you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

interesting adventures in food

Tonight, I had one of those odd adventures you sometimes have a chance to have- being Gaijin (a foreigner) in Japan. I have been doing some freelance writing for Tokyo Journal, and Being A Broad magazines- that plus being manager of Fujimamas and writing on two food blogs- landed me in an interesting spot this week.

A few days ago, my editor from Tokyo Journal called me up. It seemed CNN was doing some food and culture pieces in japan and they wanted a food writer, or food person to meet with their reporter from Hong Kong, for dinner. The topic to be discussed (and eaten) was the Japanese interest in Sashimi- (which most folks assume means raw fish) But this interview and tasting session was not about the raw fish type- it was about enjoying raw meat. Specifically Chicken and Deer Sashimi.

Coming from the west with all the talk of salmonella and other poultry related stomach illness scares- I was more than a bit nervous. I said yes, with hopes that I could garner some good PR for Fujimamas. And so I headed out to Shinbashi to a little old restaurant with a little old chef...

The CNN folks were very nice, one local Japanese reporter helping to set everything up, a camera man who was excellent, and the lead in the story, Eunice Yoon from Hong Kong. (photo at right) Eunice was funny and kind, she put me at ease right away. We talked a bit about why Japanese like raw fish and meat. We learned how the chef prepared the chicken, and he vouched for the saftey. We fortified our selves with a bit of sake (Japanese rice wine) and then we tried the food. We had a lovely normal looking place of raw fish. Then the chicken and deer.

I liked the deer a lot. It was like a nice beef carpaccio. not as thin. but same kind of texture and feeling. It was not gamey as I expected. It was served with a garlic, sesame and soy dipping sauce. And we tried the chicken. I had kind of pschyed myself out. I don't know what I was expecting- ?? Some kind of bloody freshly killed chicken... slimey and unattractive. What came out was a lovely plate of very thinly sliced chicken. Slightly white skin (it is first prepared by having boiling water poured on the outside). And pink inside. It was the same texture as salmon sashimi. And guess what... "It tasted like Chicken!" he he. Light, fresh and tasty. I did not eat a lot cause I couldn't shake my western thinker salmonella fears. But I did have 3 pieces. Eunice was not a fan of the deer sashimi, but she seemed to like the chicken, she ate most of the serving.
It was more fun than I thought. Next week they will send me a dvd and tell me when I will be on TV> It is just going to be a short minute 30 sec. spot. But it was interesting.

This picture is not mine, i didn't get to take any shots, but it is what the sashimi chicken looked like. It was actually quite elegant. I don't think I will rush out to try it again. But I did enjoy it just fine. Glad I gave it a try.

the Restaurant was called Genpachi. tiny, nice place in Shinbashi 3 Chome district of Tokyo.
thanks to Tokyo Journal and Cnn for the opportunity.


marti said...

how very far you have come from picking the corn out of your vegetable soup and eating my spaghetti sauce only if I take some out of the pot "before" the mushrooms were put in....among some other little food related youthful quirks...and now...a Foodie!!!

lauren said...

oooh How embarrassing, but that is what mom's are for, to keep us grounded!