Izakaya-style veggies

This meal was inspired by a trip to a new restaurant in our neighbourhood called Kazu. See menu here; reviews here and here.

It’s a tiny izakaya (pub-style restaurant), a bit of a dive at first glance. It’s run by a family that happens to be a friend of my current Japanese teacher. They clearly work very hard; the place is always packed with lines out the door, even though they just opened a few weeks ago.

There is a little menu that you can flip through, but most of the dishes are hand-written on pieces of paper taped up on the walls, all in English. The mostly-Japanese staff and customers crammed into the cozy space made us feel like we were back in Japan. It was a chilly day, so I was happy to snuggle up at the bar in front of the large open grills. This was also a good vantage point to see all of the day’s offering being prepared—and to get ideas for the next trip.

Most of the food seemed to have some salad + dressing component. I ordered what I expected to be yudofu, but it turned out to be a salad with large cubes of tofu topped with some type of lettuce, carrots, mushrooms, long, thin puffed rice thingies, and the aforementioned dressing. Unfortunately, it seems that they frequently don’t have certain things on the menu, so flexibility in decision-making is required. I also had extremely tasty mixed-rice onigiri. Yusuke had a tuna and salmon bowl, with turned out to be sliced raw fish on top of rice, then further topped with the same salad greens and dressing. Also extremely tasty. We shared grilled okra, which, to cut off my tangential story, inspired the dinner pictured in this post.

Hot oven

So, back at home: lacking an open-flame grill, Yusuke grilled our okra, green onions, and mushrooms on tin foil in our oven.

He drizzled them with an improvised yakitori sauce of mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. The ingredients were heated in a small saucepan to dissolve the sugar.

grilled 'shrooms

We also had these lovely daikon medallions which were leftover from another meal. First Yusuke microwaved the sliced daikon for 3 minutes to soften them. Then he sauteed them in sesame oil. Last, he prepared a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and chili flakes, which he dumped in the frying pan with the daikon and let simmer until the liquid was absorbed or evaporated. We sprinkled some bonito flakes on the daikon when served.

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1 Comment

  1. […] meal was similar to the izakaya vegetables that I wrote about before, but the sauce was quite different this […]

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