Nobu Matsuhisa introduced serving sushi in sake guinomi cups in his sushi cookbook. It’s a quick, easy, and fun way to serve sushi for parties. While we’re not hosting friends in our home we sometimes use this colorful method for ourselves.
Simply put vinegared sushi rice in guinomi sake cups and top with sashimi, roe, kanikama imitation crab meat, and other sushi toppings.
I had the great pleasure of being a member of a team translating Nobu the Sushi Book from Japanese to English. There are many great recipes in the book. Other favorites include a tomato miso soup and a vegetarian pressed sushi made with shiso and myoga ginger bud.
Until it’s safer to dine out, consider having a sushi party at home.
Salmon cooked with rice and topped with ikura. A mother and child dish, oyakodon. Most people will think of a chicken and egg dish. This is the same, just a seafood version.
Grilled salmon (we use salted salmon filets) is added to the rice before it is cooked. Do not put in raw salmon as the flavors are better with cooked salmon. After the rice is steamed remove the bones and skin from the salmon and incorporate into the rice. Top with ikura.
The lacquer dish is from Kyoto. The chopsticks and hashioki chopstick rest is from Hashicho with a branch at Roppongi Midtown.
We hope everyone is well. Look forward to when the border to Japan reopens so we can resume our market tours. Take care. Peace and love.
Food Sake Tokyo has resumed cooking classes out of our home. The private cooking classes are held in a traditional (small) Japanese kitchen. We can host one or two guests. The topic of the class are catered to your needs. Some possible topics include:
Japanese Basics (rice, miso soup, two vegetable dishes and a protein such as tofu or fish)
Bentō Tips (colorful and healthful portable meals for work, picnics, or traveling)
Sake-Friendly Bites with Sake
Supermarket Shopping (introducing items from the Japanese supermarket that may not be on your radar)
Fermented Foods and Pickles
Please email for more details. Our email is under the “Tokyo Food Tours” link on this website above. We look forward to hearing from you!
There is a brand new place to have breakfast at Tsukiji Market that is void of tourists and offering a value priced meal. There is a new facility, Tsukiji Uogashi, with about sixty retail shops for seafood and produce on the first floor. The first floor is open to the general public after 9 a.m. Prior to that it is for trade people only. The second floor is administrative offices and is off limits to visitors.
The third floor is a new shokudō (dining hall) that is run by a non-profit organization to supporting Japanese seafood and produce from Tsukiji Market. The recommended breakfast, only 650 JPY, included a small grilled fish filet, simmered fish with daikon, miso soup, pickles, and rice. The breakfast above was only 800 JPY and was a large serving of yellowtail and daikon simmered until tender in a sweet soy broth.
The dining hall on a recent morning was very quiet, only a handful of customers. The dining hall is so new that many don’t know about it yet. I was seated at a counter overlooking the open kitchen. The staff were very friendly and genki (enthusiastic).
The shokudō is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch prices too are reasonable, with a sashimi donburi for only 1,000 JPY or a sashimi set lunch for 1,200 JPY. I highly recommend starting your morning here if you will be visiting Tsukiji Market.
My go-to brasserie is Girandole at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. The menu includes many classics like Salad Nicoise (2,300 JPY) and Pate de Campagne (2,600 JPY). I love the Japanese twist on the salad which included seared tuna. The pate de campagne is dense without being heavy. There is a nice selection of wines by the glass. Service is professional without being stodgy.
The Petit Lunch is a good value for 2,500 JPY which starts with a soup or salad, main, and dessert. The restaurant is on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Shinjuku. There are a handful of seats along the window, but I prefer the cozy banquettes. At a recent dinner here there was a family celebrating a baby’s first birthday in a corner semi-private room. We’ve come with our young son and the kid-friendly restaurant made us feel at home.
Girandole at the Park Hyatt Tokyo
Shinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-7-1-2, Park Hyatt Tokyo 41st Floor
A colorful meal based on Japanese pickles is refreshing and light. Nishiri is a famous pickle shop based in Kyoto. My favorite meal here is the pickle sushi, made with pickles on top of the rice instead of raw fish.
Here are two other set meals composed of pickles including eggplant, daikon stuffed with lemon, turnip stuffed with salmon, and much more. Strict vegetarians should advise the staff that they do not eat fish or meat. The miso soup here is made with kombu dashi and a sweet white miso, Saikyo miso, from Kyoto.
I come to Nishiri when I want some nutrition and the variety of textures and flavors that come with simply fermented vegetables. This shop in Tokyo has a small cafe inside the retail shop, so if you like any pickles, you can buy them to bring home.
Nihonbashi Coredo Muromachi near Mitsukoshimae station
Japanese sandwiches are my go-to meal when I am on the run, even before onigiri rice balls. Meruhen is my favorite sandwich shop and if I am not near one, then some of the convenience stores like 7-11, Lawson, or Family Mart, also has great sandwiches.
The sandwiches are built on crustless pain de mie (white bread). Savory fillings can be egg salad, tonkatsu, ham and cheese, kabocha with mayonnaise, and more. The sweet sandwiches are fresh fruit with whipped cream, which I have a hard time swallowing. My favorite is the simple julienned carrots with a bit of mayonnaise, but you have to go early. It’s popular and is often sold out by the time I get there. The sandwiches are in the 300 JPY range.
Meruhenk branches in popular areas (there are many more):
Tokyo Station eCute 1st floor (inside the station) – with limited seating in the area.