• Planning Your Business Lunch Meeting at House of Genji

    Your business lunch has to be productive, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be enjoyable. House of Genji offers a comprehensive lunch of menu of hibachi, teppanyaki, and much more, so there is something for everyone in your group. Whether you want something light to get you through the afternoon or a more substantial meal to fuel you for a demanding day ahead, you’ll find it on our lunch menu.

     

    Are you planning a business lunch designed to court a new client or network with a potential contact? Make lunchtime fun with a traditional teppanyaki meal that will break the ice and get everyone relaxed. If you need some time to concentrate on a major project, grab a table for a hibachi meal or a salad while you work.

     

    Choose House of Genji for your next business lunch. You can learn more about our Japanese restaurant in San Jose, including our lunch menu, by calling (408) 453-8120.

     

  • Visiting Kyoto’s Arashyama District

    The Arashyama District is located in Western Kyoto. It is best known for being the home of the iconic bamboo forest, but it has many other attractions to boast, from temples to excellent Japanese food.

     

    Watch this video to learn more about visiting the district. The Tenyruji Temple is a UNSECO World Heritage Site that welcomes visitors daily. People also love to see the Togetsukyo Bridge and the mountain trails that surround the region.

     

    For a taste of Japan closer to home, choose House of Genji. Find out more about our Japanese food, including our teppanyaki dining experience in San Jose, by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Spotlight on Ponzu Sauce

    Ponzu is a popular ingredient in Japanese cooking that is only beginning to take its rightful place in American kitchens. If you love Japanese food, you have likely had ponzu sauce in your favorite dishes. It is used in many different ways, from marinades to dipping sauces, and has a taste that is very distinctive. Here’s what you need to know about ponzu sauce and how you can use it in your cooking—and how your favorite Japanese restaurant may be using it in theirs.

     

    What is ponzu sauce?

    Ponzu sauce looks similar to soy sauce, but it tastes very different. It is made from rice wine, rice vinegar, bonito fish flakes, seaweed, and citrus fruit. Typically, yuzu is used in ponzu sauce, but it is sometimes made with kabosu, daidai, and sudachi. The citrus fruit is added at the end, after the ingredients have been combined and heated together, then it is strained. This means that the citrus flavor is prominent. Describing the taste of ponzu is difficult, because it has sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors all at once. These complex flavors explain why it is used in so many different ways.

     

    How is ponzu sauce used?

    There are endless uses for ponzu sauce. Many people incorporate it into marinades for chicken, fish, beef, and vegetables. It is also sometimes used as a dipping sauce on its own for nabe and shabu shabu. Ponzu shoyu is a popular dipping sauce that combines ponzu and soy sauce that is used to sashimi and other fish dishes. Sprinkling ponzu on rice is a popular way of giving it some additional flavor. If you want to combine ponzu into Western dishes, it makes a good substitute for Worcester sauce. Try it with steak or oysters.

     

    Try more tastes of Japan with a visit to House of Genji. We offer traditional teppanyaki dining in San Jose, plus lots of other Japanese favorites on our menu. Learn more about the restaurant and our hours by calling  (408) 453-8120.

  • Ideas for Pairing Japanese Food with Drinks

    Japanese food comes in a variety of flavors and textures, and as such, it pairs well with many different kinds of drinks. From beer and sake to wine and cocktails, you’re sure to find a drink you love to match with your favorite Japanese foods. This guide will help you make the right selection to go with your meal.

     

    Fried Foods

    Most Japanese foods are not fried, but a few popular ones are, including tempura and katsu. Beer is a good pairing for any kind of fried food, and you won’ be disappointed if you pair any kind of fried Japanese food with a light-bodied lager. If you would like to pair your fried food with wine or sake, consider what you would pair with the food underneath the breading or batter. Shrimp and fish pair well with white wines, even when it is fried. Light reds are great for beef or pork that has been fried, while whites or light reds can work for chicken. Stay away from heavier reds, as they may be too rich. For sake, cold, dry sakes are a good pairing.

     

    Grilled Foods

    Grilled chicken is very popular in Japanese cooking. If you’d like a white wine, sauvignon blanc is a good pick. For red, go for something light, that won’t overpower the grilled meat.  If your grilled food comes with a sauce, you can opt for fuller-bodied wines. For sake, cold, unfiltered sake is a good option, but you can choose warm sake if you prefer for grilled, sauced foods.

