|| observations || week 2 || Ryouri no jugyou #02 料理の授業 #02 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| Ryouri no jugyou #02  料理の授業 #02 ||

| gohan 飯 |
A basic Japanese style rice recipe as an equal proportion of glutinous white rice (uruchi mai) to water (mizu).

Rice is one of the essential dishes on any meal in Japanese cuisine, however it’s nutritional values can be enhanced by adding certain types of grains, as Keiko explained on this second Japanese cooking lesson.

We started by preparing a rice recipe that is rich in calcium, therefore good for the bones.

Along with the usual portions of rice and water, we added tea spoons of black sesame seeds, wheat, millet and a Peruvian grain before it was cooked, so the grains blend with the rice through the cooking process. After around 15 minutes the rice was ready and on its top it had the most fantastic blend of brown and black tones merging with the whiteness of the glutinous rice.

We then prepared some small onigiri style rice balls that were carefully wrapped in plastic sheets ready to be displayed. Preparing a conventional onigiri shape is not as simple as it appears. Rolling it to the correct shape requires some practice and attention to detail.

 

i* Rice recipe rich on calcium (with black sesame seeds; wheat; millet & a peruvian grain)

i** Rice recipe good for the skin (with black sesame seeds; barley; a peruvian grain)

i*** Making small onigiri
| kuni no pankēki 国のパンケーキ |
Millet has been part of the Japanese food habits for many many years. Millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains rich in B vitamins and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

The small millet pancakes we prepared have a special taste, slightly sweet, but not sweet enough to be eaten as a dessert, so they are the perfect light replacement of bread on a main meal.

To cook them one needs:
2/3 Japanese cups (1 cup is aprox. 250 cl) of plain flour
2 large oosaji (approx. 15 gr) of millet flour
1 small oosaji (approx. 5 gr) of baking powder
1 large oosaji of sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
1 large oosaji of oil
2 large oosaji of millet
50 cc of water

And then, mix all the dry ingredients on a bowl.
On a different bowl whisk the egg and the oil and then add the mixture to the mixture of dry ingredients. Slowly add the millet and the water and keep whisking until you get the correct texture.

Once the mixture is ready, grease a frying pan and bring it to medium heat. Pour soup spoons of the wet mixture onto the pan and let it cook gently until it gets a light brown colour.

Serve as a side dish.

i* Steps to make millet pancakes

i** Cooking the pancakes

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| fieldwork || observations || week 3 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| observations || week 3 ||

:: Ryouri no jugyou #02  料理の授業 #02 ::
240911 | 福岡

Determined to leave Japan knowing how to cook some of the delicious local dishes so that the knowledge of food preparation and serving can be somehow incorporated in the design of [Table for 100’s] I attended another cooking lesson by Keiko Morimitsu.

This time it was held at the Panasonic Show Room as a way of showing potential customers how well Panasonic kitchens work.

I was incredibly privileged, as I turned out to be the only student on that time slot, so Keiko had the opportunity to tell me a bit more about different food and Japanese dining culture.

This week we prepared two different types of gohan 飯 (rice) recipes and some kuni no pankēki 国のパンケーキ (millet pancakes)  to be eaten as side dishes on a main meal.

 

i* 小さなおにぎりや小さなパンケーキ

:: British Fair ::
240911 | 福岡

I had been told that Mitsukoshi Department Store was holding a British Fair, so I decided to venture through another of the innumerous shopping centres one can find in Fukuoka and have a look at how the Japanese view the British and how do the British sell their country abroad.

So I went up to the 8th Floor and guided by a familiar smell of home baking I found a large room decorated with Union Jacks and crammed with Japanese ladies admiring the variety of beautiful tins of English Breakfast and Earl Grey, delighted by the freshly baked scones, cupcakes, Cornish pasties and shortbread, the whiskeys and the cat patterned tea cloths… all certainly very British and exotic in town.

The smell of all these familiar food brought me home for a moment, but as I looked around and saw a Japanese girl dressed with a Harrods outfit I was quickly brought back to this different reality.

I walked around that incredibly tacky looking room that had little to do with cosy English cottages, but certainly caused an impression in all the Japanese ladies that wondered around with bags inside bags inside other bags where they would finally find a couple of delicious scones.

