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Looking for whole Katsuo to shave to make dashi

I agree that the flavor from freshly made Katsuobushi flakes are so much better than the pre-packed ones. When cut in thicker slices it can also serve as a replacement of smoked ham in salad or gratin.

Here is a shop that sells high quality whole Katsuobushi with worldwide shipping:
http://www.ANYTHING-FROM-JAPAN.COM/Ka...

Aug 03, 2012
Nsoergel in General Topics

Where are the cherries in Japanese cuisine?

The comments above are correct that most Japanese cherry trees do not carry fruit worth eating. Yamagata in the north of Japan is famous for cherries that are sold at very expensive prices throughout Japan.

As for apples there are different types of trees and fruit. Yaezakura has very thick flowers, which can be pickled in salt and later used to make tea or sakura rice. Other types are used because of the strong sakura flavor in the leaves, which are used to wrap desserts and sweets. The leaves can be eaten too.

These links will give more information about recipes and production of pickled sakura flowers.

How to make:
http://www.ANYTHING-FROM-JAPAN.COM/Sa...

How to make sakura tea:
http://nihon-ichiban.com/2012/01/08/s...

Jun 11, 2012
Nsoergel in General Topics

How to eat umeboshi?

Umeboshi usually are not eaten straight. As traditionally Japanese were eating a lot of plain rice, the salty umeboshi was a way of seasoning the rice too (same principle for Miso Soup). There are many types of Umeboshi. White ones are made just of salt and ume, red ones include red shiso. They also vary in size or percentage of salt. Very good ume qualities also can mature for 3 to 5 years. This blog site gives a very good overview on the different types of umeboshi:

http://nihon-ichiban.com/2012/05/25/u...

Jun 11, 2012
Nsoergel in General Topics

Really Great Senbei?

Jim,
You are right that there is a huge difference in quality between industrial and artisanal senbei - although one get also get really good industrial one's.
There is a site selling artisanal senbei from Japanese makers with world-wide shipping.

http://www.ANYTHING-FROM-JAPAN.COM/ja...

They also explain the story behind each product and the producer, so that it is interesting to read anyhow.

Jun 11, 2012
Nsoergel in General Topics