January 2018 is upon us. With the excesses of Christmas behind me, I’m thinking once more about healthy foods. Indeed, the overarching theme for this month so far has been: getting as many nutrients as possible, and getting them piping hot. Two of the healthy Japanese dishes I’ve been eating – clear soup and rice porridge – fit the bill perfectly. So today, I’d like to share some information about these two simple dishes and their roots in Japan’s high and low cuisine.
blank and smooth
a new diary
The possession of an electronic rice cooker, or suihanki in Japanese, is something to which everyone must aspire. It is said that when a rice cooker not only delivers perfect Japanese rice but also plays a cheery tune when it does so, ultimate satisfaction will ensue. Indeed, I would be a perfectly contented human, were it not for the fact that my own musically-inclined rice cooker is currently consigned to storage. However am I coping? Can Japanese rice be ready without a jingle being played? It’s time to find out.
before the feast
a white cloth draped upon
the garden table
The two Chinese characters notionally contained in the word furikake, 振 and 掛, mean ‘shake’ and pour’ respectively. That makes furikake as close a Japanese translation of the word ‘sprinkles’ as I can imagine. No chocolate sprinkles here, however; instead we’re talking about savoury sprinkles for rice.