Sunday, October 18, 2009

Japan is not so bad in terms of glutenization

E wrote that MSG, or just "gluten" is in pretty much all packaged food in Japan, and most of meals you have in restaurants, which is not true.
If I call the situation that consuming gluten is becoming more common "glutenization," Japan is getting over it. I should say.
More and more restaurants, or any places which serve food make their menu without gluten, and advertize that by putting a sign in front of the restaurant saying something like "using fresh and organic veggies."
It's fairly easy to find food without gluten in Tokyo. In いなか (rural area) in Japan, it's even easier to find food without gluten because rural areas are normally rich in locally grown food. They try hard to sell their own products so they advertize how healthy and safe the food is. Gluten is not a good idea for them to use.
About packaged food, like TV dinner, frozen food, pasta sources, dressing, spices, etc, etc... like E said the "無添加(no added chemicals)" is not the majority of the products available in stores yet but you can find it anywhere in Japan. In fact, it stands out in the food floor because of the big letters on the package.
From my experience, I think that gluten makes your tongue kinda numb. You become less and less sensitive to taste if you keep consuming it, and eventually become unable to tell if it's gluten or something else.

Gluten is such an easy and quick way to season food when you cook, but I'd rather enjoy a different taste every time.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

ごぼう (Gobou) is related to the artichoke

Gobou (known as burdock in the west) is a root vegetable found all over the world but only eaten in Japan and other Asian countries. Maybe it's the unappealing twig-like appearance that turns people off (E didn't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole for a looong time) but when you peel away the dirt there's a delicious whitish-grey flesh underneath. It is also high-fiber and low-calorie, and is often eaten with macrobiotic diets.

E made きんぴら (kinpira) using this recipe...but she went a little too happy on the spices and now our mouths are on fire.


In conclusion, E would make out with a gobou, but then Y would be jealous. :o

Monday, October 05, 2009

無添加 (Mu-ten-ka)

Did you know that it is very difficult to find any food in Japan without added MSG? If you eat in non-organic restaurants, chances are you are consuming MSG with every meal. The only way to avoid it is by cooking your own food...or so E thought.

It turns out that almost all packaged food contains MSG as well!

...but not all packaged food. Y taught E the kanji for mu-ten-ka, which means "no added chemicals." Look for it on packages of soup stock (dashi), miso, or pretty much anything in the grocery store.

This is what happens when you don't have an oven

E made rice cooker zucchini bread!

Rice cooker zucchini bread...delicious!

It's actually very easy: all you need to do is put any recipe for zucchini bread (like this one) into the rice cooker and set on "cook" for about 3 hours. E used half whole-wheat flour and reduced the sugar. おいしかった!

The first post!

Let's start this blog with a random picture of Y acting like a ninja.

Ninja Yutaka