Sunday, June 21, 2009

Feedback from food critics

While the gals and I have been eating lots of cake and sweets in the past two weeks, we've also been enjoying--and critiquing--a variety of Japanese foods.

It's been fun for me to watch their reactions to the cuisine that I've come to love, and interesting to learn how they rate the different foods.

We started our "Japanese food adventure" together by eating sushi at a kaiten zushi restuarant, a place where you choose your sushi from a conveyor belt.

It was their first time ever to try sushi, and their first time to use chopsticks in Japan.

Jennifer wasn't so sure about the sushi. Or the chopsticks.

Kaiten zushi: 0 out of 5 stars from Jennifer-san, (shocking!) 3 stars from Lauren-san. By the way, I have gotten to the point where I crave sushi it gets 5 stars from me!

"I'm not so big on the taste, and I don't like that it's cold. The appearance doesn't do anything for me, either!" -- Jennifer

At the English conversation class last Sunday, they tried a different kind of sushi -- vegetable and egg sushi rolls.

Toshi-san rolling the sushi. Close-up shot:

Sushi rolls: 4 stars from Lauren and a whopping 1 star from Jennifer.

"I could eat this on a weekly basis!! Oh wait...I already do." -- me (5 stars!)

We also made homemade takoyaki at the class...

You probably know by now that these fried dough balls with octopus inside have kind of become my specialty.

Takoyaki: 3 stars from Jennifer and an astounding 5 stars from Lauren!

"Dana's* takoyaki is amazing, and is probably one of my new favorite foods!" -- Lauren

*sidenote: I did not bribe her to say this, and since this is a direct quote, Lauren (who is sitting beside me as I write this) won't let me change it.

At Okawame Jr. High last Tuesday we made rice balls called onigiri in one of the classes. There were many different options of what to put inside...

From left to right: salmon, pickles, tuna salad (the mayo hadn't been mixed in yet), fish flakes and soy sauce combined, and pictured front and center are nasty dried pickled plums called umeboshi.

Onigiri: the general consensus is 4 stars.

"Onigiri is better warm, and it's absolutely horrible with umeboshi inside!!"
-- yours truly

Last night, we went to Oliver's place and helped make his specialty, gyoza. They are fried dumplings and are technically considered Chinese food.

Gyoza: the general consensus is 5 stars!! We all love it!

"It's so fun to eat with chopsticks* and is really good dipped in soy sauce." -- Jennifer

*Jennifer's chopstick skill has improved tremendously, and she says she might even use them back at home!

Besides the food pictured, other foods that the gals have tried are: a noodle dish called yakisoba (5 stars from Jennifer!, 3 from Lauren); chicken-on-a-stick called yakitori (3 stars from everyone); and fermented soybeans called natto. (0 stars from everybody...yuck!)

Overall, we've had a lot of fun being taste testers of Japanese cuisine. As Lauren said recently, "I could live in Japan for the the food!!"


Dawn said...

Nice to know people are much more adventurous with food than me. You'd never get me to try sushi.

Nate said...

I am going to tear up some Japanese food when I get there! I'll even eat your fermented soybeans, if it comes to it :)

lauren said...

I am glad that I have gotten to try different Japanese foods with you!!! I def. could live over here on the food!! I am sure I will miss it and crave it when I go back!!!

Grace said...

Agreed. Umeboshi is TERRIBLE! Along with Natto (although I can handle it in a sushi roll- barely). Love gyoza, yakitori, and yakiniku though! Yumyum!