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Japanese food Recipes Travel eats

Kiritampo nabe

Kiritampo nabe
Kiritampo nabe

I love surprise parcels, especially those involving food! So when we received such a parcel from my sister-in-law, I was ecstatic; she had sent us a set for making kiritampo nabe, a type of hot pot from Akita prefecture in Japan, complete will the soup base, raw hinai-jidori (free-range chicken from Akita that is famous all around the country) meat, vegetables, and of course, kiritampo.

Kiritampo is made from mushed-up cooked rice (if authentic, of the delicious Akita komachi variety, of course!) wrapped around a cedar stick and toasted. It can then be slid off the stick to be used in nabe. The set also included damako mochi, which is similar to kiritampo, but instead of cylinders, the mashed rice is formed into balls about 2 cm in diameter.

Kiritampo nabe set
Kiritampo nabe set- ingredients all included!

The soup base was included in the set, but since this nabe set is not available everywhere, I will describe the recipe for making the soup base from scratch, as well as the ingredients used in kiritampo nabe. As with all nabe, there is no strict rule for the amounts of ingredients that must be used, but here is a guideline that can be changed according to the ingredients on hand, and personal tastes.

200 g raw boneless chicken meat
1 leek
1 carrot
200 g maitake (Grifola frondosa or hen-of-the-wood mushrooms)
1 burdock root, peeled and sliced
1 bunch seri (Japanese parsley/dropwort greens)
400 g shirataki noodles
Kiritanpo (about 2/person)
Damako mochi

For making the soup:
1.5 L chicken stock or water
50 ml soy sauce
75 ml mirin
Salt (approx. 1 tsp or as needed)

– add the burdock root and chicken to the water/soup stock in a pot and bring to a boil
– add the soy sauce, mirin and salt, and allow to boil
– add the maitake, carrot and shirataki, then simmer for about five minutes
– add the leek, kiritampo and damako mochi, and simmer for several more minutes
– place seri on the top and allow to cook for a minute
– serve hot!

Kiritampo nabe and rice
Kiritampo nabe and rice
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Sweets Travel eats

Flan with dulce de leche

Flan with dulce de leche
Flan with dulce de leche

During a trip to Uruguay and Argentina, we went to a cafe in central Monte Video and had the opportunity to try out flan (a.k.a., creme caramel) with dulce de leche. It was amazing!

Flan is a type of custard made with milk. (It tasted surprisingly similar to Japanese “purin” pudding! After a little research, it turns out they are the same thing!). Dulce de leche, on the other hand, is like caramel; it is made from sweetened milk that has been boiled for a long time, allowing the sugars in it to caramelize.

Ready-to-eat dulce de leche was sold in jars and plastic tubs at the grocery store. They even came in little individually sized packages with our breakfasts. I bought a tub of the stuff and some instant flan, and look forward to making it in Japan!

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Japanese food Restaurants Travel eats

Ramen Museum in Shin-Yokohama

I went to the Raumen Museum in Shin-Yokohama yesterday. Not only did they have a museum explaining the history of ramen, as well as the differences between the types of noodles and flavours from different regions, but there was also two floors of ramen restaurants set in a Showa 33 (1958) themed area, where you can choose and eat ramen from different famous ramen restaurants across Japan.

IdeShoten ramen- soy sauce and miso base. Delicious!

I only managed to try two restaurants before I was too full to eat more, (their mini-bowls were not as mini as I had expected. ) but they were delicious.

Of note, one restaurant we went to had a ‘ramen fork’. I think it was probably designed for people who can’t use chopsticks, but due to the novelty of it, my friend and I decided to try it out. It actually works really well!

They were selling the forks in the souvenir shop for 840 yen. I bet it’d probably work well with other noodles and pasta too.

Sakamoto ramen- soy sauce based with chicken and leek toppings. The broth was too watery and bland for my taste, but the chicken was good.

I’d like to go again and try some of the other ramen shops too.

More info:
Raumen Museum Official Page