Hello again, dear Japanese food-loving friends! How did you celebrate Shogatsu or the New Year? We were blessed to gather together and enjoy a fantastic New Year celebration, thanks to my dear mother. My daughter snapped a photo of her standing over the stove but she had a fit when I told her I was going to post it on the site. She threatened me with mortal injury. Seriously. Well, you won’t see her pic and I’m still alive.
She also wasn’t too happy that I posted her ozoni recipe inaccurately so I fixed it post haste; if you care to see the correct version, please check it out. It really wasn’t my fault, I told her, as she was being so vague!
By the way, if you’re having trouble getting some of the Japanese ingredients, I’ll soon be able to post links for online resources!
And, here are your new Japanese food phrases of the week: Before each meal, Japanese people say, “Itadakimasu!” (eee-tah-dah-keee-mah-soo) which means literally I “humbly receive.” It is not so much a prayer but a token of appreciation similar to how the French begin a meal with “Bon appétit!” It is considered polite and good manners to utter this before partaking of a meal.
At the end of a meal, one says “Gochisosama deshita!” which means “it was a good meal or thank you for this good meal.” Again, a sign of politeness when offered with palms joined together.
And now the recipes:
Guava Kanten Recipe
Guava is a tropical fruit not easily found in Japan, but when many Japanese immigrated to the Pacific Islands, indigenous ingredients like guava found their way into Japanese recipes.
Shabu Shabu Recipe
Literally meaning “swish-swish” or the sound made as you swish meats and vegetables in the simmering broth, shabu shabu is a table-top, cook-it-yourself dish that is entertaining and delicious.
Basic Dashi or Japanese Stock Recipes
The foundation of Japanese cooking is a good, clear seaweed and fish broth. Here are several simple recipes.
Practice Makes Perfect in Japanese Cooking
If you aspire to perfecting your Japanese cooking skills, remember the three requirements of a good apprentice: practice, practice, practice. I need more practice!
Until next time!
Chidori Phillips, Japanese Food Editor
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