Category: Blog

22
Dec

A Closer Look At The Nutrition Of Ramen

Ramen is one of the most well-known Japanese dishes. For years, instant ramen noodles have been a popular choice for college students, largely because they are so inexpensive. You can buy multiple packs of noodles for less than a dollar, making them a practical choice for anyone who is on a limited budget.
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15
Dec

A Quick Guide Of The Japan’s Regional Ramen

A bowl of traditional ramen consists of 4 basic ingredients: the noodles, the broth, the tare, and toppings. Ramen broth is usually a mix of chicken, pork, vegetables, and seafood, and each ramen shop typically creates their own specific blend. Most combine pork and fowl, others have more complex ingredients, and some vow that they will never reveal their recipe’s secrets. While most diners categorize the ramen types as miso, shio, tonkotsu, and shoyu, the individual shops will specialize in a single style, referred to as simply “ramen” on the menu. This guide will show you the basics about several different
regional varieties of ramen. But, it is just a beginning and touches on the myriad of varieties of ramen available all over Japan.
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08
Dec

6 Kinds Of Ramen That You Should Know About

1. Shio

When it comes to Ramen, this salty broth is perhaps the oldest of them all. Shio translates to “salt” and sea salt is likely the first type of seasoning that was ever used in making Ramen.
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30
Nov

Do You Know How To Drink Sake?

There can be a number of common questions that come from a sake beginner, including:

Should sake be consumed warm, cold, or at room temperature?

What kind of a glass or cup should you be using for drinking sake?

Chill Or Not To Chill?

The truth is that there is no solid rule to follow. The more important considerations will be the type of sake that is in question, as well as your own personal preferences.

Some sakes will be at their best in terms of taste when you serve them cold, while others will be just perfect when you serve them warmed. Each sake is going to be different, and the connoisseurs of sake will tell you that you need to experiment. Do whatever tastes best to you. It is never going to be fun if you are more worried about whether or not you are drinking it wrong.

With that being said, there are some general guidelines that you can use to help you in either warming or cooling your sake:

– Talk with the staff at the shop, bar or restaurant that you are at about a recommendation, as they will know whether it will be best warm or cold.

– Avoid any extremes. Whether your are chilling it or warming it, you never want to overdo it. Overheating or getting it too cold could disrupt the aromas or flavors of the sake.

– Warming: Never heat the sake directly. Instead, you should be pouring it into a receptacle that can take some heat. You can heat it gradually in a water bath. Just avoid heating it too intensely or too quickly, which means you should never microwave it.

Without trying to overgeneralize, a great deal of sake experts will say that daiginjo and ginjo sakes will be best not warmed. Being chilled will enhance the aromas and flavors. many of the honjozo and junmai sakes will be fine either way. Warming these will bring out the smooth nature and complex flavors.

Various sakes will taste wonderful at different temperatures, as the differing temps will bring out differing characteristics. This is what makes them worthwhile if you are looking to experiment a bit.

23
Nov

Different Kinds of Sake

There are a number of different kinds of sake. So in order to try to keep things as simple as possible, we are just going to focus on the major classifications and types. In addition to a good cup of sake, the information contained here is all you need for enjoying some sake tasting at a izakaya, bar or specialty sake shop.

Sake can be classified according to various factors, including: how it has been filtered, the brewing processes used, the degree to which the rice was polished, where it was produced, the kind of rice used and other factors.

Instead of overwhelming you, we would like you to enjoy the sake tasting process. Therefore, the following is a useful list of the major classifications and kinds of sake you are likely to come across. If you learn just all or even some of these, then you will know more about sake than about 99% of all tourists visiting Japan.

Junmai | SAKE

Junmai is a type of sake made with pure rice (non-additive). The junmai classification also means the rice that is used in making the sake has been polished 70% at least (which means that the percentage number shown on the bottle will be 70% or lower, for example 61-70%) – so a minimum of 30% was polished off. Although it can be difficult to over-generalize, junmai sake has a tendency to have a full rich body with a slightly acidic and intense flavor. This kind of sake can be especially nice when it is served at room temperature or warm.

Honjozo| SAKE

This type of sake also uses rice that is polished 70% at least (like junmai that we previously mentioned). However, by definition, honjozo also contains a small quantity of distilled brewers alcohol. It is added to help smooth out the sake’s aroma and flavor. Quite often Honjozo sakes are easy to drink and light. They can be enjoyed both chilled or warm.

Ginjo and Junmai Ginjo | SAKE

Ginjo is a kind of premium sake. The rice used has been polished to 60% at least (so the percentage number that is shown on the bottle will be 60% or lower, or 51-60%) – so 40% at least has been polished off. Ginjo sake is brewed using special fermenting techniques and yeast. This often results in a complex, fruity and light flavor that can be very fragrant. It tends to be chilled and is quite easy to drink.

