Posts from October 2020

Olive Not, Turn a Green Leaf on your Martini, Shiso Martini from 'Japanese Cocktails' by Leigh Clarke

Olive not, turn a green (and purple leaf) with this Shiso Martini from 'Japanese Cocktails' (Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks) by Leigh Clarke (Ryland Peters & Small, 2019), photography by Alex Luck.

Shiso Martini

Shiso is a beautiful green and purple leaf used throughout Japanese cuisine. Its delicate flavour combines well with vermouth in this martini. The measure is kept small so that the drink doesn’t warm too much in the glass.


50 ml/1 2⁄3 fl oz. Shiso Vodka*

10 ml/2 teaspoons dry vermouth

Small shiso leaf, to garnish



Place a small coupe glass in the freezer. Pour the vodka and vermouth into a mixing glass full of ice. Stir well, then strain into the frosted coupe glass. Garnish with a small shiso leaf.

Shiso Vodka Soda

Shiso is part of the mint family and has a unique grassy, peppery flavour. It gives a perfect little twist on this classically ‘clean’ drink.

40 ml/1 1⁄3 fl oz. Shiso Vodka*

5 ml/1 teaspoon Acidulated Sugar Syrup**

soda water, to top up

edible flower, to garnish

Combine the shiso vodka and acidulated syrup over ice in a highball glass. Briefly stir, then top up with soda. Garnish with an edible flower.

*Shiso Vodka

300 ml/1 1⁄4 cups vodka

3 g fresh shiso leaves

Add the shiso leaves to the vodka and then leave to steep for 2 hours at room temperature. Bottle and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

** Acidulated Sugar Syrup

This syrup is used as a brightener in some drinks, as you would use a squeeze of lime in a highball. Simply stir in 6.4 g citric acid and 3.2 g malic acid to 150 g/5 1⁄2 oz. sugar syrup (with a 2:1 sugar to water ratio) off the heat until dissolved. Let the syrup cool before bottling. It will keep for up to 3 weeks refrigerated.

This is Tokyo Thursdays # 315

(* 'Shiso Martini' recipe reproduced with permission from 'Japanese Cocktails' Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks by Leigh Clarke with photography published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2019).

Would be Discards Turned into Snacks, Sustainable Foods: A Mottainai Mindset, Live Webinar, Japan Society, Nov 10

Have not offered a 'Green Day'  on Tuesdays in a long while.

Today, I make an attempt at getting back in the fray.

Would be Discards Turned into Snacks.  You will be able to explore that and more with Sustainable Foods: A Mottainai Mindset thanks to a Live Webinar from the Japan Society (New York) on November 10 at 6:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time).


Here's a brief introduction:

"In Japan, the idea of food sustainability is nothing new. As far back as 1804, Japanese company Mizkan Group harnessed the concept of upcycling by using sake by-products to create an entirely new vinegar. Today, Japanese company ZENB is following in those footsteps, incorporating parts of vegetables that are usually discarded, including cores, seeds and stems, into their plant-based snacks. At this talk, Seiko Nakano from Mizkan Group and Christiane Paul from ZENB discuss their innovative, wholesome food production strategies, and join Brian Kateman for a panel discussion about the future of food sustainability. As cofounder and president of the Reducetarian Foundation, which advocates for reducing the consumption of animal products, Kateman is a leading voice in the realm of environmental and food sustainability."

Registration required here, Event is Free.

Green Day #273

(* Illustration courtesy of 'Japan Society')

One for Ginger Spice, Gingerbread Cow Barn Holiday Cheer from Jude's Ice Cream Desserts Cookbook

In these pandemic times, we are fishing for recipes we might have failed to add to our sharing is caring slate in the past year or so.

Here's 0ne for Ginger Spice, Gingerbread Cowbarn for some holiday cheer, our second helping from Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger (Kyle Books, June 2019).

From Jude's Ice Cream barn in Twyford, Hampshire (UK)

Gingerbread Cowbarn Recipe
A gingerbread house –or indeed, a barn –is a labour of love, so don’t embark on this one unless you really have the time to do it justice. We’ve based this on our family’s Hampshire dairy barn where Jude’s first began, and we now make one every Christmas with the little ones. Along the way, we’ve learned new traditions are just as important as old ones.
300g (10½oz) golden syrup or clear honey
400g (14oz) soft light brown sugar
400g (14oz) unsalted butter
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1kg (2lb 4oz) plain flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Royal icing
250g (9oz) icing sugar
1 medium egg white, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon lemon juice
You will need
Firm paper or card to cut out templates on pages170–171
2 x wooden poles/twigs, roughly 12cm (4½in)
and marzipan to secure the poles
Toy animals and trees, to decorate
Put the golden syrup, sugar, butter and lemon zest into a very large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly until the mixture reaches boiling point and then, working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and beat in the bicarbonate of soda briefly until combined. Set the saucepan aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Sift the flour, spices and salt together, then fold them into the melted mixture in batches, using a wooden spoon. Mix in the eggs until just combined, but be cautious not to overwork the mixture or the biscuits will spread during baking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but resist adding more flour. Scrape the sticky dough out of the saucepan onto a clean, oiled surface and knead together until just smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Make your versions of the templates using firm paper or card. Cut a large sheet of greaseproof paper and roll out the gingerbread on it to a thickness of 8mm (⅜in). Using the templates as a guide, cut out house pieces from the gingerbread, but leave on the paper for ease. Transfer the gingerbread pieces, still on the paper, to a couple of baking trays and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up completely.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3. Bake the gingerbread in batches for 12–15 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the beaten egg white and lemon juice. Whisk, on low speed (to avoid incorporating too much air into the icing), for 2–3 minutes, until the consistency is smooth, stiff but not too wet. If the icing seems too dry and crumbly, add a little water. If it looks slightly runny, add a little extra icing sugar. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, ready for piping.
To assemble the gingerbread barn, pipe icing down both sides of a gable end. Attach a side wall at right angles and hold together for a few moments while the icing hardens, then use cans or jars to support the walls while they set. Continue to stick the gingerbread together by attaching another wall and the back gable so you have the walls for the barn. Leave to set for 1 hour before you add the roof.
Decorate the side walls of the house by piping royal icing to make windows and the front door surround before you add the roof (the overhang can make this tricky). Lay the roof pieces flat and, with a steady hand, pipe on roof tiles. Secure the wooden poles each in a ball of marzipan to take the weight of the large, overhanging roof. Pipe the remaining icing along the tops of the four walls and gently lower the roof pieces into place.
Leave the barn to set for a further 2 hours. Decorate with toy barn animals and trees. Serve.
P.S:  If you want to build this barn, email us a request and we will send you the templates
(* Recipe and Photo from Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger- Kyle Books, June 2019- Reproduced with permission of the publisher- All rights reserved)