 

i* Harrods in Fukuoka.

Mesmerized with the wordy description of a British man on how to get the best out of one’s whisky, a group of Japanese men and women twisted and turned their whisky glasses around and absorbed the intense taste of this unusual drink.

i* Whisky tasting.

:: Sakana o kansou 魚を乾燥 ::
230911 | 福岡

Japanese have been smoking and drying fish since the Jomon Period Jomon Jidai (13,000 BC – 450 BC). Dried and smoked fish are essencial on the Japanese diet.

i* Drying fish.

::  Josei wa mata biiru o nomu 女性はまたビールを飲む ::
230911 | 福岡

i* ‘Ladies also drink beer.’ poster by Sapporo Beer at the entrance of a restaurant in Haruyoshi.

:: Kodokuna Yatai 孤独な屋台 ::
230911 | 福岡

When walking around Fukuoka during the day, one keeps encountering this shy ubiquitous creatures parked in all sorts of empty plots, looking as if they had been left there, on the same spot for years. It’s only at night time that one can see how they can powerful and energetically transform the city’s environment.

i* Lonely Yatai.

:: Kyaku-machi de 客待ちで ::
230911 | 福岡

As I was walking around Haruyoshi after having read an article about its charming new eating and drinking spots, I came across this Oden restaurant. Surprisingly enough, it was totally empty. It’s rare to find an empty restaurant around as people seem to eat at any time of the day, but this beautiful old looking restaurant was indeed still waiting for customers to arrive and start filling up those solid timber seats around those marvellous tables. Tempting as it was to go in, oden was certainly slightly too heavy a meal for such time of the day when the heat was at its peak.

Hot pots oden おでん have been around since the Jomon Period Jomon Jidai (13,000 BC – 450 BC) and are famous for creating the right environment for people to get to know each other as they are all sharing a meal from the same pot.

 

i* Waiting for customers.

:: L.A. Diner ::
230911 | 福岡

Walking across Kawabata Arcade feels like going into a time-travel journey as one is surrounded by very tacky and old-looking stores with products of dubious quality.

Along my journey across the Arcade I stopped in L.A. Not surprisingly this ‘diner’, with its modern uncharacteristic tables and chairs, looked as old fashioned as all other stores in Kawabata. It’s dinginess certainly had some charm and made me think of Bran Van 3000’s song ‘Drinking in LA’ making me wonder what were people eating and drinking inside such place… and how its incredible shoddy look could be somehow so attractive.

 

i* Drinking in L.A.

::  Ten’i kuukan | Kato-tekina jikan || 転移空間 | 過渡的な時間::
230911 | 福岡

transition space | transitional time
It’s not so usual to find outdoors seating (and seats around tables for eating purposes) around Fukuoka, nor around other Japanese cities I have been to.

Between Kawabata Arcade and one of the arms of Naka River I encountered this transition space where people seemed to be eating transitional food, i.e. small dishes such as those icy sorbets that appear to be so popular here. It wasn’t covered, though it felt like a protected space where people could calmly enjoy their meals during their transitional time.

 

i* アイスクリーム.

::  Okunai de no dainingu 屋内でのダイニング ::
230911 | 福岡

Eating in Japan can be reasonably affordable, but not when one refers to western style dining / coffee… It feels as if it were a treat to go into a shopping centre or a café, seat around a full height table, meet with friends and enjoy a coffee, a milkshake and a creamy cake.

At イニミニマニモ (eeny meeny miny mo) I came across several different scenarios where behind an exhibit of Tepura Tepura’s illustrated pieces different people were enjoying a western style meal.

i* Indoors dining.

i** Indoors dining : friends get together to enjoy coffee and cake. 

i*** Indoors dining : simultaneously flicking through books, two strangers enjoy a western style meal. 

