- Main article: History of sushi
The main idea in the preparation of sushi is the preservation and fermentation of fish with salt and rice, a process that has been traced back to China and Southeast Asia where fish and rice fermentation dishes still exist today. The science behind the fermentation of fish in rice is that the vinegar produced from the fermenting rice breaks the fish down into amino acids. This results into one of the five basic tastes, called umami in Japanese. The oldest form of sushi in Japan, Narezushi still very closely resembles this process. In Japan, Narezushi evolved into Oshizushi and ultimately Edomae nigirizushi, which is what the world today knows as "sushi".
Modern Japanese sushi has little resemblance to the traditional lacto-fermented rice dish. Originally, when the fermented fish was taken out of the rice, only the fish was consumed and the fermented rice was discarded. The strong-tasting and -smelling funazushi, a kind of narezushi made near Lake Biwa in Japan, resembles the traditional fermented dish.
Beginning in the Muromachi period (1336–1573) of Japan, vinegar was added to the mixture for better taste and for preservation. The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness, and was known to increase its life span, allowing the fermentation process to be shortened and eventually abandoned. In the following centuries, sushi in Osaka evolved into oshi-zushi, the seafood and the rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds. By the mid 18th century, this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporary Tokyo).
The contemporary version, internationally known as "sushi," was invented by Hanaya Yohei (華屋与兵衛; 1799–1858) at the end of Edo period in Edo. The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented, (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands roadside or in a theatre. Originally, this sushi was known as Edomae zushi, because it used freshly-caught fish in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay). Though the fish used in modern sushi no longer usually come from Tokyo Bay, it is still formally known as Edomae nigirizushi.from :
A steak (from Old Norse steik, "roast") is a slice of meat, typically beef, or fish. Most steaks are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibres, improving the tenderness of the meat. In North America, steaks are typically served grilled, though they are also often pan-fried. Because steaks are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole, the most tender cuts of the animal are usually used for steak. This also means that steaks have a premium price and perception; the idea of eating steak is a signifier of relative wealth. For people from Asia, steak is regarded as one of the quintessential Western cuisine dishes.
A restaurant that specializes in beef steaks is known as a steakhouse. In the United States, a typical steak dinner consists of a steak, with a starchy side dish, usually baked potatoes, but occasionally another potato dish, rice, pasta, or beans. A small serving of cooked vegetables accompanies the meat and side, with green beans, creamed spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas and onion rings being popular. A well-known accompaniment to steak is shrimp or a cooked lobster tail, a combination often called "surf and turf" or "reef and beef". Special steak knives are provided along with steak; steak knives are sharper than most table knives and are usually serrated. Prepared condiments known as steak sauces are generally on the table in steakhouses.
In France, beef steak is usually served with French fried potatoes also known as "pommes frites", and the combination is known as "steak-frites". Vegetables are not normally served with steak in this manner, but a green salad may follow.
In Italy, steak was not widely eaten until post-WWII due to the relative ruggedness of the countryside inhibiting the space- and resource-consuming raising of great bovine herds, but some zones of Piedmont and Tuscany were still renowned for their beef. Bistecca alla fiorentina is a well-known specialty of Florence; it is typically served with just a salad or Tuscan beans. From the 1960s onward the so called "economic boom" allowed more and more Italians to switch to a red meat-heavy diet.
from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak
The bread base of the pizza (called the "crust" in the United States and Canada) may vary widely according to style: thin as in hand-tossed pizza or Roman pizza, thick as in pan pizza, or very thick as in Chicago-style pizza. It is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with butter, garlic, or herbs, or stuffed with cheese.
In restaurants, pizza can be baked in a gas oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or coal-fired brick oven. On deck ovens, the pizza can be slid into the oven on a long paddle called a peel and baked directly on the hot bricks or baked on a screen (a round metal grate, typically aluminum). When making pizza at home, it can be baked on a pizza stone in a regular oven to imitate the effect of a brick oven. Another option is grilled pizza, in which the crust is baked directly on a barbecue grill. Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.
In home-made pizza, there are many variations on the bread used for crust. In some countries, creations such as french bread pizza, pita pizza, bagel pizza, matzo pizza, and tortilla pizza are popular.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizza
category : Food-and-Drink
Online, your Local Fishmonger or at the Supermarket. What is the best option for buying Seafood?
At the Supermarket
They may have a fresh fish counter or a section in the chiller department, they will almost certainly have a freezer department.
You may or may not realise this, but all fish starts to spoil as soon as it??s killed and the more the seafood is processed/handled the quicker it starts to deteriorate. When buying seafood you want it as fresh as possible, preferably still flapping.
When buying fish a good way to tell if it??s fresh is to press it with you finger, the flesh should spring back, not leave your fingerprint in it. It should smell of the sea, slightly of ozone and most definitely not of FISH.
The reason that the seafood in supermarkets manages to have such a long shelf life is because those little sealed containers have pumped air in them - not air exactly as you and I breathe but air with the same elements calibrated to a different ratio and this is what stops the fish going off so quickly. As soon as that container is opened the fish will start to spoil faster (I might add that they do the same with bagged salad). Do you really want to be buying fish that's been artificially kept edible?
