Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 01 May 2015 15:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Chinese Salted Kumquat Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/30693-chinese-salted-kumquat-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/30693-chinese-salted-kumquat-recipe.html#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:35:40 +0000 http://www.steamykitchen.com/?p=30693 Many people candy the kumquat — or if you’re Chinese, you may have had it dried or salted. One of my Mom’s favorite remedies for sore throat is salted, preserved kumquat mixed in hot water and a little honey. Basically, it’s just like making Moroccan preserved lemons, but with kumquat. The kumquat is kept whole, but squashed or cut slightly ...

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Many people candy the kumquat — or if you’re Chinese, you may have had it dried or salted.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.52.49 AM

One of my Mom’s favorite remedies for sore throat is salted, preserved kumquat mixed in hot water and a little honey. Basically, it’s just like making Moroccan preserved lemons, but with kumquat. The kumquat is kept whole, but squashed or cut slightly to expose the insides (so that salt can seep in). In a large mason jar, add alternate layers of kumquat and salt until you’ve filled the jar. Cover and let sit for a few days to a month. Refrigerate.

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You can keep this Chinese sore throat remedy for the next time you are sick – just add a couple of kumquats to your mug, mash them with a fork and fill with hot water. Swirl in a bit of honey.

So why does this work? Find out in the video where I talk with my parents!

Chinese Salted Kumquat Recipe Video

 

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Chinese Salted Kumquat

Servings: 10 or more Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 1.32.15 PM

Ingredients:

Mason Jar
Kumquats, enough to fully smush into the jar
Kosher Salt, enough to fill in all the cracksFor the Salted Kumquat Tea

Directions:

STEP 1: In a mason jar, add alternating layers of kumquat and salt until the jar is completely filled and the kumquats are somewhat smushed tightly inside. Cover and refrigerate indefinitely, but at least for 2 weeks.

STEP 2: Make tea from the kumquats mixture to help heal a sore throat. In a glass, add 2-3 salted kumquats, some of the salt mixture, hot water and honey until it is drinkable. Choke it down. Feel better.

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Thai Iced Coffee http://steamykitchen.com/16139-thai-iced-coffee-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/16139-thai-iced-coffee-recipe.html#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2011 15:05:49 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=16139 Learn how to make Thai Iced Coffee!

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Back in my bad-girl motorcycle days at UCLA, my friends and I would ride our bikes along the famous and curvy Sunset Boulevard that bordered the northern end of school. Our destination was a Thai restaurant that I don’t recall the name of. On a motorcycle at night, the ride exhilarating on Sunset Boulevard, zipping between fancy cars with famous people (who drive too fast) and gawking tourists (who drive too slow).

Flaming hot curry, “barbecue” chicken and Thai iced coffee were our must-orders. The meal was cheap. The restaurant opened until 2am and the coffee kept me awake and alert doing all-nighters, which happened quite often.

What makes this iced coffee so different from anything you’ve had before is the infusion of cardamom into the half and half. Cardamom gives the coffee a warm-spice flavor. You can use either green or black cardamom (the black cardamom is cheaper), or in a pinch, ground cardamom.

 

 

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Thai Iced Coffee Recipe

Servings: serves 4 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 15
thai-coffee-recipe

When making Thai Iced Coffee, I brew very strong coffee by doubling the amount of coffee grounds than I normally use. This makes sure that the iced coffee is perfectly balanced and not diluted. If you can't find whole cardamom pods, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Big thanks to Adam and Joanne for helping me with this recipe!

Ingredients:

4 cups double-strength brewed coffee
2 cups half-and-half or cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (add more to taste)
3 cardamom pods (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
ice

Directions:

1. The first step is to smash the cardamom pods to release its flavor and aroma. You can do this with your mortar & pestle - just gently tap the pods until the outer shell is cracked. If you don't have a mortar & pestle, place the pods on a cutting board and with a heavy chef's knife, use the bottom of the handle to smash the pod.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring half-and-half or cream, sugar and cardamom pods to a simmer, turn off the heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
Remove the cardamom pods then add the almond extract.

3. Fill 4 tall glasses to the brim with ice. Divide the flavored half-and-half or cream between each of the 4 glasses. Then slowly pour the coffee into each glass.

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The Art of Tea Tasting http://steamykitchen.com/15329-art-of-tea-tasting.html http://steamykitchen.com/15329-art-of-tea-tasting.html#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 14:54:55 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=15329 Tea growing hills in Fujian, China I was never really a big tea lover last year when my Mom gave me packets of Chinese green tea to take home from a recent visit. Not only were they a really good quality green tea, but I started enjoying tea after dinner, as sort of a relaxing ritual. Just a few months ...

