EDAMAME (Green soybeans)

Soybeans are one of the world’s most popular and versatile food crops.
They are processed into a variety of food products, such as soy protein, tofu, soybean oil, soy sauce, miso, natto and tempeh.
Soybeans are also eaten whole, including as immature soybeans known as edamame. Traditionally eaten in Asia, edamame is gaining popularity in Western countries, where it is typically eaten as a snack.
What is Edamame?

Edamame beans are whole, immature soybeans, sometimes referred to as vegetable-type soybeans.
They are green and differ in color from regular soybeans, which are typically light brown, tan or beige.
Traditionally, they are prepared with a pinch of salt and added to soups, stews, salads and noodle dishes, or simply eaten as a snack.
Edamame is served in sushi bars and in many Chinese and Japanese restaurants.
They are naturally gluten-free and low in calories, they contain no cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. They can be an important source of protein for those who follow a plant-based diet.
1. Empty edamame beans in to a large saucepan of boiling water. You should add a little salt
    to the water too for flavour.
2. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain the edamame well.
3. Serve in a bowl with some crushed sea salt and eat the beans directly from the pod.
There is nothing better than a beer and edamame in the summer.

Edamame beans can be used in many types of Japanese cuisine. Try some of these quick and easy dishes to sample some of the ways that edamame can be used.
Japanese Potato Salad
Cut up some cooked potato pieces into bite size chunks and slice some cucumber, carrot and onion into thin strips. Using Japanese Mayonnaise is important so make sure to get some Kewpie mayo for this. Add some edamame beans once you have removed them from the pods and mix up all the ingredients with a generous dollop of mayonnaise.
Vegetable Stir Fry
Mix up a variety of sweet and savoury vegetables such as edamame, onions, peppers, beansprouts, aubergine, ginger, garlic, carrots, lemongrass, shiitake mushrooms or any other vegetables you like in a large pan or wok over a high heat. Use a little soy sauce while cooking to help bring out the flavours and then serve with freshly boiled rice. Try adding some pieces of tofu before you finish cooking for a tasty vegetarian dish.
Thank you

Tsuyu (梅雨)

“Tsuyu” is the rainy season in early summer in Japan.

It literally means “Plum Rain” (in Chinese characters).
We call it “Plum Rain” because plums are ripening in this time of the year.

Tsuyu is caused by the collision of cold northerly and warm southerly air masses, which results in a relatively stable bad weather front over the Japanese archipelago for several weeks.
It doesn’t rain every day during Tsuyu, but we experience various kinds of rain such as sprinkle, heavy rain and sometimes rainstorm.
In most of Japan, the rainy season lasts from the beginning of June to mid July, while it affects the islands of Okinawa about one month earlier. Only Japan’s northern most main island of Hokkaido gets barely affected by the rainy season.

Some of the traditional wooden temples and gardens look much more amazing in the rain.

People enjoy seeing beautiful hydrangeas in the rain.

There is a Japanese tradition to hand-make dolls out of white paper or cloth and hang them outside or by your window to keep the rain away and bring sunny weather.These dolls are called てるてる坊主 which literally means “shine shine monk.”

【Ume Plum Soy Sauce】
 The taste of sour plum makes a perfect, refreshing summer dressing.
   1 umeboshi pickled plum (large)
   Pinch of Katsuo bushi
   1/4 tsp rice vinegar
   1 tbsp soy sauce
   1 pinch of sugar
   De-seed the umeboshi, mince and pound.
   Mix everything together in a small bowl.

Thank you.

SYUN (The best season for foodstuff)


The land of Japan is long in the north and south, the northern part is covered with cold climate and the south part is covered with subtropical climate.It is an island surrounded by the sea, and many rains enrich plants. Therefore, there are many varieties of foodstuff.
It is also famous that there are 4 seasons in Japan. The season’s most delicious foodstuff are called 『SYUN』.Japanese people have felt pleasure from long ago to eat SYUN foodstuff.There are many SYUN foodstuff of May, the main ingrdients are as follows.

Sea foods
Bonito, Spanish mackerel, Horse mackerel, Firefly squid, Wakame seaweed


Asparagus, Cabbage, Potatoes, Garlic, Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots

Fruit and Others
Strawberries, Grapefruit, Melon, Japanese tea, Honey

Tea plantation

See you.

Shincha ~The first picked tea of this year~

“Shincha” is charactered by fresh scent, flavor and sweetness. Shincha is a tea that made of the first fresh leaves of the season. The first tea of the season is picked from the end of April to the end of May.

Harvest time starts from mild area like Kagoshima, and move northward like cherry blossom’s blooming. “Shincha” and “First crop tea” is basically same tea and just has a different name. “First crop tea” is usually called a name as comparison with “Second crop tea” or “Third crop tea” those picked after “First crop tea”.

