This is a test. If this post is weird, it's because I'm trying out the Blogger app on my iPad. I'm already unhappy because I can't write a caption or align the pictures. But it's way better than trying to use the Blogger website on Safari on the iPad like I tried to in Australia. That was a disaster. I couldn't even get the pictures on.
Today was my third day of summer vacation. We got out of school earlier than usual because we started three weeks earlier last August. This summer vacation is much appreciated!
Luckily, the Torrance Mitsuwa (how do I add a hyperlink?) (maybe I should read the directions) is having one of their gourmet food fairs this weekend, so for the first time I get to go on the first day!
The ramen shop for this fair is called Kamome Shokudo, or Kamome Diner. The chef is from Kesenuma, one of the towns in Northeast Japan that was destroyed during the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The style of ramen is called Kesenuma Ushio Aji, which is chicken soup that is mixed with a seafood tare/sauce. I didn't know there was a Kesenuma-style ramen, but I'm glad he's sharing it with us!
I arrived a little after 11 am and there were about 6 people in line ahead of me. There were four menu choices: ramen with egg, ramen without egg, sesame salmon bowl, and an extra egg as a topping. The sesame salmon bowl was raw salmon, not cooked (I asked so I could tell you!).
When I ordered, I was number 19. They were serving numbers 2 and 3 when I ordered. It took about 20 minutes to get my bowl. Their mic wasn't working very well, so we were hovering so we could hear our numbers being called. You could see Chiba-san (the man on the poster) come out every once in a while to check on things.
As you can see, I ordered the ramen with the egg. I LOVE hanjyuku/half-cooked egg. This egg was a little over done, but it was still delicious. The soup was so light colored and clear. The toppings were nori, menma/bamboo shoots, green onions, two squares of chashu, and a naruto kamaboko/fish cake. (My iPad just tried to auto text "kamaboko" to "Kama book." What's a Kama book?!)
I'm very sensitive to fishy smells, but the fish oil they've added to this was not stinky. It gave it a light fish aroma and flavor. It's not like the ramen at Jinya (will post a link later from my laptop) or the ramen from the last gourmet fair, where the fish smell and taste made the soup inedible for me. This one was light and clean tasting. The salt flavor wasn't too strong either.
The noodles went with the soup perfectly. They were medium curly and they were shorter than other noodles because I could get them all in one slurp. (Normally I have to bite the noodle off, which I think is against ramen eating etiquette.) They were also perfectly cooked for me, which means they were a little bit hard.
The chashu was moist and flavorful. I wish there was more than the 2 little thin slices, but what can you do. I could have eaten another bowl easily, but I went around the corner to get shave ice at Get Shaved afterwards, so I didn't. That, and it was starting to get crowded. I wish I could come early like this when they have the Hokkaido fair. Boo, work.
These were some of the other food stalls at the food fair. They always have a kani inari booth, the inari sushi (brown footballs) with crab on top. This was the first time I noticed that these were supposedly from Matsue in Shimane, which was near where I lived when I lived in Japan. I had no idea they were famous for crab. I didn't get any because I'm pretty sure the crab was frozen.
By the way, I must have got ramen on my phone or something because all the pictures I took after I ate are fuzzy. Sorry. (It doesn't help that the pictures are cut in half, either.) (You can click on the picture to see the whole thing. I might have to upload them all again from my laptop. Boo, Blogger app!)
They had these folded dorayaki, which are pancakes filled with things like, in this case, azuki bean, custard, sesame paste, or matcha. I thought I got a picture of the pancakes on the griddle, but I didn't. They were all the same exact size. I bought some for Grandma who used to eat dorayaki all the time, but when I told her what it was, she said she didn't know what dorayaki is. It's those little things that make me realize how old she's getting.
They were also making these things called obanyaki, which looked like they were making imagawayaki, but instead of pancake batter on the outside, it was the thin crispy coating like on a tai yaki. Or, it's like a cake ice cream cone on the outside. It was a little confusing because there was a sign that said sweet pumpkin, but the only ones they were selling were custard and azuki. I didn't need more azuki since I bought the makidora.
This was the thing I wanted to see because on the website, they show the Tops box, but didn't say what it was. They were cakes (frozen ones): chocolate roll, another flavor that I can't read because my lens was dirty, and salted cheese cake. I was going to get a salted cheese cake, but I realized I bought the makidora AND I had strawberry pavlovas at home already so I didn't get it.
These were some marinated seafood things. The woman kept covering it so I couldn't get a good look at it. I'm pretty sure there was mentaiko in there and some squid.
The longest line was for the ikameshi/squid rice filled croquettes.
They were also selling what looked like shoyu covered mochi on a stick, but I don't know if that was what it was because I don't remember what it was and I can't read my picture. I never realized how much I use my pictures to remember what things were. I'm old too. Haha.
The signs say: tako ten/octopus, kikurage ten/mushroom, ebi ten/shrimp, mayokare/mayonnaise curry, tako shoga/octopus ginger, ika gobo/squid burdock, mentai cheese/cod roe and cheese, tako negi/octopus scallion, and ebi tama negi/shrimp onion. After seeing mentai cheese and curry mayo, I got grossed out and didn't want to know what these were. (And I just noticed after typing all that that there are English names under each one.) (Kikurage is called Judas-ear. It's also called cloud ear.)
These were there too. Oyaki. They looked like chashu bao, but they had pumpkin/eggplant/apple, mushroom and vegetable, or azuki inside.
They also had vanilla soft cream, but the milk was American, which wasn't that exciting. I mean, it was a Japanese gourmet fair. It was the same line as the croquettes so I couldn't get a picture of the sign.
The makidora had this lovely message on the label, and Grandma and Kobe did an appropriate photobomb.
(Ugh, I'll have to ask Marc to borrow his keyboard. Typing on the iPad is horrible.)