Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Preview of what's to come

I'm back from Japan!! Despite my coming down with a cold, it was a great trip, and my best friend, the Mogurin (aka Mogu Mogu, the Mogs) and I had a wonderful time. I'll be posting pictures and anecdotes from my trip over the next few days, but here's a quick preview of what I did:

Fighting rooster (bantam) dinner
Two full kaiseki meals, one of which was at a 350 yr old restaurant in Kyoto
Oumi Beef (Japanese beef, better than Kobe) dinner
Eel 'hitsumabushi' meal at a 130 yr old restaurant
Tempura bar dinner
Sakura mochi at Arashiyama, where it was first invented
and much, much more!!

One of the sightseeing trips I enjoyed the most was a stop at Kyoto's Nishiki grocery market, where the pros shop and the Kyoto gourmets come to gather groceries. I went a little bit shopping crazy here...

There were konbu seaweed (for making dashi broth) and a seaweed friend. I so wanted to kidnap this seaweed friend, but I showed control...

And there were specialty rice sold in bulk...
Bamboo shoots dug up that morning from nearby mountains...
Bulk beans of various colors and textures...

I brought back the best white miso Kyoto has to offer - the same kind that the 350 yr old Hyotei uses. This will be the greatest challenge for me to cook with, and I'm really excited to have these super-high quality ingredients here. I also brought back aged soy sauce, which is near impossible to get here, along with aged mirin, which is NOTHING like the mirin I can get at places like Mitsuwa. My kitchen is going to be churning out some tasty, tasty Japanese food!!!

1 comment:

The Papa Bear said...

I went to Mitsuwa the other day and fell on my butt when I saw the price for a 2-pound rice bag. $30!!! I almost bought it just to see how good it could be.

Now, the Baby Bear showed a bunch of specialty rice at the market, I'd shudder to think how much _those_ would cost. But I'd be tempted to buy, maybe 1-cup, just to see what one of those would taste like. :)