Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alimentacio i cultura - 9 receptes: Yudôfu, Mochi, Dimsum

Alimentacio i cultura   
9 receptes

1) Yudôfu: Plat d’hivern en el que s’escalfen cubs grans de tofu en aigua ..
2) Bibimbap (arròs al vapor amb  vegetals).
3) Mochi. Es bull l’arròs amb gluten en un recipient i s’aixafa fins fer una pasta amb la que es fan els pastissos.
4) Pollastre amb ametlles i gingebre: (annex recepta)
5) Sopa de miso:
6) Juk:  S’elabora amb diferents grans.
7) Dimsum:
8) Tempura:
9) Chajangmyeon: 

Plat 1) Yudôfu: 
Plat d’hivern en el que s’escalfen cubs grans de tofu en aigua amb konbu (varietat d’alga), i després es mullen en una salsa calenta a base de soja, i es mengen amb yakumi (herbes i espècies utilitzades com a condiment), katsuobushi (bonítol dessecat, fumat i curat amb bolets) en virutes i la part verda de cebes tallades molt fines.
a)  Localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
Yudôfu is one of the well-known Japanese dishes Those from Kyoto are celebrated nationwide by its ‘silkwise texture’.
Cultural note: Yudofu' served at Nanzenji Temple is probably the most famous. For the Kyotoite, 'Yudofu' had historically been something that was employed to make fun of 'Bando Musha' (barbarian worriors from eastern Japan) who had invaded this venerable city. Watching those rude people appreciate 'Yudofu,' Kyotoites used to make fun of them behind their backs, saying, "They say 'Yudofu' is delicious. What kind of palate do they have? They don't know what they're doing."
b)  ¿de quina cuina es tracta? ¿característiques d’aquesta cuina?
It’s been a traditional Zen vegetarianism Shojin ryôri especialty. This cuisine entered Japan with Chinese Buddhist monks. Lately it has been the base of modern high cuisine (kaiseki- ryôri).
Yudofu, a simple nabe dish of tofu cubes simmering in hot water, evolved around this period. It’s a perfect dish for autumn or winter and it is said that it tastes best when scooped up at the moment it floats up to the soup surface.
They come down to the Japanese of harmony and wholeness. They have to use 5 cooking techniques and display the 5 colors and offer the 5 tastes.

Clean the fish (dried kelp, konbu) with wet towel or perhaps you have it in soup stock (dashi - but sometimes dried bonito or sardines) and not with running water. Put the konbu and water in a donabe ceramic pot and leave it for a few hours. Get the soy sauce in a pot and heat to make dipping sauce. Pour the dipping sauce into individual bowls, and that is interesting.

c)   Ingredients: el tofu. Explica
Tofu is also known as soybean curd (alternative words: Toufu, Toofu, Bean curd, Touhu). Soybeans are soaked for 20 hours. Then the beans are ground, mixed with water, and boiled for twenty minutes. The soybean milk is strained and filtered to separate solid part (okara) and liquid one (tounyu). Then a traditionally saltwater by-product (nigari) is added to the milk to make it clump together. This clump is called a curd. The curd is cut into blocks and used in many ways as a very nutritious and tasty food. Tofu is easy to digest and is presented in any shape, nmost common the rectangular shape and can be grilled, soaked and fried. 
The best account on history of the product I have found is :


d)  estris, normes a taula  (estris utilitzats per a preparar i/o per a consumir el plat, normes a taula del lloc d’on és originari e plat)
You will need two bowls and a spoon and a pair of choptsticks. Pour the dipping sauce into individual bowls. Add some topping in the bowl and eat boiled tofu, dipping in the sauce .
By the Edo period (1840–1867) the communal one-pot meal derived into the small, individual nabe. In a sense, this small pot allowed to each person to cook following their own taste heating the soup in the portable brazier (hibachi) which led to a rich diversity in nabe cuisine.

