Friday, May 26, 2017

Back in the year 2001, the word vegetarian was a barely heard of word (especially in my hometown); and a couple of high school classmates even proudly claimed that they were vegetarians (while munching on a hotdog on stick just outside the school gate) because: one of them loves vegetables, and the other loves vegetables and has eaten soy meat. I couldn't comprehend what made them think that I also eat hotdogs (when they have never seen me eat one) and that I love vegetables (I clearly didn't, e...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm not sure how to read their company name, but it goes something like: Taichu Jitsugyou Kabushiki Gaisha (大中実業株式会社). Their store is located near Kyoto Station, about 15 minutes on foot. They ship products to other parts of Japan, you just have to call them. As for now, they haven't set up a website so I asked for their product list and prices but it's in Japanese, so I translated it the best I can for those who can't read Japanese (see photos of product-price list at the bottom).

You...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I have seen two kinds of mirin in the supermarket. However, for people like me who prefer not to consume alcohol even in cooking, it's necessary to know these two kinds properly. 

My husband explains that mirin is simply just sweet Japanese sake. That's the original type, called hon mirin. You'll usually see the characters 本みりん on the bottles of this kind of mirin.

On the other hand, the one I use has alcohol content as much as those in non-alcoholic beers. And I assume that...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Furikake, according to my Japanese dictionary app called Midori, is "dried food sprinkled over rice". I have seen it several times used in onigiri, as topping on rice and spaghetti, and as ingredient in other dishes like tamagoyaki. There are numerous kinds and brands of furikake, but most have katsuo (bonito) and other kinds of meat and seafood in them.

A strict vegetarian Japanese woman (the owner of the vegetarian restaurant I worked for a few months ago) taught me about this vegetarian...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kombu is a kind of wide, large seaweed. In Japan, it is usually dried and sold as is (see picture below). However, I think just recently, Japanese have started transforming it into powder form. I say recently because another mom here first heard of kombu powder from me (in 2017) and even my husband's parents (and his father is a professional cook) doesn't even know about it until I brought one to their house (in 2013).


I find it quite tedious to get dashi from kombu itself (because it usually ta...

Friday, November 29, 2013

There are many kinds of mushroom powder. I've probably used 7 types in all. But as I have very limited stuff at hand, I will show you only some of those.

My husband's favorite is this one (see picture below). It usually goes in an airtight plastic container and I know "Knorr" will come to your minds when you stare at the logo. I actually believe it is a product of Knorr but I'm not sure. Anyway...


My husband once said that it tastes like some non-vegetarian food he has eaten (which, app...

Friday, November 29, 2013

There are hundreds of kinds of tofu here in Japan. That's why I love calling it Tofuland. Well, hundreds of kinds might be an exaggeration, but it might actually be true. I haven't tried all of them, but I have tried a lot. And from my experience, I would like to categorize it into three general kinds.


The first two types, you've probably heard or read it several times before, are kinugoshi tofu (silken tofu) and momen tofu (firm tofu). Before coming to Japan, I had an impression that silken tof...

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