Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Stoner and the Nerd

On the surface, you'd think that Jamaica and Japan have nothing much in common beyond the stoner and the nerd forced to sit next to each other on the alphabet school bus. Reggae and J-Pop may not share listings on the latest Putamayo release, but the two came together wondefully at my coffee-come-dinner table last night.

First, with leftover steak in the fridge, I decided that I would make a gyuu-don. A simple stir-fry dish that can be found at many Japanese fast-food joints, this dish uses beef (that's the gyuu, or if it is in a Western dish, it's called....bee-fu...those Japanese have words for everything!), onion, garlic, ginger, and a green veg (bell pepper, spinach, or as with last night, kale) in a teriyaki-like sauce served over rice (the "served-over-rice" is the don). What makes this dish unique is adding in a beaten egg at the very end, which holds the moisture of the sauce and gives the dish a silkier texture. If using chicken instead of bee-fu, the dish is then called oyako-don, which roughly translates as "parent-and-child-served-over-rice;" a classic dish to represent the modern dysfunctional family if there ever was.

Now, what to drink? Yes, this site is in its essence "wine," but wine geeks like myself do like to have the occasional beer.  Looking around my shop, I decided that the perfect beer to match would be a bottle of Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer. Brewed by the famous rum distellery, this beer was unanimously voted by staff as our most favoured product of 2011. Super-spicy ginger is tempered by a sweet molasses-like flavour from rum, and although it clearly indicates "Alcoholic" on the label (you are what you drink, I suppose), it is just a mild 5%. In turn, this balance ties very well with the ginger and sugar notes of a standard teriyaki sauce and voila! The stoner and the nerd live happily every after.

What next? Jerk-spiced tempura? Escoveitched Sushi? Irie, sensei!

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