Rolls on beef. Truly Japanese

Going to a restaurant and ordering a dish that was originally invented in a foreign country you never know whether the recipe is the original one or you deal with some kind of a domestic variation.

Before we departed to Japan, I was always convinced that original Japanese rolls are served with raw or backed fish, other seafood or vegetables. Contrary, putting meat like chicken inside rice and seaweed I treated as an European invention.

…Till I ordered and tasted rolls with Japanese beef and kimchi midst of Tokyo.


True Japanese (served in Japan) rolls filled with meat.

According to the menu the ingredients to prepare the roll were: grilled beef, kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), sangchu (lettuce), nori (seaweed) and rice, as well as the restaurants original sauce. 

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Bigos (cabbage stew) belongs to the top dishes of the Polish cuisine. If you visit Poland it should be on the must try list together with pierogi (Polish dumplings >>>), żurek (sour rye soup >>>), schabowy (pork chop) and flaczki (chitlings). (The latter although their Polish version is quite a tasty one belong however to dishes that would not be touched by many people of some other cultures).

Bigos is a stew made of cooked (better to say braised) sauerkraut enriched with different kinds of meat as well as forest mushrooms (dried) flavoured with spices and red wine. The ingredients must be prepared and processed separately. However, after they are added together, it is allowed to cook (or warm) the stew many times. It is said that it tastes even better after it was cooked over and over again. About this feature, Poland had a dispute with the European Commission as food warmed many times has been considered unhealthy. But absolutely not in this case. As bigos belongs to ‘heavy’ meals it is recommendable to serve it with an alcoholic drink. This time I took a beer, but red wine or one, or two shots of vodka are quite recommendable. The latter, and in bigger quantities, would be served if we want to make our dinner a traditional one.


Bigos in its richest form, with much meat and mushrooms.

Bigos may also have a lighter version. Sauerkraut in its preparation process is first suffused with boiling water and then cooked till it softens. If water is exchanged in this process (twice or three times), the sauerkraut would become lighter (in colour and in taste). Furthermore, you can put in less meat ingredients (like only pure meat but no bacon) into the stew. In fact, bigos with no meat but only with dried mushrooms (the recommended kind is boletus) is considered as a fasting dish.


Bigos served with bread.

Bigos may be eaten as on the photo above with bread. For many it would be sufficient as a main course. However, a very rich Polish meal (do not even try to calculate calories) would be dark meat (or pork chop) with oil roasted potatoes and bigos.

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Pierogi (Polish dumplings) belong to the top dishes of the Polish cuisine. If you visit Poland they should be on the must try list together with bigos (cabbage stew), żurek (sour rye soup >>>), schabowy (pork chop) and flaczki (chitlings). (The latter although their Polish version is quite a tasty one belong however to dishes that would not be touched by many people of some other cultures).


Pierogi, backed served with cream.

Pierogi is a kind of dumplings made of dough pockets (no leaven used) wrapped around a filling cooked in boiling water, backed or fried (on a pan with only little oil). The filling may be of different kinds like fruit, cottage cheese, sauerkraut with forest mushrooms, ground meat, etc. They may be eaten as appetiser, main course or desert. A portion you can see on the picture above would be sufficient for many as a main dish (so do not exaggerate when ordering).


Pierogi filled with sauerkraut cooked with forest mushrooms. In Poland they are often served during Christmas or sometimes Easter time as a fasting dish. Thus they are edible for a vegetarian. 

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