Osechi Ryori is eaten in Japan at New Years. It consists of many special foods that are not usually eaten throughout the year. Many of the foods are symbolic or contain special meaning such as good health or prosperity. These foods are displayed in “jubako”, special boxes traditionally made of lacquer.
Many of the foods in Osechi Ryori can be made in advance and kept at room temperature without going bad. We have already started making some of the items to go in our jubako. One of the items that we made today is kobumaki.
Kombu and kampyo are both dried and need to be soaked in water before using
Kobumaki is made by wrapping vegetables such as carrots and gobo (burdock root) in kombu (kelp). It is the tightly tied shut with kampyo (dried gord). It is then simmered in a soup stock made from kombu, soy sauce, sake and sugar.
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Shio-koji can be used to naturally enhance flavors in food and it is very simple to use in cooking. Its health benefits include aiding in digestion and replenishing good bacteria in the intestines. Shio-koji is also very simple to make at home. The brand Cold Mountain, which also sells products like miso, is probably the most common brand of Koji found in the United States. Once you have gotten your hands on koji the rest is easy, all you need now is water and salt! The only thing is that although shio-koji is very easy to make, it does need time. It requires about 10 days depending on room temperature. So when you don’t have time to wait, your other option is to buy ready-made shio-koji.
I thought that ready-made shio-koji could only be found in Japan but just recently I saw a few different brands being sold at Sunrise Supermarket in the East Village. Cold Mountain is one of the brands that sells a ready-made shio-koji “sauce” and there were some other Japanese brands of ready-made shio-koji as well. I was surprised by how easy it is getting to find shio-koji in New York now. I also noticed that many restaurants are starting to incorporate it in their menu as well.
Sunrise Supermarket is located on 4 Stuyvesant street in the East Village ( they also have several other locations in the city).
This past weekend we visited Mariebelle tea shop in SOHO. Although I have a box of their tea at home, it was my first time inside the shop. The shop was really cute and beautifully decorated for the holidays. We sat at the cafe and ordered tea and a cappuccino. We also had a piece of chocolate cake as well. I had “soba-cha” (buckwheat tea). I was really surprised that they served soba-cha there since it is a Japanese (somewhat minor) tea. But it was really delicate and delicious. However I still prefer their Earl Grey tea which I ended up buying a box of on the way out. It’s definitely a great shop to visit if you are ever in SOHO and I think that it is particularly beautiful at this time of year.
This past weekend I went to Tomoko-san’s Bread Making Class. We made カンパーニュ which is French Country Bread in English. This is the second class that I was able to attend and every time I go I learn more and more.
We used a variety of flours including organic white flour and rye flour. We also made bread sticks using the same ingredients with walnuts and dried fruit. They came out great!
We used a le creuset to bake the round loaf. The outside of the bread was crispy and the inside was still soft.
Tomoyo-chan was a great assistant!
P.S. No, the sugar bowl didn’t drop 🙂
I stopped by this shop a while ago on the way to visit a friend in Brooklyn. Despite its name “The Nutbox” it actually sells a lot more than just nuts.
They sell a wide variety of organic and non-organic grains and beans, snacks, chocolate, and yes, of course nuts.
They also have snacks made with sweeteners like brown rice syrup instead of sugar as well. I was surprised to see some Japanese products like azuki beans and soybeans being sold there.
They have a coffee bar as well so you can enjoy a coffee while browsing through the store. I recommend the coconut-date snack and the cocoa covered almonds!
163 smith Street, Brooklyn
December 22, 2012
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Event Description: 日本語と英語でクリスマスの歌を歌いましょう！ジンジャーブレッドハウスメイキングを楽しみましょう！
Song 1: Time for Circle
Song 2: Welcome!
Song 3: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Song 4: きらきら星
Song 5: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Song 6: 赤鼻のトナカイ