Enjoying the Harvest Moon in Japan

Sep 16, 2016


When is the Harvest Moon 2016?

Have you heard of Japanese harvest moon “tsukimi”, also known as Mid-Autumn? It literally means moon-viewing in Japanese, and is enjoyed mainly in East Asia includes Japan. It is usually held on August 15 in lunar calendar each year and it could be in the middle of September in solar calendar. The date varies depend on the year, and it will be held on September 15 in 2016.

 

What Do People Do on that Day?

The customs differ by countries and regions. In Japan, people used to eat taros, which is similar to full moon in the Edo era. In the present era, people displays Japanese pampas grass on the veranda and tsukimi dishes like taros, marrons, dangos, and sake and watch full moon for a while. The dango called tsukimi dango is not only displaying, also used as one of ingredient in miso soup. Here is how to cook;

  • Knead rice flour and 1/10 amount of sugar with tepid water until becoming as hard as ear lobe.
  • Tear ① roughly and steam for 15 minutes.
  • Move ② into the bowl and knead more by pestle until it becomes sticky.
  • Tear ③ as moderate amount and make dumplings by your hands.
  • Serve ④ on the dish like mountain (below).

You may dip them into soy sauce, sugar, soybean flour etc. when you eat them.

 

 

Enjoy the Harvest Moon as Meal

Tsukimi dangos usually serve as it is, however, also arranged as ingredient into soup called “dangojiru”. It has some styles by regions like miso soup, sumashijiru, seasoned by soy sauce and broth, etc. Therefore, some miso companies sell the set of miso and rice flour as “homemade dangojiru set”. You need to prepare other ingredients for example vegetables, minced chicken, etc. If you are interested in dangojiru, it would be easy to try.

 

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Seasonal Menu in This Period

Because an egg yolk seems to be full moon, eggs are also resembled it. Japan’s McDonald’s restaurants release hamburgers with sunny side up named “Tsukimi Burger” in the end of August every year. Even though egg burger is available as their regular menu throughout the year, this hamburger has become kind of Japanese fall tradition. They introduce Tsukimi Burger with Cheese each year. Moreover, Tsukimi Burger with Cheese and Ham, named Mangetsu (full moon) Cheese Tsukimi is also available this year.

More info; http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/campaign/tsukimi/.


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(Reference: McDonald’s Japan)

 

Yuko

Japan

 

 

 

 

 

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