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Eggplant Ohitashi, Octopus Dashi Soy Salad, Japanese-style Chilled Tomato Pasta and more!

a t a r u M o W r i VIE R h E INT shi Yo Tokyo

The quest for

Kaiseki From Kyoto to Seattle

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息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012 2h2FREE Parking with Purchase | 600 5th Ave, Seattle WA98104 | Seattle’s Historic International District


IBUKI Magazine Vol. 18 July & August 2012



Interview — Yoshihiro Murata The master chef talks about the importance of umami and his adventurous approach to Japanese cuisine at his Chrysan restaurant in London.


The quest for Kaiseki from Kyoto to Seattle

Kaiseki presents Japanese cuisine in its fullest variety, and yet an elaborate course can contain as little as 1,000 calories. Learn about how chefs are trying to bring aspects of kaiseki to Seattle.

Eat & Drink 16


14 Chilled Tomato Pasta / Kabocha Niimono 15 Octopus Dashi Soy Salad / Eggplant Ohitashi 16 Cold Pork Shabu Shabuu Restaurant Index

18 22


Tea of Asia

Matcha: A Healthy Sip of Tranquil Tradition



Sip some delicious sake on the back porch this summer.

28 Newly Opened

Lifestyle 17 20 21 24 26

Tokyo Street Snap Store & School Directory i fart rainbow Travel — Focus on the Tokyo Food Scene Lifestyle

Place Trend Book Beauty



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Publisher Misa Murohashi Editor-in-Chief Bruce Rutledge Editor and Translator Yuko Enomoto Art Director Lance Sison

Contributing Writers & Artists Enfu (Ken Taya) Josh Powell Tiffany Picard Johnnie Stroud Feature Writer Jay Friedman Cover Photo by Jay Friedman

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[ interview]

Yoshihiro Murata


A Three-Star Chef Who Brings Culinary Traditions into the Future

e is the third-generation chef of Kikunoi, a Japanese ryotei restaurant in Kyoto with a history stretching back more than a century. The restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars since the guidebook began awarding them in Japan in 2008. But Murata is not satisfied with just that. He’s opened another restaurant in Tokyo’s Akasaka neighborhood and started selling items in the food sections of high-end department stores — moves that were unheard of in the ryotei world until now. He is the chairman of the board of the nonprofit Japanese Culinary Academy, whose mission is to spread knowledge of Japanese cuisine throughout the world. These days, the project getting the most media attention is Chrysan, a London restaurant Murata plans to open soon after the Summer Olympics. Chef Murata took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Ibuki this June at his Akasaka restaurant.

“With kaiseki cuisine, you can eat 65 ingredients and total 1,000 calories.” Ibuki: Our readers may not be well versed in the worlds of kaiseki and Kyoto cuisine. Would you explain it to them? Murata: The word “kaiseki” literally refers to Buddhist monks who, as they prepared to fast, would hold warmed stones to their chests to stave off hunger. It meant a simple, light meal. When you add “tea” to it and get chakaiseki, it refers to how you can feel bad drinking tea on an empty stomach, so you would have a little something to eat first, then be served the tea. On the other hand, “kaiseki” written with different characters refers to people getting together and drinking sake. Both words are pronounced the same way, but many restaurants serving course meals felt that the characters connected to the Buddhist monk “kaiseki” were more high class, and thus that version of “kaiseki” became widely used. “Kyoto cuisine” refers to a mix of chakaiseki, shojinryori, imperial food and obanzai — local home cooking in Kyoto. It really doesn’t have any definition. When you look at what sort of cuisine Japanese cuisine is, you see that it is very different from the cuisines of other countries. We largesized primates eat about 30 different types of food a day. But for the first few months of our lives, we subsist on mother’s milk. This breast 4 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012

milk contains fat, sugar and umami. The world’s cuisines tend to favor the fat content. But the cuisine that favors umami is Japanese cuisine. If you center a cuisine on umami, you get Japanese cuisine, I believe. Ibuki: So umami is the key to Japanese cuisine and Kyoto cuisine. Murata: That’s right. Oil has nine calories per one cc, so a tablespoon has more calories than a helping of rice. But umami, or namely the dashi broth, has zero calories. No matter what you add to it, the calorie count is very low. In fact, with kaiseki cuisine, you can eat 65 ingredients and total 1,000 calories. Ibuki: Does that mean the kaiseki cuisine we eat at Kikunoi is just 1,000 calories? Murata: As long as you don’t eat the dessert! [laughs] Lately, more restaurants end a meal with ice cream or something like that. But if you do it the old-fashioned way with just cut fruits, it’s 1,000 calories. A French dinner course would feature 23 ingredients and 2,500 calories. Italian courses feature about 18 ingredients and 2,500 calories. Carbonara has about 1,2000 calories — one plate of carbonara and a kaiseki course have the same amount of calories. A hamburger also

has about 1,000 calories. Ibuki: And kaiseki gives a feeling of satiety. Because Japanese cuisine features umami instead of fat and oil, we can enjoy many dishes and ingredients, and still not too many calories, right? Murata: That’s right. As humans think about their cuisine in the future, Japanese cuisine has a very important idea to offer. Leading chefs from around the world have been studying Japanese cuisine through the Japanese Culinary Academy. Rene Redzepi from Noma in Denmark, Pascal Barbot from France, and Americans such as David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, Michael Cimarusti of Providence in L.A., and David Chang of New York are all researching Japanese cuisine and have took classes at Japanese Culinary Academy. In Scandinavia, Rene of Noma is thinking about extracting the glutamic acid and inosinic acid found in local ingredients and making dashi broth with full of umami. Recent research tells us that if we reduce fats and oil and increase umami, the feeling of satiety doesn’t change. It’s become a global trend to try to make a satisfying cuisine with less butter and cream and more umami.

Murata: No. Any country’s cuisine contains umami. All food have umami. But until recently, the Western approach has been to see cuisine as having four separate tastes: sweet, spicy, sour and bitter. Japanese cuisine is the only cuisine to include umami as a basic idea from long ago. Umami is not only an idea; it’s actual ingredients. Glutamic acid, inosinic acid and succinic acid are among the four ingredients that make the basis for umami. These are actual things. There is also part of the tongue that identifies umami. It is said that umami is harder to identify than sweet, spicy, sour or bitter, but if we train ourselves, we can identify it. When I taught a class about food in a Kyoto elementary school, every child was ble to identify umami. Ibuki: The world has been paying a lot of attention to Japanese cuisine, especially sushi, lately. Do you think the platform is there to spread the word about kaiseki? Murata: The Japanese used to think that Italian cuisine was all spaghetti and pizza. It was like Western okonmiyaki [laughs]. Bit by bit, we realized that wasn’t right. We realized there was much more to the cuisine. In the same way, sushi has turned the world’s attention to Japanese cuisine.

Ibuki: Is umami only found in Japanese cuisine? 5

[ interview]

“Tradition becomes tradition only with innovation.” But soon, the world will notice that Japanese cuisine is much broader than just sushi. With kaiseki, you’re served sashimi, then perhaps yakimono, some sort of teriyaki dish, sushi, soup and even more. Kaiseki is starting to draw attention. Many people have asked me if kaiseki is just about putting a lot of different dishes on the table [laughs]. But that’s not right. There are some detailed rules to follow. Ibuki: Please tell us about Chrysan. What sort of restaurant are you planning? Murata: Chrysan is unrelated to Kikunoi. I am working with a fund headquartered in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to make this restaurant. So it will be different than Kikunoi. At Kikunoi, we make food for customers who have been coming to the restaurant for a long time and for people around the world who want to taste traditional Japanese cuisine. Chrysan will be a restaurant that aims to please our customers in London. Japanese chefs sometimes are too quick to say, “This is authentic.” No one will be happy if we transport hamo and ayu to London and tell everyone that this is what we eat in the summertime in Kyoto, so it’s authentic cuisine. Nobu-san left Japan 40 years ago and he’s had success throughout the world. He helped spread sushi in L.A. when people there didn’t really eat raw fish. Chefs back in Japan sometimes see that and say, “That’s not Japanese food.” All I can say is what are they thinking? Nobu-san was doing right by serving food that pleased customers in LA. I also plan to serve food in London that will make Londoners happy. Ibuki: So you’ll use kaiseki as a base but arrange the menu to suit Western tastes? Murata: Right. For example, when we grill salmon in Japan, we serve it in 80-gram portions, but Westerners will look at that and say, “What’s this? Just one bite?” They want to have a main meat dish to eat. Also, besides traditional fish and vegetables, we will offer different kinds of meat such as duck, beef, pork, lamb — without those choices, they won’t be satisfied. Recently, I cooked a Tasmanian trout at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I cooked it at 42 C, smoked it and added flavoring. The insides were half raw. To the Japanese, there’s no sense serving a grilled fish half cooked. But if I serve a grilled fish [Japanese style] that’s all dry, Americans would say, “What’s with this awful-tasting flaky fish?” The sauce included miso and Japanese pepper too. Also, I decided not to bring ingredients from Japan, but to source local ingredients. Shipping from Tsukiji Fish Market takes three days. It loses freshness. If Japanese cuisine is going to compete with other cuisines, then it won’t spread if it’s always expensive and considered something to eat only on a special occasion. Ibuki: What sort of menu are you planning? Murata: For example, Chrysan-style sukiyaki. Cubes of beef and leeks cooked very rare over a low heat at the table just like sukiyaki. 6 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012

