Japanese study, the start
Japan has always held a special place in Crackling’s heart / stomach. A 21st wedding anniversary trip, sans enfants, ramped everything up a few gears and then some. Result – resolution to learn the basics of Japanese home cooking. Share my journey.
If you have a bad meal experience in Japan then there is something wrong with you, most likely, given that you have
- Free Will
- Twenty US Dollars
- Can see more than fifty Japanese people around you
Standards for even quick meals are extremely high amongst the Japanese who are sometimes leisurely eaters but mostly in a rush either to get back to work or get to the next bar/shop. From the plainest standing-only kiosk restaurants to the funkiest specialist eateries Shibuya to the sublime chilled food shelves in convenience stores the integrity of food quality is high.
Crackling only had one bad meal, not so much bad but not mind-blowing, and that was at Tokyo Station whilst slightly tired and emotional on the way back from the Sumo tournament: picked a TGI Friday’s style theme restaurant. Mr Crackling was very understanding and chose a grill your own Wagyu restaurant for a late supper once back in Shibuya, which was nice. Article to follow.
The reliable quality of Japanese food has a lot to do with innovation and competition, sure, but more to do with the pillars of Japanese Cooking or Nihon Ryori, excellent nutritional principles and a lot of common sense behind the culinary art. Thus a brand new section of Crackling has been created to discover the food science and technology, the techniques and the wisdom behind Japanese cooking. There will also be stories and pictures from Tokyo restaurants – the ONLY time this happens in these pages – because is would be rude not to.
For the past fortnight I have been stocking my pantry, choosing basic techniques to learn and unwrapping the equipment I bought at my second favourite Japanese shop of all time, Tokyu Hands. (First is Family Mart, natch). Now the time is right to share what I learn.
There may also be a little sprinkling of name-dropping which can’t really be helped as most of my Japanese friends are either rock stars, musos or the people that make things happen in that industry. They are also fantastically skilled when it comes to choosing restaurants and bars. Do leave a comment if you recognise anyone.
If theses paragraphs were not enough to entice you to come on this journey of discovery with me, then here is a picture of a cat. Most blogs have them as they are very popular. This one is a Japanese cat up a cherry blossom tree. It most likely has a belly full of bonito.