Search Bloguru posts

"Serving Vegan Sushi & Vegan Japanese Sake"

thread
By Kosuke Kuji

We discussed Nanbu Bijin obtaining the first vegan certification in the world for Japanese sake. Many Japanese nationals don’t know the term vegan, so naturally, vegan restaurants were not widely known in Japan. However, many foreigners visiting Japan ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are vegetarians, for whom serving meals that meet their dietary requirements is a challenge, even in the capital Tokyo.

Restaurant “Gonpachi” in West Asabu city, renowned as the place where former Prime Minster Koizumi dined with former President Bush – started serving vegan sushi with vegan Japanese sake.

Vegan sushi was served first before vegan Japanese sake was introduced on September 18 to offer vegan and vegetarian customers a safe combination of authentic Japanese sushi with Japanese sake.

This is a major development since Gonpachi is probably the most renowned restaurant in Japan to foreign visitors. A high ratio of foreign customers instigated the instantaneous availability of vegan sushi with vegan Japanese sake for foreigners both visiting and residing in Japan.

Some data suggests vegan customers spend twice to three times the average customer spending on meals.

In the U.S., Whole Foods is placing great effort into vegan cuisine. How Gonpachi resolves this challenge is greatly anticipated.


「ヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン酒を日本で」

前回南部美人では世界初のヴィーガン認証を日本酒で取得したお話をしました。

日本人はヴィーガンという言葉すら知らない人が多く、当然日本国内では今までヴィーガン専門のレストランなどはあまりありませんでした。

しかし、今年のラグビーワールドカップ、そして2020年の東京オリンピック・パラリンピックに向けて、多くの外国人が日本にもやってくるようになりました。

その中の一部はヴィーガンやベジタリアンの外国人も多く、そういった人たちが安心して食事をするのが難しい状況でした。それも日本の首都東京ですら。

そんな中、小泉元総理大臣とブッシュ元大統領が会食したことであまりにも有名な西麻布の「権八」レストランで、ヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン日本酒がスタートしました。

先行してヴィーガン寿司が始まっていましたが、9月18日からはヴィーガン日本酒も加わり、ヴィーガンやベジタリアンの方々も安心して日本の名物である寿司と日本酒を楽しむことが出来るようになりました。

これは大変大きな出来事で、権八は外国人にはおそらく最も有名な日本のレストランです。そして外国人のお客さんの比率も大変高く、そこでヴィーガン寿司とヴィーガン日本酒が当たり前に食べ、飲めるようになった、瞬く間に日本に住む外国人や、インバウンドの外国人に伝わると思います。

ヴィーガンの方々の食事にかける費用は、普通の人の2倍から3倍と言うデータもあります。アメリカではホールフーズなどはヴィーガンに力を入れている関係もあり、これからの権八の挑戦がとても楽しみです。
#vegan #sushi #sake #Japanese

People Who Wowed This Post

New York’s first “Nikkei Cuisine”, a unification of Japan and Peru

thread
New York’s firs... New York’s firs... New York’s firs... New York’s firs... New York’s firs... New York’s firs...
By Aya Ota

“Nikkei Cuisine” has been developed by “Nikkei”, the people who immigrated to Peru in the late 1800’s, and their descendants who have been making Japanese dishes using the local ingredients. Peru is a country that is long-stretched from north to south, and embraced by unique geographical and climate conditions neighboring the Pacific coast, Amazon tropical jungle, and Andes Mountain’s high plateau, and the country is naturally blessed with diverse food ingredients. The “Nikkei Cuisine”, which was born through the unification of rich food ingredients and the traditions and techniques of Japanese cuisine, has grown to become not only one of the major food genres in Peru, but has also been demonstrating its fine presence in the world-wide restaurant ranking such as “World’s 50 Best Restaurants”.

The first restaurant which featured this “Nikkei Cuisine” in New York, is “Sen Sakana– Nikkei Kitchen” The name of the restaurant (Sen- Sakana) is derived from Japanese words, which mean 1,000 fish.