Junmai ginjo is just ginjo sake that fits the definition of pure rice (no additives) as well.

Daiginjo and Junmai Daiginjo| SAKE

This type is consider to be a super premium sake (“dai” means “big”). It is considered by many to be the very pinnacle of the art of brewing. Precise brewing methods are required and the rice that is used has been polished down to 50% at least (which means the percentage number shown on the bottle will be at 50% or lower) – so that 50% at least has been polished off. Quite often, Daiginjo sakes are fairly expensive. Usually they are served chilled in order to bring out their complex and light aromas and flavors.

Junmai daiginjo refers to sake that fits the definition of pure rice (no additives).

Futsushu| SAKE

At times Futsushu is also called table sake. The rice that is used is barely polished (ranging from 93% to 70%), and although we really are not qualified to call ourselves sake snob – it’s really the only kind we would definitely recommend that you avoid! It is surprising, but you can actually get some good-quality sakes at quite reasonable prices, so try to avoid futsushu unless you want a bad hangover (along with flavor that isn’t all that special).

Shiboritate | SAKE

Sake usually isn’t aged the way that wine is. However, usually it is allowed to mature for about 6 months, or sometimes longer, to mellow out the flavor. But shiboritate sake goes from the presses directly into the bottle and then sent to the market. Individuals have a tendency to either hate it or love it. Shiboritate sake has a tendency to be fruity and wild. Some see it as being similar to white wine.

Nama-Zake | SAKE

A majoirty of sakes are pasteurized two times: one time right after they have been brewed, and then again right before they are shipped. One thing that is unique about Nama-zake is that it’s unpasteurized. Therefore to be kept fresh it must be refrigerated. Although it depends on some other factors as well, it frequently has a sweet aroma and fruity, fresh flavor.

Nigori | SAKE

This type of sake has a cloudy white appearance and is coarsely filtered with tiny bits of rice floating in it. Usually it is creamy and sweet, and can range from being thick and chunk to silky smooth.

Jizake| SAKE

This translate as “local sake.” When traveling to various parts of Japan it’s a good word for you to remember. Sake is brewed all across the country. Usually good jizake goes very well with the region’s local cuisine. Also, given that it is local, normally it is fresh and affordably priced.

15
Nov

The Beginner’s Guide To Sake

If you ask what sake is when you are in Japan, as opposed to many other areas of the world, and you are going to get two very different answers. Sake, in English, refers to a fermented rice alcoholic beverage that comes from Japan, which you have probably had once or twice from your favorite Japanese restaurant, or a local sake bar.

However, when you ask for sake while you are in Japan, you may be looked upon with puzzlement. This is because, sake actually refers to all alcoholic beverages in general. This will include wine, beer, liquor and the beverage that is referred to as sake in English.

What exactly should we be calling sake from a Japanese perspective? The word for sake in the form that we know it as in the United States is actually nihonshu, which translates to Japanese alcohol. If you ask for nihonshu at any izakaya, you are sure to be greeted with a smile.

Aside from the lesson in language, this rich, delicious beverage will be referred to as sake in this article, just to keep everything nice and simple.

Sake For Beginners

One of the great things about sake is that you have so many kinds to choose from. However, this can also be a rather overwhelming factor for many sake beginners.

If you are hoping to learn all about sake as a sake samurai, you need to take yourself to sake school. If you want to get started with the basics, there are some concepts and terms that can help you to understand this beverage.

Polishing

While looking at sake making, you will have the polishing of rice. Before sake is made, the rice kernels will have to be milled, which is known as being polished. This is done to remove the outer portion of the grain, leaving behind the starchy core.

Looking closer at polishing, you have to polish off about 10% to go from brown rice to the white rice that we all know and love.

In order to get incredible sake, you have to polish a whole lot more than that. Generally, good sake is polished down to about 50 to 70%, which means that roughly 30 to 50% is actually polished off. If you are reading that the sake has actually been polished to 60% it will mean that 40% has been polished away from the original rice kernel, which leaves just 60% of the original size.

Junmai

This is the Japanese term that means pure rice. This is important within the world of sake, as this separates pure rice sake from the versions that are non-pure. Junmai is something that is brewed only using water, rice, yeast and koji without any other additives like alcohol or sugar. Unless you have a bottle of sake that says junmai on it, it will have additives, such as brewers alcohol.

While it sounds like junmai is a good thing, which it usually is, just because your sake is not junmai it will not mean that it is not delicious or inferior in any way. Additives will be used by skilled brewers to help enhance or change aromas or flavor profiles. All of this can make for some easy to drink, smooth sake beverages.

08
Nov

Miso’s Secret Healing Properties Revealed

Maybe you have heard of Miso in movies or books, or maybe you have tasted this flavor in Japanese cooking or through in Chinese cooking.

