Beautiful land of immense culture, May is your month!
That’s right, for May we chose Japan as our place to “visit” for our international potluck lunch. It was awe.some.
Since we had to make a Japanese dish to bring, I consulted the all-mighty ever-wise oracle (a.k.a. Google) for ideas on what to do.
But of course! Mighty oracle, thank you for the suggestion! I decided to bring… Daigakuimo and Tempura *gasp* Now, maybe you’ve heard of tempura before: the delicious lightly battered shrimps, vegetables, etc. but daigakuimo? Don’t give me that wtf look. It’s delicious and very easy to make.
Sweet potatoes (yams)
Oil for frying
First, fill a deep frying pan with about 2 in. of oil and warm it up and cut up your yams in bite-size cubes. I actually took a picture of that step, as if you didn’t already know how to do that. Sheesh!
Put the cubes in the oil and fry them until brown. (Again, was the picture necessary? Eep.)
While the yams are busy getting a tan, combine 1/3 cup of sugar, 1Tbs of soy sauce and 1 Tbs of water in a container and mix. Then put it in a pan to warm up at medium heat until it caramelizes.
When the liquid turns sticky, quickly mix the potatoes. Then sprinkle sesame seeds on the coated yams.
Seriously, this is like a treat.
After that I went on and gave Tempura a try. I don’t have any pictures of that because frankly, the whole experience was messy and somewhat embarrassing. I want to thank my internetz-friend Debbie at Etc.Etc.Etc for her helpful hints for making Tempura (like keeping the batter COLD– with ice cubes in it, cold). I’m sure that without them it would have turned out even more chaotic! She lives in Japan and her husband is Japanese, so she knows what she speaks of. Thanks, Deb!
We arrived at Carol’s and were greeted by this image:
Feast your eyes.
Fried rice, edamame bean salad, two versions of chicken, sushi rolls, noodles and green tea ice cream. Delicious!
And for dessert? None other than these:
Rice Krispies and marshmallow treats in the shape of Totoro! Because you can’t talk about Japan without mentioning its famous anime influence.
The kids were more than happy to sink their teeth into these tasty treats. Sorry, Totoro.
The afternoon got more exciting as we tried our hand at the ancient art of shaping beautiful bonsai trees.
We bought regular cedars and snipped snipped away. I think us moms had as much fun as the kids.
The kids were for the most part very focused on what they were doing. Shaping a miniature tree is serious business.
Then, to get our passport stamped. Thanks for visiting Japan, come back soon.
And to finish a perfect day, off to the park we go.
It couldn’t have been better. We learned so much. Thank you, Japan!