Chef Kati has lived a Vegetarian lifestyle for almost 50 years. This insight, in addition to her passion for healthy food, has given her the opportunity to search out only the freshest ingredients for her own cooking. She is constantly seeking restaurants that provide a unique selection of menu items for persons dedicated to healthy eating.
Below are answers to some of the questions Kati repeatedly hears from her students. Click on any question for its answer. Of course, Kati is more than happy to answer any of your questions you might have or receive your comments regarding any helpful information you may wish to share.
|Isn't sushi raw fish?||
|Where can I purchase good tofu?|
|What are the differences between the different kinds of tofu?|
|How can I make flavorful meals that my family will like without using meat or fish?|
|What are the different kinds of soy sauce for?|
|What is miso?|
|What is the difference between plum paste and plum sauce?|
|When is the soup served during a Japanese meal?|
|What is a traditional Japanese breakfast?|
|Do Japanese people ever use knives and forks?|
|Is it rude in Japan to pick up your dishes while eating?|
FAQ's and Answers
|The definition of SUSHI is vinegared rice with added ingredients. The Japanese word for vinegar is SU, the first syllable of the word. As a strict vegetarian, I show all the wonderful, healthy and colorful kinds of sushi that we can make for a fraction of the cost of going to a sushi bar.|
|I recommend always buying tofu where the turnover is quick such as an Asian market or a health food store. The dates stamped on the packages I find silly as tofu is extremely perishable and basically should be purchased on the day of use.|
|I go into great detail about this in my classes explaining the nutritional differences between the two major kinds of tofu ('momen' or cotton tofu and 'kinugoshi' or silken tofu) and how they are produced. I share my personal favorites and where to purchase them.|
|As I learned Asian cuisine in Japan, I am not terribly fond of, for example, adding tofu to American dishes. Rather, I enjoy using soy products in the flavorful and attractive ways they are traditionally served. One delicious and simple way to serve tofu is to simply press the block between two cutting board and have it drip over the edge of the sink and then cut the block into large pieces and serve with some fresh grated ginger and soy sauce. That's all!|
|Another very important topic. There are two types (not brands) of soy sauce used in Asia and I go into great detail about this as I noticed that the American population seems very unaware of this. One soy sauce is used exclusively for cooking and has the amazing effect of not altering the color of the food at all. It is called USUKUCHI which means light taste. The other kind of soy sauce is used exclusively for dipping and marinades and never for cooking. We are fortunate to be able to easily purchase both types here in the Seattle area.|
|Miso is fermented soybean paste and does not need to be
refrigerated, nor does it ever go bad. There are many kinds of miso and I
explain that the color usually reflects the strength of the miso.
White miso tends to be lighter and sweeter than say a red or barley miso, although I often suggest that the various kinds be used simultaneously varying the ratios at different meals.
|Plum sauce is a very sweet dipping sauce used in Chinese cuisine. Umeboshi is a salty plum paste used extensively in Japan. It is highly alkaline and settles and upset stomach in no time.|
|Miso soup or suimono (a clear broth) is served with the meal and not before as in Western dining.|
|These days because of the hurried lifestyles coffee, toast with jam and eggs are commonly eaten for breakfast. Hotels and inns still serve more traditional fare such as white rice, a raw egg, seaweed, miso soup, some kind of fish and pickles.|
|Most certainly. There are certain dishes that are served with only Western utensils such as spaghetti, curry-rice and fried rice. If a large flat plate is used, chopsticks are much more difficult.|
|Actually, it is rude NOT to pick up your dishes while eating! Remember if the distance between the bowl is one inch from your mouth, chopsticks become much easier to use!|