Wasabi – part 2

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Izu’s wasabi specialities

I was in deadline for Origin chapter 24 when I wrote this column.
In chapter 24, Origin and Mai go on a trip to Kyoto.
They rode in an autonomous vehicle overnight.

When I started to work on this chapter, I thought that I didn’t have enough pictures for the highway backgrounds, so we took my wife’s car and drove for a while on the highway to take pictures.

After some shots, my wife and I stopped at Ebina reststop before going back to my studio.

Ebina reststop

Ebina reststop at midnight.

It is a reststop on the way to Tokyo.

This place appears in Sun-Ken Rock as well.
One day I’d like to talk to you about this place in further detail.

This place is very close to the Izu spring spa resort.
So I had a good time in the hot springs from Izu spa resort before going back to Tokyo and I had the opportunity to buy Izu’s specialities.

Izu spa resort

Izu’s main products.

There are many specialities in Izu.
Especially wasabi, it’s the best!

Around 1 a.m. in the morning, I was looking for wasabi in their special wasabi goods corner.

Izu is one of the best place for wasabi in Japan and the great gourmet manga Oishinbo, which I love so much, said Izu has a very clear water.

Wasabi only grows in clean water.

Izu is a place where water flows directly from Mount Fuji.
For that reason, wasabi there is the best (according to Oishinbo.)

I believe Japan’s best wasabi is Izu’s wasabi.

I wanted to give you more informations about wasabi so I decided to buy some wasabi products to show you.

Ground wasabi root.

Ground wasabi root.

Pickled octopus with wasabi

Pickled octopus with wasabi (Shiokara means picked with salt)

Wasabi leaves with miso sauce.

Wasabi leaves with miso sauce.

According to my favorite manga, titled <Sake no Hosomichi>, the best pickled wasabi leaves includes ground wasabi root.

But I don’t think the one I bought is the great one from Sake no Hosomichi.

Wasabi Furikake.

Wasabi Furikake.

Furikake is a dry seasoning ground mixture to put on top of rice.
You may see it in Japanese manga or Anime.

I usually have it for lunch when I’m busy or when I’m tired to eat instant ramen.

Soy sauce

Wasabi must be eaten with soy sauce!

Tako shiokara

Tako shiokara.

Tako shiokara with rice

Tako shiokara with rice

It was really delicious to eat with rice.

White rice would be great but I have a health issue, so I have to chose to eat with multigrain rice.

Wasabi leaves pickled with miso

Wasabi leaves pickled with miso (soybean sauce)

Wasabi leaves pickled with miso on rice

Wasabi leaves pickled with miso on rice

It also goes well with rice.
It’s very salty and strong so I only need to put a little bit on rice.

The unique spice and aroma from wasabi really is the best!

Satumaake

Satumaake

I dip the soy sauce and wasabi on Satumaake.
Satsumaake is a fried fishball dish.

I bought it at Ebina reststop.

Many people love to eat it with sake but I ate it with white rice as a side dish.
Because I don’t drink Sake.

For my health issue, I only dip soy sauce a little… just a little… a little more… Okay, that’s it!
Another fail on my daily diet.

Wasabi furikake

Wasabi furikake.

Wasabi furikake on rice

I sprinkle it on rice.

The pretty green color of wasabi makes me really hungry.

This is really delicious. It seems it’ll be delicious even if I add some Ochazuke.
I will try it next time.

Yuba

Yuba

I bought yuba from Ebina reststation.
Yuba is a skin formed from soy milk.
When making tofu, protein and fat gathers and forms at the top of soy milk. That is yuba.

Originally it’s a by-product of tofu but in Japan, people love it. So many tofu maker make yuba for itself.

It is good to eat with soy milk too.

I also tried to eat it with wasabi and dip it in soy sauce.
Very delicious! It has a richer flavor than tofu.
If you enjoy tofu for its taste, you will love it!
The combination with wasabi is great!

With these side dishes, I will have a great time during mealtime for awhile.
To tell the truth, I did not enjoy wasabi until my late 20s.
Wasabi was a really painful and strong taste for me in my mouth.
However, after suffering the pain from its taste a few times, I am now able to enjoy how happy and exciting the world of wasabi is.

I love wasabi.

Sashimi and sushi are really great Japanese food, but if you really want to try the true taste of raw fish and rice, you need to understand and enjoy wasabi too.
Well, after finishing this column, I will have another wasabi adventure.

– Boichi

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