Also “Shincha” is called as “now in season” that means the first tea of the season. A tea tree stores norishment during the winter, and when the spring comes, fresh leaves that contain a lot of norishment will grow. Those leaves become Shincha(the first tea of the season). The day after 88th days count from the first day of spring(February 4th) is called “Hachijyu-hachi-ya”. Risshun is in early February of the solar calendar, so that the 88th day is usually around May 2.

According to a tradition, if you drink tea that be picked in 88th days, you will being healthy for a year. The characteristic of Shincha is “refreshing scent” of new leaves, after all. Shincha has less catechin and caffein than “second crop tea” or “third cop tea” and has more flavor and Amino acid(Theanin) that is a component of sweetness. Farmers usually pick the first crop of tea around the 88th day because the tea at that time is filled with nutrients stored over winter and most delicious.

【Noodle soup base mixed with green tea】

Ingredients_2 servings
・Noodle soup base Cup 1/2
・Green tea  Cup 1/2
・Daikon-oroshi (Japanese term for grated daikon radish)  Cup 1/2
・Naganegi (Japanese green onion) as needed
・Katsuobushi (Dried bonito shavings)  as needed
How to cook
1. Mix Noodle soup bass with green tea.
2. Make Daikon-oroshi, Either grate it yourself using a grater or put the daikon radish into a food processor.
3. Garnish Daikon-oroshi, Naganegi and Katsuobushi.

Thank you.

Tai (Sea bream)

March is a delicious month for seafood. The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling.

Tai (Sea bream) is a common fish used in Japanese food, as it means good luck in Japanese culture and is eaten during celebratory occasions. There are many different types of tai, but spring is the spawning season for sakura dai (red sea bream).

During this season, you can enjoy sakura dai (red sea bream) fresh as sashimi, or as tai-chazuke. Tai-chazuke is rice topped with tai sashimi and dashi (soup made from tai) poured on top. Although you can eat tai in other seasons, sakura dai is most delicious this season!

Tai (Sea bream) is much loved in Japan as it is a symbol of celebration (Tai in Japanese), you will always find sea bream at special occasions like weddings. To congratulate someone you would say ‘Medetai’, it doesn’t translate well into English but when I think of Sea Bream it makes me so happy and I think of all the festive times. This dish is a perfect accompaniment for you to enjoy, particularly when you have little time to spend cooking but fancy a treat.

Tai Meshi (sea bream with rice) is today’s wholesome dish that I absolutely love cooking and eating. Especially, as it’s simple and very little fuss to make but also filled with flavour to be enjoyed as a main or starter.


【Sea bream rice – Tai meshi】

Serves: 4
1 whole sea bream (scaled and cleaned)
Two pinches of salt
1tbs Sake
3 cups Japanese Rice
10cm x 10 cm Kombu (Dried Kelp) + 3 cups of water
1tsp Salt
2tbs Sake
2tbs Soy sauce (light)
2tbs Mirin
1cm grated ginger
Chopped Chives
White sesame seeds

To make the kombu dashi, wipe the dried kombu with a clean cloth. (*the kombu shouldn’t be washed.)

Put the water in a deep pot and soak the kombu for about 30 minutes.

Heat it up slowly until the water comes to a boil, take out the kombu and remove the stock from the heat.

Rinse the rice with tap water, until the water runs clear. Then cover with water for at least 30 minutes, I prefer for two hours. This will make the rice soft and fluffy. Score the fish on each side then sprinkle both sides with salt. Splash the sake over the fish and leave it for 10 minutes.

Pat dry the fish with some paper towel and put it under the grill for 3 minutes per side. At this stage you do not have cook the fish completely, just until it has an attractive seared colouring.Using a big enough pot, pour the rice in with the stock, salt, sake, soy sauce and mirin. Stir and mix the mixture evenly. Then place the grilled fish on top. Put the lid on and start cooking with a medium heat on the hob.

As it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 9 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat, leaving it to stand for a further 10 minutes before serving.Present the dish to the table with the fish intact, as it looks great. Then bone the fish and serve with the garnish at the table.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Setsubun (節分)

February 3rd is the day of Setsubun.

Setsubun refers to the day before the beginning of each season

(the first days of spring, summer, fall and winter).

Out of all the 4 Setsubun days, Risshun (the first day of spring) is the most special day.

Back in the day, the Japanese new year started on Risshun (The first day of spring).

Setsubun signifies the ending of winter and the beginning of spring.

It is believed that *oni come when the seasons change in Japan.

*Oni: a devil-like creature from Japanese folklore.

There are many rituals to exorcise these oni.

The rituals differ in each region.

Throwing roasted soybeans was first practiced back in the Heian period, to stop oni from attacking villages by throwing beans at their eyes.

The term oni refers to an invisible negative vibes called jaki in Japanese.

To get rid of the oni, people scatter roasted soy beans both inside and outside of their houses.

These roasted soy beans are called fukumame.

In order to instill god’s power in the fukumame, they are to be placed on the household altar until Setsubun.


