Marukin Ramen Updated Menu

I’ve written about Marukin Ramen before when they first soft opened their SE Ankeny location and talked you through the difference between their ramen offerings. Since then, they have opened their second location at Pine Street Market, they’ve increased the amount of noodles to upside the hearty fullness of their bowls, as the kitchen has gotten more efficient and accurate they now offer more to choose from! Here’s a look at what’s new at Marukin Ramen.
Marukin Ramen Updated Menu Marukin vegan mapo tofu over rice, and the only once a week, 30 bowls limited edition Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi Marukin Ramen Special Ramen, available only once a week at each location and limited to about 30 bowls because of the amount of work required to create it! Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi  Marukin Ramen Updated Menu addition of vegan mapo tofu over rice

As before, Marukin overall offers 10 kinds of ramen total (get my photos and description of them here), with the Tonkotsu Shoyu and Tonkatsu Red always being available and the other 8 rotating every other day so that 4 are available on a Sun Wed Fri schedule and the other 4 available the other days. Note this important trick: really all 10 ramens are always available – the every other day rotation is reverse at the other location, so if you really want a certain ramen besides the Tonkotsu just look up which location has it that day, the SE Ankeny or the Pine Street Market.
Marukin Ramen Paitan Shio with rich chicken broth, sea salt and toppings of spinach, bamboo shoots, kikurage mushrooms leeks, green onion, chashu pork, soft boiled egg Marukin Ramen Tonkotsu Red Ramen with spicy pork bone broth, shoyu with toppings of spinach, kikurage, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, leeks, green onion, chashu pork, soft boiled egg

New Scoop! Breaking News! Marukin Ramen is going to start offering a Secret Special Ramen, available only once a week at each location and limited to about 30 bowls because of the amount of work required to create it! Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi. The ramen will only be announced when it’s available on their social media, so if you don’t follow Marukin Ramen @marukinramen on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook do so now to be in the know.
Marukin Ramen Special Ramen, available only once a week at each location and limited to about 30 bowls because of the amount of work required to create it! Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi Marukin Ramen Special Ramen, available only once a week at each location and limited to about 30 bowls because of the amount of work required to create it! Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi
Their ramen is not available to go since they want to make sure the texture of the noodles and temperature of the broth are perfect – but you can get their newly added donburi, or rice bowls, to eat their or to go at home or at your work desk as applicable. Newly added are a delicious pan fried Jorinji miso pork over rice utilizing local pork and local miso. Though this is the menu now, they may decide to rotate this when the weather warms up – so get over there to get this dish now.
Marukin Ramen Updated Manu includes a new pan fried Jorinji miso pork over rice dish utilizing local pork and local miso Marukin Ramen Updated Manu includes a new pan fried Jorinji miso pork over rice dish utilizing local pork and local miso

Also perfect right now for warming you up is a hearty pork curry with rice dish and a vegan mapo tofu over rice. The pork curry is also available in a small size during their happy hour.
"Marukin Marukin Ramen Updated Menu addition of vegan mapo tofu over rice

Meanwhile in the sides section, they’ve changed out the aioli that used to accompany the chicken karaage  (Japanese style fried chicken) with a Japanese style tartar sauce.
Marukin Ramen Updated Menu, Marukin Ramen changed out the aioli that used to accompany the chicken karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) with a Japanese style tartar sauce, dish of light shredded daikon salad with ume plum vinaigrette and nukazuke, or Japanese pickled vegetables "Marukin

In addition there is now a shrimp version of the dish, ebi karaage, a deep fried tiger shrimp karaage with Japanese style tartar sauce.
Marukin Ramen Updated Menu, Ebi Karaage, a deep fried tiger shrimp karaage with Japanese style tartar sauce.

