Monday, February 6, 2012

Japanese Adventure- The Food

Some sort of jelly fish or something.. with a cute little tofu "Hello Kitty" garnish.

Izakaya is Japanese tapas. 
How happy would you be?
Yeah, I was pretty darn happy at the suggestion of such a cool experience.

We ate about 15 different little dishes of stuff that night.  Everything was totally amazing.
I loved the soup we started with on the snowy, blustery day. It reminded of something from Portugal... tomatoes, potatoes, clams, oysters and sausage.  Not what you think of with Japanese soup, but oh... so wonderful and the total flavors of Japan.  The dishes never seemed to stop, and the sake kept pace with the courses, I'm surprised my recall is so good.  There was one dish that I will never forget.  I knew... I just knew that something was different with that one.

The color was white, the appearance smooth and shiny... it tasted of the fresh pure sea.  If you like raw oysters, you would love this.

I promised myself I would eat everything offered to me. And I did.

I knew that white stuff was something... well, unusual.  My Japanese business partner, who has pretty good English, said it was "fish eggs".  Well, I have eaten lots of different caviars and while I am not the biggest fan, I don't hate it.  But fish eggs, roe, caviar- - -whatever you want to call it, looks the same- round.  
I said "no, this can't be fish eggs".  
I'm such a know it all.
I knew it wasn't fish eggs, but I figured the real word was lost somehow in translation.  
Funny, I never considered subterfuge... trickery... whatever you like to call it. I was duped. 

I've been back for about three days and talked a lot about the white stuff I ate.  I described it as blumpy white nobules spiraled on a common cord.  Weird, I know. I Googled it... couldn't come up with anything that sounded right.  Then I Googled "White opaque sashimi".
Uh oh...

He was on the right track, it was kind of the opposite of eggs. The counterpart shall we say?  
It's called Shirako. It's officially white sperm sack (full of sperm)- - -uhhhh.... thanks for that last part.  Right. Yeah. I feel a little sick.
But... you know, it was  good.
Yep, it was. 
Not sure if I will order it again, or maybe I will just tell someone else that it is "fish eggs".  I feel a little mean just thinking of passing along the trickery, but I am smiling right now.  

P.S. I didn't take a picture of the shirako... aren't you glad?

Here is the absolute most tame thing I ate all night. 

I called it a "Jenga Salad" - - -my name for a fantastic daikon salad tossed in dressing and topped with clear seaweed that is crunchy.  You can't see the darling daikon radish rabbits that garnish the side.  I think some of my former Tabletop/China friends will recognize Noritake's Shenandoah pattern that so popular with U.S. Brides in the late 1980's.

Japanese Adventure- Part One 

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