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  1. jubei33 is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/09/2012 4:51pm


     Style: Boxing, Solar Ray Attack

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    had fugu last night and it was fantastic. as an added bonus, i didn't die!
    Yeah? See its a tricky beast, kind of worth mentioning!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChenPengFi
    Well since it's currently thunderstorming i'll talk soup and noodles.
    Talk away. Spill your soul upon this altar we have built.

    My wife loved some of those places. It kind of doesn't surprise me that McDs has it on the menu. I'm kind of hesitant to ask, but are they any good?

    Here they have **** load of different kinds of ramen. We go to this chain called "Tenkai Ippin". They have all the free hard boiled eggs you can eat with the purchase of a bowl of ramen. I like the miso ramen, but the shoyu flavor is pretty good too.
    http://woodwardswhiskey.wordpress.com/

    He was punching him like the collective karmic debt he'd accrued was coming to collections, mostly on his face.
  2. jubei33 is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/09/2012 5:00pm


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    Hiroshima Kaki

    Hiroshima Kaki (Oysters)

    With the 3/11 earthquake/tsunami more emphasis has been placed upon Hiroshima as a major producer of oysters. Since a large section of the northern production regions was destroyed or contaminated with deadly bacteria like vibrio vulnificus/cholera dredged up from the sea by the tsunami, their production has been knocked out of business for the next few years. Other regions have been working overtime to pick up the slack for the rest of Japan's oyster connoisseurs.

    A real treat, Hiroshima oysters are prized as one of the main production staples of the prefecture. Many famous oyster bars line the bay and rivers of this fair city, opening when the season starts in late December and ends maybe in late February depending on the weather. Some are open year round, like the somewhat touristy "KakifuneKanawa", which is located in the river across from Peace Memorial Park. These are eaten raw, battered and deep fired, cooked in pasta or other local cuisine just to name a few favorites in the surprisingly long list of local cuisine.

    The local area is also home to various oyster festivals, springing from the local harvests. Aside from Hiroshima proper, the island of Miyajima is a major tourist attraction and is home to one of the largest festivals. People crowd into tents and grill their fresh oysters (and other seafood)on charcoal burners. The shells are made of calcium carbonate, so like limestone in a fire, large pops are often heard as the shells liberate CO2. This is part of the excitement, as you can never tell when one's going to go.

    If you do visit Miyajima, I recommend visiting the aptly named "Kaki-ya". It is an oyster bar of the more modern persuasion, serving oysters along with a generous wine list. One of their specialties is oysters in herb spiced olive oil, which they sell by the bottle. This is a more western style restaurant, obviously designed to capture part of the influx of sightseeing tourists from the main street of the town. You can even people-watch the tourists as they peruse the main drag from the second story.

    Aside from oysters, this festival is also home to many local events like kagura, which are old fairy tales put into play with live actors, fireworks and traditional music. This and the old palace and historical sights make this a worthwhile destination for most tourists. Also on the subject of Miyajima "stuff", I highly recommend Coffee Souko for a good cup of joe, which is located behind the Itsukushima shrine. The coffee--espresso is very good, primarily because they are picky about their beans and like to stick one up at the Starbucks franchise across the bay (good for them). On that note, take back some Momiji manju for a gift for friends.

    http://woodwardswhiskey.wordpress.com/

    He was punching him like the collective karmic debt he'd accrued was coming to collections, mostly on his face.
  3. ChenPengFi is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/09/2012 5:02pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jubei33 View Post

    My wife loved some of those places. It kind of doesn't surprise me that McDs has it on the menu. I'm kind of hesitant to ask, but are they any good?
    Most of them kind of, well sucked.
    Some of the nicer ones like Shiro's are fun comfort food.
    I prefer pho or udon etc for the most part, despite the nostalgia.


    Here they have **** load of different kinds of ramen. We go to this chain called "Tenkai Ippin". They have all the free hard boiled eggs you can eat with the purchase of a bowl of ramen. I like the miso ramen, but the shoyu flavor is pretty good too.
    The eggs sound dangerous.

    I usually order miso-ramen combos of some sort at the Japanese fast-foodish places.
    You can often get 'saimin' prepared that way too. Many people use the terms interchangeably in fact.
  4. ChenPengFi is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/11/2012 2:22pm

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    A few years back i was with a group of Japanese grad students, and they wanted to go get sushi.
    My first thought is "Oh ****, they're gonna want a suggestion..."

    That's kind of a no-win even though we have some decent stuff here; grad students are usually poor and budget sushi is usually crap.
    To my surprise they are adamant about where they want to go already.
    They reveal that not only was the restaurant far and in an area not know for dining, but that they want to go to the Hawai'i fast-food icon, Zippy's, WTF??

    We would have to pass up all of Waikiki and Honolulu's Japanese food places, probably a couple hundred establishments, and drive out to a fast food place, to eat sushi.
    Again, WTF?

    As i start my ill-conceived protest i am reminded i am lecturing a group of Japanese nationals about where to eat sushi...
    ... i shut up at that point.

    So off we drive to Zippy's, which while it has it's merits, i firmly believe is popular simply due to ubiquity and the 24hr availability.