Additionally, for the gyoza, or pot stickers, that had a pork filling, there is also an option now for another kind of gyoza with pork and shrimp filling.
Marukin Ramen Gyoza, pork filled potsticker dumplings "Marukin

A light shredded daikon salad with ume plum vinaigrette and a salmon nanbanzuke, a dish of marinated salmon and pickled vegetables, are also new. Both of these latter dishes are also available on their happy hour menu 3 – 6 PM.
Marukin Ramen side (also available at happy hour) of light shredded daikon salad with ume plum vinaigrette and nukazuke, or Japanese pickled vegetables Marukin Ramen side (also available at happy hour) of light shredded daikon salad with ume plum vinaigrette Marukin Ramen side (also available at happy hour) of salmon nanbanzuke, a dish of marinated salmon and pickled vegetables and nukazuke, or Japanese pickled vegetables Marukin Ramen side (also available at happy hour) of salmon nanbanzuke, a dish of marinated salmon and pickled vegetables

Have you been to Marukin Ramen yet? What did you enjoy?
Marukin Ramen meal Marukin Ramen meal

Do any of these updates to the menu intrigue you, what would you try?
Marukin Ramen Updated Menu Marukin vegan mapo tofu over rice, and the only once a week, 30 bowls limited edition Ebi Ramen, a Rich Tiger Shrimp and chicken based broth with sea salt topped with tiger shrimp, bok choy, mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negi

Marukin Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Marukin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Signature

Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku

I’ve written about Nodoguro multiple times, so instead of repeating myself explaining Nodoguro I’m going to just jump straight to the recap of the courses on my visit for the Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku themed dinner.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku place setting Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku place setting

If you haven’t heard of Princess Mononoke before, this year is the 20th anniversary of the release of this Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki film (Totoro, Spirited Away, so much more). The movie is a bit more scary then the others as it has more violence and frightening images as part of its story of the conflict between human progress (represented by Irontown, a town of outcasts and oppressed minorities led by a woman, representing breaking out of traditions) vs San (a girl raised by wolves and representing nature and its ancient spirits, so the princess of spirits of the title as mononoke means monster/spirit). It’s a great movie that shows the good and bad that exist for both sides in the conflict of new and old ways.

The theme was present in the Nodoguro atmosphere in an understated way with a painting of the mask of Princess Mononoke (created by Elena’s father), a little bit of white fur as a nod to Princess Mononoke’s wolf mother, and the little white figures of Kodama, the tree spirits of a healthy forest (crafted by Elena and her daughter) in a terrarium and on the counters.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku decor  Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku decor

I can totally imagine one day in the future a whole room that is a gallery of the various art Elena’s father creates for the theme each time and a copy of all the menus and the little centerpieces and photos of setups from the tables. Of course there should be a coffee table book to go along with the exhibit.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku dinner place setting Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku place setting Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku decor Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku decor

First: Ohitashi

Ohitashi is basically a boiled green salad. Ryan’s version here is with mustard greens splashed with ginger dashi, poached eggplant, and wonderful slices of cod smoked over cherry wood. It sounds simple but the flavors were bold and great individually or in combination together. Ryan always has a great way of cooking eggplant that makes it so meaty,, and the smoke and wood always comes through clearly in anything he smokes. The smokiness here reminded me of how in the Princess Mononoke movie in Irontown there is a lot of smoke as part of their iron forging.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku: Ohitashi is basically a boiled green salad. Ryan's version here is with mustard greens splashed with ginger dashi, poached eggplant, and wonderful slices of cod smoked over cherry wood. It sounds simple but the flavors were bold and great individually or in combination together. Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku: Ohitashi is basically a boiled green salad. Ryan's version here is with mustard greens splashed with ginger dashi, poached eggplant, and wonderful slices of cod smoked over cherry wood. It sounds simple but the flavors were bold and great individually or in combination together.

