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”Osechi” New Year’s Japanese food


Osechi New Year's Japanese food
”Osechi” is specially prepared New Year’s dishes to be eaten during the first three days of January.

Various kinds of beautifully prepared dishes are set in boxes.

Most dishes are cooked in order to be preserved for at least three days.

So women don’t have to cook during that period.

Each dish and ingredient in ”Osechi” has meanings, such as good health, good harvest, happiness, prosperity, long life, and so on.

I introduce some items of ”Osechi”.

<Osechi introduction>
昆布巻き Kobumaki
simmered konbu rolls. Rolled kelp with fish in it.

黒豆 Kuromame
simmered black soy beans
various beans imply a wish for good health.


栗きんとん Kurikinton
mashed sweet potato with sweet chestnuts
Literally, “Kurikinton” means “chestnut gold mash”,  symbolizing economic fortune and wealth for the new year.
It is not the same with “Kurikinton” of Wagashi(Japanese sweets).


candied dried sardines


数の子 Kazunoko
salted herring roe
It’s said that yellow coloured dishes and ingredients such as kazunoko symbolize prosperity.


伊達巻 Datemaki
sweet omelette with fish paste.
To make it using special bamboo mat.

かまぼこ Kamaboko
fish cake
Try it with a little bit of soy source.
Red/pink and white coloured food, such as pink and white kamaboko slices represent celebration colours.


海老 Ebi
Lobsters are for longevity because their bodies are bent like an old man’s.


なます Namasu
Pickled radish and carrot.
Namasu is made of radish and carrot in thin strips and pickled in sweetened vinegar with Yuzu flavour.

鯛  Tai
Sea bream
Symbolizing an auspicious event.


<Other New Year’s food>
お屠蘇 Otoso
We drink special named Japanese sake for cerebration, “Otoso”.
You can try to drink “Otoso”at shrines or temples during new year 3 days in Japan.

otoso new year  

雑煮 Zouni
Japanese eat New Year special soup “Zouni” at home.
Ingridients are vegetables, mochi(rice cake), meat fish and cake etc.
There are many types of “zouni” depending on local area in Japan.
Mochi is round shape or square shape.
Tastes of soup are different types of stocks, made of dashi(made of seaweed), dashi(made of seaweed or fish flakes) , dashi and miso or red beans etc.


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X’mas bento box

Kids bento event National play day in Singapore 2015
X’mas bento

TSA Singapore jointed Natinal play day on 19th December.

Our program was Kids bento making demonstration.

We are introduce some design Bento box for kids.


For the Santa Claus Bento Box

Step 1: Pull out the 1 ham in the drop type. This is the foundation.

Step 2: Unplug a triangular part of the drop-type by using two cuts. This is the hat.

Step 3: Pull out the cheddar cheese in the drop type. This is the face.

Step 4: Pull out the cheese slices in the round part of the drop type further staggered to create a twice disconnected the beard.

Step 5: Step 1 the ham foundation + Step 3 the Cheddar cheese face + Step 2 the triangular ham hat + Step 4 superimpose the beard.

Step 6: Use a straw to cut the Cheddar cheese to make a nose.

Step 7: Use a smiley face punch to get the eyes and the mouth.

There we have our Santa Claus!

X'mas tree design sushi roll bento

small onigiri bento

Santa Nori bento


What is popular Japanese cuisine?

SUSHI – it is already popular in the world.

Now Japanese food and cuisine has become one of a popular cuisine.

At the Milan Food Expo this year, there were big crowds in front of the Japan pavilion every day.

Japan pavilion milan 2015 Japan pavilion milan 2015-2 Japan pavilion milan 2015-3

Japanese cuisine?  You say, “Sushi!”?

Actually sushi is really a specialty in Japan.

There are some local homemade sushi menus. For example, “Chirashi-sushi” and “Inari sushi”.

Many Japanese cannot make traditional Authentic sushi “Nigiri sushi” and “Roll sushi” that everybody knows and have experiences in eating in Singapore and abroad. Most Japanese, however, know how to make homemade style Japanese cuisine.