:: Yatai o chuusha 屋台を駐車 ::
230911 | 福岡

As I was walking home, around 5p.m., I saw a small, toy-looking van signalling to go up the pavement whilst waiting on the traffic lane for the pedestrians to pass. At first I couldn’t quite understand why the driver wanted to go up onto the pavement, but as I looked carefully I saw it had a trailer… a Yatai that was about to be parked onto Watanabe Dori, the Yatai I had photographed some nights before. Though some Yatai remain parked during the day, looking almost invisible for the busy passer-by, others are taken home and brought back every single day changing the look of the street, creating an atmosphere of their own.

i* A ‘resident’ Yatai.  

i** A ‘nomadic’ Yatai. 

|| workshops || w1 | Designing our Table | Table Storm |

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

w 1.1    | 25.09 |
| Table Storm |
1:1 drawing of [Table for 100’s] made by the children participating in the workshop

with the participation of … | eishun (konya2023), yukako (konya2023) |
and …| toru . yuuta . noro . tetsu . taisei . mitsuki . koyta . hirata . haruki . moe |


|| Programme : description ||
intro > Introducing each other. Self-portray drawings of each child and description of name, age and favourite food.

1> Introduction to the project. ‘Show and tell’ with visual examples of different ways people eat in Portugal and in Japan (i.e. seating together, as a family, at a table; standing at a counter in a cafe; seating on a cloth in a park…etc)

2> Choosing a scenario-card (i.e. dining at school; dining in the park…) that will be used as a guideline for the individual drawings.
2.1> choice of cardboard pieces according to the type of table to be drawn. Using colour pencils, felt pens and crayons each child will draw the scenario (i.e. a type of table) in real scale on the cardboard piece.
2.2> each drawn scenario will be cut out and joined together on the floor, creating an approximately 1:1 table in elevation/section*
* similar to the 1:10 example shown at the beginning of the exercise

3> once the table is joined together we will unroll a long sheet of white paper where the children will draw different arrangements of their table layed out at different times of the day (i.e. during different meals eaten in the company of different people). They should consider the dish itself as well as the decoration of the table (flowers, lighting…)

4> at the end, what will be assembled, will form the basis of the design of our table and its components in the form of a 1:1 drawing made by the children participating in the workshop.

Ten children attended the first workshop. With ages varying between 5 and 12 each child interpreted the activities in their own way. Not speaking the language made it harder for me to keep them excited and enthusiastic about the different stages of the workshop. However, the results we obtained at the end do give us an idea of how children, these days, perceive the importance of eating together, the different spaces and most impressively, the dishes they chose to represent (pizza, hamburgers, beer…). The sizes of their tables, in comparison to real tables, were inevitably rather small, specially in height. Square, rectangular and circular tables were all drawn and laid out with different dishes, suggesting that a combination of those different shapes must be considered in the design of [Table for 100’s].

i* self-portraits

i** introducing each other

i*** show & tell [Table for 100’s]

i**** choosing different dining scenarios

i***** scales of tables : sizes of cardboard pieces

i****** how big should my table be?

i******* getting started 

i******** plotting the menu

i********* chop, chop…

i********** cooking up the drawings

i*********** いただきます

 

i************ post scriptum: dinner at the table, haruki and yōsuke’s house

|| observations || week 2 || Ohagi no ryoori kyooshitsu おはぎの料理教室 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| Ohagi no ryoori kyooshitsu  おはぎの料理教室 ||

| ohagi おはぎ |
To make ohagi おはぎ and the remaining dishes cooked in our lesson one must follow the steps below:

steps 1 to 4
1| Cook the azuki beans in water and sugar and keep stirring
2| Stir the beans until you get a mushy consistency and the grains starts to become similar to a puree
3| Once properly cooked, pour the beans into a colander covered with a very thing fabric
4| Shake the colander gently so the water starts draining

steps 5 to 8
5| Drain the beans by lifting the thin fabric
6| Take chunks of the bean paste and place it on a timber tray so it can absorb the excess water
7| Take small portions of the paste you left over night
8| Weigh the little balls so you have 2 different types: 20 gr and 30 gr bean paste balls


steps 9 to 12
9| Roll the balls neatly
10| Place the balls on  trays
11| Place the small balls and the bigger ones in two different trays
12|Cook the rice in a rice cooker until sticky