    As we pull up here i realize why we needed to drive so far just to go to Zippy's (to get sushi? wtf?):



    It appears they have some sort of sub-lease agreement with an actual sushi bar!
    So things were looking up, though i was far from convinced at that point.


    (Susumu-san working diligently)

    So why did we drive all that way?
    The answer is simple; quality and value.
    The portions were huge, cheap and of excellent quality.
    For a sashimi nut like myself it was heaven!
    The nigiri had a small ball of rice and the fish drooped on the plate on either side.


    This was true even for the expensive cuts i might add, hamachi etc.
    Ok, pics now:


    Chirashi w/Kazunoko!


    Small sashimi sampler

    Many more photos can be found here.


    It was all so good i didn't even taste the crow!
  5. jubei33 is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/11/2012 4:34pm


     Style: Boxing, Solar Ray Attack

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah, that salmon looks suspect. Better take him back and interrogate him. Japanese people love Hawaii (like to travel), so a lot of those unusual out of the way places get televised over here. Yeah, so I know about Zippy's. Never been there, but for some reason I know about it....

    Last month it was how to stay in Hawaii on the cheap. It was hilarious, because one of the places was essentially "be a live in maid for the cat lady." Another was a guy who was a TA over at Hawaii University who lends out rooms in his mega beach house for free if you do some housework in the morning. Some of the other places were actually surprising: 5min walk to waikiki for 3-400$ (forgot), etc.


    Do they sell Fukuro over there?
    http://woodwardswhiskey.wordpress.com/

    He was punching him like the collective karmic debt he'd accrued was coming to collections, mostly on his face.
  6. jubei33 is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/13/2012 8:15pm


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    Mushrooms in Japan

    One thing that I recently began to appreciate more about Japanese cuisine is the long list of mushrooms found in many of the dishes served on a regular basis. More than just the ubiquitous portabello mushrooms found in most grocery stores in America, Japanese grocers often stock several different kinds of mushrooms. These vary in flavor and texture and are often grown locally in connection to the season. I have no idea what these would be called in English, but many of the names are as is.

    Shitake: Probably the most well known Japanese mushroom, which accompanies soups and meats in the usual manner. These are even sold in the US in many grocery stores next to the portabellos. Home growing these has been a popular custom for a long time. They even sell cultivation supplies in most hardware stores during the winter and you can often see the logs growing mushroom crops in nearby forests. Health-wise, these have been implicated in immune modulation and improved resistance to pathogens, like influenza. More so, some of the first statin cholesterol reducing agents were isolated from mushrooms like these. These compounds, such a lovastatin and mevastatin, are inhibitors of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which in effect block the synthesis of cholesterol. These have become billion dollar drugs for the pharmaceutical industry and are used to treat heart disease and hyperlipidemia.



    Matsutake: are one of the most prized mushrooms in Japan. These are so sought after that the best of the Japanese production can go for 2000$/Kg and they are one of the few remaining trade commodities left with North Korea since the recent economic embargoes. It is said that before their cultivation was figured out, natural growth spots were carefully guarded family secrets worth killing for. This mushroom has a festival associated with its production in Aichi prefecture. In one of the major production towns, they set up a street-long hibachi grill where you can grill your own matsutake. These kind of have a richer flavor than shitake and more of that wonderful 'overturned earth' smell associated with them. They are also considered a medicinal tonic for a variety of ailments, which may yet be shown to have actual merit.



    Maitake: These mushrooms are often found in soups or grilled as is. They are pale grey with dark line edges at the ends and resemble an handful of crumpled up newspapers. Tokyo University has had a lot of research grants go towards elucidating the contents of Japanese mushrooms and these are no exception, as they have been noted for some of the same immune modulative abilities as shitake (etc).



    Enoki: These are thin white and stringy mushrooms found in many kinds of soup. They are a common ingredient in miso soups and nabe-style dishes. They are also found in many side dishes accompanying fish and other vegetables.



    Eringi: these mushrooms are pale grey with a brown cap, somewhat resembling a super mario tower mushroom. These are found in soups, grilled, cooked in oil or eaten along with yakiniku style barbeque. These kind are my favorites. The meaty, rubbery texture and interesting odor make then a great compliment to meat and soup. More mass also means fuller stomach.



    Reishi: Not just for food, but Asian culture has long recognized the medicinal application of these mushrooms. Reishi with humorous hyperbolic names such as: 'supernatural mushroom', 'ten thousand year mushroom' and 'immortality mushroom' is not to be taken lightly. These have been used in TCM for thousands of years and were one of the main ingredients in ancient Daoist immortality potions. Much like the above, these shrooms contain a long list of beneficial compounds and have been implicated in early studies to have antitumor, immunotherapeutic, antiviral and cholesterol reducing properties. TCM proponents have long advertised that one of its benefits is a lack of side effects, which time will tell what secrets these bad boys contain. Though expensive, extracts are very bitter and usually prepared as tea or mixed with other things to denude its bitterness. Extracts are sometimes also sold in pill form, as well.

    http://woodwardswhiskey.wordpress.com/

    He was punching him like the collective karmic debt he'd accrued was coming to collections, mostly on his face.
  7. ChenPengFi is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/03/2012 2:13pm

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     Style: Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut

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    That's too funny. Yeah that first pic is kinda, meh.
    Sorry hasty search but i wanted to get one from the right place.
    I have noticed Nihon-jin in some pretty out of the way places, so that explains it a bit.

