Monday, November 06, 2006

Typical Japanese Lunch

In what seems like another lifetime (and no, I don't channel Shirley McLaine on a regular basis), I lived in Japan. And my version of comfort food has been influenced by the time I spent there. To understand what types of food I'm talking about when I say this, it is first important to understand that sushi isn't an everyday lunch food - at least not in any of the places I worked. We had lunches of beef curry (one of the most popular brands is Vermont curry, which none of us really ever understood as a name), stir fried ginger and pork, noodles (lots of noodles), scrambled egg and chicken (the name loosely translates as Parent-Child over Rice), Korean Barbeque (there's a whole other story there) and, yes, occasionally sushi.

And while I wouldn't say today was a bad day, I will say that a lunch of deep fried pork cutlet sounded absolutely perfect. Deep fried pork cutlet (ton-katsu) is one of the most popular lunches in Japan. I believe that this is due to the sauce. While the pork itself is wonderful, it is the thick brown sauce (I have absolutely no idea what is in it) that makes the dish truly wonderful.

One of the reasons that I love New York is that it is possible to get Japanese food here that tastes like real Japanese food. And so today, I went down to 47th and Madison (a short walk from the office, if one walks really quickly) and had lunch with my friend Sarah at Katsu-hama.

I am in fact still getting used to the whole taking pictures of ones food - as you can see, while I got the (clockwise from top left) tea, miso soup, pickles and rice - as well as the plate of deep-fried pork cutlet, cabbage and mustard; I left out the brown sauce that is so key (don't worry, I didn't forget it when I ate the deep-fried pork cutlet (I really just like saying 'deep-fried pork cutlet', it sounds somehow decadent).

I highly recommend this as a lunch, especially with the colder weather settling in.


Anonymous Owen said...


7:34 PM  

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