Have a Honey Baked Christmas
There's no taste like ham for the holidays
It's hard not to get homesick when the holidays come around. This year, spruce up the table and everyone's festive spirit with a seasonal glazed ham from right here in Tokyo.
The Christmas and New Year holidays are just around the corner, and for me that means feasting on special winter dishes and celebrating with friends. Whether you’re planning a simple family dinner, a company party or a special event with friends and colleagues this holiday season in Japan, you can now order HoneyBaked Ham as an item for your seasonal table setting.
Baked hams have long been an American, Australian and British tradition for savory celebrations during the holidays. I love the sweet and savory combination of a glazed ham — it always makes my mouth water and the best thing is that it goes perfectly with so many of the winter side dishes found in Japanese cooking.
If you’ve missed serving up a holiday ham here in Japan, there’s good news. The original HoneyBaked Ham is now available here with both a brick-and-mortar store in Kamiyacho and a website that will deliver direct to your door.
HoneyBaked brand hams use a generations-old secret recipe that includes a sweet, crunchy glaze made with a variety of spices — including honey, cinnamon and cloves. Each one is glazed by hand and arrive spiral-sliced so each piece is easy to serve. No expert carving skills or tools needed.
Japan is the first country outside of the U.S. to enjoy authentic HoneyBaked Ham. Orders are available in a sliced pack or as quarter-, half- and whole hams online. The website, available in English, is easy to use provides quick delivery of your selected items.
Unlike turkey, roast beef and other possible holiday meals, the pre-baked ham will show up at your door ready to be heated and served. Choose from bone-in or boneless and tasteful additions to your order — like the special HoneyBaked Ham mustard — are also in stock.
If you’d like to try the taste of HoneyBaked Ham before you buy it, several pop-up shops are planned to open before Christmas in some of Tokyo’s finest department stores and supermarkets. You can get taste of home-cooked style at Matsuya Ginza (Dec. 14-20), Takashimaya Nihonbashi (Dec. 21-25) and National Azabu (Dec. 23-25).
The Gift of Gravy© Photo by Lauren Shannon
One of the reasons I love serving ham at the holidays is that it lends itself to the creation of a deliciously sweet and rich gravy — the perfect Christmas comfort food for those missing the traditional family gathering. I created this recipe myself and you’re welcome to try it with any HoneyBaked Ham that you order.
HOLIDAY HONEYBAKED HAM GRAVY
Start to finish:
Reserved liquid from HoneyBaked Ham package
20 grams of diced HoneyBaked ham
1 tablespoon butter (or bacon fat for richness)
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
2 cups ham or chicken stock
In a saucepan, add diced ham, ham liquid and butter with Marsala wine.
Simmer over medium heat until it starts to reduce.
Add flour and stir until it combines with the butter-ham mixture and smells slightly nutty to become a roux.
Stop when gravy reaches preferred color (the longer you simmer at this stage, the darker it becomes). After you complete the roux, start to add in stock ¼ cup at a time.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Stir occasionally and continue simmering until it reaches your desired thickness.
Serve over your ham slices and side dishes for a luxurious holiday dinner (we enjoyed ours with mashed potatoes, of course… )
Trimming the Fat
If you’re not planning a big holiday meal, you can also serve HoneyBaked ham without warming it, since it’s precooked. This makes it ideal for sandwiches, salads or other casual and festive foods, whether you’re brown bagging it at work, packing it to go for traveling or potlucking it with a host of friends.
If you’re planning a holiday brunch, HoneyBaked ham can be used on eggs Benedict with the zesty spices adding a Christmas-y twist to a classic egg dish. You can even try a Japanese take on ham by serving it diced on chirashizushi — sushi rice served in a bowl or bento with a variety of ingredients sprinkled on top
Here are some other favorite recipes from the HoneyBaked ham website that are perfect for holiday entertaining this year.
HONEYBAKED HAM AND BRIE SANDWICHES
Start to finish:
50g slices of HoneyBaked Ham
5g whole-grain mustard
25g Brie cheese
10g mixed lettuce
10g red onion
Raisins and mixed candied nuts to taste
Make an incision in the baguette. Spread whole-grain mustard inside.
Layer the Brie cheese with ham slices, lettuce, onion, raisins and candy nuts.
HONEYBAKED HAM SPINACH BREAD AND EGG QUICHE
Start to finish:
150g boiled spinach
150g diced HoneyBaked Ham
180g French sourdough bread
20 grams Parmesan cheese
15g olive oil
5g freshly chopped garlic
1g baking powder
1g baking soda
Salt to taste
Cut the bread 3cm diced, spread with olive oil, freshly grated garlic and salt, Heat oven to 200°C for 10 minutes.
In a bowl mix cream, milk, baking powder, baking soda, egg and salt. Add toasted bread, boiled spinach and ham until just combined.
Pour into a baking pan and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake in oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
When you serve authentic HoneyBaked Ham, it’s always a special occasion.