January 22, 2015

Smoked Hokke Skin Furikake/ホッケの燻製の皮のふりかけ

This is my very first attempt to make smoked hokke skin furikake. I have diligently saved in the freezer almost all skin from the smoked hokke that I received from my father.
ホッケの燻製の皮のふりかけを初めて作ってみました。父からもらったホッケの燻製から取った皮を殆ど冷凍庫に保存してありました。

For information about smoked hokke, see a previous post.
ホッケの燻製については、過去の記事を読んでください。

First, I cut the skin into small pieces, using kitchen scissors.
まず、キッチンばさみで、皮を細かく切りました。
Actually, I did the cutting late last year, and put the skin in the freezer. The incredibly heavy snowfalls have caused me to postpone the furikake making until today.
実際は、去年の終わり頃に切って、冷凍庫にしまっておきました。信じられないくらいの大雪のため、今日までふりかけ作りが延びてしまいました。

Put the skin in the blender and shred into smaller pieces.
ミキサーに入れて、さらに細かくします。
Because of the small size of the blender, I had to shred the skin in three separate parts.
ミキサーが小さいので、皮を3回に分けて細かくしました。

Transfer the skin to a frying pan. Stir-fry over low heat for 2 minutes or so.
皮をフライパンにあけます。2分程度弱火で炒めます。
The skin reduces in volume considerably.
量がかなり減ります。
I tasted the skin, and found it was good enough. You could sprinkle it over a bowl of hot rice and eat it, with no additional seasonings.
味見して、十分美味しいことが分かりました。味付けしないでも、温かいご飯に載せて、食べれるくらいです。

That being said, I added some white sesame seeds and katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings).
とは言うものの、白ごまと鰹節を少し足しました。
Stir-fry for another 2 minutes or so. Done!
さらに2分程度炒めます。完成!
I added some mirin for some additional sweetness.
もう少し甘くするため、みりんを足しました。

The smoked hokke skin furikake was surprisingly delicious! If you ever get a bag of smoked hokke, don't just throw the skin away!
ホッケの燻製の皮のふりかけは驚くほど美味しかったです。ホッケの燻製が手に入ったら、皮は捨てないようにして下さい!

Seven Custom-Made Shigefusa Kitaeji Knives/特注の重房鍛地包丁、7丁

A person asked me to help him/her order seven Shigefusa kitaeji knives from Yoshizawa Riko last year, and he received these knives early this year. This person is the one who previously ordered five Shigefusa kitaeji knives, as I described here.

The seven knives are:
195 mm usuba
300 mm hamokiri
180 mm (jigata) nakiri
120 mm ajikiri
300 mm fuguhiki
180 mm wa (Japanese-style handle) petty
300 mm kirituke

He kindly provided me with these photos, along with some comments. He says he likes the fuguhiki the most.

As with other previous transactions between Yoshizawa Riko and customers, I acted solely as a "bona fide third party" in this transaction.
去年、或る人から、吉沢利工に重房の鍛地包丁を7丁注文するのを注文することを依頼され、今年の初め、 その人に7丁送りました。ここで述べたように、以前に重房の鍛地包丁5丁を注文した人です。

7丁の包丁とは:
195 mm 薄刃
300 mm ハモ切
180 mm (地型)菜切
120 mm 鯵切
300 mm フグ引
180 mm 和ペティ
300 mm 切付

その人から写真とコメントを頂きました。フグ引が一番気に入っているそうです。


他の過去の吉沢利工と顧客との取引同様、私はこの取引において単に「善意の第三者」の役を務めました。






January 6, 2015

Shukan Flavor No. 154 Playing with the Wave Dripper/週刊フレーバー No. 154 ウエーブドリッパーで遊ぶ

Shukan Flavor No. 154 Playing with the Wave Dripper/週刊フレーバー No. 154 ウエーブドリッパーで遊ぶ

English only. Japanese version omitted.

0:50 Nakagawa starts by talking about how he cleaned the superheated steam generator.
3:00 Starts talking about today's topic: Wave Filter rather than the Wave Dripper.
Shows a big Wave Dripper. For those who don't have such a big one but want to make a large amount of coffee, he considers a unique way.
4:00 Shows a big 2-liter container. places a metal sieve, followed by a 27 cm diameter wave filter. 5:20 Shows a small Wave Dripper.
5:50 Shows a paper cup, and says you can use it instead of a Wave Dripper.
The female assistant (licensed Q grader) says he has dealt with this topic before.
6:50 He changes his mind and says he will use a tea strainer instead.

Note: Nakagawa usually does this show without rehearsal, and he often makes mistakes, makes stupid remarks, changes his mind, and does other funny things during the show. This episode is no exception.

7:10 He starts demonstrating how to brew a large amount of coffee using a sieve, a wave filter, etc.
He says he will brew using a "dote" (lit. embankment).

