Yuzu Mochi

When did ‘Yuzu’ became a household name? Maybe it is not that well known yet but if you are an official foodie, you must have heard the name at least once. For me the first time I heard the name Yuzu coming out from an English person’s mouth was on TV programme ‘the Great British Bake Off’ a few years ago. One of the contestants was using its juice as the key ingredinent for his special cake. So what is Yuzu?

SONY DSCYuzu is a small citrus fruit we cultivate in Japan. It has a quite tough skin and a sharp taste so it is not for eating fresh as a dessert fruit, but it has a marvellous aroma so we add the juice or skin into some dishes and a dipping sauce for enhance the flavour.

When I saw the baking programme I thought ‘where did he get that Yuzu from?’ I believe almost nobody knew about the fruit in England at that time and it was impossible to find Yuzu anywhere in London. How funny the time passes and the situation changes. Now, just a few years later, the bottled juice is available in major supermarkets and if you are lucky, even fresh ones can be found in some Japanese Food shops.

Yuzu Mochi

In a cold evening it is wonderful to have a Hot Pot with a hint of Yuzu flavour. So Yuzu is a flavour of Winter.

I made a Mochi sweet that has a scent and flavour of Yuzu.

Yuzu Mochi

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Mochi Snow Rabbit

When I had a stall in a Christmas Market in December, it was the day that it snowed all day in London. It is very rare to see snow and it is even rarer that snow stayed on the ground over night here.

Japan, where I came from, is a geographically long country lying from North to South with a high mountain range in the midlle almost like a back bone. That was why we have completely different weather depends on where it is. During winter time some places get lots of snow fall and people in such places have some special customs to spend their time. Apart from the obvious choice of Snowman, children in a snowy country make a cute thing with snow. It is a Snow Rabbit that is simply a snow ball made into a oval shape with two leaves as ears and two red berries as eyes to make a face.

Mochi Snow Rabbit

So I made my Snow Rabbit but it is not the traditional one with real snow. It was with ‘Mochi’ as my new Japanese sweet.

Snow Rabbit 4e

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‘Sensu’ Folding Fan

I say here once again ‘Happy New Year!’. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. In Japan New Year is such a big deal so the first three days of January are national holidays. Traditionally we celebrate those days in very Japanese style visually, musically and spiritually. So naturally I would like to make a very Japanese looking sweet for this New Year month.

‘Sensu’ Folding Fanย 

I wondered what was very Japanese in design. I thought something that relates to Japanese clothing ‘Kimono’ must be surely very Japanese. The pattern and the texture of the silk print and embroidery work are unmistakably Japanese. So I had been thinking what was suitable as the design for my sweet making and decided to create a sweet in a shape of one of the important props when you wear Kimono. It is a folding fan called ‘Sensu’ that is made of Japanese paper ‘Washi’.

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Weekend Photo – Stonehenge

Stonehenge

This year’s first Weekend Photo is this ‘Stonehenge’. It was taken on one freezing morning in November last year. The air was sharp and crisp! The last time I had visited this site was probably almost 20 years ago but thankfully the stones were still standing silently and mysteriously as they have been for thousands of years.