Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: toddg on June 22, 2008, 01:30:30 PM

Title: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: toddg on June 22, 2008, 01:30:30 PM
Speaking of Japanese food, does anybody know of a place around that serves ochazuke (http://www.justhungry.com/2004/01/ochazuke_rice_w.html)?  It's a very simple rice, fish, and green tea soup -- amazingly delicious.

Whenever I'm in DC, I order it at Teaism (http://www.teaism.com/).  They have a great way of serving it... a pot of green tea, an empty tea cup, and a bowl with all of the ingredients for ochazuke minus the broth.  You get to apportion the green tea between the bowl and the cup according to your tastes.

Has anybody seen any place serving something like this in our area?
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: judibean on June 22, 2008, 02:15:40 PM
Todd, I've had ochazuke at Zenkichi in Brooklyn.  It's not served the traditional way with dashi stock.  It was just green tea mixed with the rice.  Still good though.   

Just to put in my 2 cents about authenticity, since I am a self-proclaimed sushi snob- the authentic Japanese restaurants take the effort to season their rice according to the fish that's going on top of it.  For example, some fish pair well with rice that has more vinegar in it.  Other fish pair well with a dab of wasabi embedded in the rice.  Sushi also isn't supposed to be a huge hunk of fish hanging off the rice on either end.  The fish is supposed to be in proportion to the rice so that they are eaten together in one bite.  Yes, one bite!  Also, soy sauce isn't necessary for fresh sushi, it's actually frowned upon, but if you want to use it, you should be dunking the fish (turn sushi upside down) in the sauce, not the rice.  I learned some of this in Japan and some of it just going to the great shrines of sushidom in Manhattan (Sushi Yasuda). 
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: judibean on June 22, 2008, 03:10:51 PM
Oops.  Hubby just pointed out an error in my response to Todd.  The salmon soup at Zenkichi had dashi broth instead of green tea, so no, it's really not ochazuke.   I'm knowledgeable on sushi, but not cooked Japanese food.   My bad.  :P
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: toddg on June 22, 2008, 03:16:00 PM
Don't worry... that fits Wikipedia's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochazuke) definition of ochazuke!
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: Chuckster on June 22, 2008, 05:14:17 PM
The recipe of the week at Gothamist (http://gothamist.com/2008/06/22/sweetbread_ochazuke.php) happens to be sweetbread ochazuke.
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on June 24, 2008, 01:26:17 PM
toddg, I think you're going to need to find a good kaiseki if you want ochazuke (not likely.)  It's just not really an izakaya staple.  Back in my drinking days, ochazuke helped me through many hangovers.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: toddg on June 24, 2008, 01:29:19 PM
Now I'm in over my head!  Please explain!
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: John Prester on June 24, 2008, 01:45:04 PM
toddg, I think you're going to need to find a good kaiseki if you want ochazuke (not likely.)  It's just not really an izakaya staple.  Back in my drinking days, ochazuke helped me through many hangovers.  Good luck.
Now I'm in over my head!  Please explain!

Ah, fret not!

Kaiseki - a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner analogous to Western haute cuisine

Izakaya - a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. The food is usually more substantial than that offered in other types of drinking establishments in Japan such as bars or snack bars.

More importantly:

Entry #58, "Japan", from "Stuff White People Like":

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/07/58-japan/

"But it goes beyond just food, all white people either have/will/or wished they had taught English in Japan.  It is a dream for them to go over seas and actually live in Japan.  This helps them not only because it fills their need to travel, it will enable them to gain important leverage over other white people at Sushi restaurants where they can say “this place is pretty good, but living in Japan really spoiled me.  I’ve had such a hard time finding a really authentic place.”
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: judibean on June 24, 2008, 01:46:35 PM
Sugiyama and a few other restaurants in Manhattan do kaiseki but it can be quite expensive.

On a related note, since we are looking for obscure dishes- has anyone had authentic Kobe beef in the city?  I keep coming across what is termed Kobe-style, which can mean anything from American cattle being massaged and fed beer to something even less genuine like marbled beef with no pedigree.  I had the honor of having Kobe beef in where else...Kobe a few years back and I've been spoiled for life!  I know there was a ban on Kobe beef imports but I heard it was then lifted.  Where are the imported Kobe beef being served?  And I mean that they have to be able to show me the Japanese certificate of authenticity on the beef, which is what the chef did in Kobe.
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: toddg on June 24, 2008, 01:55:32 PM
Right after I win the lottery, I'll make sure I get myself to a kaiseki place ASAP.

