Friday, May 30, 2008

Keeping the best weight is hard.

Losing weight is not easy. But keeping the best weight is harder than losing. This is from American Heart Association research. They recommend below.

1, What is effective for you? And, what is temptation to gain weight for you? You should know these and control them.

2, Know how many LB you need to lose. Show the exact numbers.

3, Think about calorie you take and calorie you burn. This balance is very important.
I used to say that losing weight was very easy. Eat less and exercise more.

4, Enough exercise is the best. Even if you walk fast everyday, it is good.

5, Take a memo what you eat and what you do.

6, Make a plan for cooking and try to buy healthy foods.

7, Don't scale much your weight. Once a week is OK. But I recommend you You scale every morning.

8, Need to be careful when you have special days like parties or special events.

My way is making weight range. In my case, my weight range is 160-165LB. If it is over 165LB, I cut food. I try to keep around 163LB.
To be honest, my waist size is only 30 inches and hard to find pants. It has not been changed since when I was 18 years old.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yellow fin tuna, Kihada maguro

This is yellow fin tuna. When you eat tuna steak at American restaurants, it is yellow fin tuna. Japanese name is kihada, means yellow skin. I cannot show you a whole fish but kihada maguro has a yellow line on the body.
According to tuna commonsense, yellow fin is not great for sushi.
Of course number 1 is blue fin tuna and number 2 is big eye tuna.
But how often we can get blue fin tuna? Boston season is only 2 months. Big eye tuna is available most of the time but not always.
We need to carry yellow fin tuna sometimes. And the price is not cheap any more. Our buying price is only 10% lower than big eye tuna. It is good for marinated appetizers. There is no toro in yellow fin.

Let's make pie!


Do you like pie? I like it. Crispy and inside is something soft.
This is my original Banana Chocolate pie.
It is easy to make it.
Buy frozen pie sheet. Cut in square.
Cut banana and chocolate in small.
Put them on pie sheet and fold in triangle. You need to brush egg york on edge. Then, push the edge with a folk. Brush on surface and sprinkle crushed pine nuts or almond. Bake in oven around 400F temperature about 20min.. Done. You can eat it by itself or with ice cream. It takes only 25 minutes. I like making desserts.

Fish roe


This is Mackerel, Saba. And this fish has roe. There is a season to have roe.
I take it and wash lightly and cook.
My Mom used to buy fish roe and cooked.
Believe or not, I didn't eat much meat when I was young.
I was born in a small island in Hiroshima, Japan. Meat was almost once a month which was my father's payday. We had steaks. But it was not beef, was pork steak. Beef was very expensive about 30 years ago in Japan. I ate a lots of fish. We didn't buy much. Someone gave us after they caught fish. And I didn't eat sushi at all. Sashimi, grill and cook were main dishes.
Anyway, fish roe is a kind of good luck because they don't have all the time.
Ask me when you would like to taste. Happy to give you. It is rich in vitamin E.

Rock City


I went to Chatanooga on Memorial Day.
What does Chatanooga have? Rock City, Ruby Fall and Aquarium.
I like Rock City to see the big nature things.
I also mention obesity. Some places are really narrow and fat people cannot go through.
Chatanooga is a good size city to live. I read an article before. It was very dirty and polluted. But this city changed dramatically. It is clean and not polluted anymore.
Atlanta is worst 3 air polluted city in US. The top is LA and 2nd is NYC. Someone likes living in city and enjoy urban life. But they inhale bad air in every moment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eating at other restaurants

We closed 3 days for Memorial Day. I tried to eat at other restaurants. I went to Shaun's on Sunday and Antica Posta on Tuesday.
Shaun's? Not much gain from food design side but taste were good.
Antica Posta? 3 colors fish carpaccio wad excellent for design side and food also good.
Italian? I go to Pricci, Antica Posta and Di Paolo. I don't go to Sotto Sotto because of distance.
I prefer food design. I cannot make same sauce as other restaurants but can learn design.
And portion is very important for me. I check the price and portion. And I compare our portion.
We are facing bad economy and people care about price and portion.
I don't want my customers to leave with hungry stomach. Satisfaction is very important.
What do you think?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kabocha, Japanese squash

Kabocha. Japanese say pumpkin but American say squash.
It is available all season. I think it comes from Mexico. In Japan we have domestic and from Tonga.
It cannot eat in raw. It is good for tempura or cooked or soup. We also make dessert, kabocha pudding.
The dish is called Kabocha nitsuke, cooked kabocha. My mom said skin was good for the body. But I cut skin because of hardness.
It is easy to say that kabocha contains fiber, beta carotene.
So far, 50/50, means no everybody likes that. But I will continue to sell because it is good for the body.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chikuwa, Fishcake



This is Chikuwa, fishcake. There is a hole in the middle.

Mostly, we use cod, shark, flying fish and salt, sugar, starch and egg white. I actually don't make this and just buy.

It is good for tempura, sashimi, and oden etc.

I put this in Japanese menu because they like it. I insert okra and cut in small and sprinkle nori, shiso and bonito flake. Ponzu and wasbi is the best match.

We also have cheese chikuwa in Japan. I think nagaimo, yam potato is also good combination.

Try it if you have a chance.

