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Crab Fest [Tokyo/Taipei’14]

9 January, 2015 – 2:17 pm

King crab is delicious. Japanese food is delicious.  So, why wouldn’t our first meal in Tokyo be delicious as well? Unfortunately, because all four of us would have to order the same menu, we weren’t able to try snow crab or Matsuzaka beef. Still, what we did have was delicious, and a wonderful spectacle to watch.

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Soft Cooked Rice w/ Mullet Roe and Grilled Mochi) The first dish was a great start to the meal. While we’re all a bit on the fence about mullet roe, the saltiness definitely complimented the rice and the smoky mochi.

Flying Fish Sashimi Marinated in Soy and Flying Fish Fat) Soy mixed with fish fat doesn’t sound too appealing, but this was delicious. Firm fish with a lightly salty and fatty to bolster the mild flying fish flavor.

Salmon, Maitake, Tofu) Such a perfect example of both the simplicity and the elegance of Japanese food presentation.

Smoked Salmon Wrapped in Daikon

 Grilled Maitake w/ Miso

 Mochi Tofu w/ Persimmon, Ginko, Walnut Sauce

Grilled Sea Bass w/ Roasted Taro, Deep Fried Ginko Nuts) I’ve never had taro like this before, but it was surprising how good it was with the perfectly grilled sea bass.

Live King Crab) There’s something mesmerizing about watching someone dispatch and portion up a live king crab about the size of a basketball. And our chef was very perceptive. After seeing my mom’s hesitation to eat the raw crab leg, he came over without a word and briefly boiled it for her. Then, as we were nearing the end of the meal, he intentionally gave her less crab we cause he could tell that she was full. That’s pretty impressive.

Basket on an induction burner

Massive King Crab

Boiling the legs

Cleaning the leg meat

Presentation for the raw crab

Par-boiling the legs

Grilled leg

Boiled knuckle meat with sudachi

This is how not to waste sudachi

Ripping off the head

Preparing the head meat

 Crab: Belly, Heart, Head

Grilled leg meat

 

Make-Your-Own Donburi) It wasn’t until we went to Tsukiji that I realized how expensive fresh ikura really is…this was a luxurious spread, but after all the crab, I was sad that we weren’t able to finish all of it.

Ikura and Sukiyaki

Small fish and pickles

Amazing rice

Sencha Tea)

Pudding w/ Caramelized Pommelo)

Chestnut & Red Bean Jelly)

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Kani Kitafuku was a great start to our stay in Tokyo. They offer other meal choices such as snow crab and Matsuzaka beef, but there’s no way the rest of my family would have been able to eat all of that extra food.

Taiwan Summary [Tokyo/Taipei’14]

25 December, 2014 – 10:36 pm

Every time we go back to Taipei, I find myself taking fewer and fewer pictures….mainly because we don’t do as many touristy things anymore. It’s all about the food. So, I’m condensing all the non-food Taiwan pictures here.

Family

The rain lends to some cool reflections at 5:30am in the morning

Moon bear greetings at Songshan Airport

Just a leisurely stroll in the middle of the afternoon

My attempt to be creative didn’t really work out all that well

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Weird Signs

Elections lend to really weird signage

(Insert short joke about San here)

The pinker they are, the more they care about your health!!

Creepy figures on a bus stop thing

BLEGHHH!!!

What kind of shop is this?

“Even the biggest of birds can fit in our pants!” There’s an ostrich head sticking up out of the pants.

Don’t have a bottle opener? Use a crab!

Doing these things will cost you friends!

No megaphone zone

At least we know what elevator we’re in.

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Weird Cars

Smart Car convertible?!?

Jacked up mini-van-ish car

That’s nice of them

Krispy Kreme…I immediately thought of Petey when I saw this

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Weird/Cool Buildings

An empty metro?!

Trees grow anywhere they want

Frogs can sing

Cool bus stops in Taichung. Why can’t Taipei’s stops be this cool?

 

The rising moon over a bus stop

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Miscellaneous

I got in trouble for taking a picture of the cook

Um…what happened to the rest of it? I understand the ‘Zebra Crossing’ metaphor, but there was no zebra head on the other side of the street….

Give an engineer a problem to solve, and you get solutions. MacGyver would be proud.

A Trip to the Fish Market [Tokyo/Taipei’14]

21 December, 2014 – 6:45 pm

It’s probably safe to assume that anyone who loves Japanese food, especially seafood, has heard of the Tsukiji fish market, and it’s no surprise that a trip to Tsukiji was on the itinerary. But all the stories and shows about the market can’t really do it justice: the insane amount of freshly caught fish, the sheer variety of seafood, the surprise of seeing things one never even knew existed…it’s a food-lover/photographer’s dream (except for the massive amount of tourists clogging up the narrow walkways). [warning: lots of pictures…and some of them contain graphic representations of blood]

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The Workers

Just before heading out to Tokyo, I watched a documentary about the workers of Tsukiji…impressive stuff. So, I thought I’d put some pictures of the market workers at the beginning as a small token of their hard work and dedication.


Cutting up frozen bluefin

Harvesting Pen Shells (Tairagai)

Fileting freshwater eel (unagi)

Carrying ice

 

 

 

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The Goods

Turtle trying to escape an unpleasant death

Bluefin loin

Red Gurnard (houbo)

Some live houbo

Blue eggs?! How trippy is that?

I wish I knew what kind of squid these are

Abalone

Cool looking trumpet fish in the center (yagara)

 

Small crabs…

This is how they store hairy crabs…in wood chips

Dead eels

Bundles of salmon roe (ikura)


Matsutakes

Mysterious things for sale

Red carrots…insane color

Wasabi

Bonito shavings

Gold dust??!

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The Customers

They love their sushi…it’s only 8:30am, and they’re all lined up

Tuna for sale

Going for the houbo, I see

Onigiri stand

Knife shop

Avoiding the speeding carts is a task all to itself