Get In Shape, Build Up Strength Through Stuffed Lotus Root, Dates

Get in shape, build up strength through stuffed lotus root, dates

Handling foreign cultures can be difficult yet rewarding, and the same applies in the world of cooking.

Kazuo Yamanaka, proprietor of Kogetsu, a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo's Ikenohata, reflected on the past, saying: "I wonder how deeply I have understood Chinese cuisine. I have kept asking myself this."

A New Japanese Marketplace Opens In Brooklyn

A New Japanese Marketplace Opens in Brooklyn

Japan Village can claim the title of food anchor for the collection of enterprises that have settled into the Industry City development in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It's a combination marketplace for food products and group of mostly casual dining spots spread over 20,000 square feet. Japan Village's koi logo is splashed, graffiti-like over the outside of the building facing Third Avenue. Tony Yoshida--who owns the Sunrise Mart Japanese markets and the Michelin-starred Kyo Ya kaiseki restaurant in the East Village, its spinoff Autre Kyo Ya, and other spots, with his son, Takuya, and daughter, Erina--has created this one-stop Japanese culinary destination. You may not need to schlep to Sunset Park for another bowl of ramen, but you just might be drawn first to gawk, then to munch on a bowl of katsu-don or a takoyaki octopus balls before buying freshly made tofu and yuba, sliced lotus root, some imported Japanese Wagyu or a gift-worthy bottle of Japanese whiskey to take home.

 

Spice Things Up With Stir-fried Pork And Coriander

Spice things up with stir-fried pork and coriander

Kazuo Yamanaka, owner of Chinese restaurant Kogetsu in Tokyo's Ikenohata district, began his training as a cook at Shisen Hanten in Roppongi, which he joined after studying Chinese history in university.

The Japanese executive chef of the restaurant trained under Kenmin Chen, the late master chef of Chinese cuisine. It was a busy place that offered set menus for lunch and banquet dishes at night.

Boiled Kidney With Flavors Of Sichuan Sure To Tempt Taste Buds

Boiled kidney with flavors of Sichuan sure to tempt taste buds

Chinese restaurant Kogetsu, run by Kazuo Yamanaka, stands quietly at Ikenohata near Ueno Park, its structure witness to the transformation of the capital from Edo to Tokyo.

The wooden building, dating to the early Showa Era (1926-1989), used to be an inn opened by Yamanaka's grandfather late in his life. The combination of a vintage building in the old district and authentic Chinese cuisine may give people pause for thought, but it was born out of the chef's strong wish to turn what he loved into a vocation.

Tottori Kiln Plate Brings Out The White In Red Flounder Dish

Tottori kiln plate brings out the white in red flounder dish

Ichiro Abe, the proprietor of Takumi Kappo, gains inspiration for his menus from the fresh fish and vegetables he sees at the market every morning and even from the dishes he hopes to use.

They include a black bowl produced at the Engoji Kiln in Tottori Prefecture that is simple yet profound, as well as a Yamane Kiln round plate that is a soft opaque white.

'mingei'-style Miso-flavored Curry With Wagyu Beef

'Mingei'-style miso-flavored curry with wagyu beef

Although he was a fast runner, Ichiro Abe failed in his quest to make the Olympic track and field team, and he later ran into business-related debt problems.

But now, for 20 years, he has run Takumi Kappo, a regional-cuisine restaurant that was opened as part of the "mingei" (folk craft) movement in Tottori.

Sardines Cooked With Escargot Butter Popular With Shoppers

Sardines cooked with escargot butter popular with shoppers

Chef Koji Yamada has been working with the local supermarket Tsuruya in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, to create healthy recipes for home cooking, which are distributed at all 33 stores of the supermarket in the prefecture.

Yamada, chef of Weisshorn, a restaurant located in Maruko Central Hospital in Ueda, comes up with three or four low-sodium recipes a month that feature in-season ingredients.

Chicken Thigh Broiled With Shinshu Miso-based Sauce

Chicken thigh broiled with Shinshu miso-based sauce

This week's recipe is for a dish that is popular among patients and staff at Weisshorn, a restaurant located in Maruko Central Hospital in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture.

The restaurant's exclusive chef is Koji Yamada, 52, whose family has run a mountain hut on Mount Jonendake in the Northern Alps.

Free-range Chicken Shatters Bland Image Of Hospital Food

Free-range chicken shatters bland image of hospital food

Weisshorn, a restaurant facing the peak of Mount Asama that sits among a green mountain range, is located on the top floor of the 297-bed Maruko Central Hospital in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture.

The restaurant, which is also open to the public, offers well-balanced lunches. On the day this reporter visited, the main dish was white fish with a tomato-based sauce. Meals for the hospital staff and those who come for the "ningen dokku," a complete medical checkup, are also made in the same kitchen. The dishes are prepared by the 52-year-old chef, Koji Yamada.

'age Toro' Deep-fried Grated Yam, A Tasty Treat For All Ages

'Age toro' deep-fried grated yam, a tasty treat for all ages

"Tororo" (grated yam) restaurant Chojiya, standing on the former site of Mariko-juku--one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route--has a rich history that its owner intends to carry on.

Kaoru Shibayama, the 64-year-old proprietor, invited people who helped him rethatch the restaurant's emblematic roof to a party there on May 19.

'power Food' Of Old, Deceptively Moreish 'tororo' Grated Yam Soup

'Power food' of old, deceptively moreish 'tororo' grated yam soup

Chojiya is a restaurant specializing in "tororo" (grated yam) dishes located in Shizuoka city's Suruga Ward, an area that retains the feel of Mariko-juku, one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route.

The establishment replaced its symbolic thatched roof this spring and continues to attract many visitors from Japan and abroad, yet Kaoru Shibayama, the 64-year-old proprietor, says, "Our business had hit rock bottom at one point."

Time-honored 'tororo' Grated Yam, Fried With 'jinenjo' Jam

Time-honored 'tororo' grated yam, fried with 'jinenjo' jam

Inside a thatch-roofed house on the former site of Mariko-juku, one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route, is Chojiya, a restaurant specializing in "tororo" (grated yam) dishes, located about five kilometers southwest of Shizuoka Station.

Although Chojiya, which is said to have been established as the Sengoku period (Age of warring states) was drawing to a close, the building used today is an old traditional-style house that was relocated from nearby in 1970 by the late 12th-generation proprietor, Nobuo Shibayama.

Carpaccio Of Red Seabream

Carpaccio of red seabream

From the sound of the whisk touching the bowl and the sizzle of the meat to the conversations in English and French plus the calm music in the background, Jean-Georges Tokyo, a French-cuisine restaurant located in Tokyo's Roppongi, was filled with just the right amount of lively ambience.

Under the high ceiling, head chef Fumio Yonezawa prepares the dishes as he checks the guests' pace and occasionally exchanges words with his staff. But when it comes to the finishing touches, he takes his time and works carefully. When the guests see the beautifully served dish placed before them, their faces light up.