“I always try to enlighten our customers about the Nikkei Cuisine,” says Mina Newman, the executive chef. Her mother is Peruvian, and she grew up surrounded by Japanese food ingredients and Nikkei cuisine. During the last 20 years or so, she has been demonstrating her skills at notable New York restaurants which include Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and steak house restaurants. Her partner chef, who has been demonstrating skills together with her, is Taku Nagai, who was the head chef of the first Ootoya, New York. The menu which has been created by these two chefs of completely different backgrounds has been satisfying gourmet New Yorkers.

Every item on their menu is filled with something new and a surprise. “Buta Queso Cremoso” (Peruvian cheese wrapped in pork belly) looks like yakitori at first, but is made with crispy quinoa, spicy sauce, and lime, which provides enjoyment with different textures. “Halibut Sudado De Mariscos” is a dish that hides ramen underneath its rich-variety of toppings. Its soup, which has been cooked for 6 hours with various seafood, goes well with the custom-made curly noodles. In the “Big Eye Tuna Tartar”, a rhythmic texture has been created by combining tuna and avocado with cucumber pickles, and added quinoa and flying fish roe topping is accentuated by their house-made spicy sesame oil. They use vegetables and fruits which are rarely used in Japanese cuisine, so every bite tasted new to us. However, without being deliberately different, each dish has been cleverly created to give a well-balanced taste. The ratio is different, but the essence of Japanese cuisine such as dashi, soy sauce, miso, seaweed, etc., is contained in every dish. The colorful-ness and fine presentation of each dish is also very impressive.

Newman says, “Our menu has been inspired by the feel of each season.”

The menu gets renewed every 2 months. They also offer a special menu item weekly, featuring seasonal ingredients. She continues, “I also work the hardest to discover new ingredients.” They bring in all sorts of ingredients from both Japan and Peru for testing. Her favorite Japanese ingredient is soy sauce. She says, “It possesses intricate layers, and expanding taste, so we use it as a secret ingredient for many things.” As for drinks, cocktails sell well. Their cocktails stress on Nikkei-unique flavors using Pisco, and shiso or yuzu as an accent.

It is not easy to operate a restaurant of 180 seating in the center of Midtown, and you can see their signs of efforts in many areas. This restaurant is also putting efforts on having private events and catering. They also do not close between lunch and dinner hours, so customers can enjoy lunch until 4pm, which is very well received by business people and tourists. They also offer happy hours between 3 and 7pm. Having various spaces; main dining, bar, counter, and private rooms, can accommodate all sorts of situations.

“Sen Sakana”, which is attracting New Yorkers with their unprecedented innovative concept, makes you feel like you want to keep trying one dish after another.


日本とペルーが融合したニューヨーク初の“日系”料理

1800年代末期、日本からペルーへ移住した移民とその子孫である「日系人」が、現地の食材を使って日本食を作ったことで発展した「日系料理」。ペルーは南北に長く、太平洋沿岸、アマゾン川流域の熱帯雨林やアンデス山脈の高地といった異なる地形や気候を擁することから、多様な食材に恵まれた国だ。その豊かな食材と、和食の伝統や技術が融合して生まれた「日系料理」は、ペルー国内で一大ジャンルとして成長しただけにとどまらず、今や『 World’s 50 Best Restaurants 』をはじめとする世界的なレストラン・ランキングでも存在感を示している。

この「Nikkei」をニューヨークで初めて謳ったレストランが『Sen Sakana– Nikkei Kitchen』だ。日本語で“1000種類の魚介類(one thousand fish)”が店名の由来だ。

「常に客に対して日系料理について啓蒙している」と語るのは、料理長のミナ・ニューマン氏。ペルー人の母を持ち、子供の頃から日本食材や日系料理に触れて育った。これまで20年以上、地中海・中東料理やステーキハウスなど、ニューヨークの数々の名店で腕を振るってきたシェフだ。ニューマン氏のパートナーとして活躍するのは、かつて大戸屋のニューヨーク進出第一号店で料理長を務めた永井択氏。全く異なるキャリアを持つ二人が、アイデアを出し合って創り上げたメニューは、舌の肥えたニューヨークの客をうならせている。