steps 13 to 16
13| Prepare the table to start making the first type of ohagi
14| Lay different thin cloths where you will be placing the rice portions and make sure you have a bowl of clean water to moist your fingers to help rolling the rice
15| Prepare rice portions of 25 gr
16| With your flatten the larger bean paste balls in small circles


steps 17 to 20
17| Place the rice portions inside the bean circle
18| Wrap the rice with the bean paste
19| And gently start rolling the small ohagi balls
20| Gently squash them so they resemble a boat, rather then a circle


steps 21 to 24
21|For the other type of ohagi coated with roasted soya beans powder (kinako), take the smaller balls of bean paste
22| Weigh portions of 15 gr of rice and flatten them, as you did with the bean paste for the previous type of ohagi
23| Wrap the small ohagi ball with the rice circles until totally covered. To make the process easier, moist your fingers with some water
24| Gently squash them so they resemble a boat, rather then a circle


steps 25 to 28
25| Make sure they have the right shape
26| Place the ohagi on a tray with kinako
27| Coat the ohagi with the soya bean powder
28| Gently place the ohagi on a squared plastic sheet before you place them all inside the bamboo boxes

[Table for 100’s] : おはぎ : film

For the remaining dishes of our lunch follow the recipes below:
| rice with roasted soya beans : iri daizu gohan |

| red beans paste : tsubuan |

 

| millet sauce : michikibi sauce |

 

| Cucumber with soya beans side dish : daizu to kyuuri no sunomono |

| carrots with sesame and ginger side dish : ninzin no shiokoje itame |

| aubergine soup : nasubi no suupu |

steps 1 to 6
1| Slice the aubergine in strips around 5mm wide
2| Boil some water with miso stock and a pinch of salt
3| Pour the sliced aubergines into the boiling water
4| Let them cook until soft
5| Once cooked, pick the aubergines with the chopsticks and place them in the bottom of each bowl
6| Pour the soup stock on top of the aubergines and serve hot

i* Setting up the table

All vegetables and mushrooms were steamed in a bamboo steamer.
The dishes were garnished with soya bean sprouts lightly boiled and with fresh onion thinly sliced.
The organization of each dish on the plate is also of extreme importance, as well as the portions of each of the dishes.

| fieldwork || observations || week 2 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| observations || week 2 ||

::  Gikoku jinja furiimaaketto 護国神社でのフリーマーケット ::
180911 | 福岡

Gokoku’s Shrine Flea Market was full of delightful and beautiful old (or at least old looking) objects of all types and colours. This flea market only takes place once per month, but gathers the most exquisite pieces of design and crafts.

Though it has many food stalls and seating places, many people chose to make the most of the Shrine’s grounds and set underneath a tree or at the edge of the stairs.


i* Seating at a low level, almost as low as the ground, a woman is having food from one of the stalls.


i** Making the most of the edge around a large tree, two friends eat some food also bought from one of the stalls.


i*** A father has set up a little picnic environment for his child to play and eat making the most of the edge around a large tree.

::  Ohagi no ryouri kyoushitsu  おはぎの料理教室 ::
170911 | 福岡

i* Ohagi inside handmade bamboo baskets

i** Hiru gohan 昼ご飯 > lunch

To fully experience Japanese food, I had the pleasure of taking a cooking class with Keiko Morimitsu where we learned how to make ohagi おはぎ, Autumn little rice and red beans paste Japanese sweets (wagashi 和菓子).

We arrived at Bivi, a shopping centre specialized in Home Decoration, where the class was taking place. A brand new fully equipped Miele kitchen was the setting for my first Japanese cooking class. Passers by could look through and observe what we were doing.

Although it was almost impossible to understand what was being said throughout the class, I observed each step on how to make ohagi おはぎ and wish Yukako’s (from Konya2023) help I followed all the recipes that were cooked over a 5 hours’ class on Japanese wholesome cooking.

Keiko is a young Japanese chef who specializes in wholes grain food so the meal we prepared (where ohagi  おはぎ was simply the dessert) was not only a truly wonderful visual experience of colour combinations and arrangements, but a true delight for any food lover, as each small dish complemented the other.

Yukako has kindly translated all the recipes into English and each step of the class can be followed on a special post || observations || week 2 ||  Ohagi no ryouri kyoushitsu  おはぎの料理教室 ||.