Or sweet pork cooked in black vinegar and served on a bed of potato puree. Or veal cooked in Guinness beer. I think it’s good to bring out a new taste using Japanese techniques. If it uses Japanese techniques and brings out a new taste that’s not English, French or American, well then it must be Japanese cuisine, right? There are already many chefs who are making this kind of food and attracting customers all over the world. I’m sure there are some in Seattle. Some of these people are strangely apologetic, saying, “Well our food isn’t really authentic Japanese food.” But we need to stop that kind of apology. If you are making food for that area and you are drawing customers, you are doing something right. There are those who insist that Japanese cuisine is not authentic unless it conforms to all the rules and restrictions, but I am not one of them. At Chrysan, we will present a completely new style of sushi called “New World Sushi. “ Ibuki: When you became the owner of Kikunoi, you sold lunches and side dishes at department stores, opened the Akasaka restaurant, then Chrysan. You are constantly taking up new challenges.  Where do you get all your energy? Murata: When I studied French cooking in Paris for a year at 21, I felt, “If we continue on this path, Japanese cuisine will become just another ethnic cuisine in the Far East.”  Japanese cuisine loses nothing against French cuisine and culture.  I have had this idea in the back of my head that my life work consists of properly introducing Japanese cuisine to the world.  That trip to Paris 40 years ago was a year of being insulted. The French students told me that they’d eaten sukiyaki, soba and tempura but you can’t call that culture.  I responded that there was kaiseki cuisine, but they’d never eaten anything like that before. I knew all this had to change. That was one of my motivations that got me to establish a Japanese Culinary Academy and have top chefs from around the world learn Japanese cuisine there. Ibuki: Tell me about your latest work with the Japanese Culinary Academy. Murata: The most recent one is the creation of a kitchen in Kyoto University.  We set out to prove scientifically what cooks do all the time intuitively; for example with broth extraction, finding the most effective ratio of konbu and bonito flakes to bring out umami, or when you want to bring out the green color, looking for ways to let the chlorophyl settle properly.  All these things are easy to find for a scientist.  I plan to announce the findings at science societies around the world. Scientists work with chefs to create a reliable recipe, based on true knowledge. This is a world necessity. People who come after us can use that knowledge as a base and add their own experiences to it. Ibuki: In general, chefs have this image of guarding their recipes as a business secret. You seem to be doing the opposite.

(Top) Murata lecturing on umami and broth extraction at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California. (Bottom) The entrance to Kikunoi, located in the Higashiyama mountain range of Kyoto.  Murata calls ryotei "an adult's amusement park."  From its appearance and the air of luxuriousness to the hospitality of the female proprietor, Kikunoi has it all.

Murata: Scientists, doctors and chefs must announce their work because it helps everyone. Of course you’ll find a restaurant in Kyoto that hands down its recipes only to its heirs. But the recipe is not what should be handed down like that. The spirit is what should be handed down.  I believe that people should go ahead and give away their recipes. That way, once everyone has learned it, then I can go do something new. Ibuki: That way of thinking is what fuels you to take on one challenge after another.  From its establishment in the first year of the Taisho Era (1912), Kikunoi has had three owners, and you are the third one.  To you personally, what does it mean to bequeath and carry on a tradition? Murata: Tradition becomes tradition only with innovation. When you continue to innovate and look back years later, what you see is tradition. Continuing with the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it tradition but simply ritual. In order for something to become a tradition, it has to change constantly. Even if that change were a little dot, the accumulation of dots eventually becomes a line in looking back. That then becomes tradition. Ibuki: The first owner of Kikunoi couldn’t have imagined what you are achieving today. Murata: No, of course not.  I have no idea what the owner three generations ahead will do with the business. Ibuki: Tell us more about your private life. Do you cook for your family at home? Murata: I did when my children were small. I cooked pasta, curries and lots of ramen, too. My children used to say my pasta was much better than the ones at Italian restaurants. Japanese food is too much trouble to prepare for me, so I never cook Japanese food at home (laughs). Ibuki: I understand you are in the middle of a very large project — the launching of Chrysan. Do you have other future goals, a next project? Murata: Helping to spread Japanese cuisine is my life work. Hakkasan, the joint venture partner on the Chrysan project, wields its management expertise all over the world. Once it works out the first time, I’d like to help it expand beyond London. Ibuki: Thank you very much. Seattle has great ingredients and a pretty sophisticated palate for Japanese food. Please visit us here if you have a chance. Turn to p. 10 for a story on Kikunoi’s lunch kaiseki!! 7

[ Feature Beautiful Japanese Food]

The Quest for Kaiseki


From Kyoto to Seattle By Jay Friedman

sk Shigeyuki Sakuma, chef at the official residence of the consul general for Japan, about the quality of Japanese food in Seattle, and his diplomatic and definitive reply is, “We have lots of good ingredients here and many restaurants doing good Japanese food.””

8 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012

But when I ask him and a host of other local Japanese chefs to define kaiseki, I get considerable hesitation and even some hemming and hawing. Where everyone agrees is that kaiseki falls under the umbrella of Kyo-ryori, or Kyoto cuisine. Just what is this cuisine, which remains the

One of the most critical ingredients is actually water. Consider the high water content in tofu (and yuba), for example, and you can see why water quality is key in Kyo-ryori. Kyoto is the site of many natural springs, the source of fresh, sweet water. The rivers and streams in the area create fertile land that produces fine-quality fruits and vegetables. Pristine water is important for the brewing of tea, an integral part of Kyo-ryori meals. And don’t forget dashi. The best bonito and the freshest of water will yield the best dashi, which Masa Nakashima, chef at Bellevue’s I Love Sushi, describes as “the life blood of the cuisine.” While Kyo-ryori features refined preparation and artistic presentation (with serving dishes and other flourishes that reflect the flora and fauna of seasons), Sakuma says the food draws on the natural flavor of the ingredients—and that you should “never ruin that original flavor.” For example, he might use mirin and sugar in cooking a fresh vegetable, but he would never use so much as to make the vegetable unnaturally sweet. Or unnaturally colorful, as the original color is important.

Kyoto-inspired cuisine at Sushi Kappo Tamura Photo By Jay Friedman

pride of Japan’s former capital city? Sakuma says that “Kyoto has its own culture, history and atmosphere where people’s customs and lifestyle are different than elsewhere,” and where, after 1,200 years of history, “everything is just concentrated into the cuisine.” He adds that “if you live in Kyoto a long time, you naturally have a feeling and learn by being there and absorbing…there are no rules, it’s just by being.” Like Sakuma, chef Hirokazu Tawara of Sushi Kappo Tamura worked in Kyoto, but says “you don’t really think what Kyo-ryori is…you just do it.” Both emphasize that it’s cuisine inspired by the seasons, using local ingredients. Taichi Kitamura, chef/owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura, stresses that Kyo-ryori “is very specifically local, as in “we picked this bamboo shoot at this particular time this morning at this particular bamboo forest at this particular village.’”

One of the foremost masters of kaiseki cuisine, Yoshihiro Murata of the three-Michelin-starred Kikunoi in Kyoto (he also boasts two stars each for Kikunoi Roan in Kyoto and Kikunoi Akasaka in Tokyo), has been quoted as saying, “I have eaten a variety of food around the world, but I don’t know any country where people are so particular about the natural flavor of ingredients as in Japan.” In contrast to French cooking, Japanese cuisine demands that you don’t disguise those natural flavors with sauces, but instead let the foods shine for what they are. As a result, Kyo-ryori has elegance and grace. It’s sophisticated and yet full of simplicity and subtlety. It doesn’t hurt that it’s healthy. Oh… and it’s beautiful — a point on which all the local chefs, as well as diners, find agreement. On the following pages, we’ll give you an overview of kaiseki cuisine and break down the many components that go into the exquisite, delicious and surprisingly low-calorie courses. 9

[ Feature Beautiful Japanese Food]

Well, Then, What is Kaiseki?

1. Sakizuke 先付

A small appetizer to whet the palate.

