Food, Craft Beer, Nano Breweries, Wine, Idaho Wineries, Winery Bistros, Restaurants and Events, Boise Foodies in the Treasure Valley Idaho. Come see what we are up to and the variety of our eating and wine and craft beer experiences. Look where we and our friends like to eat and have a great glass of wine or craft beer. And if you are in Boise, let us know. We'll meet you for a bite to eat and/or a glass of craft beer or wine. What is your favorite cuisine? I bet we can find you a restaurant to satisfy your epicurian urge. Cheers!
Several weeks ago, we first heard of Kewpie Mayonnaise. A Japanese speciality sauce. (Kewpie Products) If you follow the posted link, you will find several available dressings like Deep Roasted Sesame, Caesar and both USA and Original (pictured below) mayonnaise. And from the Kewpie website, here is an explanation of this mayonnaise.
Kewpie is Japan’s most trusted and beloved mayonnaise and salad dressing brand, and has been a staple of Asian cuisine since we introduced mayonnaise to the Japanese kitchen in 1925… During a battle in Mid-18th century, Minorca Island, Spain; a French marshal Duc de Richelieu enjoyed the sauce for a meat dish in a coastal town of Mahon, and brought it back to Paris as Mahon’s sauce, Mahonnaise.It is widely believed to be the origin of what became known as mayonnaise… Aspiring to create a brand everyone loves,founder Toichiro Nakashima named the nourishing condiment ”KEWPIE Mayonnaise”,with the hope of improving physique of Japanese people. In 1925 when Japan’s ﬁrstmayonnaise started to be manufactured and distributed at Kewpie, they used twice as much egg yolk as imported mayonnaise of that time. This was because Nakashima, who ﬁrst discovered mayonnaise in the USA, had always hoped to create nourishing, high-quality mayonnaise.
The original mayonnaise – pictured here – is available at the Asian Market on Fairview Ave at Milwaukee. Address: 9975 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83704, Open ⋅ Closes 8PM, Phone: (208) 321-4502. Another source might be Mandalay Asian Market, Asian grocery store, 10658 W Overland Rd, Boise, (208) 410-7915.
Kewpie is a smoother, creamer mayonnaise, and it’s made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar. Its popularity in Japan really can’t be overestimated. Wikipedia says that people who are known to really like mayonnaise are apt to be called mayora by their friends!
This mayonnaise has a deliciously unique taste that is hard to beat. Slightly sweet. Slightly sour from a light touch of vinegar and very creamy from the vegetable oil. I will probably make some egg salad and use it in it. (And of course, the hard cooked will be made in the Instant Pot. 7-7-7 method!) Cheers!
I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.
Hina Matsuri in Japan
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3rd is a special day for girls. Families who don’t have young daughters might not do anything special on this day.
March 3rd is Japanese Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri. Ornate dolls are displayed in the family home to mark the beginning of spring and to wish good health and good fortune for all of the girls in the family.
However, a tradition of this festival is still passed down until now. Actually, how people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from place to place. We will introduce here what the Japanese people usually do on this day.
Hina Dolls represent what the imperial family was like in the ancient times. The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The rest of the dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the minister of the Right and Left who used to support the government in the old days. There are some decorations such as Gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori”, and orange and peach tree branches displayed on the tire of platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
The special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet and thick drink made from fermented glutinous rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it has less than 1 percent of Shirozake alcohol in it. So children are also able to drink it.
Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs to get rid of bad things out from your body. But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made with the children in mind.
Hina Arare are colorful and cute small rice crackers. The colors of these rice crackers have meanings. White represents the earth of the winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents the green shoots in the spring. Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations toward the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for this coming year if you eat each color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of Sushi which has lotus roots, shrimp and thinly shredded egg omelet on the top of vinegar rice. It has been a dish enjoyed widely at celebrations.
The ingredients in Chirashizushi have meanings as well. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimps are a symbol of longevity and so on.