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Tea growing hills in Fujian, China

I was never really a big tea lover last year when my Mom gave me packets of Chinese green tea to take home from a recent visit. Not only were they a really good quality green tea, but I started enjoying tea after dinner, as sort of a relaxing ritual.

Just a few months ago, I met Phil from Two Leaves and a Bud. It was his amazingly fragrant Asian teas that knocked coffee off my morning routine, and then I began enjoying tea throughout the entire day. What I love about tea vs. coffee is that there are so many varieties of tea available, and everything from varietal, region, harvest, drying methods, mixing all contribute to the flavor — sort of like wine.

Yes, I know that coffee has that too, but the differences in these factors are so much more distinct in tea than in coffee. Earl Gray is made from black tea leaves with natural bergamot oil to give it its distinct citrusy aroma is perfect for a rainy morning. My personal favorite, Gen Mai Cha is Japanese tea mixed with brown rice puffs for a roasty green tea that I love to enjoy in the afternoon. Indian Chai, with its distinct full and rice spices is my choice for after dinner as my dessert.

I’ve asked Phil to contribute an article about the Art of Tea Tasting for you. Check out the flavor wheel in the article, which actually came from wine tasting. It’s fascinating to see that language and flavors of tea are so similar to those of wine.

~Jaden

 

The Beginner’s Guide to Tea Tasting

by Phil Edelstein, Two Leaves and a Bud

Many of us taste tea everyday, but how often do we take the time to truly discover each of the aromas that hit our nose, and the flavors that meet our palette? The complexity of flavor that comes with high quality tea approaches the complexity of a robust wine. Unraveling the incredible variety of tastes, textures and aromas of your favorite teas is a fun way to enjoy the adventure of drinking teas that come from all over the world.

And yet, tasting tea and finding ways to describe what meets your tongue can be daunting. Experienced tea tasters from tea gardens around the world taste thousands of cups of tea every year. Here at two leaves and a bud tea company, we’re tasting different “crops” of tea weekly, carefully noting subtle differences in cup color, aroma, texture and flavor profiles.

Where are you, the average “cuppa’ day” tea drinker, supposed to begin? Fear not—the following step-by-step guide to the art of tea tasting will have you tasting and describing teas like a connoisseur in no time. Let’s begin!

Preparation for Tea Tasting

Properly preparing the tea you’re about to taste is crucial. Interestingly, preparing tea for a formal tasting is quite different from your normal home preparation. Here’s what you’ll want to do:

Your average tea sachet or cup of loose tea is going to hold around 2.8 grams of tea, steeped in 350 mL of water. For your tea tasting, measure out double the amount of tea you would normally sip, or just use half the water – 175 mL. We’ll explain why in the next section.

Heat your water. Here, you’ll want to be very careful about what temperature your water reaches. Basic guidelines are:
White and green teas: these delicate leaves can’t handle too much heat, or else they end up singed with a bitter, burnt flavor. Steep at temperatures between 170 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Oolong teas: add a little more heat! Brew at temperatures between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Black and herbal teas: Heartier leaves can handle a full boil. Steep at a temperature between 208 and 212 degrees to release the full flavor.

Start steeping! Pour your water over the leaves and cover the top of your mug or teapot to preserve the heat. Set a timer for 4-5 minutes (a full-fledged, long steep), and remove the tea after the timer has gone off.

All done? You’re now ready to begin tasting!

The Art of Tea Tasting

You’re probably asking yourself – why did I steep double the amount of tea I would normally? The answer: so that your cuppa’ tea “overemphasizes” the flavors hidden in each tea. A full, long steep with double the amount of tea might not be perfectly pleasing to the palate, but it will help to tease out the flavors you might not notice normally, and make them more apparent to your tongue.

With that in mind, there are also a few techniques during the actual tasting itself that will help bring out the flavors of the tea and make them more recognizable:

Smell: Studies have shown that 80-90% of what we taste is actually due to what we smell. With that in mind, you’ll want to treat your cuppa’ tea just like a glass of wine: take a deep, long inhale as you bring the tea to your mouth, so that the aroma mingles with what you’re tasting on your tongue.

Slurp! It may make your tea tasting a bit more rude and noisy, but slurping tea is the only way to truly taste it. Slurping cools the tea, and runs it over your tongue, allowing it to fully touch every part of your palette. And don’t swallow just yet! You’ll want to let the tea sit on your tongue while slightly pulling in air from your lips (cue more slurping sounds), thus aerating the tea and allowing it to fully run over your palette, bringing out the full range of flavor.