Toro, Fatty tuna


Toro, what is toro? Toro makes people happy with fattiness and tenderness and taste.
Toro is a part of tuna and premium part. We didn't eat it before. But toro is the leeding sushi item in the market.
It is hard to say chutoro, toro and ohtoro.
Chutoro--- almost half tuna part and toro. Chu means medium.
Toro is just like this picture. perfect pink color with nice fat.
And ohtoro is belly part of tuna. It is almost like marble Kobe beef. It has fat but chewy. It is good for seared. Meat gets tender by burn and can take some fat.
How long we can eat tuna and toro? Tuna is in danger. We don't have toro all the time. Toro comes from big eye tuna and blue fin tuna only. That's why I send a newsletter when I get a good one. Any appointment or meeting someone? Cancel it and come to Taka. You can postpone other things but cannot miss toro. Do you agree with me?

Ty Pennington


Do you know who is Ty?
But you don't know he is from Atlanta GA. Born in 1963.
He told me he was in Osaka, Japan for a while. Surprised!
Looks a nice guy. One of our customers left a memo to him and I gave to Ty.
" It is a great TV show and thank you so much." I watched it many times, ABC Extreme Home Makeover.
It is good to help someone needs to help. He promised us that he wears TAKA 2008 Green T Shirts on TV. Thanks, TY. I would like to be bigger like him. This is one of my dream. I can say many jokes and can make people laugh but need to speak good English. Let's move the bus!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oolong Tea


Do you like tea? I don't like much but Oolong tea is exceptional. Many people think I drink a lots of green tea because I am Japanese. I don't drink much green tea, I don't know why. According to research, oolong tea is better in some way and I prefer it. And taste is better than green tea.
I drink almost 2L (10 cups) of oolong tea everyday. I don't like water. Our body is rust and need to push it our from our body.
Please read below.


Dong Ding Oolong Tea

It is known that Dong Ding oolong tea is effective in hay fever. But there are more and I will show you all about healthy issues.

The differences between the Three Types of Teas
Teas contain a number of ingredients that have an influence on the human body. The quantities and percentages of these ingredients differ widely depending on the extent of fermentation. As can be seen from the table below, green tea contains a wealth of one ingredient called catechin while black tea contains a lot of theaflavin. Oolong tea contains a large quantity of polyphenol. According to research, it has become clear that polyphenol is the ingredient that generates the delicious flavor unique to oolong tea and also promotes beauty and health.
 
Green Tea (Unfermented)
Oolong Tea(Semi-fermented)
Black Tea(Fermented)
Caffeine
★★★
★★★
★★★
Tannin
★★★★
★★★★
★★★★
 
Catechin
★★★★
★★

Polyphenol

★★★★
★★★
Teaflavin Tearubigin

★★
★★★★
What is Polyphenol?
In terms of chemistry, substances that have more than two phenol-based hydroxyl groups within a single molecule are generally called polyphenol, and there are many such substances. Thus, polyphenol is a general term for phenolic hydroxyl compounds and no single substance called polyphenol exists. Polyphenol has a wide variety of chemical substances with different effects and most varieties of polyphenol that are highly topical these days are the group of substances that have been known as tannin for a long time.

Polyphenol Holds the Secret to the Power of Tea.
Tea contains a large amount of polyphenols. It has become clear that the health promotion benefit of tea is the effect of polyphenols, namely tannin.

The Unique Characteristics of Polyphenols Contained in Tea
Compared with those contained in other plants, the polyphenols found in tea leaves consist of many different kinds of small polyphenols, which are assumed to give it its unique effects.

Oolong Tea Polyphenols
Made in the semi-fermented process, oolong tea includes a wide variety of polyphenolic compounds and these different nutrients are probably integrated to bring great benefits to our bodies. For example, they are effective in reducing triglyceride and removing free radicals. Polyphenols have depth and breadth, and there still remains much more that we must find out about them.

Another Secret of Oolong Tea ~Oolong Tea Has Surprising Benefits~Free Radicals and Polyphenols.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are substances that have become oxidized in the body. They are generated within the body in order to protect it from exogenous harmful factors. However, they are also formed when we are exposed to ultra-violet rays and stress, take in chemical food additives, smoke of tobacco, or when we are involved in too much exercise. It has also become clear that as we get older, the amount of free radicals within the body increases naturally.

Free radicals are a serious enemy to health and beauty.
Free radicals oxidize the regular lipids within the body to convert them into lipid peroxide. This can cause adult diseases, such as arteriosclerosis and diabetes, as well as dark spots and wrinkles on the skin.

Free radicals damage the skin.
The skin is constantly exposed to free radicals that are formed by many different external factors. If no countermeasures are taken against free radicals, melanin pigmentation become dark spots, lipids that should keep the skin fresh turn into lipid peroxide, and the aging of the skin accelerates. Women in particular fear the negative effects of free radicals.

SOD controls the effects of free radicals.
The human body's system is equipped with a natural mechanism to control the effects of free radicals and minimize their damage. This is an enzyme called SOD (superoxide dismutase). If this enzyme functions fully, it removes the free radicals that are formed within the body. But SOD is stored within the body and cannot be supplemented like other kinds of nutrition, such as vitamins. In order to strengthen SOD, we need to enhance its function by using something else. Polyphenol, which is found in oolong tea, plays an important role in this regard.