Second: Squash Soup

Acorn squash soup and mushroom with young Kyoto saikyo miso, Japanese turnip greens. I really enjoyed how this soup was comforting without being heavy and is definitely tasty, unlike the soup in the movie that one character accuses a villager asking whether it is soup or water.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Second Course: Acorn squash soup and mushroom with young Kyoto saikyo miso, Japanese turnip greens Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Second Course: Acorn squash soup and mushroom with young Kyoto saikyo miso, Japanese turnip greens Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Second Course: Acorn squash soup and mushroom with young Kyoto saikyo miso, Japanese turnip greens Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Second Course: Acorn squash soup and mushroom with young Kyoto saikyo miso, Japanese turnip greens

Third: Sashimi

Yellowtail, ume (sort of like a Japanese apricot or plum) and shiso. An interesting tidbit I learned from Elena was she described the Yellowtail here as “teenage”, and apparently depending on the age of the yellowtail, there are different names for the fish, varying from the younger hamachi to older buri. December – March is peak season for Yellowtail.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Third Course: Yellowtail, ume, and shiso

Four: Daikon with yuzu

Daikon cooked in rice water with Canadian Prawn and fermented yuzu skin and Japanese Parsley. Ryan explained that while on a recent trip to Japan with Elena he read in a bookstore how in ancient cooking the Japanese used to cook leftover Daikon in rice water. So he tried it side by side his regular method and rice water and now this is his new old way of cooking it and is the best daikon I’ve ever had.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Fourth Course: Daikon cooked in rice water with Canadian Prawn and fermented yuzu skin and Japanese Parsley Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Fourth Course: Daikon cooked in rice water with Canadian Prawn and fermented yuzu skin and Japanese Parsley

Five: Grilled Mackerel

Grilled salt cured Mackerel, lightly toasted soy sauce, ginger blossom. I would find this satisfying just on top of plain rice for a meal.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course Five: Grilled salt cured Mackerel, lightly toasted soy sauce, ginger blossom

Six: Porridge

Japanese barley made into a Porridge with 7 year aged Miso, grilled leek, and toasted walnut. It may not be the most beautiful dish of the night, but this was my favorite in terms of flavors and textures and was something I wish I could eat everyday. This is the dish most literally lifted from the Princess Mononoke film, as there is a scene where a character makes porridge for the hero
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course Six: Japanese barley made into a Porridge with 7 year aged Miso, grilled leek, and toasted walnut.

Seven: Egg and Sunchoke Salad

Egg custard, sunchoke chips, bit of a waasabi and topped with ikura and pea shoots. My other favorite in terms of flavors and textures with the creamy chawanamushi style egg and crispy sunchoke chips and the grassiness of the pea shoots and surprise bursts of the ikura fish eggs.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course Seven: Egg and Sunchoke Salad

Eight: Nikujaga

Nikujaga, usually a traditional homemade beef and potato stew, here reinterpreted by Ryan with with egg yolk, beef tongue, and grilled onion
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 8: Nikujaga, usually a traditional homemade beef potato stew, here reinterpreted by Ryan with with egg yolk, beef tongue, and grilled onion Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 8: Nikujaga, usually a traditional homemade beef potato stew, here reinterpreted by Ryan with with egg yolk, beef tongue, and grilled onion

Nine: Salad

Shiitake, turnip, and seaweed with carrots salad, a nice acidic palate cleansing sunomono served in this cool bowl that I hope to see with uni in it one day
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 9: Shiitake, turnip, and seaweed salad Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 9: Shiitake, turnip, and seaweed salad

Ten: Rice for Gold

Rice for Gold dish is a nod to a scene in the movie where the hero Ashitaka is traveling and tries to buy rice with a gold nugget, but the villager doesn’t recognize the gold as money and causes Ashitaka to be introduced to another major character in the movie. Here, this rice really does seem luxe and worth gold, it is topped with a healthy portion of locally harvested Dungeness Crab, Wasabi, and Mitsuba. The crab you tasted was fresh, there was a a nice hint of sea and delicate softness and highlighted sweetness from the rice. Ryan has a magic way with rice.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 10, Rice for Gold dish, with locally harvested Dungeness Crab, Wasabi, Mitsuba

Eleven: Miso Soup

Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 11: Miso Soup

Twelve: Tamago

Dashimaki tamago. How does Ryan even get simple egg to be so much better than tamago anywhere else in the US is mysterious… This sweet egg, here a bit milder with dashi, is always the transition to dessert and makes me a little sad to see dinner already coming to an end.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 12: Dashimaki tamago Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Course 12: Dashimaki tamago

Thirteen: Dessert

Dark forest chocolate – chocolate custard with a sour cherry sauce, chocolate sugar with mint to set the scene to symbolize the return of the growth of nature to land, Served with hand roasted from leaves hojicha tea.
Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku Dessert course of Dark forest chocolate - chocolate custard with a sour cherry sauce, chocolate sugar with mint served with hand roasted hojicha tea

Every time I dine here I think how lucky I am to be able to enjoy this in my current hometown (Love you Portland!!!) and how there’s nothing else like it that I’ve experienced in the world. Even though I’ve gone to Nodoguro many times it’s always wonderful in a new way that will keep me coming back.

