Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back in Japan (March 2011)...Mountain "Uni" Tofu & Iberico Pork Shabu Shabu

It's been already 10 years since I moved to Los Angeles. One of the things I miss about living in Tokyo is that you can have an easy access to food from all over Japan and world at department stores as well as online. A dazzling variety of food items are conveniently available to order online and you can have them delivered to your home. We call it "Otoriyose", and it's a huge market in Japan. Every time I go back to Japan, I have different things delivered to mom's house to enjoy at home together.

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My latest big hit (huge hit) is Yama-uni Tofu from Itsuki Village in Kumamoto (in Kyushu Island). This is miso-marinated and aged tofu. It's called Yama-uni ("sea urchin from mountain"), because the color and texture resembles to sea urchin. This is a traditional preserved food in the village and has 800 years of history. This super rustic treat is unbelievable!! It's so creamy in texture and so dense in flavor. It's almost addictive. For the first try, we just served it with crackers and sliced shiso leaves. It was also great with camenbert cheese. There are so many more ways to enjoy this tofu...with rice and nori, or even making a pasta sauce (by mixing with soy milk), to name a few. You can also enjoy it frozen (it won't get too hard even when it's frozen) and serve sliced sashimi-style, too. I'm so taking this tofu back to LA.

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Here's Iberico pork, sliced for shabu shabu. It's a certified top grade from Spain. We order this sometimes and the flavor is so great.

Ordering food is great!