The Japanese have a term of the feeling of low energy and loss of appetite which comes during the stiflingly hot and humid summers (think, sauna) in the island country: natsubate. Since the term was coined around the eighth century, the Japanese have used food to prevent or beat natsubate in the form of cold and refreshing meals.
With this summer being especially hot here on the East Coast, although less humid, we’ve been craving cold dishes to stave off the heat. Below are three dishes we’ve been happy with recently. Recipes coming soon.
Cold Soba Noodles Topped with Uni, Nori and Scallions with a Soy-Mirin-Dashi Sauce
When my family first came to America, we landed (by plane, not boat) in Falls Church, VA with the rest of the East Coast Vietnamese population. I don’t remember much of my time in Virginia but I have pictures of us in front of all of the most notable monuments. I do recall being surrounded by Vietnamese people and some Christian Caucasians who tried desperately to save our souls. I played one of the three wise men in the Nativity play. Good times, good times.
Since New York had its annual Armory Show this weekend, we decided to get up off our lazy butts and do something cultural for a change. I found a $10 discount off of the hefty adult ticket price of $30 on their official Facebook page (score!), and enticed my more art-minded friends to join us.
We woke up on Saturday morning from a long and nauseous night of tossing and turning in bed after one too many drinks. In an attempt to make getting up early (and still drunk) bearable, we had decided to meet our friends at Totto Ramen for lunch prior to heading over to the pier for a day of art, art and more art.
Charles River at sunset
I used to hate Boston. I didn’t have a valid reason for my animosity towards the city since I had only been once with my parents and another time in college to visit some friends, but still, I had no love for it. When I moved to NYC, I had more reason to hate Boston. Boston is the home of the Red Sox and the New England Patriots; NYC is the home of their archrivals, the Yankees and the Giants. I’m not a sports fan, but I felt it was my duty as a New Yorker to hate those Boston teams too. I also prefer Manhattan clam chowder over New England clam chowder. A final reason why I disliked Boston is because they seem to have their own alphabet that doesn’t include the letter “R” (for example, “Mahk, pahk the cah.”). The point is, I had no logical reason to dislike Boston but that didn’t stop me from hatin’.
One of my favorite Vietnamese meals is bò 7 món, translated as seven courses of beef for non-Vietnamese speakers or “BEEEEEEEEEEF!!!” for beef lovers.