Japan is the first country where we started to cook so many of the local dishes ourselves. Why? One of the main reasons is that we learned from the best how to cook Japanese homestyle dishes.
In Hokkaido we visit Keiko: she is a chef and lives in the countryside of Hokkaido. A great meeting with a likeminded woman who loves to cook. Surrounded by farmlands, she gets her vegetables fresh from the land from her neighbors. Since it is winter and there is not much growing on the land, we first visit a supermarket together. She explains us all about the Japanese ingredients like the huge array tofu and specialties like Konjac: a popular root, made into a kind of jelly.
Although our Japanese is very limited, she knows some words of English and with the help of a translation app we learn a great variety of Japanese recipes. In Japanese cooking the quality of the ingredients is very important. It is not about strong flavors, but about the balance in the taste. To make the famous umami flavor, soy sauce, dashi (fish broth) and miso (fermented soy bean paste) can’t be missed in the Japanese kitchen.
We make Japanese style boiled vegetables, a delicious salad from spinach and homemade sesame dressing, fried tofu with spring onions, steamed egg with shiitake…and many more. At the end of our cooking session we serve them all in the beautifully designed Japanese plates and bowls – I love them! A table full of delicious Japanese dishes. Keiko opens a huge bottle of sake… Kanpai!
The next morning it is time for a true Japanese breakfast. We learn how to make Tamago yaki (Japanese style layered fried egg) and we eat natto (fermented soy beans). But we also bring some Dutch influences to the breakfast table: can you spot what they are?
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Location | Taiwan