In the Kitchen | #8

Let’s talk about my favorite thing: food!!

Japan has given me a plethora of opportunities to experience new food culture for which my stomach is grateful. Some of the notable foods that I’ve tried are zunda mochi, taiyaki, katsudon from the mall (my personal favorite), sea cucumber, hoya, just about a million local veggies, almost a million and one different fish variations (I don’t even like seafood all that much…), and we went for yakiniku where I tried at least two different types of animal tongue ~ this was the most delicious experience of my trip!! But I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll ever like natto; I tried it a few times and I just can’t do it, waayyy too sticky and beany.

I asked one of my coworkers what his favorite food is and he said rice, and honestly, I get it. My appreciation for rice has increased 10 fold since I’ve been here. It’s so versatile and it’ll always be there for you. We eat a really tasty variety at work. At work we also have amazing chefs! I’m so thankful for the delicious food they make, they’re amazing!! This past week I was helping out in the kitchen a lot because the other two interns who were assigned to the kitchen team both left. I was happy to step in because it meant I got to sample all of the food. The kitchen has its perks to be sure!!

Besides getting extra food, the kitchen has been a very interesting experience. I’ve become closer with the chefs who are so funny and nice to me! They let me help out with the cooking (after the dishes are washed of course). I make croquettes and karage frequently, I learned how to cook a certain fish (the name now eludes me) the traditional way over a fire, and they even trusted me with the grill during one of our cook outs. In addition I’ve been picking up a lot of social and cultural points that I hadn’t outside of the kitchen; this has been a really fascinating part of the kitchen. For one, I’m experiencing Japanese humor up close. The concept of the “straight man” and the “funny man” is new to me and at first I didn’t really pick up on it but now I’m hyper-aware. They had to explicitly tell me that it was a joke several times, but now that I realize it’s a joke they still feel like I’ll never understand their type of humor – they’re probably right, it’s just different than mine. The kitchen also creates a sense of community between coworkers. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on, everyone helps in the kitchen during meal time and we always eat together. Several times we had too many guests and all of the staff ate in the kitchen. Those times were fun because everyone is enjoying each other’s company in a smaller space than usual. Food just brings people together, sometimes closer than they were expecting!

Now for pictures of the yumminess!

The usual spread
The BR lady knows us now…
Learning to cut a fish
Oyster shuckin’
Cheesy oysters
zunda mochi
meat for the yakiniku grill



Lunch in Sendai
Custard taiyaki
Yummy yummy taiyaki

6 thoughts on “In the Kitchen | #8

  • July 12, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Came for the pictures, stayed for the blog post! 😉 Food is such an important part of different cultures, I envy your opportunity to visit Japan!

  • July 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Julianna, this was a really fun post to read. You have me craving a trip to Japan now! I’m so curious to know—do you see a lot of Western influence in the food/restaurant seen there? Are portion sizes and ways of eating different than in the U.S. and if so how?

    • July 23, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Most of my food experience is limited to work and the mall food court so I can’t speak to how it is everywhere. The fast food places have things specific to this area but it’s the same way within America too. I’ve seen a few Big Boy’s which I thought was interesting because the one in my home town closed because no one went to it.
      The portion size for most things is smaller but I’ve also found that some places give you a very good helping and the rice is always plentiful.
      At work we have 3 meals a day and I’m used to having snacks throughout the day so that has been a change for me. At work we wait to eat until everyone is ready and then wait to clean up altogether too. Before the meal we all say “itadakimasu” and after the meal “gochisosamadeshita”.

  • July 18, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    whah this looks absolutely amazing!!!! Can’t believe this is what you get to do all summer! I love how your develop for rice has increased so much. That just makes so much sense. Bring some food back would ya?

  • July 22, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Hi Julianna! I’m glad you’re open to trying new foods in Japan – I know so many people who just stick with what they’re used to. I see you also have a picture of BR ice cream and I just wanted to ask if there are different and unique flavors of BR only found in Japan, or if you keep going back there because you just want a familiar taste after seeing all these new foods.

    • July 23, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Ice cream is such a good treat after a long week at work! BR here in Ishinomaki has flavors that I’ve never seen before but also a lot of familiar ones. They always give us samples which is nice because sometimes a little bit is all you need of a certain flavor. Each month they have new flavors so we’ve just HAD to go back to try them! The majority of the time I’ve been here they’ve had a special 3 scoop deal but it ended last week (and yes, we did go on the last day).


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