m i s o ++ s o u p//m a k i n g ++ m o c h i//t o k y o ++ d i n i n g//a k i h a b a r a ++ h o t e l s
I CAN FEEL A NEW FAD COMING ON. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I AM SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN COOKING. AND ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I WANT TO TRY MAKING IS THE DELICIOUS JAPANESE MISO SOUP.

According to this website -- http://www.geocities.com/virtuesofsoy/Soy-Foods.html -- miso is a "a fermented soy paste made from ground soybeans inoculated with a beneficial bacteria (Aspergillus orzyae). Grain, like barley or brown rice, is usually added and the paste is aged in cedar vats for 1-3 years. Miso is a strong tasting, salty condiment that enhances the flavor of cooking and provides isoflavones."

So, as well as being delicious and easy to make, miso soup is also healthy, especially for menopausal women. But did you know that, just like the humble tea leaves, miso soup can help you discern the future. At least, according to one Japanese website -- http://yan-cocktail.com/.

Anyway, here are some simple expressions you might hear or use or read in a cooking book when making miso soup, or making anything for that matter. The words and expressions revolve around the verb 刻む (to chop), which uses the Chinese character 刻 (also pronounced KOKU in certain Japanese words). The character means to "cut fine, chop up" or "carve, engrave". It is interesting to note that in Korea, the personal stamps used to sign one's name are called "name chops" -- in other words, to chop is to engrave one's own name.


1. 刻む. . . Kizamu. . . Chop (verb.)
2. 刻んで下さい. . . Kizande kudasai. . . Please chop (food).
3. あなたの印を刻んでください. . . Anata no shirushi wo kizande kudasai... Please engrave your name.
4. 彫刻. . . Choukoku . . . Sculpture.

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