At the fish counter you will probably find not only whole fish and seafood but also fillets, steaks and cutlets. It??s a good idea to ask the assistant when the fish was caught/brought in. They should be able to tell you. Be aware of any fish that??s been covered in ice with just the heads sticking out, this is an old trick to disguise old product, get them to take it out so that you can see the fish properly. If there are fillets on sale, especially sole or plaice fillets check to see if there??s any yellowing of the flesh; this is another indication of stale fish, and of course, ask to smell it.
If you??re looking at a whole fish - take a good look at its eyes, they should be clear and bright, not sunken and cloudy. The gills should be a deep red colour and the skin shiny and slippery. If you pick up the fish it should feel firm, not floppy like some old rag doll.
If you??re after shellfish there??s 2 very simple rules to follow. Before cooking, if it??s open and doesn??t close when tapped sharply don??t buy it or cook it. After cooking if it??s still shut, don??t eat it.
When buying crab or lobster, pick it up, it should feel heavy for it??s size.
The third option in the Supermarket is the freezer department. This can be a very good alternative to fresh fish. Look for fish that has been ??flash frozen??, this means that the fish has been caught and filleted very quickly - possibly at sea , then frozen very quickly thus retaining all the flavour and nutrients. This is often a far better option than fish lying around for days in the chiller cabinet.
If you are lucky enough to be close to a decent Fishmonger, get to know him and he??ll look after you. He will invariably know where the seafood has come from and when it was caught. He can prepare it for you and give you tips and recipes. If you have a special occasion coming up, tell him beforehand and he will be only to happy to fulfil your order, handing it over ready to put in the oven or whatever.
Thankfully, now that the Internet has come into its own, buying fish and seafood online has never been easier. There are many small, specialised companies where you can buy not only fresh fish and seafood but delicacies such as Smoked Salmon and Caviar. They deliver excellent seafood either fresh in chilled boxes, frozen or vacuum packed.
Cherie is a freelance cook, cookery writer and webmaster. See http://www.great-salmon-recipes.com for more great salmon recipes including how to smoke, grill, bake and poach Salmon and for quick and easy recipes using canned salmon.
By : Cherie Gordon-Eales
Keyword : buying seafood,buying fish,guide,fish,salmon,seafood,smoked salmon,caviar
Ramen (ラーメン or 拉麺, rāmen?, IPA: ['Ramen], ) is a Japanese dish of noodles served in broth that originated in China. It tends to be served in a meat-based broth, and uses toppings such as sliced pork (チャーシュー, chāshū?), dried seaweed (海苔, nori?), kamaboko, green onions, and even corn. Almost every locality or prefecture in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu ramen of Kyūshū to the miso ramen of Hokkaidō.
While Tokugawa Mitsukuni reportedly ate ramen in the late 17th century, it was only during the Meiji period that the dish became widely known (perhaps because for most of its history, the Japanese diet consisted mostly of vegetables and seafood rather than meat). The introduction of American and European cuisine, which demanded increased production of meat products, played a large role in ramen's increased popularity.
Though of Chinese origin, it is unclear when ramen was introduced to Japan. Even the etymology of the term "ramen" is a topic of debate. One hypothesis and probably the most credible is that "ramen" is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese: 拉麺 (lamian), meaning "hand-pulled noodles" (a name that is still used in Chinese for these sort of noodles). A second hypothesis proposes 老麺 (laomian, "old noodles") as the original form, while yet another states that ramen was initially 鹵麺 (lúmiàn), noodles cooked in a thick, starchy sauce. A fourth hypothesis is 撈麵 (lāomiàn, "lo mein"): 撈 means to "dredge up" and refers to the method of cooking these noodles by immersing them in boiling water before dredging them up with a wire basket.
In the early Meiji period, ramen was called shina soba (支那そば, literally "Chinese soba") but today chūka soba (中華そば, also meaning "Chinese soba") is a more common and politically correct term. By 1900, restaurants serving Chinese cuisine from Canton and Shanghai offered a simple ramen dish of noodles (cut rather than hand pulled), a few toppings, and a broth flavored with salt and pork bones. Many Chinese also pulled portable food stalls, selling ramen and gyōza dumplings to workers. By the mid 1900s, these stalls used a type of a musical horn called a charumera (チャルメラ, from the Portuguese charamela) to advertise their presence, a practice some vendors still retain via a loudspeaker and a looped recording. By the early Shōwa period, ramen had become a popular dish when eating out.
After World War II, cheap flour imported from the U.S. swept the Japanese market. At the same time, millions of Japanese troops had returned from China and continental East Asia. Many of these returnees had become familiar with Chinese cuisine and subsequently set up Chinese restaurants across Japan. Eating ramen, while popular, was still a special occasion that required going out.
In 1958, instant noodles were invented by the late Momofuku Ando, founder and chairman of Nissin Foods. Named the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll, instant ramen allowed anyone to make this dish simply by adding boiling water.
Beginning in the 1980s, ramen became a Japanese cultural icon and was studied from many perspectives. At the same time, local varieties of ramen were hitting the national market and could even be ordered by their regional names. A ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994.From:http//www.wikipedia.com