I would like to introduce 10 delightful menus with the following advantages:

  • 1   Japanese cuisine with local ingredients you can find easily.
  • 2   Nice menus for beginners eaters of Japanese cuisine.
<What is popular Japanese cuisine?>

No.1 Sushi

Sushi is strongly popular amongst Japanese food.
Making "Roll sushi" is easier than making  "nigiri-sushi" at home. 
(link  Roll sushi and nigiri sushi) 


No.2 Western style Japanese cuisine  
Japanese people arrange many cuisine menus. Some menus are accepted by international people.  

Hamburg(arrangement meatloaf) and Omelette rice(omelette and chicken rice combination) 
are really Japanese original menus. 

hamburg web

No.3 Nikujaga
One popular Japanese cuisine at home.  You can see and eat at Izakayas in Japan sometimes.

nikujaga web


No.4 Okonomi-yaki

The styles and ingredients are different depending on prefecture. 

You can make hotplate at home – there is Okonomi-yaki kit in the big supermarkets.



No.5 Tempura

To make tempura is really troublesome as you must clean kitchen a lot after cooking. 

But hot fried tempura is really tasty and crispy.



No.6  Tonkatsu

Please try to eat a variety of tonkatsu!  We can get some kinds of Japanese pork:Kurobuta pork, Platinum pork etc.

New style of healthy tonkatsu “Mille-feuille tonkatsu” – You can try to find in Japanese restaurants. 
This menu on the outside is thin pork slice, and the inside is vegetables, very healthy.

No.7 Miso-soup

It is most popular among Japanese.
Japanese eat it with seasonal vegetables to keep balance with nourishment every day.
There are many types of Miso in Japan.
Now International people can eat Miso-soup, but they could not accept
“Dashi” smell and taste (Konbu and Katsuo taste), before.
So, we can eat Miso-soup in any other countries’ Japanese restaurants.
miso soup
No.8  Japanese Curry rice(Rice Curry)

Japanese chef arranged from the curry menu of the English during the war period.

Japanese curry rice
No.9  Dashi-maki Tamago(Japanese Omelette)

It is made of eggs and Japanese stock “Dashi” in a special square pan.
Eat Dashi-maki Tamago with shed radish and soy sauce.

Dashimaki Tamago
No.10  Chicken Karaage(Japanese style Fried Chicken)

It is good as a menu for Bento, and is a nice side dish for beers or wines.
You can bring Karaage for home parties.



Japanese cuisine(5 flavours, 5 colors and 5 preparations)

Japanese Cuisine 50 dishes
Generally speaking Japanese cuisine is said to consist of five flavours, five colors and five basic methods of preparation.

There are the five flavours of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot;

the five colors of white, red, yellow, blue (green) and black; same as the Japanese Temple’s flag colour.

And the five preparations of raw, steamed, grilled, boiled and fried.

Japanese cuisine “washoku” is life style of taking food as daily life.

Japanese house wife and mother always thinks about cooking with well-balance nutrition for the family with these methods.



Rules of numbers in Japanese Cuisine “Washoku”(Japanese lucky number part 2)

“Shichi-go-san(=7 5 3)” are lucky numbers for Japanese culture.

Japanese use numbers in their life as lucky numbers.

Also we can use some rules of numbers in Japanese Cuisine and Japanese food life.


Japanese Cuisine ”Washoku” culture originated from China and established one of the earliest indigenous Japanese cultures.

Japanese Cuisine ”Washoku” culture consists of Yin and Yang philosophy and the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) in Chinese cosmology.

Yin and Yang

Yin = Heads = Positive = Odds

Yang = Tails =Negative = Evens

Five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water)

Circulation of nature
The wood burns and becomes the ash and goes back to the soil. It becomes the metal, and is played by water, and is drawn up by a tree.


Japanese Cuisine belongs to Yin and Yang philosophy.
There is some Yin and Yang philosophy rules between Japanese knife and dishes, too.

For example,

Japanese knife is single edged.
It has Yin and Yang.
The knife’s right side is Yang(Heads) and left side is Yin(Tails).

Thus, right position is Yang and left position is Yin.