Spit: Now your tea tasting just got really rude! Spitting out your tea like you would at a wine tasting is purely optional, but many tea tasters spit out their tea so that they don’t become overly “jived” from caffeine.

Wondering if you need to cleanse your palette when you’re tasting multiple teas? You actually don’t. Tea tasters transition from tea to tea without pause to quickly compare flavors. Don’t worry—the flavor of the previous tea won’t “dilute” what’s in your mouth now.

Describing What You’ve Tasted

Now comes the hard part: taking what you’ve tasted and putting it into words. The disclaimer for this step is that it is purely subjective – there is no “right” answer. What you taste is what you taste, and any adjective you’d like to use to describe your tea is just fine.

This can be a bit of a challenging step at first, so as a form of training wheels, let’s take a look at this image of a flavor wheel (courtesy of My Wine World), which provides a wonderful starter set of words that you can use to describe your teas:

As you can see, this flavor wheel has some great suggestive terms that you can use to describe your tea. However, if you’re still in search of things to say, let’s get even more detailed by looking at types of tea, and putting them into the flavor categories (wood, sweet, fruity, etc.) that they generally fall under.

Black Teas

The earthy, deep tones of many black teas will often fall under the Wood and Mineral categories of the flavor wheel.

Green Teas

Green teas taste…green. The vegetal tasting profile of green tea means that it generally falls under the Herbal section of the flavor spectrum.

Oolong Teas

Oolong’s flavor can be smoky and/or sweet, green and/or black. It often occupies a middle ground in the realm of tea between green and black teas, and so its flavor profile can run the gamut of Spice, Sweet, Wood, and Mineral.

White Teas

Incredibly subtle in their flavor, white teas are light, bright, and often have a little sweetness. You’ll often find pleasant Floral aspects in white tea, along with flavors in the Sweet realm of the spectrum.

Flavored and Herbal Teas

The above tea profiles are used to describe the flavor of the actual tea itself. But what if you have a Jasmine Petal green tea? Or an herbal blend like our Organic Better Belly Blend with eleven different herbs? The answer is simple – look to the ingredients! If you’re sipping two leaves and a bud’s Jasmine Petal green tea, combine descriptors of green tea with some jasmine petal descriptors from the “floral” or “sweet” category. If you’re drinking our Organic Mountain High Chai Black Tea, which contains spices like cinnamon and clove, combine descriptors of black tea with words from the “spice” category.

Experience is What Counts

Your first tea tasting might not be perfect. The right words may not suddenly arise to the tip of your tongue after first-slurp. But keep on trying! Experience makes all the difference. As you refine your palette, and teach your brain to describe what it’s tasting, the right words will become increasingly more accessible.

And most importantly, all the while you’ll be developing an increasing appreciation for the tea you’re tasting, and will be able to truly differentiate between your average, run-of-the-mill cuppa’ and some of the greatest teas on earth.

Photos

Here are some photos from Two Leaves and a Bud recent trips to China, Japan, India to source tea.


Tea Hillside- Tea bushes growing on the hilly landscape of Darjeeling, India.


Irrigation – looking down the slope of one of Darjeeling’s many hills.


A tea plucker about to make her way out to pluck tea in Assam, India.


A view of Darjeelingtown, India.


Pluckers harvesting tea in Darjeeling, India.


The actual “two leaves and a bud” of the tea plant, plucked in Assam, India.

 


A view of the green tea fields in Fujian Province, China.


Freshly plucked green tea.


A green tea “CTC Machine” which takes whole leaves of tea and cuts, tears and curls them so that they can fit in a traditional teabag.


Green tea being steamed in the traditional Japanese style.


Colorful saris wait in line in India.

 

 


A plucker happily picking tea in Fujian Province, China.

 


Pluckers dot the hillsides in Darjeeling, India.

 

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How Artisan Japanese Sake is Made http://steamykitchen.com/3996-japanese-sake-how-made.html http://steamykitchen.com/3996-japanese-sake-how-made.html#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2009 00:32:45 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=3996 Many of you know that Japanese sake is made from rice, but did you know that premium artisan sake is done mostly by hand? Very little machinery is used, which is why this is a true art form. I’m continuing my series on Premium Artisan Japanese Sake and this post is dedicated to telling the story of how the sake ...

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Many of you know that Japanese sake is made from rice, but did you know that premium artisan sake is done mostly by hand? Very little machinery is used, which is why this is a true art form. I’m continuing my series on Premium Artisan Japanese Sake and this post is dedicated to telling the story of how the sake is made.