Ref. Flavours of Korea: With Stories and Recipes from a Korean Grandmother's Kitchen

Millon, M & Millon K. Andrea Deutsch publishers

Plat 2) Bibimbap (arròs al vapor amb  vegetals). 

Els ingredients són arròs, brot de soja, diferents verdures, gochujang i oli de sèsam. És un plat que barreja l’arròs i diversos tipus de vegetals, visualment atractiu.

a -Localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
Bibimbap  is a good representative of the Chosun Dynasty, and its name is made of bap (boiled rice) and bibim. The dish name stands for 비빔밥 (literally meaning mixed rice or mixed meal)
The area where it is a representative meal is Northern Jeolla, the best ones reportedly prepared in the town of Suchang  
b-aquest plat il·lustra una manera de “pensar” l’alimentació. Explica
They come down to the Chinese principles of harmony and balance. They have to display the 5 colors and 5 tastes. (see d-section below to lay out)
c-ingredients gochu (or Kochu) & gochujang  : crucial ingredients in Korean cooking.
The gochu is the red pepper –incidentally two language related items: The pungent, red, podlike fruit of any of several cultivars of the pepper plants, Capsicum frutescens and C. annum. is named after the Quechua chin (cold), tchili (snow), or chilli (where the land ends). And secondly, besides the geumjul reference in our uoc modules about the male identity, gochu stand also as the Korean nickname for penises (due to shape), highly appreciated in son’s following a Confucian attitude to male boys (you hear the locals say ‘gochu, gochu’, with an erected finger, pointed at the little boys).
And gochujang  which  is a fermented paste made from soybeans, glutinous rice, malt, and red chili. It is associated to the healthy properties with its C vitamin.   
To make seasoned red pepper paste, combine 4 tablespoons of red pepper paste, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, and then mix well.

d-estris, normes a taula
This dish comes in two ways: a large bowl with rice on the bottom and the other ingredients placed on top, or just the ingredients in the bowl and a separate bowl of rice. Mix all the ingredients together then use your spoon to eat. A bowl of light soup is also served.
Most restaurants prepare the dish with a big scoop of gochujang and red pepper paste placed with the vegetables (get them displayed on the side if you do not like the taste much!).

The display of foods is a set pattern: the rice goes to the left side (with a small bowl with soy sauce) and the soup goes on the right one (plus the chojang). Then you will use the Korean spoon for the former and the chopsticks for the rest.
At the Korean table, each person is served an individual serving of rice and soup (guk); while several side and main dishes are arranged for everyone to share.
Though people do not need to finish all the shared food that was provided, it is customary to finish one's individual portion of rice. Accordingly, it is usually perfectly acceptable to ask for refills on any of the side dishes, since all traditional Korean restaurants are, in this sense, "all you can eat."

Plat 3) Mochi. 
Es bull l’arròs amb gluten en un recipient i s’aixafa fins fer una pasta amb la que es fan els pastissos. Es mengen així mateix mentre són tous, i quan s’endureixen es torren i se serveixen de moltes maneres,  com per exemple amb nori (varietat d’alga),  o salsa de soja.
a)  Localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
In both areas: eastern and western Japan

b)  el mochi s’integra en una sopa, característica d’un àpat tradicional molt assenyalat ¿quin? Descriu  i explica aquest àpat
Ozoni is a mochi soup cooked with vegetables and other foods. The ingredients may vary according to various regions in Japan , but the essential mochi is always present. Ozoni is partaken by practically every Japanese as the first meal of the Oshogatsu (new year), as it is considered “necessary" for the insuring of a happy new year to come.
The word zoni is written as two characters: zo means "this and that," and ni means "boiled." So zoni literally means "various ingredients boiled together." Each region has its own recipe, but in every case, the ingredients have high nutritional content and are easy to digest.
In western Japan, small round pieces of mochi are cooked by boiling, then they are placed in the soup bowls and the soup is poured on top. The ingredients are generally greens, chicken, and large peeled taro that are served whole or cut into round slices.
In Kyoto, Osaka and surrounding areas, the soup generally has a white miso base. Almost all recipes in eastern Japan use rectangular pieces of mochi grilled until they are lightly browned. Most recipes include a leafy vegetable such as komatsuna, chicken, and kamaboko (fish paste cake). You may cook them separately, because otherwise the bitter taste of the vegetables blends with the stock, and the meat or fish leaves a distinctive odor in the soup. If you use chicken, slice it thin, sprinkle lightly with potato starch, and then dip in boiling water for a moment. This will keep the taste inside and make the soup clear and flavored with soy sauce and salt.

