Sunday, January 17, 2010

Japanese Food Log Summer 2009

So I decided to make another food post, this time from my trip to Japan! Here’s some of what I ate and my thoughts on them…

These are buckwheat noodles, usually served cold, and it typically comes with a special sauce. It’s a very typical meal; I had it a couple of times in Japan and occasionally make it myself at home. It’s not my favorite food in the world, but I do enjoy it.

Curry rice
Very simple, very common – curry! The basic component of this, of course, is the rice and curry sauce, and there will oftentimes be certain meats or vegetables mixed in the sauce. Again, this is a meal I had a few times while in Japan, but you can easily find it here too. There are so many different kinds of curry, and I really enjoy Japanese curry.

More noodles, and these are usually served in a hot broth. Udon noodles are usually fairly thick and slippery, and I’ve seen a wide variety of vegetables and meats in the broth. I’ve even had udon served cold, which wasn’t my favorite way of eating it but was still very good.

I. Love. Korokke. Maybe because it sort of goes back to my own roots – the original dish is a French dish, “croquettes,” which I mention in my Belgian food post. Like croquettes, a filling is enclosed in a crunchy fried batter. I’ve only had one kind while I was in Japan, so I’m not sure if there are other kinds of it, but the one I ate had a potato puree inside it and was so simple, cheap, and delicious.

There are many kinds of “donburi” foods, which is basically some kind of meat, fish, or vegetable served over rice. Gyudon in particular contains beef – the one I ate had thin strips of beef and onions over rice. It was sooo cheap and surprisingly filling, and while I wouldn’t have it everyday, for something so quick and easy I really liked it.

I know this is such a super vague term, as bentos can have anything in them, but I honestly don’t know/remember what was in it. “Bento” simply means “lunch box,” and they’re very commonly sold in Japan (in convenient stores and whatnot), but what I remember about this one was the charm of the situation. We were in Osaka, wondering where we could get something cheap to eat, and happened to run into this woman who was setting up a tiny stand of bentos in the street. We each got one for only a couple hundred yen, and simply stuffed with a bunch of different yummy components. We actually ended up seeing many more of these small stands; I wish they existed here~!

I’ve heard this dish referred to as the Japanese version of a pancake, pizza, omelet… It’s really hard to describe okonomiyaki if you’ve never heard of it, but it was one of my favorite foods over there. Although the batter and toppings vary a lot depending on where you go, from my experience it’s usually eggs, cabbage, and some kind of meat or vegetable or something mixed to form a batter, and then cooked similarly to a pancake. There are a couple of different sauces you can pour over it. It’s very different from what most non-Japanese people are used to, so if you’ve never had it before, try it out!
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