Not Pancake, it was Taiyaki Day!

Yesterday was the Pancake Day in the UK. It is the day people make pancake in order to consume the ingredients in the fridge such as eggs and milk before Easter starts. So I tried making ‘Dorayaki’ Japanese Pancake and then … in somehow I failed. The pancake part did not come out well. I was hoping that I would be able to post a photo of beautifully baked Dorayaki pancake here but now I don’t have any photo. It could be because I used one of the brand new frying pan? I will take a revenge on making great Dorayaki sometime soon, but in the meantime I am going to show you the photos of my recent ‘Taiyaki’ fish shaped Bake instead.

 

Taiyaki with Shiratama Mochi Balls

These are the Taiyaki I made a few days ago for my teatime.

taiyaki 2 Continue reading

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Japanese Christmas Market is Coming to North London

There is one annual event that I join as Sakura Junction at this time of a year. It is a Japanese Christmas Market that gets held in North London. This is the only occasion that I sell my Japanese sweets to public and I enjoy chatting and seeing the reaction from people. Last year the day we had the market London woke up in a blanket of snow which continued to fall till the evening. This caused so much difficulty for people driving or parking their car and the public bus services were also all cancelled. So it was disastrous for us that people couldn’t come to the venue even though they wanted to. This meant a very limited number of visitors.

The market is a craft fair so a lot of stall holders sell their own creations which are somethings Japanese related. They will be a great Christmas gift for your friends and families. However, it seems like that the things the visitors are after the most is food, Japanese food! We have several stalls that serve hot meals and sweets so you can have lunch first and look around to find beautiful things, and then enjoy teatime with Japanese sweet in one location.

Poster 2018

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Japanese Themed Christmas Market in North London!

The fabulous time has come! It is the season that I am going to have a stall in a Christmas Market in North London. This ‘Jolly Hobbies’ Market is held only once a year during Christmas Time but that is not the only thing this market is special about. It is a Market with a Japanese Theme! It’s organised by a Japanese person and many of the stall holders are also Japanese so the products people are selling there are mostly something related to Japanese culture

2017 Jolly Market E

I got involved in this market about 5 years ago. Since then it is becoming bigger and bigger and the number of the visitors are increasing every year. The Market started as a kind of craft market first and then recently it has been becoming like a Japanese Street Food Hall too. We serve all sorts of Japanese food hot and cold, such as Sushi and Japanese Curry and many other dishes. It includs my Japanese sweets too.😊 So the visitors can have lunch and look around the stalls to pick some great gifts for Christmas and then buy some Japanese sweet and drink for having Teatime there before going home. It is wonderful to see all the visitors seem to be enjoying the time there.

This year as a Japanese Sweet ‘Wagashi’ maker, I am of course putting my Japanese sweets on the stall which most of them are Gluten-free, Egg-free and Dairy-free. I am planning to to take a variety of ‘Mochi’ type sweets for Mochi fans.(^_-)-β˜† I am also going to sell Home-made Vegetable ‘Gyoza’ Dumplings on the day. I hope I can serve as many hot grilled Gyoza dumplings to the happy visitors. However, I am still in the middle of preparation and am not sure how many portions can be ready by Sunday.

It will be a fun day for all the visitors and the stall holders too. If you live in the North London or if you can travel to there, please come to say ‘Hi’ to me. I will be most grateful! 😊 See you there then on Sunday!!

Another day, another ‘Tai-yaki’

Tai-yaki SJ (2)

On the day I did not have any sweet at home, the first & only thing I thought and wanted to make for my afternoon tea was ‘Tai-yaki‘. It is a fish shaped Japanese sweet with sweet Azuki bean paste filling.

It was sunny day even in London in winter and a Robin & a few Blue Tits were flying around in the garden. I felt Spring was getting closer. I had to have something nice.

Taiyaki halved

A cup of hot Sencha Green Tea was very nice too.

If you want to try out Tai-yaki, the recipe is on my old post. Please check it. CheersΒ  πŸ™‚

Tai-Yaki & Half-Moon-Yaki            (γŸγ„η„ΌγοΌ†εŠζœˆη„Όγ)

Taiyaki in the sea

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 inside

Tai-yaki with Tsubu-An & ‘Shiratama (mochi)’ filling

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Welcome to Sakura Junction!

Sakura

Hi I’m Mutsumi,

Welcome to Sakura Junction and my first post on this blog!

I am very pleased to start this website ‘Sakura Junction’ at spring – Cherry Blossom time. It’s because ‘Sakura’ means Cherry/Cherry Blossom in Japanese. Japan is famous for cherry blossoms and Sakura is our National flower. There is no any other season more suitable than spring for the start of ‘Sakura Junction’.

I have been wanting to be involved in food production for many years, particularly Japanese Food. WHY? It is because there’s been a kind of trend in Japanese Food here in London for several years, however, people don’t really know much about Japanese Food. How many Japanese dishes can you name other than ‘Sushi’? Japanese street food is becoming quite popular recently so you might know β€˜Okonomi-yak’ or β€˜Tako-yaki’. And our most recent hit in London β€˜Ramen’ is the one that foodies are talking about right now! Basically there are so many different types of food in Japan.

So I want to introduce Japanese Home Cooking to you. You may have tried to make some Japanese food before but got stuck with unfamiliar ingredients? I am going to adapt the ingredients and use only the stuff you can find in London without any difficulty.

to post intro

Over several years I have developed the skill of making Japanese Sweets. That is my specialty and I occasionally sell these in a market. Japanese Sweets are not only pretty, but very different from westerns sweets. Many of them are mainly made of beans,
rice flour and sugar so that they are Free from Gluten, Dairy, Fat/Oil and Egg. Carbohydrates burn cleanly in our body unlike butter & cream with high content of Fat/Oil. Beans are thought to be a healthy food option anyway, so that overall Japanese Sweets are much healthier than pastries.

I hope my blog will inspire you to cook more Japanese Food.

Happy Healthy Eating!!