Sukiyaki Night ♡

If you ever want to eat really gooooood Japanese Sukiyaki and/or ShabuShabu, you got to go and get some meats from Nikuya meats in Richmond.  They have super thinly sliced top level meats.

Sukiyaki is one of the most popular and beloved hot pot dish in Japan.  It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin that we cook at the table and eat it as we cook.


Other than beef, here in our hot pot, we have...

Shirataki.. translucent noodle  made from Konnyaku
Grilled tofu, nappa cabbage, enoki mushroom, Japanese big long green onion called Naganegi.

We usually dip sukiyaki in a row egg before eat.

I had my favorite Hakkaisan nigori Sparkling to start and it was fabulous marriage!

My friends prefered more of drier crist Gokujo Yoshinogawa.  I love Yoshinogawa, too!

For our dessert, I drove all the way to Port Moody to get this  marron (chestnuts cream) cake from Cake-Ya.

I quite often feel really happy about being an adult, so we can try things that your parents could angry at you, like digging in to this huge cake without cutting up.

And I am very very grateful that I have friends who would also enjoy it♬

Hamaguri Nyumen

One of my foodie friend went to Kyoto and got this as a souvenir. It says "Clam noodle" but what a fancy package.  I saw it very very special and I was not ready to cook it.   It is something that you need to have stroooong will to treat special food like this.

I checked the best before date and it still had quite a bit time, so I put it in to a fridge.

Today was the perfect day.   I had strong will and determination to have something good, so I opened my fridge and had it out.

I carefully checked the instruction...


I flipped .

As you maybe be able to understand from this simple instruction, it says empty all contents except soup stock and special seven spiced chilli pepper into the bowl, ass 400cc hot water, put a lid, wait for 3 minutes, add soup stock, mix, than put some chilli pepper on top!


It even has real clams.
Can you see them?

I had no idea how it works but the special instruction says make sure to hit clams with scorching hot hot water when you are pouring it.  So, I did and pop! it opened! Then I put a lid on and waited 3 minutes....

While I was waiting for 3 minutes, I found out that this fabulous instant noodle was produced by a famous ryotei, a type of luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant call Kikunoi.

Traditionally they only accept new customers by referral and feature entertainment by geisha, but in modern times this is not always the case. Ryōtei are typically a place where high-level business or political meetings can take place discreetly.

I found interesting article of ryotei on the New York Times, written by Elizabeth Andoh.  If you are itnerested in click HERE for her article!

Oh! Anyway my 3 minutes is up!


Can you believe this is an instant noodle?  I couldn't.  And the taste is more unbelievable! it is outrageously good!!

Because I was soooo impressed, my rating for the Hamarguri Nyumen from Kikunoi is
♥♥♥♥♥ love,love,love!

Matsutake, pine mushrooms

 I am soooo fortunate to have great friends. 

Yesterday, I was invited to my friend the Prince P's castle for the Matsutake(pine mushroom) and hotpot.

Japanese value these mushrooms above all others because of their fresh and enticing smell, a sign of the autumn season.  Though simple to harvest, Matsutake are hard to find, causing the price to be very high. The price for matsutake in the Japanese market is highly dependent on quality, availability, and origin.  My friend on Facebook responded me back saying he saw 3 pieces of Japanese domestic Matsutake for $300!!!!!!

British Columbia is blessed with matsutake and we are having great season this year♬

Prince P said he has matsutake and great sake, so here I go...♡♡♡ and we had faaaaabulous night!!!

As you can see from the first photo, we started with Junmai-shu, Rin from Bunraku.
It was very smooth and aromatic.

Like you see on the one photo above, at the beginning we are soooo careful, making the matsutake in a small pieces but after eating soooo much, we started to eat as a big chunk!

This matsutake is nicely sweating ♡
We sear.., eat, and sip some sake♡

After we emptied Rin, Prince P had more sake for us.   One was sparkling nigori sake from Hakkaisan.   I was not sure do I like sweet sake for dinner or not but actually, this sparkling Junmai Nigori is clean and crisp with a gorgeous aroma, crisp acidity and plenty of gentle bubbles... and I loved it!!   It has the rice-lees which added nice soft sweetness but not yucky sweetness♡.

The other one is Yoshinogawa, Gokujo Ginjo. This one has good balance of dryness and sweetness.  It is aromatic.  I read some critic was saying crisp fennel and slightly sweet herbal notes.   The other said it is clean and has melon and kiwi along with a lightly toasty rice note. The same person said it has a VERY mellow impact, a full body and a rich fruitiness that plays out through the long tail.

But I am not sure...  To me it was clean, dry smooth, nice sake. lol

I read this is the personeal favorite of Koji Kawakami, 17th generation President of Yoshinogawa.

While enjoying more sake, we started to prep ourselves for a hotpot.  The Prince P put several huge pieces of Kombu, edible kelp.   Kombu is used extensively in Japanese cuisines as one of the three main ingredients needed to make dashi, a soup stock.

Anyhow, putting that much Kombu.., and a few fish meats, dried sear fish head, chicken and so on, this hot soup was doomed to be absolutely tasty.  We knew...

We put some prawns, salmon, vegetables and mushrooms, some tofu...
We were sooo wowed with the first sip of the soup. 
It was amazing♡   Absolutely fabulous!  

At the end, we put some rice and made some hotpot risotto♡

After whole matsutake and hotpot feast, we had karaoke♬ party till very late.  It was faaaabulous evening and we promised to do Sukiyaki the next weekend♡

Thank you, the Prince P and my dear friend M.  I already cannot wait for the next week!!

JudyCo Rating for Junmai-shu, Rin from Bunraku



蔵元:酒蔵文楽 埼玉県 

JudyCo Rating for  Gokujyo Yoshinogawa,  Ginjyo
蔵元からの説明:香りだけでも、味だけでも、吟醸酒とは呼べません。爽やかな吟醸香と、ふくらみのある味わいが離しがたく解け合ってはじめて、本当の吟醸酒が生まれるのです。  杜氏はこれを「香味一体」と言い、香味一体の酒は飲みあきしない、飲んでいるうちに次の手が伸びてくる、と言葉を続けます。  
「吟醸酒 極上吉乃川」は、オレンジや木蓮の花のような華やかでやさしい果実香と、ふくよかな透明感のある味わいの酒です。  よく、香りの強すぎる吟醸酒は、食前酒としては優れていても、料理と合わせるにはきつすぎると言われます。  しかし、「極上吉乃川」は香味一体のまとまりがあり、後味の切れがいいため、繊細な料理を引き立てます。ほんとうの吟醸酒であり、しかも、少しだけ特別な日にも楽しんでいただける身近な酒であること・・・。  吟醸蔵・吉乃川の粋が「吟醸酒 極上吉乃川」に生きています

蔵元:吉乃川株式会社 新潟県長岡市
原料米・麹 :   五百万石 他  
精米歩合 :  58%  
アルコール度 :  15度  
日本酒度 :  + 7  
酸度 :  1.2

JudyCo Rating for Hakkaisan, Sparkling Nigori Sake
蔵元 八海醸造 
越後杜氏 南雲 重光
純米発泡にごり酒 (爽酒)
アルコール度 14.5度 
日本酒度 -25 
酸度 1.7 
原料米 国産と書いてあるけど種類は書いていない
精米歩合 60% 
味わい 甘口