Mini Japanese Favorites by Angela Nahas [easy dinner ideas]

  • Full Title : Mini Japanese Favorites (Periplus Mini Cookbook Series)
  • Autor: Angela Nahas
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Periplus Editions
  • Publication Date: March 12, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: epub


All of your favorite Japanese recipes are right here in this cookbook!

Japanese Favorites contains everything you need to create over 40 healthy and authentic Japanese classics. This cookbook contains recipes for appetizers, soups, tofu, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, rice, noodles, and desserts. Recipes include:

  • Tempura batter
  • Classic miso soup with tofu
  • Braised daikon radish
  • Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)
  • Soba noodles in sweet soy broth
  • Udon noodle soup with tempura
  • Sweet red beans with jelly
  • Rice patties with tuna and spring onions
  • And many more favorites!

Also included are unit conversion tables, dual measurements, clear photos, and an overview of basic Japanese ingredients to create authentic and appetizing Japanese favorites. Each recipe includes cook time, prep time, and serving sizes. Enjoy!




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tion bars are starting to do away with poorly made, mass-market liquors, favoring instead those spirits that are made skillfully and responsibly.

This doesn’t mean that all large brands are poor in quality, nor that all small ones are good. Many of the best liquors to mix with come from big companies, but stocking interesting spirits and introducing customers to unique brands can define a bar’s personality and add value to the experience.

There is also a movement to simplify. The best bartenders are not over-innovating, instead using off-the-shelf ingredients combined with select homemade items to customize their drinks.

But what’s most remarkable about the recent cocktail revolution is that it is merely one aspect of the overall bar experience. The atmosphere of today’s bars—lighting, furniture, and layout—is important, but service is paramount. Having a great drink is crucial, but having a wonderful time even more so.

The preciousness and conceit that plagued the arm-garter years has been replaced with a desire to get you what you want and get it to you quickly, in a comfortable and enjoyable way. The art of hospitality is back.

To help guide you through the modern era of bartending, and welcome you to the modern art of mixing and serving cocktails is the collective wisdom of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), a trade organization of over 70 chapters across the United States and a part of the International Bartenders Association (IBA).

From setting up your bar, building a menu, and hosting the year’s best cocktail party, this book has you covered.


Lou Bustamante

San Francisco Chapter

Basics & Setup

We get it, you’re thirsty. You probably want to skip ahead to the second chapter so you can start mixing drinks instead of reading about supplies and equipment, the processes by which liquor is made, and all the other things you need to know to properly set up your home bar. Well, if that’s what you want to do, go for it. We’ll be here waiting when you can’t figure out how to store your growing collection of bottles, how long all that stuff keeps, and which supplies you really need to spend your money on.

Oh, back already? Good, because there’s a lot to learn—but don’t worry, nothing about the art of barkeeping is boring. So, cozy up to your local bar with an old favorite (or grab that drink you learned to make in chapter two if you decided to read ahead) and let’s teach you some basics.

Sure, fundamentals might not be as sexy as a perfectly made Manhattan—but they will help you make sure that it is perfect, every time.


Don’t know what to mix first? Choose your own adventure and a cocktail to go with it!



Learning to make cocktails at home is a lot less challenging than it may seem. Invest in a few key pieces of equipment and supplies, and the rewards will be well worth the effort. After a long day or a sudden warm spell of weather, a cocktail at home is incredibly satisfying. Here’s where to get started.

LEARN AT YOUR LOCAL BAR If you have no idea what kinds of drinks you like, start your education by visiting your favorite local bar on a quiet day and consulting with your bartender. Talk about the flavors you enjoy and let him or her guide you to new drinks. You can also consult our drink flowchart (see item 001) and give it a whirl to find a match.

ACCEPT ACQUIRED TASTES We all have different preferences for levels of sweet, tart, bitter, and potency. Feel free to adjust as needed to suit your tastes, but don’t be afraid to try new things, either—you might be surprised at how your palate can evolve.


Like any skill, learning the art of making cocktails and mixing a proper drink takes work—and lots of practice. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shake and stir your way through this book.

FIND A PRACTICE SPACE Before you invest in a bar or cart (and any expensive bottles), carve out a little space on a countertop where you can mix and experiment. You can also store your equipment and bottles here for easy access. Make sure the countertop is at a comfortable height for standing.

