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Sake brewery

Japanese alcoholic drink, sake has a lot of fans all over the world. 
It's known for its beautiful aroma and fresh taste

Okayama is famous for the production of sake as well So, I’ll talk about sake this time.


‘Sanzen’ is one of the most popular local sake of Okayama.
It’s made by Kikuchi shuzou (sake brewery) in Tamashima, Kurashiki City.
From what I heard, the brewery uses classical music to bring out the special aroma and the good taste of sake.
It sounds absorbing


We were curious about the taste of it, so we visited the brewery.
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The brewery offers visitors a factory tour (it’s free of charge, a booking needed) .
At the end of the tour, you can also taste them


The president of the brewery, Mr Kikuchi is also working as a sake brewer.
He showed us around and explained how to make sake.
IMG_1582.jpg 指揮resize By the way, Mr Kikuchi is a huge fan of classical music.
And what’s more, he sometimes conducts an orchestra in his free time. He is especially fond of Mozart
That’s why he came up with the unique method of making sake using classical music


I’ll briefly explain how sake is made

The primary ingredient of sake is rice.
The rice is milled at first to remove the fats, proteins, and amino acids that lead to unwanted flavors and aromas in the brewing process.

In fact, the rice which is used for Daiginjo (super premium sake) has at least 65% milled away
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Eventually, the rice become far smaller than the original.


Then, wash the rice and soak it in the water. This process is called ‘sinseki’.
玉島 339 
The outcome of sinseki greatly affects the taste of sake, so it’s extremely important process.
For that reason, sake brewers use a stopwatch and do it carefully.

After that, the rice is steamed.


Then kouji (yeast)’ is added to the steamed and cooled rice.
Kouji produces glucose from starch in the rice.
麹1resize 麹2resize
It’s said that kouji decides the flavour of sake, so this is the most important process in making sake.
 

Water and ‘kobo’ are added to the rice, and it kept in the metal cask for 25days.
IMG_1598.jpg  IMG_1609.jpg 
Instead of a metal cask, a wooden cask was used for brewing years ago (right).
 


We had a chance to see the inside of the cask (left).
Sake in the cask is undergoing fermentation, it has sour and fresh aroma (right).
IMG_1596.jpg 1594補正 This sake is a new production of the brewery, sake made of ‘genmai (brown rice)’.

   
Mr Kikuchi believes that classical music makes sake milder and richer.
For that reason, Mozart is played in the brewery so that sake could ‘listen to’ it.
In fact, since he employed this method, he has won the prize at the sake competition many times.


This is ‘sake-kasu’.
IMG_1599.jpg 
It’s the remains of the rice after sake extraction.
It’t good for your health as it contains a lot of protein and vitamins
You can make miso soup or ama-sake (sweet drink) from sake-kasu.


After the tour, we tasted some sake
It’s smooth, it’s fruity.
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Most of sake contains about 15%of alcohol.
The flavour is varied, some sake are sweet, some are dry.
Besides, sake can be enjoyed either warmed or cooled.
People tend to drink cooled sake in summer and warmed sake in winter, though, it’s also depends what kind of food you enjoy with it.


This is Daiginjyo ‘Sanzen’, the first-rate sake.
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It's special in two ways.

First, it’s made of special strain of rice which is carefully selected.
Second, the rice grain is polished to at least 65 % or less of its original size.
Also, making Daiginjyo needs considerable technical skill.
Sake brewers devote themselves to make high-quality Daigingyo.

Daiginjyo is quite fragrant and light.
It goes well with foods which don’t have strong taste, such as seafoods and vegetables.


Whereas, this is ‘Kimura method Kiseki no Sake (miracle sake).
It’s made of the rice grown without agrochemicals and fertilizer.
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We actually saw that rice displayed in the brewery.
The stem is thicker and stronger than normal rice Apparently, it tastes sweeter than others.
玉島 377 
This sake has a mild and refined taste.
I suppose it’s also good for sake beginners since it’s sweet and soft.
It would go well with grilled chicken or stakes.


Learning how to make sake was fascinating
Brewers follows traditional method which has been passed down from old times, and at the same time, they are adopting a new idea.
That’s why sake is making progress still now


Kikuchi shuzou
Address: 1212 Agasaki, Tamashima, Kurashiki City
Tel:086-522-5145
Opening time: weekdays 10:00-16:00
Factory tour: booking required (weekdays or weekends)
        You can book it on the website or telephone.
                      Drivers are not allowed to drink alcohol.
Access: 15min by bus from JR Shin Kurashiki station
      15min by car from Tamashima IC
kikuchishuzo.co.jp/
  
 


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Bara-zushi (sushi)

The most famous local specialty of Okayama is ‘Bara-zushi’ (it’s also called ‘Matsuri-zushi’). It’s a sort of sushi which has been passed down since the Edo era.