Note: The "dote" technique is one of his preferred methods, and it's brewing by pouring water only at and around the center of the bed of ground coffee, avoiding pouring water in the area 1-cm inward from the edge of the bed (thereby making an embankment).

100 g coffee, grind level of 3 on his commercial grinder (fine)

9:40 He shows another gadget from Kalita, Wave Style, and says he will also use it today.

13:09 He finally starts pouring water for blooming, in much the same way as the Matsuya method.
14:50 Starts pouring water for extraction, again in much the same way as the Matsuya method.
See how he avoids pouring water near the edge, making a "dote" (embankment) around the edge. Notice also that he has to stop pouring occasionally to avoid breaking the dote.
19:50 He lifts the sieve to check if water runs through the side, and confirms that most of the water runs down through the center.
20:00 He finishes brewing 500 cc (ml) of coffee. He then dilutes it with (an equal amount?) of water, again in much the way way as the Matsuya method.
22:05 Nakagawa and Nagaya (assistant) taste the coffee. They agree that it has a clear taste, although Nagaya says it's a little strong.

The next attempt is brewing with a tea strainer.
25:00 He says that the 6.3 mm diameter tea strainer comes with a Kalita drip pot.
27:20 He proves that the Wave Filter 155 has a diameter of 155 mm.

To be continued.

30:00 He asks Nagaya to grind 20 g of coffee at a grind level of 3 (fine).
32:55 He starts pouring water for blooming.
32:47 He starts pouring water for extraction. He pours a small amount of water at the center of the coffee grounds, stops pouring, and starts pouring again. He repeats the steps. Note that he uses the "dote" technique again.
37:50 He dilutes the strong coffee with water.
38:25 He tastes the coffee, and then dilutes it again with some more water.
38:30 The two agree that the coffee is less tasty than the first.
40:50 Nakagawa decides to brew coffee with a paper cup.
10 g coffee
42:30 He makes a hole at the center of the bottom of the cup. He decides to make four others.
43:53 He makes another hole on the side of the cup, as an air vent.
45:05 He makes yet another hole on the side, as an air vent.
47:55 He starts pouring water for blooming. He then brews coffee in the same way as he does for the second brew, using the "dote" technique.
51:27 He dilutes the coffee with water. He tastes it, and says it's good. Nagaya says that it's somewhere between the first and second brews.

To be continued.

53:00 Nakagawa goes on to the next topic: thinking of brewing coffee outdoors for Mr. Kim (one of the frequent viewers). Nagaya keeps telling him that his past similar attempts have ended in failure.
10 g coffee
1:03:24 After all is said and one, he decides to adopt Kim's idea: using toothpicks with the lower paper cup. He first uses four toothpicks and then two of them.
1:06:15 He makes a hole at the center of the bottom of the upper paper cup.
1:06:55 He pours a small amount of water into the upper cup.
1:07:45 He pours more water.
1:09:18 He pours a large amount of water, in an attempt to see if the air vent is effective. (Coffee comes out of the air vent, and seems not effective.)
1:12:19 He tastes the coffee, and says, "It's bad, isn't?" He asks, "It's the worst, isn't it?" Nagaya says yes.
Nagaya says that Nakagawa has poured a large amount of water at once (for the third time), suggesting that that's the reason why the coffee tastes so bad. Nakagawa agrees, saying that even if you brew outdoors, you have to pour water carefully.
1:13:57 He says that if you are to use a toothpick, you should just place it between the server (carafe) and the lower paper cup, like this, so that the air can be released from the server.
1:14:21 He says it's past ten o'clock, shows the Wave Style again, and says he can't try it today and will do so some day.

End of the video



January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day/大晦日と元旦

On New Year's Eve, we had soba for supper, among others. Such soba is called toshikoshi soba (lit. year-crossing buckwheat noodles). My wife and I had this bottle of Nama Zake (Raw Sake) from Aoki Shuzo.
大晦日(おおみそか)には、夕飯に蕎麦などを食べました。このような蕎麦を年越しそばと言います。私は妻と、青木酒造のこの生酒(なまざけ)を飲みました。

On New Year's Day, we had a late breakfast, which included a nimono (simmered dish) made by my wife yesterday, and
元旦には、遅い朝食を食べました。妻が昨日作った煮物と、
humble osechi.
質素な御節(おせち)。  
My wife remarked, "It' no use posting a photo (of such humble store-bought osechi)", but I dismissed her remark. My intention here in my blog is to show our everyday life no matter how humble it may be.
妻が「(そんな市販の質素な御節の)写真を載せても意味がない」と言いましたが、私は無視しました。このブログの目的は、どんなに質素だろうと、私たちの日常の生活を見せることだからです。

