December 17, 2010

Nikko, Japan


We made an overnight trip from Tokyo to Nikko, and splurged a little by spending the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. We arrived in the late afternoon and had time to enjoy onsen before a lavish kaiseki type dinner. Nikko is known for yuba (tofu skin), and I must say that they are incredibly creative using this surprisingly versatile ingredient.

Kaiseki is certainly an experience itself. Although being a bit on the pricey side, it is certainly worth the experience and we have been very fortunate to enjoy kaiseki type dining three times during our trip. Needless to say we are being spoiled rotten here ;-)

Dinner at the ryokan included small dishes of fresh local ingredients, tofu, fish, tempura, a hotpot and rice with various pickles. Cold soba noodles were served with condiments.

Seasonal and local ingredients are often served at kaiseki

'Making' your own tofu is part of kaiseki experience and in Nikko it started by heating the soymilk, then adding the coagulant, stirring and waiting until the tofu had firmed. Yuba, once formed is eaten with a citrus flavoured soy sauce. Ingenious!

Making tofu

Other ways of serving yuba

Fish with yuba

Cold soba with sauce

Tempura

Rice with pickles

A simple dessert was a perfect ending to our lavish dinner

Breakfast consisted of small dishes including unsweetened fresh soy milk, Japanese omelette, fish, miso, pickles, natto, umeboshi, salad and of course rice

Natto is so delicious!

Nikko is famous for its beautiful shrines and surroundings and it is certainly worth the visit. Staying at a ryokan is also an experience I think everyone visiting Japan should try at least once!

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5 comments:

  1. I'm actually reading a book right now about the art of kaiseki so it was so great to see this post! Everything looks delicious and I'm so glad to see you're having such a good time!

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  2. The food is so artful. What an amazing experience!

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  3. oh my god this is fascinating. that Yuba stuff looks strangely tasty! :)

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  4. Oooh, such fantastic foods! Very cool about making tofu, I would love to try that at home!

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