Flowers You Can Eat: Decorative and Delicious

A Touch of Color, A Pinch of Flavor

Some Japanese dishes include edible flowers to give the food presentation a touch of fantasy and to enrich the flavors. It is not unusual to eat certain flowers, it is done in the US and in Japan. In Japan, there are several types of edible flowers. Here are some of the most known and used flowers in Japanese cuisine.

Edible Flowers

Sakura is a beautiful variety of cherry blossoms that bloom in spring. In shades of pink and white, the blossoms attract locals and tourists from all over the world. However, you may not know that you can actually eat them or use them as a seasoning or coloring agent to your dishes. The Japanese have been using sakura as an enhancing ingredient, yet can be consumed in so many ways. Generally, sakura is used as a flavour, as a light pink food colouring or as a garnish in modern cuisine. Examples are desserts like the sakura mochi, sakura daifuku, wagashi, macarons, and teas like sakura tea and sakurayu.

Chrysanthemum is the flower of autumn. It wakes up the digestive system. Its bright yellow petals add color to dishes. The blossoms can be boiled to make an aromatic, herbal drink known as ‘kiku-cha’ (Chrysanthemum tea). The whole flower is used to garnish sashimi and sushi dishes and can also be made into tempura. The petals are added to soups, salads and stir-fries; blanched first before adding to salads. Chrysanthemum petals can also be blanched briefly in lightly vinegared water and drained to make a tasty side dish. Sometimes you find them along with wasabi and soy.

Shiso is familiar to many cultures. It actually belongs to the mint family and is served to give a minted flavor to the dishes. In some countries, they eat Shiso leaves after dinner to refresh their mouths. In Japan, you might have noticed it being served along with wasabi and it can be eaten just raw. Shiso is best sliced and sprinkled on a citrus or mixed green salad, or tossed into a pot of green tea, or as a leaf wrap for tuna salad. The leaves are either green or purple. Purple leaves are used to dye pickled plums; the flowerhead of shiso is used as garnish on a sashimi plate.

The wild Japanese honeysuckle contains a sweet nectar that’s just like honey. These flowers are an attraction to hummingbirds, as well as rabbits and deer as they possess a thick and sweet aroma. However, some honeysuckles are poisonous, some are not. They are also rich in medicinal values. In Japan and China, they use these flowers to cure Influenza and other respiratory problems. As food, the honeysuckle is available as jelly, herbal tea, a vinaigrette dressing for homegrown salads, and can be an ingredient in baking, such as in Honeysuckle & Lemon Pound Cake.

Appetizing Blooms in Bellevue

At FLO Bellevue, your trendy Japanese restaurant, we use some of nature’s lovely blooms not just for a pleasing plate presentation, but are edible flavorings in some of your favorite classics.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast: Just Like a Complete Meal

Traditional Japanese Breakfast

If you’ve never experienced a traditional Japanese breakfast, you’d be surprised you’ll be starting the morning with an unusually heavy meal. It consists of foods that make up a complete meal that anyone would say is a lunch or dinner.

What does a traditional Japanese breakfast like?

A Japanese breakfast that’s traditional has steamed rice, miso soup, grilled fish and egg for protein, and various side dishes which can include Japanese pickles, nori, fermented soybeans, vegetable side dishes called kobachi, and a green salad. A fruit such as a banana is also traditional.

Surprisingly, while this meal might be considered complete by Western standards, it is not intended to be heavy or too filling. This breakfast have adjusted portion sizes to meet one’s appetite, and dishes tend to be lighter – they tend not to be greasy, deep fried, or rich. Your breakfast can be completed with a cup of hot green tea.

You might think that Japanese families spend a great amount of time preparing their traditional breakfast. Most times, it is actually quite simple. To save time, Japanese families have leftover steamed rice warming in a rice cooker, or they may have porridge that is cooked using the timer feature in a rice cooker. The night before, there could be leftover miso soup that may also be reheated and enjoyed at breakfast.

And how about the side dishes? Well, there are shortcuts, too. Pickles can be premade, kelp may be preserved, fermented soybeans are pre-packaged, and other rice seasonings are available at the groceries. Families can have them stacked in the kitchen, ready to be prepared and eaten in no time at all. Most certainly, Japanese families can also make traditional breakfast from scratch if they want to.

The Japanese take a wise and practical approach to breakfast. A look at their breakfast traditions reveals a people who ensure that the day’s first meal has all the nutrients the body needs. It has carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruits to start up the day.


