makkachin

Interlude! I’m halfway through the Yuri on Ice commercial eyecatch foods now, and I have to prepare myself for spending like $80 on some hairy crabs because they are a) imported, b) not in season, and c) famous (idk what a better way of saying this would be??) and thus exorbitantly expensive. I am tempted to just take pics of them in the grocery store and then buy a more reasonably priced crab. I’m not here to make money on blogging nerd food things, but I also don’t want to run up my credit card!

Anyway, while I debate the merits of being true to the crab versus financial responsibility, I bring cookies. Makkachin cookies. Cookies in the shape of everyone’s favourite dog poodle friend from Yuri on Ice. I first came up with this idea because of some adorable keychains – if I’m going to be mimicking the commercial eyecatches, what’s stopping me from doing official merch, too? It’s probably way too overly ambitious to do all of the desserts, even for me, so instead I homed in on the Makkachin cookie on Victor’s keychain.


hinabe

Hinabe, as it is called in Japanese, is where you have a big pot of soup and you cook meats, vegetables, and noodles in it. Typically you’ll also have a dipping sauce. I’m a HUGE fan of hot pot (as I have always called it and will continue to call it throughout this post), and I was super excited to see it on Yuri on Ice! Even if the adorable Guang-hong doesn’t like it much, haha.

I was so excited for it and so into the planning for this post that I procrastinated the kibidango post hahahaha.

I usually go out to a restaurant for hot pot, especially with the recent explosion of big-name Mainland restaurants opening up here, but every once in a while, my family will pull out the portable burner and we’ll do it ourselves. The restaurants have a ton of broth options and are typically all-you-can-eat affairs with a plethora of cookables to choose from. When you do it at home, though, you have to be a bit choosier with what you buy, unless you have a bunch of people, you’re really hungry, or money is not a concern when you’re buying the food.


kibidango

This episode’s food is kibidango! It actually has two Wikipedia articles – one for the kibidango made with actual millet and of Momotaro fame, and the other for the Okayama specialty from where the Momotaro folk tale is claimed to have originated.

It’s fitting because this episode is the Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu Figure Skating Championship, which was held in Okayama (located in Chugoku). Because of that, I chose to go with the Okayama specialty more than the traditional pure millet type.


ikasashi

So you know how I said in the last post that finding shochu was unexpectedly difficult? Yeah. Multiply that by like ten with respect to finding a whole squid.

My original plan for this food series was to mimic the photos as closely as possible, so for this one, I wanted to find a chrysanthemum and the shisho blossoms and some maple leaves and all that good stuff. Anyway, surprise, it’s winter and even though the weather has been a whole lot of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ recently, it’s still not flower time. Plus, it’s actually really hard finding edible flowers in general for me…

But squid – people everywhere like squid! It is a common thing to eat. How hard could it be to find a whole squid? I wasn’t even looking for a colossal squid (even though they’re amazing – cephalopods in general are so cool) but a general squid that people eat!

Anyway, it was exceptionally difficult to find a whole squid. I eventually found some but it is way more common to see squid rings. It was frustrating.


shochu

So while shochu could’ve been an easy post, I instead decided that I should roll it into a post that includes a real recipe of some sort. This was decided before I actually went out to find a bottle of shochu, which proved much more difficult than anticipated… I did, however, find out that we have a decent sake selection, and more soju than expected. And also a lot of Chinese rice wine. I really lucked out in that the one liquor store that carried shochu in-stores (as opposed to ordering online for delivery) is the one I can see from my balcony window.

Anyway, apparently shochu originates in Kyushu, which is very appropriate for the show! Shochu is a Japanese distilled alcohol that is around 25% alcohol by volume. It can be made with a variety of different grains, but is fermented with the same mold that sake is – koji. Soy sauce is also fermented using koji! It is a super useful fungus.