Monday, November 19, 2007

Sake to Sakana #6 Bijofu

Ever since I found this royalty-free stock photo site – and saw various fantastic images featuring Japanese sake – I had been wanting to shoot photos like them myself. And this is my first attempt. Yep, I said “first,” which means, there’ll be more to come.

If you have time, try browsing all 34 pages that the stock photo site shows under the keyword: ”sake”... by clicking on the orange-colored numbers above the thumbnails. You’ll probably see why I got so intrigued. Some of the photos are so simple… just a pair of sake bottle and cup, small portion of appetizers and a few leaves or flowers which reflect the season… AND a pair of chopsticks that tighten up the whole impression with their straight lines! Those are my favorite kind of photos. And when I see something I like very much, I feel the urge to recreate it myself. Hence, these photos here to add a new post to my long-neglected “sake to sakana” series. Hahaha

What I’m going to introduce this time is our local sake called “Bijofu 美丈夫.” The name means –- if I’m not mistaken -- "a beautiful looking young man." I’ve heard that it implies our local hero Ryoma Sakamoto, but it does not sound convincing to Kochi residents who are familiar with his photo. :P

Anyway, “Bijofu” is my absolute favorite, and I have written about it a couple of times here on this blog. The reason why I like it is that it goes well with most foods and it never disappoints me. It is dry with the fragrance not overwhelming, and I personally think that it tastes best when gently warmed (body temperature).

And I love drinking gently warmed Bijofu with seafood, especially fisheggs, such as kazunoko (herring roe) and mentaiko (spicy cod roe). Bijofu does not enhance the fishiness of the fisheggs, but instead, creates a pleasant sensation with the appetizer, which I like very, very much. So that’s why I did not forget to buy this appetizer this time:

Ogon Ika 黄金イカ in sudachi cup

The name of this appetizer means “golden squid.” What it is is raw squid strips dressed with seasoned kazunoko (herring roe), and I assume some artificial coloring is added to the roe. Yeah, unhealthy. But still I would never try to buy raw squid and herring roe separately and make this appetizer myself; It would cost a lot more than buying a small pack of ready-made ogon ika, and usually all I need is just a small amount.

Other appetizers this time included: ginkgo nuts (Yep! The envelope-and-microwave method again! ;P ), grilled squid with shichimi pepper and small taros seasoned with salt and black sesame seeds.

This taro appetizer seems to be a popular autumn appetizer here, but I think it tastes good only when it is warm. My taros turned stone-cold while taking these shots, and even though I microwaved them before eating, still they were not very impressive. Ginkgo nuts were very good (yet I think Bijofu shows its best quality when combined with seafood).

Anyway, I don’t think I have time and energy to have a kaiseki project this autumn, but I would probably try this sake-and-appetizer project at least one more time before winter (hopefully) because it is much easier and less expensive :P.



Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan!!!
The photos are lovely!!Very professional! Everything seems so so good. hmmm sake...I wish I have some with me. It would go so well with korean tofu bean soup and kimchi I am having for dinner now.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks marvelous and ever so delicious! Wonderful!



child-prodigy said...

Wow, I'd say this was a great first time "Sake Pictures" experience. They came out amazingly.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures.. and awesome food.. ;) so artistic.. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice on your great photography!
I hear sake and liquor photography also looks great with coloured lights. ;) By the way, my father loves to drink bijofu warmed too! Great fan of any sake. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Those are some really beautiful shots! I like the last one best. If somehow the bar behind the sake flask can be digitally removed or physically removed (was that your verandah glass door? ;p), that would be a magazine spread pic!

Can you describe the taste for ogon ika? I've never tried it before. Oh, wrap and microwaved ginkgo nuts... how should I season them? Thanks!

Charlotte-Ann Photography said...

I have to agree with you about the pictures on the site; the simplier the picture the more inspiring they are! I like your second to last photo the best. I think you really captured the feeling of autumn.


obachan said...

Thank you. Korean tofu bean soup and kimchi sound like a tempting dinner esp. on a cold winter night. I think sake would go well with Korean spicy food (considering how well it tastes with mentaiko which I think came from Korea).

K & S
Thanks. :)

Rosa’s Yummy Yums
I really enjoyed this project. Now, what appetizers next time?
You know, planning is also part of the fun. ;)

Thank you. These shots make me feel happy every time I see them.

Mama bok
How nice of you to say that. These are not really creative, but maybe art starts with imitation… ??? ;)

Wow, your dad drank bijofu before?! Mmm… now I feel so close to him. Please say hi from me. :D

Exactly! That bar was a pain in the neck. Yep, it’s the sash window frame. I really need to do something about it next time.
The taste of ogon ika? Mmmm…. Have you tasted raw squid before? And have you tried kazunoko (herring roe) before? The taste of the ogon ika is the combination of them…Maybe this doesn’t help much, right? How should I say… It’s basically salty, but you feel subtle sweetness of the squid. And you can enjoy two very different textures: the fisheggs give very nice accent to the soft and slimy squid.
To season ginkgo nuts, just sprinkle salt over them after shelling them.

My bento diet
Thank you! “Capturing the feeling of the season.” That’s my theme. Now I’m just imitating the works by other people, but someday I might find some creativity in me, you know. ;)

Implosion said...

Wow the composition of the photos look fantastic.... proportions are just right. I am a regular visitor to this site and finally feel compelled to comment. Hope to see more photos.
Ato de ne....

obachan said...

Oh, thanks for your nice comment.
Yeah, there'll be more to come. ;)

Ping said...

Love your photos. It somehow gives me an implication to your quest for quality in life. Whatever it is, certainly love your blog. But I am looking forward to see your balcony herbs too, as I am also a herb garden lover.

obachan said...

Oh, thank you, Pinky.
I'm not sure about the 'quality in life' part, but the fact that some people -- including you -- say they love my blog and photos makes me feel so rewarded. :)
Ah, my balcony garden! Thanks for reminding. Yeah, how long have I neglected posting about my plants??
I'll post an update soon.

Rei said...

Beautiful presentation Obachan!
Looks kaiseki to me, (ok so I'm sansei...what do I know? I get excited about washoku).
From now on you are Sensei Obachan!

obachan said...

Thanks for your compliment, but I'm just sharing my experiences with fellow food lovers, so I'm not a sensei (and never want to be).