c)  cita una altres celebracions on el mochi ocupi un lloc destacat
For instance in the 11 January, Kagami Biraki (the spirit of the rice) or the Spring feasts in the Hishi Mochi with the diamond-shape cakes, or the spring blossoming of the sherry trees, the Sakura mochi with the sherry-shape leaves.

d)  dimensió simbòlica del  mochi
The ozoni will bring strength and prosperity inb the year to come. In the shape of a mirror kagami mochi, the mochi with dai dai (bitter orange) it represents the longevity.
Cultural note: This culinary tradition apparently began around the mid-1400s, when mochi offered to the gods and Buddha on New Year's Eve (Omisoka, now December 31), was eaten in a soup with other ingredients on the morning of New Year's Day (Gantan, now January 1).

4) Pollastre amb ametlles i gingebre: (annex recepta)
a)   localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
In the end the scarse information goes to some Southern tastes: the two I record are Szechuanese (Szechuan Chicken: sliced chicken breast cooked with fresh ginger & scallions in hot pepper sauce  > where we have two types of meat here) & Cantonese.
The important bit being the flavoury sauce with the ginger as a compound of the sauce with also garlic – a strong taste indeed-, and the roasted almonds in  a brown ginger garlic sauce. It looks as if the meat is marinated to be properly fried in the wok.
Wor su gai (o Warr Shu Gai) being the Chinese name for ‘Almond Boneless Chicken’ – an especiality that has been well established in the Diaspora (I’ve got somewhere written that was origineated in Detroit!)
Cultural maze: This recipe has been a kind of mystery. Some arcane links pointed out to some Mongolian accents, but lately I read that In history Mongoliand didn’t cook poultry.

b)   el wok. Explica
Among the different cooking tools, we ponder the central presence of the wok due to its shape: a smooth curved surface. First, stewing the food (liquid evaporates very fast) and second the even distribution of heat allows stir-frying the small pices at different timings to perfection. Both point out to a tremendous saving of fuel. The Chinese word being ‘kuo’.

c)    ingredients: salsa de soja. Explica
The simplicity of this ordinary item is not alwasys well understood. Firs, we deal with its nutritional value: - two pounds of soy flour contains approximately the same amount of protein as five pounds of meat (that is, a healthy and inexpensive source of protein). Although it’s a reference in all the eastern region, we can say than China is the paramount region for soy sauce. Originally a salty paste, eventually this developed into two separate products: the liquid soy sauce and miso. From Japan sources we leant the natural method: It takes one year to be pressed to extract the liquid part. In old times, man having preferred rather fish sauce, the usage of soy sauce has become more popular since Muromachi period. The main center of the fabrication is in Chiba prefecture for Kanto style (thick shoyu) while Hyogo prefecture makes Kansai style (thin shoyu). Now I quote:
Today, properly prepared soy sauce is made from soybeans that are mixed with roasted grain (usually wheat, rice, or barley) and fermented for several months. Once the aging process is completed the mixture is strained and bottled. By contrast, synthetically manufactured soys are produced in a matter of days through a hydrolytic reaction and seasoned with corn syrup, caramel coloring, salt and water. They lack the savory flavor of naturally brewed soy and often have a metallic taste.