Japanese cooking is not only about the food, but also about the process of cooking, presenting and eating each specific dish.

I have been reading about contemporary Japanese meals where any main meal ichijusansai 一汁三菜consists of rice (with the bowl always placed on the left handside as one holds it up and eats with the chopsticks on the right hand side), soup (normally miso), three dishes and pickles. The three dishes include a main dish of fish or meat, a second dish of vegetables and a third dish of grains, such as beans. Food changes according to the season (shun).

[Table for 100’s] : おはぎの料理教室

i*** Cooking class students 調理クラスの生徒

:: Hojoya Matsuri ::
140911 | 福岡

Hojoya is a festival held in Hakata every Autumn (end of Summer) to thank for the blessings of nature. It originates from the teachings of the kami Hachiman, and has been happening every year for the past 1,000 years. This year it was held between September 12th and the 18th at Hakozaki-gu shrine.

Once we got off the tube station we could already start smelling the odours of all different types of food that filled most of the 700 stalls that lined up towards to the shrine.

The mixture of colour and smell would captivate anyone skeptic about how great these types of festivals can be. It was incredible to see the masses of people getting out and into the tube station who travelled from different parts of Fukuoka to experience what can be considered a typical ‘Japanese Festival Experience’.

i* Ginger stall ジンジャーの出店> There were plenty of stalls selling ginger roots still with the leaves.

i** Takoyaki  たこ焼き( ball-shaped Japanese dumplings filled with diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion) are originally from Osaka, but became a common dish sold in street stalls and fairs. The whole process of turning the batter around the iron pans specially produced for Takoyaki is remarkable. The agility of the cook makes the experience of watching the preparation of takoyaki similar to watching a circus juggler moving the balls up in the air.

i***  The chain process was what fascinated me the most about these delicious anko 紅豆沙 sweets, Syanichi-Mochi 社日餅. Mochi 餅 are Japanese rice cakes made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shapes of small cakes. 社日餅 are quite particular as they can normally only be found in Hakozakigu 筥崎宮 Matsuri, Hatsumode an Honjoya. The number of people involved in the process was remarkable. The woman preparing the dough, the cook baking/grilling the little cakes, the woman who picks them up and puts them on a squared plastic sheet, the who wraps them in paper, the one that handles the cakes to the customer and finally me, a delighted consumer of those delicious sweet white buns.

:: Inside & Outside a café カフェ内部と外部 ::
130911 | 福岡

I have found it hard to find find places to seat outside in most Japanese cities I have been to so far. Outdoors eating seems to mostly happen around Yatai or during certain markets when temporary seating areas are set up for the event. However, street benches are rare and so are restaurants or cafés with outdoor seating. One can mostly find what in Portugal we call ‘esplanada’ in front of foreign branded cafés.

i* Towards the end of the afternoon, people enjoy tea and coffee both on their own or with friends, indoors and outdoors.

:: Sole diner 一人のダイナー ::
130911 | 福岡

i* Although there are specific dining times, people seem to be constantly eating in Japan. Around 4 in the afternoon, ramen are served in small local restaurants. The cook and the cooking process is normally exposed to the customers, so one can engage in the preparation of the food. Dining on one’s own is fairly common and this type of restaurants seem most suitable for sole diners who can seat along a long bench and eventually interact with the people seating next to them, though that does not happen that often.

:: Yatai 屋台 > in the evening 夕方 ::
130911 | 福岡

Peak time is between 9 and 10pm when everyone seems to take over the streets and start and the smell of food and the sound of chatting and laughing fills up the city.

People seem to moving around the stalls in a very natural way, almost as if they were not there. The width of the pavements is generous enough to accommodate Yatai, pedestrians and cyclist without any clash between them.

People gather around the cooks who busily prepare the food to be served on the spot. The smell travels around the city, but the privacy of those who eat is assured by the noren 暖簾 (fabric dividers at the entrance of most restaurants in Japan) making the Yatai environment partially similar to what could be experienced in an Izakaya.

i* Yatai during night time around Watanabe Dori.