The tickets always sell out fast, and the best advice is to be on their mailing list for one day notice before they sell the reservations online (always on a Thursday) and follow them on social media to stay in the loop as well. Sometimes they have cancellations and you will see Nodoguro post they have an opening, so even if they are sold out for the next month, you may still have a chance to get in.

Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku the team of Ryan and Elena during dinner service Nodoguro Ryan Roadhouse preparing the sashimi course

The Sousaku themes change about every 90 days – the next one is themed around Yayoi Kusama, who you may recognize from her trademark use of polka dots in her art as her way to make you as a viewer feel infinity (are they atoms? Are they stars? How incredible is it that she make simple dots deconstruct space and especially in her later works, you the viewer). She is also known as “The Polka Dot Princess” and her exhibit Infinity Mirrors is coming to Seattle Art Museum this summer (June 30–September 10, 2017).

Previously (going backwards in time) before this Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku dinner…

Have you been to Nodoguro, what did you think? What did you think of this Nodoguro Princess Mononoke Sousaku theme, what theme would you like to see Nodoguro do for a future dinner?

Signature

Superbite Happy Hour

Have you heard that Superbite recently announced they will offer a happy hour a couple weeks ago? I was able to visit it and with friends try every item on the menu. Having so loved the Metrovino burger (which is when I first experienced the awesomeness of the Dentons) I practically ran there days after the announcement even though it was during our Snowpacalypse with multiple inches of snow. It being mid-January and their happy hour being from 5 – 6 PM daily in the bar area it’s already dark, and I am definitely invested in returning when I can get in some better lighting. But, here’s a first look anyway.
Exterior of Superbite Exterior of Superbite

The happy hour drinks include a red or white wine selection, $3 Rainier or $1 off other drafts, and a cocktail called Arts & Leisure that is refreshing with vodka, lemon, bonal, aperol and prosecco.
Superbite happy hour cocktail of Arts & Leisure that is refreshing with vodka, lemon, bonal, aperol and prosecco.

The happy hour is a huge bargain, offering $2 “bites” and $5–10 “plates”. The bites are really for an individual, not shareable since they are literally only 1-2 bites that include options like

  • Salmon Crudo bite with hibiscus ponzu, pickled jalapeno, and shiso
    Superbite Happy Hour item of Salmon Crudo bite with hibiscus ponzu, pickled jalapeno, and shiso
  • Dungeness Crab with celery root tortilla, sesame mayo, citrus, and tobiko
    Superbite Happy Hour item of Dungeness Crab with celery root tortilla, sesame mayo, citrus, and tobiko
  • Grilled Shitake with miso porcini marshmallow and sauternes glaze. That miso porcini marshmellow is really fun in terms of the texture but savory instead of sweet flavor.
    Superbite Happy Hour item of Grilled Shitake with miso porcini marshmallow and sauternes glaze
  • Beef Tongue Spam Musubi with cucumber and chinese hot mustard – I really liked the addition of the chinese hot mustard for a little extra heat on the usual musubi flavors made mini here.
    Superbite Happy Hour item of Beef Tongue Spam Musubi with cucumber and chinese hot mustard
  • Duck Croquet a L’Orange with crispy duck rillette and tangerine aioli is the biggest of the bites, you might be able to in theory share this one with a really close dining companion since it borders 3-4 small bites out of this “bite”.
    Superbite Happy Hour item of Duck Croquet a L'Orange with crispy duck rillette and tangerine aioli