“Kaiseki” is a word appearing on an increasing number of Japanese menus around Seattle, but there’s confusion about the meaning. Understand the Japanese language, and you’ll start to understand why. You pronounce “kaiseki” just one way, but can write it two ways, with different kanji (Chinese characters) conveying different meanings. One (懐石) has the same kanji as chakaiseki (茶懐石), which is a formal tea (cha) ceremony experience, with kaiseki a humble meal (full of rules) that serves as a prelude to enjoying matcha. In fact, kaiseki actually means “stones in the bosom,” referring to the stones (seki, or 石) that monks would place in the folds of their robes (kai, or 懐), close to their stomachs, to ward off hunger.

Green Japanese plum in white wine.

2. Hassun 八寸 Items from the mountain and the sea, setting a seasonal theme.

Today, kaiseki (会席) is better known as a social gathering (kai, or 会), with seating (seki, or 席), that’s typically celebratory and pays reverence to sake as much as tea. Relaxed in its rules, this form of kaiseki has become luxurious and elaborate compared to its humble roots. Both forms of kaiseki feature small plates served in succession, rather than all at the same time. Today’s kaiseki changes the sequence of the small plates in the meal, pushing rice to the end not to conflict with the sake. Hiroko Sugiyama, who operates a culinary school called Hiroko Sugiyama Culinary Atelier and whose chakaiseki class I experienced, summarizes it well: “Kaiseki is a really seasonal course meal that contains a whole variety of taste essence [five essences and umami, she’d eventually explain] that’s so beautiful to look at, is extremely thoughtful and can be very expensive.” In fact, you’ll typically find kaiseki dining in high-end Japanese hotels or other first-class restaurants. The definition of kaiseki continues to evolve. For example, at Murata’s Kikunoi, he describes modern kaiseki at his restaurant as a mix of four categories of cuisine: tea ceremony tradition (chakaiseki), vegetarian temple food of Buddhist monks (shojin ryori), imperial and aristocratic samurai cuisine (honzen ryori), and the food of the ordinary Kyoto locals (obanzai ryori). Some will spend a lifetime saving money for such an experience, but will have lasting memories of a fabulous meal. IBUKI staff experienced Kikunoi’s early summer “Lunch Kaiseki” in June at the Akasaka location. The menu reveals a fairly typical sequence of courses at a kaiseki meal, though there’s leeway for variation: 10 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012

Assorted June seasonal delicacies, served in a firefly basket.

3. Mukozuke 向付

6. Yakimono 焼き物

A dish on the far side of rice and soup on a chakaiseki tray; it was traditionally broiled or steamed fish, but is now more likely to be sashimi.

A grilled dish, typically fish.

Grillled ayu, served in a Arima-yaki grill pot. Wild sea bream with ponzu jelly and yellow garlic chives, plus shimaaji sashimi.

7. Nimono 煮物

8. Hashiyasume 箸休め

Boiled or simmered dish.

Meaning“resting chopsticks,” hashi-yasume is a small palate cleanser between courses.

Simmered white zuiki (taro stem).

Chilled tomato soup.

9. Gohan, Konomono, Tomewan ご飯、漬け物、とめわん Blanched hamo with ume soy sauce dip.

5. Futamono 蓋物

A soup with simmered ingredients. (Some places would serve niimono 煮物 , a boiled or simmered dish, instead.)

Rice, pickled vegetables and a form of soup. (“Tomewan” means it’s the “stop” or final dish.) Ginger rice with mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley) and onion soup.

10. Mizumono 水物 Traditionally a fruit course (“mizu” means water), this dessert course is now more varied and can include cake, sorbet, etc.. as well as fruit.

Sea eel tofu balls with kinome (Japanese sansho spice) in a thickened soup.

Brown sugar ice cream with azuki and watermelon. 11

[ Feature Beautiful Japanese Food]

So Is There Local Kaiseki in Seattle? Some Japanese chefs in the Seattle area are using the word “kaiseki” to describe their restaurants’ dining experience, while diners themselves are also starting to pick up on the word. I Love Sushi in Bellevue serves special kaiseki-style omakase dinners, while Momiji in Capitol Hill has a Zen garden that transports you to Kyoto, with ongoing promise of a fullfledged kaiseki menu. Kitamura is concerned that kaiseki is misunderstood, noting, “People who don’t know what it means are using the term.” Sakuma, chef for the consul general of Japan in Seattle, says that it would be possible to create true kaiseki here if it were served in a certain atmosphere, which would achieve a quiet elegance or “fuzei” to go along with the food served.

So is true kaiseki possible here? Kitamura claims that while we can’t quite duplicate kaiseki in Seattle, we can come close, as “local and seasonal is what’s very trendy here now.” While he would never claim that his food is kaiseki-ryori or even Kyo-ryori, he, like his new chef Tawara, lived in Kyoto, and says his food is Kyotoinspired. “We try to make it look nice, we try to make it taste good, we try to make it as seasonal as we can, and we try to use as many local products as possible,” Kitamura explains.

counter-style restaurants where the chef cooks in front of diners. These restaurants, he says, “cut down on more of the ceremonial and aesthetic aspects and instead give the customers more of the flavor influences of the food without losing the seasonality and locality parts.” Maybe simple elements of kaiseki are enough to satisfy. After all, while kaiseki changed over the years to emphasize the aesthetic over the spiritual, food lovers now demand more. Commenting on kaiseki, Sakuma is again diplomatic, but direct: “It’s the place to enjoy the whole atmosphere, the conversation, the experience…but if hungry, better not go to kaiseki.” Kitamura agrees. “Do you drink the tea at the tea ceremony because tea tastes good?” he asks. “No,” he continues, “You do it for the learning of the manners and to try to reach enlightenment.” In a nod perhaps to the future of kaiseki, Kitamura concludes, “Gourmet people don’t really want to reach enlightenment when they’re eating good food…they want to reach ecstasy…they want to have an orgasmic experience.”

And he’s taking his Kyoto inspiration further, learning from Tawara. For a recent Mother’s Day meal, Tawara cut a baby taro into a hexagon shape. When Kitamura asked, Tawara told him it represents a kikko, or turtle shell (picture the Kikkoman logo), which is a symbol of longevity. According to Kitamura, “Ninety-nine percent of Japanese don’t even know what it means, but they would appreciate that it’s Kyoto cuisine… people told me that.” So there’s an essence of kaiseki coming to our Japanese restaurants. Kitamura notes the trend, even among kaiseki chefs like Murata, to open


Sushi Kappo Tamura: Kyoto-inspired meal for Mother’s Day at Sushi Kappo Tamura

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[ IBUKI recipe]

Enjoy Seasonal Summer Veggies Chilled tomato pasta Ingredients (1 serving) 1 bunch of somen noodles (or angel hair pasta) Daikon sprouts <sauce> 1/2 cup puréed tomato 1 tbsp Japanese noodle soup base 1 tbsp olive oil a pinch of salt

Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Kabocha Niimono

Purée fresh tomato. Refrigerate for more than five minutes. In a bowl, combine puréed tomato, soup base (dashi soy), olive oil and salt. Set aside. Cook noodles accordingly to the directions on the package. Chill the noodles in ice water. Drain well. Mix noodles and the sauce. Serve chilled and top with daikon sprouts.

Ingredients (4 servings) 1 Japanese kabocha pumpkin 1/4 cup Japanese noodle soup base 1/4 cup water

Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Dig out the seeds and cut the kabocha into chunks. Place kabocha in a sauce pan and then add liquid. Cover the pan with a peace of aluminum foil and simmer for about ten minutes until kabocha is soft and the liquid is mostly gone. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Refrigerate and serve chilled.


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Octopus Dashi Soy Salad Ingredients (2 servingS) 1/3 lb steamed octopus (sashimi grade) 1/2 sweet onion (small), thinly sliced 5 shiso leaves, chopped 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1/2 tsp salt <Dressing>

3 tbsp Kikkoman速 Hon Tsuyu

Noodle Soup Base 2 tbsp Kikkoman Rice Vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp ground ginger


Eggplant Ohitashi

1. In a medium bowl, combine octopus, onion and salt. Mix well and let sit for about 10 minutes. Drain excess water. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine pickled octopus and onion with the shiso leaves and tomatoes. Add premixed dressing. Refrigerate for more than 10 minutes. Serve chilled.

Ingredients (2 servingS) 4 Japanese eggplants 2 tsp ginger, thinly sliced 4 tbsp olive oil

Kikkoman速 Hon Tsuyu Noodle Soup Base

11/2 tbsp

1/4 cup water


1. Cut the stems off eggplants and slice them in half. Make diagonal slits down the side of the eggplant halves so the pieces remain attached. 2. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Saut辿 the eggplant slices for about 3 minutes skin side down and 3 minutes skin side up, until eggplant is a little limp and coated with oil. 3. Add water and Kikkoman速 Hon Tsuyu. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook about 5 more minutes until softened. 4. Remove from heat and let cool in a bowl. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Garnish with thinly sliced ginger.

