Homemade Food (2)

August 13, 2008

So, I guess it’s time again for another entry of “food I prepared at home”.

The first row shows something that are probably the typical sweets of Kyoto: yatsuhashi. They come in two variations: The ones in the second picture are called “raw” yatsuhashi (with a filling of red beans), followed by the “baked” version. The smell and taste reminded me so strongly of my old “hometown for a year”. I’m very glad to be able to make some version on my own now. And the Japanese friends I did them for were pretty surprised, too. ^^

Next is a cake with green tea powder, followed by some fish dishes: something called “tai meshi” (which is usually prepared for celebrations), and mackerel saury pike. The mackerel is a typical dish during this time of the year, grilled and served with grated radish. Some more words about the tai meshi, a dish often found at formal celebrations: Originally, you use a whole fish (sea bream) for this dish, rendering it pretty expensive! So I went to the supermarket, looked around for slices … but found none. When asking, they showed me the whole fish (of several kg) and then did the most amazing thing: After confirming that I wanted two slices only, the took the fish away and came back with slices cut out of it. I couldn’t believe it. Yay to the friendly Japanese!

What would Japan be without sushi? In Europe, we normally have the image of makizushi in mind – these rolls with seaweed on the outside, which taste OK, but are just a trivial secondary version. The “real” stuff is nigirizushi, rice with fish (and other stuff) on top. And that’s what we did in my room: With salmon, tuna, shrimps, scallop, and yuba (tofu skin). Doesn’t it look cool?

After a simple but very good dish of fried tofu (yummy!), there are two of self-made ice cream: I chose ginger pineapple flavor, and it turned out to be quite delicious, if I may say so myself. My guests also couldn’t get enough of it, so that’s a good sign.

Last but not least, some – in my opinion – nice shots of a special carafe for sake (with a second, smaller, hollow space within, to insert ice for cooling purpose). In the background, you see the obligational edamame: Green soybeans that go sooo well with sake (and even with tea or simply water), I can’t get enough of them. If anybody knows where to buy them in Germany, please tell me… well, I have to admit that I didn’t really look for them yet at the typical Asia stores, but I don’t want to raise false expectations. The very last pic is a variation of this theme, with dried cuttlefish instead of the beans – also a typical and very tasty snack to accompany alcohol.



  1. Hi Kai,

    I’m with you 100% on the edamame.
    After leaving Japan no bar or party will feel complete without them. There must be a way of introducing edamame back home….

  2. Hey Julian,
    yeah, absolutely right. Though, I don’t really know why they are so addictive. I mean, sure, they taste good, but it’s somehow similar to snacking on pistachio: The fun of eating them goes beyond the pure taste. (However, edamame are healthier, of course ^^).

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