The plates are significant enough to definitely be a filling entree, with the exception of the smaller side order of fries ($2), Little T Baker’s Baguette with irish butter and sea salt ($3), and the Nashville Hot Fried Cauliflower plate ($5) which are more snack size. I definitely recommend the Nashville Hot Fried Cauliflower plate with cucumber ranch, grandma agnes pickles because it is huge with flavor and nice heat – it will make anyone a cauliflower lover.
Superbite Happy Hour item of Nashville Hot Fried Cauliflower plate with cucumber ranch, grandma agnes pickles

But you do have the options of three main plates, including what I think is one of the new top 3 best burgers in Portland, the Superbite $10 happy hour double stack cheeseburger with grilled ground beef and mushrooms, cheddar and fontina cheeses on the two patties, and garnished with fancy sauce remiscent almost of a Big Mac, and also dill pickle, onion, and sesame seed bun. Now you know why there’s an additional dish for $3 of side of fries to make this a meal for $13.
Superbite Happy Hour item Double Stack Cheeseburger with grilled ground beef and shitake, cheddar and fontina cheeses on the two patties, fancy sauce, dill pickle, onion, sesame seed bun Superbite Happy Hour item Double Stack Cheeseburger with grilled ground beef and shitake, cheddar and fontina cheeses on the two patties, fancy sauce, dill pickle, onion, sesame seed bun

Of the two other dishes (both $15), the Pork Shoulder Confit plate with hazelnut chimichurri, grilled escarole, maitake, and potato puree seems more like a whole meal since it includes meat as well as vegetables and potato, but I was more in love with the flavors of the BBQ Beef Shortrib plate with baby gem lettuce salad with blue cheese and radish, even though I think you will want to add some bites or the Nashville cauliflower onto the plate.
Superbite Happy Hour item of Pork Shoulder Confit plate with hazelnut chimichurri, grilled escarole, maitake, and potato puree Superbite Happy Hour item of BBQ Beef Shortrib plate with baby gem lettuce salad with blue cheese and radish

Which of these items do you think you would order at Superbite Happy Hour? Where is your favorite place to get a cheeseburger, whether it be happy hour or not?
Superbite Happy Hour item Double Stack Cheeseburger with grilled ground beef and shitake, cheddar and fontina cheeses on the two patties, fancy sauce, dill pickle, onion, sesame seed bun

Signature

Imperial Session Beer Dinner Recap

Last year, I highlighted a new beer dinner pop up series called Imperial Session. Now here’s a look at my Imperial Session Beer Dinner Recap from that September 18 event. They offered both an omnivore and vegetarian version (vegetarian must have given prior notice so they can prepare accordingly) and each of the five courses was paired with a full pour of a beer.
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. 2 of the 5 beers are unavailable in Oregon, 2 are vintages which are no longer available, and 1 is a small batch brewery only release

What is unique about this beer pairing pop up are that Ryan and Spencer can choose whatever food style or beer they want for each course, since they are not representing any particular restaurant or brewery. For this dinner for instance, 2 of the 5 beers were unavailable in Oregon, 2 beers were vintages which are no longer available, and 1 was a small batch brewery only release.
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Pop up proprietors Ryan and Spencer can choose whatever food style or beer they want for each course, since they are not representing any particular restaurant or brewery. Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Pop up proprietors Ryan and Spencer can choose whatever food style or beer they want for each course, since they are not representing any particular restaurant or brewery.

The next date for Imperial Session Beer Dinner 2.0 is for Sunday, February 12, 2017, located at the Makeshift Room at Shift Drinks from 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM. You can make your reservation via this EventBrite link now. The menu is listed in terms of food and beer, and this time there is a focus on the New England region as a beer theme  with six beers from Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine. Stay updated on their Facebook event which also liststtheury food and beer plan of record. The $60 ticket price includes food, pairings, and gratuity.

Special thanks to F for the photos that I’m sharing here – I did not attend as I was still full from attending Feast and the Go Get You Some Picnic event I shared earlier, and I had an early work flight the next morning. However, F and I will both be attending this next one!

