Food is an important subject of this blog, so I couldn’t pass up a food-themed Friday Five.
1) What is your favourite food?
Okonomiyaki, no contest.
2) What is your favourite food preparation method?
To execute? Frying. Eggs, burgers, stir-fry, it’s all fried. And it’s relatively easy and non-intensive, which is why I use it a lot.
3) What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking?
I don’t think I have one? I mean, there are things in Japanese cuisine that I really like, but also a lot of things I don’t. And that’s how it is with pretty much every cuisine. I do like strong tastes — western food can be kinda bland (there’s this ‘joke’ about how Europe colonized the whole world for the spices — and then not using them.)
I like a bit of a pepper kick, but if it gets too hot, then all I taste is the heat, not the food.
4) Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
I can eat pretty much everything without ill effects. But I do have some strong preferences: I dislike sea-food (I can eat smoked salmon or tuna, but prefer not to), and I don’t want to eat organ meat (liver, tripe, etc).
5) If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
I… don’t know? There’s not a single ingredient that goes with everything — it’s mostly combinations that work. Like in European dishes, it’s onion, carrot and celery; in Japanese dishes it’s dashi, mirin and sake; etc. Knowing those combinations allow you to get the basics done, allowing you to work from that.
For instance, bolognese sauce and beef bourgignon both use the European base, and then add different things to make two distinct dishes — but deep down, you taste that base of onion, carrot and celery in both.
Also, wouldn’t you know it? I made mayonaise one time and it worked, and I bragged that it was so easy and I’d never buy mayonaise again? And ever since then, no matter what I do, I can’t reproduce that result, and none of my tries ‘catches’ and it remains some weird egg/oil/mustard concoction!? I tried every trick in the book, faithfully reproduced the recipe — and it just doesn’t work. I am miffed.