Culinary Gratitude Abounds

Izakaya – Delicious Japanese treats. Small plates of lovingly prepared food to enjoy while sipping beer, wine, or sake. Think Japanese Happy Hour. Low light, good friends, festive conversation, and food that makes you sigh audibly with delight. This gratitude list is a tribute to Izakaya.

Eggplant – Small, Japanese eggplant. Grilled to smooth perfection and topped with Bonito flakes and a side of ginger. Cut into bite-sized pieces, this smoky grilled veggie never tasted so good.

Saba – I do not have words for the deliciousness of this fish. So tender that when I touched it with my fork, my fork sank down through the flesh to the bottom of the plate. The best news: I brought home leftovers to serve with rice and miso soup for breakfast.

Salmon – Grilled with a crisp exterior and a tender interior. The perfect amount of salt and lemon. This fish makes me proud to be a Columbia river Indian. This is my food and when people know how to cook it simply, so the flavor of the fish shines through, I could not be happier. (Not to mention I could eat the crispy skin like potato chips).

Tofu – Silken tofu. Ice cold. Topped with bonito flakes, green onions, ginger, and a few splashes of Tamari. A dish I haven’t had in years that I used to eat for breakfast. I’ve missed it and tonight all those taste buds woke up once again. Ahhhh. The Zen of eating.

Pickles – These are not your mama’s pickles! I’m not talking cucumbers and garlic. These pickles are green, purple, and yellow. Greens, daikon radish, and a mysterious purple vegetable. Doesn’t even matter what it was it was so delicious.

Ginger – Spicy. Fresh. Clean. Sharp. Grated directly onto food or enticing me from the sidelines this root rocks.

Green onions – I don’t know how many of my readers are aware that I grew up on an onion farm, but you must know that onions are one of my favorite things in life. I am very suspicious of people who do not like onions. And green onions! Delectable green fresh herbal tops make anything better. Especially when paired with tofu and ginger.

Sake – Sawanoi Extra Dry from Tokyo to be exact. Served warm this little bottle of liquid heaven warmed me up on a cold night. Smooth, crisp, and clean.

Bonito Flakes – so good, even my cats love them!

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