World’s Wondrous Meals – Japan

Culture Food

In an attempt to create a new ongoing article template (rest in peace for now, pastappreciation), I’ve decided to recount the most amazing dish I’ve had the privilege to eat from all around the world. First stop, Japan!

Here is the most incredible dish I had during my time in Echigo Yuzawa! Echigo Yuzawa is a small town three hours north of Tokyo. It’s a truly stunning place with beautifully ragged mountains and lush forests full of towering trees. How the mountains and trees are relevant to food and drink I’m not exactly sure, but setting the scene is important! Here we go:

Tonkatsu (Fried Pork cutlet) – Echigo Yuzawa

When I tell you this was one of the top ten best meals of my life, I cannot think of any hyperbolic descriptive words to finish this sentence. Point is, this was insanely amazing. Echigo Yuzawa’s sushi rice is phenomenal, being sweet and light and fluffy, as well as being HUGE. We ordered four plates of tonkatsu, which comes with rice and shredded cabbage. The shredded cabbage with a lemony sauce was texture heaven, combining the crunchiness of the fresh cabbage with the liquidity of the tangy dressing, and could have honestly acted as a carbohydrate equivalent component of the meal.

“The shredded cabbage with a lemony sauce was texture heaven”

But the winning act was by far the pork. Juicy beyond reason, the cutlet sizes absolutely dwarf anything I could find in England. That first bite should have been photographed and put in my forever scrapbook; it was just so good. The batter was perfectly light yet flavoursome, and the meat spoke for itself. The tonkatsu sauce was unique to the restaurant, as each restaurant as their own unique recipe, and it complimented the pork wonderfully – I’m a big fan of combining opposite flavours and textures, and the lightness of the pork with the deep rich and tangy taste of the sauce was a match made in heaven, not Tinder.

Image credit – City Foodsters