Osaka’s Kushi Katsu

December 12, 2012

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Yesterday while wondering around Osaka, we noticed this place with a line out the door. While we had been thinking sushi, my husband and I decided if there were this many people waiting, surely it was good. So we joined the queue.

Once seated inside, we were given implicit instructions on how to eat the kushi katsu we were about to order. Vegetables and meats were skewered, battered, and fried, then you were to dip them into a soy-based sauce, but NO DOUBLE DIPPING!! There was also a bowl of fresh cabbage that you could dip and eat to cleanse the palate (I assume) in between courses or after a really rich piece, such as the chicken gizzards, which was on of my favorites. My husband loved the okra and the red ginger, and along with the chicken gizzard,I loved the oysters and the squid tentacles. We both enjoyed the quail egg, and I’m still trying to figure out how the yolk was so light and fluffy. It was like they scooped it out and whipped it, then injected it back in the white. Soooo amazing!

After a couple of rounds of food and beer, we waddled out, in search of a palce to walk off a bad case of the food sleepies.

I’ll be taking a bit of a hiatus from updating Madd Hatter’s Kitchen, but you can follow my travels and the foods I discover along the way on the Daily Nosh.

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Recreating: Boiled Tofu

December 4, 2010

Boiled Tofu

One of the things I discovered in Japan was my love of boiled tofu for breakfast. What once sounded slimy, bland, and rather disgusting is now a craving that must be fed. So on a recent trip to the Japanese grocery, I picked up a few items to make this morning meal part of my routine.

First and foremost, there’s the tofu itself. I picked up some soft tofu blocks, as my local grocery often will only have firm or extra firm. Then there are the toppings. Some toasted seaweed and bonito flakes were unique items I needed from the Japanese grocery, because ginger, scallions, and soy sauce are kept on hand at my house already. (more…)

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Recreating: Sukiyaki

November 30, 2010

Sukiyaki

A few weekends ago I finally got around to making my own sukiyaki from a recipe in a new cookbook, Japanese Hot Pots. When we had this for the first time in Japan, I loved the social nature of the meal, chattering as we plopped in the ingredients, the discussion of whether or not the individual pieces were ready for eating yet. It was a lot of fun, and something I so wanted to recreate.

So I did, and it was so much easier than I anticipated! I headed to the Japanese grocer to pick up the ingredients, which did lend a hand in the ease of this meal (my beef was already sliced to the perfect thickness – though you could easily get everything you need at your normal grocery and take the time to slice your own). This was fun in itself, as I got to wander the aisles, seeing what new treasures this grocery had to offer (dried sardines with sticky sweet soy sauce was one!). (more…)

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A Meal Worth Sharing

October 19, 2010

Sukiyaki

Even though almost every Japanese restaurant I’ve been to has sukiyaki, I’ve never tried it. It always seemed odd to me that two people had to order the meal, and given that I had no idea what it was, I always decided to pass, getting sushi or soba. While we were in Kyoto, one of our options for dinner at the ryokan was sukiyaki. Given that we always ate the same thing at the ryokan, I decided we should try it. Man have I been missing out all this time!

The Japanese seem fond of cooking their meals at the table. In this instance, a gas burner was lit, with a cast iron pot atop. Our hostess brought out two huge plates, one piled high with beef, another with a variety of vegetables. Two eggs were sitting at our place settings, still in their shells. After the pot was heated up, bits of this and that were added to it, and a broth poured over it all – just enough to get everything wet. (more…)

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Enjoying Sushi in Japan

September 14, 2010

Premium Tuna Sampler

One of the things on the “must-do” list for our time in Tokyo was visit Tsukiji Market. While I wasn’t so interested in seeing fish auctioned at the crack of dawn, I was certain that if I wanted the freshest of fresh fish, this would be the place to find it. So on the second morning of our trip, my husband and I set off in search of the market.

Luckily, we worked up quite the appetite after getting a little lost coming out of the train station and making a huge loop instead of going direct to the market. By the time we got there, we wondered around, and settled on a sushi bar that had some air conditioning.

Inside, we decided on a sampler of tuna, and our favorite, tako sashimi (octopus), and the requisite Asahi to cool us down. While the fish was amazing, the thing that struck me most was that it was not cold. Unlike in the US, where the fish is cold to nearly freezing, here they served it room temperature, the flavors shining through. I decided to try a bit of uni as well, one of my not-so-favorites here in the US.

And uni is still not my favorite. It seemed better in Japan than what I’ve had here, but it will still never top my list.

Tako Sashimi

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