Transcription of the Japanese Food Video

My friend, Chiyo-san, taped a few programs off Japanese TV. There are four episodes (1) Four Resort/Spa Inns with Seafood Dinner (11 minutes), (2) Kushi-Katsu restaurants in Osaka (55 minutes), (4) visitng Kyoto cuisine (50 minutes) and (3) Udon Noodle shops in Takamatsu prefecture (50 minutes). I will transcribe the programs as much as I can below with time (from the beginning of the tape). Mind you, I'm not a food expert and my translation may not be right on. But, first, I give you a bit of background

*** If you enjoy the video, please drop a short e-mail to Chiyo-san. She doesn't understand too much English but she should be OK with simple ones like "Thank you". And I'm sure she will get a kick out of it. Her address is ***

(1) In Iron Chef, you often see a challenger from an Inn. In Japan, it is an old tradition for people to go to take bath in a hot spa (which often contains minerals etc that's good for various illness such as arthritis, and remember, Japan is volcanic so hot spas are abundant). Today, many such hot springs offer scenic view (either seaside or in mountains) with good food, especially fresh seafood. Your vacation will be like two days long: You arrive in the afternoon (you spend a few hours on train to get there), take a bath, have a dinner, take another bath maybe, sleep, eat breakfast, and check out. You'll probably spend an afternoon looking around or shopping, and go home. The stay at the inn includes dinner, breakfast and can cost $100 - $200 per person. You can choose menu for the dinner, but typically it's left to the chef to pick the best ingradients of the day. Many localities have their own specialties, such as crab so you tend to expect what you'd eat.

(2) Kushi-Katsu

This one is very interesting to me. I lived in Takarazuka, about 15 miles from Osaka (and it's 15 miles from Kobe where we had a major earthquake a few years ago). Osaka is a huge city, and North Osaka was my playing area, and I can relate to many things you see in the video.

Anway, "Katsu" is cutlet, and "kushi" is skewer. "Kushi-katsu" is a breaded, fried meat/seafood/vegetable/anything on a bamboo stick. The frying oil can vary a lot (and I will try to write down) and the batter can vary, too. Sometimes, they even use tempura batter.

(3) Tour of Kyoto's restaurants

Kyoto is an old city (became the capital in year 792) and offers traditional food. In Iron Chef, you see the reference to Kyoto Cuisine so often. An actor visits many of the famous restaurants, and shows you what it's like. You'll recognize some of Iron Chef ingradients, such as soft-shell turtles and Pike Eels (hamo).

(4) Udon

There are many types of noodles in Japanese cuisine. Udon is white and thick, flour based. Soba is brown using buckwheat. Ramen is Chinese noodle (as seen in movie "Tampopo"), yellow. So-men is white and thin, flour based. Each area has its own type (e.g, Kishimen is very local in Nagoya), and Takamatsu prefecture is known for Udon, called "Sanuki Udon" where "Sanuki" is an ancient name of Takamatsu region. If you go there, you almost never see other types of noodles.

By the way, "men" is noodle, and it's the same word as Chinese "mein" as in "lo mein"


Now I'm going to roll the tape and start writing things down....

[Note from Chief: Irongeek informed me that she'd split this into two tapes, so your timing unfortunately may not match up with mine.]

Time = 0:00:00

Four Resort Hotels with Great view of the Ocean

0:00:30 Shiraishi in Atami City

0:01:19 They rent a fishing rod ($15/day), and if you catch fish, they will cook it for you. If you don't, there is a pond. The emperor (then prince) actually fished there.

0:02:13 The reporter caught a red snapper ("tai")

0:02:55 [Chief's Note: the fish is still moving. Called "Ike Zukuri" (sashimi with fish still alive). It's worth ten PETA points!] $250 per night per person

0:03:22 "Koshi No Yu" hotel in Kii Katsuura City

Deluxe room (where the Emperor stayed), $500/night [Chief's Note: I think it's $500 per room for two]

This is a town of TUNA ("Maguro")

0:04:30 Dinner is a full course of TUNA; Tuna sushi, tuna steak and tuna shabu shabu (dip in hot broth)

0:04:57 $80 buy you "Maguro no Kabuto Yaki", baked head of large tuna (a real delicacy) [Chief's Note: Remember on Anglerfish Battle, Mr. Morimoto tried a similar thing with the Anglerfish's head which came out looking very scary?] [Chief's another note: The best meat on fish is the "cheek" meat, right under the eyeballs] [One more note: "Kabuto" is a warrior's helmet]

$130/night; $150/night weekend

0:05:30 Hot Spring, "Rakuda no Yu" (Hot Spring of Camel) <- shape of rock. Co-ed hot springs, and swimsuit required

