Category Archives: FOOD

Recipe: Healthy Ume-Shiso Syrup

Ume Shiso Syrup Recipe

I thought about giving you a Valentine’s Day recipe and decided, especially in light of the virus scare we’re all reading about, health would be the theme of the month!

I need to first offer a disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and as such cannot claim this syrup will prevent or cure a cold or flu. What I can say is both ume (pickled plums) and shiso (perilla leaf) are considered home-remedies to ward off colds in Japan. I simply added them together!

I’m a big fan of ume-shiso maki (Try it if you haven’t!). Most sushi restaurants I’ve been to are offering it and if they don’t, they’ll usually make it right away when asking. Hence, ume and shiso is a proven combination.

Shiso‘s taste is, in my opinion, part basil and part mint. It’s the green leaf you’ll see on your sashimi plate beneath the white fish, it has a bit of a kick to it which I find lovely. Very refreshing, a bit sharp. Add this to the pickled ume, the combination is absolutely delightful.

Umeboshi is the sour, pickled pink plum found in onigiri and bento box lunches. Friends insist I stock my refrigerator with loads of them in the summer — it evidently fights off natsu-bate (summer weariness due to heat and humidity) — the perfect multi-purpose plum!

Ume Shiso Syrup Recipe

I made a syrup out of both of these very healthy ingredients, boiling it down until it became a concentrated liquid. It will need diluting unless you’re up for a strong jolt and I might recommend mixing it with soda water or even just water! If you go with water, I recommend mixing …continue reading


Try Famous Canadian Noodles at Yokohama’s Ramen Museum

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

A ramen shop in Toronto, Canada received international acclaim back in fall 2018 when it was invited to open up shop in the world-famous Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. Ryus Noodle Bar is only the second non-Japan-based restaurant to stand among the museum’s gold-star line-up of eateries.
Ryu’s secret ingredient
What does it take for a restaurant to hold such a coveted spot among ramen royalty? We visited owner Chef Ryuichiro Takahashi, who hails from Chiba Prefecture, at his Toronto flagship shop to find out.
Chef Ryuichiro Takahashi, owner of Ryus Noodle Bar
The answer, like any good dish, is not overly complicated. Ryu’s global success lies in a passion for good cooking, high-quality ingredients, a welcoming a

The post Try Famous Canadian Noodles at Yokohama’s Ramen Museum appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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Landabout: A New Hotel & Cafe in Uguisudani, Tokyo

Uguisudani is a neighborhood in Tokyo located slightly North of Ueno Park. Although it doesn’t have many famous tourist attractions to it’s name, the area is known as a center of the arts and academia, thanks to its proximity to art schools and the Tokyo National Museum. Last month in January, a new hotel called […]

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Fresh Tasting Chicken Ramen at Tori-Soba Salt


Tori-Soba Salt (鶏そば そると), as the name would suggest, is all about chicken and salt seasoned ramen. This ramen shop is just a 3 minute walk from Shimo-kitazawa Station.

Tori Soba

Their top selling tori soba (chicken ramen) isn’t that salty with its shio seasoning. The chicken plays a much bigger role in the flavor. In short, the salt and chicken broth is fresh tasting and light.

Tori Soba with Rice and Chicken: ¥900

For lunch on weekdays, they offer a great deal at ¥900. The tori soba comes with a side of rice with chicken, egg, or dumplings.

Taiwan Maze Soba

Only on weekdays do they also serve a Taiwan maze soba. It mimics this style of soupless ramen with a raw egg and an overall balance between savory and spicy.

Where it differs is minced chicken (instead of minced pork). This chicken is prepped in a way that’s inspired by spicy Sichuan cuisine.

Another difference – among the rainbow of vegetables is chopped eggplant that are crispy on the outside. This is Taiwan maze soba, but with an interesting chicken and eggplant twist.

Tori Mori Soba

Mori Soba is just an old-fashioned way to call tsukemen. The mori soba broth has that lovely chicken flavor like the ramen. However, there’s additional funkiness to it.

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Taro Sushi: Sangenjaya


American-style sushi comes to Tokyo at this Sangenjaya branch of the Brooklyn-based Taro Sushi. If you’re wondering about this distinctively American cuisine, it’s broadly based on Japanese sushi, but incorporates ingredients like soft-shell crab, Alaska salmon and avocado, often livened up by spicy sauces.

Uramaki-zushi, the so-called inside-out roll, is a popular serving style, with fun names like Dragon Roll and Rainbow Roll. Taro offers a choice of around twenty different rolls, plus a good selection of vegetable and seafood tempura – an unusual dish to find in a Tokyo sushi restaurant, but quite commonplace in America.

We tried the Spicy Tuna Roll, which is much spicier than you might expect, and the Spicy Alaska Roll, which is nicely balanced with crisp cucumber and soft, ripe avocado complementing the salmon. The salmon-cream cheese tempura is also an inspired combination, and not at all oily.

The cozy dining room is furnished with a handful of small tables and a couple of counter stools, with a soundtrack of seventies and eighties American pop music playing in the background. Drinks include plum wine – a US sushi bar standby – and Shichida sake (from Saga) as well as cocktails. Prices are very reasonable, with most rolls priced between Y450-800 and tempura starting at Y100 per piece. …continue reading