Why I Burn My Food

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Does this sound like an odd post? I used to think I was a decent cook. Particularly, frying an egg, cooking a scramble, fish, burgers all seemed like simple things to do. However, since moving to Japan I have had significant difficulty cooking thoroughly without burning.

As a scientist/engineer I started by identifying what is different in Japan. All of the ingredients are a little different, my tools are different, and I am cooking with gas. I’m pretty sure Japanese eggs are fertilized, as opposed to the unfertilized eggs available in America; milk is usually 3.6% fat; cheeses are usually processed; fish are usually the same, but the cuts can be a bit different; and meats are a bit different (including the fact that most stores won’t sell 100% ground beef). I quickly set aside ingredient differences as negligible and moved on to tools.

My frying pans in America were very nice weight and shape and were a joy to use, but the cheap pan I have here is not so terribly different. While I am tempted to send all my pots and pans from my storage unit to Japan; I don’t think this would solve my main troubles.

While researching differences in units of measurement for cooking, I noticed one site had assigned approximate temperatures to numbers on the dial for a gas range. I was surprised to find 4 was listed at 350 degrees and 5 at 375; I was expecting them to be lower. Now I need to do a little experimentation to see how that matches up.

Just to clarify, I am smart enough to bypass my own preconceptions. I have been avoiding burning my food by looking at the flames rather than the numbers. But now, having read that web page, I am reflecting on my reality. My previous gas burner didn’t seem to have much control below about 6 and, being supplied from a tank, was not consistent with time. I now have a much nicer system with two burners, and am on city gas supply. You can assume I am no longer burning my food but, if I am, I’ll be sure to update you with embarrassing details.

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3 Responses to “Why I Burn My Food”

  1. sunkissd1 Says:

    Well I guess the expression “where there’s smoke, there’s dinner” applies to you. 🙂

  2. びっくり Says:

    An aunt bought me “Danger Men Cooking” mitts and hot pad. It looks like many “Danger Men Working” signs.

  3. How Not to Burn Your Food « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] Not to Burn Your Food I wrote about some cooking difficulties I have encountered in Japan. Yesterday I participated in a barbecue thrown by three small English […]

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