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Looking into making Japanese cuisine, with a catch!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I wasn't sure which forum this one should go on, so cross-posted to the recipe forum as well, wasn't sure what was appropriate.

 

First off, new to these forums! This seems like an awesome place, and I'm looking forward to being a part of this community.

Now, to the fun stuff!

I'm working my way around the world (cooking-wise, not literally), and I'm taking a country or region, and trying various recipes out with my family that represent that location.  Gone through about 5-6 different places, definitely enjoying the experience, and my family has voted on Japanese food experimentation being the next round.

I want to try cooking a variety, of food, sushi, sashimi, maybe a traditional ramen dish, and a Japanese curry (we are very big fans of Indian curry, and are interested to see how this differs).

Anyway, running into few issues.

We're Jewish.  This means a kosher house...which means, no shellfish, eel, or octopus/squid, which severely cuts down on our options for Japanese fish dishes, no pork, which seems to be a staple with ramen, and the inability to use dairy products with meat (though fish is not classified as a meat, so I can use dairy with fish) is making life tricky on the curry end!

 

Tuna rolls, and what's essentially a Hindu/Indian vegetarian curry just won't give us anything close to a true taste of Japanese cuisine.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for things we can do? Ideas of how we can sub ingredients, or maybe things they've done with success?

I appreciate y'alls time, and excited to join this site!

post #2 of 5

Mixing dairy with meat isn't a problem, since there is virtually no dairy in Japanese cooking.

 

I know there are Japanese pork dishes but pork is not the first thing I think of when I think of Japanese food.

 

There is lots of fish in Japanese food, plenty of which will be fine for you to eat. Tuna and salmon are common.

 

Ramen is often made with a miso based broth. Don't forget soba (buckwheat) and udon noodle dishes, including those served with broth. The broth is often miso and dashi based. Dashi is made from dried bonito--a fish that should be OK for you. All kinds of things can go in the broth. Google Soba or Udon and you will get all kinds of ideas. In summer noodles are often served cold. My favorite summer noodle dish is soba noodles with a sesame dressing.

 

There are also lots of Japanese Hot Pot recipes out there.

 

Yakitori is marinated, grilled, skewered chicken.

 

Goma- ae is a cold spinach dish, marinated in soy, rice vinegar and sesame oil. it is delicious.

 

Cucumbers in sesame oil and rice vinegar is another common salad-type dish.

 

Check out a copy of Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art or there's a new-ish Japanese Farm Food cookbook that your library might have.  Google "Japanese food blogs" and you will come up with quite a few blogs that look pretty interesting.

 

If you want to watch a fabulous movie about Japanese food, check out Tampopo. It's about the quest for a perfect noodle soup and it is outrageously funny--though maybe not to be watched with the children.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
To preface, thank you so much for your time and effort in this response, you've given me some crazy ideas.

Quote:
Ramen is often made with a miso based broth. Don't forget soba (buckwheat) and udon noodle dishes, including those served with broth. The broth is often miso and dashi based. Dashi is made from dried bonito--a fish that should be OK for you. 

Hmmm, this sounds extraordinary--I've never had bonito, looked it up, it's all good, and I'm excited to try it! I'm thinking of messing around with a basic miso based broth, maybe trying to make my own noodles (never done it before), and then adding various vegetables (I'm googling around, and getting wonderful ideas, with cucumbers, various types of onion, and even an egg within each bowl).

 

Quote:
 Yakitori is marinated, grilled, skewered chicken.

Sold. I've never heard of it, but it sounds delicious, Imma check out some of the books you recommended, and see what I can find.

 

Quote:
 Goma- ae is a cold spinach dish, marinated in soy, rice vinegar and sesame oil. it is delicious.

Another dish I have never heard of. And since I've never heard of it, I gotta try it. It's only logical after all.

 

Quote:
 Cucumbers in sesame oil and rice vinegar is another common salad-type dish.

That's interesting you mentioned this, one of the Ramen recipes I was looking at mentioned thinly sliced cucumbers layered on top. Me likey!


I'm gonna go ahead and check out the movie with the wife, and then I'll head over to the library and see what they got.

Thanks again, I'm pumped--this is our first foray into Eastern Asian cuisine.
 

post #4 of 5

Add tempura.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
post #5 of 5

oh my gosh, Japanese cuisine is OUTSTANDING!

Really though, they are so much in to the veg dude, very little if no meats or dairy...

For me, being from Hawaii where the culture is overwhelmingly influenced by the Japanese,

I would typically have on the table, steamed white (sticky) rice, maybe some teriyaki chicken for your protein if need be,

some sort of steamed veg like bok choi with a drizzle of sesame seed oil on top, some namasu (pickled veg salad),

maybe some med-firm tofu with soy sauce and bonita on top ... I could SO go on...

http://www.cheftalk.com/g/a/111238/food-from-my-home-kitchen/

check out some of my gallery pic

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