The benefit of polyphenol in oolong tea has been confirmed by clinical trials.
Polyphenol in oolong tea offers two functions (as does SOD), one of which is to enhance the function of enzymes and the other is to remove free radicals. In clinical trials, we asked people to drink oolong tea that was produced by infusing two packs of the tea in boiling water twice a day for three months, and we then measured any changes in the function of SOD before and after the intake of oolong tea. The results can be summarized as follows.
1, Continuous intake of oolong tea is effective in enhancing the effect of SOD within the body.
2, It is very effective in delaying the appearance of signs of aging, such as dark spots and wrinkles, by strengthening the effect of copper-zinc-SOD, which acts favorably within the cutaneous cells of the skin.
3, Oolong tea is also highly effective in improving both spleen energy-weak and kidney energy-weak symptoms as diagnosed in Chinese herbalism.
The effectiveness of polyphenol in oolong tea has been confirmed scientifically.

Oolong Tea's Health Promotion Benefits~Extracts from Health Reports
Effect of Controlling Obesity
Statement from a Chinese Archive on Pharmacology
In China, tea has historically been used as a medicine. Many studies have been carried out up to the present day about the effects of tea. It has been known for some time that tea helps to control obesity and this is common knowledge in China. A Chinese classical pharmaceutical book called the Bencao Shiyi (The Compendium of Materia Medica) states, "Drinking tea for a long time will make one live long to stay in good shape without becoming too fat and too heavy."

Obesity means excessive accumulation of fat within the system.
In modern medical science, obesity does not simply mean being overweight. Obesity is defined as an "excess accumulation of fat in the human body," indicating that "the amount of fat within the body has increased beyond its normal range." As shown in the chart, the normal range of fat against weight is 15-20% for a man and 20-25% for a woman. A man will be diagnosed as being obese if he has a fat-to-weight ratio of 25% or more, and for a woman, if she has a ratio of 30% or more.

Excess triglyceride accumulates inside fat cells.
Why does obesity occur? The mechanism of obesity is like this. Among other food items taken into your body through meals every day, sugar and fat are synthesized into triglyceride in the liver and the small intestine, which are then carried in the bloodstream into various other tissues in the body. More triglyceride than any other kind of fat is contained in the human body and it is used as a source of energy for life support and physical activities. Excess amounts of triglyceride will be deposited within fat cells. This is the mechanism of fat metabolism in which an excess accumulation of triglyceride in the body causes obesity.

Oolong tea enhances the function of fat metabolism.
Polyphenol in oolong tea is effective in controlling obesity. Specifically speaking, it activates the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving triglyceride. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and to controlling obesity.

Lab experiments demonstrate that oolong tea helps to prevent obesity.
Experiments using laboratory animals were conducted to verify the effect of oolong tea on the prevention of obesity. Rats were used in the experiments. They were divided into three groups: one was a control group that was given normal feed and water; another was given high calorie feed containing extra fat and water; while the third group was given the same kind of high-calorie feed but with oolong tea as a drink. All the rats weighed the same before the experiments but weighed differently six weeks later according to their groups. The two groups of high calorie-fed rats gained more weight than the control group of rats fed with the normal feed, and no weight difference was observed between the two groups of high-calorie fed rats.
But when the fat cells of the two groups of rats were compared, the quantity of the visceral fat and that of the subcutaneous fat of the group of rats that was given oolong tea was smaller than that of the other group. It was also proven that even when rats were given fatty food, if they were also given oolong tea, they were prevented from becoming obese without any effect on their growth.

Clinical Test on Obese People
A clinical test was carried out on 75 people between 22 and 68 years old who were obese merely because of overeating and/or lack of physical exercise. They were asked to consume a drink made by infusing two packs of oolong tea in water, once in the morning and once in the afternoon for six weeks. They were also asked to refrain from receiving any dietary treatment or taking any exercise.

Thickness of subcutaneous fat decreased.
Echography sensors were placed at a spot 3 cm to the right of the naval of each of the subjects to measure the thickness of their subcutaneous fat. Compared with readings before the test, the thickness of subcutaneous fat decreased by about 4 mm on average after completion of the test program.
As for triglycerides, the serum triglyceride level in some people who had a level higher than the standard before the test clearly fell after the test. It was also confirmed that the serum total cholesterol level in some people who had a level higher than the standard before the test clearly dropped and improved. In addition, 67% of those who participated in the test lost weight. Through the animal and clinical tests, it was confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea promotes the function of fat metabolism and contributes to controlling obesity.

Oolong Tea's Health Promotion Benefits Other Effects
Oolong tea is effective in preventing tooth decay and atopic dermatitis.
According to the Department of Dentistry, Osaka University, consuming polyphenol found in oolong tea contributes to the reduction of tooth decay significantly and is effective in preventing the occurrence of such decay. The Department of Dermatology, Shiga University of Medical Science carried out research into its effect on atopic dermatitis and discovered that 64% of sufferers of atopic dermatitis reported an improvement in their skin condition. This indicates that oolong tea is very effective regarding atopic dermatitis.

Monday, May 19, 2008

ASLI MINYAK GOSOL, Indonesian oil


I don't know this well. But one of our servers brought to me because of my back pain.


