So there I was mixing ground pork, not-so-finely chopped napa cabbage and green onions, several cloves of minced garlic, grated ginger, some sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper, and thinking this was all because of a manga.
I mentioned in a previous post that my favorite, not to mention late introduction to manga is the addictive series, Oishinbo. A long-running and best-selling manga series by Tetsu Kariya (story) and Akira Hanasaki (art), Oishinbo (“The Gourmet”) follows Tozai News journalist Yamaoka Shiro to create the “Ultimate Menu,” which as the book describes is “a model meal embodying the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine.” Yamaoka though, is neither the most ideal nor industrious employee, but his refined palate and impressive knowledge on food makes him the most ideal person for the “Ultimate Menu” job. Throw in his rival (his father) Kaibara Yuzan, his partner on the assignment (later on, his wife) Kurita Yuko, other Tozai News employees, chefs and gourmets and you have one appetizing story for a series.
If you love Japanese food, you would love this series. The A la Carte edition is also a good introduction to Oishinbo, which already has more than a hundred-plus volumes, as it is a compilation of “bite-sized chunks of story arranged by subject that add up to a full-course manga meal.” After I started with Izakaya: Pub Food volume, I was hooked. The way Tetsu Kariya describes a bowl of ramen, slices of sashimi, or even a simple grain of rice would have you craving for Japanese food. Which is what happened when I was reading the Ramen & Gyoza volume.
All the talk of gyoza (in the “A New Gyoza” story) had my mouth watering. And since it wasn’t such a complicated dish to make, I made a trip to the grocery yesterday and bought the necessary ingredients. Since Ramen & Gyoza didn’t have an actual recipe of any one of the gyoza included in the stories (there was a recipe for miso ramen, though), I checked on this recipe and this one from steamykitchen. The gyoza how-to and photos from droolfactor (found via FoodPress) are really lovely if you want some more inspiration. Especially since my photos below don’t do gyoza justice. Or you can also start reading Oishinbo for more Japanese food inspiration and cravings.