    I've searched high and low, to no avail for the Fukuro locally.
    It's probably available in one of the restaurants, shochu themed nights are pretty popular.


    Love the mushrooms.
    We have a local fresh supplier that does a decent product, but nothing like that...
    I think almost every family here has some form of mushroom immortality drink in a back cupboard, that the kids dare each other to drink but none ever do.

    So back to business!!!

    Apparently this is playing locally, i will be seeing this perhaps as soon as today.
    No doubt it will inspire a vigorous round of raw fish consumption.
    Enjoy!

  8. jubei33 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/05/2012 8:34am


     Style: Boxing, Solar Ray Attack

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChenPengFi View Post
    That's too funny. Yeah that first pic is kinda, meh. Sorry hasty search but i wanted to get one from the right place. I have noticed Nihon-jin in some pretty out of the way places, so that explains it a bit. I've searched high and low, to no avail for the Fukuro locally. It's probably available in one of the restaurants, shochu themed nights are pretty popular.
    Yeah, they love Hawaii here. The Kamehameha from street fighter, lilo and stitch, they even have Hawaiian themed resort parks around. One of the most famous of these was in the blocked off zone around Fukushima. The hula dance girls (and fire stick guys) tour Japan now as a reminder of ...I don't know, peace, or something. They were down here last month.

    Speaking of Souchu:



    A selection of souchu from all over japan. Souchu is made mainly from potatoes and rice, but also has some special varieties made from things like soba, buckwheat, chestnuts and cane sugar. Most of those kinds are provincial specialties. Kyuushu is generally known for potato souchu, but good examples made from rice are also nationally recognized. Northern regions, like Akita, are typically known for their rice souchu, as these are some of the largest rice producing regions in Japan.


    Love the mushrooms.
    We have a local fresh supplier that does a decent product, but nothing like that...
    I think almost every family here has some form of mushroom immortality drink in a back cupboard, that the kids dare each other to drink but none ever do.
    You should try it and let me know of any changes. As far as immortality drinks are concerned, the only effect it had on me was 'pitching a tent', which got me thrown out of a bar once.

    Apparently this is playing locally, i will be seeing this perhaps as soon as today. No doubt it will inspire a vigorous round of raw fish consumption.
    Enjoy!
    I hope so. I want to see it, too and probably can as its somethign that seems like they'd want to show here.

    I actually just got back from Tokyo yesterday. We went all over the place, but we didn't actually go to Tsukiji this time. One place we did go, however, was Ameyoko near Ueno Park. This is one of my all time favorite places in Tokyo. Vendors sell all kinds of goodies, like nuts, dried fruit, fresh fish, candy, shoes, hats and clothes. The best thing is that you can haggle with them over the price and most stores make a show of selling and heckling the potential customers. This is part of the experience and the fun of the area.

    One of the most interesting places is this small donburi shop that sells a huge selection of kaisen donburi for ultra low prices. Generally, for around 800~1000 yen (less than 10$) you can choose from about 50 different kinds of donburi. Aside from the selection, the amount of fish is the most striking feature: There is more fish than rice. Seating is limited and there is often a line, but its worth it. (The takoyaki place next door is also quite good, if you like it.)


    Entrance to the alley and the hustle and bustle contained within.


    Fresh fruit.



    Nuts to you!...errr--for you, I mean.


    I have it on good authority that this is the most famous sweets shop in all of Japan.



    I was going to take a picture, but the food vaporized before my very eyes! (It was popular #6: Salmon toro, Uni and salmon roe)
    http://woodwardswhiskey.wordpress.com/

    He was punching him like the collective karmic debt he'd accrued was coming to collections, mostly on his face.
  9. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    4/05/2012 8:40am

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    Quote Originally Posted by jubei33 View Post
    One place we did go, however, was Ameyoko near Ueno Park. This is one of my all time favorite places in Tokyo. Vendors sell all kinds of goodies, like nuts, dried fruit, fresh fish, candy, shoes, hats and clothes. The best thing is that you can haggle with them over the price and most stores make a show of selling and heckling the potential customers. This is part of the experience and the fun of the area.
    i stay very near ueno park when i visit every year, and love ameyoko. one of the most interesting shopping areas in tokyo for sure.

    there's a small sushi place called "kappa sushi" tucked away in that area, you should check it out next time, tiny place and great sushi. i was the only gaijin and got a lot of stares from the mostly salaryman clientele.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
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  10. Matt Phillips is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/05/2012 9:57am

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    Rolls are not recommended before hang gliding
    Now darkness comes; you don't know if the whales are coming. - Royce Gracie


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    In De Janerio, in blackest night,
    Luta Livre flees the fight,
    Behold Maeda's sacred tights;
    Beware my power... Blue Lantern's light!
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