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I had my first taste of oshisushi with vegetables as the main ingredient at a vegetable sushi event held at a beer pub in Kyoto some years ago.

I always thought it would be great if I could make various kinds of oshisushi at home, and I immediately tried making vegesushi with zucchini and avocado, and oshisushi with prosciutto ham and cream cheese.

I love the simplicity of the process, which is that you first prepare the ingredients, make the sushi rice, lay out the ingredients, and press, which is basically the same no matter what ingredients you use. I am really glad I bought it because I enjoy the fact that I can make different types of pressed sushi depending on my ideas, such as using rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, depending on the main ingredients.

Every time I add one more to my repertoire, I want to make and serve it to my family who live far away.

Yamaichi's Pressed Sushi Box
https://www.shokunin.com/en/yamaichi/oshi.html

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[Hakusan Porcelain's Yunomi Choko]

Hakusan Porcelain's Yunomi Choko is versatile enough to be used not only for tea, but also as a soba choko cup or small bowl. It goes well with desserts such as jelly and pudding, gazpacho, cold soups, and other dishes that highlight the cool texture, and the high quality of white porcelain that makes the most of the transparency of Amakusa pottery stone is appealing.

Designed in 2002 by Yasuki Sakamoto of Hakusan Porcelain, who received direct instruction from Masahiro Mori, one of Japan's leading product designers, this product won the 2008 Good Design Award.

A Japanese dish recommended for Yunomi Choko is chawanmushi (steamed egg custard). Chawanmushi is a Japanese dish in which ingredients, beaten eggs, and soup stock are poured into a bowl and steamed. Popular ingredients include chicken, fish cakes, shrimp, and scallops. The body of Yamaichi's Chinese Seiro can be filled with three Yunomi Choko per tier to make chawanmushi. Please try it!

Hakusan Porcelain's Yunomi Choko
https://www.shokunin.com/en/hakusan/yunomi.html
Yamaichi’s Chinese Seiro
https://www.shokunin.com/en/yamaichi/seiro.html

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[Umami in Japan]

When we eat a delicious dish, we routinely say that it is rich, deep, or umami, but what exactly is richness, deep in flavor, and umami? There are five basic tastes in taste, consisting of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.

Umami plays an important role in delicious food. It is a taste that is very familiar to the Japanese, as it can be sensed in soup stock and other ingredients. Glutamic acid is found in kelp and vegetables, inosinic acid in fish and meat, and guanylic acid in dried mushrooms.

In 1908, Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University succeeded in extracting glutamic acid from kelp, believing that the component in kelp was the source of the taste of kelp dashi. He discovered that glutamic acid is the main ingredient of kelp dashi, and named the taste "umami. Saburosuke Suzuki, who was entrusted by Dr. Ikeda with the commercialization of the product, gave birth to AJI-NO-MOTO®.

In the past, four basic tastes other than umami were used in the West until the term "umami" was proposed. However, Western cuisine also has dashi such as "fond" and "brodo," which are dashi soup stocks that extract umami from ingredients, without which Western cuisine would not be complete. Many dishes with umami synergies have existed throughout the world since the time when the word "umami" was not defined, such as "dashi" in Japan, which is a combination of kelp and dried bonito flakes, "tang" in China, which is chicken and green onion or ginger, and "bouillon" in Europe, which is vegetables and meat. Fish sauce, used mainly in Southeast Asia, is another example of concentrated umami.

With the registration of "Japanese food" as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, the traditional Japanese food culture is now attracting more attention and being enjoyed more than ever by people overseas. At the same time that Japanese food and cuisine are spreading around the world, an international term originating in Japan called "umami" is also becoming popular. While it is a little difficult to explain umami in words, it is also a sense of taste that everyone around the world is familiar with, and yet it makes me feel proud and curious as a Japanese person that it is called "umami.

Nakamura Douki's Tamagoyaki Pan can make dashimaki, which is truly a taste of umami. The thick copper plate features excellent heat conductivity and heat retention, and prevents uneven browning and scorching. Why not try a professional taste at home?

Nakamura Douki's Tamagoyaki Pan
https://www.shokunin.com/en/nakamuradouki/tamagoyaki.html
Daiya's Bonito Sharpener
https://www.shokunin.com/en/daiya/

Reference
https://www.umamikyo.gr.jp/knowledge/