June 30, 2008

Food paradise, Hakata (^3^)/

Rock of monkey!

Can you figure out how this rock of monkey looks like? According to people in this area, this profile looks different by seasons. Never seen such a rock which has full of expression.
Hakata is a ward of Fukuoka city, located southern island of Kyusyu. Fourth biggest city in Japan and ther're lots of local unique food.

This is called 'Mizutaki' that is a hot pot of chicken. Start with thick soup made of chicken broth and chopped chicken, and then add any vegitables you like. We're closing with Udon that is made of wheat. It contains rich of collagen, so very popular for women as well.

This is 'Yatai'food. Yatai means open-air stall. There're about a hundread of street venders along street in the city. The difference between Hakata vender and other areas is that has skelton type of fridge equipped in each stall(like pic below). Customer can see food inside of fridge and can eat whatever they like. 'Ebi-chan' is the one of popular venders of open style bar. We tried to be in line, but gave up... Most venders have 'Oden', 'Yakitori' and Hakata Noodles. Very good taste. Especially Hakata noodle made with pork bone broth sopu is awsome!!

I enjoyed Yakitori dinner for the last night of stay in Hakata, which is Japanese style of skewered. So many Yakitori resaurants are gathering and smoke of coal goes outside. Good quality and inexpensive.

I learned different food culture even in such a small island of Japan. Amazed to see lots of local food I've never encounterd.

June 12, 2008

Slimy healthy Bowl (@_@)

Neba neba(slimy) bowl

Ingredients:Japanese ginger, okura, cucumber, egg plants, red pepper, natto(fermented soy beens), salt & pepper, steamed white rice and dry seaweed.

Mince Myoga(Japanese ginger) and red pepper. Remove inside seeds.
Cut eggplants and cucumber into 1 inch dice. Slice okura.

Mix red pepper, okura and Japanese ginger well and add cucumber and eggplant into gruel. Mix Natoo with mastard into gruel in another bowl.

Put a cup of steamed rice into a bowl, vegee and Natto. On top of that, garnish dry seaweed before served.

Flavoring ingredients such as Japanese ginger and redpepper are strong accent. It sharpen your appetite in such a hot humid rainy season. Okura contains pectine which effects to decrease level of sugar in blood as well as regulate the functions of the intestines. Eating uncooked egg plants are unique in texture. Enjoy each distinct part and funny harmony!

June 03, 2008

Rich food island : IKI


I went to Iki island last month, where is a part of Nagasaki prefecture and lying between Kyusyu and Tsushima islands. Here's food experience in Iki.

AWABI (abalone).
I went to Sushi restaurant(Mimasu-Sushi) in the city of Iki. Since they do fishing themselves and make them the same day, this place is well known as fresh seafood. Ordered AWABI(abelone) that is one of my favorites. They brought alive abelone from their tank behind and devided shells. She recommended to have half of them is for butter saute and other part for sushi because of freshness, so we followed her offer.

Butter saute was served first. Small fire on sea salt kept shell warm. I was impressed to see rice in the bottom of shell, because this plays an important role to keep soup inside and sealed small holes of shell. The rice is very tasty I have never had. I asked her how she cooked it, but kept as business secret because of their original. The rice tasted a little bit sweet, but matched with any kind of raw fish. Awabi is chewy and juicy. Amazing combination of the white part and tasty rice.

Here's Awabi Sushi. No needless to say, DELICIOUS. Amazingly DELICIOUS.
Two set of Iki-gyu(meat) Sushi were served. Meat was grilled. JUICY.

Other kinds of Sushi and Sashimi are all absolutely fresh and delicious.

I have had Sushi place a lot in my life so far, but this place will be ranked as top 1 or 2. They know what is seasonal fish as well as how-to-cook delicious part of fish/seafood as keeping original taste. Flavored Sushi rice also enhance dishes.
Iki island is not accessable, but ship from Kyusyu-island, far from Tokyo, but this is the place to go. It is really worth it.