Japanese Cooking Blog with Asako Nonaka #21
Asako Nonaka ◆ May 2, 2017
Recently many foreign visitors have visited Japan. There are three years left until the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, so the Japanese government is putting a lot of work into attracting foreign tourists. As a Japanese cooking instructor, my concern is on what foods are popular among foreign tourists. Looking at various sources of information, the top 3 are sushi, yakinku (Grilled meat), and ramen. Do you like them all? 🙂 They are actually delicious but I feel a little strange that they are treated as typical Japanese cuisine because they are not our staple foods. Of course Japanese people love sushi, yakiniku, and ramen as well but they are more like a treat on a special day like during a birthday, a payday, and a date. So I think it is interesting that special foods have become standard for foreign tourists. I want to tell you that Japanese people don’t eat sushi, yakiniku, and ramen everyday. If we ate them everyday, we would consume too many calories and become sick with diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and heart disease!
Do you know what the staple food is for daily Japanese meals?
Traditional Japanese cuisine includes rice, miso soup, and side dishes using fresh ingredients. Fermented seasonings like soy sauce and miso are used and because they improve intestinal conditions and make the body healthy. It is rare to see restaurants that have home-style Japanese meals in tourist spots. I recommend going to traditional Japanese diner called “Teishoku-ya (定食屋)” where Japanese people eat home-style food. You can eat rice, miso soup, and side dishes just like the ones Japanese people eat at home there. If you want to know how to cook authentic Japanese home-style meals, please come and join my cooking class in Tokyo!
A lot of my friends from Japan visited NY to eat pancakes, steak, and hamburgers. They are popular for tourists but do American people actually eat them their homes?
You can see the gaps between how a country is seen from the outside and the inside. I think it’s interesting to find the differences in your country.
Today I will introduce the recipe for “clam and cabbage steamed with Japanese sake.”
Recipe: Clam and Cabbage Steamed with Japanese Sake
- 8 clams
- Half of a young cabbage
- 10 g butter
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 clove of garlic
Purge sand from the clams. Let the clams soak in a saltwater solution of 1 tsp salt mixed with 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Cover them with a paper towel to prevent them from splashing water.
- Tear the cabbage leaves and wash them.
- Put oil and minced garlic in a frying pan and set the heat to low.
- Add the cabbage, clams, butter, sake, and water, and cover the pan with a lid. Let it steam on medium heat for 4 minutes.
- Once the clams open up and the cabbage absorbs the soup and becomes tender, add the soy sauce and mix.