What’s in Your Teriyaki Sauce?


Photo Credit: Sílvia Martín

The term teriyaki has become so popular that in most Westernized cities, anything marinated or served with a soy sauce based concoction is called a teriyaki dish. Taking advantage of its popularity, many food manufacturers have come up with readymade teriyaki sauces; cooks now just have to pour this flavorful mixture to come up with a distinctly oriental meal.

A Sauce with History

Most people associate teriyaki with Japanese cuisine and the word does have its historical roots around the 17th century in Japan. The “teri” in the word refers to the shiny texture of foods marinated or basted with sugar, while the “yaki” can be interpreted as grilling. Ironically, teriyaki sauce is believed to have originated in Hawaii, where Japanese immigrants adjusted their cooking to come up with a mixture using soy sauce and local products such as pineapple juice. [Read more…]

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Ankimo: Beyond the Usual Raw Fish and Nori


Photo Credit: takaokun

Maki, California roll, Nigiri sushi, temaki, and uromaki are among the favorite items of sushi lovers whenever they visit a Japanese restaurant or a sushi bar, but not too many will order ankimo. Many call ankimo the foie gras of sushi, mainly because it is made from monkfish liver. This high end delight is creamy and light; it is Japanese food at gourmet levels.

What Ankimo is All About

Ankimo is not always available in sushi bars. In fact, it you want to be sure it will be served when you eat out, it would be best to inquire before you go. Ankimo is becoming progressively rare as a treat today because the population of monkfish or anglerfish has dwindled considerably. In World’s 50 Best Foods, CNN Travel says, “The monkfish/anglerfish that unknowingly bestows its liver upon upscale sushi fans is threatened by commercial fishing nets damaging its sea-floor habitat, so it’s possible ankimo won’t be around for much longer.

“If you do stumble across the creamy, yet oddly light delicacy anytime soon, consider a taste — you won’t regret trying one of the best foods in Japan.” [Read more…]

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Breaking Down a Bowl of Ramen: From Basic to Gourmet


Photo Credit: xxHxx

Ramen, the ubiquitous noodles in a bowl of broth considered a Japanese “national dish” has actually originated from China over a century ago. Since then, it has extensively evolved to become an authentic Japanese food with varied ingredients reflecting regional styles and cultures.  Today, ramen is served in the entire country from street carts, filling your cravings even in the middle of the night, to classy restaurants and specialty ramen houses in the cities.

Ramen is a well-loved dish around the world. In fact, it appeared in The Guardian’s The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them. It is so popular that upon the invention of the instant noodles by Momofuku Ando in 1958 it created a whole food sub-culture in Japan. “Fresh noodles are the best,” but Instant ramen became a hit worldwide “… it was voted as the greatest Japanese export of the 20th century in a national poll…” [Read more…]

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