d)   estris, normes a taula (estris utilitzats per a preparar i/o per a consumir el plat, normes a taula pròpies del lloc d’on és originari
All the ingredients are displayed with its colourful bowls and chopsticks. It’s important to be served lukewarm,
For a quick overview on the differences betwen Kansai and Kanto flavors (3 pages) see:

5) Sopa de miso: Aquesta sopa és un dels elements que composen un àpat determinat, que originàriament era vegetarià, però avui dia pot incloure també carn i peix. Aquest àpat està dividit en tres parts. Primer s’ofereix a cada convidat una capsa o safata amb tres plats diferents de verdures, acompanyades d’arròs blanc i sopa de miso.
a)  Localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
Preferences for one type of miso or another are typically linked to regional identity:
The inhabitants of the southwest provinces of Honshu taste memories are likely to include a steaming bowl of breakfast soup seasoned with winy, caramel-colored, mugi (barley) miso. Those born in Nagoya are probably immersed in recollections of deep, burnished brown Hatcho miso soup afloat with silky cubes of tofu. Natives of Shikoku and the Kansai region, particularly those who grew up in Kyoto and Nara, are no doubt thinking fondly of miso zoni, the New Year's rice taffy porridge that is thickened with pale, creamy-sweet Saikyo miso. Miso soup was originated in Muromachi period, but miso was already eaten in Kamakura period.

b)  ¿de quin àpat es tracta?  Dimensió simbòlica, “sentit” i estructura d’aquest àpat.
The most popular soup in Japan is miso soup. Miso soup is seasoned by miso, which is a salty condiment used often in Japanese cooking. Miso is made from a mixture of soybeans, malted rice, and salt. It takes about 10 months to a year for the mixture to be ready for use.  The basic steps are the following:
·       Prepare Dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to boil. Dashi becomes the base of many Japanese dishes. There are different kinds of dashi. It can be made from konbu (dried kelp), katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), niboshi (dried small sardines), or hoshi-shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms). The first and the last ones are known as good vegetarian stocks.
·       Add hard ingredients and cook until softened.
·       Put the miso paste in a small bowl and take some dashi soup from the pan and pour over the miso to moisten.
·       Add the miso to the pan and stir gently.
·       Add soft ingredients (such as tofu) and green vegetables and cook for a short time.
·       Turn off the heat before the soup boils.
The soup is served on a board with the three vegetable bowls, white rice and the miso soup.
Nowadays, it’s served as a popular breakfast or as a fastfood with local hanbagu (Japanese hamburger). (UOC matrials unit VI)

c)   Ingredients: el miso. Explica
Miso corresponds to the fermented soja, that comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the Korean word meju
There are many types of miso from different regions in Japan. The color can be darker or lighter, and the taste can be sweeter or saltier. The most common kinds of miso are shiro (white) miso and aka (red) miso. The white varieties aren't really white, but are light yellow and have a sweet taste. The red varieties are dark brown and are salty. Shinsyu miso, which is light brown, is also commonly used.

6) Juk:  S’elabora amb diferents grans. S’afegeix de 6 a 7 vegades aigua de la quantitat de gra i es deixa bullir durant molta estona. Existeixen  moltes varietats de juk, com el juk de pinyons, el juk de sèsam, juk de soja, juk de carabassa...

a)  localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)

Even in Choson Dynasty era of Korean peninsula, 'Juk' porridges along with boiled rice had been wide spread indeed. In China, where it's also known as jook or juk, a gruel of boiled rice and water, serves as a background for a host of other foods. In Thailand this dish is known as khao tom gung.

b)  ¿quotidià o festiu?
It is a common dish eaten by anyone at breakfast time but there are the extraordinary ones: abalone Juk being the most notorius.
The Juk porridges were mainly served in place of breakfasts of the staple foods.
A special one is Tarak Juk, for which rice would be sodden in water, they ground it with a millstone and boiled, and then they added milk to prepare the Juk porridge ('Tarak is a Korean archaic word for milk). This Juk porridge is similar to the cream of wheat among cereals in the Western world.

c)   ¿propietats atribuïdes?
Sometimes a delicacy, sometimes a restorative. Pine nuts, red beans, pumpkin, abalone, ginseng, chicken, vegetables, mushrooms and bean sprouts are the most popular ingredients. And some fulfill several roles concurrently.

