SYUN (The best season for foodstuff)

 

The land of Japan is long in the north and south, the northern part is covered with cold climate and the south part is covered with subtropical climate.It is an island surrounded by the sea, and many rains enrich plants. Therefore, there are many varieties of foodstuff.
It is also famous that there are 4 seasons in Japan. The season’s most delicious foodstuff are called 『SYUN』.Japanese people have felt pleasure from long ago to eat SYUN foodstuff.There are many SYUN foodstuff of May, the main ingrdients are as follows.

Sea foods
Bonito, Spanish mackerel, Horse mackerel, Firefly squid, Wakame seaweed

Bonito

Vegetable
Asparagus, Cabbage, Potatoes, Garlic, Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots

Fruit and Others
Strawberries, Grapefruit, Melon, Japanese tea, Honey

Tea plantation

See you.

Shincha ~The first picked tea of this year~


“Shincha” is charactered by fresh scent, flavor and sweetness. Shincha is a tea that made of the first fresh leaves of the season. The first tea of the season is picked from the end of April to the end of May.

Harvest time starts from mild area like Kagoshima, and move northward like cherry blossom’s blooming. “Shincha” and “First crop tea” is basically same tea and just has a different name. “First crop tea” is usually called a name as comparison with “Second crop tea” or “Third crop tea” those picked after “First crop tea”.

Also “Shincha” is called as “now in season” that means the first tea of the season. A tea tree stores norishment during the winter, and when the spring comes, fresh leaves that contain a lot of norishment will grow. Those leaves become Shincha(the first tea of the season). The day after 88th days count from the first day of spring(February 4th) is called “Hachijyu-hachi-ya”. Risshun is in early February of the solar calendar, so that the 88th day is usually around May 2.

According to a tradition, if you drink tea that be picked in 88th days, you will being healthy for a year. The characteristic of Shincha is “refreshing scent” of new leaves, after all. Shincha has less catechin and caffein than “second crop tea” or “third cop tea” and has more flavor and Amino acid(Theanin) that is a component of sweetness. Farmers usually pick the first crop of tea around the 88th day because the tea at that time is filled with nutrients stored over winter and most delicious.
 

【Noodle soup base mixed with green tea】

 
Recipe
Ingredients_2 servings
・Noodle soup base Cup 1/2
・Green tea  Cup 1/2
・Daikon-oroshi (Japanese term for grated daikon radish)  Cup 1/2
・Naganegi (Japanese green onion) as needed
・Katsuobushi (Dried bonito shavings)  as needed
 
How to cook
1. Mix Noodle soup bass with green tea.
2. Make Daikon-oroshi, Either grate it yourself using a grater or put the daikon radish into a food processor.
3. Garnish Daikon-oroshi, Naganegi and Katsuobushi.
 

Thank you.

Tai (Sea bream)

March is a delicious month for seafood. The cold waters still bring fish rich with fat that shines in sashimi or is nice for grilling.


Tai (Sea bream) is a common fish used in Japanese food, as it means good luck in Japanese culture and is eaten during celebratory occasions. There are many different types of tai, but spring is the spawning season for sakura dai (red sea bream).


During this season, you can enjoy sakura dai (red sea bream) fresh as sashimi, or as tai-chazuke. Tai-chazuke is rice topped with tai sashimi and dashi (soup made from tai) poured on top. Although you can eat tai in other seasons, sakura dai is most delicious this season!


Tai (Sea bream) is much loved in Japan as it is a symbol of celebration (Tai in Japanese), you will always find sea bream at special occasions like weddings. To congratulate someone you would say ‘Medetai’, it doesn’t translate well into English but when I think of Sea Bream it makes me so happy and I think of all the festive times. This dish is a perfect accompaniment for you to enjoy, particularly when you have little time to spend cooking but fancy a treat.

Tai Meshi (sea bream with rice) is today’s wholesome dish that I absolutely love cooking and eating. Especially, as it’s simple and very little fuss to make but also filled with flavour to be enjoyed as a main or starter.

 

【Sea bream rice – Tai meshi】

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
1 whole sea bream (scaled and cleaned)
Two pinches of salt
1tbs Sake
3 cups Japanese Rice
10cm x 10 cm Kombu (Dried Kelp) + 3 cups of water
1tsp Salt
2tbs Sake
2tbs Soy sauce (light)
2tbs Mirin
1cm grated ginger
Garnish:
Chopped Chives
White sesame seeds

Method:
To make the kombu dashi, wipe the dried kombu with a clean cloth. (*the kombu shouldn’t be washed.)

Put the water in a deep pot and soak the kombu for about 30 minutes.

Heat it up slowly until the water comes to a boil, take out the kombu and remove the stock from the heat.

Rinse the rice with tap water, until the water runs clear. Then cover with water for at least 30 minutes, I prefer for two hours. This will make the rice soft and fluffy. Score the fish on each side then sprinkle both sides with salt. Splash the sake over the fish and leave it for 10 minutes.

Pat dry the fish with some paper towel and put it under the grill for 3 minutes per side. At this stage you do not have cook the fish completely, just until it has an attractive seared colouring.Using a big enough pot, pour the rice in with the stock, salt, sake, soy sauce and mirin. Stir and mix the mixture evenly. Then place the grilled fish on top. Put the lid on and start cooking with a medium heat on the hob.

As it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 9 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat, leaving it to stand for a further 10 minutes before serving.Present the dish to the table with the fish intact, as it looks great. Then bone the fish and serve with the garnish at the table.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.