October 22, 2004
fishy comfort food
Wednesday, October 20
Everyone probably has some sort of food they would go back to when they are sick or exhausted (physically or mentally), or just don't have much appetite. At least I do. And in my case, it is definitely rice. Plain cooked Japanese rice, or rice porrige when my stomach is being sensitive, with some small condiments.
Well, even when I am healthy and can eat a lot, I like to have some freshly-cooked rice for breakfast, with something - most of the time it is likely to be fish things. I am aware that people over here hardly ever eat fish for breakfast, and I don't even try to surprise or offend folks by eating fish for breakfast when I am with someone. It's something I keep it to myself
I have mentioned this numerous times here, but he doesn't eat fish or seafood. Never, as long as he can recognize it's there (well, he does it a bit when he thinks he should). So I rarely cook fish at home. What I eat with a breakfast bowl of rice is store-bought condiments, usually from Japan.
Yesterday I opened one of such products for breakfast, this time ochazuke. Ochazuke, literaly meaning "(soaked) in tea", refers to a dish of rice with some garnish (fish and/or pickles, seaweed, small rice puff, etc.) in a hot soup - sometimes it's green tea, sometimes dashi broth. It is a typical quick and easy, light dish in Japan. But this one with sea urchin, from an old and established shop in Tokyo was one of their specialty "luxury" line of ochazukes, or so they claim.
To be frank I hadn't really had so much expectations, but it turned out pretty good; dashi soup was tasty and the sea urchin was decent; I had never had sea urchin for breakfast before, even not pouch-packed semi-dried ones, but this one wasn't bad at all, specially when I don't have much access to traditional Japanese food products.
For today I had something else, fishy again. I got two kinds of chirimen-jako or seasoned dried baby sardines from another such establishment in Kyoto.
One was with tarako or cod roe and the other with seaweed and shiso - I opened the tarako one first.
I made the rice with tarako chirimen into a couple of small, 3-bite-sized onigiris or rice balls for a change; onigiris have something magical that makes the same rice taste better, or at least makes you think it tasting better, I guess. It's a silly thing, but it works for me.
posted by chika at: 10/22/2004 11:35:00 AM