Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Had Me at Sushi

Oh Japan! Why did you have to create such good food? I was already sold at sushi - determined to love you forever. Did you really need to add one more thing to push me over the edge?

Tonkatsu. Fried pork cutlet chopped up and served with a cabbage salad, miso soup and condiments.

Sushi had already changed my life. After the initial shock of something so foreign it became my favorite food and because of it I will be  forever in love with Japanese cuisine. But then this tonkatsu stuff came along and I don't know if my life will ever be the same. I might have to pick up and move to Osaka. Don't tell my husband.

We went to a chain restaurant here in Taipei called Saboten. We first got a big bowl of thinly sliced cabbage and a small bowl of white and black sesame seeds with a wooden mortar. The bowl the seeds were in had little grooves all throughout so when you grind the seeds they mash up very nicely.

You grind up the seeds, then add this amazing sweet barbecue like sauce, and some vinegar if you want. This becomes a salad dressing for the cabbage and dip for the crispy fried pork. I don't know how to describe it except to say that it is amazing! Sweet and a little spicy, salty too. The perfect accompaniment to pretty much anything.

We were also served a small dish of pickled daikon radish cubes and these amazing black beans that I'm craving right now writing this. The beans had a really chewy texture, almost like mochi, and tasted just a little bit sweet.

After the salad the main course came out. I got pork and prawn, both had a perfectly flaky and crisp outer crust and tender inside. My side was a potato salad which was an excellent balance to the salty fried meat. I am in love with this stuff! I just hope I can find it back in the U.S. when I  come home...


Anonymous said...

Looks amazing! Ad multos annos! - mikey

Carolyn said...

Looks wonderful. I love sushi too, and I can guarantee you I would love this.

Paula said...

I love your blog!

This looks so delicious!

Have a nice time!

Nova Walsh - said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments (and sorry for the late reply - been on vacation all month). It really was fantastic. I hope you all get a chance to try it!