It is liquid and take on hand and apply where pain comes. Something warm things come and feel good.

This liquid smell is not great but I like this kind of style. It seems they use this for a long time. I feel this just like Tiger barm in Hong Kong.

Curry Rice

Is this Indian Food or Thai Food? This is Japanese curry rice.
Curry rice is national food as ramen in Japan. I think everybody likes that. We have many of curry rice speciality restaurants in Japan.
It was from India originally and we arranged Japanese way.
I think basic curry is curry plus beef, onion, carrot and potato.
But I do my way. I almost put everything together. I open the fridge door and find something and cook them with curry.
Sauce is same. I add spicy sauce, tonkatsu sauce, ketchup, chocolate, red wine.
Curry has more than 30 spices. They stimulate our brain. Are you going to take a test tomorrow? Eat curry tomorrow morning. You can get good result. Ichiro, Seattle Mariners eats curry before every game. It is our special menu and available this summer.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brown Rice, Genmai







Right is regular rice and left is brown rice. But this is not 100% brown rice. They polished 50% and semi brown rice. Brown rice is good for health but cannot cook with regular rice cooker. And I found brown rice had a bad point. Farmer use pesticide and it stays on outside of rice means non-polished brown rice is not healthy.



It is good to eat just steamed brown rice. But it doesn't fit for sushi rice. Brown rice is drier than white rice and doesn't have much starch. We make hybrid rice, combination of brown rice and white rice. I found that white rice got hard and sticky when cool temperature but hybrid rice could keep the balance and didn't get hard and sticky. That's coming from brown rice's dryness.



Brown rice contains vitamins, such as niacin, abundantly and has various effect, such as the prevention / recovery-from-fatigue effect of aging prevention and arteriosclerosis.



Saturday, May 17, 2008

Food Sharing highly recommend!

This is a sample. 2 people case
A orders a spicy tuna roll and an Alaskan roll. B orders a spicy tuna roll a rainbow roll. They get their own dish and eat. It is fun? Why don't they share the spicy tuna roll and order one new roll? I' ve seen this many times. Do they think sharing the plate is bad thing? Is it fun to eat same food a lot?
This is my case. I go to a restaurant with someone. I don't order entree and order appetizers mainly. let's say, if 4 people seating, I order 12 appetizers instead of 4 entrees. Would you like to eat variety of food? I love to do that. You might find a new favorite dish.
If you go to a traditional place, you order a soup and salad or 1 appetizer and order a large portion of entree with side dish. Then you pay $50 or $60. If you go to a new place, you order 5 or 6 small portion dishes. Then you pay same amount. Which one do you prefer?
I want you to enjoy more variety food and expand your food world. try something new and find something you don't know.

Aoyagi Clam


This is Aoyagi Clam. English name is surf clam. It comes from Boston area. It is alive can use 4 -5 days. After open the shells, take meat and muscle(looks like scallop) and seal.
I like muscle more than meat.
And I think this is better than live scallop. This muscle is very sweet and has texture.
many people say clam is chewy. We have hokki clam. Hokki is also a kind of surf clam and comes from Canada. Hokki is frozen and chewy. Live clam is softer than frozen one. Good for sumiso, miso vinegar mustard or sashimi, sushi. Enjoy!

Big eye tuna May 16 2008



I buy tuna when it is good. This tuna is one of the best in May.

I can make customers happy with this tuna and I'm happy too.

No much comment. I just want to show the picture.

Scallop Seal, himo


I like this kind of things. This is scallop seal. It is very dirty. I dip in hot water and wash and use salt ant rub well. When it gets clean, cook it with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. And dry out.

hey, Japanese chewing gum is ready to eat.

Want some? Ask me any time. It is free offer.

It is good with sake and beer. Chewing is very good for your health. Someone says that we have to chew 1000 times a day. Chewing action stimulate our brain and make strong jaw.

We call himo and means string. It looks like string that;s why we call it himo. I also use aoyagi clam seal.

Soy sauce etc.


Soy sauce is a representative of Japanese food culture. Thank you for Kikkoman. But I use Yamasa soy sauce, the second largest soy sauce maker in the world. Anyway, we have so many kinds of soy sauce. Look a picture. From right, Shirodashi soy sauce (white soy sauce), Usukuchi soy sauce (light color soy sauce), Regular soy sauce, and Tamari soy sauce (Sashimi soy sauce).
Shirodashi soy sauce ~ I use it for noodle soup, quick miso soup, ponzu, chawanmushi, okonomiyaki. It is very useful. It is dashi (soup stock) and soy sauce combination. If you need soy sauce flavor but you don't want soy sauce color, shirodashi soy sauce is the best.
Usukuchi soy sauce ~ Normally used in west side of Japan. It is almost same as regular soy sauce but color is light. Tamari soy sauce ~ It is dark and thick, heavy. I use it for making ponzu, tuna sauce. tamari has deep flavor.
Learn more about soy sauce? Go to http://www.yamasausa.com/Yamasa_products_retail.htm

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soba and recipe


Soba is buckwheat noodle. We have somen, ramen, udon and soba.

Soba is healthy food and reduce high blood pressure. It is good for diet.