I didn’t think a slideshow was good enough — so I spent 6 hours putting this little movie togther for you. Yes, you heard right…6 glorious hours putting together a 10 minute video. It would have taken another 4 hours if all of the content wasn’t already there from my sake partner-in-crime, Vine Connections.

How Premium Japanese Sake is Made

  • (0:30) Just like wine, region matters for Japanese Sake. Each brewer comes from a different prefecture (or region) in Japan and its geography, climate and “recipe” all affect the final product.
  • (0:50) In its final bottled form, Japanese Sake is about 80% water, so the purity and quality of the water has a significant impact to the taste of the sake.
  • (1:17) The rice used for premium sake is different than table rice – many artisan brewers use Yamada Nishiki rice
  • (1:35) It’s all about the rice! See photos of the rice grains – from regular table rice to Ginjo rice to Daiginjo rice. Compare how different they look (shape and color.) Brewers use modern milling machines to remove the unwanted outer layers of the rice.
  • (3:00) After milling, the rice kernals are washed, soaked and then steamed
  • (3:44) Koji mold is sprinkled onto the rice to start the fermentation process to convert starch to sugar to alcohol. See how it’s done by hand!
  • (4:40) Photo of koji and rice after 48 hours – it smells faintly like sweet chestnuts
  • (4:50) Moto, a yeast starter is added and over 100 million yeast cells develops in just 1 teaspoon!
  • (5:07) Over 4 days, more koji, steamed rice and water is added and stirred by hand with long poles – impressive photo
  • (5:22) The carbon dioxide that bubbles up to the surface of the fermenting mixture or “moromi” is mixed back in through a crude foam beater
  • (5:33) The moromi is fermented at low temperatures – while industrial sake brewers can finish this in as little as 18 days, artisan brewers can take as long as 32 days to ferment
  • (6:00) See an artisan brewer’s sake press. Once the moromi is finished, the sake is pressed through this simple machine called “fune”
  • (6:41) An even more extravagent way of pressing sake is simply letting it drip down in hanging cotton bags through its own weight
  • (7:10) Extreme Sake?! Yes totally! This sake, called Divine Droplets is drip-pressed in a hand-made igloo built right outside of the brewery
  • (7:50) Pasteurization also done simply by hand and in small batches
  • (8:07) Learn how to read a sake label – the sake that Vine Connections imports all have a distinct label that tells you region, grade, type of rice and flavor profiles
  • (8:48) Fantastic new product called sparkling sake that I love! sake2me is made with premium junmai sake and infused with all-natural flavors.

==

Japanese Sake Posts

Here are other sections that we’ll be covering in the next few weeks

Japanese Sake Grades

How is Sake Made? (this post)

Artisan vs. Mass Produced Chart

Food and Sake Pairing

How to Read the Labels

How to Serve Sake

How to Have Sake Tasting at Home

What’s a fun, modern way to enjoy sake? Sparkling Sake: sake2me

Tasting Notes: Living Jewel

Tasting Notes: Divine Droplets Sake

Tasting Notes: Wandering Poet Sake

Tasting Notes: Snow Maiden Sake

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All About Japanese Sake http://steamykitchen.com/3994-00-japanese-sake.html http://steamykitchen.com/3994-00-japanese-sake.html#comments Sun, 07 Jun 2009 17:50:49 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=3994 To launch my sake section – I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to Sur La Table – see end of post! ~jaden Contest Over! == As much is I love everything Asian, I really didn’t get into exploring world of fine Japanese sake (SAH-keh) until just recently. A little over a year ago, I had a chance to sneak ...

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japanese-sake-chilled-2809

To launch my sake section – I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to Sur La Table – see end of post! ~jaden

Contest Over!

==

As much is I love everything Asian, I really didn’t get into exploring world of fine Japanese sake (SAH-keh) until just recently. A little over a year ago, I had a chance to sneak into a meeting with a sake sales representative, Morgan Hartman. Morgan was giving a artisan sake tasting to a local restaurant’s staff, and I kind of tagged along, curious to experience what artisan sake was all about.

The next hour just blew my mind. We sampled eight or nine different brands of sake, the exact number I really can’t remember. While the other is utilized their spit bucket, I couldn’t fathom the thought of wasting a single (hiccup) drop.

Sidenote: You know when wine pros do wine tastings, they don’t really swallow the wine….they take a sip of wine, gurgle around in their mouths, make funny faces and then spit it out. Because if you DON’T swallow and you’re tasting like 10 different wines, by the time you get to number 6, you are so flat-out drunk that everything tastes like pencil lead, cat piss and leather. Honestly, I’m probably not a super-taster nor will I ever be a wine geek, because I just cannot understand which pie-hole they pull out these obscure flavors and aromas from. And really. The only time I really would enjoy tasting leather would be if I was on the back of Fonzie’s motorcycle, holding on tight and trying to reach and kiss the back of his neck. Okay, sorry for the rambling sidenote.

