• What Makes Kobe Beef So Special?

    If you like to eat meat, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Kobe beef. Plenty of establishments claim to offer this delicacy but, due to its cost and rarity, Kobe beef isn’t something you’ll find in your average steakhouse or Japanese restaurant. Kobe describes beef that is regarded, by many, to be the epitome of quality and flavor—but what makes Kobe beef so special?

    Tajima

    Kobe, the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan, is the birthplace of the breed of cattle called Tajima. In the 2 nd century, farmers began to use cattle to pull plows through the rice paddies. The cattle isolated in the mountainous Hyōgo Prefecture developed, over time, into the particular breed now called Tajima. The fat in genuine Kobe beef has a lower melting point than that of other varieties. Because of this, it is recommended that the meat not be overcooked more than medium-rare in order to retain the most flavor.

    Kobe Beef in Japan

    Labeling beef as Kobe in Japan requires meeting a strict set of standards. The meat must come from purebred Tajima cattle, with an assigned ID number to trace its lineage, and its fat marbling ratio must be of level six or higher. Also, the cattle must have been both born and raised in Hyōgo Prefecture, and fed only local grasses and grains. Additionally, to be classified as Kobe, the Meat Quality Score must be A-4 or A-5.

    Wagyu

    In the United States, it’s not uncommon to see Kobe or Wagyu beef advertised in high-end restaurants. Unfortunately, calling it Kobe doesn’t make it so, as most trademarks and standards that define this grade of meat aren’t recognized here. Wagyu is often used interchangeably with Kobe. Wagyu simply means that the meat is from some breed of Japanese cattle, not necessarily Tajima.

    The House of Genji Japanese restaurant offers delicious teppanyaki, sushi, and traditional Japanese food in San Jose. Our chefs bring the act to you, preparing your meal right at your table. For a fun and tasty Japanese dining experience, call (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation today.

  • How Sake is Served

    Sake is traditional Japanese wine brewed from rice. In Japan and Japanese steakhouses, sake is usually served warm, and consumed in winter after being freshly pressed. Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to heat and serve sake as it is done in Japan. You will need the following items: sake, a tokkuri flask, a warm or hot water bath, a saucepan of hot water, a food thermometer, and small cups, called ochoko or guinomi.

    Begin by warming the tokkuri flask in the warm water bath. Next, allow the sake to come to room temperature, then pour it into the warmed flask. Finally, place the flask into the saucepan of hot water and warm the sake to 100-104 °F.

    The House of Genji Japanese steakhouse offers teppanyaki and sushi in San Jose. For Japanese dining, please call (408) 453-8120 and schedule a reservation.

  • The Health Benefits of Japanese Food

    What we eat is an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and the traditional Japanese diet found at Japanese steakhouses has many health benefits. Japanese people consider consuming high amounts of protein to be vital for good health. In Japan, fish is a dietary staple, and is eaten baked, poached, teppanyaki, and raw. Many Japanese people associate eating high quality fish with maintaining healthy skin.

    Japanese people traditionally include green tea with their meals, considering it to be an essential factor in fighting off illness and maintaining vitality. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, so is generally preferred by Japanese people. Because it helps to break down oils, green tea is often served with dishes that are higher in fat, helping to aid in digestion.

    House of Genji Japanese steakhouse specializes in Japanese dining, offering teppanyaki, sushi, and hibachi. To experience memorable Japanese dining in San Jose, please call (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation.

  • The Importance of Cherry Blossoms in Japan

    Cherry blossoms, called sakura in Japanese, are revered and beloved in Japan. These iconic flowers are deeply rooted in the country’s culture. In Japan, you might see paintings of cherry blossoms decorating the walls of many places, including Japanese restaurants and peoples’ offices and homes. Once per year, for a short time, the cherry blossom trees burst into bloom and are enjoyed in their true form.

    Renewal

    Cherry blossom trees begin to grow flower buds in March, and come into full bloom in early April. Japan’s fiscal and academic years both begin in spring, coinciding with the opening of the cherry blossoms. Many businesses hire and welcome new employees in April, and many graduates begin their first jobs. In Japan, cherry blossoms represent hope and renewal as the cold of winter fades and many people embrace new beginnings.

    Transience

    Each year, Japan celebrates the arrival of the cherry blossoms with flower-viewing parties, called hanami . As the blossoms open, beginning at the southern tip of Japan and moving northward, friends and families gather beneath the cherry trees to eat traditional Japanese food and enjoy the spectacle. This custom is more than a thousand years old. After a few short days, the blossoms wilt and fall, symbolizing how beautiful but fleeting life can be.

    Friendship

    More than the country’s national flower, the cherry blossom is considered to be a symbol of goodwill and friendship. In 1912, Japan gifted more than 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, D.C. Today, the city celebrates the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival every spring, a reflection of Japan’s own hanami tradition.

    Cherry blossoms hold great significance in Japan, their arrival in spring often celebrated with traditional food and drink. The House of Genji Japanese restaurant offers distinctive Japanese cuisine with flare, cooking your meal to order right at your table. For a taste of Japanese dining and teppanyaki in San Jose, call (408) 453-8120 and schedule a reservation.

  • Quick Japanese Dining Tips

    The customs of Japanese dining are very different from those that we practice in America. If you are dining at a Japanese restaurant in Japan, or with Japanese people in America, you should be familiar with the basic etiquette for eating Japanese food. Following Japanese dining customs is a way to show respect for the Japanese restaurant, your fellow diners, and the chef.

    Some Japanese restaurants feature low tables and floor cushions on which diners sit to eat. You’ll receive a wet towel to clean your hands before eating, but it should not be used as a napkin during the meal. Tipping is not customary in Japanese restaurants, and if you do tip, the money will be returned to you. At most Japanese restaurants, it isn’t customary to pay at the table. The bill usually must be paid in cash with a cashier near the exit.

    If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese steakhouse near San Jose, come see us at House of Genji. We offer fine Japanese dining and creative cocktails in our cocktail lounge. To make a reservation or to learn more about our menu, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

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