This is my lunch sometimes. Simple soba with wakeme sea weed, scallion and tempura butter.

We use dry noodle.

Biol the water and add noodle and cook for 3-4 min..

Noodle soup? yes, we need.

1 liter of water, a piece of kelp, 1 grab of bonito flake, 1 oz of soy sauce, 1 oz of usukuchi soy sauce, 1 oz of shirodashi soy sauce, 1 oz of mirin Don't boil and stop fire before boil.

(Actually 1 litter is for 3 portion of soup)

Strain and pour in a deep bowl. Add cooked noodle and top scallion or whatever you like.

Want cold soba? Sounds good in summer time.

Cook soba noodle 3 min. and wash with ice water and cool down.

Soup? it is not same. Add mirin and soy sauce. You have to make a little thicker.

Don;t forget wasabi wirh cold soba.


Dashi


Dashi is Japanese soup stock. I normally use Konbu, Kelp and kezuri bushi, bonito flake. Some people use iwashi, anchovy or saba, mackerel instead of using bonito.

Dashi is everything of Japanese cooking.

What else do we need? Sake, Mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sake maybe. Then we can make most of things.

I can make tempura sauce, noodle soup, nannbazuzuke sauce, tosazu and more.

I don't cook dashi because want to make it clean.

Boil water and stop it . Add bonito and kelp. Dashi color is just like white wine color.

It is clear and beautiful.

Madai with Roe


I get sometimes roe. This is Madai, sea bream. I don't dump it. Take it from stomach carefully and wash and cook it. I normally use dashi, sugar, soy sauce, sake and mirin.

We can eat it straight but I do with sashimi.

Sliced hirame or sea bream with a little bit wasabi, sliced avocado and sliced this roe.

What a wonderful taste! I do this for a special dish if it is available.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Glucosamine


Since I got a blow of a witch, I have been trying fix my body. I went to Costco the other day and found Joint juice. This drink contains 1500mg of glucosamine. What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age.
Glucosamine is available as a nutritional supplement in health food stores and many drug stores. Glucosamine supplements are manufactured in a laboratory from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea creatures. In additional to nutritional supplements, glucosamine is also used in sports drinks and in cosmetics.
Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin sulfate, a molecule naturally present in cartilage. Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and is believed to prevent the destruction of cartilage by enzymes.
Glucosamine supplements are widely used for osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, cartilage -- the rubbery material that cushions joints -- becomes stiff and loses its elasticity. This makes the joint prone to damage and may lead to pain, swelling, loss of movement, and further deterioration.
Since the body's natural glucosamine is used to make and repair joint cartilage, taking glucosamine as a nutritional supplement is thought to help repair damaged cartilage by augmenting the body's supply of glucosamine.
There is promising evidence that glucosamine may reduce pain symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and possibly slow the progression of osteoarthritis. For example, a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine examined people with osteoarthritis over three years. Researchers assessed pain and structural improvements seen on x-ray. They gave 202 people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate a day or a placebo.

We are getting old. I think it is same as Q10. When we are young, we can make it from our body. And when we are old, we have to take supplements because cannot cover 100% of it.
I take multi vitamin, vitamin C, garlic, Q10, calcium, Grape seed, multi herb. Vitamin abuser? Maybe. But I don't have time to eat sometimes and need to take those to keep my body in good shape. Is this sad or good? Need to retire and enjoy my real life!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Big eye tuna


Here we come. This is big eye tuna. Tuna is a leading actor of sushi restaurant. Tuna is a king. Japanese like tuna and I like it.

Tuna price is not same. This one is average price. It contains chu-toro, medium fatty part and oh-toro, premium fatty part. How do we decide? There is no rule and it is problem. Some chefs say toro and other chefs say chu-toro.

I do market price for tuna because of condition.


We also have yellow fin tuna and blue fin tuna.

You can see yellow fin tuna at seafood restaurants. If you order tuna steak or something like that, it is yellow fin. Blue fin tun is hard to get. We normally have August- November and it comes from Boston area.

Tuna is in danger but we have to eat. Destiny, maybe.
Look at a small picture. I scratch toro with a spoon. This is premium part of toro. It is well fatty and contains a lots of oil. This is a backside of skin and tuna body is protected with fat. Tuna like 65F sea temperature. They are always swimming even they are sleeping. If they stop to swim, they die. Me too. I' m working hard. If I stop to work, I might. But don't worry, I'm not working, I'm doing my hobby.

Mirugai, Giant Clam

Mirugai is called Giant Clam but real name is geoduck clam. It comes from West Coast. You might see this at TV, "Dirty Job".
We normally eat outside part of shells. I cook inside meat normally.
Mirugai is really sweet but chewy. I do same process as live scallop. Dip in hot water and cool down in ice water. Then take skin off from body. It lives 5 or 6 days. Very strong power.
How many people like this? Not much and price is high. Many restaurants cannot make money with mirugai . We dump sometimes because of freshness. I always touch and check it is alive or not. If it moves, OK and can use. It it does not move, it is already dead and dump. Freshness is important for mirugai.


This is a live scallop. It is available most of the time.

It comes with shells and I need remove the meat from the shells.

