Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fresh Seafood near the Beach

Although it was winter, it was worth the trip to the beach in Niigata, Japan. Some of the freshest seafood I've ever seen and tasted came from the little shops that lined the beach. If you're wondering what those two skewers are, the skewer on the left is BBQ squid, and the one on the right is chicken skin. That's right, chicken skin! Grilled chicken skin, in all it's fat, unhealthy glory.

The Longest Nikuman I've Ever Seen

Nikuman is basically a meat bun, similar to the Chinese chashubao, or BBQ pork bun. There are lot's of varieties of nikuman, my favourite comes with a pizza style filling, but the standard is pork. I found this one at a little shop in a ferry terminal somewhere in Tokyo.

Horse Anyone?

Well, it's been a while since I last updated this blog, not that anyone noticed. I thought that I should post something a little unusual for North American tastes. Horse sushi. To be honest, it did't taste particularly good or bad. This picture was taken in January, 2004 in a district of Tokyo called Ginza. This is the place where a bowl of strawberries could cost over $100 CAD. Anyways, I had horse once more a few years later, but didn't really like it the second time. Instead of a nicely prepared, somewhat dry slice of meat on top of sushi rice, my second time trying horse was just a plate of bloody meat (supposedly sashimi).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My First Bowl of Good Ramen

When it came to Japanese food, my first choice would have been to go to a sushi restaraunt, or a fry place, or tempura place, but never ramen. I was never a big fan of it. Before these photos were taken back in January, 2004, I would rather have a bowl of pho. Well, I was in Shinjuku with a couple of friends and we stumbled on this little ramen shop and I was hooked. The thick miso-based broth with extra fat, noodles cooked to perfection, and Japanese-style chashu....also with extra fat. What a great combination on a cold winter day, and on that cold winter day, I learned to appreciate a good bowl of ramen.
I was hooked and had to have ramen all the time. Unfortunately, Shinjuku was not my home, Richmond, BC was, and there was not a decent ramen shop within, oh say 4,090 nautical miles. There's a few shops now in downtown, Vancouver, but they pale in comparison to the ones in the land of the rising sun. I gah-ron-tee there will be more pictures of ramen to come in this blog.
By the way, this shop is no longer around, as far as I can tell. The last time I was in Shinjuku, I could not find it anywhere. I spent hours walking around looking for it, but no luck.

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