Cold Soba Japanese Noodle Soup

In Japan, it is hot and humid in summer. The shirts stick to the body with sweat if you stay outside too long. People in Japan love to have cold noodles in hot summer day. They have cold Udon, cold Hiyamugi(thin white noodle), cold Soumen noodles(Very thin white noodle) and Soba or buckwheat noodles. I happened to teach how to make Japanese Cold buckwheat or Soba noodle soup. My American students seemed that they had never tried cold noodle soup before. They were not sure what it was. I went to buy ingredients with them while I described what we were buying.
After we got their parents house, I demonstrated how to make soup and how to boil noodles. The soup and the noodles cooled down, I served them a small bowl of cold noodle soup. They loved it.
I also showed how to make Tempura. Japanese people love Tempura with their noodles. Cooking Tempura is hot and sweaty while they are very delicious and gives you energy.

Ruth Reichl food bloggers’ event

It is bit late but I participated the food blogger’s event to meet Ruth Reichl last week. I like to thank you to Karen Brown from Frantic Foodie to organize and invite me to this event. I got there late. I managed to take a short video clip Ruth answering a question from Seattle Times Food Writer Nancy Leson from All You Can Eat. Unfortunately I didn’t get whole questions and the video was not really good. I posted the raw video to this blog.

Brown Rice Sushi rolls

I was invited to a birthday party for my vegetarian friend. I told that I would bring Sushi rolls.
I was going to make California rolls and Vegetarian rolls filled with teriyaki marinated Tofu, Avocado and Cucumber. I decided to add another Sushi rolls even healthier than others from something found in my kitchen cabinets.
I cooked some Nishiki Brown rice and made Sushi rice as the same way as medium grain white rice. The cooked brown rice was not as sticky as white Calrose rice. Sushi rolls using Brown rice have to be wrapped to hold content together. Nori seems not to taste good with brown rice as white rice. I decided to use Soy wrappers instead of Nori.
When I tasted brown Sushi rice, it seems to be good with beans. I found canned black beans and washed, drained and mixed some with Sushi rice. How about fillings? I was going to use cheddar cheese. I added canned Mexican chilies and avocado. This Sushi transformed like American-Mexican wrapped sandwich and tasted like one.
I created several brown Sushi rolls with various color soy wrappers and brought to the party. The brown rice Sushi roll was popular and several guests asked what I used to wrap and what kinds of fillings I used for. Especially a lady who was born in India told me she doesn’t like Sushi used Nori but she loved brown rice Sushi rolls.
I forgot taking photos of the Sushi and there are no pictures for this Sushi. I plan to test to make them look and taste better next time and take photos to add to this blog.

Taste of Sushi rolls

Fillings of Sushi rolls can be any vegetables, meat, fish, and etc. The sushi rolls with vegetables are healthy and looks pretty but the taste is not satisfactory.
California rolls look good and delicious. How California rolls were invented who was the creator? Searching internet, I found the history of California rolls at SushiEncyclopedia, wikipedia, ( This site has a lot of information and good recipes.) and New York Times. Sushi Chef, Ichiro Mashita, at Kyoto Kaikan invented California rolls in the 70’s. California Sushi rolls were the first fusion Sushi which was made by adding American ingredients into Traditional Japanese Sushi. Before the California sushi rolls, Sushi was made of only Japanese ingredients.
The chef had difficulty finding fresh Toro which is the fattest part of Tuna and started experimented with avocado. American people have never eaten raw fish 70’s. Some Americans are disgusted an idea of eating raw fish. Chef Mashita used avocado for its oily texture to substitute fatty texture of Toro and Imitation crab for its fresh taste of fish. The imitation crab’s official name is crab flavored imitation crab cake and is made of steamed white fish with crab juice and red coloring to make look like real crab.
American people didn’t like texture, color and taste of sea weed, Nori in Japanese. California rolls are made in-side out, Uramaki in Japanese, to hide Nori inside of the rice.
California roll seems to be the derivation of Tekkamaki which is Toro filled Nori-Maki, Nori rolled in Japanese, Sushi rolls.
The first California roll fillings consist of only Avocado and Imitation crab. The first California roll fillings consist of only Avocado and Imitation crab. Later Julianne cucumber and Mayonnaise were added to the fillings.
If this is the formula to select successful fillings for Sushi roll, the filling selections will be a fatty and rich ingredient for texture, a ingredient to substitute fresh seafood flavor, and cucumber or to neutralize. Cucumber may not be necessary because new Sushi eaters don’t consider Avocado as overpowering aroma. Mayonnaise also can be optional but enhance the taste of low quality imitation crab.
Considering Seattle Sushi roll, the fillings are cream cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumber.(I am not sure cucumber part.) Yes. The formula applies to the Seattle roll.
There is a disturbing fact. It was about the inventor of California Sushi roll. He must have been a very competent and talented Sushi chef. He was the pioneer of American Sushi culture. Unfortunately he went to jail and died there.

