Taking It All In at the Japanese Food Expo

takoyaki love

What a turnout at the Metropolitan Pavilion this past Saturday for the Japanese Food and Restaurant Show 2012!  I had ample opportunities to practice my “すみません” {sumimasen/excuse me} when weaving carefully through the packed crowd to check out each vendor’s offerings.  Cutting to the chase – I did stop by the takoyaki booth a couple of times.  I’ll have to post a video later of the yummy little fried balls doing their Sufi-like whirling while being cooked. (^_-)☆

You can definitely try this at home these days.  You can pick up your own pan from Korin.com but I really like the recommendation and recipe on justhungry.com’s blog.  Using an electric takoyaki maker allows guests to join you in the process.  Its much more fun to talk and drink while giving the little balls a poke, huddled around the table with friends and family.

wabocho mamenori bonito

My chef buddy that I accompanied knew exactly where he wanted to start the day.  It was straight for the wabocho {Japanese kitchen knifes} sharpening demonstration by Mitsuo Hirano the president of Tsukiji Masamoto.  Another video is in the works to see the master in action.  As a martial artist I could not help but to be in awe of the refinement of Hirano-san’s movements, a knife sharpening kata that has been refined to perfection over a lifetime.

The absolute standout discovery for me was at the J-Oil Mills booth.  Their まめのりさん {Mamenori-San} product is such a fantastic alternative to seaweed for sushi!  Mr. Chef makes sushi for some of our company get togethers.  His challenge is always how to make enough pieces for the group and get them to the table as quickly as possible so that the nori doesn’t get too soggy.  With these clever soy bean sheets that will no longer be an issue.  And the cute colors are sure to make the sushi very festive!  J-Oil Mills cut some out into kawaii sakura blossoms, to use as decorations like confetti.

dassai sake in nyc

After the knives we started our tour on the food vendors so that we were strong and ready for  {SAKE}!!!  Totally surprised my friend Asumi from Dassai Sake who didn’t know we were coming to the expo!  She was killing it and had a great crowd all day at her booth.  I speak from experience when I say you should give their Dassai 39 a try.

nori, ramen, tobiko and sashimi