It is a kind of dirty job to clean scallop. There are dirt and small fishes inside of shells. I take a meat and seals. I also take ovary in winter- spring time. Seal is called himo, string in Japanese . I wash with salt and clean completely and cook it with soy sauce, mirin, sugar and water. Then dry under the Sun. This is our chewing gum. I say Japanese chewing gum. If you would like to try, let me know. It is free and nothing to lose.

How about meat? I dip in a hot water for a moment and cool down in ice water. This process is very important. I can say most of shell fish are really dirty. 1st, kill bacteria , 2nd get tasty. So is this fresh scallop after dip in a hot water? Yes, it is. believe or not, it lives for 3 or 4 days.

It is just Tamago, but Tamago


Tamago, Japanese egg omelet is not a fish item but is a nice supporting item. We are the only restaurant here in Atlanta to make tamago everyday. Do we sell everyday? No much. But I don't want to sell this for next day like other restaurants do. I have a special feeling against tamago. Around 1995, I was working at SOTO Japanese restaurant in Buckhead. I was just a beginner. I couldn't make tamago with chopsticks only. One Saturday night, I asked Soto to take home a tamago pan for practice. And I went home with it and bought a lots of eggs at Disco Kroger. I did a lots of exercise on Sunday. I finally made it. It was a fun for me to serve hot or warm tamago to the customers. That's why I make tamago everyday. A tamago pan is made with copper. Copper is good for pan because keep fire power well. You see how we make tamago. First of all, make a sheet and roll up a little by a little. Then, push to forward and pour egg and roll up again. I use 5 or 6 eggs for daily.
I can say, "Good sushi restaurant has tasty tamago." If you eat tamago at sushi restaurant, you can tell it is good or bad. Tamago shows well it. Many sushi chefs cannot make tamago and buy frozen one from grocery suppliers. Sad, isn't it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Aji, Japanese Jackfish


Aji is called Japanese horse mackerel but I call Japanese jack fish. 1st reason is negative image of mackerel. Americans don't like mackerel. I can say 95 % of people don't like. It is sad. They don't know the way of eating. If you eat it as sushi or sashimi, it is tough because of fishy flavor. But if we grill it, yummy because of fish oil. Saba contains a lots of oil. It burns and make smoke when it grill and can make a smokey flavor. Saba and jack fish are same family. It is called blue skin fish. Blue fish contain tons of DHA and EPA. It makes you clever and smart, good for your brain and body. You have to eat them more.

Anyway, we have jack fish around Gulf of Mexico. That's why I call Japanese jack fish.

The best season is May-October. How do we decide the season? Aji gets more fat (means fish oil) between May and October. This fat is tasty. This fat, fish oil is nothing wrong with your body and extremely good for you.

Aji is good with ginger and scallion. Meat is very tender. People are getting know it. It is not danger and available most of time. Eat more and be healthy!

Yari Ika, Spear Squid



This is Yari Ika, Spear Squid. Japanese like Ika. It is for sashimi, sushi, dried and more.Ika is low fat, low calorie and high protein. That means good for overweight, diabetes people. Taurin is rich in Ika and it reduces cholesterol in blood.


We make Ika sushi with shiso leaf and pickled plum, umeboshi. Also I have Uni Ika Kelp, Ika noodle with uni sauce. Americans like fried calamari but they don't like much sushi, sashimi.


You have to try something different texture and taste.


Picture" before peel the skin and after peel the skin. They have a plastic like bone. Do I like Ika/ yes, I do. Oh by the way, squid leg is called geso. I don't know why. We have fried geso and very popular. This comes frozen but quality is high. Real gresh squid color is almost clear. It is very famous in summer around Hokkaido. I ate several times


Seacology


Have you had a name of Seacology? Seacology is NPO in California. They are an environmental protection organization. I found them accidentally from Internet. I read their home page and was impressed. I sent a mail to them immediately and started donation from November 2007.

I just got "Seacology fellow." I donate $500 from restaurant which is almost 1% of sales and $50 from my personal check. Seacology is rated 5 stars NPO in USA. If you see "50 simple things you can do save the Earth", Seacology is page 28-29, save the coral reefs. Seacology help the people who try to break environment for living. Most of them are islanders. Instead of ruin the natural environment and making money for living, Seacology give them money and build school or make something for them.
I says our customers. Eat at Taka and save the world! Yes!

In detail and donation ? go to seacology.org.

Earthquake and continent plate

There was a big earthquake in China. That are has a lots of earthquake. Don't be surprised. It will happen again. We are living on a floating continent. But we don't feel we are floating. Because continent is too heavy to feel it. I had 1 or 2 earthquake a week when I was in Tokyo. It is very common in Japan. That area of China is on Eurasian Plate but connected with Indian Australian Plate. Indian Australian Plate is pushing Eurasian Plate and hit each other. Hitting plate cause earthquake. Japan is more complicated. Japan is on 3 continent plate, Pacific Plate, Philippine Plate and Eurasian Plate. So, we cannot be surprised with just an earthquake.
Our mother Earth is a huge planet and we are just tiny creatures. The Earth has 5 billion years of history and we just can live around 100 years only if we are lucky. We need to respect it and be nice to the earth. She gets mad already because we break so much nature and kill so many creatures on the Earth. It is not too late, we have to repair it and compensate it.
Learn more? http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/earth/Continents.shtml