同店のメニューは何を頼んでも、新しい発見と驚きに満ちている。一見、焼き鳥のように見える一品は「Buta Queso Cremoso (Peruvian Cheese Wrapped In Pork Belly)」。クリスピーな食感のキヌアやスパイシーソース、ライムで、味の変化を楽しめる。「Halibut Sudado De Mariscos」は盛りだくさんな具材の下にラーメンが隠されている一品。特製の縮れた太麺に、複数の魚介類を6時間煮込んで作る濃厚なスープがよく合う。「Big Eye Tuna Tartar」はマグロとアボカドにキュウリの漬物を組み合わせリズミカルな食感を生み出し、さらにキヌアとトピッコをトッピングし、アクセントに同店特製のラー油を使った一品だ。日本食では使わないような野菜や果物を駆使し、どれもこれも初めて食べる味。しかし、決して奇をてらうことなく、調和の取れた味を作り出しているのが見事だ。割合はそれぞれ異なるが、どの料理にも、出汁や醤油、味噌や海藻など、日本食のエッセンスが含まれる。色彩や盛り付けの鮮やかさにも目を奪われる。

「メニュー開発のインスピレーションは季節感」とニューマン氏。2カ月に一度は新しいメニューを開発するほか、毎週のように季節の食材を取り入れたスペシャル・メニューを出している。また「食材の発掘に一番力を入れている」と続ける同氏。日本、ペルーの両国から、さまざまな食材を試し、取り入れているという。ニューマン氏が好きな日本食材は醤油。「複雑なレイヤーがあり、味に膨らみがある」ので、さまざまな隠し味として用いている。ドリンクメニューではカクテルが人気。日本酒とピスコを合わせたり、紫蘇や柚をアクセントにしたりと、“日系“色を強く打ち出した内容だ。

ミッドタウンの中心地で席数180もの店舗を運営するのは簡単なことではないが、さまざまな運営の工夫が見られる。同店では、プライベートイベントとケータリングにも力を入れているほか、ランチとディナーの間も休憩なく開店しているのが特徴的で、客は午後4時までランチを楽しむことができるので、ビジネスマンや観光客にも好評だ。また、毎日3〜7時までハッピーアワーも実施している。メインダイニング、バー、カウンター中心のスペース、プライベート・ルームなど多様なスペースがあり、一人でも大勢でも、あらゆるシチュエーションに対応できる。

 これまでにない斬新なコンセプトでニューヨーカーを引きつける『Sen Sakana』、次々と違うメニューを試したくなる。



Sen Sakana – Nikkei Kitchen
28 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
212-221-9561
https://sensakana.com/

Monday – Friday: 11:30 AM – 10 PM
Saturday: 5 PM – 10 PM
Sunday: Closed
#SenSakana #NikkeiKitchen #NY #Peru

People Who Wowed This Post

Running for several decades as a diner in the day time, and an izakaya at night time

thread
Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a... Running for several decades a...
By Keiko Fukuda

In 1992, I came to Los Angeles initially to spend a long holiday after quitting a publishing company in Tokyo. However, 6 months later, I ended up staying for a while because I had an opportunity to work for a Japanese community magazine, and also acquired a working visa. The office was located in Gardena, a southern suburb of Los Angeles, where many Japanese and Japanese Americans live. The restaurant, to which my coworker took me on my first day at work, was Azuma, which was located on the same street as my office.

Their menu contained dishes which were similar to those of diners in Japan.

However, I was astonished by unexpectedly large volume of the dishes I ordered when they were delivered in front of me. I thought it could be only my imagination, but after that, it seemed like volume was getting larger and larger every time I visited.

In 2003, I quit this first company and became a freelance writer. I was visiting Azuma less often after that, and started to visit the restaurant occasionally at night while they were operating as an izakaya rather than during lunch time.

