Everyone needs a good beef stew recipe in their repertoire for those cold nights after a long hard day’s work when you just need something super robust, filling, and hot to satisfy your hunger…. for some, this might mean a hearty Irish stew or the decadent boeuf bourguignon, but for many Japanese, the fallback is the meaty nikujaga.
Nikujaga literally means meat (niku) and potatoes (jaga being the shortened form of jagaimo). It was invented in the 19th century by chefs in the Imperial Japanese Army in an attempt to imitate the beef stew served in the British Royal Navy. A little salty and sweet, it generally contains thinly sliced beef, chunks of potatoes and carrots, wedges of onion, and shirataki noodles. Snowpeas are often added for a pop of colour.
Creamy soft and sticky sweet, I have always been fascinated by that strange jiggly dessert called purin that is so often featured in anime… But what is it exactly? Well, purin is the Japanese pronunciation of the English word pudding, but contrary to what it’s name suggests, it actually refers to a dessert called flan, caramel custard, or more commonly, creme caramel.
With a thin layer of soft caramel on top, this smooth custard dessert is similar to creme brulee, which is instead custard with hard caramel on top. The slightly bitter caramel compliments sweetness of the custard wonderfully, making for a dessert that will have you coming back for seconds! Continue reading
In anime, it sometimes feels like every series (especially if it’s set in high school) features an episode about Valentine’s Day – that day when boxes of chocolate and teary-eyed confessions of love run rampant in a blur of fluttering emotions. And so, as couples around the world prepare to celebrate the wonders of love with their romantic partners through candlelit dinners, red roses, and heart-shaped chocolates, what exactly goes on in Japan? Continue reading
Chocolates, confessions, kisses, and plenty of tears: I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a Valentine’s Day episode in anime… It sometimes feels like if it’s set in a school, then there must inevitably be an episode about that day of love, February 14… Continue reading
In Japanese cuisine, there is a cooking technique of simmering vegetables, seafood, tofu, and meats (together or separately) in a stock flavoured with soy sauce, sake, and some sweetening, that is referred to as nimono. The types of nimono dishes are quite varied, and include dishes such as oden, nabemono (Japanese hotpot dishes), and nikujaga (sweet and salty beef and potato stew).
Today, we’ll be looking at vegetable nimono, which is a simple way to prepare a mixed vegetable side dish that is served at room temperature, or slightly warmed. It involves simmering the vegetables in seasoned liquid until they are soft and cooked through, resulting in lightly flavoured vegetables that are moist and succulent. This dish makes for a nice addition to any Japanese or Asian meal, and goes great in a bento. Continue reading
2013 has come to a close, and so ends another year of anime – memorable, mediocre, or otherwise. Looking back on the year, it’s nice to take a little time and evaluate what has aired and remember some of the series that made their mark. Here are some of my top picks for the best and worst of 2013…
Note: This list only contains anime that ended in 2013, and will consequently not include any anime that started in 2013 and spans into 2014. Also, I haven’t actually seen every anime that aired in 2013, so while Diabolik Lovers might be worse than Amnesia, or whether you think Kyousougiga, Little Busters, or White Album 2 belong on this list, I can’t really add them since I didn’t actually suffer through Diabolik Lovers or watch the latter 3 (they’re on my “to watch” list, though!).
And, of course, if you have any of your own favourite picks, I’d love to hear them! Suggestions on what I should watch, but missed, in 2013 are also very welcome (for your reference, here’s my MAL profile and my Hummingbird library)! Please enjoy this entirely biased selection of my picks from the year past.