• 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.

  • A Guide to Popular Japanese Cooking Sauces

    Japanese food can be healthy and delicious, and it is made using a broad variety of cooking sauces. To have a better understanding of the various sauces used in Japanese cuisine, read this guide before your next visit to a Japanese restaurant.

    Soy Sauce

    This Japanese culinary essential is used not only as a cooking ingredient but for marinating and dipping as well. The most popular type of soy sauce in Japan is dark soy sauce, which is not too salty and has a rich flavor. Also popular, light soy sauce is slightly sweeter than the dark variety, and is also saltier, giving it a more intense flavor which makes it ideal for cooking. If you find these soy sauces to be overpowering in flavor, shiro soy sauce offers a good alternative due to its mild flavor. Shiro is made using more wheat, which is why it has a light golden color. For people who prefer to avoid gluten, tamari soy sauce is made using little to no wheat and provides strong flavor.


    An ingredient that is called for in many Japanese recipes, Mirin is a type of rice wine that is sweeter and has less alcohol than sake. This sauce is light in color, has a slightly syrupy consistency, and its low alcohol content usually burns off with cooking. Mirin is one of the main ingredients in traditional teriyaki sauce and is commonly added to soups.


    A pantry staple for anyone who loves cooking Japanese dishes, ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is often used as a marinade or is added to soy sauce. Ponzu is made using rice wine, rice vinegar, seaweed, and bonito (fish flakes). This sauce pairs nicely with seafood, meats, and vegetables, and has a unique flavor profile that ranges from sweet and sour to bitter and salty all at once.

    House of Genji Japanese Steakhouse offers unique and delicious Japanese dining and hibachi grill cuisine in San Jose. To make your reservation, contact us at (408) 453-8120.

  • 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.

  • A Taste Bud-Friendly Tour of Japanese Street Cuisine [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Like many places these days, Japan has a thriving culture of street food. Throughout Japan, people line up at the tables, trucks, and stands of vendors for a variety of sweet and savory food options. Some popular street foods might be recognizable from your favorite Japanese restaurant. For instance, yakitori—chicken skewers—aren’t unusual to find in a Japanese restaurant, but the ones served on the streets of Japan may also contain chicken livers and skin. Ramen, or noodle soup with a variety of toppings, may also be familiar and is extremely popular in Japan. Other street foods, like takoyaki, or fried octopus, might be more surprising. Learn more about Japanese dining on the go in this infographic from House of Genji. When you’re hungry for teppanyaki or other Japanese specialties, choose our Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. Get your friends fired up for a tasty and fun Japanese meal by sharing this information with them.

  • A Look at the Drinking Culture of Japan

    It might be surprising to learn that Tokyo is actually considered one of the world’s cocktail capitals. Japanese nightlife and drinking culture brings together respectful service, drinks crafted with herbs and spices, eclectic décor, and reasonable prices. Here’s a breakdown of some popular Japanese drinks.

    Sake is a brewed beverage that is made from fermented rice and can be served either hot or cold. It is served in a small ceramic cup and can range from drier to sweeter flavors, with an alcohol content between 13%-17%. Sake is sometimes infused with other flavors as well, such as vanilla or coconut.

    Popular Japanese Cocktails in San Jose Shochu
    Another popular alcoholic beverage in Japan, Shochu is a distilled spirit like vodka, whiskey or rum. Shochu can be mixed with juice or soda, or served straight. The alcohol content of shochu might be anywhere between 25% and 60%. Shochu is made from tubers or grains that have been fermented and distilled. The most popular varieties include those made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, and black sugar.

    There is a growing number of breweries in Japan, including microbrews that are rising in popularity thanks to their appearance in popular restaurants. Beer served in Japanese restaurants is typically served in bottles or on draft as opposed to in cans. Some breweries offer seasonal beers, such as Kirin’s Akiaji .

    Classic mixed drinks such as mai-tais and martinis can be found in a Japanese cocktail lounge, though Japan has also put its own twist on several of these drinks. For example, a “Tokyo Mojito” uses ramune, a carbonated lemon-lime soda and sake, and a “Sakerita,” a new take on the traditional margarita, uses sake and comes in exotic flavors.

    House of Genji is a Japanese restaurant serving San Jose that offers guests the chance to taste a great Japanese cocktail in a relaxing, elegant environment. For more information, contact us online or at (408) 453-8120.

  • Do You Know About these Japanese Customs?

    You may enjoy eating Japanese food, but how familiar are you with Japanese customs? Even if you can’t make it to Japan, the vibrant and fascinating culture of Japan is often demonstrated in authentic Japanese restaurants in the United States. Here is some information about a few interesting Japanese customs.

    Avoid Walking and Eating
    In Japan, it is considered to be in poor taste to walk while you eat food, as many believe that it looks sloppy and rude. Many people in Japan also believe that it is rude to eat in public, or on public transportation, as well. The only exceptions to this rule are if you are eating an ice cream cone while walking, or if you are standing at a counter at a Japanese restaurant to eat.

    Go Ahead and Slurp Your Noodles
    Slurping your soup or noodles is not considered rude in Japanese culture. In fact, in Japanese dining, slurping is an indication that you are enjoying your food and think it is delicious. If you don’t slurp, the cook and your dining companions may think you don’t like your food. Slurping also helps cool down the soup and noodles, as they are always served steaming hot.

