This is Japanese Sushi with a California touch. The California touch comes from the shape.
Monosodium glutamate or MSG for short is a popular additive in food. It was discovered to create a taste called umami, which is very different and unique from the other basic tastes. Umami is described to be a meaty and savory taste, which is similar to the taste when you eat beef or steak. Monosodium glutamate has changed the world of cooking and there is no going back.
There are things to learn from the Japanese way of cooking on how to use MSG. MSG can be used with food in four different ways.
MSG can be used as dressing for meat, fish, dumping fillings and hamburger. MSG can also be placed in water while boiling vegetables.
MSG can be used as a finishing touch to a dish like stir-fried dishes.
MSG can be used as a flavor booster in soups.
MSG can be used to enhance the flavors of seasonings. It helps harmonize the different flavors of seasonings in a dish.
How much MSG should you use in each dish? There is a rule of thumb to follow to make sure you do not put in too much MSG. For a pound of meat, only use ½ teaspoon of MSG. For 4-6 servings of soup and vegetables, ½ teaspoon MSG is best. You should know that adding more than the suggested amount of MSG will not make the food taste better. Rather, the food may not come out as delicious as you would want it to be.
For people who need to eat low-sodium meals, MSG will be a great ingredient to replace salt. Salt is used to add flavor to a dish but if you replace it with MSG, the flavor of the dish will be boosted without you using too much salt. You will get that taste that you are looking for yet eat a low-sodium meal.
Is one thing coming to Tokyo and is another finding what to eat. Many of my friends have been complaining of how difficult it is to find things to eat in Tokyo. I am actually surprised at this remark, as I know Tokyo is one of the best cities to find good food and restaurant around the world. So in order to help out with this, here is an article about places to eat in Tokyo hope it helps for future visitors. http://www.rainjapanesecuisine.com/restaurants/great-places-to-eat-in-tokyo/
Ochazuke is a popular Japanese dish in which hot tea is poured over cooked white rice. It is easy to make and could be enjoyed as a snack or light meal any time of the day. The flavor varies depending on the ingredients you use. Some examples of the popular Japanese ingredients include pickled plums (umeboshi), grilled salmon, sea laver (nori), soy-smmered fish, seaweed, broiled eel and tempura. We could also alternate the ingredients by using grilled chicken, grilled salmon, pickled cucumber, smoked salmon and oyster marinated in oil. Seasonings such as Ajinomoto umami, Japanese horseradish (wasabi) and grated ginger would add great flavors to it.
As a chef and menu builder it is important that we bring these issues to light. Food seasoning has long history in Asia. I was holding a food seminar few days ago in Tokyo and one of my American audience raised the question about the health impact of this seasoning. I was surprised because here in Japan, we call this UMAMI and is a very popular food seasoning with a long history. In my years in this industry in Japan, I have not heard about the case of health issues with MSG. Actually, I do encourage people to use it in cooking. I went in to research about this issue and came across this site: http://www.ajinomoto.com/features/aji-no-moto/en/truth/. This site is a well detailed site about the MSG controversy. Hope you find it helpful.
If you have been in Japan and moved up north to the place called Hokkaido, you would have noticed what I am going to share with you now. It is called IKURA DON a popular Hokkaido food. Why do I love this food, it is made of seafood and has low cholesterol meaning that is what every healthy person wants to eat. However, I have taken it to another level by adding extra dimensions to it. Normally in Japan we serve it at every family dinner in addition with other foods. When you visit Tokyo you can find it in restaurants but if you really want to try it out and see the real taste take the jump and go to Hokkaido. You will enjoy eating it while having fun in this nature blessed region of Japan. I served this out today at a restaurant in Tokyo were I was creating a new Menu.
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