Kewpie Mayonnaise. What?


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.

From thekitchn.com,

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!

Japanese Special March Festival


I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.

Hina Matsuri in Japan

Source: https://matcha-jp.com/en/753
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.

Shirozake
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.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/japanese-girls-day-hinamatsuri-party-dishes-2031057
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.)

Chirashizuchi
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 Ginger Marinated Grilled Salmon
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.

Air Fryer and Instant Pot Suggestions


It’s snowing outside. Wet. 5″ Deep. Cold. It’s better to be inside working on this blog.
I have had several requests/questions on how to convert a recipe from the stove/oven/frying process to an Air Fryer or Instant Pot. Air Fryer info can be a little hard to find, but it is there if you look. I recently received a book by Ben Mims, Air Fry Every Day, 2018 Clarkson Potter, New York ISBN 978-0-525-57609-9. A really good book and one you should add to your Kitchen Library.
“I’m a food writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer. I’ve formerly worked as the Test Kitchen Director at Lucky Peach magazine, Food Editor at Saveur magazine, a food editor at Food & Wine, and the pastry chef of Bar Agricole restaurant in San Francisco in 2013. I’ve authored three cookbooks: Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer (Clarkson Potter, 2018), Coconut (Short Stacks Editions, 2017), and Sweet and Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist (Rizzoli; 2014), in addition to recipe development for Tasty Ultimate: How To Cook Basically Anything (Clarkson Potter, 2018), Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide (Dovetail, 2017) and Munchies: Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs (Ten Speed Press, 2017). I’ve also written for the Wall Street Journal, GQ.com, Jarry, Lucky Peach, Epicurious.com, Rachael Ray Every Day, Real Simple, Southern Living, and Food52.com.” [Ben Mims Website].
OK. So how do I convert from stove top frying to the Air Fryer? Mr Mims suggests that in general, you should reduce the temperature by 25ºF and the cooking time by 25%. If you are using a packaged/frozen product, or a recipe that you have used for years and the directions say to cook at 425ºF for 25 minutes, cook in the Air Fryer at 400ºF for 18-20 minutes. “… Because the heat in the air fryer is more intense than a standard oven, reduce the suggested temperature by 25ºF to 50ºF and cut the time by roughly 20%. So, if a recipe calls for cooking in the oven at 425ºF for 60 minutes … instead you can air-fry the chicken at 400ºF for about 40 minutes.” [Meredith Laurence] Just remember to check your product at the lower cooking time to check for doneness. For instance, I cook bacon at 400ºF for 12 minutes. It comes out just the way we like it – crisp, but not burned – and it will burn! I always, especially when cooking bacon, line the drip pan with aluminium foil. Clean up is easy. Two other suggestions: (1) Do not over fill the basket. The product needs airflow, and (2) Some items need to be turned – chicken thighs for one. French Fries probably need only a shake. Experiment and have fun.

Now. The Instant Pot. This is really an All-Purpose appliance. Slow cook, pressure cook, sauté , make soup or yogurt. It’s amazing! Several things to remember [The PlateJoy Blog]-

  1. Always use some type of liquid. Water, sauces, etc. No wine until the final process. Like a slow cooker, recipes with a bit of liquid content will do best in the instant pot.
  2. Do not over fill! Instant pots hold a smaller amount than a typical stockpot or slow cooker, so you may need to adjust the proportions of ingredients when you’re adapting your recipe.
  3. Brown in the pot. Rather than using extra dishes, complete prep steps like browning meat or sautéing garlic and onions right in the instant pot on the sauté setting.
  4. Calculate cook time. As a general rule, meat recipes will require about a third of time a standard oven recipe takes. Pasta and grains will take about half the time.
  5. What to omit. Like slow cooking, diary should be added to your recipe at the end. A nice function of the instant pot is that you can remove the lid and continue to simmer without pressure once the pressure-cooking portion is done. This is a great time to add these more finicky ingredients and will round out the flavor of your dish beautifully…Wine and cooking alcohol may not break down as well as if they had hours to evaporate, so you might consider adding these in after browning meat or onions (but before adding the rest of your cooking liquid or ingredients), just to give the alcohol a bit of time to break down.

Just have fun with these appliances and experiment. Cheers!