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.
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.
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.
From manga to a Netflix TV series, the story of a Japanese salaryman who chases down sweet treats across Japan while playing hooky from his work is brought to life. Any sweets maniac will crave the sweets featured in this program, because of the vivid descriptions and photography.
Ramen truly is emperor in Japan and with more ramen shops appearing here in America soon ramen could be emperor here.