     

    Teppanyaki

    Pair drinks with teppanyaki much as you would in a steakhouse. For steaks, full-bodied reds are a great choice.  Chicken dishes work with a variety of dry whites, as well as some light reds. Beer is a choice that can fit any teppanyaki meal.

     

    House of Genji offers a full cocktail bar plus a beer, wine, and sake menu to pair with Japanese dishes. Do you have questions about our drinks or our menus? Call our Japanese restaurant in San Jose at (408) 453-8120.

  • Should You Choose Hot or Cold Sake?

    Traditionally, sake is a drink that was enjoyed warm, but today, many sakes are offered chilled, thanks to a changing flavor profile. This change leads many people dining in Japanese restaurants to wonder exactly what kind of sake they should be drinking. In reality, there is no answer that applies to sake every kind of sake.

    Sake responds to temperature in a similar way that grape-based wines do. The flavors tend to vary depending on the temperature at which it is served. With sake, Ginjo varieties tend to taste better chilled, while Junmai can be served at rom temperature of slightly warmed. Keep in mind that warmed sake should be only warmed very gently, while cold sake should be chilled gently.

    Experience Japanese dining traditions, from teppanyaki to hibachi, at House of Genji in San Jose. Whether you’re looking for a tasty change at lunchtime or a show-stopping meal for date night, you’ll find it in our Japanese restaurant. Learn more by calling us at (408) 453-8120.

     

  • Exploring the History of Teppanyaki

    If you have ever been to a teppanyaki restaurant, then you know the performance is just as important as the food. Although today’s teppanyaki dining usually happens in restaurants with large groups of diners, its origins are in the home, where people gathered together over small grills to cook and eat their meals. Generally, teppanyaki restaurants are more popular in the U.S. than in Japan, but the techniques and flavors used are steeped in Japanese traditions.

    The Rise of Teppanyaki Restaurants

    Originally, teppanyaki was a style of cooking that was performed on small, flat grill tops at home. In fact, the work teppan means “iron plate” while the word yaki means “grill.” This style of cooking was not done for entertainment’s sake but was simply a way of preparing family meals. However, in 1945, the first teppanyaki restaurant, called Misono, opened up in Tokyo. The restaurant was not popular with locals in Japan, who did not like the group dining style of the meals. However, it was instantly embraced by Westerners who were in Japan after the end of WWII and by tourists who visited the country. They fell in love with the showmanship of the flipping knives and flaming onion volcanoes, and soon, Misono became a chain throughout Japan.

    Teppanyaki Restaurants in the West

    Westerners loved teppanyaki so much that soon the restaurant concept moved outside of Japan to Western countries. Benihana was the first teppanyaki restaurant in the U.S. It opened its doors in New York in 1964 and is now a national restaurant chain. Many teppanyaki restaurants in the U.S. are referred to as Japanese steakhouses and complement their teppanyaki menus with other Japanese foods, including hibachi entrees and sushi. Japanese cocktails and sakes are other staples of most teppanyaki restaurants.

    Indulge in the excitement of teppanyaki dining yourself at House of Genji. Our teppanyaki restaurant in San Jose is the perfect place for date nights, family dinners, and celebrations. You can find out more about our menu by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Budgeting for Your Trip to Japan

    Many people who are eager to travel to Japan are worried about the cost of the trip. Japan has a reputation for being a very expensive destination, but in reality, there are lots of ways to experience the country on a budget, with low-cost options for Japanese food, hotels, and more.

    Watch this video for advice on traveling to Japan while sticking to a budget. Because Japan has recently experienced a tourism boom, lots of low-cost domestic travel, food, and accommodation options have appeared. With a little planning and research, you can save a significant amount of money.

    For a taste of Japan closer to home, try House of Genji. We offer teppanyaki dining and a range of other traditional Japanese foods, with lunch and dinner service. Call our Japanese restaurant in San Jose at (408) 453-8120 for more info.

  • Inside the World of Japanese Whiskies

    When people think of whiskies, they tend to think of Scotch made in Scotland, bourbon made in America, or rye made in Canada. However, Japanese whiskies have surged in popularity in recent years and are giving these standards a run for their money. In fact, the Yamazaki distillery in Japan was recently awarded the distinction of having the best single-malt whisky in the world, according to a leading critic, beating out the top distilleries in Scotland. Since then, demand for Japanese whiskies has been growing and more people across the globe are indulging. If you love Japanese food, why not give Japanese whiskies a try? This information will help you pick a bottle.

