How Is Miso Soup Made?

When it comes to Japanese restaurant staples, most people are familiar with miso soup. However, individuals are often less clear about how this tasty side dish is made.

To make miso soup, one first gathers tofu, green onions, dried wakame seaweed, miso paste, and dashi, which is a broth flavored with fish flakes. Second, the seaweed is allowed to soak in warm water. Next, the dashi is heated and mixed with the miso paste. Then, the seaweed and tofu are stirred into the mixture. After simmering shortly, the soup is removed from the heat and topped with chopped green onions. Whether served with hibachi, sushi, fried rice, or grilled fish, miso soup is a delicious side dish that deserves a place at every Japanese meal.

If you’d like to enjoy a taste of authentic Japanese dining in San Jose, then please call House of Genji at (408) 453-8120 to schedule your reservation with our Japanese steakhouse.

Exploring Summer Festivals in Japan

The arrival of summer in Japan means lots of seasonal festivals to enjoy. If you’re planning to enjoy Japanese restaurants and culture this summer, then watch this video to get a glimpse of one of this season’s local events, the Kagurazaka summer festival.

Most summer festivals in Japan are held in July or August, and you will find plenty of street vendors selling snacks and sweet treats at these celebrations. Once the sun goes down, lanterns are lit, traditional performances start, and the Kagurazaka summer festival develops a memorable atmosphere and becomes even more lively.

Enjoy a taste of Japan by joining us at House of Genji this season. For information about our cocktail lounge or to schedule your reservation at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose, call (408) 453-8120.

Sake Etiquette 101

When perusing the drink menu at your favorite Japanese steakhouse, you’ve probably noticed a drink called sake on the menu. Whether you’ve tried this beverage before or haven’t yet had the pleasure, you might enjoy learning about how sake is served in Japan and the customs it’s associated with. Read on for an introduction to sake etiquette.

Serving Sake

Traditionally, sake was served warm. Today, however, this alcoholic drink made from rice is typically served chilled to help preserve the flavor profiles. Different types of sake will taste best at various temperatures, but most premium varieties that you can find will have optimum flavor when served between lightly chilled and room temperature.

Pouring Sake

Just like with beer, it’s customary in Japan to pour for others and avoid pouring for oneself. While this can take some getting used to, you may find that this tradition has appeal after you grow accustomed to it. For sake, small cups, called guinomi or ochoko , and a serving vessel, called a tokkuri , are used for drinking and serving. The vessel is kept at the table to allow for refills, and because people pour for one another, this can promote social bonding. When in a formal situation, the pourer holds the tokkuri with two hands. Also, the person whose cup is being refilled lifts the guinomi with one hand and steadies it with the other.

Drinking Sake

The extent to which etiquette is followed depends on the formality of the situation. However, even for an informal gathering, it is customary for attendees to pour the sake for each other. If you plan to enjoy a night out in Japan and partake of sake, keep in mind that your companions may try to fill your glass each time you empty it, so drink with caution!

Come and give sake a try at House of Genji’s cocktail lounge, or enjoy this beverage as your teppanyaki meal is prepared right at your table. Call (408) 453-8120 to make your reservation at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose.

A Look at Traditional Japanese Breakfast Foods

In the United States, many people enjoy a bagel or bowl of cereal to start their day. However, a customary breakfast in Japan is quite different. Keep reading to learn about traditional breakfast foods that would be served in a Japanese restaurant or home.

Rice

Steamed rice, or gohan , is an essential when it comes to Japanese dining. White or brown rice can be used, and this carbohydrate component of the meal serves as a wonderful complement to the protein that is often included.

Fermented Soybeans

Natto , which is made from fermented soybeans, is a staple for many households in Japan but is a unique dish to most foreigners. Natto has a sticky, slimy texture that you won’t find in many other foods, and some people dislike its smell or taste. This fermented soybean dish is commonly served with a traditional Japanese breakfast and seasoned with dried seaweed, soy sauce, spicy mustard, dried fish shavings, or green onion. You can find packaged natto in the refrigerated section of many Asian and international markets.

Miso Soup

Miso, which is made from fermented soybeans, is the essential component of miso soup, a traditional Japanese breakfast dish. Typically, miso soup is made using miso paste and fish flake ( dashi ) broth. In a bowl of miso soup, you may also find seaweed, green onions, tofu, mushrooms, or clams. It’s common for miso soup to be made from scratch using dashi and miso paste, but instant miso soup is also available.

Fish

Commonly broiled, grilled, or pan-fried, salmon and mackerel are common components of traditional Japanese breakfasts.

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables, or tsukemono , are Japanese staples that are commonly served with rice dishes. Pickled vegetables come in a huge variety of options, such as umeboshi , which is pickled plum, and takuan , which is pickled daikon radish.

If you’re looking for Japanese dining in San Jose, then come and visit House of Genji. To make a reservation with our Japanese steakhouse, please call (408) 453-8120.