Monday, May 12, 2008

A blow of a witch


I got a blow of a witch on Saturday morning. I am a busy guy. I was gardening at my backyard. I bought soil from Walmart and wanted to seed okra. I was taking soil from a bag and moved to a container and tried to stand up. What was that? I couldn't stand up. I tried to do it again but felt a huge pain on my back. Oh finally came to me. I knew what was that. This was a blow of a witch. Recently I was losing a vision and it is the beginning of presbyopia. I don't need reading glasses so far. Bu I will need them near future. I am look young but not. Looks good but inside of my body is not good, maybe. Fortunately, it was not bad and I could walk. So, I worked Saturday night and canceled playing golf on Sunday and stayed home. My employee introduced me a good massage lady. She is from Taiwan. She really has a good reputation and reasonable price. I went to her place on Sunday night. She cannot speak any English and I explained it to her husband. She did a good job and did foot step massage. It was painful but it worked. I feel better today and try foot massage by myself. I have foot massage magnet mat at my home. I didn't use it much seriously. But I am really use this time. I also have a foot bath with vibration and bubble. I try this, too. Our foot steps are connected with all internal organs. I stimulate my step、make it strong and keep my body healthy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Anago, Sea Eel



I buy fresh Anago, Sea Eel from Japan. We have Unagi, fresh water eel and Anago.

Unagi is from China and farm raised. Made in China? Don't worry. Our supplier is a Japanese company and they pay attention well. Of course FDA check it after landing.

Any way, I need to cut Anago. I put a nail around eye and keep staple otherwise cannot cut. Ango skin is really special. It is covered with slippy things. I wash anago with salt and take slippy things but still slippy. I need to cook ango after cut. I use sake, mirin, kelp, sugar and light color soy sauce. I cook about 30 min..

Anago season is around June- July. There is a reason. Anago live in the ocean but it is near by river. Japan has rainy season and it is June-July. River stream bring a lots of mineral from mountain. We have a lots of rain in rainy season and anago is very happy for that.

Flying fish, Tobi Uo


Flying fish. Have you had before? The season is spring to summer. You might have tobiko, flying fish roe. I get fresh one every week from Japan. You can see why they can fly about 100 yard.

Is this wings or fins. They have 2 large and 2 small. How about taste? It is a family of Sayori, halfbeak. No fat, clean taste and good with ginger, scallion.

Easy to catch and not in danger means price is low.

Sea Bream, Madai




This is sea bream. Japanese name is Madai. We used to use Red Snapper but changed. I read an article in Chicago. One of restaurant in Chicago got a fine from government or somewhere because of using a wrong name. After that, we changed the name. Our supplier also changed the name as same reason. You can go to myfoxatlanta.com, i team report. They took red snapper from 7 sushi restaurants here in Atlanta and sent to NJ for DNA test. Only 2 restaurants were right. Other 5 restaurants sold tilapia as red snapper. I need to explain this. The problem is with suppliers. They sell Izumi dai. This isumi dai is tilapia. It looks like tai, red snapper family. So restaurants sell it as red snapper.


By the way, all sea bream is farm raised. You see the fat in the picture. They are in a small net and cannot swim much. So they can get fat easily. They also get sun burn. Normally, sea bream stay at bottom of sea. But farm raising net cannot set the bottom of sea. The sun shine go through the sea and fish get sun burn. madai color is close to red but some are a little bit dark. That is sun burn. It is good to know.

Chilean Seabass


I've been selling Chilean seabass. This fish is in danger, I know. But Tuna is also in danger. Most of fish will be gone near future. But we have to eat. This fish is almost 3o LB. I cut in 100 pieces and be marinated with Saikyo miso plus more. I normally use white miso, sake, mirin, honey, sugar and yuzu juice and leave 2-3 days. I think Seabass saikiyo yaki is one of the best grilled fish. I will sell this until the end of supply.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stamp price is going up again?

USPS says stamp price will go up from May 12th. Monday. 41 cents stamp will be 42 cents.
I think they just raised the price in January.
This is because of oil price.
Our supplier told me that they were charged fuel cost with invoice.
It is just like air plane ticket. Tokyo- Atlanta ticket is $480~. But need to add fuel charge, tax and more and eventually $800 and higher.

We just got rice price raising last week. It was $34 for 50LB of premium short grain rice.
Last week price was $40.
And we don't know the future price. That's why we need to buy the rice when it is low price.
New rice (new crop) is coming around September and the price is going to be around $60-$70.
I'am saving my rice at home and don't think of rasing menu price for next 2 months.

Salmon



I got a fresh salmon. I normally buy 2-3 a week. It comes with head and need to cut.
Picture 1 : After cut
Picture 2: Curing with salt for 2-3 hours
Picture 3: Marinating with vinegar for 10 minutes
Do you know salmon color is carrot color? Farm raising salmon's color is really pale and bad. So, they give foods with carrot and change the meat color.
Normally, sushi chefs freeze salmon after cut because of worms. Fresh water fish contain worms.
They die if freeze. But after defrost, fish juice come out and quality go down.
I got my way from Soto, I used to work with. Salt and vinegar is very strong and kill worms.
You can eat fresh salmon with high quality at TAKA.








New Dolphin Tank?