START OVER Sometimes a drink just doesn’t work out. Sometimes you might accidentally pour too much of something, or you lose track of where you were and leave something out. Whatever the reason, don’t be afraid to dump it out and start all over. The extra effort will be worth it.

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS Even within the same category, spirits can vary in flavor—and it will sometimes impact the cocktail’s balance. Varying levels of sweetness in liqueurs, oak flavor in aged spirits, and the botanicals in gin can shift a drink off balance even with the simplest of recipes. Don’t be afraid to throw the drink back in the mixing glass or shaker and add more sweetness or acidity.

BEGIN WITH THE BASICS The easiest way to get creative with your drinks is to start with a recipe you already like and go from there, rather than wildly mixing random ingredients together. Learn how to make an old favorite, first, and then try swapping out an ingredient or two, or substituting a few different elements. You’ll be surprised how different the variations can taste.


Cocktail terminology may be obvious to some, but i’ve overheard enough misused terms from the next barstool to know we might as well include a reminder for those—not you, of course—who may need it.

BACK A chaser, usually a short pour of soda, beer, or other liquid (like pickle juice)—or even some kind of snack. The back either complements the flavors of whatever is being chased or washes away the taste (not a good sign).

CALL To ask for. When you order a drink and ask for a particular spirit, you call for it.

DRY Low in sweetness, often used to order a martini with very little vermouth.

LONG A drink served in a tall glass. You can sometimes request drinks that come with soda mixers to be served long with extra mixer.

NEAT Liquor served in a glass without ice and at room temperature, usually when you are enjoying a nice, expensive spirit. Differs from a shot in that it is served in a short (old-fashioned or rocks) glass and meant to be sipped.

(ON THE) ROCKS A drink served in a short glass with ice. Rocks are ice cubes.

TWIST The peel of a citrus fruit, often twisted near the drink to express the fragrant oils before being dropped in.

UP A drink served in a coupe or cocktail glass with no ice but always chilled.

WELL LIQUOR The house brands of liquor used to make a majority of the drinks. Asking for something that sits on the backbar (not in the well) is often a premium call (and costs more money).


CORKSCREW AND BOTTLE OPENER The waiter’s corkscrew, with a lever and a bottle opener, is all you’ll need to open any kind of bottle.

STRAINER There are two basic types of strainers: a Hawthorne (which has a loose spring forming a half circle on the lip), and a julep (which looks like a squat, slotted spoon), but you probably only need the Hawthorne—the julep is for stirred drinks, but often a Hawthorne fits and works better.

TONGS When handling ice, stainless-steel tongs are a must to keep the temperature down. They can also come in handy when grabbing garnishes.

MUDDLER OR HAND JUICER A good muddler is essential for incorporating bold flavors from fresh herbs and fruits into a cocktail. Fresh juice is critical in a good cocktail, and the best juicing tool when making drinks on a small scale is a citrus press. They’re fast, extract both fragrant citrus oils (from the peels and rinds) and juices, and they clean up easily.

JIGGER Free-pouring (mixing without using measuring tools) is a skill that takes time to develop; until then, please measure—a fraction of an ounce can turn a great drink into a bad one. Double-ended jiggers are great for speed but not for flexibility—if you need a quarter ounce of something, you’ll have to eyeball it. The small measuring-cup-style ones are a better choice for beginners.

BAR SPOON Use a bar spoon for making stirred drinks and fishing cherries out of their jars. You can also use a long spoon, like those for iced tea; but if you don’t have one, it’s easy to find a nice, inexpensive bar spoon.

COCKTAIL SHAKER Besides liquor and ice, a shaker is the only thing that’s absolutely necessary to make cocktails. The variations in style are endless, but stick to two-part shakers, such as French or Boston styles. Three-part shakers, where the strainer is built into the top, can freeze up at the seams (see item 116).


The first step for making all types of distilled spirits starts with a fermented liquid of some kind, typically a wine or beer, but not the kind of finished drink you usually enjoy in a glass on its own. Thin, acidic, and often bland, the importance of the ferment goes beyond its alcoholic content—it provides flavor foundation and even defines what it can be called.