0:07:00 Kaifuu in Chita city, $250/night

0:08:00 "Kuruma Ebi no Zankoku Yaki" (Cruelly Broiled Prawn). Yes, it does say "cruelly"; tempura

0:09:30 "Sunset Hill Matsuzaki" hotel in Tsuruga, run by municipal government. $75/night. Fisherman's Stew, $30

By the way, these hotels provide "yukata" (Japanese kimono-type bathrobe)


0:11:25 Kushi Katsu Special, reported by two reporters. One covers North Osaka, while the other goes to the South Osaka

0:12:50 "Kushi Koyomi" restaurant. Prawn. Cotten seed oil is used here. They use coarse and fine batters. $28 for a full course (9 skewers plus soup etc)

0:14:03 "Ensoh" in Kyoto. Sashimi Set ($12 ~ $15, seasonal). Oil is Canola 70 %, corn oil 30 %. A set $8.80. A dessert plate $10.

0:15:15 "Ichi riki" in Osaka. The elder brother was trained in French cuisine, and the youger brother studied Japanese so their offerings are varied. Fried camambert cheese, $3. Bamboo choot $1.50 and tofu, $1.50. Oil is a blend of many including lard, corn oil. A set of 8 skewers, $10. Korean ginsen, $3.50. Spurge of puffy fish, $3.50. Oven-based escargot, $5.

0:19:10 Two reporters battle it off.

0:21:45 South Osaka, area called "Shinsekai" (new world)

0:22:20 "I'll show you the distance by counting steps, ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku"

0:22:30 "Yakko", 3 skewers, 90 cents. A wiener.

0:24:20 "Ohmiya". 80 cents. They do not use bread powder but they mix live yeast in batter.

0:25:40 "Zuboraya" (famous for their "Fugu", puffy fish). Fugu $3. Fried fugu, $3.

0:26:55 "Kikuya" in Janjan Yokocho district. No smoking. 90 cents for almost all kushi katsu. Sardine, 90 cents;prawn, $2. Their batter is rather thin.

0:28:15 "Temgu", famous for "Dote Yaki" (I don't know what it is) with cabbage. Egg, $1

0:30:50 Umeda district (my playing ground!). It's all underground.

0:32:30 "Matsuba", 53 years in business. Free cabbage. "No double dipping please". Hand towel. Note there's no chair - you eat standing up (Osaka is a busy place). Capacity 15, standing. Beef, $1. Oil is light salad oil.

0:33:50 "?", Uses lard for frying. Everything is ready-made (again, Osaka is a busy town)

0:35:00 "Teppo" caters to girls. Uses lard for frying. A mix set, $5. If a skewer is too hot, use cabbage to grab.

0:37:25 "Ooesu", everything is $1.

0:38:22 "Inai Inai Baa", lightly broiled sashimi of bonito "katsuo no tataki", $4.50. "Sayori" (fish), $4.40 for two; Salmon, $3 for two.

0:40:00 "Rokkatsutei", the owner will come to the studio to cook for you! (The loser leaves)

0:42:30 A large prawn with head. The prawn is not fishy, since it is prepared carefully once peeled, prawns are chilled in 1 liter ice water, 20 grams salt, and lemon juice for 20 minutes. Japanese ginger with pork. They use two different batters (soft for vegetables and hard for meat and seafood).

0:45:25 Batter is made from egg yolk and milk, water, white wine and olive oil, and flour, then egg white.

0:46:05 Shiitake mushroom with shrimp

0:46:25 Ground white fish meat and Beefsteak plant leaves (I think).

0:49:10 The oil is "low-temperature frying oil" one liter with 30 grams of ginger, and two scallions. Heat at low temp for 15 minutes to transfer the flavor of the vegetables. Add 100 mL of this to 1 Liter of frying oil (it did not say what they use for the frying oil. Probably a secret). The fry is not oily. The secret was to rest the katsu on the oil surface for a moment. Somehow this removes excess grease.

0:50:50 Hamo (pike eel). Pike eel was an Iron Chef ingradient.

0:51:25 Great Kushi Katsu restaurants. They discuss the full kushi katsu course.

0:51:55 "Panco Tei" (pan = bread, co = powder, twi = house of); "Ton Chin Kan"; "Ina Fuku". All three offers prawn as the first item in full course. In "Pancotei", you eat with salt. In "Ton Chin Kan", they use Black Tiger. In "Ina Fuku", Black Tiger is served with shells on.

0:53:45 Pancotei offers "Filet of Japanese beef" (20 % lard, 80 % veg oil), "Cream crocket of soy beans", "hamo (pike eel)", "Salmon with roe"

0:54:30 Ton Chin Kan offers four dips - salt, tonkatsu sauce, worcestershirre sauce, and mustard.