Anyways, the tasting blew my mind. Nine artisan sake from different regions of Japan, each brewed using handcrafted methods and premium ingredients. No chemicals, no sulfites and some utilizing no machinery. Yes, some of the sake were expensive, but the majority of them were surprisingly affordable, about the same as an everyday bottle of wine.

So, these next two weeks, I’ll be posting a lot about Japanese sake – the good stuff that you drink chilled like wine. Not the cheap sake is served hot and goes down burning like a lighter fluid. In fact, after my sake tasting experience, I can’t even drink the hot sake at all. Did you know that the cheap, lesser quality sake is served hot to mask it’s inferior flavors? You’re so distracted by the heat that you can’t even taste a thing. I know that some people love hot sake (I even did a Twitter poll), but I’d like to show you around the world of chilled, artisan sake.

I’ve been studying my ass off the past 2 weeks (I’ve really been loving my late-night “MARKET RESEARCH” sake tasting sessions) and my teacher is none other than that company that Morgan works for, a small company called Vine Connections, based in California, who represents over 20 of Japan’s finest premium sake breweries. These artisan, ancient (the youngest is 86 years old!), and traditional family brewers produce some of the best sake that you’ll ever try. So I’ll be learning from Morgan, Lisa, Ed and Jeffrey, who will be sponsoring a sake section on Steamy Kitchen. They are a great partner, because they represent over 20 different artisan sake brewers, and we’ll be able to give you the basics of premium sake, how to order sake and read the labels, full tasting notes, teach you how to pair sake with food and how to hold your own artisan sake tasting with your friends.

==

So, what the heck is “premium” sake?

Sake, often called the “Drink of the Gods” by the Japanese, is a beverage produced from sake varietal rices, pure water, koji spores, and specially selected yeasts. Premium sake is brewed like beer, but drinks like fine wine.

Like beer, the starch must be converted to sugar, which then turns into alcohol. Like wine, each brand has its own distinct tasting notes – some sake is woodsy and earthy (pairing well with meats and other full-flavor dishes) and some have flavors of lychees and lemon zest (pairing well with steamed seafood)

nihonshu

What makes a sake a PREMIUM sake? Well, premium Japanese sake is to regular sake what Single Malt Scotch or Agave Tequila is to their cheaper counterpart. Premium Japanese sake brewers are family artisan craftsmen and all their sake are made by hand with little, if any, automation. No cheap rice, no mass-production and certainly no chemical additives.

And one of the great things about premium sake is that it’s gluten-free, sulfite free, and kosher. Premium sake becoming popular, too…enjoying a 20% annual growth rate in the U.S. for the past 5 years. The newest drink that is made with premium sake is sparkling Japanese sake infused with all-natural Asian flavors. It’s served chilled and it’s fantastically fancy served in a champagne glass.

==

It all begins with the rice.

You know how a grain of rice is pretty darn small? Well imagine polishing (or milling) the rice so much that only the heart of the rice remains. That center heart of the rice grain produces the most clean, pure, fragrant and complex tasting sake!

So, what’s all the other unwainted stuff that you’re polishing off?

  • protein
  • minerals
  • fats
  • amino acids
  • starch
  • other “stuff” (like unwanted rice cling-ons)

While all this stuff we’re polishing off is actually good for you (in terms of EATING rice) it’s bad for the fermentation and taste of sake. So, the more you mill the rice, the cleaner, elegant and refine the sake is. Cheap sake uses the cheap rice and the entire grain. Super-premium sake is made with Yamada Nishiki Rice (a rice variety ESPECIALLY made for sake) that are polished to just 40% of its original size! See the last rice photo, how the rice grain is very white and less than half the size of the table rice?

japanese-sake-rice grades

==

All these fancy Japanese words! What do they mean?

Think about wine. Instead of merlot, pinot noir or chardonnay, the common words used to differentiate premium sake are:

Junmai (JOON-mai): Junmai is pure rice Sake. Nothing is used in its production except rice, water, yeast, and koji (that magical mold that converts the starch in the rice into fermentable sugars). Junmai is brewed WITHOUT any addition of distilled alcohol. Now why would you add distilled alcohol to sake? Because cheaper, faster. Instead of allowing the rice starch ferment naturally – lower grades of Japanese sake will include added distilled alcohol. Junmai is premium sake with no added distilled alcohol. Generally a bit heavier and fuller in flavor than other types of Sake, with slightly higher acidity. Goes well with a wide range of food. Must have rice grains polished to at least 70%, meaning the outer 30% of each rice grain has been polished away.