Also, other type of sushi, Mamakari-zushi and Oshi-zushi are well known as local foods of Okayama.


So this time, I’ll talk about those sushi

We visited a Japanese restaurant 'Kappo Sakaguchi' in Okayama City which offers local specialty.
You can get to there by the tram from JR Okayama station.
The closest tram station to the restaurant is Saidaiji-cho.
087補正 IMG_1962.jpg  
Here it is


You can choose the counter or the tatami room.
バラ寿司 090 


Oh, Momotaro came with us today
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We ordered Bara-zushi at first.
バラ寿司 094 1929補正
It’s colourful and gorgeous

Generally, Bara-zushi has 16-18 kinds of ingredients called ‘neta’ on sushi rice.
Most of neta are some kind of seafood, such as red and white fishes, shrimp, octopus, shellfish… There are a tremendous variety of toppings.

What’s more, all seafood and rice are from Okayama.

It’s really tasty
IMG_1952.jpg
You can enjoy the combination of different kinds of neta and sushi rice which has delicate sweetness.


Momotaro loves it too
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Next one is Mamakari-zushi.
It’s a sushi using pickled fish, ‘Mamakari’.
IMG_1927.jpg  
It’s my favorite


Mamakari is sort of herring, and it’s also called ‘sappa’.
The best season for it is the early summer and the autumn.

Speaking of Mamakari, it has an interesting story about the origin of its name.

‘Mamakari’ means ‘borrowing rice from your neighbour’.
The fish named Mamakari because it was really tasty and people tended to eat it and rice too much, and as a result, they run out of their rice.

We never know if it’s true or not, but it sounds funny


By the way, we ate grilled and marinated Mamakari too.
It was the side dish of the lunch menu 'Makakari-sushi set'.  I like it as well
IMG_1940.jpg IMG_1942.jpg
The side dishes are likely to be changed.
In that case, you can order ‘grilled and marinated Mamakari (420yen, 2or3 fishes)’ individually!



We had a chat with the manager of the restaurant after our meal.
113補正 
We asked him about the origin of Bara-zushi.

It dates back to the Edo era.
One day, the lord of Okayama made a law to ban eating luxurious meal.
As a result of that, people weren’t allowed to eat anything but rice, miso soup and only one side dish for a meal.

Although, people created Bara-zushi which has many neta (ingredients) and put it on a plate, then they insisted that it was ‘one side dish’.
It was the beginning of Bara-zushi


Even today, Bara-zushi is highly popular as the food for special events and ceremonies.
However, it’s not easy to cook it. Actually, it’s a time-consuming job.

For instance, each ingredient should be cooked in different way.
Besides, you also have to be careful with the temperature of steamed rice since it  decides the taste of sushi.

On the top of that, the way of dishing up the ingredients should be considered carefully.
For example,  some neta which have strong flavour might affect the taste of other neta.
So, they should be set away from each other.

Well, I’m not sure if I could do it…

According to the manager, Bara-zushi is a wonderful local food of Okayama which has good looking, good aroma and good taste
I totally agree with him


Kappo Sakaguchi
Address: 3-8-22 Omotecho, Kita Ward, Okayama City
Tel: 086-224-2835
Opening time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays 11:30-14:00, 17:00-22:00 
                          Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 17:00-22:00
Close: Sundays
Price: Bara-zushi set menu (lunch menu)1050yen
           Makakari-sushi set (lunch menu)1050yen
Access: 2min walk from Saidaiji tram station
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/y052300/



Meanwhile, there’s Bara-zushi for take away.
You can buy it in the department store like Takashimaya near JR Okayama station.


I found this Bara-zushi lunch box at 'Sushi Ichi' in Takashimaya,
It has clear top and bottom so that you can see both sides.

I’ll show you the bottom first.
バラ寿司弁当 009
It’s quite simple…


Whereas, this is the top. Beautiful
バラ寿司弁当 001 

This Bara-zushi is based on another anecdote.
People in the Edo era were prohibited from eating luxuary foods, so they hid neta (ingredients) under rice when they ate sushi.

They were so smart

So, please try Bara-zushi when you come to Okayama


Sushi Ichi
Address: basement level 1 of Okayama Takashimaya
      6-40 Honmachi, Kita Ward, Okayama City
Tel: 086-232-1111


A:Kappo Sakaguchi   B:Sushi Ichi



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Soba noodle

Soba noodles are one of the most popular foods among Japanese people.
It’s made of buckwheat, flour and water.
Generally, it’s served with the rich dipping sauce, wasabi, and finely chopped Welsh onions (negi).


