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Old 2004-10-06, 17:10   Link #1
Lord Raiden
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Middle of insanity
Japanese Food! Comments, suggestions, feedback!

Well, well, well, I've got to be the luckiest Otaku in my entire area! I was talking on the phone with a lady yesterday in regards to teaching english to Japanese workers on work study and work transfer at a nearby factory (Denso Inc brings Japanese people over from Japan to America to help with some of their stuff since they're a japanese company stationed stateside) and when we got to talking about the one gentleman I'm supposed to tutor after my 2 week orientation she mentioned he was going to Japan. I then offhandedly mentioned jokingly about having him bring back some Pocky and some Taiyaki cakes. Lo and behold she says that I can buy them locally. So she points me to this small oriental food store on the other side of town I didn't know existed. So I walk in the door and start having a look around and what do I see almost immediately? Pocky in like 9 different flavors!! And then I asked the owner if they had Taiyaki (the little fish pastries with the sweet bean paste) and I'll be darned if they didn't have 4 varieties of that!! So curiousity grabbed me and having a basic knowledge of some of the things that go into traditional cooking I took a wander around the store and OMG, they've got everything!!!!

Now all I got to do is figure out what dishes to try making now. Since they sell Taiyaki and it's round donut looking counterpart (whatever that's called) I don't have to worry about making my own of that anymore, but I'm stumped what traditional dishes to try making. Or since I'll be tutoring him, I'll get a chance to go visit him and eat with him (hopefully) from time to time. What meals or dishes could I suggest for them to maybe fix for me? I'm definately interested in trying Uden and some Curry Rice, but I don't remember the names of enough of the other dishes to suggest any others. What would you guys suggest?

Well, that's my pronouncement and curiousity list for now. I'm really excited about this because the english teaching and subsequent japanese tutoring may open me up for a chance to go to Japan and teach english too, which would be uber awesome. But enough of me, let's hear your thoughts!
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Old 2004-10-06, 17:19   Link #2
aahhsin
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Raiden
Well, well, well, I've got to be the luckiest Otaku in my entire area! I was talking on the phone with a lady yesterday in regards to teaching english to Japanese workers on work study and work transfer at a nearby factory (Denso Inc brings Japanese people over from Japan to America to help with some of their stuff since they're a japanese company stationed stateside) and when we got to talking about the one gentleman I'm supposed to tutor after my 2 week orientation she mentioned he was going to Japan. I then offhandedly mentioned jokingly about having him bring back some Pocky and some Taiyaki cakes. Lo and behold she says that I can buy them locally. So she points me to this small oriental food store on the other side of town I didn't know existed. So I walk in the door and start having a look around and what do I see almost immediately? Pocky in like 9 different flavors!! And then I asked the owner if they had Taiyaki (the little fish pastries with the sweet bean paste) and I'll be darned if they didn't have 4 varieties of that!! So curiousity grabbed me and having a basic knowledge of some of the things that go into traditional cooking I took a wander around the store and OMG, they've got everything!!!!

Now all I got to do is figure out what dishes to try making now. Since they sell Taiyaki and it's round donut looking counterpart (whatever that's called) I don't have to worry about making my own of that anymore, but I'm stumped what traditional dishes to try making. Or since I'll be tutoring him, I'll get a chance to go visit him and eat with him (hopefully) from time to time. What meals or dishes could I suggest for them to maybe fix for me? I'm definately interested in trying Uden and some Curry Rice, but I don't remember the names of enough of the other dishes to suggest any others. What would you guys suggest?

Well, that's my pronouncement and curiousity list for now. I'm really excited about this because the english teaching and subsequent japanese tutoring may open me up for a chance to go to Japan and teach english too, which would be uber awesome. But enough of me, let's hear your thoughts!
Curry is Indian.

Eat Soba. cold noodles. or Sashimi. If you're in japan you gotta eat sashimi.

Quote:
Yes, but it is quite popular in Japan, kind of like how ramen is a chinese dish.
You did not just say that. Ramen is not Chinese, never will be. I dont' care how much similarities you can find with Ramen with a particular chinese noodle dish. It is not chinese. Then again I would like to see how you can claim ramen is chinese.

Ramen noodles = Typically wavy and thin, usually comes with a soup.

Last edited by aahhsin; 2004-10-06 at 18:09.
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Old 2004-10-06, 17:26   Link #3
Sakaki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aahhsin
Curry is Indian.

