Affordable Japanese Home Cooking at Shokudo

shimpo_shokudo_meal

How you doin’? It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. What do you think Japanese eat every day? Sushi? Tempura? Fujiyama? Harakiri? I am sorry but it’s a no. You may know authentic Japanese food but how about Japanese home cooking? I would like to share a franchised restaurant called Shokudo where you could find anywhere in Japan.

Japanese Home Cooking at Shokudo

Shokudo refers local informal restaurants but this Shokudo is just a company name. Each store of this Shokudo comes with its area name. One in our neighborhood is called Shinpo Shokudo (since it’s in the Shinpo area).

Japanese Home Cooking

Enter Shokudo

Huge classic rice cookers welcome you. Wow, rice must be goody.

shimpo_shokudo_rice_cooker

Now what? Follow this chart. Basically pick dishes you would like and pay at the cashier. Oh don’t forget to return dishes when you are done (that’s etiquette in Japan).

shimpo_shokudo_instruction

Pick as you like. Japanese home cooking for reasonable prices.

shimpo_shokudo_counter

Tamagoyaki.

shimpo_shokudo_tamagoyaki

Salad.

shimpo_shokudo_side_dishes

Payment at the cashier. The cashier would ask if you would like rice/miso soup together.

shimpo_shokudo_pcashier

Budget is 1,000 JPY-ish. This combination doesn’t look like a typical Japanese home cooking though, well I couldn’t resist.

Japanese Home Cooking

Other Shokudo-type Places

There are some other Shokudo-type restaurants. Here’s some reference. I like Yayoiken also that we can pick regular rice or brown rice. Otoya serves good stuff as well (but there isn’t one in Okayama).

Otoya (only in Japanese)
Yayoiken

Lastly

There has been less and less classic Shokudo lately, but its spirit remains in a different form, so we should cherish. (-v-)

See you around!

You may also be interested in these.
Guide to Sushi Restaurant in Japan
Types of Japanese Ramen: Find Your Favorite
A Guide To Self-Service Udon Restaurant

Cooking Challenge: Fuki (Japanese Butterbur) Aoni

Japanese Cooking: Fuki (Japanese butterbur) featured

Japanese Cooking: fresh fuki (Japanese butterbur)

How’s your week so far? This week started with a rainy day. Rainy season is coming up. Speaking of season, I got fresh fuki (Japanese butterbur) from a friend, which is now in season. Maybe I had one before but I haven’t tried cooking it. My friend gave me a rough instruction how to prepare it. So before I forget and waste it, I immediately took the challenge to cook it!

Here’s how it went.

Ingredients

– fuki (Japanese butterbur stalks)
– 1 cup of dashi (I made dashi from katsuoboshi (bonito flakes))
– 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon of mirin
– salt

Directions

*Aoni (青煮) is a Japanese method of cooking green vegetables without losing their color.

Boiling the Japanese Butterbur (Fuki)

1. Wash the Japanese butterbur and cut to a size that will fit in a pot. (I was told to use the stalks only since the leaves are already hard.)
2. Sprinkle some salt on it and rub by rolling over on a board. You’ll see more dirt coming off.
3. Boil water in a pot and throw in the Japanese butterbur with the salt, thicker ones first.
4. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then strain and soak in cold water.
6. Dry it clean and peel off the outer layer. (This will require time and patience. Since my nail isn’t that long, I used knife to make small cut at the edge.)
7. Once done, cut it into smaller size and set aside.

Preparing the Stock

Now let’s prepare the stock for marinating.

1. Mix the ingredients and pour into a pot.
2. Turn on the heat. Once it starts boiling immediately turn off the heat.
3. Pour the stock into the boiled Japanese butterbur while it’s still hot.
4. Let it cool down, marinate and it’s done!

japanese_cooking_fuki_closeup

I had it as it is. Crunchy with a tangy taste. You can add some bonito flakes on top, add it to miso soup, etc.

Ah! I think what I had before was celery not this Japanese butterbur, fuki. Maybe they have similar taste and smell? Maybe… I can’t really say for sure since I seldom have celery. Anyway, that’s my Japanese cooking challenge! Good thing, it didn’t go to waste. 🙂

And oh, I just happened to see Japanese butterbur plant nearby the road this morning. Now I can recognize you fuki when I see you. 🙂