Thursday, October 23, 2008


Comfort food. Those two words put together usually conjures up images of gooey macaroni and cheese, a slab of homemade meatloaf with piles of fluffy mashed potatoes or a big bowl of boeuf bourguignon. Being half-Japanese, however, means sometimes a comforting meal is found in some katsu-curry, a big bowl of ramen, or a nice teishoku, or “set meal.” Teishoku usually consists of some sort of meat or fish, rice, miso soup or a salad, and some pickles on the side. I always eat my teishoku in a circular order- take a bite of fish or meat with the pickes, then rice, sip some miso soup, eat some salad and then start over. It’s always a perfect combination of flavors and textures and tastes best when you eat it that way.

The other night, my teishoku was comprised of:

Hiyayakko- or cold tofu. This time I topped it with a mixture of kuro goma (black sesame seeds), grated shoga (ginger), shoyu (soy sauce), a little sugar, goma abura (sesame oil) and su (rice wine vinegar) all topped with some chopped green onions:

Grilled saba (mackeral) seasoned with sweet miso, served with a side of celery pickels made with rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and jalapenos. Those are definitely not your traditional Japanese pickles but boy, they were good.

Daikon salad with wafu (Japanese style) salad dressing and cilantro. My sushi chef, Toshi (as in the sushi chef at my local sushi joint, not my personal sushi chef!), often uses cilantro in Japanese dishes and it seriously works, so I've started adding it to my dishes as well!

Put them all together with a bowl of nutty brown rice and you have a teishoku supper! Next time I'll make some miso soup but it was too hot that evening for soup so I left it out.

Most of these things can be purchased at your local Japanese supermarket (depending on whether or not you have such a thing in your city!). Why not try to make your own teishoku supper? It's healthy, hearty Japanese comfort food.


Marie said...

This meal sounds so perfect and balanced! I'm Korean, but I find myself craving Japanese food quite often. I love oily fish like mackerel and wish I had an outdoor grill to prepare it at home. Considering the way my apartment "hangs" onto cooking smells, I have to settle for ordering it in restaurants or waiting for visits to my parents' house.

Diana said...

What a beautiful presentation! I love having different tastes to choose from -- looks like a perfect meal to me! :)

This is probably just a coincidence, but I had dinner at Bar Hayama last night on Sawtelle in West LA, and the chef there was named Toshi. It made me wonder if it is the same Toshi you mention in your post. Probably not, but I highly recommend the restaurant if you feel like venturing outside of Silverlake -- they have lots of small plates! :)

Gloria Baker said...

Tokyo girl , how lovely are yours dishes I love Japan and oriental food too!!These dishes looks awesome!! I will mail you later OK?? x Gloria

Gloria Baker said...

Dear Tokyo girl, you dont know me but when I said you I will mail, Im really thinking that. My mail is ans I was thinling is possible we can make this here in Santiago, only I was thinking because I have two childs and have to see the day (November 4??) if you like mail me to talk and want to lnow how you would like.
When you let your blog I think was the mail and for this I said you I will mail you. I wait you mail me, Gloria

Claire Geist said...

healthy is right!!
everything looks fresh & delicious

i love how there was a lot of green, it brightened up the meal!

fabulous blog,dahhling i'll for sure be checking back here soon!

DeltaLab ADM1024 said...

teishoku is pretty damn ideal. i miss it when i am out of japan. u know anywhere in nyc i can get some that won't cost an arm and a leg? rumour has it one used to exist but the guy was aged and retired....

u should check out "hachikutei" it's in front of the arimax hotel in shibuya, that guy is something.