Asian Food Porn 2.0

Asian Food Porn 2.0 photo5 (1)

Two delicious meals from our lunch spot in Kunigami-son, after our excursion to Hiji Falls and Okuma Beach. I don’t actually know what any of this is, but I’m guessing it goes something like this: Rice (or) Noodles + Meat + Veggies. Mix with delicious magical Japanese potion and serve 🙂

Here’s a little Asian food porn for ya: Today’s lunch at Transit Cafe on the Seawall, which was comprised of tuna, avocado, seaweed, rice, a quail egg, sea grapes, and some sort of delicious sauce #yum

Culinary Adventures in the Far East

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Earlier this week, our wonderful sponsors organized a group dinner at Yoshihachi, the area’s landmark sushi establishment. Apparently, Yoshihachi has been frequented by celebrities, athletes, politicians, and high-ranking military officials over the years, so of course we had to pay it a visit. Chuck and I had tried quite a bit of delicious Japanese food already, but this was our first authentic dining experience in many ways – most notably that we removed our shoes and sat on the floor before eating, and paid in cash yen at the door for our meal (no credit cards accepted.)

Our new friends insisted we try the blowfish. Rumor has it that it makes your mouth numb and tingly, and if you’re really lucky, it gives you some trippy dreams. Alas – Chuck and I experienced neither – but I’m still happy that we tried it. What was more interesting was the sea urchin. If there is anything that straight up tastes like the ocean, it’s a sea urchin. Delicious!

Mostly, my focus in trying all this amazing Japanese food is mastering the chopsticks. Chuck was already pretty decent, but I’m proud to say I’m slowly catching up to his expertise and may even surpass it! I’m kidding… I’m nowhere near there… but I am definitely making progress. In a land where you can’t just ask for a fork, you learn to work with what you’ve got!

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American Bloat

While I was in France, I ate whatever I wanted. French food is heavy on all the currently “taboo” food groups in this country (depending on who you’re talking to these days), to include dairy, grains, meat, fats, and everything in between. And I have to tell ya – my digestive system never felt better while I was over there!

I returned to the U.S., and while I surely love American food in all its glory, I am back to being bloated, irregular, and less energized. It’s not because I eat bread… or because cheese is wrecking my digestive system…or because I enjoy red meat. I ate all those things in Europe. I know this is no secret, but it really is the fact that food in this country is SO overly processed. Even the packaged foods in Europe had smaller lists of ingredients, most of which I could actually pronounce. Everything is fresh and mostly local there. I ate raw eggs and beef for crying out loud (and lived to tell the tale.)

I’m not one to judge the U.S. based on what other countries are doing. I’ve never thought it’s a fair comparison – we are so much bigger and more diverse than most European countries. However, I do wish we could take at least SOMEWHAT of a hint from their dietary practices. Natural ingredients. A reduced reliance on corn. Cleaner, more humane livestock care. And perhaps the elimination of preservatives, dyes, and other miscellaneous ingredients that are banned everywhere else in the developed world except here! Of course, Americans could take a little personal responsibility and work on portion control, too…

I hate to be that Northern Virginia snobby white girl, and I probably won’t have this opportunity on a military base in Okinawa, but I may have to start shopping organic (it’s a start!)

Two of my favorite culinary items from this past weekend’s Army/Navy Football + Christmas party are pictured above: jumbo spiral cut ham and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies! I also loved the mashed potatoes, but they aren’t quite as photogenic 🙂

The party was a hit. It was pouring rain outside, but pretty much everyone we invited showed up. After the game (yawn), we played a rousing and hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity, and then played with the XBOX Kinect until our knees and joints ached. I never tire of Dance Central!! I looove that came, and of course – I always win 🙂

This is our last week before we head home to Virginia for the holidays! It’s pure admin before we go. Medical clearance for Japan, various appointments for government passports for Japan, random miscellaneous paperwork… you guessed it, for Japan. I feel so bad for poor Annie. Her past two Japan-centric visits to the vet were traumatic enough, but the worst is yet to come! Early January, she has to get a blood test that will require tying her up and restraining her, since they will take the blood straight from the jugular. They will ask me to leave the room 😦

Probably a good idea, to be honest. It’s gonna be heartbreaking!

Had the cutest little Southern lunch at the Swan Coach House in Atlanta. The chicken florentine and tea sandwiches were delish, as were the mint juleps. It was definitely a “ladies who lunch” kind of place, floral wallpaper and all, and even had one table full of women in ridiculously large hats and heavy pearls.

The Marine and the Soldier I was with fit in just splendidly… Haha it was hilarious.

(at Atlanta History Center – Swan House)

“The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure.” (Michel de Montaigne.)

Belated anniversary #dinner collage #latergram #epicrestaurant