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(Fast and not so Fast) Food Nation: Part 3 (Stories from our trip to Japan)

(Click here for Part 1)

(Click here for Part 2)

We had a memorable 10-course meal at a Japanese restaurant called Ganko after a temple service commemorating the one year anniversary of my uncle’s passing. The meal was primarily vegetarian with the exception of a few pieces of fish cakes on the appetizer plate (shown) and a piece of fish steamed with the bowl of rice served at the end. The main course was the make-your-own tofu pot – a tiny personal earthenware pot filled with soy milk set on a tiny burner. They provide you with the right amount of the coagulant, nigari (magnesium chloride solution), to add after the soymilk is fully heated through. The timing was important, and so was the proper stirring after adding nigari. Our tofu may not have turned out to be pretty as many of us were either too drunk or too busy talking to get the timing and stirring done right. Regardless, the tofu tasted delicious.

After the meal, my cousins and I went to my aunt’s house for more talking. Many of the kids came along. Kids were treated with these beautiful creations made of fruits and whipped cream.

Speaking of whipped cream, crepe stands are still popular after 30+ years. In the beginning, you had to go to Harajuku to find a crepe stand. Today, however, you can find crepe stands at most shopping center food courts. The one I had last week (whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce and strawberries) tasted just like the ones I had in Harajuku back when I was a teenager.

On my next visit to Japan, perhaps the dollar will be stronger, or I will be wealthier. I will hopefully be able to enjoy eating out non-fast food more.

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