Yes, but it is quite popular in Japan, kind of like how ramen is a chinese dish.


This site has some good recipes and ideals for Japanese dishes.

http://japanesefood.about.com/
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Old 2004-10-06, 20:40   Link #4
Keitaro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Raiden
What would you guys suggest?
Well I like Yakitori (which is small kebabs of chicken and vegetables grilled) its very good, Brown Curry with Rice, Sashimi (Thin slices of Raw Fish). Um...how about Kitsune-udon (which is noodles in fish broth in fried bean curd and leek) Maybe some Tendon (which are rice topped with deep fried pawns). Aren't there any Japanese restaurants near you? Hawaii has tons of them. I suggest you find one if possible and try something random in the menu. I do it all the time, I tried things that I normally wouldn't try. Very fun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aahhsin
You did not just say that. Ramen is not Chinese, never will be. I dont' care how much similarities you can find with Ramen with a particular chinese noodle dish. It is not chinese. Then again I would like to see how you can claim ramen is chinese.
You are exactly right. Here's a little background info on the history of Ramen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldramen.net
The word “RAMEN” is obviously a Japanese one coined from Chinese.
First of all, please let me inform you of the meaning of “men” in "Ramen". Though Japanese are using the same Chinese character to express “men” as Chinese are, the meanings are a bit different. For Japanese “men” mean all kind of noodles including rice sticks, soba, etc., whatever the ingredients are as long as they are cereal flour. On the other hand, in Chinese, it means “dough” made of WHEAT flour only. So in their language, udon and ramen are counted as “men” but rice sticks and laksa are not. However when it comes to the form, they do not limit its usage only to “string-like” stuff, so dumplings are also considered to be a part of “men”.

You may have noticed some use “Lamen” or “Larmen” rather than “Ramen.” This is solely because in Japanese language there is no distinction between “L” sound and “R” sound, so it depends his/her favorite which to use. Since the “R” is more popular today to express the sound in alphabet in Japan, “Ramen” overpowers “Lamen” or “Larmen”.

Now getting back to the origin of the word “Ramen”. Frankly speaking, there are several hypotheses but no one can tell which is it. But the following two are the most widely-accepted.
1)In Chinese, ”La” in “Lamen” means pulling and stretching. So “Lamen” means noodles (made of wheat flour) by pulling and stretching. It is believed that when the origin of ramen arrived in Japan, noodles were made by “Lamen” way. Then “Lamen”, the name of noodle making process, turned “Ramen” and became the general name of this noodle dish.
2)Deriving from “La-, La-“ meaning “Yes, Yes” in Chinese uttered by an Chinese chef employed by some Ramen shop in Sapporo, the mistress of that shop coined. This is the second one.

FYI, there still is a word “Lamen” in Chinese as with the meaning explained and they are using the same character to express “Ramen” since there is no other characters equivalent. So in Chinese speaking countries (areas?), like Hong Kong or Taiwan, they usually call ”Japanese Lamen” (in Chinese characters) explicitly to distinguish.
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Old 2004-10-06, 20:56   Link #5
Sakaki
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This is basically what I meant, and what I was told when I was in Japan, that is was a Chinese dish adopted by Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by also from worldramen.net
Ramen is obviously originated in China as in some restaurants in Japan ramen is called "Chuuka-soba (meaning Chinese Noodle literally )" instead of ramen. It is said to have been brought in Japan around 100 years ago. In the last century, Ramen has been continuously reformed, progressed, developed to meet Japanese taste and furnished as Japanese national favorite. Since no equivalent noodle dish can be found in current China to Ramen in Japan, ramen should be recognized as Japanese food originated in China.
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Old 2004-10-06, 21:22   Link #6
Keitaro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakaki
This is basically what I meant, and what I was told when I was in Japan, that is was a Chinese dish adopted by Japan.
Yes it did originate from China but Ramen is a whole new dish reorganized. So you cannot say Ramen is a Chinese dish because you cannot find anything like Japanese Ramen in any Chinese restaurant.
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Old 2004-10-06, 21:25   Link #7
Lord Raiden
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Quote:
Aren't there any Japanese restaurants near you?
HAHAHA!!! No.... T_T The closest thing is Ron of Japan's in Chicago. All we have around here is Chinese and Korean restaurants. I live in the great cold northern state of Michigan and for some reason Japanese avoid this place unless they're here to work for Denso.