Course One

Grilled corn, Kewpie mayo, sesame cracklin, togarashi
Paired with Trillium Fort Point (a hopped American Pale Wheat Ale from Massachusetts)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Course 1 with Grilled corn, Kewpie mayo, sesame cracklin, togarashi paired with Trillium Fort Point (a hopped American Pale Wheat Ale from Massachusetts)

Course Two

Radish and turnip salad, caramel egg dressing, carbonated citruses
Paired with Breakside Carte Blanche (American Wild Ale with Brett, gin and hops)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Course 2 Radish and turnip salad, caramel egg dressing, carbonated citruses paired with Breakside Carte Blanche (American Wild Ale with Brett, gin and hops)

Course Three

Lamb pierogies (or with mushroom if you opt for vegetarian version as shown here), mint chimichurri sour cream, beet harissa
Paired with De Garde/Heater Allen Doppelbock (Eichenbock, an oak barrel-aged Doppelbock)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Cousre 3 Lamb or Mushroom pierogies, mint chimichurri sour cream, beet harissa paired with De Garde/Heater Allen Doppelbock (Eichenbock, an oak barrel-aged Doppelbock)

Course Four

Sai oua sausage, fingerling potatoes, charred green onions, mushroom demi-glace (minus the sausage for the vegetarian version)
Paired with Holy Mountain The Goat (Saison / Farmhouse style ale from Washington)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Course 3 Sai oua sausage, fingerling potatoes, charred green onions, mushroom demi-glace paired with Holy Mountain The Goat (Saison / Farmhouse style ale from Washington)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Course 3 Sai oua sausage, fingerling potatoes, charred green onions, mushroom demi-glace paired with Holy Mountain The Goat (Saison / Farmhouse style ale from Washington)

Course Five

Ancient Heritage Sheep’s Milk Cheese with Chocolate Ganache and Red Sorrel
Paired with Block 15 2015 Kriek (Kriek is a cherry sour /wild ale style)
Imperial Session Beer Dinner from September 2016, 5 courses with each course paired with a beer. Dessert course 5 of Ancient Heritage Sheep's Milk Cheese with Chocolate Ganache and Red Sorrel paired with Block 15 2015 Kriek (Kriek is a cherry sour /wild ale style)

What do you think of the beautiful food shown here, have you attended a beer pairing dinner before? What about the next theme of New England, if you could choose a theme for a beer pairing what would you like to see?

 

Pairings for the upcoming New England beer dinner:

  1. Course One: Washed Rind Cheese, Baguette, Honey with Allagash Coolship Resurgam
  2. Course Two: Shaved Brussels, Bearnaise, Lardo, Crostini with Von Trapp Helles
  3. Course Three: Squid Ink Tagliatelle, Chanterelle Conserva, Roasted Winter Squash with Hill Farmstead Dorothy
  4. Course Four: Duck Roulade, Curry Sauce, Pear Agrodolce with Trillium Oat Porter
  5. Course Five: Old Tom Frosting, Red Velvet Cake with Maine Beer Co Mean Old Tom
Signature

Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner

Once a month, Jane Hashimawari pops up as Ippai PDX at Milk Glass Market offering Japanese home style cooking like from her mom. Her simple but comforting meals vary by the monthly theme and season and really do seem like what would be on the table at a regular family dinner if you were doing a homestay. Recently, I attended the Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner, which featured some dishes of traditional Japanese New Year’s Food to give 2017 (or any new year) an auspicious start.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner with Jane Hashimawari

To attend a dinner, follow her on her mailing list and her social media like Facebook or Instagram to hear the announcement of the next pop up date and theme. You will need to pre-purchase the dinner online, and the cost will include food and gratuity. Additional beverages to add to your meal (beer, wine, coffee/tea, non-alcoholic options like kombucha etc.) are available at the location for additional cost. Often she will have additional items you may choose to purchase to take home, varying from onigiri pins or to her homemade pickles or furikake seasoning or for this dinner, fresh mochi.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner, additional beverages to add to your meal (beer, wine, coffee/tea, non-alcoholic options like kombucha etc.) are available at the location for additional cost. Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner with Jane Hashimawari, you could purchase fresh mochi to take home

The atmosphere at the pop up feels intimate as the space itself is a cozy neighborhood cafe.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner popping up at Milk Glass Market Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner popping up at Milk Glass Market Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner popping up at Milk Glass Market Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner popping up at Milk Glass Market

For this New Year’s dinner, most of the foods were convienently just served at room temperature so Ippai was able to offer two seatings, one at 6 PM and one at 8 PM. Here are the dishes and some of their New Year’s significance.

