mainichi san ju hinmoku

At the CIA Japan Flavors of Culture conference a few weeks ago, Larry Kushi, Sc.D. (Associate Director for etiology and prevention research at Kaiser Permanenete), Yoshihiro Murata (Chef and Owner of Kikunoi Honten, a three-Michelin star kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto), and Yukio Hattori, M.D. (President and Chairman of  Ecole de Cuisine et Nutrition Hattori) presented “Balance, Long Life and the Japanese Diet: Ideas for American Menus.”

Here are some of the traditional Japanese eating guidelines that we took away:

hara hachi bu = eat until you’re 80% full

yoku kamu = chew your food well

shizen ni kansha suru = appreciate nature

mainichi san ju hinmoku = eat 30 different varieties of food each day

This ‘Spinning Top’ represents the Japanese guidelines for health and diet – it’s always balanced and in motion. As you’ll notice – there’s a lot more vegetables and grains and a lot less dairy and sweets.

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=  kilograms of fish that go through Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market each year. And, over 400 different varieties of seafood are available in the market on a daily basis. Pretty crazy, right?

These stats were given to us by Professor Theodore Bestor (Anthropology and Japanese studies at Harvard University) – who presented alongside Yousuke Imada (Chef/Owner of Kyubey in Tokyo and Osaka) and Shigeo Araki (Chef/Owner of Uosaburo, two-Michelin-star) during “The World of Sashimi and Sushi” seminar at the Worlds of Flavor conference last weekend.
We’re going to check out the Tsukiji market and tuna auctions while we’re in Tokyo next week! Check back for pictures/details soon…

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golden eye

This morning a beautiful, bright red Golden Eye Snapper (Japanese = Kinmedai) arrived from our friends at True World Foods. Mukai, our Executive Sushi Chef at park, ordered it for a special tonight.

Golden Eye Snappers live around the southern coast of Japan and come into season in the color months. They are deep sea fish, in fact, the water pressure may be one of the reasons for their remarkably large and extruded eyes. Most importantly, they’re known for their high fat content and tender meat… a good choice for just about any type of preparation – but tonight Mukai will use this Kinmedai for sashimi and sushi.

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morimoto: creating signature flavors for american menus

Mere and I parted ways again to sit in on separate lectures. Mine, “Morimoto: Creating Signature Flavors for American Menus,” was presented by Masaharu Morimoto and moderated by TK TK Chandra Ram.

Here, Morimoto prepared whole miso-marinated suckling pig and melon tempura. In almost all of my encounters with Morimoto he’s been quite the comedian… It was nice a nice way to change things up for the audience – but I think it’s especially great that his personality comes through so well. He is a serious chef – but he doesn’t take the fun out of the process.

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