• Planning a Three Course Japanese Meal

    Are you hoping to create the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese restaurant in the comfort of your home? In Japan, all of the dishes in a meal are served together but feature several essential courses: a starch, a soup, and side dishes.

    The Starch

    For the starch portion of your Japanese meal, steamed white rice is the standard choice. While white rice may sound simple, it is a central focus of many Japanese meals that people often take for granted. Rice is a staple food in Japan and is frequently the primary source of calories for a Japanese home meal. Typically, the rice, soup, and side dishes are all served in separate plates and bowls, from which everyone serves themselves.

    The Soup

    In Japan, the most commonly served soup is miso soup, which is often made from broth or fish stock, miso paste, seaweed, and tofu. While eating, Japanese people typically add portions from the side dishes to their bowl of rice, eat a bit, and then pause to sip their soup and eat some of its contents.

    The Sides

    Referred to as okazu in Japanese, side dishes are meant to support the rice by adding flavor. Most Japanese meals will include at least two okazu . The primary side dish is often a form of protein. Examples include grilled fish, fried meat, or steamed tofu. The protein is usually seasoned with high-sodium and low-fat condiments such as soy sauce, dashi, or miso. Secondary okazu are often a type of vegetable or bean dish. In some cases, a third kind of side dish may be included, called hashi yasume , which means “chopstick rest.” These okazu are intended to provide a strong contrast in flavor and texture to the other dishes and are often a type of pickled vegetable.

    If you’re looking for unique and tasty Japanese food, call House of Genji today at (408) 453-8120. At our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, you can enjoy teppanyaki, a hibachi grill, sushi, and other Japanese dining favorites.

  • A Brief History of Tempura in Japanese Cooking

    Tempura is a standard menu item in many Japanese restaurants and is a meal or appetizer made with fried fish and vegetables. Typical fish options include shrimp and white fish, and the vegetables are often carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, squash, and mushrooms. Take a look at the history of tempura in Japanese dining:

    Origins of Tempura

    The Japanese people have a long history of taking foreign foods and recreating them to suit Japanese tastes. The frying style used for tempura was introduced to Japan in the 16 th century by Portuguese missionaries. The meal that provided the inspiration for tempura was designed to feed Christians during Lent. In this span, when many Christian denominations are forbidden to eat meat, missionaries referred to their meal as ad tempora cuaresma , which is Latin for “in the time of Lent.” This term was misinterpreted by the Japanese as the name for the cooking style.

    Popularity of Tempura

    In its beginnings, tempura was typically enjoyed by the wealthy of Japan due to its use of oil, an ingredient that was expensive at the time. During the Edo period (1603-1867), however, cooking oil became more affordable, and tempura was soon a popular food throughout the Japanese population. Eventually, tempura evolved from being a snack eaten between meals to a course served as the main dish. During the Meiji period (1868-1912), restaurants were built specifically to serve primarily tempura, and this dish became associated with Japanese dining.

    Tempura of Today

    Tempura is one of the most commonly ordered Japanese foods outside of Japan and is distinct from other fried foods due to its batter that uses less grease and no bread crumbs. Today, tempura is typically served with rice or soba noodles with a side of dipping sauce, but you can sometimes find tempura style sushi rolls, fruit, and ice cream. Originally a foreign dish, tempura is now considered a traditional Japanese food.

    Are you craving tempura and Japanese dining in San Jose? House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that features a cocktail lounge, hibachi grill menu, and more. To schedule your reservation, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

  • Common Ingredients in Seaweed Salad

    If you’ve ever visited a Japanese restaurant, you may have noticed seaweed salad on the menu. The seaweed salad appetizer option can sound unfamiliar to people, but this tasty side dish is more delicious than you might think.

    Seaweed salad is typically made with a combination of dried wakame seaweed, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt, ginger, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and scallions. The dried seaweed is first soaked and drained before it is tossed with the dressing and garnished with sesame seeds and scallions. This healthy dish is extremely popular in Japanese restaurants and sushi bars, is served cold, and comes packed with nutrients and minerals such as fiber and iron.

    House of Genji Japanese restaurant offers distinctive and delicious Japanese dining in San Jose. Your experience begins with a serving of refreshing greens followed by your choice of side dishes such as seaweed salad and tempura. To make your Japanese dining reservation, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

  • Understanding Different Types of Soy Sauce

    When dining at a Japanese restaurant, you may notice that they have more than one type of soy sauce available. There are many kinds of soy sauces, and different countries have unique ways of making them. Watch this video to understand more about the various types of soy sauce.

    Japan has the widest variety of soy sauces and the most commonly used one is called dark soy sauce which has a rich, smoky flavor and less sodium than other types. Dark soy sauce is usually used for marinating, cooking, and dipping.

    House of Genji Japanese Steakhouse offers delicious Japanese food and teppanyaki in San Jose. To learn about our menu options or to schedule a Japanese dining reservation, call us today at (408) 453-8120.