Thursday, April 5, 2012

Small Japanese covered containers 珍味入れ

Last time we were in Kyoto, somehow we ended up in the Nishiki Market 錦市場 early in the morning. Many stores just opened or were getting ready to open up. My wife spotted a small china store. The middle aged man, who apparently was the owner, was still unpacking the items in front of the store.  He had a very extensive collection of small covered containers which Japanese like to use to serve a small portion of "extraordinary tastes" or "chinmi" 珍味. He even unpacked more of these containers for her. These are six she chose (I sanctioned the limit to 6). Some are spheres with a concetric ring pattern or with plum flowers. She chose two of the spheres with concentric ring pattern since she really liked it. She chose one of each for others. The owner said this happened to be the most popular item and praised my wife's keen eye and good taste but I had a feeling if she liked other container he would have made that one most popular. In any case, we hand carried all these contianers and boxes home on the airplane. Somehow, I completely forgot that we had this. I was pleasantly surprised when I found them in the back of the cupboard.

Nothing new here, but I served squid marinated in mirin and soy sauce or "Okizuke" 沖漬け(left), Ikura salmon roe in cucumber cup and garnished with salted kelp (center) and "mozuku" sea weed in sweet vinegar (right). All prepackaged, I just thawed and arranged.

These are nice containers to have, especially if you are into serving drinking snacks for sake like we are. Only problem is that all these containers need to be hand washed and it is easy to break (we have not, yet). By the way, the picture shows some lacquered easter eggs that my wife collected. She thought they were seasonal and added them to the picture. 

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