As with almost all holidays, food and drink play a role on Girls’ Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine) and hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored pink representing peach flowers, white representing snow, and green representing new growth.
Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party to celebrate this festival. Many people prepare a special meal for girls on this day, including savory dishes such as chirashi, which is sugar-flavored, vinegared sushi rice with raw fish on top; clam soup served in the shell; and edamame maze-gohan, mixed rice usually consisting of brown rice and soybeans.
Other popular dishes to serve at a Girl’s Day celebration are inari sushi—rice-stuffed tofu pockets—with miso grilled salmon and cabbage ramen salad. Sweets are on the menu as well, incorporating a feminine shade of pink, like chi chi dango, which are pink pillows of mochi (glutinous rice flour and coconut milk), a favorite among children, and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake. Some families include an impressive edible centerpiece, such as the layered chirashi sushi cake.
Some recipes for Hina Matsuri
(The recipes listed below can be found at the link above.)
Easy Seafood Chirashizushi: Use a shortcut of packaged sushi seasoning to quickly season steamed rice and add pre-cooked gomoku vegetables for this delectable dish. Add your favorite toppings of choice. Edamame Maze-Gohan (Mixed Rice): Is easy to prepare, especially for large crowds. Steamed rice is mixed with furikake seasoning, bottled nametake (seasoned mushrooms), and shelled edamame for a delicious rice dish. Inari Sushi: Preparing a dish for a large crowd doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out the secrets of making quick inari sushi with impressive results. Cabbage Ramen Salad: This spin on the traditional Chinese chicken salad recipe uses crunchy dried ramen noodles, cabbage, and shredded chicken to create a zesty Japanese-fusion salad. Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings: Let your slow cooker do all the work to whip-up a batch of delicious teriyaki chicken wings with just a few ingredients, and use the free time to prepare a few other dishes. Miso Grilled Salmon: Miso-grilled salmon can easily be prepared by making the marinade ahead of time and then letting the salmon marinade for a few days in the fridge. All you need is an oven or a grill to cook up delicious fillets in under 40 minutes. Clam Soup: A traditional soup that is often enjoyed on Hinamatsuri is clam soup. This clear style soup is known as sumashijiru and is simply seasoned from the broth of the clams. Chi Chi Dango: These pillowy soft bites of mochi are made of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. These pink, soft mochi are an absolute favorite among children. Sakura Mochi: Sakura mochi is a glutinous rice dish that is often enjoyed during Hinamatsuri. This slightly sweetened, pink mochi is filled with sweet red beans (koshian) and wrapped in a salted sakura (young cherry blossom) leaf.
When I was 15 – many, many years ago – I had the awesome experience of living in India for a year. We were 120 mo;es SW of New Delhi in the state of Rajasthan and the town of Pilani. It was absolutely a wonderful year for me. I met Jawaharlal Nehru – First Prime Minister of India, Rajendra Prasad – Former and First President of India, Lady Mountbatten, Haile Selassie – Former Emperor of Ethiopia and several other heads of state. The people and the food was superb. I will never forget, and have not forgotten, the people and the food. When I walk into an Indian restaurant here in Boise, or overall in the USA, I want to smell the fenugreek and the spices. Then I know it is authentic. If in Boise, go into the Bombay Grill at 10th and Main and inhale the spice odors. There you will be introduced to true and authentic Indian cuisine. Or into the Punjab Market in Yuba City, CA. If you want some really good Indian recipes that use these spice blends or you want to learn how to make Naan, look at Demuths Blog Indian Recipes.
Here are two very basic, but very good, Indian spice recipes from the Southern India area. (The blends will differ from area to area.) [Demuths Blog] Most, if not all of these spices, can be found in an Indian or Asian market.
Homemade Curry Powder
An essential ingredient for numerous Indian recipes. Ingredients:
1 T whole Coriander Seeds
1 T whole Cumin Seeds
1 t whole Black Peppercorns
1 t whole brown Mustard Seeds
2 t whole Fenugreek Seeds
3 hot dried Red Chillies, crumbled. Careful!