HON TSUYU Noodle Soup Base

Kikkoman Hon Tsuyu is made using select authentic ingredients to create a perfect umami balance. Serve hot or cold. Make authentic Japanese noodles!

Authentic flavor produced in Japan 15

[ IBUKI recipe] Cold Pork Shabu-shabu Ingredients (4 servings) 1/2 lb thinly sliced pork loin (shabu-shabu grade) 1.5 inch long English cucumber 1/4 cup sake 3 cups water Mashed Umeboshi (Japanese pickled salty plums) Tooth picks


Check out more recipes online

1. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and set aside. 2. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Roughly slice lengthwise into short sticks. Set aside. 3. Boil 3 cups water and sake in a medium pot, and add pork slices in the boiling water one by one. When pork slices are lightly cooked, immediately transfer them to ice water to chill. 4. Drain well and pat dry using a paper towel. 5. Place cucumber stick and mashed umeboshi on a slice of pork and roll. Stick together with tooth picks. 6. Serve chilled.

The leading source for Asian books including bento recipes and cookbooks!!

Seattle 525 S Weller St, Seattle (206) 587-2477 Portland 10500 SW Beaverton Hillsdale, Beaverton (503) 641-6240 Inside Uwajimaya

16 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012


Cardigan & Camisole : EGOIST

Tote Bag & Bracelets: EGOIST


Age 21 Occupation Pa rt-Timer Height 165cm Area Shibuya Favorites: Brand EGOIST Shop EMODA Salon RISEL Artist Ayumi Hamazaki

Tokyo Street Snaps Visit for more street fashion snaps from Tokyo. Photos Š Japan Fashion Association. All rights reserved. 17

[ Restaurant Index ] SEATTLE Greater Seattle Mashiko Japanese Restaurant (206) 935-4339 4725 California Ave SW, Seattle Check out sushiwhore. com You’ll like it.


(206) 448-2488 2319 2nd Ave, Seattle

Shima Sushi

(206) 632-2583 4429 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle

Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant (206) 443-9844 2401 2nd Ave, Seattle

Setsuna Japanese Restaurant (206) 417-3175 11204 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle


(206) 632-7010 1618 N 45th St, Seattle

Maekawa Bar

(206) 622-0634 601 S King St # 206,Seattle

Fort St. George

(206) 382-0662 601 S King St # 202, Seattle

I Love Sushi — Lake Union 206-625-9604 1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle

Katsu Burger

(206) 762-0752 6538 4th Ave. S, Seattle Marinepolis Sushi Land — Queen Anne

Maneki (206) 622-2631 304 6th Ave S, Seattle Moshi Moshi Sushi (206) 971-7424 5324 Ballard Avenue, Seattle Nishino Samurai Noodle — Uwajimaya (206) 322-5800 (206) 624-9321 3130 E Madison St#106,Seattle 606 5th Ave. S, Seattle Nijo Aoki Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar (206) 340-8880 (206) 324-3633 89 Spring St, Seattle 621 Broadway E, Seattle Red Fin Sushi Restaurant Aloha Ramen (206) 441-4340 (206) 838-3837 612 Stewart St, Seattle 8102 Greenwood Ave N,Seattle Ricenroll — Madison Street Bush Garden Restaurant (206) 262-0381 (206)682-6830 214 Madison St, Seattle 614 Maynard Avenue S., Seattle Shiki Japanese Restaurant Chiso (206) 281-1352 (206) 632-3430 4 W Roy St, Seattle 3520 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle Shun Japanese Cuisine Fuji Sushi (206) 522-2200 (206) 624-1201 5101 NE 25th Ave #11, Seattle 520 S Main St, Seattle Tsukushinbo Genki Sushi — Queen Anne (206) 467-4004 (206) 453-3881 515 S Main St, Seattle 500 Mercer St #C2, 2B, Seattle Village Sushi Genki Sushi — Capitol Hill (206) 985-6870 ((206) 257-4418 4741 12th Ave NE, Seattle 1620 Broadway, Seattle Wabi-Sabi Sushi Hana Restaurant (206) 721-0212 (206) 328-1187 4909 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 219 Broadway E, Seattle

Hiroshi’s Restaurant (206) 726-4966 2501 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle Kaname Izakaya Shochu Bar (206) 682-1828 610 S Jackson St, Seattle Kisaku (206) 545-9050 2101 N. 55th St. #100, Seattle

Kozue Japanese Restaurant (206) 547-2008 1608 N 45th St, Seattle Momiji (206) 457-4068 1522 12th Ave., Seattle




Co 0% up O on ff

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(206) 267-7621 803 5th Ave N, Seattle

Samurai Noodle — U-District (206) 547-1774 4138 University Way NE, Seattle Samurai Noodle — Capitol Hill (206) -323-7991 414 Broadway E, Seattle

Dozo Cafe Bellevue

(425) 644-8899 | 3720 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

Dozo Japanese Sushi Cuisine (425) 251-0900 | 206 Main Street, Kirkland 18 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012

South End Genki Sushi — Renton (425) 277-1050 365 S. Grady Way # B & C, Renton Daimonji Sushi & Grill (425) 430-1610 5963 Corson Ave S, # 194, Seattle Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill (425) 687-5938 509 South 3rd St, Renton

New Zen Japanese Restaurant (425) 254-1599 10720 SE Carr Rd, Japanese Fami-Res (Family Restaurant) www.newzensushi. com

Miyabi Restaurant

(206) 575-6815 16820 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila

North End Cafe Soleil (425) 493-1847 9999 Harbour Place # 105, Mukilteo Bluefin Sushi & Seafood Buffet (206) 367-0115 401 NE Northgate Way # 463, Seattle Edina Sushi (425) 776-8068 19720 44th Ave W, Lynnwood Marinepolis Sushi Land — Lynnwood (425) 275-9022 18500 33rd Ave NW, Lynnwood Matsu Sushi (425) 771-3368 19505 44th Ave W #K, Lynnwood Sakuma Japanese Restaurant (425) 347-3063 10924 Mukilteo Speedway # G, Mukilteo Taka Sushi (425) 778-1689 18904 Hwy 99 Suite A, Lynnwood

Eastside Blue Ginger Korean Grill & Sushi (425) 746-1222 14045 NE 20th St, Bellevue Ginza Japanese Restaurant (425) 709-7072 103 102nd Ave SE, Bellevue Genki Sushi — Factoria Mall (425) 747-7330 B-4, 4055 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

[ Restaurant Index ] Gourmet Teriyaki (206) 232-0580

7671 SE 27th St, Mercer Island

Izakaya Sushi — At The Landing (425) 228-2800 829 N 10th St. Suite G, Renton Izumi Japanese Restaurant (425) 821-1959 12539 116th Ave N.E., Kirkland i Sushi (425) 313-7378 1802 12th Ave NW., Issaquah Oma Bap (425) 467-7000 120 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue Kikuya Restaurant (425) 881-8771 8105 161st Ave NE, Redmond Sushi Maru (425) 453-0100 205 105th Ave, Bellevue Sushi Me (425) 644-9800 1299 156th Ave NE #145, Bellevue Sushi Mojo (425) 746-6656 1915 140th Ave NE, D1-B, Bellevue

Sushi-Ten (425) 643-6637 2217 140TH Ave NE, Bellevue Momoya Restaurant (425) 889-9020 12100 NE 85th St, Kirkland The Bento Box (425) 643-8646 15119 NE 24th St, Redmond Sushi Joa (206) 230-4120 2717 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island Gourmet Teriyaki (206) 232-0580 7671 SE 27th St, Mercer Island Noppakao Thai Restaurant (425) 821-0199 9745 NE 117th Ln, Kirkland Kiku Sushi (425) 556-9600 13112 NE 20th St # 200, Bellevue Marinepolis Sushi Land (425) 455-2793 138 107th Ave. NE, Bellevue

Dozo Cafe — Factoria (425) 644-8899 3720 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue

Dozo Sushi & Dining (425) 251-0900 206 Main St., Kirkland


I Love Sushi — Lake Bellevue (425) 455-9090 23 Lake Bellevue Dr, Bellevue

I Love Sushi — Bellevue Main

Akasaka Restaurant (253) 946-3858 31246 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Main Japanese Buffet (253) 839-9988 1426 S 324th St, Federal Way Blue Island Sushi & Roll (253) 838-5500 35002 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Tokyo Garden (253) 874-4615 32911 1st Ave S #G, Federal Way Kyoto Japanese Restaurant (253) 581-5078 8722 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood

Sushi Tama (253) 761-1014 3919 6th Ave, Tacoma TWOKOI Japanese Cuisine (253) 274-8999 1552 Commerce St, Tacoma Kabuki Japanese Restaurant (253) 474-1650 2919 S 38th St #B, Tacoma Ask your favorite cafe, store or restaurant to stock IBUKI Magazine!

