Author Archive: chocosis_ane

Chirashizushi: Japan’s Colorful and Delicious Celebration Dish

Konnichiwa everyone! If you love Japanese food, you’ve probably heard of sushi. But have you tried chirashizushi? This colorful and tasty dish is a popular meal in Japan, especially during special occasions like birthdays and festivals.

Chirashizushi literally means “scattered sushi.” Unlike traditional sushi rolls, chirashizushi is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of colorful ingredients such as raw fish, shrimp, vegetables, and egg. The ingredients are arranged on top of the rice in an eye-catching design, making it a perfect dish to serve at parties or celebrations.

One of the best things about chirashizushi is that it’s incredibly easy to make. All you need is some sushi rice, vinegar, sugar, and salt to make the perfect sushi rice. (*Or use sushi rice with a variety of finely chopped and seasoned vegetables mixed in.) Once the rice is cooked, you can start adding your favourite toppings. Some popular toppings include salmon, tuna, shrimp, tamagoyaki (sweet omelet), cucumber, and avocado. You can also add some wasabi or soy sauce to give it some extra flavour.

In Japan, chirashizushi is often eaten on special occasions such as Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) and Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day).

Hinamatsuri is a festival that is celebrated on March 3rd to pray for the health and happiness of young girls. On this day, families display a set of hina dolls, which represent the Emperor, Empress, and other court figures, on a tiered stand. They also enjoy a special meal with their loved ones, and chirashizushi is often served as part of the celebration.

If you’re interested in making chirashizushi at home, there are plenty of recipes available online. You can also find chirashizushi in many Japanese restaurants around New Zealand. So why not try this delicious and colorful dish today? It’s sure to impress your friends and family with its beautiful presentation and delicious taste!

Note: This article is written by ChatGPT and edited by the Washokuzine team.

Exploring the Delicious World of Washoku: Traditional Japanese Cuisine

If you’re a fan of Japanese culture or food, you may have heard of Washoku – the traditional cuisine of Japan that is gaining popularity around the world. Washoku is known for its delicious flavours, fresh ingredients, and beautiful presentation, making it a culinary art form that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and history.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Washoku and explore its unique features, ingredients, and preparation methods. We’ll also highlight some popular dishes that you can try at home or when you visit Japan.

What is Washoku?

Washoku refers to the traditional cuisine of Japan, which has been developed over centuries and is deeply influenced by the country’s geography, climate, and culture. Washoku is characterised by its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, simple preparation methods (note: some Washoku is required complex preparation methods), and balance of flavours.

Washoku typically consists of a steamed rice (gohan), soup (shiru), and main/side dishes (okazu). The side dishes are often served in small portions on a tray or plate. The presentation of Washoku is also an important aspect of the cuisine, with chefs often incorporating artistic elements into their dishes.

Ingredients Used in Washoku

The ingredients used in Washoku are typically fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced. Some common ingredients include rice, seafood, vegetables, tofu, and soy sauce. Washoku also makes use of unique ingredients like wasabi, dashi (a broth made from seaweed and bonito flakes), and miso (a paste made from soybeans).

Preparation Methods in Washoku

The preparation methods used in Washoku are often simple and emphasise the natural flavours of the ingredients. Some common preparation methods include grilling, boiling, steaming, and frying. Many Washoku dishes also incorporate fermentation techniques, which not only enhance the flavour but also offer health benefits.

Popular Washoku Dishes

There are many delicious Washoku dishes that you can try, whether you’re in Japan or cooking at home. Some popular dishes include:

Sushi: Raw fish and other ingredients served on top of seasoned rice
Tempura: Lightly battered and fried seafood or vegetables
Miso soup: A soup made with miso paste, dashi, and other ingredients
Yakitori: Grilled chicken skewers
Okonomiyaki: A savory pancake made with cabbage and various toppings

Washoku is a culinary art form that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and history. With its emphasis on fresh ingredients, simple preparation methods, and balance of flavours, it’s no wonder that Washoku is gaining popularity around the world. By exploring the world of Washoku, you can discover new and delicious flavours and gain a greater appreciation for Japanese culture. So why not try making some Washoku dishes at home or visit a local Japanese restaurant to experience the deliciousness of Washoku for yourself?

Note: This post was written by ChatGPT and edited by the team at Washokuzine.

How To Make Japanese Takoyaki at home

This post is dedicated to my very young sister-like (or daughter-like?) friend, who is a Takoyaki lover and trying to make perfect Takoyaki at home.
Well… I think she is addicted to Takoyaki!!!

I found the following recipes/methods and they seem doable!

1. Make frozen takoyaki cubes and deep fry them.

How To Make Takoyaki (Without Takoyaki Pan) by My Name Is Andong

2. Make takoyaki balls with spoons and deep fry them.
How to Cook Takoyaki No Pan Molder by PagkaingPinoyTV

3. Cook halfway in a frying pan and make balls, then fry them through.
なんと!丸くなってる!?フライパンたこ焼きpart2の作り方! by けんますクッキング [in Japanese]

I also found some other videos about Takoyaki, which might be useful for making Japanese Takoyaki at home. 🙂
Well, they are different from traditional Takoyaki balls, but they look tasty!