When someone has to recover from an illness, he or she requires highly nutritional intake such as 'Juk' porridges as they are easily digested and heighten the nutrition.  Some examples would be ginseng-chicken Juk, for a student preparing for an examination and children requiring high nutrition as well as for the old and the weak; or the pine nut Juk porridge which helps regain strength and appetite. Other than that, people frequently use the mung bean 'Juk' as a healing diet for its effect on lowering body's fever; Abalone Juk porridge is a superb food for those who are pregnant, obese, suffering from hepatic cirrhosis and hepatitis.

7) Dimsum: main source:

a)  localització (país o regió d’on és més característic el plat)
Many South-eastern Chinese restaurants start serving very early in the morning at around 6 am. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises, often enjoying the morning newspapers.
This eating tradition originated in China hundreds of years ago. It is said to have started along the Silk Road where farmers, laborers and travelers often stopped at roadside teahouses to have afternoon tea, regain sustenance and relax, an olden days version of the local neighborhood bar. In the third century AD, Hua To, a highly respected Imperial physician, advised that eating food while drinking tea would cause excessive weight gain. But the Cantonese in southern China disregarded that advice and turned the quiet and unexciting teahouse into a loud and lively eating experience, which is also how the term "yum cha" (to drink tea) became synonymous with consuming dim sum. Since the 10th century, about 2000 different varieties of dim sum have been created, with up to 100 kinds offered on any given day in the larger restaurants. Though dim sum is a Cantonese word, the idea of a wide variety of small dishes for lunch also holds for other regions of China. Therefore, the terms "Northern dian xin" or "Shanghai dian xing" have come into use.
In some countries, such as Britain and Australia, the term "dim sum" (or more commonly "dim sim") is incorrectly used to refer specifically to Chinese-style dumplings, either steamed or deep-fried. They are often available at snack bars, even those with no other eastern food on the menu.
b)  ¿en què consisteix?
Dim sum 點心 (Cantonese: tɪm²sɐ, Mandarí: diǎnxīn;  literally dot heart or order heart, meaning order to one's heart's content; also commonly translated as touch the heart, dotted heart, or snack). It is usually a light meal, eaten sometime from morning-to-early afternoon with family or friends.
For many southerners in China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. Consistent with this tradition, dim sum restaurants typically only serve dim sum until the afternoon. Nowadays, various dim sum items are sold in a takeaway manner for students and office workers' on the go.

8) Tempura:

a)  localització
It has become a Japanese speciality. At this point I found some ‘authoritative forum’ which stated that: “There is no clear definition of Kanto or Kansai. Generally speaking, Kanto includes Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Ibaraki, and Tochigi, while Kansai includes Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Shiga, Nara, and Wakayama.The point is that the center of Kanto is Tokyo and that of Kansai is Osaka.”
Kanto vs. Kansai, Differences in food culture
The deep fried fish paste patties that go into oden are called tempura in Kansai and ‘—ten? (the ‘—‘ being the name of whatever is inside, ie gobo-ten) in Kanto.

b)  ¿en què consisteix?
This dish consists of some batter-dipped, deep-fried pieces of fish, seafood or vegetables. Tempura, which is usually accompanied by soy sauce, can be served as an Hors D'oeuvre, first course or entrée with a dipping sauce and daikon.

c)    Orígens i evolució
This dish dates from the mid-16th century, whenPortuguese and Spanish culture was first introduced to Japan Tempura comes from the the Portuguese 'tempero'/ Spanish ‘témpora’ a time of fast in Christian belief so that the missionaries had to eat fish. To learn more we can reaad this:
On Catholic holy days, when consumption of red meat was forbidden, the Portuguese traders ate deep-fried shrimp. Because holy days came four times a year, they were referred to in Latin as "Quattuor Tempora".
The Japanese adapted the Portuguese recipe for frying foods and perfected it through the centuries. The Latin word for ‘time’ became the Japanese word "tempura", meaning fried shrimp.  (source>

It was seasoned, spiced, and from there stems the origin. Tempura can be served with a side bowl of rice and soup or on a bowl of rice (tendon) or noodles (tempura udon, tempura soba).

