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Washoku: Japanese cuisine under the spotlight
Inscribed in 2013 in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Japanese cuisine is to this day one of the most popular gastronomy in the world. It appeals to gourmets all over the world, thanks to its flavors, healthy and balanced qualities, and diversity. If sushi, curry, râmen, and so on keep on being great successes, their enthusiasts are ever more curious and ready to find out about new recipes, like the festival attendees!
To honor this aspect of Japanese culture, the Washoku area was created two years ago, adding to the various types of Japanese food proposed by the attending restaurants. The Washoku area invites professionals of Japanese cuisine to present their products, with a booth or cooking demonstrations on the Washoku stage.
Gourmets, foodies, and apprentice chefs didn’t miss the dates! You were ready to taste Ajinomoto‘s gyôza, partner of the Washoku area and a reference of frozen food in Japan, at their booth or when they organized demos on stage. The other partner of this area, Ozéki Saké, showed to the over-18s its wide range of sake, also on their booth and with "sakelogy" classes.
Invited to unveil their secrets on the Washoku stage, chefs shared their recipes and techniques to all those eager to learn how to cook Japanese food or simply to admire their skills. The rock band, winner of the Japan Expo Rocks 2017 contest, Toranoko Rammy, also told a few of their tricks to master kawaii cooking!
Hôchô & sashimi: cutting as an art
Hôchô are knives in Japanese (wa-bôchô is more particularly used for cooking knives), a very important utensil to cut fish and thus prepare sashimi. Chef Kazunari NODA presented several types of knives and cutting techniques with an impressive demonstration. For the audience, this was an opportunity to know more about the 40 something types of existing knives, the yanagiba to prepare sushi, the usuba for very thin slices of vegetables, or the unagi saki for eels.
The variety and special characteristics of those knives highlights Japanese products, including the fish used for sashimi. This minimalist dish – raw fish served with only soy sauce and wasabi – needs very fresh fish, as well as the right knife, the yanagiba, which has a 36cm-long blade. Of the cutting of the fish depends the quality of the sashimi.
Chef Kazunari NODA cut sashimi for you, as a demonstration. He also showed katsuramuki to prepare the tsuma, white radish cut very thinly, like a sheet, on which the fish is laid to serve sashimi. The presentation of sashimi is very important too and may change, with seasons for instance, like with this summer-like sashimi dish the chef prepared during the demonstration.
Chef Seiichi ITO introduced the audience to kushikatsu. Kushi means brochette and katsu, pork – most often – fried in breadcrumbs. Those small brochettes of ingredients fried in breadcrumbs may be prepared with various types of meats (chicken, pork, beef, shrimps, fish…) or vegetables (onions, asparagus, eggplants, mushrooms, pumpkin, sweet potatoes…) but most often kushikatsu will be made of pork and onions, like in the following recipe. You can change the ingredients as you wish!
Kushikatsu recipe, with pork and onions
- 1 pork rib
- 1 egg
- 100ml water
- 25ml milk
- 100g flour
Prepare the dough
- Blend the egg with the water and the milk in a bowl with a whisk.
- Add the sifted flour little by little and blend until it becomes like a sticky liquid (if you can draw something on the dough, you have the right texture).
Prepare the pork and onions
- Cut the pork rib in 5 slices, 1cm thick.
- Cut the onions.
Prepare the brochettes
- Skewer the ingredients, alternating pieces of pork and onion.
- Do the same for all the skewers.
- Dip the brochettes in the dough, and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Fry the brochettes.
Cook organic and Japanese food
BIOMOMO HASHIMOTO, un couple d’artisans pâtissiers japonais installés dans le sud de la France, a partagé avec vous trois recettes, en vous expliquant comment choisir vos ingrédients bio pour les réaliser. Les visiteurs qui ont assisté à leurs démonstrations peuvent maintenant préparer à la maison des mochi, des dorayaki et des tokoroten.
Mochi are one of the most famous Japanese pastries. In Japan, people usually eat them for New Year.
For the mochi paste
- 1 cup of glutinous rice
- 1,5 cup of water
For the filling
- 1 cup of Camargue black rice
- 2 cup of water
- Black sesame almond sugared
- Boil the water to cook the rice for the paste.
- Crush the cooked rice until you get a glutinous paste.
- Prepare the filling: boil the water to cook the rice, and blend with the sugared.
- Make the mochi and put some filling in the middle.
Dorayaki are sorts of pancakes filled with azuki – red bean – paste. They are Doraemon’s favorite. They’re also at the heart of Naomi KAWASE’s film, Sweet Bean (2015).
BIOMOMO HASHIMOTO shared with you their recipe for matcha almond sugared dorayaki but you can use some other filling, like red bean paste.
For the dough
- 2 eggs
- 80 g cane sugar
- 10 g honey
- 90 g wheat flour
- 20 g corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- A tablespoon of water
For the filling
- 1 cup of Camargue black rice
- 2 cup of water
- Matcha almond sugared
- A few raspberries
- Blend the eggs with the sugar, honey, and baking soda until it blanches.
- Sift and add the flour and corn starch, and blend
- Prepare the filling: heat the water to cook the rice, and blend with the sugared.
- Heat a pan over medium heat with some oil and add ladders of dough.
- When bubbles appear on the top, turn the pancakes over.
- Add some filling between two warm pancakes and press the edges to join them.
Tokoroten are jelly-like noodles made with seaweed. You can eat them cold, with soy sauce, vinegar, sesame, nori, cucumber, tomatoes, shiso leaves, or ginger. They can also be served as dessert, with mapple sirup for exemple.
- 5g agar agar
- 400ml water
- Boil some water to dissolve the agar agar.
- Put the liquid in the fridge to jellyfy.
- Once it takes a jelly aspect, you can make the noodles. The best is to use a tentsuki, a small device used for tokoroten noodles.