It has become the dad’s job to wear an oni mask and have soybeans thrown at him.

The phrase “Out with the devil! In with good fortune,” is said when throwing soybeans.

When saying “Out with the devil,” open a window and throw beans twice. Make sure to close the window immediately so the oni doesn’t come back.

When saying “In with good fortune,” throw soy beans twice inside the house.

Once the beans are thrown, gather them all up and eat the same number of beans as your age. Eat one extra to keep you from sickness and stay healthy for the whole year.

Ehomaki is a sushi roll that is believed to be good luck when eaten on Setsubun day.

When eating Ehomaki, look in the year’s good luck direction, and eat quietly while making a wish.

Ehomaki should not be cut. This represents not cutting any good bonds in the future.

The 7 filling inside Ehomaki represent the 7 gods. This has the meaning of “rolling in goodness (luck).”

Recently, there have been a lot of Japanese snacks and cakes that replicate ehomaki.

This custom began in the Kansai area but now it has become a nationwide event and Ehomaki is sold at supermarkets and convenience stores.



Thank you

Daikan (大寒)

The traditional Japanese calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms.
Daikan (大寒) is the Japanese word for solar term, the coldest part of the year.
In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 20 January and ends around 4 February.
It’s the day of the year that the cold is most severe, but you could also say that Spring is just coming around the corner.

Winter is the perfect time for hot pot, Sukiyaki.

I will teach you how to make delicious Sukiyaki.

You can easily cook using this product.

Don-don series katsuo tsuyu

<Ingredients_4 servings>
SAUCE (warisita)
Don-don series Katsuo tsuyu・・・10 oz
Mirin (sweet cooking sake)・・・10 oz

Thin sliced beef・・・20 oz
Beef lard・・・Adequate
Shirataki・・・5 oz
Winter mushrooms (enokidake)・・・5 oz
Yaki-tofu (grilled tofu)・・・1 Block

<How to cook>
① Put 10 oz Don-Don series Katsuo tsuyu and 10 oz Mirin in a pot, place over high heat, bring it to boiling.
② Cut the yaki-tofu into bite size, the leeks diagonally, parboil shirataki, and cut into bite size. Remove the stem tip of the enokidake.
③ Heat a Sukiyaki pan (shallow iron pan), and melt a beef fat.
④ Grill some beef in the pan, add some ① and coat the beef with it.
⑤ Add ② and grill. Dip the beef and ingredients in a beaten egg to eat.

After enjoy the Sukiyaki, add rice, some water, and warishita sauce in the pan to make a Beef Ojiya (beef risotto ).

Thank you and stay warm.

Kagami-mochi and Kagami-biraki


In Japan, rice cake has been considered a sacred food for a long time because rice cultivation was indispensable for the Japanese.
Kagami-mochi are traditional Japanese offering made of rice cake for New Year’s.
Kagami-biraki is an event to eat Kagami-mochi, wishing a peaceful year for the family. Many Japanese people make Shiruko(sweet red bean soup) or Ozoni(Japanese traditional soup which contains chicken, boiled fish‐paste and vegetables) using Kagami-mochi at home.

It is said that it gets power from the god of the year.  Generally, this event takes place on 11th January.

May the year of 2017 bring you a lot of happiness and smiles.

Good Luck !


Happy New Year!
I look forward to your continued good will in the coming year.

In Japanese, New Year is called “oshougatsu”, and the very first day of the year is called “gantan”. New Year’s Day is a very important day for the Japanese people.

There are many events and customs to celebrate New Year’s Day.

Some people climb up the mountain before dawn to see the first sunrise of the year.

People decorate their houses with special decorations.

“Kadomatsu”, two groups of bamboo to place in front of the entrance; “shimenawa”, a sacred straw rope to protect the door; and “kagamimochi, round, piled up mochi (rice cakes) to appreciate and eat as a token of wellbeing.

Adults put money in a special envelope and give it to children.

This is called “otoshidama” and many children look forward to it very much!

People send each other New Year’s cards called “nengajyo”.

This is usually designed with symbols of good luck or the animal of the year out of the 12 animals in the Chinese astrological calendar. Families with young children often send New Year’s Cards with a family photo or a picture of their children.

Many people go to shrines to make wishes for the coming year.
This event is called “hatsumoude”.

People buy charms or amulets called “omamori” to wish for wellbeing or success.The golden arrows named “hamaya” protect you from bad things.

Usually, you must line up for a long cue to buy this one. Japanese people like to buy “omikuji” as well, which is a lottery that tells you your fortune for the year. “Daikichi” is the best, and “Daikyo” is the worst.

People buy or prepare tiered boxes filled with special food for the New Year – this is called “osechi”.

The food in the osechi each has a special meaning, mainly to wish for wellbeing. Together with the osechi, we drink special sake named “otoso” and eat “ozouni”, which is similar to miso soup but has mochi in it.

Thank you.