The Japanese enjoy warm miso soup to stimulate digestion and give themselves the energy for their day. Miso is fermented grain with salt and a fungus, called kojikin. Miso is usually made from rice, soybeans, or barley in addition to salt and kojikin. Miso is not new. It has been a traditional part of the Japanese culture for many centuries now.
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27
Oct

There Are Many Great Benefits To Enjoying Vegan Ramen Recipes

Have you made the decision to become Vegan? If so, then you’re excited and looking for different recipe choices. Let’s first start out by saying that you’ve likely realized by now that it can be difficult to be Vegan on a budget. There are Vegan food products in health stores that cost a mint, and you have to cook. Hey, cooking is supposed to be cheaper on you though, right? It can be, but there is not much cheap about becoming Vegan.
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19
Oct

Ramen Noodles Can Be Made To Be Very Nutritious Indeed

What can be so bad about Ramen noodles that people tend to give them a bad rap sometimes when it comes to nutrition? First of all, think about all of the bad things that you’re leaving out if you opt for a package of noodles with spices and a nice tasty broth. Of course, you are certainly leaving out some good things that your body needs if you eat only the noodles and eat them often. However, no one said to go on the Ramen diet and only eat them and nothing else.

Take it from someone who eats one pack of these a day. They make a great snack or lunch, and in my opinion, they are quite healthy. They don’t contain too many calories, and I absolutely need my bowl of spicy noodles each day. You see, I add chili powder an crushed red pepper to my beef Ramen noodles, making for a very spicy lunch indeed. As a matter of fact, it’s getting to be about that time of day right now.

Now, I want to implore you to think about how Ramen can be an even healthier option. What have you added to your noodles before as far as other ingredients? I’ve certainly added butter to them, but of course butter isn’t a very healthy addition. You can add in all kinds of vegetables, that’s for sure. Adding vegetables would make them even healthier and more filling as well.

Have you ever added an egg to your Ramen noodles? My friend taught me to do that when I was younger, and she said it tastes great. While I was skeptical at first, I can tell you that it is great tasting indeed. However, I would mostly say vegetables and small amounts of meat would be the best addition, as well as any spices you might want to include.

It’s also about creating different tastes so that you don’t get tired of eating them. One thing about eating Ramen is if you are doing it in a healthy way and often, you’re also saving money. These noodles are very cheap, and that is why they are a staple on my grocery list and a daily meal. I eat plenty of other things as well, but that spicy bowl of noodles rarely gets skipped on a daily basis. It’s my lunch or midday snack, and I look forward to it each and every day.

12
Oct

Types of Ramen You Should Know

Ramen is a Japanese soup dish that is made from stock-based on pork or chicken and often flavored with soy sauce. There are five basic elements to ramen: noodles, broth, tare, dropping and aroma oil. For a while Japanese were very poor, so they could not eat regular proteins, they would use bones to make broth and then they make ramen. Ramen was originally Chinese dish in Japan and have developed into a multi-layered cuisine that is ever changing in Japan. Here are the types of ramen you need to try.

Shoyu

Shoyu was the first ramen in Japan and it is the simplest ramen when it comes to ingredients. Shoyu is originally Tokyo style that was made from a lot of chicken bones to make soup. The broth is fairly thick which means the noodles are thick too and the ramen tends to be salted broth. Shoyu has an addition of soy sauce and has meat that gives it a delicious flavor.

Tonkotsu

Tonkotsu is a southern style ramen with broth made with pork. The broth is a creamy white soup that people know tonkotsu ramen to be white. The color comes from boiling pork bones for long hours. Surprisingly, tonkotsu broth is said to be lighter than other soups. Tonkotsu contains less fat thus it requires a thinner noodle because the broth covers more surface area.

Miso

Miso developed in Northern Island of Japan: Hokkaido, which makes it entirely Japanese ramen. It is also known as Sapporo ramen. The dish is very salty, thick and serving piping hot. The broth is made from pork but also can be mixed with chicken. The ramen has higher fat content and the noodles are thicker and aged. The more water you put in a dough the more aged it will be, so it becomes chewier. This ensures longevity and helps with texture.

Tsukemen

Tsukemen is the newer style of ramen developed in 1950’s in Tokyo and is more fun as it involves dipping. Tsukeme is served with noodles separately with dipping ramen. People usually make the richest soup so you put the two separately. The broth is incredibly salty and is typically thicker than shoyu which makes it perfect for dipping. Also, the ramen is actually undon-like in size, since the broth is like a sauce.

Shio

Shio is considered the oldest of the ramen broths. It is classified according to seasoning because shio translates to salt and sea salt is considered the oldest form f seasoning. The broth is made from pork or chicken base. Shio can be identified by its extreme salty flavor and its yellow color.