Sweets called castella are very popular in Japan. The prototype is said to have been passed to Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan by a Portuguese missionary in the mid-16th century. (Nagasaki prefecture is located in the northwest part of the Kyushu region, the southernmost island of mainland Japan.) Castella evolved as unique yellow sweets and now have became widespread throughout Japan. Basically it is made of flour, sugar and eggs, and is poured into a large rectangular mold, which is baked in an oven. It is characterized by its fluffy texture (due to the long time the eggs are whipped) and its sweetness. It is usually made and sold in confectionary shops, supermarkets and department stores rather than made at home. There are also types that include milk, green tea and chocolate. If you are interested in castella, it is available throughout Japan. If you would like to try making castella, please check out our castella recipes.
Recipes Good for Longevity
Fried Thick White Noodles with Hijiki
Hijiki & Pickled Plums Seasoned Rice
Do you eat hijiki?
From long ago, it has been said that if you eat hijiki, you will live longer. Respect for the Aged day used to be on September 15th in Japan, so that date was also declared hijiki day. Hijiki contains a lot of calcium, iron, minerals, etc., and there are many good benefits for your body.
Fried Thick white Noodles with Hijiki Recipe URL: http://j-simplerecipes.com/recipes_metric/noodles/fried-thick-white-noodles-with-hijiki.html
Hijiki & Pickled Plums Seasoned Rice Recipe URL: http://j-simplerecipes.com/recipes_metric/rice/hijiki-and-pickled-plums-seasoned-rice.
Soft Bubbling Tofu
By adding baking soda, to tofu, it becomes soft. When this tofu is heated, it gains a strong alkalinity and becomes softer and melts more easily. When tofu becomes alkalinity, it easy to melt. So tofu becomes soft. It is delicious with only soy sauce but becomes even more delicious when eaten with chopped leek (optional) and grated ginger (optional). Especially when you eat tofu with the green part of long green onions and ginger, it relieves fatigue.
Miso, soy sauce, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), sake, mirin, ama-zake, bonito flakes, etc. are representative Japanese fermented foods. Koji is indispensable for making these. It is produced by adding koji molds (Aspergillus oryzae) to such food as steamed rice, wheat and soybeans. Koji contains enzymes which produce delicious fermented foods. Koji molds, which originated in the Orient, are an edible microorganism that is effective for good health. In Japan, they naturally occur due to the unique climate, and are unparalleled in the world. Koji contains abundant enzymes, which are a type of protein originally made in the body. However, enzymes are fragile and become more difficult to be made in the body with age. Japan may be among the countries with the highest longevity in the world because its food uses koji. So, why not eat some Japanese fermented food to live a long healthy life?
Recipes Good for Box Lunches
Flaked Salmon Rice Ball
Rice Ball with Dried Seasoning for Sprinkling on Rice (Furikake)
Do you eat rice balls?
Rice balls are useful for box lunches because they last a long time and are very portable.
Now, many kinds of rice balls are sold at convenience stores and supermarkets, but you can make them at home easily.
The shape that is easiest to make is triangular, but you can make other shapes, such as ball or cylindrical.
Also, you can use your favorite ingredients such as flaked salmon, dried seasoning for sprinkling on rice (furikake), etc.
Because rice balls are enough to fill you up, why not try to make them if you ever make a box lunch?
Flaked Salmon Rice Ball Recipe URL: http://j-simplerecipes.com/recipes_metric/rice/rice_balls/flaked-salmon-rice-ball.html
Rice Ball with Dried Seasoning for Sprinkling Recipe URL: http://j-simplerecipes.com/recipes_metric/rice/rice_balls/rice-ball-with-dried-seasoning-for-sprinkling-on-rice.html
Rice Bowl (Chawan)
Because rice is a staple food eaten almost everyday in Japan, rice bowls can be found in every Japanese house. The bowls are usually ceramic, about 15 cm. (6 in.) in diameter and can fit on the palm of one's hand. Some women use smaller ones. There are many types, from plain to colorful. There is a wide range of prices, from exclusive ones made by famous pottery ceramic makers to inexpensive ones bought at a 100 yen shop. Some children use plastic bowls which do not break. Many Japanese have their own bowl just like their own chopsticks. In Japan, there are many places where you can buy bowls, so why don't you buy your own rice bowl if you are ever in Japan.
Relationship Between Yogurt and Miso Soup
Do you know what is common to yogurt and miso soup? As you know, yogurt is a dairy product containing lactic acid bacteria. Miso soup usually is made from ingredients such as tofu and vegetables, and miso dissolved in bonito soup stock. Miso is made from soybean, salt, and koji (malted rice, wheat or soy). The soup stock is made from water and dried bonito shavings. The shavings are made from bonito fish which is heated and then dried. Miso and dried bonito are fermented foods. In other words, the common point between yogurt and miso soup is fermented food. What will happen if yogurt is added to miso soup? Even many Japanese people may feel that the dish is a mismatch. However, it tends to be a high-grade taste in many cases. Basically, the compatibility of miso and dairy products is good. So, it is better not to heat the miso soup so much if adding yogurt because nutrition is compromised. Please try cooking miso soup with yogurt. Many people will be satisfied because it is good for health and it becomes a more delicious soup.