(425) 454-5706 11818 NE 8th St, Bellevue

Rikki Rikki Japanese Restaurant (425) 828-0707 442 Parkplace Center, Kirkland

Tokyo Japanese Restaurant (425) 641-5691 3500 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue Ricenroll — Bellevue Square (425) 455-4866 2039 Bellevue Square 2nd fl, Bellevue Ricenroll — Issaquah Highland (425) 369-8445 1052 Park Dr. Issaquah Ricenroll — Albertson’s on Mercer Island (206) 232 0244 2755 77th Ave. SE, Mercer Island Marinepolis Sushi Land — Redmond (425) 284-2587 8910 161st Ave NE, Redmond

Tacoma & Federal Way I Love Ramen

(253) 839-1115 31254 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way Bistro Satsuma (253) 858-5151 5315 Point Fosdick Dr NW #A, Gig Harbor Hanabi Japanese Restaurant (253) 941-0797 31260 Pacific Hwy. S, Federal Way Koharu Restaurant (253) 839-0052 31840 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way


Hours: Sun,Tue-Thu 5pm-12am Fri & Sat 5pm-2am Mon Closed Happy Hour: 5p-6p & 9p-11p



11204 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle • 206.417.3175 •

Chinese Spicy Hot Pot ~ Joy of Sharing ~ 1411 156Th Ave NE, # A, Bellevue (425) 653-1625


火鍋専門店が べルビューに登場!

Summer Special “ALL YOU CAN EAT” $17.99/adult + tax till summer ends 19

[ Business Index ] Art & Furniture Kobo Kobo at Higo (206) 381-3000 604 S Jackson St, Seattle Kobo Capitol Hill (206) 726-0704 814 E Roy, Seattle Shop & gallery featuring art, craft and design from Japan and the Northwest The Wing Luke Museum (206) 623-5124 | 719 South King Street, Seattle Azuma Gallery (206) 622-5599 | 530 1st Ave S, Seattle The Cullom Gallery 603 S Main St, Seattle | (206) 919-8278

Bakery and Cafe Setsuko Pastry (206) 816 0348 1618 N 45th St, Seattle Healthy alternative pastries with a Japanese spin

Fuji Bakery Seattle Store (206) 623-4050 | 526 South King St, Seattle Fuji Bakery Bellevue Store (425) 641-4050 | 1502 145th Place SE, Bellevue UniCone Crepes (206) 243-6236 | 2800 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila Hiroki Desserts (206) 547-4128 | 2224 N 56th St, Seattle Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House (206) 515-4000 | 607 S Main St, Seattle Fumie’s Gold (425) 223-5893 | 10115 NE 1st St # CU2, Bellevue Kitanda Brazilian Bakery & Espresso (425) 641-4413 | 15230 NE 24th St, Redmond Zoka Coffee & Tea — Greenlake (206) 545-4277 | 2200 North 56th St, Seattle Zoka Coffee & Tea — University (206) 527-0990 | 2901 NE Blakeley St, Seattle Zoka Coffee & Tea — Kirkland (206) 284-1830 | 129 Central Way, Kirkland Cortona Cafe (206) 327-9728 | 2425 E Union St, Seattle Seabell Bakery (425) 644-2616 | 12816 SE 38th St, Bellevue Seattle Coffee Works (206) 340-8867 | 107 Pike Street, Seattle Cafe Zingaro (206) 352-2861 | 127 Mercer Street, Seattle Caffe Fiore (206) 282-1441 | 224 West Galer Street, Seattle Oasis Tea Zone (206) 447-8098 | 519 6th Ave S, Seattle Chatterbox Café (206) 324-2324 | 1100 12th Ave # 101, Seattle

Grocery & General Store H-Mart — Lynnwood (425)776-0858 | 3301 184th Street Southwest, Lynnwood H-Mart — Federal Way (425)776-0858 | 31217 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way

20 息吹 ibuki • July / august 2012


Seattle Uwajimaya (206) 624-6248 | 600 5th Avenue South, Seattle Bellevue Uwajimaya (425)747-9012 | 699 120th Ave NE, Bellevue Renton Uwajimaya (425) 277-1635 | 501 South Grady Way, Renton Beaverton Uwajimaya

(503)643-4512 | 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale HWY, Beaverton

Daiso Alderwood Mall (425) 673-1825 | 3000 184th St SW, # 398, Lynnwood Daiso International District (206) 355-4084 | 710 6th Ave S, Seattle Daiso Southcenter Mall (206) 243-1019| 2800 South center Mall, #1378 Tukwila Daiso Westlake Center (206) 447-6211 | 400 Pine St, # 124, Seattle Daiso The Commons at Federal Way (253) 839-1129 | 1928 S Commons, Federal Way Daiso Great Wall Mall — Kent (425) 251-1600 | 18230 E Valley Hwy, Kent Mutual Fish Company (206) 322-4368 | 2335 Rainier Ave S, Seattle Anzen Hiroshi’s (503) 233-5111 | 736 NE MLK Blvd, Portland

Books, Games & Anime Anime Raku

(425) 454-0112 |10627 NE 8th St, Bellevue

Kinokuniya Bookstore

Seattle Kinokuniya (206) 587-2477 | 525 S Weller St, Seattle Beaverton Kinokuniya (503) 641-6240 | 10500 SW Bvtn-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Southcenter Mall Store (206) 241-0219 | 633 Southcenter Mall, #1220, Seattle Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Northgate Mall Store (206) 363-3213 | 401 NE Northgate Way, #740, Seattle Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Tacoma Mall Store (253) 475-5380 | 4502 S Steele St, #616, Tacoma Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle — Capital Mall Store (360) 943-5790 | 625 Black Lake Blvd, # 334, Olympia Anime Asylum (503) 284-6626 | 1009 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR VIDEO HOP Downtown Store (206) 587-4037 | 601 S. King St. Suite#101, Seattle Pink Gorilla — University District (206) 547-5790 | 4341 University Ave NE, Seattle

Specialty store Saké Nomi — Sake (206) 467-7253 | 76 S Washington St, Seattle Umai Do Japanese Sweets (206) 4325-7888 | 1825 S Jackson St Ste 100, Seattle

Fashion Miki House USA (425) 455-4063 | 1032 106th Ave NE #123, Bellevue Momo (206) 329-4736 | 600 S Jackson St, Seattle Unique Plus — organic children’s store (425) 296 -1024 | 219 Kirkland Ave. #101, Kirkland

Senior Care Nikkei Concerns (206) 323-7100 | 1601 E. Yesler Way, Seattle

Japanese Construction Wafu Builders by Koji Uchida (206 ) 369-5012 Japanese gates, fences, shoji, tatami mats, bathrooms, tea rooms and more

Health and Beauty WellnessOne of Eastgate (425) 289-0092 | 15100 SE 38th St., Ste. 305B, Bellevue Acupuncture Associates — Eastgate (425) 289-0188 | 15100 SE 38th St #305B, Bellevue Studio 904 Hair Salon (206) 232-3393 | 3041 78th Avenue SE, Mercer Island Hen Sen Herbs (206) 328-2828 | 13256 NE 20th St, Bellevue Lynnwood Olympus Spa (425) 697-3000 | 3815 196th St SW #160, Lynnwood


Japanese Floral Design

Ikebana by Megumi (425) 744-9751 Sogetsu contemporary school of ikebana. Classes in home studio and around town Yushoryu Ikenobo (206) 723-4994 | 5548 Beason Ave. S.,Seattle Ikenobo Lake Washington Chapter (425) 803-3268 | The Little Flower Station (425) 770-5888 | Children’s Bilingual Education

Megumi Preschool — Seattle (206) 723-8818 | 7054 32nd Ave S # 101, Seattle

Megumi Preschool — Bellevue (425) 827-2540 | 2750 Northup Way Bellevue Japanese Montessori School 3909 242nd Ave. SE, Issaquah |

Language Seattle Japanese Language School (206) 323-0250 | 1414 S Weller St, Seattle Music

School of Taiko (425) 785-8316 | Continuing Education Program

Nikkei Horizons (206) 726-6469 | www. Cooking

Hiroko Sugiyama Culinary Atelier (425) 836-4635 | 22207 NE 31st St, Sammamish NuCulinary (206) 932-3855 | 6523 California Ave SW, Seattle Satsuma Cooking School (206) 244-5151 | 17105 Ambaum Blvd S, Seattle Tea Ceremony Urasenke Foundation Seattle Branch (206) 328-6018 | 5125 40th Avenue N.E., Seattle

21 息吹 ibuki • may /june 2012 21

[ TEAS of asia ]

T e a

Matcha: A Healthy Sip of Tranquil Tradition


By Tiffany Picard

y first encounter with matcha was while studying in Japan during college. I ventured into the tea-ceremony club on campus to crack the code of this mysterious Japanese art. Stepping in to the teahouse was like stepping into a different world. Gone were the highrise buildings, traffic noise and crowds of students. In their place was an oasis of peace and tranquility. Bamboo tatami mats infused the room with a pungent aroma, and wood and paper walls gave the building an organic feel. The only decoration was an alcove with a small vase of flowers and a hanging scroll. The only sounds were the quiet chatter of students and the burble of hot water resting over a brazier.