But I hope I don't have to wait until then to find some ochazuke.  It's as simple and unpretentious as food gets.  I order it at a D.C. tea shop, where no cooking (other than rice steaming and water boiling) is required.

Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: buddy on June 24, 2008, 07:01:33 PM
Ah, fret not!

Kaiseki - a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner analogous to Western haute cuisine

Izakaya - a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. The food is usually more substantial than that offered in other types of drinking establishments in Japan such as bars or snack bars.

More importantly:

Entry #58, "Japan", from "Stuff White People Like":

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/07/58-japan/

"But it goes beyond just food, all white people either have/will/or wished they had taught English in Japan.  It is a dream for them to go over seas and actually live in Japan.  This helps them not only because it fills their need to travel, it will enable them to gain important leverage over other white people at Sushi restaurants where they can say “this place is pretty good, but living in Japan really spoiled me.  I’ve had such a hard time finding a really authentic place.”

those different categories in stuffwhitepeoplelike are so damn funny.  I've read some of them and swear they've followed me and my friends around.  and then "other white people" say the same thing.  don't you want to know who authored those blogs?

and so far only Shelby2 and judibean have actually been to Japan so maybe the author followed them around!
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: judibean on June 24, 2008, 08:19:36 PM
Hmmm...the only problem with that is I'm not white!
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: buddy on June 24, 2008, 09:45:01 PM
Hmmm...the only problem with that is I'm not white!

that's okay.  it seems like a lot of the people who post comments on stuffwhitepeoplelike aren't either.  or so they say.    there's an ethnic peoples' blog similar to white peoples in its politcally incorrect humor.

http://ethnicpeoplelikestufftoo.blogspot.com/2008/05/46-child-abuse.html 
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: jennsch on June 25, 2008, 10:24:52 AM
The Stuff White People Like book will pub next week. The author got a hugungous book deal for it -- you can read about him at http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl/9780812979916.html.
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on June 26, 2008, 04:31:13 PM
Are you opposed to just getting the instant stuff from JasMart?  You just add water and leftover rice and bam!  Instant ochazuke. :smitten:
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: Chingwa on June 27, 2008, 05:43:42 PM
Or really, you could just make it yourself.  There really isn't an easier dish to make in all of Japanese cuisine (with possibly the exception of Miso Soup).

Step 1) make rice (of course you'll want japanese short grain rice for that clumpy txture :D )
Step 2) make tea (bancha/Houjicha... maybe Genmaicha... normal sencha and other GREEN green teas are a bit too fancy for this dish.)
Step 3) add toppings to rice... toasted nori (just hold it over a flame for a few seconds), wasabi or even a dab of hot mustard,green onions (of course!).  These are basics.  plus you can put a couple small pieces of white fish in, or cod-roe, or even some fresh tuna sashimi if you can get your hands on the really good stuff. (though seems like a waste of good sashimi to put it in a hardy dish like this).

Step 4) Mix and EAT.  :smitten:


for anyone interested in classic Japanese cooking I can recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Cooking-Simple-Shizuo-Tsuji/dp/4770030495/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214602945&sr=8-1

It reads almost like a text book, and contains a wealth of knowledge on technique/recipes/terminology etc.
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: Chingwa on June 27, 2008, 05:46:54 PM
Quote
instant stuff
Oh NOOOOO!!!! Not Instant!! (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/images/ca_smilies/normal/anj_dead.gif)
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: toddg on June 27, 2008, 06:24:28 PM
Step 1) make rice

Sorry, you lost me there!   ???
Title: Re: Discussion on Japanese Cuisine
Post by: Chingwa on June 27, 2008, 06:40:56 PM
Step 0) Buy Rice Cooker....  :o
http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-NS-LAC05-Cooker-Warmer-Stainless/dp/B000G30ESY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1214606313&sr=8-3 (http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-NS-LAC05-Cooker-Warmer-Stainless/dp/B000G30ESY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1214606313&sr=8-3)