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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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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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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Experiencing breakfast at a Kyoto Ryokan

September 24, 2010

Boiled tofu and condiments
Boiled tofu and condiments

When we were in Japan, I had a bit of a revelation. I really like tofu. It’s not that I disliked it before, it’s that what I had over there was so good I would actually crave tofu.

The tipping point was the first breakfast we had while staying at Yachiyo Ryokan in Kyoto. Boiled tofu has never sounded appetizing to me, in fact, it sounds borderline disgusting. I think it has something to do with a friend of mine talking about boiled chicken once upon a time, and now anything with “boiled” preceding it just sounds tasteless and slimy.

The first morning we get to our table, and we have tofu sitting in a clay pot, just waiting to be boiled. We sit and awaited the towels, and we’re amazed at the spread that is brought out for breakfast. (more…)

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