:: Yatai : Kendo > setting up セットアップ ::
130911 | 福岡

Setting up starts around 6p.m. and takes a little while as all the furniture needs to get into place, gas connections established, lights on, food cooked, menu displayed around the corner to attract non-usual costumers.

The menu is always more or less the same, ramen being the common choice along with beer ビール, Shochu (distilled spirit around 20% – 40% alcohol. Usually made from rice, sweet potatoes, wheat and/or sugar cane and common in Kyuushu) or sake (around 10% – 20% alcohol).

Yatai stalls normally don’t stand by themselves but belong to rows of 3 or 4 spaced approximately 10 metres from eachother.

Kenzo, the owner of Kenzo’s Yatai told me that the stall is opened between 7pm and 2pm six days per week, but they start setting up around 5.30/6pm and finish packing everything only around 4am.

i* Kenzo’s Yatai by Daikoku baki Kawa.

i** Grandmother and granddaughter eating Kenzo’s neighbouring Yatai.

:: Yatai 屋台 > daytime 昼間 ::
130911 | 福岡

During day time many yatai stay packed and parked on the same spot. The ingenious storage system allows most of the equipment to stay inside and around the stall that, though it may look like it will move to a different location at any time, it normally doesn’t. Fukuoka hosts around 150 Yatai spread around different spots.

During daytime people move around them as if they were permanent buildings, or part of the existing street furniture. The fact that they can be found anywhere means they are not a surprise in the urban fabric, but more like a landmark to the city.

Often made with a timber structure on wheels, they seem to compactly pack the stools, the table top and all other components that allow the Yatai owners to assemble them fairly quickly when it starts to get dark.

i* Yatai during daytime around Meiji Dori.

:: Takoyaki たこ焼き ::
120911 | 福岡

Takoyaki たこ焼き stalls seem to pop up everywhere. Often in a caravan they provide very fast and filling portions of tayokayi with a variety of sauces at very cheap prices.

i* Takoyaki caravan/stall close to Daimyo.

| experiencing || historical parallel ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

 

Luís Fróis (b. 1532, d.1597) was a Portuguese Jesuit Missionary who arrived in Japan in 1563 and documented the differences between European and Japanese habits at the time in a book entitle ‘Tratado das contradições e diferenças de costumes entre a Europa e o Japão’ (‘Treatise of the contradictions and differences of habits between Europe and Japan’). Although some of his writings have a rather humorous quality to them when read by someone from our times, others remain valid in these days.

A selection of some of his statements will be looked at and illustrated in parallel to Portuguese and Japanese cooking and eating habits in modern society.

i* Special stamp collection on the 400th anniversary of the Missionary’s death
Capítulo 6: Do modo de comer e beber dos Japões
Chapter 6: About the eating and drinking habits of the Japanese

1. Nós comemos todas as coisas com a mão; os Japões, homens e mulheres, desde crianças [que] comem com dois paus.
1. We eat everything with our hands; since they are little, the Japanese, men and women, eat with the sticks (chopsticks).

3. As nossas mesas estão antes que venha o comer postas; as suas [mesas] vêm juntamente com o comer da cozinha.
3. Our tables are set before the food comes; theirs come from the kitchen with the food.

4. As nossas mesas são altas e têm toalhas e guardanapos; as [mesas] dos Japões [têm] tabuleiros vruzados, quadrados, rasos, sem guardanapo nem toalha.
4. Our tables are tall and have tablecloth and napkins; the Japanese’s have square trays, flat, with neither a napkin nor a towel.  

| experiencing || atmosphere/procedures/rituals ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

 

Preparing and serving a meal involves certain rituals and movements that vary depending on cultural backgrounds.

This chapter will not only look at how food is prepared and served, but also at the social flow/habits that are part of a meal.

If in Japan no shared meal would ever start without saying itadakimasu いただきます(wishing a good meal/saying grace to give thanks), in Portugal it is usual to simply start eating. One would start with the starters (bread, butter, olives, cheese, chouriço) that are often already on the table as one seats.

The subtleties of these procedures/rituals will also help informing the way [Table for 100’s] will take shape, the embedded niches it might have for certain type of dishes, for the sauces, the flowers…

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