Thursday, August 23, 2007

Japan Trip 5: Home Made

Yes it is possible to make delicious food. Even in Japan. Inspired by the grated daikon on the burgers we had on my arrival in Japan (?) Tomomi, my host in Tokyo, cooked up this wondrous burger. The green stuff on top is shredded shiso leaves. Called "Japanese Basil" for some reason, this local herb goes well with any meat. This was the first time on this trip I'd had it with beef. Both daikon and shiso are cooling, the main thing anything should be in this inferno.
Our friends the Miyoshis live in the upscale Azabu Juban neighbourhood in Tokyo. Fumiyo, Bit's friend Steph and I stayed with them when we were in Japan in 03. This time I just visited them for lunch. But what a lunch. The cheese piece at 9:00 in the picture went heavenly with the French rose wine that accompanied the meal. You notice how artistic this is? Are Japanese people (women especially) trained from childhood that food has to look good as well as (well, rarely anymore) taste good? Flower arrangement with food instead of flora. The gold bordered plate mirrored the gold borders everywhere in their condo. I thought I was in Versailles. Thankfully, I didn't have to speak French. My Japanese is diminutive enough.

Real Basil. Also tomatoes and Parmesan. Mmm.

Some kinda fish. Not fishy at all. Louis XVI might have dined on this. He's dead now. So is the fish. Best fish I had in Japan. Ok, the Only fish I had in Japan but still.... These were the only non-restaurant or dept store prepared/frozen foods I ate in 2 weeks in Japan. I'm not a bad cook and Fumiyo, who cooks rarely, is about as skilled as you can be in the kitchen but much as I'm used to eating/preparing great meals at home in North Van, both these meals my friends concocted in Japan were of a higher level. While eating this burger or this piece of fish, I could look down and see the earth from a great distance.


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