BTW, your suggestions sound really good. I'll have to try and remember to ask him about those and hopefully get to try some. Oh, and I'd seriously love to chow down on some authentic Japanese Ramen.
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Old 2004-10-06, 21:30   Link #8
MidoriShinobi
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I like sweets! Japanese sweets are much different than in America.
Um, taiyaki, and hanami dango are my favourite ones~! ^o^

Taiyaki is fish shaped hot cake filled with sweet red bean paste..
and hanami dango is food you eat at cherry blossom viewing in spring.
It comes on a stick with the colours pink, white and green. I like it~!

Dango is easy to make, and very delicious!! You should try it~!
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Old 2004-10-06, 21:58   Link #9
sarcasteak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidoriShinobi
I like sweets! Japanese sweets are much different than in America.
Um, taiyaki, and hanami dango are my favourite ones~! ^o^
I've never had dango, but taiyaki I often eat. I like red bean paste a lot, and Chinese people make those too, except theirs aren't cute like the cute Japanese fish kind.

I've been brainwashed by Ayu...must stea, err, eat taiyaki!
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Old 2004-10-06, 22:05   Link #10
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[QUOTE=Lord Raiden]HAHAHA!!! No.... T_T The closest thing is Ron of Japan's in Chicago. All we have around here is Chinese and Korean restaurants. I live in the great cold northern state of Michigan and for some reason Japanese avoid this place unless they're here to work for Denso.

Then you need to come over to Lansing, there is 3 or 4 Japanese restaurants and at least 6 other sushi places, all in all over 30 oriental restaurants in Lansing/East Lansing. Probably mostly because of MSU. But Detroit is where all the Japanese places really are.

The ramen I had in Japan was very very delicious, as much as I like sushi, I just whish that a least one of the was a ramen shop instead. There isn't even one in Detroit either.
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Old 2004-10-06, 22:10   Link #11
Keitaro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidoriShinobi
Dango is easy to make, and very delicious!! You should try it~!
Speaking of Dango, I love Mitarashi Dango. I go nuts without it. For those of you wo don't know its mochi grilled with soy sauce doused in a sweet, salty and tangy brown glaze. Vey good. Also I suggest you try Shingen Mochi. It's cubes of mochi covered first with nutty ground soy beans, then with some kind of molasses. Becareful when you eat it because the powder goes everywhere.
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Old 2004-10-06, 22:22   Link #12
babbito2k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Raiden
...Now all I got to do is figure out what dishes to try making now...
Some simple dishes are yakisoba, tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and curry rice. They take a bit of work but they are hard to mess up (I still don't get that endlessly recurring anime joke about someone cooking the food badly, it's just not possible!). They don't require too many expensive ingredients either.

Yakisoba is a fried noodle dish. The noodles are available fresh or frozen; they come with little bags of spices to mix into them. You can fry up some of the noodles with some chopped cabbage and maybe other vegetables, and add some meat or seafood if you like. Don't add too much stuff in there unless you have a really big appetite -- the serving sizes for the noodles are very large.

Tonkatsu is awesome IMO. I like breaded pork chops and these are the best breaded pork chops on Earth. The only thing you need are the special Japanese bread crumbs (panko) and some okonomi or tonkatsu sauce. And some pork chops, egg and flour of course. The pork chops should be really thin so that they cook through in a few minutes.

Just do a full breading of the pork chops, using the panko for the last step, and fry them about 4-5 minutes a side (maybe less). I like to fry super hot but it's easy to burn the crumbs that way. The trick is to get the pork cooked before it dries out. If you got this in a restaurant it would be served on cabbage slices 1/2 inch or so wide, with a bit of the sauce drizzled over it, with some rice on the side. It's also served as a combo with...

Curry rice! Curry rice is awesome! Go get the little box of cubes of curry roux, it's easy to make. There are usually instructions in English on the side of the box. It's a matter of browning some meat, sauteing some carrots and potatoes, and stirring up the glop made out of the roux with some hot water. Then you just cook it awhile until everything is tender.

If you use the whole box of roux at once you are going to have a lot of curry rice -- it might be best to cut the recipe in half if you don't have a lot of people to feed. And it's OK to use a little more meat and stuff than the recipe calls for, as it is a little stingy with the meat. Adding the potatoes and carrots is optional but it comes out much better with them than without.

