Odori Park, by Chris Watkins Odori Park - A webcomic comedy of culture shock in love, life, and family, by Chris Watkins


:: Posts Tagged ‘food’ ::


In relation to yesterday’s strip, I offer the following: There is a theory, posed years ago in a Zero Gravity strip in the Japan Times (by Roger Dahl), that straight out of the package, udon “noodles” are actually comprised of one single mega-noodle. The same may be true of pre-packaged instant ramen, but whereas this phenomenon with regard to the “Student’s Helper” is potentially verifiable, the inherent slickeriness of udon noodles could mean that–like the number of licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop–the world may never know.

Just FYI.


This characterization may not be far from the truth. I have eaten raw cow liver sashimi. (Not bad.) I’ve heard about cow tongue sashimi (the taste that tastes back!). Somehow, I’m more afraid of Yabe’s corn beef sushi IV. It must be the mayo.


It’s been an unseasonably cool summer where I live, in western New York state. (Or so I’ve been told. To me, 80 is more than hot enough to turn me into a puddle of sweating goo.) That being the case, we’ve not eaten much traditional Japanese summer fare yet this year. In my mind, Japan seems to have a lot of seasonal dishes. My favorite for summer is probably zaru soba–cold buckwheat noodles served with a sauce for dipping. My wife can down a heaping plateful of zaru soba faster than a drunk college kid can wolf down a large pizza. I think her stomach is some kind of trans-dimensional portal.

Earlier this week, I caught sight of an intriguing summer recipe at a Japan culture blog I recently started following. Tokyo Kawaii, Etc. posted instructions for making cold shabu-shabu. For the uninitiated: regular shabu-shabu is a sort of “social” dish. A large bowl of boiled water sits on a hot plate in the center of the table, and a platter of ultra-thin slices of meat (lamb, beef, pork, take your pick) is served, which diners can swish (the “shabu-shabu” action of the name) in the hot water, cooking it in seconds. Then you dip in a variety of sauces, eat, and repeat.

At first reading, I almost expected the cold shabu-shabu recipe to involve raw meat. (Don’t laugh, this wouldn’t be entirely unheard of.) Of course, what’s actually happening is that the meat’s cooked ahead of time, and served cold on top of a summer salad. This looked tasty enough that I wanted to share the link. I haven’t tried this myself, mind you, so your mileage may vary. Please write back if you give this a shot, or have any other summer recipe recommendations!


Kaiten-zushi restaurants–where plates of sushi rotate the establishment on a conveyor belt, and bills are tallied based on the number and color of plates you’ve picked up–are popular in Japan. Somebody put a video camera on the belt. Here are the results. This is absolutely awesome:
David in Japan: Sushi Belt Cam

Tonight I had dinner at a place that features an Osaka area specialty: kushi-age. Roughly translated: deep-fried stuff on sticks. The stuff ranged from shiitake mushrooms, to pork and chicken, to tiny boiled eggs and miniature green peppers. Delicious! Also had some veggies. Note the “salad” made of grated Japanese radish (daikon) topped with tiny dried fish and a drizzle of soy sauce. Excellent, I promise! Last night’s dinner was okonomiyaki (translated: grilled stuff you like). No pictures, but photos surely abound on the Internet for the curious. :)

kushi-age yasai 

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