What does onigiri mean?

Onigiri - Japanese rice ball with filling
Onigiri is a Japanese word and means Japanese rice ball.
Rice plays an important role in Japanese cuisine. It is a staple food cuisine and is found in every Japanese home.
Most people have heard of short grain rice used for sushi rice. It is also the type of rice used for onigiri.
In Japan, the tasty rice ball contains one to two ingredients that compliment each other really well.

To ensure that the body also gets the vitamins and nutrition it needs, Sushi nori is wraped tightly, around the rice ball, so that it lies completely smooth. So with quite a few ingredients, rice ball embraces the entire diet pyramid.

Several have asked for healthy Japanese Onigiri. I have made a Mini e-book “5 healthy Japanese onigiri for 1”, where I teach you step by step how to make the tasty rice balls with filling.

Read more about the Mini e-book “5 healthy Japanese onigiri for 1”

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Can all types of ingredients be used in a Japanese noodle soup?

Noodle soup
Basically yes.

In Japan, noodle soups are considered a fast food dish. Like so many the Japanese lives a busy life. They work 10-15 hours a day and have family, friends and leisure activities that also need to be taken care of. Noodle soups are suitable for a busy everyday life, which is often eaten on the way from work.

In Japan, noodle soups are the Japanese answer to pizza and shawarma.

In Japan, many more types of stock are made for such as pork, chicken and fish for noodle soups. For the soups, many different types of raw materials and ingredients are used for and, this means that there are no 2 noodle bars that make the same soup.

In the Japanese noodle Soup course for beginners, you learn step by step to make 2 very different noodle soups, which can be enjoyed all year round.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Boost your health with 14 days of Okinawa miso soup – Super food!

Okinawa Miso Soup - Super Food
Spring is here and just in a little while summer is waiting around the corner.

Like most others, I need to boost my health with sun light and healthy food.
It looks like spring is here to stay with days filled with blue cloudless sky with warm rays of the sun.

Like my home, it’s time for a spring clean.
After a long winter, my body gets an extra boost of nourishing and healthy vitamins. There I always turn to Japanese cuisine.

Basically, Japanese cuisine is composed in a way that either detoxifies or nourishes the body. Japanese cuisine is divided in such a way that some restaurants make dishes that are adapted to a busy everyday life, while other restaurants offer dinners that can be enjoyed over several hours on the weekend.

Especially on busy weekdays, the body may need an extra loving boost.
That is why I have made a 14-day course where you can give the body renewed energy with quite a few raw materials.
It is a course that you will receive by email and download to your computer.

Read more about 14 day Okinawa miso soup – Super food

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How much salmon is eaten in Japan?

Salmon
Salmon is a fish that lives in Scandinavia.
The climate in Japan is tropical which means different type of fish is living at those latitudes.

One of the fish that lives naturally in the oceans around Japan is the tuna. Tuna has been and still is one of the Japanese’s favorite fish for centuries. The tuna is having a hard time. The demand for tuna is very high, but there are quotas for how many can be caught per year.

In Japan, the interest in salmon has been steadily rising.
In 2017, Scandinavian salmon filled refrigerated display cases in local Japanese supermarkets. The Scandinavian salmon is of such good quality that Japanese fish buyers visit Denmark and other countries to assess the quality of salmon.

Among Japanese children and adults, salmon has become a sought-after fish. It is a fish that are suitable for many different types of dishes. Some prefer to eat raw salmon, while others enjoy cooking the salmon on a pan or in the oven. The possibilities are many.

At Traditional Japanese food course for beginners and Sushi course for beginners, you will learn how to make tasty dishes with salmon.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

That’s why soy sauce is a spice!


Yes, it is true. In Japan, soy sauce is considered a spice.

Before I was trained as a sushi chef, I did not know much about soy sauce. I did not know what the difference between soy sauce produced in China, Korea and Japan was.
I had one soy sauce in my kitchen that I used for all types of dishes from wok dishes for spring rolls.

Back in 2006 while becoming a Japanese Sushi Chef, I quickly found out that it does matter which soy sauce is used in dishes from the classic Japanese cuisine or for sushi.

In Japan, soy sauce is the main spice it is a way to season the food. If you use a soy sauce for tempura which is too salt, you will not be able to taste the food. It does matter which soy sauce is used for different dishes.

In Tokyo, if you visit a Japanese supermarket you will quickly discover that there are as many different soy sauce as cheese in a Danish supermarket.

