Sake Gumi

Furochan Eats: Taco Rice GIF!

Taco rice is the culinary lovechild of Tex-Mex, Okinawan and Japanese flavours -- a dish that's popular all over Japan these days. It ticks all the boxes of food that I love to eat: sloppy, umamiful, low-effort, voluminous, summery, and utterly delicious. It is especially easy to make when you...

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Postcard from Hokkaido: Next-Level Ochazuke in Kushiro

I’ve had many a bowl of ochazuke in my life but never expected to be blown away by a rendition from a random little izakaya called Aburiya in Kushiro. Ochazuke, or "tea rice," is usually as humble as its name sounds, but here it was taken to the next level....

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Postcard from Hokkaido: Autumn Salmon at Washo Ichiba, Kushiro

I paid a quick visit to Washo Ichiba, a sizeable fish market in Kushiro near the city hall. Some of the best and freshest seafood in Japan comes from Hokkaido, and there's plenty of it here. Many of the stalls at Washo Ichiba sell shoyu-cured ikura (salmon roe) made from locally-caught fish...

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Furochan Eats: Bukkake Udon at Sumita, All the Way in Akabane (Tokyo)

At first glance it didn't look like there would be anything out of the ordinary in Akabane. A 25-minute ride from Shinjuku, Akabane Station is thronged with commuters coming home or changing train lines -- the mark of suburbia. Its local Book-Off has a rather crappy selection of books. The...

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Furochan Eats: I Dream of Yee Mee

Sometimes when I eat out I’ll come across a dish so awful, I occasionally fantasise about bringing the bowl to the kitchen, pouring the contents into the sink and then storming out of the shop, leaving glitter and rainbow dust in my midst. What actually happens is that I eat...

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Furochan Eats: Out in Otaru, Hokkaido

The temperature readings for the past week have been falling to lows of nines and elevens (that's Celsius, for all you Americans out there). Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to admit it, but summer has passed us by. You could still kind of pretend in September that it wasn't so,...

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You Need This in Your Life: Bacon and Egg Mazemen from YUJI Ramen

Living in Japan, I'm not used to spending a lot of money for ramen. But recently, while visiting New York – Brooklyn, to be exact – I shelled out $20 for a bowl of ramen and I would do it all over again. I would hand over, without a second thought, a sum of...

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Furochan Eats: Sapporo's Soup Curry is a Joy Forever (Until You Finish Eating It)

“I hate Tokyo.” S’s face was perfectly serious. “Sapporo is so much better -- less people, nice weather, great seafood, lots of snow… and Tokyo sucks during the summer.” I’ll never hate Tokyo but you can’t argue with a Sapporo boy on that last point. Hokkaido is one of the...

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Fridgin' Out: Furochan Eats (Tokyo)

Greetings! My name is furochan, and I'm super stoked to be writing for Umami Mart. Welcome to my larder!  For the last eight months or so, my home has been a dormitory located in an improbably posh part of Tokyo. Rent is surprisingly cheap for this city (part of being...

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Furochan Eats: Ramen Is Not Dead. It's Just Getting Started

Sometime last week, Dave Chang of Momofuku fame declared ramen dead (in the States). You can read his diatribe in its entirety over at Lucky Peach, but he makes several ludicrous claims there, including, "Access to instantaneous information from the Internet has killed innovation in ramen," "Ramen was always a fringe...

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Sweet Nostalgia: A Translation

I’ve been thinking a lot about food and nostalgia. I always think about food, but lately I’ve been interested in the way people discuss and remember food -- things we eat, things we used to eat, and the memories associated with various kinds of food. Much has been written on...

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Furochan Eats: A Guide to Buying Fish Sauce in Vietnam

Here’s the scenario: you’re travelling in Ho Chi Minh and you’ve made it your mission to buy fish sauce. There is no Red Boat in the supermarkets here, no English-friendly labelling anywhere. You have no internet on your phone because you’re travelling cheap, you forgot to look up the brands...

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