Cultural note: The word has been recorded as テンプラ in the hiragana syllabary, the one used for native words. The Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (Shogakukan) lists ‘tempura’ (te-n-pu-ra) in katakana as correspondent to a foreign portuguese loanword.

d)  ¿quotidià/festiu, elit/popular?
Tempura, which is usually accompanied by soy sauce, can be served as an hors d’oeuvre, first course or entrée.
In Japan, eateries specializing in tempura are called "Tempura-ya" and range from inexpensive fast food outlets to highly revered and very expensive five-star restaurants. Many restaurants offer tempura as part of a set meal or a bento (lunch box).
Tempura is also used in combination with other foods. When served over buckwheat noodles, it is called tennsoba. Tenzaru (天笊), which is tempura atop a mound of cold buckwheat noodles, is perfect during Japan's rainy season or summer. Tempura is also served as a donburi dish where tempura shrimp and vegetables are served over steamed rice in a bowl.

9) Chajangmyeon:
a)  localització
The spelling gives the clear hint of being a Korean word, but the Google searches were not fruitful. Chajangmyeon/ Jja Jang Myeong/Ja Jang Myeong
The birthplace of Chajangmyeon is Gonghwachun, which became famous of this  specialty and spread by other Chinese eateries. Nowasays can be eaten anywhere along the north of China and Korea, and the diaspora restaurants abroad.
The current Korean version of Ja Jang Myeong is much sweeter than the Chinese version (which is quite bitter). The taste can be enhanced with a mixiture of one-year-old soybean paste and a fresh one. Some places offers big lump and strips of the materials in chajangmyeon which make it easy to pick up with chopsticks.
   b) ¿actual/tradicional?
The Chinese migrants had such a nice business during the First World War making the street 'home of Chinese food'.
The birth of Chajangmyeon, the favorite of Koreans, is rather humble. The Chinese gathered in the street after the Korean port opening, so did Chinese restaurants. They invented a cheap and simple dish for the harbor labor, Chajangmyeon, noodles with fried soybean paste.
But a current change occurred in Korea lately.

c)   ¿dimensió simbòlica?
Jja-jang myeon (짜장면), Korean-Chinese noodles with black bean sauce (hence the name) are eaten on ‘Black Day’.
On April 14 in South Korea there is an informal tradition for single people to get together and eat noodles with black bean sauce to celebrate Black Day. This day interplays with two other 14 days, White Day and Valentine’s Day, as Sarah Phelan wrote:
Feb. 14 in Korea is the day girls give chocolate to the guys--including male co-workers, friends and love interests. In other words, the number of chocolates a man receives reflects his popularity, or lack of it. Ouch. The guys get their turn a month later on March 14, which is called White Day, because the men are expected to give white gifts of chocolates, candy, marshmallows or cookies to the girls they fancy. Unlike the women, the men do not have to give presents to other women, such as their mothers, in their lives, nor are they required to give gifts to the women whom they're not interested in. Double ouch.
All of which brings us to the very goth-sounding Black Day, which takes place April 14, when singles who got totally left out of the chocolate-candy-gift-exchange-comparison frenzy get together at a Chinese restaurant to eat "black noodles" (noodles in a black bean sauce) and drink, all the while bitching about how it sucks to be without a mate, not to mention chocolate.  Found at
The idea is that those who didn't give or receive gifts on previous 14  days, can get together and eat Jja-jang myeon to accept their unwanted singledom!

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