GA aquarium just announced about anew tank. They bring dolphin this time. It is very popular attraction in Japan. Dolphin is very smart and friendly. There is a big difference there. Aquarium is Japan is facing coast and GA is far away from ocean.Have you visited GA aquarium? I have once. Do I want to go again? No. And why? I don’t want see sad beluga face. I think they get so much stress in a small tank, maybe. Can you survive in your living room the rest of your life? You don’t need to go out. You can watch TV, movie whatever. You don’t need to cook, clean whatever. But you cannot go out. Can you survive? Are you happy? It is for human beings and not for animals. Make sense?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Artisan Foods


My friends opened a bakery and cafe. The name is Artisan Foods. It is located in Historic Roswell, the corner of Canton St. and Woodstock Rd. Sayuri and Hoy used to work with Joli Kobe in Sandy Springs. I helped them before opening and give them my opinion after opening.

Hoy makes good bread. I eat more bread than ever. I think the first 3 months is very important.

It is not organized but they need to be familiar and will make their style soon.

My restaurant is well organized because of 6 years of history. I changed a lots. Even now, I change decor or painting of wall. I just made a long bench. Bench seat (booth) is very popular and our customers like that. I am not a carpenter but like those kind of job. No, it is not a job, maybe hobby. I enjoy it very much. Making something is fun and enjoyable. But anyway, everything is for the customer's satisfaction. The picture is Artisan Foods.

Monday, May 5, 2008

GA state flower


This is Cherokee rose, Georgia state flower, believe or not.

Not Peach, not Magnolia. This tiny petals is rose. I found my subdivision May 4th. It is almost finished blooming but still fine.

By the way, GA peach is bad taste isn't it! I like CA or SC peach because of taste.

Ecos is great.


Are you friendly for environment? I am and I'm trying to. I got Ecos detergent at Costco.


I bought it when I saw the label which said 100 Natural. And this is good and better than Oxygen. Have you seen TV CM. The guy tests many stain with Oxygen and cleans all of them. That is fake. I tried 1 time and so disappointed. No result found from Oxygen. On the other hand, Ecos is great. Why don't you but one and try it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Increasing head speed

I played golf today. Actually I play golf every Sunday for fun, exercise and mental training.
I play with a better players today and learned. He played from back tee, which is longest distance. I carefully watched him. His swing was very first. I almost give up driver recently because of accurate but am trying to use again for breaking 90. I went practice on Saturday and made sure it's accurate and used it on Sunday. It was not bad and I felt to increase more fast head speed. Professional golfer's swing is very beautiful and doesn't feel much power. But their head speed after touch a ball is very fast and hit a sweet spot.
I need swing practice more for this Sunday. I have a heavy weight for club and use it with practice swing. I will see this Sunday. Gold is balance sports. Technically, driver plus iron or wood and putter's combination. Mentally, keep 18 holes same pace and being cool and need to read distance and wind plus other obstacles.
It is fun and stress. I need to break 90 this year. This is my mission possible. Be cool and practice more.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Omakase

I made Omakase dinner for 2 tonight. Chad made a reservation for Jessica. They met in college in DC, And they are dating now. She moved to Atlanta first and he just moved in.
Champagne? Of course. Belows are 10 courses for them.
1, Gaspacho, with snow crab topping
2, Tuna Tartar
3, Kanpachi Carpaccio
4, Miso marinated Lamb chop for her and Crab Salad for him
5, Vegetable Antipasto
6, Tuna and live Hotate, Sumiso
7, Ika mentai
I made toro sashimi with shiso for uncounting. They loved shiso and I wanted to show it.
8, Yaki Saba Misoni
9, Sashimi, sayori, hirame and aji
10, Slow cooked oh-toro
Dessert 1 Toro nigiri, 1with seared and sea salt lemon, 1 with nikiri sauce wasabi
Dessert 2 Strawberry Mousse
So, Omakase means tasting course in Japanese.
They are happy and I am happy.

Welcome back a soldier

I had regular customers last night. Ron-san family. He always comes with Betty-san, wife and a son sometimes. I remember last September's visit. The son needed to go to Iraq. I opened a champagne for him and told him, "Please come back." Now 2008 May, he came back with 2 legs and 2 hands. It was good to see him again. I bought a dinner for Ron-san's family and opened the same champagne. What is Iraq war? Nothing. A customer told me before," They are protecting our life and keep oil price fare." Nothing. Gasoline price is making a record everyday. Who is happy? Military industry and pentagon. The got a job. They need to create a job otherwise the government cut job. And how many people died. Japanese government sent troops for a while and no one died. If someone die there, the prime minister needs to resign. This is Japan. We are watching. So how about America? More than 4000 soldiers died and who care?
For the country! for the world peace keeping! I think something wrong.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

No reservation

I just watched No reservation, movie. I wanted to watch it because of something with restaurant industry. It was OK. I just wondered chefs needed to wear caps. Iron chef, TV show is same. They don't wear caps. But Japanese chefs did. I see many chefs at restaurants and same as movie. They ask cooks wo wear caps but they don't. They touch the foods and dishes.

How people think about food safety issue?

I just wonder. I need to ask Fulton County health department. Oviously bad.

Me? I always wear a cap. This is Japanese standard, maybe.