Azuma was always crowded as it was before, every time I visited. There was an aikido dojo right across from Azuma on Western Street, where my son used to take lessons 3 times a week. When I was waiting for my son outside of the dojo in those evenings, I used to smell delicious grilled fish from across the street.

More than a quarter century has passed since I first visited Azuma. What is their secret for being loved for so long in the South Bay as a Japanese restaurant and as an izakaya as well? I asked for permission to interview the owner. The current owner is Hideki Obayashi, and he is a third-generation Japanese American. He runs the restaurant with a partner, Frank Nakano. He said that they bought Azuma from the previous owner in 2002.

“I overheard a waitress at Azuma saying “the restaurant is on sale”. As an izakaya of Gardena, it was the only one back then, so it sounded very appealing, and I made a bid with Frank. We were the third bidders, but we were lucky enough to become the new owners.”

He said that ever since they took over, the restaurant has continued to run smoothly without losing the lasting reputation as a popular restaurant. “Recently, Yelp has been helping a lot. Most of the customers write quite highly about us. Once in a while, we get a bad review, but it seems to me that some competitor is just trying to pull our legs because we are so confident about our foods and services,” says Hideki wearing a confident smile.

They have not changed the basic menu since the time of the previous owner. They just made small changes to accommodate customers’ requests. As for the popular items, he says, “Caucasian customers like rib-eye steak and sashimi.

Third-generation Japanese Americans prefer curry or omelet-rice over usual combination dishes. And, health-conscious customers surely love grilled fish such as saury, mackerel, and salmon, and sashimi. For those who drink, we have a comprehensive izakaya-style menu, and we carry all the Japanese popular beer brands; Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin,” he answered. I said, “Why don’t you carry Orion beer? There is the North American Okinawa Kenjin-Kaikan Hall right in the neighborhood.” “Sure enough! We should check into it,” said Hideki, diligently taking notes, showing his enthusiasm of the business.

Well, it has been already 17 years since Hideki and Frank took over. I asked the reason for their ever-lasting popularity that keeps appealing to even repeating customers. He answered, “There are three. First, a rich and wide variety of menu items. Second, large volumes of food. Lastly, excellent service by our servers. The last, third point is especially difficult to achieve. We are always asking around to look for good candidates.”

Several blocks down south on Western Street from where Azuma is located, there used to be Toyota’s headquarters until 3 years ago. Although the population of surrounding Japanese and Japanese food lovers also moved away with Toyota, Azuma seems to keep busy by winning a wide variety of customers’ hearts with their good food.


昼は定食屋、夜は居酒屋で数十年

1992年、東京の出版社を辞めた私は、長期の休暇を過ごすような気持ちでロサンゼルスにやって来た。しかし、渡米半年後に日本語の情報誌で働ける機会とビザを得て在留することになった。その職場は日系人や日本人が多く暮らすロサンゼルス南郊のガーデナにあった。そして、初日のランチタイムに職場の先輩が連れて行ってくれたレストランが、同じ通り沿いの吾妻だった。

日本の定食屋と同じようなメニューが並んでいた。しかし、オーダーした料理を実際に目の前にすると予想外のボリュームに驚かされた。その後、店を訪れるたびにボリュームが増え続けるように感じたのは気のせいだったのだろうか。

その後、2003年に最初に勤めた会社を辞めてフリーランスのライターになってからは以前より頻度は落ちたものの、ランチではなく夜に時折、居酒屋として利用するようになった。そして、いつ訪れても吾妻は変わらず繁盛していた。また、ウエスターン通りを挟んだ真向かいに、息子が週3日通う合気道の道場があった。夕方、息子の稽古を道場の外で待っていると、通りの向こう側から焼き魚の美味しそうな香りが漂ってきたものだ。

