There is one treat that I haven’t come across in the United States as often as I did in Japan. What is it? It is called Milk Pudding. In Japan, this can be found in any connivence store on any street. In the United States, you have to scour the shelves of the local asian market and pray that they have it. If you aren’t familiar with milk pudding, you are missing out on a delicacy.
With lockdown in place, new cookbooks are out of reach. However, new recipes are not. I found was scrolling through Pinterest when I came across a new Japanese recipe, Enoki Beef Rolls.
Enoki Beef Rolls is thinly wrapped marinated beef that is around Enoki mushrooms. I served this dish with Vegetable Stir-Fry and Jasmine Rice for a twist on the usual weeknight dinner I make. I used the recipe for Enoki Beef Rolls by Wander Cooks, which you can find here.
I was a big fan of Animal Crossing during my middle school years. I loved the cute little animal avatars and customized characters. There land changes with every day and each season. So when I acquired the latest edition of Animal Crossing: New Horizons I dived into the game with same eager I had back then.
I am a major fan of Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese filmmaker). He builds these wonderful worlds of magic, fantasy, and whimsy. He reflects a representation of life onto the animated characters that becomes close to a representation of reality. He has created many notable movies and gain awards around the world. His fanbase stretches over the globe and are made up of people from different walks of life. I love his work, but my most favorite creation he has done is Howl’s Moving Castle.
This fictional show takes place deep in the heart of modern Tokyo. The diner is located off a quiet road from the hustle of city goers heading home with a traditional look on the inside and outside. Here in this little diner made up of a counter bar with stools along the edges. The owner runs the restaurant by making anything his customers ask as long as he has the ingredients. His colorful customers have a variety of dishes that they ask for, and each a different reason why they do it.
The best way to describe manga is the Japanese version of comic books. They come from all different genres. It can be dark or playful. I was first introduced to this style of story telling in middle school with the series, Fruits Basket. (I think everyone remembers their first fondly.) I reminisced on this series when I saw a news article talking about an animation company trying to reboot the series into a modern version. It brought back memories of the story that I followed for so long.
Who said learning couldn’t be fun? Or at least fun to watch. I came across an anime that proves anime is more than just entertainment. The anime is called Cells at Work!
Watch the protagonist, the red blood cell, try to maneuver her way through the body and make her deliveries. She meets other entities in the body that are working to keep your body in working order. Each entity has a distinct personality and persona so it is dynamic to watch. It has the quirkiness of any other anime show that is true Japanese charm, but easy to go along with
Need a new show?
How about a fantasy adventure?
Then I suggest you pull up your Netflix and binge Gunjo no Magmell.
The synopsis is simple. A new era of exploration begins with the sudden appearance of a new continent known as Magmell. Magmell’s vast trove of never-before-seen natural resources spurs on the exploration of its vast landscape. However, the unknown is not always docile. In order to sustain the expeditions, people known as “anglers” specialize in dealing with Magmell’s dangerous wildlife. One such angler is the highly-skilled and experienced Inyou, who performs search and rescue operations for clients with the help of his assistant, Zero.
Tucked away behind a donut shop and insurance company is a nondescript strip mall. When you step out of your car, you can see the odd blinds covering the windows along with the crinkled poster listing when the are open. Past the unfinished wood door is supposedly one of the top 50 restaurants in Dallas called Mr. Max, but nothing on the outside would lead you to believe it. However, I promise you that with a leap of faith you will find a little piece of Japan that will transport miles away from the Texas heat.
Opening the door, you are greeted by the smiling hostess while shuffling to the side of the tiny hallway so guest can pass you. Peek around the bend to see, tatami tables full of guests speaking a variety of languages, and a long bar in front of the kitchen where you can watch the kitchen bustle out orders. The walls are covered in vintage Japanese poster along with Japanese Kanji listing the offering for the menu with tiny English handwriting underneath for those who do not read Kanji. Find the little figurines throughout the place that give the restaurant a homey feel. Just on appearance alone, I was beyond excited. This bar looked like it came off the streets of Tokyo but it was actually in Irving, Texas. I was convinced I entered my Japanese happy place.
Art is something magical that can captivate an audience not only with the techniques displayed in the artwork but the subject of their art. The subject can range from landscape to religion. Since I adore asian art so much, I decided to stop over at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California which one of the most comprehensive collections in the world.