Wasabi – The Japanese Horseradish

When I was growing up and started learning about different cuisines, I fell in love with sushi. Not only for the Eastern mystery of unknown culture and ceremony in its way but mainly for the chef’s respect to each ingredient used to make the little nibble full of incredible history and flavour. The gentle, unexpected,…

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Mandarin: The Original Sweet Citrus

In one of the previous articles introducing pomelo we talked about four original citrus fruits on the planet and here’s another one of them – the mandarin. Mandarin played a big role in hybridization as it is the only sweet citrus fruit out of all ‘original four citrus fruits.’ The mandarin orange is the most…

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Yukari Sakamoto: Shochu advisor

Yukari Sakamoto 坂本ゆかり Author of Food Sake Tokyo (The Little Bookroom) Born in Tokyo and raised on the shores of Lake Wobegon, Yukari Sakamoto trained as a chef and baker at the French Culinary Institute. Following that she trained as a sommelier at The American Sommelier Association and worked as a sommelier at the New…

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Shochu

With attention on Japan for the 2020 Olympics and its world renowned whiskies, I have a question for you readers: What other alcoholic beverages is Japan known for? I’m sure you’re aware of sake, beer, umeshu…but what else is there? One of the misunderstood alcoholic beverages by westerners is shochu, which is often mistaken as Japanese vodka.…

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Yuzu: From your bath to your kitchen

Recently, I overheard a conversation between my friend and his child. …“Dad, what is yuzu? I only know lemon.” …There was a few seconds of silence, followed up with great response… “Come over and let’s find out together.”… This simple question led me to find out more about this delicate citrus fruit which you usually find…

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Shiso – the Asian nettle

Have you ever been to a sushi bar or any other Japanese restaurant? Then you definitely would have seen Shiso leaves aka Perilla, the big green leaves used mainly for plating to add contrast to the food being presented to you. While there is only one species in the genus, there are three varieties. There are…

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The Kumquat: A symbol of good luck

During a Sunday afternoon walk through a food market I came across a tiny orange that looked like a citrus fruit, the size and shape just slightly bigger than an olive – known as Kinkan or Kumquat. This fruit is native to south-eastern parts of the mountains in China and has four varieties – Nagami…

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