menchi katsu

July 22, 2010

breakfast: coffee & toast with peanut butter

lunch: ochazuke, canned mackerel, & scrambled eggs and chinese chives

dessert: banana strawberry smoothie. this saved me from heat. 38C/100.4F

dinner: kirin classic lager, prawn mayo salad from seven-eleven (356kcal), & menchi katsu (breaded and deep-fried ground meat cutlet) sandwich. yummy.

I often look at my natto pictures (see yesterday’s lunch) and think oh gawd it must look really gross to people who don’t know what the hell it is. It is fermented soy beans. It is slimy and smells funky, too, just like any fermented food. What fermented food or indigenous food have you got in your culture that is considered an acquired taste? You know, stuff like Vegemite or Surströmming, both of which I’ve yet to try.

P.S. Hello you new folks out there!

41 Responses to “menchi katsu”

  1. arawa Says:

    Well, I think we already discussed the preserved thousand year old duck egg. How about hom ha which is a nicely “odorous” shrimp paste?

  2. Lily Says:

    Oh man, Chinese people love fermented foods…black beans, soybeans, fish, etc. My favorite, though, is fermented tofu (not to be confused with stinky tofu.) I like using it to stir-fry greens (like water spinach or long beans), but it definitely is an acquired taste!

    • aixxx Says:

      Oh, yes. The Chinese have got it down like no one else. And I feel like my taste is far too immature to appreciate what they offer sometimes.

  3. June Lee Says:

    Heh, funny you mention natto. I just did a posting on natto last night! I did think about your blog while I was eating it cuz you seem to cosume it pretty often. I still can’t eat it plain but when some kimchi is added to it…it’s deeelish.

    • aixxx Says:

      Natto and kimchi are supposed to be such a healthy combination. I would do it or add leeks to it like you did if I wasn’t in such a rush esp. during my lunch break. BTW, I’m from a prefecture whose natto consumption is the highest in Japan!

  4. Anna J Says:

    I really like your blog and have been following it for a long time. I was just wondering if you watch the Tour de France? Since you are into the world cup I thought you might like the Tour de france as well( cause they are so much a like…xD)

    Anyways hope you are having a nice summer

    • aixxx Says:

      Hi, Anna. Thank you for stopping by! I think I watch soccer not because i love the sport so much as I love looking at sweaty sexy men running for a ball or something. Would the Tour de France still be the same, you think!? ;-)

      • Anna J Says:

        Ok, I see the differencexD
        But even though bikers are not muscular as the football players I think they have some kind of charm as well. I don’t watch all the races from the beginning but this year it is really exciting:-)

        Go Andy!:D

  5. Crystal Says:

    Hm… I don’t think Mexican Americans ferment anything. Odd. :) I think there are some weird fermented corn or pineapple drinks out there, but I’ve never had them.

    • aixxx Says:

      You know, I’ve never had Mexican food that I loved more than Taco Bell. So you know how inexperienced I am with Mexican food in general, let alone fermented Mexican food. Wisconsin didn’t have good Mexican places. Can you guess!

  6. Well, you don’t even have to guess: Us french have plenty of weird fermented stuff. Starting with cheese!
    Most of all, we have tons of awfull-smelling things like andouillette (i think this must be one of the worst smelling edible things, but it’s delicious!), or sheep’s brain (yak! this is one of the very rare things that really can’t enter my mouth, the smell is terrible!)… Bon appétit!

    • aixxx Says:

      Cheese!!! I’ve been meaning to get some, but it’s sooo expensive at regular grocery stores that I don’t really feel like paying for it… So is the sheep brain also fermented!?! Now, that would be pretty amazing, huh? Bon appetit, indeed!

  7. tamara Says:

    I had natto when I visited Japan a few years ago, and liked it a lot, but whenever I order it in restaurants stateside I don’t like it anymore. I think it’s cool looking, though!

    I love your blog. Your photos are great and your food always looks yummy.

    • aixxx Says:

      You know it’s never good in restaurants in the States because it’s frozen once to import. Too unfortunate.

  8. Leonie Says:

    Would love to try the fermented soy beans once :)
    In Holland we have fermented cabbage, it’s called zuurkool in dutch or sauerkraut in german. The way we eat it overhere with mashed potatoes and sausage isn’t my favorite to eat it, rather like it the way they eat fermented cabbage in germany or austria.

    • aixxx Says:

      Hey, Leonie, I loooove sauerkraut so much it hurts that I don’t get to eat it here at all!!! So how do the Germans and Austrians eat their sauerkraut!?

      • Rieke Says:

        Hi Ai, I’m a big fan of your blog ^^
        I love, love, love your photography.

        As for sauerkraut, we mostly eat it with mashed potatoes and sausage in Germany, too.
        But it’s also incredibly good in stews with tomatoes or Szegedin goulash.

        • Leonie Says:

          I see! When I was in south germany near austria I ate it a lot with bacon, onions, porc and ofcourse mustard.

          • aixxx Says:

            Hi hi, do you guys make your own sauerkraut?