Naturally, we also had ozoni.
もちろん、お雑煮も食べました。
Salmon is a required ingredient here in the Uonuma region of Niigata.
新潟の魚沼地方では、鮭は絶対に必要な具材です。

At lunchtime, I had another sake, Hakkaisan.
昼食には、別のお酒、八海山を飲みました。


December 25, 2014

My Oden Recipe/私のおでんのレシピ

On December 21, I made oden, and submitted my oden recipe to COOKPAD, Japan's largest recipe site. You can read my recipe from here (Hiro312's kitchen), although it's entirely in Japanese. It's basically the same as that I previously submitted here in my blog:
12/21、おでんを作って、そのレシピをCOOKPAD(日本最大のレシピサイト)にアップしました。そのレシピはここ(Hiro312のキッチン)から読むことができます。全部日本語ですが。基本的に、以前このブログに載せたのと同じレシピです。

My point is to separate oden ingredients into those that will absorb the broth and become tasty when simmered for a long time and those that will impart their flavors to the broth and become less tasty when simmered for a long time. Suppose you keep having oden for supper on four days, you may want to put lots of ingredients of the former type in the pot and put just enough amounts of ingredients of the latter type for each supper.
ポイントは、おでんの具を、長時間煮ると出汁を吸って美味しくなるものと、長時間煮ると、味が出汁に出てしまい、まずくなるものに分けるということです。おでんを4日間夕飯に食べると仮定して、前者のタイプの具は鍋にたくさん入れ、後者のタイプの具はそれぞれの夕飯に十分なだけの量を入れるといいでしょう。

Three ingredients of my choice:
私が選んだ具、三種類:
Daikon, konnyaku, and boiled eggs.
大根、こんにゃく、茹で卵。

After I turned off the heat, I added some sardine tsumire and chikuwabu, and put on the lid to heat the two additional ingredients.
火を消してから、いわしのつみれを「ちくわぶ」を入れ、蓋をして、足した具を温めました。

Day 2: We had the same oden, with no additional ingredients (on day 1, my children didn't have as much oden as I had expected). No photo.
二日目: 具を足さず、同じおでんを食べました(初日、子供たちが思ったほど食べなかったので)。写真はありません。

Day 3: I added two additional ingredients.
三日目: 具を2種類足しました。
I really like boiled eggs with broth seeped into them.
出汁が染みた茹で卵はホントに大好きです。
Day 4:
四日目:
I had some for lunch. I was surprised to find that some sardine tsumire and chikuwabu were still hinding in the broth! The chikuwabu was tasty enough, but the sardine tsumire tasted as if their umami had been gone.
昼食に食べました。いわしのつみれと「ちくわぶ」がまだ出汁の中に隠れていて驚きました。ちくわぶは十分美味しかったですが、いわしのつみれは旨味が全部なくなったような味がしました。

Day 4, supper:
四日目、夕飯:
I added some more ingredients.
具をもう少し足しました。
As I said above, I really like boiled eggs in oden.
さっきも言いましたが、おでんの茹で卵はホントに大好きです。

December 21, 2014

Heavy Snowfalls Last Week/先週の大雪

Here in the Uonuma region of Niigata, it snowed a lot last Sunday (December 14), as well as on other days last week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Here are some of the photos I took on Friday (Dec. 19). I have lost two kilograms due to the hard work of clearing the snow. Basically photos only; I'm in no mood to give a detailed description of each photo.
新潟県の魚沼地域では、先週の日曜日(12/14)、また他の日(特に水曜と木曜)に大雪となりました。金曜日(12/19)に撮った写真の一部です。除雪という重労働のため、2キロ痩せました。
基本的に写真だけです。それぞれの写真の詳細な説明を書く気にもなれないので。

My house:
我が家:  
  
I inserted a piece of bamboo into the tool so I could reach the snow on the roof. Clever idea, huh?
屋根の雪に届くよう、道具に竹を差し込みました。いいアイディアでしょ?


Photos taken from a window of the house:
家の窓から撮った写真:

Shiozawa Station on JR Joetsu Line:
JR上越線の塩沢駅:




Bokushi Dori (Street):
牧之通り:








Last week's heavy snowfalls exceeded the capacity of all the systems and equipment for clearing and melting snow.
先週の大雪は、除雪、融雪のあらゆるシステム、装置のキャパを超えていました。

According to this page, the snow accumulation as of today here in Minami Uonuma is 144 cm.
このページによれば、南魚沼の今日の積雪量は144 cmです。

Edited to add some photos, taken on December 24:
12/24に撮った写真を追加:

Snow clearance has not progressed as much as I had expected it to.
除雪は思った程には進んでいません。

Bokushi Dori (Street):
牧之通り:

JR Shiozawa Station:
JR塩沢駅:



But, anyway, snow has been cleared from the bicycle parking area.
でも、ともかく、駐輪場の除雪はできていました。