The students serving me tea were anxious to see what I thought of matcha, the powdered Japanese green tea that is whisked into a froth with hot water. Served in a hand-painted ceramic bowl, the jade green brew was like no tea I’d ever had. Velvety with a thick mouthfeel, it had a sweet grassy taste reminiscent of dried seaweed. It was simultaneously sweet and savory with a chocolatey finish. The students were thrilled to find that I liked matcha, and I was too!

Tradition to the modern world Japanese Buddhist monks first introduced tea plants from China during the 8th century. The first tea-plant cultivation in Japan began in the Uji district around Kyoto, and today Uji is still renowned for producing top-quality matcha. The monks perfected the art of stone-grinding tea leaves into a fine powder, making the first true matcha. They also developed the tea ceremony, which was a spiritual practice of mindfulness and meditation.

22 息吹 ibuki • may 20122012 July /june / august

Matcha has transitioned seamlessly into the modern world. Today you’ll find countless modern concoctions in Japan such as matcha ice cream, matcha pastries and matcha noodles. The tea’s rich flavor and high caffeine content also make it popular as an alternate beverage for coffee drinkers. Plus, its powdered format makes it easy to add to smoothies, lattes, cocktails, desserts and cuisine.

Health Benefits Worldwide, green tea has experienced a boom as scientists have started to discover tea’s many health benefits. Matcha may contain up to 10 times the antioxidants of regular green tea since you are consuming an entire leaf in powdered form, rather than steeping the leaves in hot water and removing them. Recently even Dr. Oz recommended matcha as a way to boost the metabolism, thanks to its high EGCG antioxidant content. Matcha also boasts a high L-theanine content, which supports mental focus and sustained energy without the jitters that can result from coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

Buying Matcha Powder While the prices for matcha range widely, cheaper matcha will have a dull, brownish color and bitter taste. Lowerquality matcha is best used in cooking or blended drinks. Higher quality matcha such as ceremonial matcha will have a bright green color and creamy, sweet flavor with a hint of pleasant astringency. Drinking matcha always takes me back to my first visit to the teahouse in Japan. It’s a sip of tradition and a daily reminder to be a little more mindful and focused throughout my day.

Recipes Here are a couple of recipes to help you start exploring matcha:

Pure Matcha

What you’ll need: • Matcha • Bamboo whisk • Sifter Sift ½ teaspoon of matcha into a bowl to break up any clumps. Add ¼ to ½ cup hot water (about 160-180° F, when small bubbles are forming on the bottom of the kettle). Whisk vigorously in a zigzag motion until frothy.

Matcha Latte

What you’ll need: • 1 tsp matcha • 8 oz. milk or milk substitute • Sweetener such as honey or agave syrup (optional) • Sifter (optional) Sift 1 teapoon of matcha into a cup. Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and mix the matcha into a paste. Add in steamed or cold milk and sweetener, and mix thoroughly. Add ice cubes for cold latte. Matcha can also be added to desserts, cocktails, savory dishes, juices or even plain ice water with a squeeze of lemon. Experiment to find your favorite way to enjoy the tradition of matcha. Tiffany Picard is a Seattle-based business consultant who specializes in the tea industry and online marketing. Visit her website at

S a k e


Summer Sake-sipping in the Sun

[ Sake Nomi ]

By Johnnie Stroud, owner of Saké Nomi

ake-brewing in Japan follows the rice-cultivation cycle. Things get started after the rice is harvested, the bulk of the brewing takes place during the cold winter months and the last of the sake is pressed and put away for its brief aging period when it’s time to plant the next crop in the spring. As a result, there is less activity at the brewery during the summer, while the sake settles and matures. But it is a fantastic season in which to enjoy premium sake, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest. I feel like there are different kinds of sake to compliment different occasions, situations and food pairings, and there are definitely sake that strike me as being well-suited to sunny, warm-weather consumption. We are always thrilled to welcome back the summer “seasonal release” namazake (unpasteurized sake) from Japan. These brews tend to be lively and can be intensely fruity and flavorful. They embody the excitement we feel about summer’s arrival. Some of the best summer sake have a refreshing and thirst-quenching element about them. I particularly enjoy those that have melon and citrus flavor components. Summer’s all about the outdoor grilling, and

sake made in the kimoto and yamahai brew- TSUKINOWA KINEN ing styles (older methods in which lactic acid “MEMORIAL” (aka “Blue Hue”) develops naturally during the cultivation of Brewery: Tsukinowa (est. 1886) the yeast “starter batch”) often have a pleasRegion: Iwate ant acidity that will complement bolder, Sake Meter Value: +2 smokier food flavors. Type/Polish Ratio: Junmai/65% Many people have yet to experience the Light and soft. Thin yellow tint. Slightly bitter pleasure of a premium chilled sake. If you’re cantaloupe and melon notes on palate. An going to be drinking outside on the deck or easy drinking “session saké” said to be much in the backyard, it’s fun to serve friends the loved by the local folks. Brewed by a female sake from a “pocket carafe,” which is a glass toji (brewmaster), who was one of Johnnie’s pitcher with a cavity in the middle to contain junior-high English students. ice. Since the sake doesn’t come into direct contact with the ice, it doesn’t dilute the KIKUSUI sake’s flavor, and it makes for a visually ap- “CHRYSANTHEMUM WATER” pealing piece of tableware. Brewery: Kikusui (est. 1881) Some of our favorite sake are rather diverse in Region: Niigata terms of serving temperature and can be en- Sake Meter Value: -1 joyed at a wide range. This makes many sake Type/Polish Ratio: Junmai Ginjo/55% good traveling companions that don’t re- Sweet aromas of rose and Mandarin orange. quire extensive preparation and care — you Quiet impact. Dry and slightly puckering, can just pop the top at room temperature with mild acidity and a clean finish with a and luxuriate in the exquisite flavor. My golf- touch of spice. Serve chilled. ing buddies and I often partake of a bottle (or two) during a round, choosing ones that Johnnie Stroud is the owner of Saké Nomi, can be best enjoyed at room temperature or the saké shop and tasting bar in Pioneer slightly warmer, and can easily fit into one’s Square. Saké Nomi | 76 S Washington St, golf bag. Sake doesn’t much help our games, Seattle, Tel 206-467-SAKE but as the math becomes questionable, it definitely helps our scores. 23

[ Travel ]


Focus on the Tokyo Food Scene By Jay Friedman

okyo is now Michelin’s top-rated restaurant city. In 2012, Tokyo and the adjoining Shonan region racked up 17 threestar restaurants (16 in Tokyo) and a total of 384 stars (299 in Tokyo). And while Japanese cuisine excels at the high end, it’s hard to find a bad meal even at the low end. Consider convenience stores like 7-11, where you can pick up perfectly good oden or onigiri rice balls at any hour. Sushi quality at some kaiten-zushi (conveyor-belt sushi) restaurants in Tokyo exceeds what you’ll find at the best places in many parts of the United States. Street food, like yakitori and takoyaki, is accessible, affordable and delicious. Earlier this year I flew to Tokyo, and mere moments after dropping my luggage, my in-laws started raving about a new jewel-box of a karaage (fried chicken) shop on their street. Instantly, I had my shoes back on. We made a purchase and were soon biting into incredibly crispy and moist chicken. My previous trip, I asked Ivan Orkin, American chef of Tokyo’s popular Ivan Ramen, about Japanese fanaticism for food. He gushed with glee in his explanation:

Shio ramen at Hirugao, part of Tokyo Ramen Street (Tokyo Station)

Katsu curry at Kitchen Nankai (Jimbocho) 24 息吹 ibuki • july / august 2012

Here in Japan, much more than in the States, people are in touch with the seasons. They know it’s pike season, so everyone’s eating sanma, and they’re all excited. Then there’s komochi shishamo (roe-bearing smelt). At the perfect time when they’re caught with their eggs, it’s just the best thing to fry them really lightly…You eat the thing head to tail. American people might say “eh?” but it’s the be-all and end-all in life to eat an egg-stuffed fish fried whole.

