Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond
By Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
Ten Speed Press; $19; 256 pp.
In the United States, our knowledge of Japanese food often begins with sushi and perhaps extends to chicken teriyaki. And that’s a shame, because Japanese cuisine is loaded with filling, less pretentious dishes, their equivalent of comfort food. And it’s more than noodles (although ramen, soba and udon are certainly here), encompassing curries, dumplings, and a host of fried dishes, such as tempura. In these pages, you’ll find gyoza, curry, tonkatsu, and furai, as well as wafu pasta and savory omelets with crabmeat and shiitake mushrooms. More than 100 recipes in all.
Aroma Housewares 6.5-quart electric wok
Many people would be surprised by how much of Japanese fare is dominated by noodle dishes. And one excellent way to enjoy them is freshly cooked, as part of a piping hot broth. Using an electric wok at the table as a “hot pot” is an interesting way to cook many kinds of food and then consume the resulting rich broth. Not sure what that entails? Look up “shabu-shabu,” a dining experience in which diners add paper-thin slices of beef to a pot of boiling water and dip them in special sauces. It’s a great way to share a meal with other people, and to chase away the blues on a cold autumn night.
Pocket Watch — What is a Bozii? Prounounced BOW-zee, it’s a pocket of food. That left us scratching our heads. Is it a pasty? Is it like a calzone? Is it like a big Hot Pocket? We were assured it was none of the above, so we asked for a picture. It’s sort of a puck-shaped cocoon of many flavors, containing everything from pork and beef to spinach and feta to cookie dough. We’d never heard of this before, but this Canadian dining concept is coming across the water in a big way, as they’ve opened a new shop in Great Lakes Crossing, and a test kitchen in Clinton Township, where they’ll be cooking up some new ideas. Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills; 248-874-3544.
Winning Idea — Participating in the Hatch: Detroit business competition, Elias Khalil initially didn’t think he had a chance. One of three partners in the Spanish tapas restaurant La Feria, Khalil pounded the pavement in his Cass Corridor neighborhood handing out flyers and telling people firsthand about his concept. But family and friends in Detroit and Spain rallied, putting La Feria on top. La Feria is now open, serving authentic, inexpensive Spanish tapas for lunch and dinner alongside sangria, wine, and beer. Drop in at 4130 Cass Ave., Detroit.
Cool Indeed — A hop, skip and jump away from La Feria is the new espresso bar and gelato shop Melt. The flavors sound interesting, and include such names as Bourbon Caramel Ginger Snap and Champagne Pomegranate Sorbet. It’s open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, at 4160 Cass Ave., Ste. A, Detroit.
After-Work Mixer — Join Drinks x Design for another monthly tour of the city’s newest creative interiors. This installment will take place at Great Lakes Coffee, Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the Kresge Foundation, and will include a look at the new Garden Theater. It all happens 5:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14. See Drinks x Design’s Facebook page for details.
Music and Beer — Thursday nights at Royal Oak’s Craft will now feature live music. The craft beer bar, which opened in the lower level of Bastone Brewery earlier this year, features a vintage look with a modern drink menu. Audiences can expect to see Orbis on Nov. 14, the Wall Clocks on Nov. 21, Motor Honey on Dec. 5, Bristol Street on Dec. 12, Junction Groove on Dec. 19 and Scarecrow Jones on Dec. 26. Performances will run 8 p.m. to midnight, no cover charge; at 419 S. Main St., Royal Oak; craftbar.net. mt
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