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Japanese Food

March 19 2010 Japanese Food Newsletter

Happy spring! One of my favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes is “The Earth laughs in flowers.” Perhaps that is why I love this season so much. Mother Earth seems to laugh with joy, erupting in blossoms and blooms.

The Japanese love of the four seasons is reflected in their arts, crafts and food. There are foods that are eaten to herald the new season. Bota Mochi, for example, is eaten on the Spring Equinox.

In addition to this recipe, I posted two other articles for you this week. One is about Japanese soy sauce. Someone gave me a sample bottle of soy sauce that tasted very different from the shoyu I was used to. It piqued my interest in learning a little more about how this essential ingredient is made. I discovered some interesting things about shoyu, including the complex brewing process and how to avoid some of the potentially dangerous artificial soy sauce products being sold.

Here are the newest Japanese food articles on BellaOnline.com Japanese Food site:

Spring Equinox Bota Mochi Recipe
A seasonal sweet traditionally eaten on the Spring Equinox, bota mochi is steamed glutinous rice wrapped in sweet red bean paste.


All about Japanese Soy Sauce
Nearly every Asian country has its own version of soy sauce. Read how this essential ingredient is made and how to tell the difference between its variations.


Shoyu Chicken Recipe
Cooking meat in shoyu can result in a salty, tough dish. But this chicken is briefly poached in a very light soy sauce-seasoned broth and is moist and flavorful.



Your Japanese food phrase of the week: I’m hungry. Onaka ga suita. (Oh-nah-kah gah soo-ee-tah). Alternatively, you can also say onaka ga peko peko. (Oh-nah-kah gah peh-koh peh-koh) Onaka is stomach and peko peko is an onomatopoeic word that mimics the sound made by an empty stomach. But the first phrase is more commonly used.

Enjoy the spring! If you cannot laugh in flowers like Mother Earth, plant flowers—and laugh.

To help you, here are two jokes: Two robins were sitting in a tree. “I’m hungry,” said the first bird. “Me, too,” said the other. “Let’s fly down and find some nice, fat worms.” So, they flew down to the ground and ate and ate and ate until their tiny tummies could hold no more. “Now I’m too full to fly back up the tree,” said the first robin. “Me, too,” said the second bird. “Let’s just sit and bask in the sun until our food digests.” “Good idea,” said his friend. So, they plopped down on the ground and basked in the sun until they fell asleep. Suddenly, a big cat walked by, saw the birds and gobbled them up whole. As he licked his paws, he said, “I love baskin’ robins.”

Okay, so I did not say it was a good joke. If you did not like that one, you probably will not like this one either:

A man has a celery stick in his right ear, a zucchini in his left ear and a carrot up his nose. He goes to his doctor and asks what is wrong with him. The doctor said, “Well, for one thing, you're not eating right.”

Well, that is enough torture for you this week.

Until next time,

Chidori Phillips
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Editor

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