Gingo (GEEN-joe): Super premium sake and special practices must be followed to make it, including higher milling rates, the use of special rice and yeast, longer fermentation periods, and many other labor-intensive brewing processes.

Daiginjo (die-GEEN-joe): Even a more painstaking brewing process than Ginjo, which results in Sake that is even lighter and more fragrant and fruity than a typical Ginjo. Must use rice milled to at least 50%. Often, Daiginjo goes as far as using rice milled to 35% (65% of the kernel polished away!).

So you can combine “Junmai” with “Ginjo” and “Daiginjo” == or use the words independently.

japanese-sake-junmai-labels-2862 Junmai (no distilled alcohol added, milled to 70% of grain- i.e. 30% polished away)

japanese-sake-junmai-labels-2865 Junmai Ginjo (no distilled alcohol added, milled to at least 60% of grain)

japanese-sake-junmai-labels-2863 Junmai Daiginjo (the very very best, no distilled alcohol added, milled to at least 50% of grain)

==

Japanese Sake Grades

sake-grade-chart2
Percentages from Sake World
==

Coming Soon!

Here are other sections that we’ll be covering:

Japanese Sake Grades (this post)

How is Sake Made?

Artisan vs. Mass Produced Chart

Food and Sake Pairing

How to Read the Labels

How to Serve Sake

How to Have Sake Tasting at Home

What’s a fun, modern way to enjoy sake? Sparkling Sake: sake2me

Tasting Notes: Living Jewel

Tasting Notes: Divine Droplets Sake

Tasting Notes: Wandering Poet Sake

Tasting Notes: Snow Maiden Sake

==

$50 Sur La Table Gift Card

surlatable

My friends at Sur La Table gave me a $50 gift certificate. Originally, I was going to take that gift certificate and give it away to you guys…but the trouble was…I WENT to my local store to pick up the gift certificate.

How could I resist NOT buying a few new goodies for the kitchen?

So I used it.

😉

But never fear, due to my own shortcomings in the willpower department, I am buying a $50 gift certificate to give away.

So – how to enter? Easy. Just comment and tell me ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT JAPANESE SAKE. If you’re a smart-ass and don’t have any questions, just pretend you do and copy someone else’s. You have until Tuesday, June 16th 12pm EST.

CONTEST IS OVER! HERE’S THE WINNER ~the management

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da) http://steamykitchen.com/492-vietnamese-iced-coffee.html http://steamykitchen.com/492-vietnamese-iced-coffee.html#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2008 19:24:39 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=492 Thanks to two of of my fellow Asian bloggers WhiteOnRice and Wandering Chopsticks, I learned a few secrets to some great recipes that I shared on TV last month…come take a look at the video. When you get to ABC’s site, click on FEATURED VIDEO right below recipe name. Vietnamese iced coffee is almost like a dessert to me – ...

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)Thanks to two of of my fellow Asian bloggers WhiteOnRice and Wandering Chopsticks, I learned a few secrets to some great recipes that I shared on TV last month…come take a look at the video.

When you get to ABC’s site, click on FEATURED VIDEO right below recipe name.

Vietnamese iced coffee is almost like a dessert to me – sweet, lush and I could just savor it little sip by little sip.

I’ll show you how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or Cafe Sua Da (in Vietnamese):


How to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

1) French roast medium coarse ground coffee: You can use any type of coffee really, many Vietnamese use Cafe Du Monde French Roast Chicory coffee, but as long as the coffee is medium coarse ground, you can use it. Fine ground coffee would fall right through the little holes of the coffee press.

2) Sweetened condensed milk: It’s the sweet, sticky, thick stuff – NOT evaporated milk! No substitutions here!

3) Vietnamese coffee press: Found at any Asian market – usually between $1.50 and $4.00. Here are some resources.

4) 2 glasses: one filled to the brim with ice.

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

Step 1: Add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a glass

Add grounds

Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the base of the coffee press
Note: if you want a much stronger coffee, Wandering Chopsticks recommends to wet the grounds just a bit to let them expand. About a spoonful of water should do the trick!

Screw on the press tight

Step 3: Screw on the press tight. The coffee should be packed well.

Pour boiling hot water

Step 4: Pour boiling hot water into the coffee press.

