The FooDorama Challenge: I Watch It, I Try It!
Jdorama Challenge: JIN
JIN is an 11 episode sci-fi/medical drama shown from Oct. to Dec. of 2009 on TBS. The story centers around a brain surgeon, Dr. Minakata Jin, who got mysteriously transported back in time – around 1860’s or a few years prior to Japan’s historic period, the Meiji Restoration. The doctor in his quest to find a way to go back to his own time had suddenly found himself involved and interacting with people of that era – both ordinary and prominent figures – thereby, inevitably altering the course of history – not just of Japan, but of the whole world as well. This drama bagged the top awards in the 63rd Japan Drama Academy Awards including best drama and best lead actor for Osawa Takao (as Jin).
JIN is an interesting drama that is definitely “edutaining” – (educational and entertaining). The viewer can learn about Japan’s history as well as a bit about science and medicine. Though i am no expert, I am sure the drama is not historically accurate. However, its absorbing story-line, the mysteries behind his time travel that have yet to be solved, and the consequences and morality of his actions are thought-provoking and can surely hook a viewer like me til the end. I am sure there will be a second season… and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next!
Jdorama Food: Agedashi Tofu
Agedashi tofu (also known as agedashidofu or age tofu) is basically deep-fried tofu served with a dipping sauce called tentsuyu (made of mirin, dashi, and soy sauce). It is eaten as a side dish or appetizer.
FooDorama Connection: In Episode 10, before leaving the Tachibana family (who had “adopted” him ever since he got transported back into the past), Dr. Minakata (Osawa) receives a bento box from Tachibana Miki (played by Ayase Haruka) as she bids him farewell.
In this drama: I learned that prior to the Meiji Restoration (pre-1868), the Japanese were forbidden to eat meat from four-legged animals due to their strict Buddhist beliefs. Therefore, Dr. Minakata had been eating a lot of vegetarian meals (which he considers plain side dishes in his own time) that were always prepared by Miki. Above shows Jin looking at the last bento food she prepared for him and realizes he’s going to miss her cooking especially her deep-fried tofu.
Jin’s favorite: agedashi tofu in tentsuyu sauce – “unusually” served in a bento box by Miki.
The FooDorama Challenge: Making Agedashi Tofu
A typical middle class Pinoy family meal do not include side dishes much – especially if one is on a budget or too busy to cook extra dishes. A meal of around one or two ulam (main dish) and rice is our everyday fare along with condiments and fruits. When we do serve a side dish – it’s most probably something simple and store-bought than home-made (to save time) like atsara or achara (pickled papaya strips) and salted red duck eggs.
Well, this side dish is a centuries-old recipe in Japan. Tofu does not really have much taste so I assumed that the dipping sauce is the one that’s important.
What you need: silken tofu, corn starch, granulated dashi, mirin and soy sauce.
Cut the tofu into smaller cubes and coat each one with corn starch: this was a bit tricky since the tofu was too delicate and breaks up easily while doing so.
Frying them all up in vegetable oil.
Agedashi Tofu for FDC#10 is done: garnished with chopped spring onions and katsuboshi flakes and dipped in tentsuyu sauce (boil the following: 2/3 cup water, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 tablespoon mirin, 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated dashi).
Crispy fried and up close: Many Pinoys may find it a bit too mild-tasting even with the dipping sauce (we would more likely modify it by using more soy sauce, and add garlic and/or pepper to jazz it up). And there are still too many steps to make it just for a simple side dish (if we get to deep-fry anything – then it should be something for a main dish). But other than that, it was ok… I conclude that it would be something I would serve guests or order in a resto rather than be a part of an ordinary meal. (^_^) v
NEXT: For my 11th FooDorama Challenge, I’ll take a short break from Japanese dishes and go Korean once again so I could pay tribute to my most favorite Kdrama of all time! Heehee!My FooDorama Challenge Links: FDC#11: Bibimbap (Kdrama Inspiration: Full House) FDC#9: Sekihan (Jdorama Inspiration: Hotaru no Haka) FDC#8: Kareh Raisu (Jdorama Inspiration: Kaibutsu-kun)
Dish info source: wikipedia Recipe source: mamaloli Japan's meat history info source: luciesfarm Jdorama info source: dramawiki Jdorama photo credits: TBS