    Flavor Profiles

    Many of the people who make whiskies in Japan got their start by training in the distilleries of Scotland, so they bring back many of the distilling and flavoring techniques that are common in Scotch. The whiskies produced in Japan have much more in common with Scotch than bourbon or rye. However, whiskies made in Japan usually are smoother that Scotch.

    Though most Japanese whiskies are smoother than Scotches, the flavors vary greatly. Some of them mimic the peaty flavors of Scotches from the Islay region of Scotland, while others are very light, with floral or vanilla notes.

    Popular Bottles

    Japanese whiskies are changing in response to high demand. Whiskies used to be aged for 12 years or more, but because it became impossible to turn around enough whisky fast enough to meet the demand, younger bottles are flooding the market. Yamazaki 12-year single malt is a highly sought after, peaty pour. Miyagikyo single malt is heavily influenced by sherry flavors and has a fruity flavor with a hint of peat. Akashi is one of the easiest to find and popular Japanese whiskies. The flavors are not complex, but it is extremely smooth, with oak and spice flavors.

    For more of the flavors of Japan, visit House of Genji. From our cocktail lounge to our teppanyaki dining, our Japanese restaurant in San Jose has something for everyone. Dial  (408) 453-8120 to find out more about our menu and hours.

  • Tamago: A Staple in Japanese Food Culture

    Tamago is Japanese for egg. This simple food is one of the most popular ingredients in Japan. Sometimes it is a component of another beloved dish, and sometimes it stands alone, but eggs can be found in a huge number of places, from top Japanese restaurants to street food vendors. As a country, Japan consumes the most eggs of any place in the world, so it’s not surprising to find them in so many popular Japanese dishes. Here is a closer look at how tamago is used in Japanese cuisine.

    Raw Eggs

    Unlike many places in the world, people in Japan like to eat their eggs raw. Raw eggs are used in many popular dishes, such as tamagokake-gohan, which is a dish that consists of rice topped with a raw egg and soy sauce, and an omelet that is filled with rice. Although many people in other cultures think of eating raw eggs as dangerous, people in Japan believe them to be safe if they are eaten within a specific window of time. Eggs are marked with a best-by date that indicates the window in which eggs can be eaten raw. After that, they must be cooked to be enjoyed safely.

    Evolution of the Egg

    Eggs are a quintessential Japanese food now, but this wasn’t always the case. From the 14th century onward, eggs were frequently banned under Buddhist guidelines. Even when they weren’t banned, they were often not a popular choice. Starting in about 1603, eggs became embraced as a luxury item, but it wasn’t until after World War II that eggs became a dietary staple.

    Popular Egg Dishes

    Eggs form the basis of both sweet and savory dishes in Japan. Marinated eggs are frequently used to top ramen or enjoyed on their own. Egg puddings and custards are popular desserts. Raw eggs are frequently mixed with soybeans as a side dish, and many variations of chicken and eggs cooked together are served with rice or noodles.

    For a taste of Japan, visit House of Genji. Our teppanyaki dishes offer an authentic Japanese experience close to home. You can learn more about our Japanese restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Attending the Hanazono Shrine Festival

    The Hanazono Shrine Festival is held every May, on the weekend that is closest to May 28. People travel from all over to celebrate at the festival, which features art, vendors, and plenty of Japanese food. Although this festival—sometimes called the Hanazono Grand Shrine Festival—is the largest festival held at the shrine, there are many smaller festivals held at the location throughout the year.

    The Hanazono Shrine is located in Shinjuku. Although the festival lasts throughout the weekend, one of the most popular parts of the event is when a small mikoshi, or portable shrine, is carried throughout the surrounding neighborhood. The mikoshi weighs 1.5 tons, and people come out of their homes to see it passing through the streets. As with most Japanese festivals, food is also a major draw. There is a huge array of vendors selling Japanese food onsite at the festival.

    You can experience Japanese dining for yourself closer to home at House of Genji. We bring Japanese food to life with our fun and vibrant teppanyaki dining experience. For more information, call (408) 453-8120.