Wednesday, August 17, 2005


THE TYPICAL JAPANESE TABLE present an array of colors, taste and mouth-watering concoctions.

THERE is the MIZO SHIRU [MIZO SOUP], steaming rice, salad, fish [prepared in different manner: grilled, broiled, steamed, deep-fied, or simply cooked in Japanese O-SAKE [JAPANESE RICE WINE], SHOYU [SOY SAUCE] and MIRIN. TSUKEMONO as side dishes are a must. These side dishes make me enjoy my meals more.

TSUKEMONO or SALTED/PICKLED VEGETABLES are great! The Japanese, Koreans and the Chinese have turned this into an art. They have created the 'proper way' of pickling vegetables. They have to pickle vegetables for the long, winter days.

THE ART OF MAKING PICKLES is quite easy, if there is an elder folk to guide you. The old ones teach the younger generation. This ensures that it would turn out just right. Amateurs like me have started to learn. After several attempts, luck doesn't bear with me as they all turned out unsuccessful.

BIG BOTTLES AND JARS line up every kitchen in Japan. Some real big ones are kept in cool places like the pantry and that special place just under the kitchen floor. These will provide for the household's supply for the entire year.

RELATIVES from Kyushu sent UMEBOSHI [PICKLED JAPANESE PLUM] and RAKKYOU [PICKLED SHALLOTS], Bless them! Knowing I cannot do the process myself, they sent me my supply which have been lovingly prepared by Lolo's ONE-SAN [ ELDER SISTER].

THE LIST of TSUKEMONOs are endless: Radishes, Cucumbers, Chinese Cabbage [Pechay Baguio], small Melons, and more....

AND I love them.

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