私が最初に吾妻を訪ねてから四半世紀以上が経った。サウスベイで変わらず日本食レストラン兼居酒屋として愛されている秘密は何か、オーナーに話を聞こうと取材を申し込んだ。現オーナーのヒデキ・オオバヤシさんは日系3世。フランク・ナカノさんとの共同経営で、前のオーナーから吾妻を2002年に買い取ったそうだ。

「吾妻のウエイトレスから、『店が売りに出ている』を耳にして、ガーデナの居酒屋としては当時、唯一の店だったから、魅力的に感じてフランクと名乗りを挙げました。買いたいと言ったのは僕たちで3組目だったんですが、運よく、僕たちが新しいオーナーになれました」

以降、ヒデキさんたちが引き継いでも、それまでの人気レストランとしての評価を下げることなく経営は順調に推移して来たと話す。「ここ最近はYelpが非常に役に立っています。ほとんどのお客さんが高い評価をつけてくれますからね。時折、低い評価もあるけれど、あれは競合店が足を引っ張っているんじゃないかって思うほど、自分たちの料理やサービスに自信を持っています」とヒデキさんは余裕の笑顔だ。

前オーナーの時代から基本的にはメニューを変えていないが、顧客の要望で一部のみ変更したとのことだ。人気の品は「白人の顧客にはリブアイステーキや刺身がよく出ます。日系3世になると一般的なコンビネーションより、むしろカレーやオムライスをオーダーする人が多いです。また、健康志向の人にはやはり、サンマ、サバ、サーモンなどの焼き魚や刺身ですね。お酒を飲む人向けには居酒屋メニューが充実しているし、ビールはアサヒ、サッポロ、キリンと日本のブランドを全て取り揃えています」と答えた。「オリオンビールは置いていないのですか?すぐそこに北米沖縄県人会館があるのに」という問いに対して、「確かにそうですね。検討しなくては」と早速メモを取るヒデキさんの姿に、商売熱心な姿勢が見えた。

さて、ヒデキさんとフランクさんの代になってすでに17年、昔と変わらず人気店としてリピーターを引き付けている理由を聞いた。「3つあります。まず、メニューの種類が多いこと。次にボリュームがあること。最後にサーバーの対応が良いことです」。3番目の人材は特に難しいポイントで、常にいい人がいないか、人に聞いて探していると話す。

吾妻の場所からウエスターン通りを数ブロック南下した場所には、3年前まで北米トヨタの本社があった。トヨタの移転と共に周囲の日本人人口、そして日本食の愛好者の人口も流出したが、吾妻は幅広い層の顧客の胃袋を掴むことで変わらず繁盛を続けているようだ。



Azuma
16123 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-8623
#azuma #Gardena #izakaya

People Who Wowed This Post

Get Your Appetite Back with Sake

thread
By Yuji Matsumoto

The other day I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas due to business, but couldn't believe that the day high was 45 degrees C (113 degF). With hot winds and scorching heat that may seem to melt the asphalt, I lost my appetite and found myself in an unhealthy predicament to spend a whole week in an air-conditioned room.

To ease my body from this heat, I decided to join (mariage) miso grill with a summer favorite vegetable nasu (eggplant) with extremely cold "Junmai Daiginjyo" .

Nasu doesn't contain much of nutrition value, but as you know miso (soybean paste) helps you with fatigue recovery, cancer prevention, cholesterol control, proper bowel movement, beauty improvement, brain activation, age prevention, stimulation of body function etc and the list goes on. Also, soybeans that are the main content contain fine quality protein, an abundance of necessary amino acids, saponin that is known to prevent increase of peroxide lipids, different vitamins, potassium, and food fibers etc. You couldn't be more than happy that miso goes well with Japanese sake.

So why don't we enjoy ourselves by having high nutritional value miso food and Junmai Daiginjo and help our body recover from the summer heat.



