Monday, July 21, 2008

End of week five and Russian Roulette??

So I know you are all angry at me for my lack of posting. I'm a terrible blogger! I'm sorry! I think I'm going to end up posting a set of twoblogs so make sure to look for them both :)

First things first, I got to go to Japanese cooking school twice! It was super awesome! Both times were taught by famous (in Japan) cooking school chefs and it was a blast. What did we make?

I got to make four delicious dishes:

First, we made tenderloin in a tomato/caper sauce. It was delicious! The most interesting part was how we made the pork tenderloin--it was pan fried, which I would never have thought could have cooked it all the way through (I would have expected burned on the outside, raw on the inside)! It was seriously tasty.

The second thing we made--a sort of cake made out of cabbage, belly, and some sort of EXTREMELY salty Chinese root vegetable that I had never seen before. Isn't it pretty though? It was tasty, although extremely hard to eat with chopsticks. Some things are much more easy to eat with chopsticks--for example, selecting one piece of food among a lot of foods, or anything that will fall apart if you skewer it. But SOME things, like cabbage cake, are really difficult to eat with chopsticks. I HATE cutting with chopsticks--I have this terrible fear I'm going to launch food across the room.

The third dish we made was deep fried pork with potatoes. Yum! This is one of those dishes you just can't go wrong with. The interesting thing about this dish was that we put the potatoes in the oil BEFORE turning the heat on--which is totally different than any way I've ever seen to fry anything. But they were delicious!

The final dish was stir-fried pork in a miso sauce on a bed of lettuce. This was good but, frankly, I make something similar at home, so it wasn't that exciting.

Kimchi! Lindsay, I'm totally channeling your experience in Korea here!

Yakiniku! I hadn't tried Yakiniku yet but it's one of those TOTALLY Japanese food styles (well, except it totally came from Korea, but let's not mention that). You take the raw meat, place it on the little burner in the middle of the table, dip it in sauce, and eat it. Yum!

The Japanese just LOVE intestine. Now it isn't as terrible as I would have expected. That being said, it's not that good either. And it's really really fatty. So it lights on fire when you are grilling it, which was by far the best part.

There are a lot of restaurants in Tokyo that have private rooms for groups. I've only eaten in a nice one once but it was really exciting! Any time you walk on tatami mats you have to take off your shoes--I haven't gotten used to taking off my shoes in public places.

The restaurant also had a cute little dessert--orange sherbet in an orange peel. Tasty AND adorable!

We also went to the Meiji shrine. The Meiji shrine is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Tokyo. It's a pretty cool shrine. Really beautiful and sooo calm. It's one of those places in Tokyo where you would never guess you were in a big city...which always amazes me.

Barrels upon barrels of sake...that's a HECK of a lot of sake! And there is a matching line of whiskey on the other side!

People write their wishes or prayers on little wooden cards. At certain times, the cards are burned and the wishes are sent up to the gods. I'm just saying--I wrote on one of the cards and my wish DID in fact come take from it what you will :) And if you want me to write anything on a card for you, let me know in the next day or two!

There are TONS and TONS of weddings at Meiji. I was told that Meiji is one of the shrines that rich and/or famous people want to get married at.

I'm no kimono expert--in fact I know about zero about them but I had never seen the big fancy hat before.

I've been to Meiji twice now...and probably seen about six or seven weddings. Super cool!

A giant fish market tuna. I know you've all seen pictures of the tuna at the fish market before but they are amazingly huge. I mean, look at that fish in relation to the people!

Watermelon kitkats! Now THESE tasted strange. They DID in fact taste like watermelon. It was just really strange.

You know, I love going to eat places that offer me my own personal mortar and pestle!

This is totally random, but I found a bagel place in the train station called Bagel and Bagel, which I think sounds like a law firm staffed by Bagels.

I got an everything bagel and a basil bagel. The Everything bagel was particularly interesting. I really wished I had a toaster but...I don' I had to microwave them. Still pretty good!

The cream cheese came with it's own little pad. Unfortunately, I chose the basil cream cheese. It was WAY too much basil. A sickly amount of basil....ugh....

People were asking about the little fishes that I've eaten (whole I might add)--you eat them totally, head, belly full of eggs, and all.

So where is the Russian Roulette that the title speaks of? The Japanese Izakaya's have this dish known as Russian Roulette. It basically consists of six or nine little octopus puffs. But ONE of them is incredibly super spicy. And there is no way to know which it is. So one person in your party gets their mouth burned out!

In other news, I was watching Hannah Montana because it was the only thing in English on. And Miley's love interest is named "Jake Ryan"--do you think the young'uns even GET that reference? And how in the world do the hillbilly jokes that Dolly Parton says translate into Japanese?


  1. Score! Your own mortar and pestle at a that's service! That beats your own pepper grinder any day!! :)

  2. Haha, I love it. The kimchi is even served at breakfast! They do the meat cooked on the table top grill here too. But the intestine is crazy. And the barrels of saki and whiskey - wow.

  3. Ooo, You could wish me a safe drive to New Orleans, I leave soon! Oh, and also a happy time in the French Quarter, I need all the luck and fortune that Happy Cat can provide.


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