So my fist post after ‘How to Make Tsubu-An’ is ‘Tai-Yaki’. It is one of the most popular street foods in Japan. The name ‘Tai’ means ‘Sea Bream’ and ‘Yaki’ means ‘something baked or grilled’ in Japanese. Although it is called ‘Tai/Bream’ it has sweet filling, which is normally bean paste, and not having any fish at all. It is just a fish shaped sweet.
It is a waffle like sweet filled with traditionally ‘Tsubu-An‘ centre. Recently people started using some new fillings but Tsubu-An is still the most popular one. That is just because it is the best combination & simply delicious.
Tai-yaki with Tsubu-An & ‘Shiratama (mochi)’ filling
Hooray! I can finally post ‘How to Make Tsubu-An’ here, so after this post I will be able to start making more Japanese Sweets and post on this blog.
As I mentioned before ‘An’ (or ’Anko’, they are same thing) is the main component of Japanese Sweets. It is normally a sweet paste made of beans. There are mainly three types of An (Anko) used for Japanese Sweets and they are ‘Tsubu-An’, ‘Koshi-An’ and ‘Shiro-An’.
- Tsubu-An ; Made of Azuki beans
- Koshi-An ; Made of Azuki beans, sieved and skins removed
- Shiro-An ; Made of white beans, skinned and sieved
‘Tsubu-An’ has Azuki bean’s skin left and not sieved so it’s got more of a coarse texture among all the other ‘Anko’. And maybe because of this coarseness it is tended to be used for more casual Sweets. It needs less procedure to make Tsubu-An but that is not the reason I make this type more often. I like Tsubu-An’s texture the most. It is very versatile. If you are interested in making Japanese Sweets, Tsubu-An making is the great place to start.
One afternoon we had visitors. This is Bella the Jack Russel. She came to my garden with Liliane for Tea. This was Bella’s first time coming to our garden so she was so excited and explored everywhere. That is why she was covered with some stuff on her body.
So for the Tea I made two things. ‘Sweet Potato Muffins’ and my signature biscuit ‘Kinako Shortbread’.
I had these plums. They were organic. I was looking forward to tasting them, but was disappointed … they did not have any sweetness. How is it possible that fruits are not sweet, I wonder. So I could not eat them fresh but I had to used them. I was going to bake a cake with them but how? … Umm, OK caramelised a bit before baking!’ That was what I was thinking.
I mentioned about Japanese Summer tradition in food – ‘Chilled Ramen’ before. There is another Must-Have in Summertime in Japan. That is ‘Kakigori‘ – the Shaved Ice!
It is the same as the Chilled Ramen, ‘Kakigori’ also has a traditional Flag to decorate at the entrance of restaurants letting people know that the shop serves it. Apparently the design of this flag has been more or less the same for more than 100 years. The red part in this flag is a Japanese Kanji character ‘氷- Kori‘ which means Ice. The blue part is obviously the sea that is the symbol for Summer and also there for making you feel Cool I believe. And the green part is two birds called ‘Chidori (Plovers)’. Whenever you see this sign you feel the summer is there and you want to have some shaved ice.
This sweet might look like a normal baked Western cake. But it’s not really because …
- this is a steamed cake
- it’s Dairy Free and also Free from Oil.
- Japanese substances are used as main ingredients so it’s ‘Japanese Cake’.
I like steamed cake. It has a much lighter texture than a baked cake. I haven’t eaten any Japanese sweets for a while so my body started craving for something with some ‘Anko’ in it. This is how this cake was born in my kitchen.
Very inviting bright path with dappled light
It was a very fine weather on Sunday so I went to walk in Trent Country Park in Enfield, England.
The Pond near the entrance had a good reflection
Long Avenue creating a breezy shade
There were many people and most of them were with a family. I tried to take a quieter route by going through wilder area.
A leaning tree looked picturesque
A bridge in Water Garden area
Blue sky, dark green of woods, yellowy green of grass and a speck of red colour of a deck chair somebody’s carrying … all these colours contrasting so harmoniously. Viewing this scene was the perfect way to finish my day trip.