At the Sushi course for beginners, you learn, among other things which soy sauce is best suited for sushi in order that you get the most value for your money and at the dinner table.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What kind of stock is used for noodle soups in Japan?

Sushi chef & sake sommerlier Zoë Escher
In Japan, many different kinds of stock are used for noodle soups.
The most popular are fish, pork and chicken. In Tokyo, restaurants and dinning places often make stock from scratch. Some stock takes many hours to make as Japanese ingredients are added at different stages in the preparation of the stock. The Japanese ingredients add to the stock gives the unique taste and aromas that characterize Japanese soups in Japan.

They are a little different what the Japanese families do.
Not all families have time for a busy day to make a stock. In Tokyo, supermarkets sell different types of stock. Some funds need to be dissolved in boiling water, while others are available by the glass.

Just like in Denmark, stocks can be bought in powder form or, as ready-made in a supermarket, but it can never replace a stock that is made from scratch. A stock made from scratch has a completely different taste and aromas that are not available in the powder version.

In the Noodle Soup course for beginners, you will learn how to make classic Japanese dashi stock, which forms the entire stock of Japanese cuisine a stock that is made in the same way as in the restaurants in Tokyo.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Does the quality of sushi rice have an impact on sushi?

Sushi rice
The quality of sushi rice has a very big impact on the food.
There is no doubt that when using good quality sushi rice can be tasted. The sushi meal becomes a completely different experience when quality sushi rice is cooked in a way so that they are firm and soft in consistency.

In Denmark, there is not much difference in the quality of sushi rice that can be bought in stores. If you go to the USA or Japan, you can get many different types of sushi rice just as many as bread in a Danish supermarket.

It is not only Japan that grows rice for sushi. Countries like China, Korea, USA and some countries in Europe grow different kinds of sushi rice.

Sushi rice is harder to cook than other types of rice. Good quality sushi rice is easier to cook and, the consistency of the cooked sushi rice is also better.

At the Sushi course for beginners, you will learn what it takes to be successful in cooking sushi rice in your own kitchen.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

That’s why Shiitake is the favorite mushroom in Japanese cuisine!


Shiitake mushrooms are quite unique, as it is a mushroom that has several aromas and depth in the taste.

Shiitake is a mushroom that is very intense in taste. Shiitake mushrooms have a hard stem. It is a strain that is often removed in the preparation of a dish, as it can be hard to chew on.
Exactly the stem should always be kept. The stem of Shiitake mushrooms has a very concentrated and aromatic taste, which gives the dish depth.

In Japan, Shiitake mushroom is used in many different ways. It ranges from fried noodles to stews that simmer for several hours. The possibilities are endless.

Shiitake is now available year-round in many supermarkets. However, there may be periods when it can be difficult to get hold of the fungus.

Read more about Traditional Japanese food course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What are bonito flakes?


More and more people have become aware of bonito flakes.

In 2004, I first encountered bonito flakes in Tokyo.
At that time, in Tokyo I was practising the martial art kendo. After evening training, I was invited to the home of my teacher and his family, where we ate dishes from the classic Japanese cuisine. There I noticed the thin flakes with a smoky fish flavor, which was used as a kind of topping on the dishes.

In 2006 when I was trained as a sushi chef abroad, I got to know bonito flakes very well. I found out that the fish Bonito is related to tuna. It is a fish that is filleted, smoked and dried for a long period of time. The dried bonito is than shaved into thin flakes.

Bonito flakes are a solid ingredient in Japanese cuisine, which is used in many different ways. The fish bonito together with other Japanese ingredients form the foundation of Japanese cuisine.

In the Noodle Soup course for beginners, you learn, among other things how bonito flakes are used in Japanese soups in Tokyo.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

The season for lumpfish roe is underway!


The Danish delicacy lumpfish roe is now available in most fish shops.
It’s a good year for lumpfish roe, at the moment there are lots of purified lumpfish roe.

It is a wonderful Danish delicacy that can be enjoyed in several different ways.
One of the best ways to eat lumpfish roe is along with blinis, finely chopped red onion and sour cream.
If you cannot get hold of blinis, you can of course use toasted sandwich bread.

Lumpfish roe is the first sign of spring it often falls at the same time.

The season for lumpfish roe varies from year to year. It is not to say how long the little fine pink pearls can be obtained at the fishmongers. So far, it can be freshly cleaned at most fishmongers.

Read more about Sushi Chef & Sake Sommelier Zoë Escher

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.