GRAIN Corn, wheat, rye, rice, barley, and other grains get fermented into a mash or beer and become the backbone of whiskies (with barrel aging), and other spirits like vodka and gin. A portion of the grain in the mashbill (recipe) must be malted, a process in which the grain is allowed to germinate and promote the release of enzymes, like amylase, that convert starches to sugars. Alternatively, the enzyme must be added directly. The new fermented liquid smells and looks a lot like malty, unfiltered beer—but without the hops it tastes oddly thin and watery.

VEGETABLE OR MINERAL Admittedly, “mineral” might be a stretch—you can’t ferment rocks—but anything with accessible sugars for yeast to feed on can become the base for a distilled spirit. Vegetables, particularly sugar beets and potatoes, are common for vodka or as a base for other spirits—although they are usually distilled for the alcohol alone. Plants like agave are crucial for making tequila and mezcal. Sugarcane and molasses are the bases for all rum, while sorghum (another grass) is used in chinese baiju, a potent liquor. We’ve also tasted distilled spirits made from milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, and even maple syrup—all quite good.

FRUIT Fermenting fruit will produce a type of wine; once distilled, it becomes brandy. Typical spirits made from fruit are Cognac (grapes), Armagnac (also grapes), Calvados (apples), grappa/marc (leftover solids from winemaking), Pisco (grapes), slivovitz (plums), kirsch (cherries), Poire Williams (pears), and eau-de-vie (an extremely aromatic style of brandy that showcases one particular fruit like apricots, raspberries, or peaches). Keep in mind that these brandies are not flavored with the fruit but are actually made from it.


The gleaming copper and stainless-steel machines outfitted with precision instrumentation can make distillation seem complex. But at its core, the process is nothing more than boiling a liquid. By gently heating the ferment, the lighter alcohol and aromatic compounds attached to alcohol (with a boiling point of 172°F/78°C) evaporate up the still before the water does (at 212°F/100°C) and collect in the condenser. There are a few basic styles of stills used in distillation.

ALEMBIC The alembic is the oldest style of still; it originated in the 9th century and evolved into the ornate and essential stills of cognac and other brandy producers. The bulbous cap and swan’s neck create surface areas for condensation that force water and impurities to stay behind.

POT The alembic is technically a type of pot still, but not all pot stills are alembics. In its simplest form, a pot still is a pot over a heat source with a cap of some kind and a tube to extract the distillate. Pot stills are inefficient but can allow more flavor and nuance to show up in the final product.

COLUMN A column still is a large metal tube filled with plates and valves that create obstructions for the alcohol and water vapors to condense. Columns are usually used in situations where fewer impurities (less flavor) and higher proof are needed, such as in the production of vodka. A single column or an array can be attached to a pot still.

CONTINUOUS A continuous still is an array of column stills—typically multistory affairs that are magnificently efficient at making high-proof alcohol and commodity-grade spirits. While a pot still needs to be filled, run, and emptied with each run, continuous stills—as the name implies—have a constant stream of ferment going in, condensing and vaporizing through the columns, and being collected at precise proofs.


Barrel aging has been around since the time of the roman empire, as has the preference for oak casks. The process of aging, while slow, can completely transform a brash and unruly alcoholic beverage. Here’s a look at what makes a good barrel.

TYPE Two types of oak are typically used: French and American. American oak is high in lactones (think coconut and peach) and lignin (vanilla), and the intensity of the flavors is enhanced by the kiln drying process. French oak tends to have less tannin than American oak, due in part to the French custom of seasoning the wood outdoors for several years before constructing the barrels. Tannin, while bitter, provides richness in flavor. Hemicellulose, which imparts a toasty quality, is found in both types of oak and, along with lignin, will break down over time into sugars, masking the harshness of the alcohol.

TOAST Toasting a barrel over an open fire can drastically change the flavor of the liquor, due to the caramelization of wood sugars, the concentration of vanillin, the roasted flavors (furanic aldehydes), and the smoky and spice notes (eugenol). Barrels can also be toasted to an intense char that results in charcoal forming inside the barrel, which has the benefit of absorbing smelly sulphur-based compounds.

PROOF The alcohol content by volume (ABV) of the liquid being aged in a barrel plays an important role in how it ages. Oak compounds are more soluble in alcohol than water, so a whiskey will draw out more wood flavor than a wine will. More important, the ABV will change as the cask ages since the semiporous environment allows water and alcohol to evaporate out.

