food!

8 Aug

ImageI’ve been eating a variety of exciting foods since I came to Gunma, most of which have been Japanese.  I’ve had delicious fish, udon noodles, matsuri food, and fried foods, but Monday was my first adventure with yoshoku or the Japanese take on Western food.  Literally, yoshoku means Western food, but in actuality, yoshoku covers anything that wasn’t in Japan before its original brushes with Europe, and most of these meals have become completely Japan-ized since then.  Curry, for example, is considered yoshoku because it came to Japan from England during the Meiji period, even if Japanese curry is now its own dish, separate from other sorts of curry.

On Monday, our supervisor took us to a restaurant called “Flying Garden” (not really sure what they were going for there) which specialized in hanbagu.  Hanbagu is something that often confuses speakers of English, because it’s different from hanbaga, the item you can find at any McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Mos Burger, Freshness Burger, or other burger chain in Japan.  Hanbaga is a burger patty on a bun, with or without cheese, lettuse, tomato, and other toppings.  However, hanbagu is a different dish altogether: a hanburger patty with sauce on rice.

ImagePersonally, I rather like hanbagu, my brush with ANA’s poor airplane food aside.  This restaurant’s was quite good and I really enjoyed it!

And then, yesterday, I decided to try to cook something, so that I would have food to bring for lunch.  My kitchen isn’t one of the rooms that I’ve gotten around to cleaning yet, so it’s a bit cluttered right now, and as a result, my adventure was rather simple.  I made cut chicken breast and broccoli added to pasta and cooked in a garlic-tomato sauce with parmesan cheese, but simple as it was, it turned out well!  I didn’t overcook (or undercook!) the chicken despite that it was my first attempt to cook meat, and made 3 (or more?) servings of pasta for the rest of the week, packed in cute bento or Japanese lunch boxes.  As someone with minimal cooking experience (or real desire to cook), that’s an accomplishment!

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