Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hotpot Cuisine and Mochi

   How have you been? This winter is very cold in Kochi, isn't it? In such cold nights,warm yourself up with Nabe-Ryori (or just nabe), which is a dish of meat, fish, tofu and vegetables boiled in broth in a big pot (a nabe) and eaten when boiling. The best way of eating nabe is sharing it with your family and friends. So set a portable hob on a kotatsu table and have a good time enjoying the warming nabe.

   You can get some nabe soup bases at supermarkets. Popular tare, which is a dipping sauce for Nabe-Ryori, are goma-dare (made from sesame) and ponzu (made from yuzu, which is a kind of citrus fruit, and soy sauce).

CHIGE-NABE: This comes from Korea and is hot and spicy with chili pepper. Chige means a boiled dish in Korean. The main ingredient is thinly sliced pork, cod or tofu.We also boil hakusai (Chinese cabbage), nira (leek) and mushrooms together in the soup.

YU-DOFU: We put konbu (a kind of seaweed) in a nabe and put tofu on the konbu and warm them. You dip the tofu into ponzu or some other kinds of tare before eating.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Setsubun (The eve of the first day of spring)

Setsubun actually signifies “the parting of the seasons;” especially nowadays it falls around February 3rd, the day before the first day of spring. On the evening of this day, people yell, “Out with the devil! In with happiness!” while scattering parched soy beans inside and outside of their homes.

People decorate the entrance of their homes with holly leaves with a dried sardine in order to protect their family against the devil. This custom comes from the tradition that the devil will be wounded by holly leaves and will be surprised by the smell of sardines, so he will be repelled from your house.