The FooDorama Challenge: I watch it, I try it!

(ヘ・v・)ヘ ┳━┳ モドシモドシ ~letzzeat!~

Jdorama Inspiration: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge is a 10 episode comedy/drama that ran from Jan. 15 to March 19, 2010 on TBS.  It is based on the manga series by Tomoko Hayakawa. It is a story of four young men who are renting a large mansion owned by a very rich lady.  They must turn the owner’s weird niece into a proper, well-mannered, presentable-looking woman (in other words – make her normal). If they succeed, they can stay in the mansion for free.  They thought this would be a cinch until they finally saw the goth-like, black-cloaked, skull-obsessed niece whose name Sunako somehow appropriately rhymes with Sadako.

Think My Fair Lady meets Beetlejuice.  It is a funny series with few dramatic moments.  It did not follow much of the story-line of the original manga series which was fine with me. Frankly, I am not fond of highly-exaggerated comedies and over the top manga stories but this was something I could tolerate – finding it cute and silly.  The 4 actors who were supposed to portray the unbelievably gorgeous male characters from the manga did a good job of pretending they WERE ‘unbelievably gorgeous’ even if they looked so-so (ok, ok, Uchi Hiroki is hot!) – at least the spirit of the characters was there, and they pulled it off just fine.  And Kamenashi Kazuya was great in those emo scenes; I gotta hand it to him (great job!) – he’s definitely stepping up.

But for me, the real heart-throb and best guy in the drama is cutey-pie Kato Seishiro as the landlady’s son (at right). I wanna adopt him and pinch those cheeks to death! (@^-^@)

Jdorama Food: Natto

Being a great cook, Sunako whipped up batches and batches of food during the series but never mentioned what they were (plus, before I could blink, they were fast gobbled up by those four guys).  But in one scene though, one food was mentioned and it was the one thing I was dreading for sometime…

Natto is one of Japan’s traditional dishes made of soy beans fermented using a certain bacterium called Bacillus subtilis.  They eat it usually for breakfast.  Slimy and with a pungent smell, it is said to be highly nutritious – packed with Vitamin K and helps aid digestion.

The Jdorama Connection: (Warning-Possible Spoiler Alert!) In Episode 4,  Kyohei (Kazuya) had been eating too much French gourmet food for the past few days that it had given him heart burn. So he asked gloomy Sunako (portrayed by Oomasa Aya) to prepare an all Japanese meal complete with his favorites like miso soup, sushi…

…aaaaand Natto!” Kyohei’s natto topping a bowl of steamed white rice.

The FooDorama Challenge: Getting Slimed by Natto

I knew this day would come. The first time I have heard of natto, I said, “No way.” But then I decided to include it in my list only on one condition: If I come across a jdorama that mentions natto, THAT will be my NEXT FooDorama Challenge… And so here we are…

Since it is difficult to make natto, I bought it from a Korean grocery near my place of work.  I honestly only wanted to buy just one but each item came with 4 packs for Php100. So, fine, I bought it anyway.

Each pack comes with small sachets of mustard and some kind of mild sweet soy sauce. Hmm, the smell wasn’t that bad. I mean, I wasn’t put off by it.  I stirred it up with the condiments, slightly fascinated with its cobweb-like slime…

…But I found out that the more I stir it up, the more it started to look like, um, like it was drenched in some slimy doggy drool which was pretty bad for a first-timer like me.  x-P Before I got too grossed out,  I ate it all up with chopped onion springs and rice:

My verdict? Let’s just say if you could get over the first hurdle, you’ll be fine. I was over-analyzing the taste and smell the first time I had it that I did not enjoy it much. It WAS bland and slightly bitter.  But the next time I tried it, I was more relaxed and the more I got used to it.  It also tasted well with mayo.

Since this was not much of a challenge (meaning, I did not get to cook or prepare anything at all), I decided to try out natto recipes I got from the internet:

Apple Natto: mixed with mustard, soy sauce, mayo and aonori and use apple slices to scoop it up. It was ok but I think green apples would be better than red.

Avocado Natto Dip: mixed with avocado, mustard, and soy sauce along with nori flakes.  For me, I find this better than apple natto. Nacho chips go well with it though it could overpower the taste of natto (if you could detect any taste, that is).

So. My natto challenge is done. Whew! Was it nasty as I initially thought it would be? Not really. It was surprisingly underwhelming though. Let’s say, I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. And even though I am acquiring the taste for it – I’m in no hurry to buy another pack anytime soon. 🙂

Next on FooDorama Challenge:
FDC#6 – Samgyeopsal (Movie Inspiration: Sikgaek or Le Grande Chef)
Previous FooDorama Challenges:
FDC#4: Okonomiyaki (Jdorama Inspiration: Hana Kimi)
FDC #3: Shiruko (Jdorama Inspiration: Saigo no Yakosoku)
FDC #2: Takoyaki (Jdorama Inspiration: Gokusen)


Natto info source: wikipedia
Jdorama info source: dramawiki
Natto recipes source: gaia21