This is going to be a combination post, because I just haven’t had much time lately for writing.
To begin, let me announce that I’m going to be paring back the number of recipes I challenge in a week from now on. This was the third week in a row in which I didn’t manage to tackle everything on my list, for a number of reasons. First, I just don’t have as much time as I think I have. Second, we’re beginning to find we get a bit of flavour fatigue. This was especially true of Japan week, which I will get to in the verdict.
So, the plan from now on will be to try just a few recipes, over maybe three nights, although there may be exceptions if I get very excited (about French food, for instance), or discover I have a very slow week.
All this talk of the lack of time leads me to the things I didn’t make this week. If you re-read the Japan Plan, you’ll see I was going to attempt yakitori (skewers), sukiyaki (one pot), tempura, agedashi tofu, and teriyaki. I didn’t to get to these for various reasons, time being the main factor, followed closely by the aforementioned flavour-fatigue.
This was a big factor in the verdict for the week. We loved the healthy steamed vegies, the brown rice, the yummy soups (eaten more often than pictured) and the central spot given to tofu (hooray for protein!). The okomiyaki was awesome (thanks goes to Lisa and Kristy for their recommendations), the simmered tofu was an absolute winner, and I loved the abundance of seaweed and often-subtle flavours in combination with ginger and wasabi. But I have to admit, by the third day, we were both a little over the dashi/soy/sake mixture that seemed to feature in every. single. dish.
I don’t know if this is because of the recipes I used, or if it really was a representative sample, but it got a bit much for us. Other than that, we enjoyed this week for the most part, and were glad of the healthy break from heavy western foods.
I’ll leave you with some pics of the sushi and onigiri that I did make, though didn’t bother to blog about properly, as I didn’t use a recipe or write my own, and it wasn’t the most exciting or gorgeous sushi ever created. I used avocado, vegan mayo, pre-seasoned tofu (thank you Soyco), and vegies.
See you next week, when I’ll be cooking a new country… not sure where we’re going yet, but I’m thinking it’ll be somewhere in Africa. Stay tuned.