3/4 t ground Turmeric Directions:
Dry fry all the spices except the turmeric until fragrant, but don’t let them brown as it will ruin the flavor.
Add the turmeric and quickly stir. Decant onto a plate and leave to cool.
Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible. Store in an airtight container.
Homemade Garam Masala Powder (Bese Bele)
This is an aromatic sweet blend of spices favored by the Brahmins of Bangalore. Used in numerous Indian recipes, including our masala dosas and masala vada (split pea dumplings in masala gravy). Ingredients:
1 T Cardamom Seeds
1 t whole Cloves
1 t Black Peppercorns
1″ stick of Cinnamon
1/3 of a Nutmeg
a curl of mace
1 sm dried Chilli
6 Curry Leaves
1 T un-sweetened Coconut Flakes Directions:
Dry fry all the spices until fragrant, take off the heat and add the coconut flakes. Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible.
Store in an airtight container.
Masala Spice Mix – Northern Indian Curry powder Ingredients – Whole Spices:
2 T Coriander Seeds
1 T Cumin Seeds
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
1 t Fennel Seeds
1 t Mustard Seeds
1 t Fenugreek Seeds
1 t Kalongi/Nigela (A common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is in the same family as caraway, dill or parsley. Cumin seeds are a good substitute because they have a peppery and nutty flavor that is similar to nigella seeds.)
10 Curry Leaves
1 Bay Leaf Ingredients – Ground Spices:
1 t ground Turmeric
1 t ground Ginger
1 t Chilli Powder
pinch of salt Directions:
Dry fry the whole spices, until fragrant, cool and grind. Add the ground spices and mix in. This will store in airtight container for a month, or you can make a paste.
To make a paste mix the spice blend with a little vinegar and water until it resembles a paste. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Heat some oil in a pan and add the paste. Gently stir fry for about 5 minutes until the paste start to make a bubbling noise.
Remove from heat and leave to cool. The oil should rise to the surface.
Store in sterilized jars. The layer of oil on top adds to the storing process. Keep in the fridge.
This is the second year that Cristi has had an Asian food theme for one of the monthly Wine Dinners. I love the change! And then she also shares the recipes, if you ask. Or, if you joined us at the Wine Dinner last night, you already have the recipe for the Asian Salad. But I want the recipe for – Asian Nachos! These were delicious and interesting. And the way I scored the wines was interesting. Still using the  point scale, most came in at  – 5 of them! One  and one . These monthly events are really interesting and one always comes away with at least one thing they learned. Join us for this fun evening and a scrumptious Wine Dinner. Cheers! (Cristi! buzzbeans.com needs renewal! Buzzwine on WordPress needs updating.)
Really a good choice for this months Wine Dinner. Spring is in the air! Overall – Really a great paring of food and wine. The overall best wines, in my opinion, were the 2012 Lunatic Red. Great clarity and bouquet and a bng body. The finish was moderately long. It went very well with the Beef and Noodle Entree. It was a superb paring and my score was  out of , as was the 2013 Crisp Chardonnay. Here are some photos of the diner. Do enjoy them and hopefully, we will see you next month for Asian Fare on May 12 and 13. Mark your calendars and pick May 12! Cheers!
On February 26, the Boise Wine Meet-Up group – see their link in the sidebar – partied hearty at Rice in Eagle, Idaho. Good company! Good food! Good wine! It is interesting that Rice has a brunch every Sunday. Maybe worth a try some Sunday. the Egg Crab Benedict and the Salmon Egg Benedict both sound good to me. Don’t panic! They also have the standard brunch fare on the menu too. I don’t think that Rice was as good as Mai Tai in Boise, but it was still good and worth a return trip. It was not as formal as Mai Tai. More background noise. Try them out. You be the judge. In the meantime, here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy!