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Starting with this issue, our recipes will focus on traditional and modern Japanese dishes; many by popular request from our readers. We will also be featuring a variety of cuisine from around the world, all easily prepared with the Zojirushi products in your kitchen.

The Japanese menu basically consists of GOHAN (main dish), OKAZU (side dish), OSHIRU (soup) and OCHA (tea). Japanese cooking, as in most other cultures, starts with methods like broiling, frying, steaming and boiling. Let's begin this month with OKAZU broiled on a grill (yakimono) and broiled on a griddle (teppan-yaki). And learn how to use Zojirushi appliances like our Fish Roaster and Gourmet d'Expert® Electric Skillet.

Although teriyaki is popular and widely known by most Americans, Japanese style teriyaki is distinctly different. Here we show you our version; and don't hesitate to substitute other ingredients like chicken if you prefer. Historically, this dish is relatively new, said to have originated from the Ginza area of Tokyo. It has become an extremely popular home cooking recipe, and is well suited to the hot days of summer.
See recipe for
Teriyaki Yellowtail (Buri or Hamachi)
See recipe for
Ginger Pork (Japanese Shoga-Yaki)
Japanese cuisine can be classified into 3 basic serving styles. The formal and elaborate banquet style was derived from the court aristocracy and is known as Honzen Ryori. Chakaiseki Ryori incorporates the tea ceremony into the meal, and a more casual style used in entertaining guests is simply known as Kaiseki Ryori.

In the traditional sense, Japanese cooking is dominated by white rice; it is a fixture in any table setting and regarded as the main dish. Anything else served during the meal, whether it be fish, meat, vegetables or pickles, is considered a side dish and meant to enhance the flavor of the rice. The most common table setting is called Ichiju-Sansai (soup plus three) and consists of a bowl of rice and a bowl of soup placed immediately closest to you. The three side dishes are placed in secondary positions further away, and are each prepared with a different cooking method.

Thus if you start with hot fluffy rice, add miso soup, grilled fish or chicken, a simmered vegetable dish and then cold tofu or marinated spinach, you will have your Ichiju-Sansai.

Kebab in their native Middle East refers to small cuts of meat that could be grilled, roasted or stewed. It is traditionally lamb, but could also be beef, chicken, goat or pork. We are most familiar with the shish kebab, bits of meat on skewers, and this is the kind we will feature this issue. Otherwise known as Chijimi, this dish can best be described as a Korean style savory pancake. A great way to use your leftover ingredients like vegetables and meat, Chijimi with kimchee makes it distinctly Korean. This is a fun party food or afternoon snack, and can even be tasty as leftovers.
See recipe for Lamb Kebabs
See recipe for
Seafood Jeon (Korean-Style Pancakes)
Our grills and griddles make it easy to broil fish, meats or poultry right on your kitchen counter or right at your dining table.

Gourmet Roaster

Electric Grill

Gourmet Sizzler®
Electric Griddle
Origins of Kaiseki
If you are a student of the Japanese language, it might interest you to know that there are two ways to write Kaiseki Ryori:

Both are read exactly the same, but used differently. One (left) refers to the multi-course dinner where small portions of dishes are served one after the other, but only after each serving has been completely eaten. With heavy influences in Zen Buddhism, the act of eating this type of Kaiseki is revered for its respect of the season, color of the food, the cooking method, and serving bowls. Each dish is regarded as a piece of art, meant to be experienced in harmony with nature and without excess. This type of dinner is served at Japanese tea ceremonies.

The other (right) is the banquet style Kaiseki served at the traditional Japanese inns. It is a more casual dining style served on trays, but nevertheless extremely sophisticated in terms of the quality of the food and its meticulous presentation.

The Shokado Bento
The Shokado Bento is a Kaiseki Ryori for Japanese tea ceremonies in a special box (see photo of the box below) that a famous Japanese chef has created. This bento might be called the ultimate box lunch. A derivative of Kaiseki Ryori , it is a gourmet meal, self-contained in a compartmentalized box that keeps each dish separated from each other to avoid the intermingling of smells. Starting with this issue, we're going to build our own Zojirushi Shokado Bento one dish at a time, as we introduce different cooking methods and various seasonal ingredients.
YAKIMONO (Broiled Dish)
As our first Zojirushi Shokado Bento dish, we're going to be preparing broiled Yellowtail fish and grilled ginger pork. Yellowtail is a winter catch, known for its oily texture and rich deep flavors during that time of year. Our broiling method will start us off on a tasty mix of different flavors, smells, textures and colors that exist in nature's bounty; it's a dining experience that we will be able to appreciate all at once with this type of bento meal.

Since we are not in 16th century Japan, nor at a Japanese tea ceremony, we recommend relaxing a little and preparing your Shokado Bento the Zojirushi way. If you do not have a sectioned bento box, just improvise and use small plates or perhaps mini glass bowls to keep your dishes separate when serving your assembled meal. It's more important to get the feeling of Japanese cuisine in order to enjoy its beauty. Pay attention to the details--consider the different flavors as they are paired together, and the colors of the ingredients and how they look when arranged on the plate.

After we've completed our Zojirushi Shokado Bento over our next several issues, you will have experienced ingredients and dishes from all four seasons, seen a myriad of food colors and tasted an explosion of different flavors. Please look forward to it!