Category Archives: Food

Kumejima Kuruma Prawns

It’s no secret that Japanese food is popular outside of Japan.  Not only is the food in-country highly rated, but there are Japanese restaurants all over the world.  A lot of people wonder, why is Japanese food so good?  It’s a complex answer.  Many will tell you it’s umami, others the care and thought put into food, and yet more that it’s the simplicity of the dishes that highlights natural flavors. I’m not a food expert, but I think it’s a bit

Getto – It’s many Uses

Last week I caught this post over at Ryukyu Mike’s blog and was reminded of my time on Kitadaito Island.  Kitadaito’s biggest industry is sugar production, but during my time there (2008-2011) they created a factory to harness the many uses of the getto plant, aka Alpinia zerumbet.   So what is a getto?  It’s a tall stalk based plant with broad, tapering leaves and white cone-shaped flowers.  The stalks grow slowly but prodigiously, and regrow after being cut down.  They

Mozuku

Mozuku is a type of seaweed.  Before coming to Japan, I had never eaten any kind of seaweed, even nori which is the kind used in sushi rolls.  I had a vague feeling of disgust when thinking about seaweed, which is weird given that they’re just plants that happen to grow in the sea. On my first day at school, we had soup with seaweed in it, and given that there were a 100 kids around me waiting to see what the

Advanced Chahan Recipe – Okinawan Fried Rice

By far my most popular post on More Things Japanese is my easy recipe for Chahan.  This time around, I wanted to share a slightly more time-consuming, but even tastier recipe for those of you who love Chahan.  As with my advanced recipe for miso soup, it is all made from scratch, including the dashi. Ingredients  5 cups water 1 piece conbu 1 cup packed bonito flakes 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 onion 170g sausage 1 pack mushrooms

Advanced Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Soup is a traditional part of Japanese cuisine. It is often served as a side for meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I’ve done another, more simple version of this dish before.  If you want a simple miso soup, check it out.  The thing that makes this recipe different, and so much better, is that I make the dashi (broth) from scratch rather than from a packet of hon dashi.  Doing everything yourself will elevate a great bowl of

Okinawan Black Sugar Candy – Kokuto

Okinawa has its own history and culture, which is reflected in the foods you’ll find here. Since Okinawa is so far to the south, you will also find that many of the fields are filled with satokibi, or sugarcane. It might not surprise you then that one of Okinawa’s local treats is a kind of Black Sugar candy made directly from the juice of sugar cane plants.  The name of the treat comes from the kanji symbols for black and

How Miso is Made

Ever wonder what miso is?  If you’ve been to Japan or eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you’ve likely had or at least seen miso.  I remember my first time having miso soup.  I was in college trying out a little Japanese restaurant that had popped up just outside the UofA.  I was pretty green as far as Japanese food went so I ordered teriyaki chicken (I’m sure the chef was thinking all kinds of bad things about me).  Before the

Kabocha Pie Recipe

Kabocha is a variation of squash/pumpkin common in Japan. Far more than the States, kabocha is used in a variety of dishes from soup to tempura.  For those expats in Japan, it might be surprising that it is most often used in savory dishes like curry rice rather than as a dessert.  I’ve used kabocha in a number of ways, but every Thanksgiving I make my family’s traditional pumpkin pie recipe, but with kabocha.  Over the years I’ve adapted my

School Lunch in Okinawa October 22-31

Monday October 22 Milk, autumn rice, baked mackerel, cabbage and sesame salad, root vegetable soup Monday’s meal highlights one of the major strengths of Japanese cuisine: seasonal ingredients.  The rice was infused with flavors and vegetables that are ripe in autumn.  Along side the rice was a salad of cabbage, cucumber and other vegetables in sesame dressing, a clear broth soup with root vegetables, and a slice of baked mackerel. Tuesday October 23 Milk, Chinese rice bowl, wakame (seaweed) soup, orange This

Tougan (winter melon) Soup Recipe

Happy Halloween!  Today I’m bringing you a special autumn soup featuring a seasonal ingredient: Tougan.  Tougan is also known as winter melon and is in the cucumber family. It’s a popular ingredient in Chinese soups and we often have it in our School Lunches. Since I was in the States for two weeks this month, I wasn’t able to order any pumpkins, so I decided to celebrate my Halloween with a Tougan-O’lantern.  But why waste?  I’ve never made Tougan Soup

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