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Wasabi 101

If you’ve ever ordered sushi at a Japanese restaurant, then it was probably served along with condiments like pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi. Watch this video to learn about what wasabi is and how it is used.

Wasabi is a root vegetable that grows in sandy, mountainous areas where there is cold, shallow, running water. Because of the unique environmental conditions that the plant requires, wasabi can be quite difficult to grow. For this reason, genuine wasabi is often very expensive.

At House of Genji Japanese steakhouse, we offer delicious Japanese dining and feature a cocktail lounge. If you would like more information about our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, then please give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.

How Valentine's Day Is Celebrated in Japan

Here in the U.S., many people associate Valentine’s Day with men presenting gifts to the women that they are in a relationship with or interested in. In Japan, this holiday is celebrated quite differently. If you love dining at Japanese restaurants and discovering new things about this country’s culture, then continue reading to learn about the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Japan.

Valentine’s Day

Just like in the United States, Valentine’s Day is a big business holiday for Japanese retailers. However, Japan has a deep-rooted tradition of women offering chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, rather than the other way around. There are several theories as to how this came about, with many having to do with the fact that confectionaries marketed their chocolates to women as a way to show their affection to men that interested them. In this country, there are 2 types of chocolates that women give out on Valentine’s Day. The first, called giri-choco (obligatory chocolate) is offered to colleagues and friends. Giving someone honmei-choco (true feeling chocolate), on the other hand, is considered a genuine display of affection.

White Day

In Japan, the gift giving doesn’t end with Valentine’s Day. Exactly 1 month later, this country celebrates a counterpart to the romantic holiday on March 14 th, called White Day. This holiday gives men the chance to return the affection that they were shown on Valentine’s Day by giving a gift to the women from whom they received chocolate. Often, the gifts given are white chocolates that are meant to match the name of the holiday. Along with chocolates, flowers and other gifts are often given. Many department stores make a point to advertise White Day with gift displays to ensure that men don’t forget to purchase gifts for women.

House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that features a cocktail lounge and offers teppanyaki in San Jose. If you would like to know more about us or make a Japanese dining reservation, then please call (408) 453-8120.

Exploring Different Types of Sake

When ordering a drink from the cocktail lounge at your local Japanese restaurant, you may find yourself wondering about the differences between the sake options. If so, you should know that you are not alone and that there are many types of sake available. Read on to learn about a few of the most popular varieties.

Ginjo-Shu

When reading sake labels, you may see the word “ seimaibuai” mentioned on the label. Seimaibuai refers to rice milling, a process which polishes away the outer layer of the rice grains to improve the sake’s flavor. Ginjo-shu, which is classified as premium sake, must have 40% of the original rice milled away to give it a seimaibuai value of 60% or lower. Ginjo-shu has an enticing aroma and is typically served cold to preserve the flavor, which is described by many as being light and delicate.

Junmai-Shu

Sake is divided into categories depending on its ingredients. Junmai-shu sake is often referred to as pure rice wine because no distilled alcohol, additional sugars, or extra starches are added. Junmai-shu sake is made from only rice, koji (fermented rice), and water. Traditionally, junmai-shu is made with a seimaibuai of 70% or lower, and it tends to have a more acidic profile than other sakes. Junmai-shu is often served hot and boasts a rich, full flavor.

Honjozo-Shu

Honjozo-shu is made from rice, koji, water, and distilled alcohol. In this type of sake, distilled alcohol is often used to balance the flavors of the drink. As with junmai-shu, honjozo-shu has a degree of milling of 70% or better, but it is less potent. Ideally, honjozo-shu is served warm. The added alcohol gives this sake a smooth body and light flavor that can be easily recognized.

At our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, House of Genji features a cocktail lounge and offers a broad range of sake options. For more information about our Japanese steakhouse, please give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.

What Is Dashi?

While ordering at a Japanese restaurant, you may learn that several of the available dishes are made using something called dashi. A simple broth that serves as a cornerstone in Japanese dining, dashi is typically made using water, bonito (fish) flakes, and kombu (dried kelp).

Dashi is used to add flavor to everything from miso soup and vegetables to tofu and fish. Most commonly, this broth serves as the base for clear soups, but it is also used for simmering dishes and poaching eggs. Also, warm dashi is often served alone to provide nutrition and comfort someone who is sick or struggling with poor digestion. Typically, dashi is made by soaking kombu in water overnight or bringing it to a boil. Then, the kombu is removed, and the liquid is simmered with the bonito flakes before being strained.

Are you interested in trying a new Japanese food today? If so, then come and see us at House of Genji. Our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers teppanyaki, sushi, soups, and many combo options. Please call (408) 453-8120 to learn more or make your reservation.

Try Something New with a Cocktail Inspired by Cherry Blossoms

Many people like to try new drinks when visiting a Japanese restaurant or cocktail lounge. Hanami is a Japanese tradition of flower viewing as the sakura, or cherry blossoms, open in the spring. Watch this video to see how two cherry blossom-inspired cocktails are made.

The Hanami Bellini Cocktail is a sparkling sake drink that is rich with cherry and lime flavors and features Tanqueray gin. The Sakuratini Cocktail boasts cherry and citrus flavors and includes sake, vodka, and cranberry juice.

At House of Genji, our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose has a cocktail lounge where you can relax and try something new tonight. For more information about our Japanese steakhouse or the cocktails that we offer, please call (408) 453-8120.

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