Face Sushi

Sushi rolling is fun. My sons and I made face Sushi rolls on weekend.
You don’t have to be a chef to make Sushi rolls. The ingredients are cooked Calrose rice, Sushi vinegar, Nori or sea weed, and any delicious ingredients such as cream cheese, vegetables and cooked meats or fish, whatever you like to roll it. Bamboo Sushi mat is the tool you like to have for easy Sushi rolling. It cost around $1.50 at Japanese grocery store.
I will give free California roll class including demonstration at Seattle public libraries. I hope inspired cooks at home come to join me.

Spring Sushi rolls

I made flower Sushi rolls of Spring. Rose Sushi roll turned out to look nice.
I am going to teach Sushi roll class May 9th Saturday 10:00am at Asian Counseling and Referral Services. This class will be the introductory class and make basic rolls such as California roll and Seattle roll. However, the student may bring their own ingredient and make their unique Sushi roll.
For those who don’t have money but like to learn about Sushi roll making.
I have free class at Seattle public library Columbia branch on April 9th (Mon) 6:00Pm-California rolls What? and How?
Making Sushi roll is fun. You can use your artistic talent to create delicious and pretty Sushi rolls. These pretty Sushi is called “Kazari Maki Zushi” or Decorating Sushi Rolls.

Interesting Japanese Video "Asagohan"

My friend send email of this video link.
I love it. I had to share this.
Asagohan means breakfast in Japanese.

Japanese words from this video.
Gohan means cooked rice or used as meal in Japanese. Asagohan is made of two words ,Asa(Morning) and Gohan(Meal). Hirugohan is made of two words, Hiru(afternoon) and gohan(meal).

Evolution of recipes

<--Brownies recipe from my Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book First Edition by McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc and General Mills, Inc.

Last week I cooked Japanese Soba noodle soup to serve at Club Bamboo. This lunch was very popular and all noodle soup was sold out. The fellow Japanese cook decided to make chicken Soba noodle which may not be common at Soba noodle restaurants in Japan. In Japan generally the soba noodle soup is served along with Tempura or simple condiments. The ethnic cuisine changes depending on the location where it is served and people who eat. The first year when I came to Seattle, I had problem eating Mexican food. I didn’t like its cheesy taste and tortillas. Before coming to Seattle I never had Mexican food. After twenty years living in Seattle, my taste preference has changed. I love Mexican food as well as Pizza while I still love Japanese and other Asian food.
The recipe of Japanese traditional meals has changed over the time. One example is Udon noodle soup. I made Udon soup from 20 years old Japanese cook book. The soup was very salty and soup was very dark brown. Popular and the best Udon soup was made from current Japanese recipe with some modification. It was quite different one from age old recipe. It was less salty and looks delicious.
For American recipes, many good old hearty meals in old recipe book are no longer in new recipe book. People are busy yet like to eat healthy meals at home. Many cookbooks include recipes for light and quick meals. No more raw eggs in the recipe. Some people are allergic to specific food and require special diet. Some prefer only plant-based food. There are so many choices of cook books such as vegetarian, low carbohydrate, low fat, no wheat, no dairy diet and so on.
US being multi cultural country, many ethnic recipes have been brought to United State. World became smaller, it is easy to obtain ingredients from other country. Authentic ingredients have been adopted and added into American cooking. Many more recipes have been developed and tested. Author of recipe books have too many choices and naturally unhealthy, time-consuming, and highly technical recipes will be out of consideration.
We, who love cooking delicious meals at home, have to test out various recipes finding out which one fits our family’s taste bud. Although recipes of old comfy food may not be included in healthy food cookbook, Internet helps me finding any recipes.
I still use my favorite cook books for specific recipes. The result is always delicious and no leftovers. Some recipes are never out dated.
The photo above is Brownies recipe from Betty Crocker’s Picture cook Book First Edition.There are 264 Brownies recipes at

