Snowy Hotpot

November 28, 2012

Snow Hot Pot

A couple of years ago, around the time I first started this blog, I was lucky enough to be able to visit Japan. While I have always loved Japanese food, I had mostly experienced the more popular items we have here in America: teppanyaki, sushi, and noodle bowls. Of course, during the week we were in Japan, I had to seek out sushi at the famed Tsukiji Fish Market, and its freshness was astounding. However, for the most part, I opened myself up to whatever was being served, trying multi-course meals at Chef Chen Kenichi’s restaurant, Szechwan Restaurant Chen, and at the ryokan we stayed at in Kyoto, Yachiyo. During my time there I had custards, dried baby anchovies, many random soups and fruits that I never did identify, tofu prepared in so many ways, and hotpot. When I made it back home, I wanted to take advantage of the Japanese groceries we have here, so I bought a couple of Japanese cookbooks, an electric hotpot, and I started studying the ingredients and techniques of the cuisine. (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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