OXIDATION The watertight yet breathable nature of wood allows for evaporation out, but it also allows oxygen to get in. In wine, this exposure to oxygen helps maintain the color, but it also reacts with alcohol and oil from the oak to develop aromas in both wine and spirits.

REUSE There are plenty of situations in which a new barrel isn’t needed, such as when the presence of the oak flavors need to be tamed. When the flavors from the distillate need to be showcased—such as in tequila, scotch, and some brandies—the spirits often end up in used barrels­, and they still get the benefits of oxidation and some oak flavors.


While barrel aging can enhance flavor, there’s a limit to its power—and there are quite a few things that can go wrong. If you’re dropping big bucks on something aged more than 20 years, try it at a bar first—and don’t believe everything you’re told.

OLDER ISN’T BETTER The default theory is that the older the spirit, the better (and more expensive) it will be. While this can be true, it isn’t always the case. Overaged spirits have overextracted compounds from the wood, like tannin, which can make it bitter and overwhelm it with a lumberyard’s worth of wood in aroma and taste.

AGE DOESN’T MEAN FLAVOR There are some aromas and flavors—a certain brightness and freshness—that can get lost after too much time in the barrel. Brandies, tequila, and even wines can wither from too much time in oak, like a wood-flavored mute button suppressing the fruit.

BARREL AGE CAN LIE The climate where the barrels age impact how much extraction of oak ends up in the final product. A barrel aged in a cold location will age slower than one in the tropics—warmth speeds up the aging process, while cold slows it down. So a scottish whisky can age for a longer amount of time than a jamaican rum can.

SPIRITS DON’T AGE IN THE BOTTLE Sorry to break it to you, but that special 20-year-old Scotch that’s been sitting in your cabinet for the last five years is not a 25-year-old bottle. Age only happens in barrels—and bad things can happen to a bottle if it’s not properly stored (see item 010).


Properly storing your spirits will not only ensure that your drinks taste good but also that those expensive bottles of liquor you bought to treat yourself don’t wind up down the drain. For the most part, standard spirits like vodka, tequila, mezcal, gin, and all the whiskies should keep indefinitely. Liqueurs that are herbal or citrusy, such as triple sec, should keep for a very long time as well. Just follow these easy rules.

STORE BOTTLES UPRIGHT Your wine bottles may be fine lying on their sides in a rack, but spirits, with their much-higher alcohol content, don’t do as well on their sides. If the bottle uses a natural cork top, chances are good that storage in this position will eat away at the cork, leaving sediment inside or leaking liquid out.

KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT AND LIGHT Sunlight and heat will destroy your booze by creating sediment and changing the color and flavor. It might make things taste funky or even lose any flavor completely, making it tasteless. If you want to show off a collection, make sure to store only empty bottles by the window.

KEEP THE BOTTLES SEALED Don’t lose each bottle’s cap or top—and if you do, either finish or dump the bottle. You need to maintain a good seal to maintain a good spirit.

USE YOUR SENSES If you’re not sure if your liquor has spoiled, the best thing to do is closely examine the bottle. If it looks or smells funky, or if something seems off, it probably is. If you still aren’t sure, taste it—most high-proof spirits don’t biologically spoil, so a small sip of a bad spirit won’t harm you—aside from leaving a bad taste in your mouth.


When buying aromatized wines, like vermouth, to use in cocktails, look for the increasingly popular smaller-size bottles. They’re easy to find at most retailers, and a 375 ml bottle is usually all you’ll need—it boasts enough to make 12 standard manhattans or 24 gin martinis. Remember that vermouth will only keep for two months—and, as with any wine, fresher is always better.


Even a beginner likely has a few bottles and ingredients lying around the house—but we recommend doing a little purging to get rid of those that may do more harm than good. If you don’t remember when you opened it, it’s best to toss it.


Cream liqueur




12 months; 3 weeks if homemade

Fruit liqueur (made with fruit, not flavored)




Varies with the amount and type of juice





2 months, although the fresher the better

Cocktail syrup




2 months

Simple syrup




3–4 weeks





3 months

Lime cordial




3 months

Cocktail cherries




6 months

Martini olives




12 months

Juice (canned and fresh)




Varies by


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