Soba has been loved by Japanese people since old times. In addition, it’s also considered auspicious because of it appearance.
In Japan, it’s believed that the long, thin noodles mean a long life.
So, people wish for longevity and good fortune by eating soba


We tried making soba last December, so I’ll tell you about it.

We visited ‘Soba dojo Inakaya’ in Kusama, Niimi City to learn how to make it.
Kusama area is famous for soba producing.
It took 1hour and 50min by car from the centre of Okayama City.

新見 178 新見 181
Here we go

 
In the soba lesson, a master of soba will show you the ropes.
So, you don’t need to worry if you’ve never made soba before
新見 183 
According to the master of soba (our instructor), the most important thing is the quality of buckwheat.

For that reason, only freshly-ground buckwheat is used in the lesson.
Furthermore, the buckwheat we used was shin soba (new soba)’ which was just harvested one month ago (in November).
Shin soba contains the right amount of moisture, and it also has fresh aroma


So, give it a go

We made ‘nihachi soba’.
It 's made of a mixture of flour (20%) and buckwheat (80%).
The reason for adding flour is that it made the noodle smooth and springy.


First, blend together flour and buckwheat in the big bowl.

Make sure it’s mixed enough, then add the water in the bowl and mix it again
You shouldn’t add the water at once, do it in twice or three times.
IMG_0497.jpg 新見 189
When you mix it, use your tip of fingers
 

As the powder gets lumpy, loosen it with your palm.
In a while, the dough will get harder, so knead it.
 新見 196
This process is really important for making soba
In addition, you should knead quickly because the dough dries as time goes by.


Ok, I’ll do my best…
新見 200 新見 205 
新見 202 


Roll the dough into a ball.
And roll it on the table.  The surface should be smooth.
0506トリミング 新見 213

   
Then push it and make it flat.
216補正 新見 218


It's done This is calld soba dama (soba ball)’.
新見 219 

Next, roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
Make it round at first.
新見 230 新見 236 It wasn’t easy…


Then roll out each corner.
The dough is easily torn, so be careful
新見 267 


After that, roll the dough around the rolling pin.
Make sure if the dough is about 2mm thick
新見 286 0525補正
 
Put the starch powder on the dough, and fold it.
IMG_0531.jpg 


Cut it rhythmically
新見 316 
Komaita (a small chopping board)’ helps you to cut the dough thin.


It was the hardest part for us...
新見 332 

 
It looked easy when I saw the way, but it wasn’t true.
The width of the noodle should be 2mm, but it's extremely difficult to cut it
新見 337 


I did it What a relief
新見 347 

     
Of course, you can eat your soba after making it

This iszaru soba (cold soba)’.
新見 369
Enjoy soba with the dipping sauce.
I also recommend you to add grated wasabi in the sauce, as it complements the taste of soba.


One more thing, when Japanese people eat soba, they make a noise.
Soba should be slurped up with gusto, noisily. So eat it in that way
新見 373
My soba didn’t look so beautiful, but it tasted wonderful


This is ‘kenchin soba’, soba in the miso soup.
It’s a local specialty of Niimi.
新見 376 
It has some ingredients such as chicken, carrot, taro, white radish etc…gorgeous
It was pretty good, filling as well


I really enjoyed making soba
It was a bit harder than I expected, but it’s worth trying
So, why don’t you try and taste it



Soba dojo Inakaya
Address: 8729-2 Kusama, Niimi City
Tel: 0867-74-2077
Lesson time (booking needed): 10:30-15:00 (April-September) 
                                                       10:30-14:00 (October-March)
Close: Mondays (open if it’s a holiday)
Price (lesson fee): 2100yen / 1 person, 2625yen / 2people
                                 2940yen / 3people, 3150yen / 4people 
                               If you are more than two people, you are going to take turns when you make soba

Additional fee (for cooking) :Kenchin soba 270yen / 1 person
                                                 Zaru soba 160yen / 1 person
www.city.niimi.okayama.jp/usr/village/



              
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Tsuyama hormone udon noodle

A local specialty of Tsuyama City, ‘Tsuyama hormone udon noodle’ is receiving a great deal of attention at the moment.
Hormone udon noodle is a fried noodle with entrails of cows


Tsuyama has been a flourishing dairy farming region from old times, and it allowed people to get fresh meet and entrails easily.
So, it’s only natural that local people are eating them often.
Tsuyama hormone udon noodle was born from people’s daily meal
 

