Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Makin' and Bakin' Katsuo Tataki

When I say making I can't help but feel like I have to say baking after it. More appropriate is the abbreviated versions of these two words.

On Saturday I readjusted to being gone from home for two days. I wanted to ride my bike around but I can't see to get the front tire inflated properly. It doesn't help that the bike pump I found in my apartment is a piece of junk and it's probably broken. I gave up after some toil under the demeaning sun and covering the steps with my glistening sweat droplets. I just went walking instead. Much to the out cry of my mom for not posting enough pictures, I specifically went out to take pictures of my surroundings. In the end I wasn't too pleased with what I took so they probably won't show up anytime soon. On the other hand, I stopped in at a rest area that is close to my village. I took a survey in Japanese I didn't understand and got a coupon for 100 yen off in the adjacent store. Actually, they wanted to know my opinions about the produce store but most of the questions failed to register or fire any of my Japanese receptors. I did my best and then I scored some potatoes and green peppers for a great price. Nothing too special happened after that unless you want to hear of how I played the same guitar chords a thousand times. Reminds me of my freshman college days when I was learning some chords with Samir's guitar. Nate was not the slightest inclined to listen to my strumming over and over again. I don't blame him one bit.

My lovely kids. I don't know many of their names but we will soon become acquainted well.

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This is the main Junior High school I will be at during this year. In the foreground is the wonderful 'ground' as they say in Japanese. It's really just a dirty mess of rock and sand that they play baseball and other sports on. As long as it doesn't have to be cut or watered it's probably not such a bad idea maintenance wise. I'm sure it's fun to fall down on it because you would get awesome wounds.

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This is one of the fishermen that came to help do the katsuo tataki demonstration. I don't actually know if is a fisherman but it is a good guess. He was pretty nice and the kids seemed to enjoy him. They setup outside next to the 'grounds'. Thankfully they did the cutting part in the shade because we were all pretty toasty.

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Many kids were able to help cut the fish. For as much as Japanese people like fish it's funny that so many were turned off by cutting the fish. They thought it was gross and smelled bad. I guess that is the opinion of most kids if not adults so I'm not so surprised. One of the retired teachers was running around trying to tie an apron on the boys. They were mostly a bunch of wimps. Man up and grab some fish. Get blood on your hands. Live the masculine stereotypes!

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After cutting the katsuo, you place it on this. Then you stoke the fire with straw for fast hot flames. The katsuo goes over this for a very brief time. The goal is to just sear the outside uniformly. This requires a flip of the fish. In all it only takes a couple of minutes to lightly cook the outside.

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I didn't take any close up pictures of the finished product because I was dragging my head along the floor at this point from the heat. You can see some of the cooked fish there on the table. Gray brown color on the outside with a nice reddish tint in the middle. You eat this with green onions, garlic, and soy sauce. If you like sushi, you will definitely enjoy this oceanic delight.

And last but not least my favorite picture from the day. What more can you ask for? Bloody fish head and body, cute little Japanese girl, and a big grin. Unrefined joy.


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1 comment:

Nancy said...

Yay! More pictures of your real life! Can't imagine this taking place in Wheat Ridge, CO!! Love seeing pix of kids! They're going to love you.

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