For tonkatsu and curry rice you will need to make some nice sticky rice. Get a nice fresh bag of short-grain rice. You have to rinse it up in a bowl, rubbing the grains together, before cooking. I like to put the rice in a large strainer and then put that in a big bowl, it saves some nonsense when changing the water and draining the rice.
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Old 2004-10-06, 22:24   Link #13
Tzurial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Raiden
HAHAHA!!! No.... T_T The closest thing is Ron of Japan's in Chicago. All we have around here is Chinese and Korean restaurants. I live in the great cold northern state of Michigan and for some reason Japanese avoid this place unless they're here to work for Denso.
If you didn't know the asian market was in town, who knows what restaurants youre missing out on! It's the small and out of the way japanese restaurants that are the best!

Also, I make onigiri a lot, but now that Im away from the ocean fish is ex-pen-sive! Would anyone know some other salty fillings I could use as a replacement?
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Old 2004-10-06, 22:38   Link #14
babbito2k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzurial
...I make onigiri a lot, but now that Im away from the ocean fish is ex-pen-sive! Would anyone know some other salty fillings I could use as a replacement?
I made rice balls recently that didn't have any fish in them... and aren't Japanese either... but they were great! They are called arancini (Italian), and are made of sticky rice, grated cheese and a little tomato sauce. The whole thing is then breaded and fried. They are good hot or cold. There are some good recipes on the web.

For a cheap filling for onigiri... tuna salad is not bad if it's light on the mayo. If you can get pickled plums for a decent price, you can pit those (or not, if you feel like being careful!) and have a very salty and traditional filling. Lots of Japanese pickles (radish, cucumber, lotus root etc.) are salty and would be good.
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Old 2006-01-16, 09:51   Link #15
Roots
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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I give up, why is sushi so expensive???

I've worked in a sushi bar for about 12 months or so in my life, yet there's one thing I could never understand. Why is it so freaking expensive? I mean seriously, why do I pay more for a small portion of raw salmon than I would for a larger portion of cooked salmon? It just blows my mind that we pay so much for raw fish and rice, even though it's so damn good. Can anyone solve the mystery?
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Old 2006-01-16, 11:20   Link #16
Lord Raiden
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I can answer this from my culinary experience. It's the same thing with Petafors. They're just a small 1" square piece of cake smothered in frosting. What makes them so special is they're a precieved delicacy. Otherwise they're no different than the generic cake you get from the bakery.

So I can take a $1 rectangular piece of cake, $3 worth of frosting, and slice it up into 60 pieces and sell it for $1 each earning $60 off of it. What's difference? Just the shape, presentation and preception. Nothing more. heh. Another way to look at it is to say that you have two wrenches. One says craftsman, the other is blank. Both are exactly identical. Which would you buy? The craftsman obviously, and thus you'll pay more since it's got the craftsman name on it, regardless of the fact that it's identical to the cheaper no name wrench.

You'd be surprised how much buyer preception drives the price of items. Retailers always want to get you for the highest price possible, aka the highest price the market will bear. The higher the precieved value, the higher that price can be.

Hope that was explained thuroughly enough.
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Old 2006-01-16, 11:53   Link #17
sanghyun1990
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The only Japanese food I had is Sushi. The cloest Japanese drink I had was Shochu it is called soju in Korea. My mom told me to drink little, that's why I drinked little bit.
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Old 2006-01-16, 11:56   Link #18
GATX207_Blitz
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Takoyaki is the best thing in the world and if you never heard of it I am deeply sorry to say that you are DEPRIVED...

isn't onigiri usually just an umeboshi with gohan and nori wrapped around it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordRaiden
HAHAHA!!! No.... T_T The closest thing is Ron of Japan's in Chicago. All we have around here is Chinese and Korean restaurants. I live in the great cold northern state of Michigan and for some reason Japanese avoid this place unless they're here to work for Denso.
whats wrong with korean restaurants -_-
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Old 2006-01-16, 19:03   Link #19
Lord Raiden
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Nothing is wrong with Korean restaurants, that is, unless you're hungry for Japanese food. ^_^;;
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Old 2006-01-16, 23:57   Link #20
Nakigoe
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japanese candy is horrible. it isnt good. it just sucks.
Oishikunai!
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