Of course, we’ve heard of it, but none of us have eaten it yet...
So, we visited a restaurant ‘Mie’ that has a good reputation for it
画像 596 
This restaurant is often featured on TV or in magazines.
It takes about 15min by car from JR Tsuyama station

‘Tsuyama hormone udon noodle’ became famous last year since it was sent to a competition of local foods ‘B-1 grand prix in Himeji (2011), and won the second prize

I’m curious about the taste

Speaking of the competition, the winner was ‘Hiruzen yakisoba (fried noodle) that I introduced on this blog before! 
okayamajapanenglish.blog6.fc2.com/blog-entry-20.html (Hiruzen yakisoba)

As you know, Okayama has a lot of delicious foods


Here’s it
601加工 画像 599
It has the appetizing aroma…
Let’s have a taste of it


Well, I really like it
The richness of the entrails, and the fragrant sauce… everything
It must go well with the beer

What’s more, entrails are good for your health as they contain minerals and vitamins


I found the sauce for hormone udon noodle in the restaurant.
It's only 400 yen.
画像 602 


It could be fun to cook Tsuyama hormone udon noodle at home with this sauce
What you need is some ingredients,such as entrails, udon noodle, onions, and a cabbage. 
うどん_旅ネットresize  

                                                                                                                     ©Hareranman Okayama tabi net

tsuyama-horumonudon.com/recipes.html (a recipe written in Japanese)


By the way, there are other restaurants that offer Tsuyama hormone udon noodle in Tsuyama City.
You can check the list of the restaurants  in ‘Tsuyama Hormone udon map’
The map is handed away at Tsuyama City tourist imformation or Okayama airport.
Or how about checking it on the website
tsuyama-horumonudon.com/map.shtml    (map)


Please try 'Tsuyama hormone udon noodle' once


Mie
Address: 441-5 Kamigawara, Tsuyama City
Tel: 0868-23-3972
Opening time: 11:30-14:00, 17:00-21:00 (Tuesday-Saturday) 
                         11:30-15:00(Sundays and holidays)
Close: Mondays
Menu: Tsuyama hormone udon noodle 800yen 
http://horumonudon.jp/






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Kakioko (a pancake with oysters) in Hinase town

Hinase is well known for a local specialty ‘okonomiyaki’ with oysters.

Okonomiyaki is a popular pan fried food that consists of batter and cabbage.
It has special sauce and selected topping on it.

In Hinase, locals add oysters to okonomiyaki, it’s called ‘kakioko’.
Recently, there has been growing interest in kakioko among people, and many tourists are visiting Hinase just to eat kakioko


We visited ‘Tama chan’, one of the most popular kakioko restaurants in Hinase.
It takes 10min by car from Uminoeki Shioji.   Or, 2min walk from JR Sogo station.
たまちゃん外観 


The chairs for customers were lined up outside the restaurant.
日生 056  
Apparently, people queue up for hours at weekends.


It was crowded even though it was weekday! So lively!
日生 072  IMG_0657.jpg
We filled in an order form while we were waiting.


I ordered ‘kakioko no jo’, the most recommended menu of the restaurant
IMG_0663.jpg
This kakioko is a bit different from others as it has two flavour.
A half of it has a sauce, and the other side has salt on it


These are toppings for kakioko, seaweed, sweet ginger, and dried bonito flakes.
IMG_0662.jpg
You can put whatever you want


This kakioko has a crisp surface, but inside is really soft like marshmallow
Oysters are unbelievably juicy and tastyAmazing
IMG_0669.jpg 

In fact, kakioko took part in the contest for the local food of Japan last year.
It came in 9th, and it made kakioko quite famous

By the way, the best season for kakioko is from the end of October to the beginning of April.
Don’t miss it
(some restaurants offer kakioko used frozen oysters during summer)

There are 19 restaurants which offers kakioko in Hinase at the moment.
Each kakioko has different flavor, so you should try them and find out your favorite one! 

If you like, you can download a map of kakioko restaurants from this website.
www.geocities.jp/kakiokonomi/kakiokonomi_1.html
It’s written in Japanese, though it could be useful!


Come to Hinase to eat fine oysters


Tama chan
Address: 1118 Sogo, Hinase town, Bizen City
Tel: 0869-74-0222
Opening time: 11:00-20:00
Close : Tuesdays
Price: kakioko 900yen, kakiokono jo 1300yen
Access: 2 min wail from JR Sogo station
www.hinase.ne.jp/~tama/ 





The best location for taking a photo

Those are oyster beds floating in the sea. It’s a typical scenery of Hinase
IMG_0697.jpg 


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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。