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Motsu: A Titillating Exposé

Motsu: A Titillating Exposé

You know how sometimes people talk about how sausage is so delicious, but they don’t really know what is in it? Hopefully you are the type that wants to k...
The Wonderful World of Grated Ginger

The Wonderful World of Grated Ginger

You probably stumbled on to one of the most popular forms of ginger in Japan the first time you ate sushi. That large thimble of sliced, pickled ginger is calle...
Wha is Chikuwa?!

Wha is Chikuwa?!

“Chikuwa” means bamboo ring in English, which is a reference to its shape once it’s been cut up. It has a resilient but not spongy texture, and takes especially...
Just a Bit of Horsing Around: Not All Sashimi Comes From the Sea

Just a Bit of Horsing Around: Not All Sashimi Comes ...

This has the potential to be a touchy topic, so let’s just get it on the table as soon as possible: Japanese eat horse meat, and primarily in its raw form...
Otsumami: Pour a Beer and Break Out the Snacks!

Otsumami: Pour a Beer and Break Out the Snacks!

It has been often said that when it comes to describing something, the Japanese have a word for it. Case in point: There are snacks, and then there is “ot...
What is “tsukune”?

What is “tsukune”?

One of the standby foods at yakitori restaurants in Japan is “tsukune,” which most simply can be described as “chicken meatballs.” Yet these two words alone rea...
Mentaiko!

Mentaiko!

For some, mentaiko is not just an ingredient, it is a love affair. Who would have thought that salted cod roe could have so many fans eating it so many differen...
Tessa: Japanese pufferfish savored in a way as pure as can be

Tessa: Japanese pufferfish savored in a way as pure ...

The fugu, or Japanese pufferfish, is indeed that fish that can poison you. So it’s a delicious dilemma you may face should you find a plate of it in front of yo...
Yakitori: A Primer

Yakitori: A Primer

Yakitori is grilled, skewered chicken (in fact, “yakitori” literally means “grilled chicken” in Japanese), sometimes combined with piece...
Stave off winter’s chill with “Oden”

Stave off winter’s chill with “Oden̶...

Brrr! It’s a cold winter’s night, or even day, and you’re looking for something that will warm you from within. Sushi‘s not going to the...
The Pufferfish Takes a Jacuzzi, and the Results are Delicious

The Pufferfish Takes a Jacuzzi, and the Results are ...

Fugu, despite being (or perhaps because it can be) dangerously poisonous if prepared incorrectly is an incredibly versatile fish to work with. The parboiled ski...
This Chicken’s Beating Heart Has Most Definitely Been Stilled

This Chicken’s Beating Heart Has Most Definitely Bee...

Back home, you may not have the opportunity to enjoy quite as many animal organs as you can if you come to Japan. Here you will find many opportunities to give ...
The Crispy World of Kushiage

The Crispy World of Kushiage

Kushiage is, simply put, deep fried food served on sticks. In fact, “kushi” means stick, and “age” (pronounced “ah-gay”) mea...
Tebasaki age: Buffalo Wings’ Japanese Cousin

Tebasaki age: Buffalo Wings’ Japanese Cousin

Under the category of “It’s Even Better If You Fry It” comes today’s discussion on “tebasaki age,” (the “age” is pronounced “ah-gay”) which literally means “fri...
Three Degrees of Maguro

Three Degrees of Maguro

“Maguro” simply means “Bluefin Tuna,” but the Bluefin Tuna — as well as the somewhat fattier Yellowfin Tuna, which is also sometimes called Maguro —...
The Meal’s Not Over ‘til the Carb Lady Sings

The Meal’s Not Over ‘til the Carb Lady Sings

It’s a wild, unbridled world of culinary freedom out there nowadays. The act of mixing previously unacquainted ingredients on a lark passes without incident, an...
Fried Lotus Root 3 Ways

Fried Lotus Root 3 Ways

The humble lotus root finds its way into many a Japanese cuisine, be it steamed, boiled, or, in the spotlight today, fried. Called “renkon” in Japanese, it has ...
Yakitori: Meatless Chicken Skin?!

Yakitori: Meatless Chicken Skin?!

For everyone out there who religiously removes chicken skin before eating the meat, this post is going to hurt. In a land where the “fat equals flavor” mantra i...
Oh My Sweet, Honey-Laden Sticky Rice

Oh My Sweet, Honey-Laden Sticky Rice

If you think Japanese cuisine has little in the way of dessert, you’ve got a delicious surprise coming. You may have tried green tea ice cream, but that of cour...
Katsuobushi: It’s raining shaved bonito flakes!

Katsuobushi: It’s raining shaved bonito flakes!

If you’ve eaten any appreciable amount of cooked (i.e., not sushi) Japanese food, you have probably benefited from the flavor contributions of katsuobushi, whic...
Okonomiyaki is Yummy!

Okonomiyaki is Yummy!

If you stick to what is considered mainstream Japanese food at Japanese restaurants outside of Japan, you are probably used to — and perhaps just a wee bi...
Kushiage: Fear of the Double Dip

Kushiage: Fear of the Double Dip

Eating “kushiage,” which is fried meat and vegetables on a stick, might seem like an imminently straightforward affair. Simply pick up a stick, eat what’s on it...
Yakitori: By the Good Grace of Chicken Thighs

Yakitori: By the Good Grace of Chicken Thighs

In much of the world, the most sought after, expensive part of the chicken is the chicken breast. In the United States, for example, a boneless, skinless chicke...
For the Love of Chazuke, Rice and “Tea” in Perfect Harmony

For the Love of Chazuke, Rice and “Tea” ...

