This will be the first installment in what I think will end up being a three-part series. My Japanese friend and her husband invited myself and the man friend over as we will soon be moving out of the apartment building we all live in. She promised a traditional Japanese dinner and boy did she deliver!
When we arrived at their unit it became very apparent that they had been cooking all day. There were yummy smells out in the hallway leading to their door. I think it must be a custom to have slippers available for guests. Whenever I've gone over there, one pair awaits me at the front door. This time there were two pairs for our four feet!
A beautiful salad was already occupying the table. It was Rei Shabu Salad. "Rei" meaning cold and "Shabu" referring to Shabu Shabu. Fun fact #1: Shabu Shabu is an onomatopoeic word: the thin meat makes that sound when it is dipped and waved around in the boiling water!
Also on the table was a Japanese Squash Salad. This squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin and I think is called "Kabocha". The outer skin is green and the flesh is orange. Fun fact #2: the Japanese do not celebrate Halloween.
My favourite dish of the evening was one of my friend's mom's specialties. It was asparagus wrapped in thin pork cutlet (tonkatsu) and then dipped in egg and breaded with panko. Delicious. Fun fact #3: Teenage boys especially enjoy eating tonkatsu with rice.
I was lucky enough to get some leftover asparagus and tonkatsu to bring home which we feasted on at various points throughout the next day. I was sad to see the last one pass my lips this afternoon.
More of the feast to follow...