April 2 2010 Japanese Food Newsletter
Spring brings new birth and nearly every culture around the world celebrates the season with fresh eggs. Historically, the Japanese did not celebrate Easter as it began as an Eastern European pagan rite, often using rabbits and eggs to symbolize fertility, and then later a Christian event, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. But even in Japan today, the Easter holiday for non-Christians slips by relatively unnoticed. It is a surprise that the merchandising industry does not take advantage of an opportunity to sell Western holiday-related goods as it did with Christmas. I read that Disneyland Tokyo hyped Easter with a special parade and Easter decorations and no one in Japan was impressed.
We love Easter here. Even if you do not celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can’t help but appreciate the renewal of flora and fauna during this season. (Personally, I celebrate both.)
In our garden, early strawberries are budding and, because we live in a temperate clime, the first artichokes are nearly ready to harvest. If I can figure out a way to keep chickens out of our garden, my husband will let me have some baby chicks. I kept free-range chickens before and I fed them so well with lots of fresh veggies, bugs and feed that the eggs were fantastic. We never saw eggs with such beautiful, vibrantly colored yolks.
In any case, this week I have posted two Japanese egg-based recipes for you. Both are very popular in Japan:
Okonomiyaki Japanese Vegetable Pancake Recipe
Often called a Japanese pizza, okonomiyaki is an economical egg-based dish that is really more like a cross between a vegetable omelet and a pancake. It is another popular street food.
Japanese Omuraisu Rice Omelet Recipe
Around the world, the egg omelet is filled with regional ingredients and of course, the Japanese fill their most popular version with rice!
Chawan Mushi Japanese Savory Egg Custard Recipe
A savory egg custard, chawan mushi means “steamed in a cup” which is exactly how it is prepared. A chawan is a small Japanese rice bowl. Use chawan with fitted lids, if possible. If not, you can use custard cups and aluminum foil.
And I’m working on posting some great links to Japanese food sites and blogs that I love. I will post more as I find them! This article contains some:
Great Japanese Food Links
There are fantastic Japanese food sites by knowledgeable chefs, gastronomes and foodies on the Web that are rich in text, recipes and photographs. Be sure to check them out!
Instead of learning a new Japanese food phrase for this week, let us see how much Japanese we already know just from our interest in cooking and eating Japanese food.
If you love Japanese food, you can’t help but learn the language.
BellaOnline.com and I have set up some fun and easy games for the Japanese food site. Take some time out to play a few fun games and to see how many Japanese food words you know! It’s a great way to let your brain de-stress.
Japanese Food Hangman
Japanese Food Word Scramble
Japanese Food Word Search
“Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed.”
Robert Schuller, evangelist, How to Be an Extraordinary Person in an Ordinary World
Until next time,
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Editor
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