Yin and Yang is also present in Japanese dishes.
Round shape is Yang. It includes shallow dish and sea ocean fishes dish.
Square shape is Yin. It includes deep dish and river fishes dish.

Dish of Sashimi has Yin and Yang.
For traditional example, Tuna sashimi of Hira-dukuri, is Yang cutting.
It must need of Yin for the sashimi. Hence it must be decorated on a square dish – Yin dish.
On the other hand, Flounder sashimi of Usu-dukuri, is Yin cutting.
It must need of Yang for the sashimi, and decorated on a round shape dish – Yang dish.
(Japanese life culture is changing with the times and sashimi style also changing.)


round shape Japanese dish

Odd number is better than even numbers.
Sashimi number belongs to Yang number, odd number.
There are 3 kinds of sashimi, 5 kinds of sashimi and 7 kinds of sashimi.
“Shichi-go-san(=7 5 3)” are lucky numbers for Japanese culture.
Sliced number of sashimi also belongs to odd number.


There are 5 public events in Japan from Edo period, 1600.

January 7th  Seven spring herbs

nanakusa spring hurb

March 3rd   Peach festival  girl’s festival

momo peach festival

May 5th    Iris festival boy’s festival

shoubu boy's festival

July 7th Star festival

tanabata star festival

September 9th Moon festival
(9 is luckiest number among odd number. )

moon festival

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Autumn of appetite – Japan –




Autumn is the most beautiful season in Japan.

Seasonal plants change color of from the mountains to town.


Japanese cuisine is closely related to its season.

Many Japanese ingredients such as rice, seaweed, soba are produced in this season.


Japanese plants are often used in the dishes as decoration.

For example, MOMIJI is the representative plant of Autumn in Japan.


GINNANN (ginkgo nuts) is also popular in Autumn.




Plenty of Autumn vegetables are used in dishes.

People enjoy seasonal fishes with reasonable price.



Needless to say about cold beer,

but people can choose the joy of warm Sake in this season.


Japanese people call rice “Shinmai(新米)” which means new product in the season.


People love to eat Shinmai to feel the season Autumn.

When they eat Shinmai, they admire its taste and compare with past years’.


Rice is the base of Japanese cuisine.

It is made into MOCHI, SAKE, MIRIN(seasoning) and so on.



Check Basic Japanese Cuisine Coure

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Kid’s Bento class in Summer

Kid’s Bento class in Summer

hamburgbent for girls

hamburg bento for girls

Learn to make an attractive, cute and yummy “Kawaii bento” set with us in this 1 or 2 hours workshop!

Pick up skills on how to not only make your food taste good, but look good too!

Instructor’s demonstration followed by hands-on practice. All equipment and ingredients provided.

bento kids karaage2015June2

bento kids karaage2015June

<Bento making class detail>


Karaage Bento      17th June 2015 (Wednesday) 11am -12pm

Hamburg Bento   24th June 2015 (Wednesday) 10:30am -12:30pm

fee :$60/Child (8-14 years old)

Program :Make Kawaii bento box(how to make Karaage or Hamburg and original rice ball making etc

other :Please bring your own bento box and apron(if you have)

Call us and e-mail us!

Tokyo Sushi Academy Singapore

bentoclass participation

bento class



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Teriyaki Don

Teriyaki Don and Marinaded Salmon cooking class

teriyaki chiciken don

Teriyaki don is boneless chicken thigh pan-seared to perfection and coated with a home-made teriyaki sauce, and on top of a steaming bowl of rice.

It is probably one of many kids’ favourite dishes and on almost every Japanese restaurant as long as rice-bowls are included on the menu.

marinated salmon

Teriyaki is cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine.

Marinaded simply with plum (ume) paste, salt and vinegar, fresh salmon and well-cut vegetables are a delicous combination.

Learn correct cooking techniques from professional Japanese chefs, so that you recreate these dishes at home with simple, fresh ingredients and your usual kitchen equipment.

Tokyo Sushi Academy Japanese cooking class
Teriyaki Don and Marinaded Salmon

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Japanese cooking class