto cultivates heirloom Japanese soybeans at his family-run Toyokuniya Farm in Kanagawa Prefecture. Learn about his story and his vision for addressing the challenges facing the global food system.
Kanagawa (神奈川), located on Honshu (本州) island, is the second largest prefecture in Japan. Bordering Tokyo to the south, it's home to beautiful landscapes, beaches, cities and religious sites, making it an ideal getaway for vacationers, tourists and locals.
Tea etiquette is vital in Japan: from the intricate details of the traditional tea ceremony to casually serving guests in your home. There are subtle rules, for the server and the guest, that have been passed down through generations and have become ingrained in Japanese tea culture.
Kyushu (九州) – Japan’s southernmost mainland island has arguably the most sought after and unique cuisine anywhere in Japan. This is due to a multitude of factors, but most importantly their Chinese immigrant influence, geothermal phenomenon, and historic availability of coastal and deep-sea fishing due to their numerous ports.
One of Japan’s most enjoyable, but at first intimidating, traditions is that of the onsen (温泉). A literal public naked bath, often times outdoors, is hailed for its mystifying rejuvenating and cleansing properties.