Complete Japanese Meals in Bellevue

Even though dining hours are reserved only for lunch til late evenings, FLO Japanese restaurant serves all these traditional meals in Bellevue.

Eating Fish: Here Are Evidence-Based Benefits

The Good Stuff about Fish

Of all food sources, fish is among the healthiest in the world. The fatty types of fish are considered the healthiest. Here are some of the benefits, which are based on studies, of eating fish.

Healthy Nutrients

Fish is high in important nutrients. Fatty fish (like salmon, trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel) are higher in fat-based nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamin D. Fatty fish are also much higher in omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for body and brain function and strongly linked to reduced risk of many diseases. Eat fatty fish at least once or twice a week to meet your omega-3 requirement.

It may lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. Many large studies have shown that people who eat fish regularly seem to have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from heart disease. Eat at least one serving of fish per week to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes, two of the world’s biggest killers.

Fish contains nutrients that are crucial during development. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is essential for development of the brain and eyes. It is recommended that expecting and nursing mothers make sure to eat enough omega-3s.

Fish may increase grey matter in the brain and protect it from age-related deterioration. Fish consumption is linked to reduced decline in brain function in old age. People who eat fish regularly also have more grey matter in the brain centers that control memory and emotion.

Consuming fish may help prevent and treat depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial against depression, both on their own and when taken with antidepressant medications.

Fatty fish like salmon and herring contain the highest amounts of vitamin D. A single 4 ounce serving of cooked salmon contains around 100% of the recommended intake of vitamin D. Some fish oils, such as cod liver oil, are also very high in vitamin D, providing more than 200% of the recommended intake in a single tablespoon.

Fish consumption is linked to reduced risk of autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes.


Enjoying Healthy Fish Diet in Bellevue

At Flo, we offer the freshest and best-sourced fish to ensure the healthiest diet you desire. Enjoy our selections of fatty fish especially crafted by our top chefs, here at your favorite Japanese restaurant in Bellevue.

The Most Traditional Foods of Japan

The Top Traditions: Centuries-Old Food

Here are the most traditional and still extremely popular Japanese dishes.

Sushi and Sashimi

Sushi is one of the most famous foods from Japan, the concept likely introduced in the ninth century with the spread of Buddhism. Sushi originated from the process of preserving fish in fermented rice. Today it’s made with vinegared rice and fresh fish, presented in a number of ways and shapes.

The Japanese first enjoyed raw fish without the rice centuries before sushi came. “Sashimi” refers to any thinly sliced raw food, including raw beef and chicken. Fish and seafood are the most popular varieties now

More Common and Popular Japanese Dishes

Tempura is a dish of battered and fried fish, seafood, or vegetables. It was introduced by the Portuguese residing in Nagasaki in the 16th century. It is most commonly eaten using Ten-tsuyu dipping sauce made with fish-stock, mirin, and soy sauce. Grated daikon radish or ginger is added for extra kick.

Yakitori is bite-sized cuts of chicken grilled on a skewer. Every part of the chicken is used to avoid wastefulness, an important element of Japanese food culture. Because meat was largely forbidden for many centuries in Japan, yakitori has only been eaten since around the mid-17th century.

Miso soup accompanies any traditional meal. It’s made from dashi stock – either fish or kelp stock – combined with miso bean paste for a savory umami element. Seasonally, other ingredients are added – tofu, sliced green onions, fish, clams, and pork.

Udon is a thick and chewy wheat flour noodle. It’s delicious, inexpensive and versatile – enjoyed hot or cold and customized with toppings. There are many stories about its origins, and some say that the start of the milling technique in mid-1200 AD made possible making long noodles.

Soba is another noodle dish eaten in Japan for centuries. Made from buckwheat flour, soba comes in a long thin shape and firm texture and is very healthy. Also served in a hot broth or chilled with a dipping sauce, making it a delicious and healthy option any time of year.

Sukiyaki is a one-pot dish of beef, vegetables, and tofu cooked with a sweet soy sauce broth in a shallow cast iron pot. After banning eating meat for centuries, the Meiji period lifted it and the dish became very popular. It’s a way of enjoying Japan’s incredibly rich and tender wagyu beef.


Serving Traditional and Fusion in Bellevue

Experience both traditional as well as fusion dishes at your favorite Japanese restaurant in Bellevue, FLO. We hold true to real Japanese tradition in our serving style, our atmosphere, and our dedication to serve.