Such focus on seasonality is part of a quest for quality that’s pervasive in Japan. Focus is a key word in regard to Japanese cooking. Sometimes it’s singular focus. One thing that especially amazes me in Japan is singleingredient or even single-dish restaurants. You go because you know what you want to eat, and you know the restaurant is going to do it right. Such restaurants focus on things like tempura, okonomiyaki, horumon (“discarded goods,” typically grilled offal) and even beef tongue. And then there are all the noodle places, most of which specifically serve udon, soba or ramen.

The conveyor belt in action at Numazukou (near Shinjuku Station)

A selection of sushi from Numazukou

If you’re in Tokyo and want tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet), for example, some might steer you to Tonki or Maisen. But when my partner wanted katsu kare (tonkatsu with curry sauce), we made a trek to Kitchen Nankai. They do a number of dishes, but virtually everyone is elbow to elbow as they eat the famous, almost-black curry. Such specialization extends to restaurant-related stores. Each time I travel to Tokyo, I take a trip to Kappabashi, also known as Kitchen Town. A giant chef’s head greets you as you enter the nearly kilometer-long street filled with restaurant and kitchen supply stores. Here you’ll find takoyaki pans, chef uniforms, akachochin (red Japanese lanterns) and the famous plastic food samples found in many restaurant windows. You can buy a sushi clock, for example, as a decorative souvenir for your kitchen wall.

bought for friends. And you’ll eat with your eyes as much as your mouth when you see the stunning pastries, cakes and wagashi. So much of this food is made and consumed in small places. At the depachika, pastry chefs hone their craft in telephone-booth-sized spaces. Ramen shops have just a few seats at a counter, while the chef also operates in close confines. At an izakaya, you barely have enough room to shift your body to work out the kinks that result from traditional kneeling on the floor. And yet everyone endures, without complaint, for the sake of something delicious.

You see this in plating, packaging and all forms of food presentation. Just walk through the depachika (food floor) of Isetan or most any major department store and notice the jaw-dropping displays. Bento boxes are beautiful. Gifts are gorgeously wrapped, like the senbei packages I

In contrast, Tokyo devotes some big spaces to memorialize food. I’ve visited Namjatown, an amusement park that’s home to Gyoza Stadium, where you can sample from about a dozen of Japan’s best gyoza chefs. There you’ll also find the Ice Cup Museum, showcasing hundreds of ice cream flavors from around the country — including wacky ones like squid, snake and yakisoba. And while there’s long been a ramen museum in nearby Yokohama, the capital city now boasts Tokyo Ramen Street, featuring bowls from eight of the finest ramen chefs. It’s this focus on food that exemplifies the quality of Japanese cuisine.

Katsunori Yashima prepares Hakata-style yakitori at Hachibei.

A salaryman sits for beer and snacks in Yakitori Alley (near Shinjuku Station).

Sukiyaki kushi with a raw egg yolk at Hachibei (Roppongi Hills)

A look inside at plastic food display shop at Kappabashi

There’s focus on food as art in Japan. 25



Trend Royal/T California gets a maid café

Japan’s maid-cafe phenomenon, where young women dress up as French maids and dote on customers at cafes, has found a North American home in Culver City, California. Royal/T, which opened in November 2010, features waitresses dressed in French maid costumes with a Lolita twist just like in Japan. The owner, Susan Hancock, told The New York Times that she has never visited a maid café in Japan. She said her waitresses are told to be “sweet” not “flirty.”

“We want customers to come in and feel like they’re in Alice in Wonderland, not Hooters,” she told the Times. Unlike the often cramped cafes in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, Royal/T is expansive, using a wideopen warehouse space to house the café, an art space and a retail space. Learn more about the café by visiting its website:

Trend Japanese women go for otaku types More women in Japan are eying long-term relationships and even marriage with otaku men, according to a report in The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading business newspaper. Otaku are typically considered nerdy and obsessive about their hobbies or collections, but young women see another side to these men. One women interviewed by the Nikkei said she found otaku types to be studious and said they leave a good impression. Another woman said she preferred otaku to typical men who can’t stop talking about themselves.

This dating trend has spawned all sorts of events to bring together women and otaku men. One of the first events, held in Kuki City, Saitama Prefecture, was meant for 40 people, but 500 showed up. The other side to this trend is the fact that more and more Japanese men consider themselves otaku. The term doesn’t seem to carry the negative connotations it once did. A survey by Dentsu Inc., Japan’s leading advertising company, found that as many as 40% of Japanese men between the ages of 15 and 39 called themselves “otaku.”

Book Fallen Words by Yoshihiro Tatsumi Yoshihiro Tatsumi is a manga artist typically known for his gritty and realistic geki-ga style of comics. His most recent release, therefore, is quite a departure: manga adaptations of eight rakugo stories. Fallen Words (a literal translation of rakugo) brings to life visually these stories that for generations have been predominantly oral — told by a single storyteller kneeling on stage, mimicking through changes in pitch and tone the voices of different characters. Rakugo stories can vary greatly depending on when presenting this article to the style of the storyteller and here, TatKinokuniya Bookstore sumi gives us an even more unique take $19.95 >> $17.96 by completely changing the medium. He captures the essential element of rakugo — timing — by using the strengths of the manga form. He deftly controls how the reader moves through the story, slowing down or speeding up the narrative through the composition, content and layout of each panel. One particularly successful (and comedic) use

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26 息吹 ibuki • july / august 2012

of visual storytelling involves the escalating “voodoo doll” battle that erupts between a man’s jealous wife and mistress as they repeatedly try to outdo each other. The one instance, however, where Tatsumi’s adaptations seem less successful is in the punchline, known as the ochi or sage, a sudden end to the narrative through the use of a pun or other joke. It’s hard to say, though, whether this is any fault of Tatsumi’s. Part of it is simply that to a reader like myself, unfamiliar with the conventions of rakugo, this abrupt end to the story can come across as a bit heavy-handed. In addition, to Western ears, the pun just doesn’t carry the same comedic weight — not to mention the joke may be nearly lost in translation.  Punchline aside, the stories themselves — referred to as “moral comedies” — and the characters that comprise them are valuable enough on their own, unique in the window they open onto 18th century Japanese life. It seems all Edo Era society did was spend time drinking, visiting brothels and complaining about their financial situation — all of which makes for a lively and entertaining story.  Should these rakugo adaptations fail to interest you, don’t give up on Tatsumi all together: Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly just released three volumes of his more alternative, underground short stories in paperback, not to mention his 2009 memoir weighing in at a hefty 840 pages. -- By Josh Powell

MOVIE Sunset on Third Street ‘64 Released in Japan in November 2005, ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- enjoyed a long theatrical run, won countless awards (including numerous Japan Academy Awards), and became one of the most successful films in recent memory. Two years later, the sequel, ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 2, surpassed the box office success of the original, capturing the hearts of audiences across the nation. Five years later, the beloved characters of this popular franchise return to the big screen in ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 3. Story. The year is 1964. With Tokyo preparing to host the Olympics, buildings and highways are being constructed at a feverish pace, and excitement fills the air. Amidst all the change and commotion, the people of Third Street continue to carry on with their lives, as colorful and vibrant as ever. The novelist Chagawa has married Hiromi, and the two now share a happy life with Junnosuke, the young boy he had taken in during the first film, who is now in high school. Chagawa continues to write his serial as the lead writer on the Adventure Boys Book magazine, but his popularity is threatened by a new writer. Meanwhile, Norifumi Suzuki, his wife Tomoe, their only son Ippei and their live-in employee Mutsuko have gradually expanded their auto repair business, which has gotten an impressive makeover. But every morning, Mutsuko puts on makeup and steps out of her home — all so she can “happen to” run into and say hello to the young doctor, Kikuchi, who passes by on his way to work. One day, Hiromi discovers a telegram that Chagawa had hidden. Who sent this telegram? What is the surprising identity of this new, rival writer? Will Mutsuko’s affections be returned? And what future awaits the people of Third Street? DVD and Blu-ray with English subtitles will be available on July 20th at

beauty Permanent Cosmetics at Savvy Cosmetics Savvy Cosmetics inside of the Seattle Uwajimaya supermarket recently started a permanent-cosmetics service using SofTap® hand method. “Although most permanent cosmetics in America use a machine, SofTap® brand permanent makeup is implanted in shallow surfaces of the skin by hand. This method is gentle, non-invasive and gives clients the most natural look,” explained Harumi Branch, owner of Savvy Cosmetics. SofTap® is an American brand, but it is more popular in This picture is unrelated to the actual SofTap permanent makeup Japan and other Asian countries than it is here. There are many color selections, including ones that match Asian skin tones. “Colors will fade sooner than regular permanent cosmetics, so you can try them more casually. Permanent cosmetics used to be popular among mature clients. However, it is getting more common among the younger generation in Japan because of the natural look and the shorter-lasting method,” added Harumi. Imagine looking perfect even after you take a shower or a swim. You may want to try natural-looking permanent cosmetics this summer. For more information, contact Savvy Cosmetics. (600 5th Avenue South, Seattle, WA (206) 223-1866) 27

[ Newly Opened ] Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot — Bellevue Crossroads

IZAKAYA 居酒屋 Izakaya is a place you can enjoy Japanese B-kyuu gourmet. What is B-kyuu gourmet?

