Bruschetta

BruschettaBruschetta is one of my favorite summertime foods! I don’t have a precise recipe for the topping, but here are some guidelines.

Ingredients
1 baguette
extra virgin olive oil
several cloves garlic
about 1 cup cherry tomatoes
10 leaves fresh basil (or to taste)
fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes (In Japan, I usually use shredded cheese.)
salt and pepper
Other possible add-ins: fresh oregano, finely minced red onion, balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Chop up the cherry tomatoes. Chop 1-2 cloves garlic very finely and add them to the tomatoes. Mix in the cubed (or shredded) cheese. Cut the basil (and/or oregano) leaves in very fine strips and mix in. Add finely minced red onion if desired. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasonings, and let sit for as long as possible.

When ready to serve, cut some garlic cloves in half, and rub them all over the crust of the baguette. Cut the baguette in diagonal slices about 1/2″ to 1″ thick. Place the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the tops. Toast in the oven until golden brown.

Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of tomato topping.

Don’t forget that if the topping sits on the bread for long, it’ll get soggy! I like to serve the toast on the side, and the topping in a bowl and let everyone serve themselves.

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Ingredients in Japan: Eggs

This post is part of a series about the differences in ingredients between Japan and the U.S. When I first arrived in Japan, I had a lot of trouble at times because I wasn’t used to these differences, so hopefully this information is helpful! For the full list of posts in this series, see this page.

I noticed that the eggs seemed larger here, and checking on my kitchen scale, I found that in my random pack of 10 eggs, the weights ranged from 55g – 65g. The average weight of a large egg in America is 57g (2 oz), so first of all, most of my eggs were larger. They also varied in size quite a bit. This may affect your baked goods.

One further note about eggs is that, at least where I live, the yolks are much darker than the eggs I bought in America. In America I’d call them yellow, but here they are definitely orange. This doesn’t affect taste, but does slightly affect the color of cookie dough, for example.

I am not sure about the processing of eggs here, but eating raw eggs is fairly common (for example, with sukiyaki, gyuudon, or mixed into hot rice), and I’ve never heard anyone worry about getting sick. In addition, many supermarkets, including our local one, do not refrigerate their eggs (I put them in the fridge when I bring them home though). We’ve been eating them for a few years and had no problems!

In my area, eggs are sold in plastic cartons of 4, 6, or 10. I’ve forgotten the exact price of eggs in America, but my impression is that they are a bit more expensive here, usually for 10 eggs it’s about 200-230 yen, about $2.

Other types of eggs are regularly available in supermarkets, such as quail or duck eggs.