During our stay in Tokyo we were lucky enough to have happy hour with Jess and her family. We drank yuzu umeshu (plum wine) cocktails and Jess made sukiyaki. Sukiyaki, made at the table in a Japanese hot pot, usually consists of meat and vegetables cooked in a broth of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Jess sliced up the vegetables and presented them beautifully, in true Japanese fashion. We had two types of beef, tofu, cabbage, leeks, burdock, two kinds of mushrooms, and noodles in our sukiyaki. Jess browned the meat a bit first (on a pile of leeks!) And then she added the broth to finish cooking the meat. And then Jess removed the meat to make room for the pile of vegetables and noodles. Mmmm…it was delicious. The beef was perfectly seasoned by the slightly sweet broth and the vegetables’s textures were the perfect complement. Naoto and I think a nabe pot and a table-top burner is in our future. I definitely think it would be a fun cold-weather activity with friends!
And, to add a little excitement to the evening, there was a sizable earthquake (7.8) that night off the coast of Japan! It was a little bit scary because it was so much more powerful and lasted a lot longer than the other tiny earthquake I’d experienced in Japan before. I just kept looking at Jess to see if she had any panic in her eyes. (She didn’t and she calmly turned off the burner in case things did get any scarier!) We turned on the TV to see that the subways had been briefly halted, but by the time Naoto and I left, everything was up and running like nothing had happened.
Thanks for being such great hosts, Jess, Keiichi and Ethan!