Since moving to Japan, not only have we been having adventures visiting places, we have had adventures with the local food! Those of you who know our family well, know that I am pretty adventurous when it comes to new foods, but my husband is NOT! It has taken me ~9 years of marriage to get him to eat something besides roast and potatoes with an occasional carrot or oatmeal. When we lived in Florida, we made good progress in the sea food category, now on to the Okinawan food! We have certainly been getting a real education! Some of it is good, and some of it is definitely only try once!
I will start with Nathan’s Favorite, YAKISOBA. The Okinawan’s have their local version that Nathan loves. The soba noodles come in a yummy broth called dashi-jiru. If you go to the local Jusco they sell the noodles and they sell the broth, so you can make it quick and easy. Yakisoba is definately not the Ramen noodles found in America! It is prepared by stir-frying soba noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots) and flavoured with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsuobushi (fish flakes), and Japanese mayonnaise. Yummy!!
On our first night out on the town, Brian ordered a meal and when it arrived it ended up being BEEF SASHIMI. Sashimi is considered one of the finest foods, but not in Brian’s opinion. When the plate arrived, he quickly realized that it was very thinly sliced pieces of raw beef served with a dipping sauce. The dipping sauces was a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and a dollop of wasabi sauce. A little wasabi sauce goes a LONG way! At least we were smart enough not to order Takifugu sashimi (raw puffer fish)!
I was first introduced to DRAGON FRUIT at yogurt land where i had it on the most delicious pomegranate and lemon twist yogurt. It is such a gorgeous purple, so I figured it must be good! It was tasty, but pretty mild. I expected it to much more tangy. I had seen them at the Commissary, but they were quite pricy, so I hopped at the chance to give it a try! I have since seem them at the local markets and even grown at the Botanical gardens! They are a very interesting looking fruit inside and out. It reminds me a little bit of an artichoke on the outside, but much different inside!
One of our first introduction to Goya (bitter melon) came in the form of Goya Chanpuru. Goya Chanpuru is a very popular stir fry that consists of goya, other veggies, t?fu, scrambled eggs, and either Spam, bacon, thinly sliced pork belly, or canned tuna. It was actually pretty tasty, but the Goya does have a very bitter after taste! Goya is said to have medicinal purposes also, because it is SO healthy for you! It is said to be the king of vitamin C because is has very high levels. It has twice the potassium of a banana, double the beta-carotene of broccoli, and twice the calcium of spinach. I won’t bore with all the vitamin stats, but it is a very impressive fruit! I’m pretty sure it’s a fruit and not a veggie!
Because I knew that I would never get Brian into a SUSHI house, I took advantage of a girl’s night out and went to a local sushi house. The resturant was adorable and very oriental. When we entered we took our shoes off and turned them away from us, and then went and sat on big woven mats around long wooden tables. I decided to take baby steps and ordered the CALIFORNIA ROLL. After reading what I could, it seemed pretty safe. Considering our experience with Sashimi, I knew I wasn’t ready to try the raw fish! When they roll was brought out, it was gorgeous! As far as I could tell, it was a roll of rice, seaweed, avocados, cucumber, and crab meat. As far as I could tell is key! It was covered in gorgeous orange sprinkles too! ;o) WRONG! Even I knew better! It was actually covered in Tobiko. Tobiko is the roe of the flying fish. Even though it was delicious, I just couldn’t help that the little pops, and crackles of the eggs as a chewed got to my head (just a bit). It really was yummy dipped is wasabi and soy sauce. Even though I don’t regret going there, and it was a great chance to get to know the ladies of our ward better, I won’t be going there for my birthday dinner! Live and learn right! It’s all part of the adventure!