0:55:00 Ina Fuku. Salmon with roe. Young sweet fish. Asparagus.

0:58:10 Panco Tei. Original. Tofu with uni (sea urchin). "?" (kind of potato) with beans. Course of 12 kushi, $24.

0:58:40 Ton Chin Kan. Squid with sea urchin. Green pepper with ground chicken. Shrimp and cheese. A course with 25 kushis, $40 ~ $50.

0:59:25 Ina Fuku, uses a lot of local vegetables and black beans. 12 kushi course, $19.80.


1:06:25 Snow!

1:06:35 Commercial for TV drama, "Hyoten". Starring Yuko Asano, who was BDJ in one of Iron Chef episodes. Actually, she's the BDJ on the 300th Battle Special (Corby vs Chen)


1:06:50 Kyoto

These people who are going to be in a detective show will give you a tour of Kyoto restaurants.

1:11:50 "Hosokawa", a Ramen shop. Ramen is becoming very popular in Kyoto. In Kyoto, they use pork back fat and chicken for broth. Broth is ten added to soy-sauce based soup with a touch of fat. Noodles are thin. Ramen $6. (You're supposed to slurp)

1:15:30 "Masutani". Ramen $6.

1:16:00 "Tampopo". Ramen with red pepper $6

1:16:25 "Iicho". Ramen $5.50

1:17:30 "Hamo" (pike eel) (summer's the season). Going rate at fish market is $40 - $100 for two pounds. Hamo are fished about 60 miles from Kyoto, and sold at market in morning and the buyer brings them to Kyoto in the afternoon. They are still alive when they come to Kyoto.

1:19:50 "Sakai Man", established 1863. Hamo has so many little bones, that they have to cut them. The knife cuts about 24 ~ 32 cuts in one inch.

1:20:35 Homo Shabu course, $160. Dip in hot broth for three seconds.

1:23:35 "Uo Ichi", a hamo restaurant. Broiled hamo on rice, $18. Hamo and Kamo eggplant, $10.

1:28:15 "Oo Ichi", 320 years in business. "Suppon" (snapping turtle, soft-shell turtle).

1:29:08 The photo on right is Akira Kurosawa, the movie guy. The center is Hideki Yukawa, Nobel physics prize; the left is Yasunari Kawabata, Nobel Lit. prize winner.

1:29:55 The shell is really soft. These are farmed raised, sorely for this restaurant.

1:32:00 Suppon soup course, $220. Porrige concludes the course.

1:35:45 "Kanesho". Eel. Eel, egg on rice, $10.

1:39:10 "Sakon", steak house. The owner removes tendon by hand. Sirloin steak course, $100, served without salt or pepper tp enjoy the taste of beef. Beef pilaf, $15.

1:46:30 "Isshin". Beef and vegetable soup, $35.

1:49:40 "Charaku". Mochi dessert (sort of like jello), $3.

1:51:40 "Tsujiri", Parfait. $10.

1:52:10 "?" Kuzu jelly.

1:53:00 "Charo Abura Cho" Sake-based tea-flavored shaved ice, $7.50


1:54:45 Takamatsu Prefecture's Sanuki Udon Restaurants - you'll see places where only the locals go and eat. Good stuff! and cheap, too.

Two guys (comedy duo; one is dressedup as a female tour guide) and an actress/model.

2:02:15 "Iwata Ya", open 6 AM - 10 AM (yes, open only for breakfast). You place an order in back, and eat by the table. Self-serve condiments. Small, $1.50; medium $2; large $2.50. They say "Umeh" (delicious), which you sometimes hear Mr Chen say on Iron Chef.

2:07:15 "Miyatake Udon". You choose your own topping. Small udon, $2.30.

2:11:20 She gets to knead noodles. One sheet feeds twenty. They make 50 sheets a day. She cuts udon noodles too wide!

2:18:20 "Yamagoe Udon". People wait in line to eat. "Tsukimi" (Moon watch) (egg on noodle), $1.40; egg noodle, $1.30; dipping udon, 90 cents.

2:24:40 "Kana Sen", full udon course, $60. self-service Udon shop.

2:27:50 Wooden dinnerware, coated with poison ivy. A large serving plate, $220. Five plate set, $190.

2:30:15 Fishing hole. He's dressed as a swan. Don't know why.

2:34:30 Hot Spring! In Japan, you have to take a bath like this when you travel! She brings beer!

2:37:40 Finally, they went looking for an ultimate udon shop.

2:39:00 "Yamauchi Udon". Small udon, $2.

Don't stop yet......

2:47:00 Commercial for Dr Doolittle II

2:47:15 Don't miss the cameo apparance by Mr Sakai who says "Koshi Ni Kikuyo" (it works on my lower back)