日本酒で食欲回復

仕事で先日、ラスベガスに行く機会があったが、日中気温はなんと摂氏45度。熱風と灼熱でアスファルトも溶けんばかりの暑さに食欲もなくなり、冷房の効いた部屋で一日を過ごす不健康な一週間をおくる羽目になった。

さて、そんな体を癒すために今回は夏野菜の定番、ナスを使ったみそ焼きとキンキンに冷えた純米大吟醸でマリアージュしてみた。

ナスは、それ自体多くの栄養価を含んでいないが、味噌はご存知のように疲労回復、がん予防、コレステロールの抑制、消化促進、整腸作用、美容効果、脳の活性化、老化防止、基礎代謝の促進など揚げればきりがない。また、主原料である大豆には、良質のたんぱく質が多く含まれ、必須アミノ酸のほか、過酸化脂質の増加を防ぐといわれているサポニン、ビタミン群、カリウム、カルシウム、食物繊維など様々な栄養素が豊富に含まれている。さらに、味噌は日本酒と合うので、これほどうれしいことはない。

今回は、栄養価の高い味噌料理と純米大吟醸で気持ちよくなりながら夏バテした体を元気にしてみてはいかがかだろうか。



以清酒恢復食慾

前段日子,因工作關係而有機會前往拉斯維加斯;怎料白天的氣溫竟達攝氏45度。伴隨令人懷疑能夠融化瀝青的熱風及熾熱空氣而來的,是食慾的喪失;以及導致要度過「在空調房間度過整天」,不健康的一周。

好吧,為了治愈這樣的身體,我嘗試了混合經典夏季蔬菜——茄子——的烤製味噌和冰冷純米大吟釀,作出完美糅合。

茄子本身雖然並不含有很多營養價值;但眾所周知,味噌可以消除疲勞,預防癌症,抑制膽固醇,促進消化,調節腸道,有助美容,活化大腦,抗衰老,促進基礎代謝等;功用多不勝數。此外,作為主要成分的大豆除了含有許多優質蛋白質,必須的氨基酸外;還含有如據說可以防止脂質過氧化物增加的皂苷、多種維生素、
鉀、鈣和膳食纖維等各式各樣,十分豐富的營養素。再者,味噌與清酒非常配合,沒有比這更令人感到興奮的事。

這次,何不嘗試在享受營養價值高的味噌料理和純米大吟釀的同時恢復因夏天而疲累的身體?



니혼슈(일본술)로 식욕 회복

얼마 전 출장으로 라스베가스에 갈 기회가 있었는데 무려 낮 기온이 섭씨 45도였습니다. 아스팔트도 녹일 듯한 뜨거운 열기에 지치고 식욕도 없어져 방에 틀어 박혀 에어컨을 틀고서는 일주일을 나른하게 보냈습니다.

그렇게 늘어진 몸에 활력을 불어 넣고자 여름 제철 채소, 가지를 이용한 일본의 미소된장 가지구이에 시원하게 보관한 준마이 다이긴죠(純米大吟醸)를 페어링 해봤습니다.

가지는 그 자체로 영양가가 많은 편이 아니나, 미소된장은 알려진 바와 같이 피로 회복, 암 예방, 콜레스테롤 억제, 소화 촉진, 정장 작용, 미용 효과, 뇌 활성화, 노화 방지, 기초 대사 촉진 등 그 효능이 이루 셀 수 없이 많습니다. 또한 주원료인 대두에는 양질의 단백질이 다량 함유되어 있으며 필수 아미노산 외에도 과산화지질의 증가를 막는다는 사포닌, 비타민 군, 칼륨, 칼슘, 식이섬유 등 각종 영양소가 풍부하게 들어 있습니다. 게다가 미소된장은 니혼슈와도 잘 어울려 더할 나위 없는 기쁨을 선사합니다.

이번 기회에 영양가 높은 미소된장 요리와 함께 준마이 다이긴죠를 한잔 기울이며 여름철 더위로 지친 몸과 마음의 활기를 되찾아 보는 것은 어떨까요.
#sake #recipe #Junmai #miso

People Who Wowed This Post

  • If you are a bloguru member, please login.
    Login
  • If you are not a bloguru member, you may request a free account here:
    Request Account