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Japanese Food

April 10 2010 Japanese Food Newsletter

Ame, ame, fure fure (rain, rain, fall, fall) April showers bring May flowers and here in Southern California where I live, we need rain! I am anxious for more flowers as well as a reason for my Texan husband to use his grill and smoker. Meanwhile, we use the indoor broiler. That got me thinking about lovely broiled seafood. People ask me about the broiled shellfish served at sushi bars and wonder what the topping is made of. It is mostly Japanese mayonnaise along with any house special twists.

Japanese mayonnaise differs from mayonnaise from other foreign cuisines like French and American. Basically, a mayonnaise is a sauce that is an emulsion of oil, vinegar or lemon juice and an egg yolk. Different types of oils and vinegars as well as added herbs and spices produce variations of mayonnaise sauces.

Japanese mayonnaise is softer and creamier, in both color and texture, than its manufactured American counterpart. Instead of distilled vinegar, rice vinegar or lemon juice is the acid. Often sold in plastic squeezable tubes, Japanese mayonnaise is a favorite topping for okonomiyaki, meats, vegetables and even pizza.

This week, I’ve included a recipe for Japanese mayonnaise and two of my favorite ways to enjoy Japanese mayonnaise, which are toppings for broiled shellfish. You probably have ordered similar dishes at a sushi bar. Now you can make you own. The first is a popular American sushi bar request with a spicy hot sauce. Mine has a bit of parmesan cheese which make a light crispy crust.

Japanese Mayonnaise Recipes
Smooth, soft and tangy, Japanese mayonnaise comes in squeezable tubes. But making your own fresh mayonnaise is very easy and more economical, too.

…and two recipes that calls for your own homemade mayo:

Broiled Mussels with Dynamite Sauce Recipe
These mussels with bubbly hot, spicy masago-mayo topping are a sushi bar staple.

Sushi Bar Broiled Mussels Recipe
For those who do not like hot and spicy flavors, these broiled mussels have a creamy white sauce with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese for a light crisp crust.



A reader emailed and asked about recipes for the white or pink “yum yum” sauce often served at Japanese steakhouses. Although I’ve never tried these American restaurants inventions, I did find a few links for them. Here they are if you’d like to try them:

Japanese Steakhouse White Sauce

Japanese Steakhouse Pink Sauce

I have not tried either so let me know what you think if you make them.


Your Japanese food words of the week: Kore ga daisuki desu! (koh-reh gah dah-ee-soo-kee deh-soo) I love this!

Oyu mo wakasenai, anta ittai dou yatte ryouri suru no? (oh-yoo wah-kah-seh-nah-ee, ah-n-tah doh-oo yaht-teh rooyoh-oo-ree soo-roo noh?) You can't even boil hot water, how on earth are you going to cook? haha!

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."
- Ruth Stout

I encourage you to find a garden—anywhere—and enjoy the spring. And remember to tend the garden in your heart so you can have perpetual springtime wherever you go.

Until next time,

Chidori Phillips
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Editor

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