This unique potato takoyaki how-to video includes a recipe for making the sauce from scratch.
Potato Takoyaki without a special pan (Easy Quick Recipe) | OCHIKERON | Create Eat Happy 🙂 by ochikeron

How to make Takoyaki Square using a tamagoyaki(Japanese omelette) pan.
卵焼き器で簡単! 丸めない!たこ焼き | How To Make Takoyaki with Egg Fryer [in Japanese] by DELISH KITCHEN – デリッシュキッチン
材料2人分(Ingredients for two people)
・ゆでだこ(Boiled octopus) 50g
・細ねぎ(Thin spring onions) 3本
・紅しょうが(Beni shōga – red pickled ginger) 20g
・揚げ玉(Japanese Agedama or Tenkasu – scraps/batter bits) 20g
・サラダ油(Salad oil)  小さじ(teaspoon)1
・マヨネーズ(Mayonnaise) 適量(some)
・ソース(Sauce) 適量(some)
・かつお節(Katsuobushi – bonito flakes)  適量(some)
・青のり(Aonori – green laver)   適量(some)
・たこ焼き粉(Takoyaki flour) 50g
・卵(Egg) 1個
・水(Water) 150cc

This is like making a big pancake, and cut it into small pieces. This recipe uses plain flour and also suggests using Satsuma-age (fried fishcake) as alternative to octopus.
フライパンでたこ焼き/みきママ [in Japanese] by みきママChannel
Takoyaki Batter
・かつおだしの素(Bonito dashi stock powder)(小さじ(Teaspoon)2)
・ねぎ(Spring onion)(1/2本)
・天かす(Tenkasu – scraps/batter bits)(20g)
サラダ油(Salad oil)(大さじ(Tablespoon)1/2)+(大さじ(Tablespoon)1/2)
たこ(Octopus diced 2cm)(1/2本 or 50g)
さつま揚げ(Satsuma-age – fried fishcake diced 2cm)(1枚 or 50g)
*If you are going to use only Octopus or Satsuma-age (fried fishcake), use 100g of your choice.

In New Zealand, you can find the following Takoyaki products at Japan Mart.
Japan Mart Online Shop Search results for: ‘takoyaki’ :
As of writing this post,

Hope the above information is helpful to you, my friend, and whoever is trying to make Japanese takoyaki at home!
Thank you for reading. If you know someone wanting to make takoyaki at home, please share this post.

Ekiben (駅弁・えきべん) boxed lunches to enjoy the local cuisine

Ekiben Boxed Lunches for Train Travel
on 01 Nov 2019 by Japan Video Topics – English

There’s something about Ekiben. I don’t know why, but when I travel by train in Japan, I eat Ekiben whenever possible.

It’s more expensive and less choices than Convini-Bento (Boxed lunches you can buy at a convenience store).
Still I want to buy it because, I think, it makes my ordinary train journey exciting and enjoyable.

What is Ekiben?

Ekiben (駅弁, railway bento) are a specific type of bento boxed meals, sold on trains and train stations in Japan.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What does Ekiben mean in Japanese?

Eki (駅・えき) means ‘train station’ and ben (弁・べん) is, in this case, a short form of the word bento (弁当・べんとう), which means boxed lunch.

Are there any books about Ekiben?

Here are some Ediben related Japanese books:

旅鉄BOOKS 026 駅弁大百科
にっぽん全国100駅弁 鹿児島中央駅から稚内駅までEKB100!
駅弁味の陣2019 公式ガイドブック うまい駅弁 (オレンジページムック)

Beautiful Jubako tiered boxes (重箱) for traditional Japanese New Year foods Osechi-ryori(おせち料理)

It’s November! While people around me are thinking about their Christmas foods (I live in New Zealand), I was thinking about Osechi ryori, traditional Japanese New Year foods.

Osechi ryori can’t be Osechi ryori without Jubako(重箱)! I have a three tiered Jubako brought back from Japan about a decade ago, but maybe it’s time to get a new one.

It’s not just for Japanese New Year(Oshogatsu(お正月)), it’s good for special occasions such as home parties, potluck parties, office parties and luxury picnics.

I’ve searched for Jubako on Rakuten Global Market because they ship worldwide from Japan. I’m going to share what I’ve found with you in case you might like to have one for yourself!

Click on the photos to open a Japanese page and the text links to open an auto-translated English page.
Note: Prices are as of 12 Nov 2019. Please check the latest information at the linked product page.

Jubako 180mm x 180mm 3 tiered boxes (Total 3900ml) JPY4,400

For 3-4 people / Made in Japan / Colours: Red or Black

Jubako 19.5cm x 19.5cm 3 tiered boxes Akebono Sakura JPY5,500

For 4-5 people / Made in Japan / Colours: Pink or Purple

Kishu coating Jubako 14.5cm x 14.5cm 3 tiered boxes JPY2,541

Made in Japan / Colours: Outside black and inside vermilion

Jubako 24cm x 24cm 2 tiered boxes with dividers Sakura JPY3,000

Made in Japan / Colour: Black

Jubako 19.7cm x 19.7cm 3 tiered boxes with dividers Maki-e(Lacquer painting) Rabbits JPY4,930

Made in Japan / Colour: Red

Jubako 15cm x 15cm 3 tiered boxes 花丸春秋(Hanamaru spring and summer) JPY5,500

Made in Japan / Colour: Black


Jubako 15cm x 15cm 3 tiered boxes 花丸春秋(Hanamaru spring and summer) JPY5,500

Made in Japan / Colour: Ancient vermilion

Jubako 19.5cm x 19.5cm 3 tiered boxes 玩具(Toy-design) JPY132,000

For 4 or more people / Made in Kyoto, Japan / Colour: Black
*It comes in a wooden box and it’s perfect for a special gift!

More Jubako tiered boxes from Japan

Thank you for reading this post.
If you have any questions about Jubako, Osechi ryori or washoku, feel free to ask us in the comment box below.