    Don’t Pour Your Own Drink
    As in the United States, it is polite when in a Japanese restaurant to serve your companions a drink before you take one for yourself. However, you are not supposed to pour yourself a drink. Once you have served everyone else at the table, another guest will fill your glass for you. In addition, it is customary to wait to take the first sip until one of the guests says “kanpai,” or “cheers.”

    If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese steakhouse in San Jose, visit us at House of Geni. You can enjoy a lunch or dinner of delicious Japanese food cooked on a hibachi grill right in front of you, or join us for sushi and drinks for happy hour in our cocktail lounge. To make a reservation, call us at (408) 453-8120.

  • A Look at Some Incredible Health Benefits of Japanese Cuisine

    Health Benefits of Japanese Cuisine in San Jose When you eat at the Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, you have a great selection of some delicious and truly healthy menu options. Keep reading to learn about some of the biggest health benefits that you can expect when you eat Japanese cuisine:

    Plenty of Protein
    Many of the menu items at your favorite Japanese restaurant are full of protein, which is incredibly beneficial to your body. Fish, chicken, and even tofu are some of the most common staples of a Japanese restaurant. When you eat a lot of protein, you create stronger building blocks for your bones, your muscles, your cartilage, your skin, and even your blood. Protein also has a lot of iron, which keeps your blood oxygenated so it continues to flow through your body as efficiently as possible.

    Foods that Are Easy to Digest
    A lot of the items on the menu have buckwheat flour, which makes it easier to digest the Japanese food that you eat. Japanese cuisine does not use a lot of starch and white flour. Using buckwheat flour or wheat flour creates food that is lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates. This allows diners to feel fuller after eating a smaller amount of food.

    Green Tea for Optimal Health
    Green tea is an important staple of the Japanese diet. This kind of tea assists the immune system in fighting unhealthy germs that try to invade the body. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee. It can break down oil in the digestive system, which is especially helpful if you are eating fried or breaded foods.

    Come to House of Genji to enjoy these and other health benefits as you eat delicious Japanese style cuisine. We have a menu full of tasty and nutritional foods that can satiate even the stronger craving. Whether you are in the mood for meat or want to try a unique vegetable dish, we have something for you. To learn more about our menu, visit us online or call (408) 453-8120.

  • Using Your Chopsticks

    Chopsticks are the traditional utensils to use when eating Japanese food in San Jose. With a little bit of practice, you can master the art of eating with chopsticks to get a more authentic experience the next time you visit the Japanese restaurant.

    Hold one chopstick in your right hand and rest the thick end between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure to leave an inch out and place the other end on your ring finger. Keep your fingers loosely curled. The bottom chopstick should be stabilized to provide a brace for the top one. Place the other chopstick in between your middle and index finger and maneuver it to pick up your food. Learn more in this video.

    Whether or not you want to use chopsticks, House of Genji can cater to your cravings for Japanese food. Come in today for an authentic experience. Call (408) 453-8120 to learn more.

  • A Guide to Japanese Dining

    Japanese Dining in San Jose Japanese restaurants serving San Jose provide you the unique opportunity to enjoy authentic Japanese dining. Use this guide to learn more about this style of dining to get more out of your next visit to the Japanese restaurant:

    Presentation to Help You Decide
    Truly authentic Japanese restaurants often have plastic or wax replicas of their food at the entrance. This shows people walking by what kind of food the restaurant has to offer. It also works to entice those who are having trouble deciding on what they want to eat. When you and your party enter the restaurant, the host or hostess will greet you, ask about the number of people in your party, and direct you to your table.

    Traditional Table Items
    If you are eating in a restaurant with zashiki seating, which uses low traditional tables and pillows instead of chairs, you should remove your shoes before entering the table area. Most authentic restaurants provide their patrons with a free glass of water or tea. The staff should also hand the table a wet towel and provide chopsticks for everyone who will be eating. The wait staff offers everyone his or her own menu so they can decide which items to order.

    Order Placement
    When everyone at the table knows what they want to eat, you can signal the restaurant staff by saying, “excuse me.” It is common for guests in Japanese restaurants to order dishes that the table can share. After the meal, the waiter or waitress will present your bill upside down. In most cases, the diners should bring the bill to the cash register on their way out of the restaurant.

    House of Genji is proud to offer some of the most authentic Japanese cuisine in the San Jose area. With teppan-yaki style food cooked right at the table, you can enjoy a true dining experience. To learn more about our menu or to reserve our party space, visit us online or call (408) 453-8120.

  • Tips for Eating Sushi

    When you are planning to enjoy sushi near San Jose, eating it in the traditional style helps you make the most of your experience. Order some sake and pour some for your dining companions. No one should pour their own sake.

    Once you open your chopsticks, you should not rub them together. Pour a small amount of soy sauce into the bowl and mix in a small amount of wasabi. Eat sashimi first and then move onto the nigiri and the maki rolls. Learn more about the right way to eat sushi in this video.

    At House of Genji, we prepare sushi in the traditional Japanese style. If you are in the mood for some authentic sushi, join us in our dining room for our cuisine. Call (408) 453-8120 to learn more about our menu options.