December 9, 2016

Tamaru-Ke no Mizu (Water from Tamaru Family)/田丸家の水

My search for good-tasting water continues. Today, I went to "Tamaru-Ke no Mizu". Sorry, photos only, with no explanations. Tasty water!

Seri Gohan/せりご飯

For today's lunch, my father made seri gohan.
Seri is one of the sansai (edible wild plants) that my father likes, and he usually makes seri gohan, using the seri that grows in the yard around his house. Unfortunately, he cannot get any seri from it this year, so he bought three bunches of seri at the supermarket yesterday.

Gohan means cooked rice.

Making seri gohan is easy. Boil seri for some time, drain, and squeeze. Put some oil in a frying pan, put boiled seri, add gohan (cooked rice), and season with salt or say sauce.

December 8, 2016

Persimmons for Oseibo (Year-End Gift)/お歳暮に柿

December is oseibo (year-end gift) season. I sent my parents a box of ten individually wrapped persimmons this year.

These persimmons are called Shonai Gaki in Yamagata prefecture. They are called Hacchin Gaki in Niigata and Okesa Gaki in Sado Island. I have already posted about this variety here in my blog. The proper name of this variety is "hira-tanenashi" (lit. flat, seedless).

Anyway, this variety of persimmon is delicious, and is called the king of shibu gaki (astringent persimmons).

December 7, 2016

Amazake as a Laxative?/下剤として甘酒を?

My mother suffers from constipation. She says that the laxative prescribed by the hospital does not work. Cold milk does not work, either.

The other day, my father got a bag of sake kasu (lees) from the supermarket. My mother drank a glass of the hot amazake that I made from the sake kasu, and reported that it worked like a charm.


Sake kasu produced by Hakkaisan (a sake brewery located in my city, Minami-Uonuma!)

Just put some sake kasu in a pot, add some water, and mix with a whisk while heating.
Add the desired amount of sugar.
I hope the amazake keeps working for her!

December 6, 2016


My father comes from Nagano (aka Shinshu). Like any other area in Japan, Shinshu has some wonderful local dishes, one of which is otoji. There are several variations of this local dish, and my father's version uses hiyamugi (wheat noodles thicker than somen and thinner than udon) rather than soba (buckwheat noodles) and uses soy sauce (and mirin) rather than miso.

I've been familiar with this local dish since childhood, but this is the very first time that I have made otoji.
Many hiyamugi products contain some noodles colored green and pink.
I wanted to arrange the boiled hiyamugi beautifully into individual coils, but I was just unable to.
The soup contains daikon, Chinese cabbage, carrot, abura age, naga negi, and three mushrooms (enoki, nameko, and shiitake), and is seasoned with instant dashi and soy sauce (no mirin, because my father doesn't like the soup to be sweetened).
To have otoji in a proper way, you need a wooden basket with a handle called toji kago. Surprisingly, I found that my father did not have a single toji kago!

So, the proper way to have otoji is like this: You put a coil of boiled hiyamugi in the toji kago, and dip the toji kago into the pot of soup for a while, transfer the hiyamugi to a bowl, and put some soup and some of the ingredients to the bowl.

These and other YouTube videos may clarify how to eat otoji properly:
Video 1
Video 2

December 5, 2016

Obitsu Ten, Mirai, JA Kimitsu/JAきみつ 味楽囲(みらい) おびつ店

Today, on my way back home from hospital, I dropped by Obitsu Ten, Mirai, JA Kimitsu.
今日は、病院の帰り道、JAきみつ 味楽囲(みらい) おびつ店に寄ってきました。

On the premises of this farmers' market, ground water pumped up from a depth of 250 m is available for free.

There were more people that I had anticipated, many of whom seemed local people. Local people know where they can get good water!
Some of the items I bought at the farmers' market:
Cans of soy milk, dried shiitake, yose dofu (< tofu), and hana (flower) zushi (< sushi)
Naturally, I got 4 liters of the ground water described above.

Hana zushi (flower sushi) was very beautiful, and tasty, too.

December 4, 2016

Shin Soba (Buckwheat Noodles Made from Newly Harvested Buckwheat)/新そば

"Soba uchi" (soba noodle making) is one of my father's hobbies.
Today, he made soba noodles, using the newly harvested buckwheat, for supper.

Boiling the soba noodle was my job. As instructed by my father, I boiled the soba for 5 minutes or so.

After the soba was done, I transferred some of the water used to boil the soba to another pot. This water is called "soba yu". It is customary for each diner to mix the water with their dipping sauce and drink it after having finished eating the soba. This water is rich in rutin.
My father said that the soba was the worst (he has ever made). He added that he should have added some more water. The soba noodles were as thick as udon noodles. Making soba noodles is very difficult. Anyway, the soba was very good.