B-kyuu literary means “B-class.” B-kyuu gourmet is not fine dining like sushi or Kaiseki.

But more like good comfort food that you can find at cheaper prices. Say.. yakitori, curry rice, ramen, and Karaage are good examples.

A very popular hot pot chain from China, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot “小肥羊,” has opened in Bellevue. Its original soup base contains 36 different spices, Chinese herbs and other natural ingredients (No MSG!). The chain has more than 300 locations throughout Asia, including in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Bellevue location has six kinds of soup base to chose from. The most popular are House Original and House Spicy as well as Vegetarian Mushroom, Refreshing Herbal Pot, Pork Rib Pot and Pickled Cabbage Pot. Or pick half of one soup and half of another, served in yin-yang pots. Meats ranging from lamb, beef, pork and poultry are sliced perfectly to cook within seconds of touching the simmering broth. Vast choices of vegetables, seafood, mushrooms and tofu products are available too. If you’ve never had a hot pot before, select from a pre-set Group Set Menu starting at $29.99, which includes assorted meat, seafood, vegetables and tofu with fried rice and Mongolian kimchi. If you are really hungry, take advantage of the summer special ALL YOU CAN EAT deal: $17.99/adults + tax ($12.99 for seniors and juniors under 48 inches tall. plus addition pot fee of $2.99/person). Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (425) 653-1625 | 1411 156th Ave NE, Suite A, Bellevue

Kamonegi — Soba noodle Pop-up Restaurant

Issian is the best place to find A-class B-kyuu gourmet!

hmmm, Complicated..

Sugi Chan

Mutsuko Soma, A former executive chef at the Pike Place French restaurant Chez Shea, recently started a pop-up restaurant specializing in handmade, hand-cut soba noodles (teuchi soba). “Did you know Washington State is the largest producing center of soba buckwheat? They are all exported to Japan, except maybe 0.00001% used by me locally,” says Soma. “I bet not many Americans have tried real handmade soba. Japanese soba is one of the world’s healthiest noodles. I wanted to serve fresh soba for people in Seattle by using local soba buckwheat.” She uses a stone mill on the local buckwheat, and kneads and cuts by hand. She hosts her pop-up restaurant monthly on every last Monday at I Love Sushi on Lake Bellevue (July 30th & August 27th). She demonstrates the process of soba making at the event. ($38 gets Soma’s soba with I Love Sushi’s five-couse meal. Reservations required.) She will also have a lunch pop-up at Miyabi Restaurant on July 15 and 29. She will serve summer themed cold bukkake soba. For more information, visit the Kamonegi page on Facebook.

Unicone Crepes — Seattle Uwajimaya IZAKAYA in WALLINGFORD

1618 N 45th St Seattle, WA 98103 Tel: (206) 632-7010 28 息吹 ibuki • july / august 2012

Unicone Crepes has returned to the International District, this time inside of the food court in Seattle Uwajimaya! On your next visit, treat yourself to yummy sweets such as Strawberry Daifuku, Blueberry Almond Choco Whip and Banana Caramel Pudding Whip. Or you can try one of the savory choices such as Teriyaki Chicken and Yakisoba crepes. Unicone Crepes | (206) 682-0724 |Uwajimaya 600 5th Ave S & 2800 Southcenter Mall, Seattle

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[ LOCAL EVENTS ] Dragon Fest 2012 When: Saturday, July 14, 12pm-8pm & Sunday, July 15, 12pm-6pm Where: Seattle’s International District Centered in the heart of Seattle’s historic ChinatownInternational District, the Festival attracts features a line-up of over 30 cultural performances with everything from the spirited Chinese lion and dragon dances, to captivating martial arts demonstrations and Japanese Taiko drumming. Bounded by the iconic Chinese Gate and beautiful Hing Hay Park, this Seafair Festival brings the streets to life with historic walking tours, a large-scale outdoor Asian market and cultural activities for people of all ages. In addition, this year the CID is excited to promote the District’s 120 restaurants through the 2nd Annual Dragon Fest Food Walk as well as partner with Seattle Inscape, the largest arts and culture enclave in Seattle. Info: www.

Seattle Japanese Garden’s Annual Garden Party


JUL 20

When: Friday, July 20 Where: Seattle Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum Come stroll the garden with title sponsor United Airlines, enjoy light dinner and drinks, and place your bids in the silent and live auctions. Tickets for the

MAY 20 JUL20 MAY 28

When: Saturday, August 11, 2012, 4-9pm Where: Seattle’s historic Japantown, on the corner of 6th Ave S and S Main St Fee: Free

The businesses of Seattle’s historic Japantown invite foodies, art lovers and families for a celebration of their unique community on Saturday, August 11th. Nihonmachi Nite 2012 welcomes visitors to experience all that Seattle’s Japantown has to offer - new galleries, stylish boutiques, delicious foods and Japanese-American culture - all in a historic setting. Japantown businesses will be featuring activities that encourage visitors to learn more about Japanese culture and the history of the Japantown community. Performances and activities will also be at the main stage on the corner of 6th Ave S and S Main St. For a full list of participating businesses, activities, and performances, please visit

Create handmade books

When: Friday, July 20, 7pm Where: Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington

On March 11th, 2011, Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. Iwaki city was one of the cities that experienced the most damage. In this city is a beautiful resort hotel called, Spa Resort Hawaiians. Located not far from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, the resort had to go under a mass reconstruction while at the same time maintaining the services and hospitality as a hotel. This is the story of the Hula Girls, a group of dancers working at the Spa Resort Hawaiians, and their experiences living during the energy crisis and the endeavors they have gone through in order to re-open the Spa Resort Hawaiians and continue providing high class hospitality. In Japanese with English subtitle. Info:

Junko Yamamoto art show


Know of upcoming Asian food, music or other community events? Drop us an email so we can share it with our readers! Get IBUKI magazine mailed to your home or office SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM $24 /year (6 issues) To subscribe, fill out contact information below and send with $24 check or money order. Make check or money order payable to: IBUKI Magazine, 12727 Northup Way Suite 3, Bellevue, WA 98005 Name: Address: E-mail address (optional):

30 息吹 ibuki • july / august 2012


Art, history, and scrap booking all come together in a fun and exciting way when you make a beautiful handmade book designed by Mizu Sugimura. Discover for yourself how all three subjects are linked by a ripple effect! Info:

All things Japanese Sale

AUG 25

When: August 25 & 26, 10am-3pm Where: Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, 1414 S. Weller St. Seattle

Back by popular demand, the JCCCW Hosekibako is happy to announce that the All Things Japanese Sale is back again! The sale will feature a wide variety of Japanese items including dolls, furniture, fans, traditional dress, plush toys, jewelry, books, and much, much more! There is something for everyone with an abundance of antiques and collectibles on sale and prices starting at just $0.25. Info:

Vintage Japantown:

Exhibit on display through July 14th Where: Fetherston Gallery on Capitol Hill - 818 E. Pike St. Seattle

Elizabeth Jameson and Junko Yamamoto open solo exhibits on June 8th. Jameson’s Spring Collection, continues her series of medieval gowns in which she uses pastels to achieve vivid color, movement, and depth. Junko Yamamoto, presents abstract oil paintings in her new work, clusters and a drop, that are complex and layered images of colorful organic shapes.

FEB 24

When: Saturday, August 18, 1-3pm Where: Wing Luck Asian Museum Fee: $8 general, $6 students/seniors, Children under 12 are FREE

Garden Party are $75 and may be purchased on-line at

Free Movie screening of “Fukushima Hula Girls”


Nihonmachi Nite


Through the Lens of the Takano Studio Exhibit on display July 8 through September 16 Where: Wing Luke Museum Yoshiko (Asaba) Mamiya and Emiko Ishikawa. Circa early 1930s. Wing Luke Museum collection.

Set in an intimate living room scene, view vintage photographs from the 1930s and early 1940s that capture the everyday life of Japantown and its community.

NEXT ISSUE ComingSeptember November 1st 1st Coming


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32 息吹 ibuki • July /august 2012

IBUKI Magazine Vol. 18 July & August 2012  

Japanese Food & Lifestyle magazine - published in Seattle Wasgnton - The quest for Kaiseki from Kyoto to Seattle