            • Rieke Says:

              Not really… it’s lacto-fermented, I think, and takes a lot of storing stoneware jugs in deep, cool cellars and the like. At least, that’s how I imagine it, anyway homemade sauerkraut is a dying art. You can get it fresh, though, in some shops, if you don’t like canned.
              Leonie: my grandma cooks it like that, no extra bacon, but leftover fat from frying meat and sometimes pineapple – I don’t like the pineapple :D

              • tamara Says:

                Once I tried making Sauerkraut in a jar. (Recipes can be found on web.) It was tasty, however something went wrong, I think. But occasionally one can buy home made Kraut. That’s really delicious. Nevertheless I would tradeoff Sauerkraut for some natto, which is frozen here and costs an arm and a leg… almost. tamara (the other one)

  9. dipsy Says:

    Hello, I have been reading your blog for a while, but havent really made myself known.. I think. In Estonia(I live there XD) the most typical fermented food is cabbage and cucumbers. but I guess thats not really special. Farmkeepers can also make fermented milk (you can not make it from store milk, has to be directly from cows). It tastes a bit like sourcream or kefir, but these are kind of fermented milk products too and gues they arent that widely known.

    Greetings from Estonia,

    • aixxx Says:

      Hi Dipsy, thanks for your comment. Fermented milk sounds good to me, but I guess I have to visit Estonia to try it, right? Estonia is one of the places that I’d like to visit sooner or later.

  10. AJ Says:

    I have read your blog a bit recently, I like seeing how people around the world live! Im an aussie and I LOVE vegemite. More so than most aussies, as I can eat it straight sometimes… Funny to think that it is so gross to other people (half my family are English so they think its rank). Not sure Australia has any other weird foods, the only other fermented thing I consume much would be beer :) from which vegemite is made…..

    • aixxx Says:

      Hi, AJ, you got me obsessed with Vegemite now. I’ve been looking for different descriptions of it this afternoon, and I still can’t even imagine what it smells like.

  11. that menchi katsu sando looks pretty dam good! gotta be cafeful with them though, can often be a tad dry.
    and i can’t believe you have yet to try vegemite! i just ordered some more from my parents.
    we have 「臭豆腐」over here… not plesent! can smell it a mile away!

    • aixxx Says:

      You know the menchi katsu (from Seven-Eleven of all places!) was juicy enough, and I used both salad dressing and Bulldog Sauce (No, it’s not made from bulldogs.) to make it extra juicy.

      I gotta try Vegemite as well as 臭豆腐 now.

  12. Qi Says:


    i’ve been following your blog for some time, i must say you always manage to make me tempted to eat whatever you’re eating.

    yesterday i decided to be a brave soul & try natto. i’ve seen & heard about it for years, but i’ve also heard it’s smelly. gawd. i don’t like it unfortunately. i kinda expected it to be smelly AND salty.

    you should try fermented beancurd (or smelly beancurd) from taiwan or hongkong, with this chilli that’s kinda smelly too. its a combi made in heaven. i love it. you can usually smell the beancurd from afar. haa. yes it’s THAT smelly. but it’s good. =)

    • aixxx Says:

      Hi there. Haha, natto itself doesn’t taste anything at all. You have to find the condiments you like to eat it with, I guess.

  13. Rhian Says:

    you have to try vegemite, you probably, definitely won’t like it… but you might! can you get in japan? if not i will send some

    • aixxx Says:

      You know what? I will buy it next time I go to this grocery store that sells lots of imports. What are good ways to eat it other than on toast?

      • Rhian Says:

        i’m glad your going to give it a go!
        well there are many ways…
        -with cheese
        – with avocado (sounds gross but is surprisingly nice, on toast)
        – on any form of cracker

        my mind is blank at the moment and can’t think of any other ways..but they will come to me..

      • AJ Says:

        Its awesome on rice cakes, on toast, good with butter, and with cheese (sounds weird but vegemite and cheese is pretty standard in Oz!. And you can add it to cooking as a kind of savoury stock base – I add a little of it to bolognese to make it richer. Its basically just super salty, and maybe a little bit malty.

  14. Allison Says:

    Hmm… I can’t really think of any fermented foods here… does wine count? :D

    I love natto but I feel like I have to eat it outside or else everything I own will smell like it.

  15. Wei-Wei Says:

    My dad really likes natto with rice. I’ve tried it before but I’m not a fan of the taste… :P I like fermented stuff though! (kimchi :D)


  16. I tried natto when I went to Japan as a child, and really hated it! I honestly think it’s the only Japanese food I actually can’t stand. Sigh. Reading your blog makes me miss Japan SO much, I just went through all my old Japan pictures and blogged some of them.

    Here in Singapore we have the infamous DURIAN which a lot of people hate. People hate the smell, taste, texture, everything about it. But especially the smell! It’s banned on public transport and hotels. Crazy, huh? I LOVE it though! =)

    • aixxx Says:

      I once almost got one, but everybody told me that I’d have trouble handling/keeping it until the next garbage day.

  17. Su-Lin Says:

    Just catching up on your posts now – that sandwich looks phenomenal… I want to make one at home! Is it pork or beef? And tonkatsu sauce on top?

    • aixxx Says:

      I think it could be either or. Here they often mix pork and beef. Yes, that’s tonkatsu sauce. Mine is Bulldog sauce (again, it’s not made of bulldogs, mind you.). Good luck!

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