When it comes to Japanese food and drink, you’d be hard pressed to dispute that rice and green tea are ubiquitous. Rice is eaten with almost every meal, and tea...
Motsu Nabe simmers it up with some of the more interesting beef and pork cuts

Motsu Nabe simmers it up with some of the more inter...

Around the world, there is a culinary tradition of slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, and Japan is certainly no exception in this regards. In a land where table...
Yakitori: Chicken Tail Need Not Be the Butt of the Joke

Yakitori: Chicken Tail Need Not Be the Butt of the J...

So many parts of the chicken get skewered and grilled up at yakitori restaurants that it’s hard to keep track. Of course there’s the negima (dark meat chicken w...
Agedashi Tofu: Don’t call this tofu “plain”!

Agedashi Tofu: Don’t call this tofu “pla...

Now, there’s nothing wrong with tofu in its store-bought form: silky, white as purity itself, with a pleasing (if unchallenging), smooth soybean taste. You can ...
Chirashi: A bounty of colorful and tasty morsels

Chirashi: A bounty of colorful and tasty morsels

There are many ways to eat raw fish in Japanese cuisine, the most well known two being sushi and, for those wishing to skip the rice, sashimi. Yet another popul...
Kushiage: Fried Goodness On Sticks with a Crispy Cabbage Assist

Kushiage: Fried Goodness On Sticks with a Crispy Cab...

If you have an aversion to fried food, stop reading now, because this entry on kushiage (pronounced “kooshi-ahgay”), or “fried things on sticks,” is out to make...
Fugu: Delightful, Delectable, Pufferfish Skin

Fugu: Delightful, Delectable, Pufferfish Skin

You’re probably familiar with fugu, the poisonous puffer fish that, if prepared by unskilled hands can be detrimental to your existence. However, what you may n...
Mizutaki: The Most Flavorful Watery Looking Soup Dish You’ll Ever Have

Mizutaki: The Most Flavorful Watery Looking Soup Dis...

The “mizu” of mizutaki means “water,” but banish any thoughts this may conjure up about the dish being watery. This hot pot dish originated in western Japan, bu...
Atsuage: Oh The Places You Will Go with Fried Tofu

Atsuage: Oh The Places You Will Go with Fried Tofu

For those who take issue with the plainness and acquired appreciation of tofu’s consistency, this post is for you! If you hate fried things then, well, this pos...
Nankotsu karaage: Move Over Popcorn Shrimp, Something New’s Flown In

Nankotsu karaage: Move Over Popcorn Shrimp, Somethin...

If you love bite-sized, crispy shrimp, they you are going to love the slightly smaller bite-sized, crispy cartilage called nankotsu karaage. No, not a fan of ca...
Karaage Chicken is Boneless and Beautiful

Karaage Chicken is Boneless and Beautiful

With the exception of chicken wings, most chicken meat eaten in Japan is of the boneless variety. This makes it easy to eat with chopsticks, and in the case of ...
Real Wasabi: The Not-So-Burning Truth

Real Wasabi: The Not-So-Burning Truth

If you’ve never had wasabi of the 100% natural variety, you have a big surprise waiting for you. Most commercial wasabi is horseradish with green food coloring....
Takoyaki: Holy balls of octopus!

Takoyaki: Holy balls of octopus!

Give a shout out for Osaka, Japan’s second biggest city, because while Tokyo may have the riches, population, an international vibe, and all that good stuff, Os...
Yakitori: The White Meat of White Meat

Yakitori: The White Meat of White Meat

Sasami is simple chicken breast, generally boneless and skinless. This presents a panacea for some, and a problem for others. Being a lean meat, it does come wi...
Fugu the Famous Poisonous Pufferfish

Fugu the Famous Poisonous Pufferfish

Fugu is the famous poisonous fish that only licensed experts can prepare safely, so you’d best give it a try at a restaurant. It is not unheard of for inexperie...
Zousui: A Gruel By Any Other Name Is Not The Same

Zousui: A Gruel By Any Other Name Is Not The Same

Porridge is a culinary — dare I say it?– phenomenon across many a culture, but the flavors can be all over the board. At it plainest, Western porrid...
Fold, fold, and fold again: The Japanese omelet explained

Fold, fold, and fold again: The Japanese omelet expl...

It is sometimes said that a sushi restaurant can be judged by the quality of its “tamago” (egg) sushi. At first glance, it looks like it’s just a simple block o...
Momiji Oroshi: Are there red Japanese radishes?

Momiji Oroshi: Are there red Japanese radishes?

One of the staples in Japanese cuisine in the long, white radish known as “daikon” in Japanese. Removed of it’s outer skin, it finds its way into slow cooked, s...
It’s Tartar Sauce, and it’s Japanese Food

It’s Tartar Sauce, and it’s Japanese Food

When you think of “sauce” and Japanese food, the first thing you probably think about is soy sauce, the dark, salty, soy based sauce into which you dip your sus...
Yakitori: Nankotsu is crunch with character!

Yakitori: Nankotsu is crunch with character!

Being the culinary internationalist that you, dear reader, almost certainly are, you will not be surprised to find that Japan presents you with the opportunity ...
Chicken Nanban: Comfort food with a surprise

Chicken Nanban: Comfort food with a surprise

To the untrained eye, “chicken nanban” is no more than fried chicken adorned with a large dollop of tartar sauce. And to be fair, bluntly put it is just that &#...
Yakitori: Gizzard Me This

Yakitori: Gizzard Me This

Yakitori literally means “grilled chicken,” but nowhere in that name is it specified exactly what part of the chicken is being grilled up. Part of the joy of a ...