Japanese Home-style cooking for Seattleites?

People who are not familiar with Japanese cuisines may think Japanese food is expensive and Japanese people often eat Sushi , Teriyaki, Tempura and Sukiyaki. People in Japan eat fancy Sushi with fresh fish only special occasions. Japanese love variety of food. They eat not only Japanese but more international meals like people in Seattle. Chinese, Korean, and Italian food are popular and have evolved to meet taste of Japanese. For example, you may find pasta cooked with fish eggs, Shiso(Japanese herb) and Soy source at restaurants specialized pasta in Japan. Japanese people love Chinese dishes and pot stickers are one of Japanese favorite. I bought a Japanese cookbook about various Pot sticker recipes. In Japan, most wives stay home and one of their jobs is to cook for her family within the budget. The family eats at home most of the time and family meals at home are different from ones at the restaurants. My mother used to be very creative to cook supper for her family of four when she didn’t have much money on the day before her husband’s pay-day. Once she cooked Tempura made of dried anchovies (usually used for Japanese soup stock) with vegetables whatever she found in the fridge or her garden. It was tasty and nutritious although it was made of leftovers and didn’t make me feel poor.
It may be hard for someone from foreign country to experience Japanese home cooked meal unless you have Japanese friend who invites you to their home or their parents’ home in Japan. I love to introduce Seattleite how to make inexpensive home style Japanese food and incorporate into their home cooking. Other day, I visited to a community center nearby my house asked if I can teach Japanese home-style cooking class. Two of employees at the center were very interested in the class. I was asked to create and send proposal include budget, my fee and recipes for the class. He suggested series of classes instead of one. I considered relatively easy to make, inexpensive and/or well know Japanese dishes. Also I consider nutritiously balanced menus. Here are menus which I proposed:
Proposed menu
Class1 Rice, Miso soup, Chicken Teriyaki, and salad
Class2 Chicken Donburi and Sunomono(Sweet and sour vegetables)
Class3 Japanese Curried Rice using curry sauce
Class4 Sushi rolls (Possible Vegetalian)
Class5 Rice balls and baked Chicken
Class6 Chicken Udon Noodle soup
Class7 Tempura(some Vegetarian)
Class8 Delicious Vegetarian Japanese dishes
I proposed to buy common ingredients before starting the first class to be used throughout classes include Calrose rice, Soy source, Rice vinegar and sea salt. The estimate budget of these costs $75. Then buy fresh ingredients for the each class at the day of the class. The estimate budget of these costs $35/class. It will serve 6-8 people.
I was going to include Sukiyaki and Katsu. I eliminated Sukiyaki because it requires so many ingredients and beef will use up most of the budget. Katsu will be OK but I include Tempura over Katsu.
I am going to bring this idea to various community centers and senior centers. Hopefully I start sharing my knowledge of Japanese cooking to Seattleites who love to cook soon.

Mc Mansions

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by danielbretzke
This blog was posted by co-owner of this blog, Daniel, accidentally instead of his real estate blog. I decided to leave this posting although this is not food blog. (FumikoB)

Food, Experience related to cooking