Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Edamame

Yokohama Baystars 

Dave and I went to the Yokohama Baystars baseball game on Saturday afternoon. This was our second time to a Japanese baseball game. We went last summer shortly after we arrived. It was funny to read my previous post. It truly seems like forever ago and that I was still in a jetlag haze. This experience was so much easier!

It was a beautiful day and I was able to take a few pictures of the flower gardens surrounding the stadium. The tulips were stunning.


Unfortunately, the Baystars lost. They are actually off to a rough start this year. It still was a fun day with my favorite liberty buddy.


Despite the lose, the game is entertaining on so many other levels. Including the always happy beer girls.


Not only have they perfected the art of the perfect pour, they climb up and down the stairs the entire game. All while carrying a pony keg on their back and smiling. Plus, they look perfect! They pin their hats to stay in place and their makeup is flawless! I can only imagine how strong their legs are by the end of the season!!

The other entertainment is the constant chanting for each batter. It is constant regardless of who is at bat. The highlight is during the seventh inning stretch. Everyone releases blue balloons.


The other treat is as the food options. Because we are in Japan, edamame is always an option. And always a good one!


Another cultural difference is how clean the stadium is after the game. Attendees are expected to put their garbage in the garbage cans. The stadium is very tidy, for the most part, after the game. Imagine expecting Americans to put their trash in the trash can!

The Japanese baseball schedule follows the American schedule very closely. Please consider that if you are interested in attending a game when you visit.

Izakaya

Friday night, Dave’s work held a “Department Head” outing at an Izakaya restaurant in Yokosuka. Izakaya is a Japanese style restaurant that offers an all you can eat and drink set menu for a set period of time. The Izakaya restaurant we went to was called わん or One.  The cost was 4,200 yen (~$42.00) per person. For that price, we enjoyed 10 courses of tapas and drinks for 3 hours. This wasn’t our first experience with Izakaya, just the first time I knew what to expect and was prepared to snap pictures!

At わん, we dined at low tables with benches. There was space for our legs to go under the table so we didn’t have to sit cross-legged for three hours. We were given an oshibori (wet towel) to clean our hands prior to eating. Wet towels are served at most restaurants in Japan. Along with heated toilet seats in the winter, wet towels are a favorite “Japan thing” of mine! The table top gas grill will be used to cook the crocodile pot – course 9. Each setting had two bowls, a plate, a dipping plate, chopsticks, and a glass for your cold beer!

Izakaya is different than other Japanese styles of eating because the food is shared, similar to Spanish tapas. The portions in each of my pictures (except the sashimi and ice cream) was shared by 4 people.
Our 10-course menu included:
1) Edamame


2) Bang-Bang Chicken Salad


3) Sashimi Set (Tuna, Fatty Tuna, Octopus, Salmon) This was my favorite course, of course!


4) Deep-fried Sea Eel


5) Chicken Ball Grilled Avocado Cheese – I didn’t get a picture of the tray before the Chicken balls were served. This is my plate of meat and the chicken ball is on top. Food started arriving quickly and I had to load my plate because I couldn’t keep up!


6) Fatty Tuna Flavor Rice Sushi – This was my second favorite.



7) Karaage Chicken


8) Beef Steak


9) Crocodile Pot – The crocodile pot was cooked on the table top gas grill featured in the first picture. Seriously, the crocodile tasted just like chicken.


10) Desert is Green Tea and Vanilla Ice Cream

As we walked through the Honch to the train station to head home, we ran into Darth Vader. Never a dull moment in the Honch!

Daikon Salad

Dave’s favorite Japanese salad is Daikon Salad. Daikon is a very large white/pale green radish. The salad also has Mizuna, a type of lettuce. Here are the main ingredients for the salad. Notice everything is in Japanese. I had tremendous patience at the Japanese grocery store today while I translated everything with Google Translate. 


The Daikon is the white thing on the left. I was able to purchase half of one. I used my Veggitti to slice the Daikon. Then I soaked it in ice water to remove the bitterness and make it crisp. The recipe I found told me to do this and last week during our Sushi lesson, Miki did the same. 


I washed the mizuna and cut the stems into bit size pieces. 


Also included in the salad is bonito flakes (dried fish flakes), nori pieces (seaweed), and salmon roe. 


The recipe to make my own dressing includes rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and salted plums. 

And then I found this while I was working my way through the oils at the Japanese grocery store. It has a Daikon on the label. I thought it might be the dressing already made!! 


With our Daikon salad we are also having miso soup. Put one packet of miso paste and one packet of garnish in the bowl and add boiling water. So, easy. Check out my super cute Mt. Fuji bowls. 


With a side of steamed edamame. 


A complete Japanese meal. I must give myself kudos for taking the time (a long time) to work through Google Translate to find the correct oils and vegetables at the Yorkmart (Japanese grocery store). It was a task I found very intimidating a few months ago. Now going to the Yorkmart is like going to the Food (Dog) Lion or to Harris Teeter (the Teet). I’ll know I have completely acclimated when I have a nickname for the Yorkmart-O (when said by a local). 

One last picture of our prepared Japanese style meal. 


Dave and I agreed this was a good first attempt for making the daikon salad. The nori strips I bought were really salty. Next time, I will share a pack between the two salads. Also, Dave mentioned the Daikon didn’t have quite the crunch. More research is required to figure out how to get it crunchier. All in all, no one left the table hungry and we didn’t have to order a corn covered pizza! 

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