During dinner tonight at Ginza-Mienoumi (which, by the way, is quite nice but not the focus of today's post), the subject of food came up several times as I poked and prodded our Japanese dinner companions.
So what do you think of the Japanese food in America?Very big sizes.
What about the taste? Not bad. It depends where you go.
Nobu's not really as well known in Japan as he is in the States, huh? Nobu? Nobu? Ah, Nobu. No.
I guess Masaharu Morimoto isn't either. No.
So what kind of food is Tokyo famous for? I mean, most of the food is "imported" or has different origins, so what's "good Tokyo food?" Tokyo food is "bad" because of the soil due to Mount Fuji. Because so many people are here, everything can be "imported." Sushi is good here because the fish is really fresh. And monjayaki, like okonomiyaki, but thinner. In Korean, you know, they say... jijimi?
But then our conversation turned to the slightly bizarre, as my dad started to talk about an eel and tofu dish he once had here a while ago. Eel and tofu don't sound so strange, right? Well, it's not so much the ingredients as how it's prepared.
Imagine the little baby eels swimming around minding their own business, going about their mundane baby eel lives, suddenly wondering, "Hey, why are we swimming in a confined space next to blocks of tofu?" As the water in the pot begins to heat up - "Aaaah, global warming is real?! Those damn emissions!" they scream in panic - the baby eels kick into survival mode and burrow into the cooler tofu, unbeknown to them that this temporary shelter is really an evil ploy by clever humans to cook them alive.
If we could only get chocolate chips to do this type of thing in the oven with our cookies...
I know it sounds awful, but I can't help but be a little curious to see what this dish looks like... a picture would suffice - I'm not sure I could bear watching it in person, let alone eating it after the massacre.
On the other hand, I shouldn't really be surprised. I mean, I used to live within walking distance to a Dr. Fish cafe (where fish eat the dead skin off your feet), and I've met Chinese friends who've told me all sorts of culinary tales that include lions, tigers, and bears, oh my. So what's a little stuffed tofu?