Posts Tagged ‘Tania Coke’

Eating for the Earth

Posted in writings on March 21st, 2012 by Kevin – Be the first to comment
‘A few days after the Great Tohoku Earthquake I felt an urge to buy the beautiful muddy burdock root. So earthy and potent, it seemed like the perfect thing to be eating in these days of tectonic shift and nuclear threat. I had recently learnt that Kimpira took its name from the son of Kintaro, a character from Japanese folklore famed for his supernatural strength and ability to fight evil. And so as homage to the earth and in the hope of countering radioactivity, I made Burdock Kimpira.

Burdock root, scraped* but not peeled, and cut into matchsticks (*try scrubbing with silver foil)
Carrot, cut into matchsticks
Water, mirin, sake (optional) and shoyu
Toasted sesame seeds.

Soak the burdock matchsticks in water to remove some of the bitterness. Sauté the burdock and carrot in oil. Add water, mirin, sake and shoyu to half-cover the vegetables, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve.’

Tania Coke, Tokyo

Kyoto marks winter with Turnip pickling

Posted in writings on November 9th, 2011 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

The pickling of turnips, known as ‘senmaizuke,’ began in Kyoto on Tuesday, the first day of winter according to the traditional Japanese calendar. One of the city’s culinary specialties is made from shaved ‘Shogoin’ turnips. The turnips get sweeter as nighttime temperatures start to drop around this time of year. Workers at a pickle factory peeled the turnips, which are 20 centimeters in diameter and weigh about 2 kilograms each, and shaved off slices as thin as 2.6 millimeters using special planes. They arranged the shaved turnips in wooden barrels in fan shapes, and then sprinkled salt on them. The turnips are taken out of the barrels after 3 days and soaked in a soup stock with kelp. A typhoon in September delayed the seeding of the turnips, but a good harvest came in this year. The factory’s foreman says the work is hard because the entire process must be done by hand. He says he hopes that the pickles will become more delicious as temperatures drop and sweeten the turnips. The peak of pickling will come next month.

Pictured from left: spherical Shogoin daikon (giant radish named after a Kyoto temple famous for its vegetables); Shogoin kabura (giant turnip); and karashi daikon (not daikon at all, but a form of horse radish usually used in grated form).

Article from NHK World, with thanks to Tania Coke, Tokyo WK Correspondent.

Thought for the day

Posted in writings on January 14th, 2011 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

Our Tokyo correspondent Tania Coke sent me a wonderful thought for the day: ‘I discovered that the word for cooking in Japanese, ryori,  comes from two kanji (chinese characters) meaning:

measure” + “the law of the universe

Well that certainly raises the stakes. Could we be learning the laws of the universe as we measure out the water for the rice?!’

Tokyo tales

Posted in writings on December 20th, 2010 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

A contribution from our ‘woman in Tokyo, ‘ Tania Coke, who has recently moved to Japan. The following acronym was given to her by an elderly lady, and provides a way to ensure each meal is balanced and healthy.

It goes:

It literally means ‘grandchildren are kindhearted’ and it stands for:
MA = mame = beans and bean products (tofu, edamame, youba etc.)
GO = goma = sesame
WA = wakame = wakame and all seaweeds
YA = yasai = vegetables
SA = sakana = fish
SHI = shiitake = shiitake and other mushrooms
I = IMO = sweet potato and sweet potato products