Cover

Cover with its little hat.
Step 5: Wait. It will drip veeerrrry….veeerrrry slowly.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

The longer it takes, the stronger the coffee. Notice that there are only a few drops per second. For me, I can’t wait any longer than 5 minutes. If the coffee is dripping too fast, then use a small spoon or tip of knife to screw the press on tighter, 1 turn clockwise. Or if it’s dripping too slow, unscrew 1 turn counterclockwise.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

While it’s dripping, go get some ice in a glass. You’ve got nothing else to do!

Viet Iced Coffee

Step 6: Once it’s finished, stir well.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

You can set your coffee maker on top of its overturned lid to prevent dripping onto your nice table.
Step 7: Pour over ice and enjoy!

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Apple Ginger Mint Iced Tea http://steamykitchen.com/349-apple-ginger-mint-iced-tea.html http://steamykitchen.com/349-apple-ginger-mint-iced-tea.html#comments Wed, 21 May 2008 13:24:02 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=349 from Steamy Kitchen column in Tampa Tribune 5/21/08 When I was little, my mom used to take a 2-quart pitcher, fill it with water, add a few tea bags and placed it in a sunny spot early in the day. My job was to chase the sun. As the sun moved throughout the day, I had to nudge that stupid ...

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Apple Ginger Mint Iced Tea

from Steamy Kitchen column in Tampa Tribune 5/21/08

When I was little, my mom used to take a 2-quart pitcher, fill it with water, add a few tea bags and placed it in a sunny spot early in the day. My job was to chase the sun. As the sun moved throughout the day, I had to nudge that stupid pitcher.

Not a fun job, especially since back then as a kid, tea to me tasted like tree bark. What made the whole job worse was that our patio was covered with an open latticework canopy of two-by-fours. Great for playing a quick game of tic-tac-toe in the shade-produced lines, but you can imagine the frustration of making sun tea?

I’m sure many of you also used this highly inefficient, child-labor intensive method. Oooohhhh, it’s “green” you say, since the only energy you’re using is the sun’s rays? Well, it’s green alright, green as in nasty bacteria. Ok, well, the bacteria isn’t necessarily green, but you know what I mean. According to the Center for Disease Control, brewing tea in the sun for long periods of time actually encourages the growth of bacteria. The water in the jar may only heat up to 130F, not nearly hot enough to kill any bacteria that may be already lurking in your water, jar or tea leaves.

I don’t ever recall any of our houseguests getting sick from our sun-brewed iced tea, but hey, I’m not going to doubt the CDC. To borrow a famous quote from the shamed E.F. Hutton, “when CDC talks, people listen.”

So, I’ll give you two of my favorite methods of making iced tea. Because now that I’ve grown up and have reached that certain income bracket where I’m required to enjoy nasties like beer, cigars and coffee, I really do like iced tea.

The first method is cold brewed, and it’s so easy you can make it in your sleep! Before you head off to bed, fill a pitcher with 6 cups of cold water and add 3 tablespoons of loose leaf teas or 6 tea bags. Stick the pitcher in your refrigerator and when you wake up, it’s ready to be served over ice. According to The Simple Leaf, this method produces a “fool-proof, crystal clear iced tea.”

Easy enough, but sometimes, you don’t have the smarts to remember to do this before you go to sleep. I’m not great at predicting the next day’s food or drink urges when I’m yawning and clawing for my comfy mattress, since most of my urges seem occur pretty darn spontaneously. In the moments where I want iced tea NOW, I brew a batch of triple strength tea and pour that over a pitcher full of ice.

My latest obsession is a hand-blown, heat-resistant glass pitcher from Tea Forte, called Tea Over Ice. While pricey ($40.00) it’s been getting a lot of use in my home because it makes the perfect vessel for 5-minute home-made infused iced teas.

The recipe below is for Apple Ginger Mint, but feel free to experiment with your own favorite herbs, spices and fruits like: blackberry-basil iced tea, peachy-cardamom iced tea or apple-cinnamon iced tea. Just make sure you cut up or smash the fruit to release all of its flavors. Add fruit juice for that extra kick. Speaking of kick, read my note at the end of the recipe!

Apple Ginger Mint Iced Tea

2-3 bags of green tea
2 inch piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
1/4 apple, cut into matchsticks
1-2 sprigs mint
2 cups boiling hot water
1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups ice in pitcher
Honey, as desired

Combine tea bags, ginger, apple and mint in a tea pot. Fill with boiling hot water and steep for 5 minutes. Pour and strain into ice-filled pitcher. Add apple cider and honey as desired. Fill individual glasses with ice and serve.

Yields 4 servings

Psssst!!! To make Apple Ginger Sake-Tea-ni: pour 1-1/2 oz chilled sake in martini glass and 1-1/2 oz of Apple Ginger Mint Iced Tea.

