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japan

Manga Cooking Recipes

Chika-chan’s Chikuwa Curry from Umimachi Diary

Umimachi Diary's Chikuwa Curry

Wai! I managed to have time to make another dish from a manga! This time, I’m in the mood for spice and some Kanagawa love! I made Chikuwa Curry from Umimachi Diary!

Late last year, I was hooked on Akimi Yoshida’s Umimachi Diary. It’s a lovely story about three sisters whose lives changed as they welcomed their youngest half-sister, Suzu, in their home. It’s set in the lovely seaside town of Kamakura and the manga has its ways of featuring Kamakura and Kanagawa specialties such as shirasu (dried whitebait) and processed fish, in this case, chikuwa. Continue Reading

ramen no tabi

More than tonkotsu in Sokyo Ramen

Sokyo Ramen's Yuzu Shio Ramen and Karaage

The thing about ramen shops near Sydney’s CBD is that most of them are tonkotsu ramen shops. Not that I don’t love tonkotsu but I know there are other ramen broths out there. There are days when tonkotsu broths just doesn’t work  for me and I yearn for a light broth soup that’ll freshen my palate. Thankfully, Sokyo’s nice enough to offer me one of my faves from Japan, shio ramen. 

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Features Travels

Manholespotting in Japan

Fire Manhole in Osaka

Sounds awful coming from me but trust me, it’s not the kind of ‘manhole’ you’re thinking of.

I’m referring to the awesome manholes you’ll cross while walking around towns and cities in Japan. It’s such a delight seeing these manholes because honestly, who would think of manholes as a part of a cityscape, let alone have the potential to bear a city’s identity? Certainly not in Manila. Definitely in Japan.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of some of the lovely manholes I’ve crossed during my trips!

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ekiben no tabi Features

The first ekiben is always the best: Hippari Takomeshi ekiben

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I’ve always dreamt of ekiben journeys ever since I read it in Sakurai Kan and Hayase Jun’s Ekiben Hitoritabi, a manga about a guy’s journey around Japan one ekiben at a time. Ekiben’s a portmanteau for eki (station) and bentou (boxed lunch) and some stations in Japan would have special ekiben featuring either the specialty of that city or region. Specialties can range from culinary techniques to ingredients available to that region.

Now, I won’t bore you with the intricacies of Ekiben. There’s a Beginning Japanology episode for that. So go watch it and perhaps get on board with me as I share my first ekiben experience.

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Food trips ramen no tabi

Tsukemenya Yasubee: the kind of men I like

Tsukemen Yasubee: Spicy Tsukemen Set

Alright. Alright. You’ve outgrown the ‘men’ pun. But I’ll be honest in saying that I do love ‘men’, the noodle kind. Tsukemenya Yasubee in particular came at such a perfect time in my life. I was out and about with my friend N in Akihabara and at this point I was exhausted from doujinshi shopping. My rule of thumb when I travel is to find a nice place that looks suspiciously good. Tsukemenya Yasubee was definitely suspiciously good.

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Food trips ramen no tabi

My Happiness in Eating Hakata Ramen at Ippudo

It has been months since I’ve been in Osaka but I am still basking in the high of having gone to Japan and returning in one piece. One of the masterpieces that I tasted there was not a native Osaka dish but still one of the best in Japan.

Hakata ramen claimed its fame in the late 80s as it was  a fresh vibrant flavor for Japanese ramen. One of pillars of Hakata ramen is a shop called Ippudo who greeted me with a sign that eagerly awaited the happiness I’ll feel when I eat their ramen.

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