Apple Ginger Sake-Tea-ni

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Sparkling Ginger Lime & Mint Cooler http://steamykitchen.com/301-sparkling-ginger-lime-cooler.html http://steamykitchen.com/301-sparkling-ginger-lime-cooler.html#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:49:11 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=301 These are fabulous recipes from Modern Indian cookbook , written by my new friend and famous chef, Hari Nayak. If you are new to Indian cooking, this is absolutely the perfect book to start with. The recipes are simple, elegant and uses ingredients you can find in most supermarkets. Sparkling Ginger Lime Cooler serves 6 1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ...

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Sparkling Ginger Lime & Mint Cooler

These are fabulous recipes from Modern Indian cookbook , written by my new friend and famous chef, Hari Nayak. If you are new to Indian cooking, this is absolutely the perfect book to start with. The recipes are simple, elegant and uses ingredients you can find in most supermarkets.

Sparkling Ginger Lime Cooler

serves 6

1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, grated on microplane grater
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
6 cups sparking water or club soda
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, blend together all the ingredients, except ice. Strain and serve over lots of ice. You can also add gin or vodka too!

Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Yes, this is the same yogurt sundae from November. Remember when I slept with Rocco?

My favorite source for saffron is a company called Saffron.com, where you’ll find a better quality of the spice at least 10 times cheaper than at your local market. You can judge the quality of the saffron by just looking at it. Pure saffron is red and only includes the style. If you see any yellow or orange on the thread, then you’re paying for the stigma which is colorless, tasteless and aromaless. Get the good stuff, as you are only using a pinch of the spice.

Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Serves 8

4 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 pomegranate
2 kiwis
large pinch of saffron strands

Line a large sieve or colander with cheesecloth. Place colander over a bowl. Place yogurt in colander to drain for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Discard the water (or whey.) Turn the yogurt into a bowl and mix in the honey, nutmeg and cardamom. Lightly toast the saffron strands in a small dry skillet over medium heat, until brittle. Let saffron cool on plate and with your fingers, finely crush the strands. Cut kiwi into small pieces and remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Layer yogurt, fruit and saffron in dessert cups.

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Photo time!

Here are the photos that led up to the money shot. I’m still not happy with these photos, but take a look. And !@(*$&!$! what’s going on with the soggy, mushy colors??? They look perfectly vibrant to me loaded from my computer, but then it gets to the web and BAM! the photos look drunk. I’m using same monitor to view both. argh.


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Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale http://steamykitchen.com/130-fresh-lemongrass-ginger-ale.html http://steamykitchen.com/130-fresh-lemongrass-ginger-ale.html#comments Sun, 01 Jul 2007 23:57:56 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/07/01/fresh-lemongrass-ginger-ale/ If you are having a outdoor summer party - this is a drink that will have your friends praising you to infinity and beyond. This recipe is from Jean-Georges Vongerichten. You rock my world, J-Vo!...

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Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale

This is one recipe that I couldn’t wait to share with you! I found it on a CNN’s website (I know, such an unlikely source!) The chef that created this it is someone that I’m sure you all know….Jean-Georges Vongerichten. If you are having a outdoor summer party – this is a drink that will have your friends praising you to infinity and beyond. The original version has no alcohol, but you can add a big splash of gin like I did.

Ginger does have the word “Gin” in it, so duh! If the photo looks a little crooked, its because I had to do the photo shoot twice.

Both with gin. (hiccup!)

You rock my world, J-Vo.

Lemongrass Ginger Ale

from CNN’s Food Central

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Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale

Servings: 1 quart, about 10 glasses Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.52.23 PM

The original recipe includes chilli and is non-alcoholic. Its hot out and didn't feel like more heat, so I left out the chilli. I also added a splash of gin to each glass. Gin has an herbally, citrusy quality that goes really well with lemongrass and ginger.

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds fresh ginger, cut into thin strips (don’t bother peeling)
3 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and bottom 6” roughly chopped into 1/2" sections
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 quarts water
soda water
gin (optional)
lime wedges

Directions:

1.Throw the ginger and lemongrass into a food processor and process until it becomes a consistency of a thick puree. You’ll have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides a couple of times.

2.In a saucepan over high heat,, add 1 1/4 quarts of water, lemongrass/ginger and the sugar. Boil and immediately turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Strain with a couple layers of cheesecloth. Chill in fridge as long as you can wait.

3.To serve, fill a tall glass with ice. Add a ¼ cup of syrup in the glass. Top with soda water and or gin. A quick squeeze of lime, sip and pretend you’re on vacation.

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