Assortment Plate

Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Assortment Plate with Namasu: Lightly pickled daikon and carrot salad; Kiuri Kinton: Japanese mashed sweet potato ball with candied chestnut in the middle; Ebi no Umami: Sake and soy steamed shrimp; and Konbu Maki: Kelp wrapped salmon simmered in dashi and soy Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Assortment Plate with Namasu: Lightly pickled daikon and carrot salad; Kiuri Kinton: Japanese mashed sweet potato ball with candied chestnut in the middle; Ebi no Umami: Sake and soy steamed shrimp; and Konbu Maki: Kelp wrapped salmon simmered in dashi and soy

  • Namasu: Lightly pickled daikon and carrot salad. The Japanese flag is red and white, but this “red and white” salad seems to accept that orange is close enough, and signifies happiness, good luck, and celebration.
  • Ebi no Umami: Sake and soy steamed shrimp. The way the shrimp are slightly bent over is representative of an old person who is hunched over, so it likens it to living to old age aka a wish for long life.With its orange shell over the white shrimp flesh for the celebratory color.
  • Konbu Maki: Kelp wrapped salmon simmered in dashi and soy. Jane laughed a little at now understanding why her mom preferred to purchase this rather then make it as tying those little bows was more work than anticipated. The way the konbu (seaweed) covers the salmon and the kanpyo is tied makes it look a pouch, like n envelope given as gifts at New Year’s. The name of these little packages itself is a play on words that sounds like Yorukonbu which almost sounds like yorukubu which means happy.
  • Boiled Egg with Salmon Roe. The egg with fish egg on it is a symbol of fertility. And more orange and white!
  • Kamaboko Fish Cake. This is the pink and white item in the corner. This represents the first sunrise of the new year. As you might expect from a country that has a rising sun on it, this is significant. Many people get up early (or just stay up) to be able to see the first sunrise in order to pray for well being and health for the new year.
  • Kiuri Kinton: Japanese mashed sweet potato ball with candied chestnut in the middle is a symbol of gold wealth
  • Salmon Sushi: More celebratory orange and white in the middle

Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Assortment Plate with Namasu: Lightly pickled daikon and carrot salad; Kiuri Kinton: Japanese mashed sweet potato ball with candied chestnut in the middle; Ebi no Umami: Sake and soy steamed shrimp; and Konbu Maki: Kelp wrapped salmon simmered in dashi and soy

Kuromame

Jane’s Grandma’s slow-simmered sweet and savory extra black soybeans representing strength, fortitude and hard working.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner serving of Koromame, Jane's Grandma's slow-simmered sweet and savory extra black soybeans

Ozoni Soup

A clear based light and delicate soup with fresh mochi ball (slightly sweet short grain Japanese rice is strained, steamed, and pounded into a paste to make the rice cake, or mochi) that was baked and added. The mochi has a texture like a chewy big dumpling.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Ozoni Soup, a light and delicate soup with fresh mochi mall that was baked and added

Mochi seems like a big deal during New Year’s – when we were there in Japan for New Year’s 2 years ago, we saw many demonstrations with children or mascots or men and women dressed in traditional garments pounding mochi. I think its stretchy chewy texture is supposed to have meanings about long life and good health.
mochi pounding from my trip to Japan around New Year's
A view of some mochi pounding from my trip to Japan around New Year’s

Onishimi

A bowl of slow stewed vegetables with lotus root, burdock root, carrot, snap peas, and konnyaku “noodles”. Konnyaku is a yam with a weird thick jello like consistency combined with gummy firmness, and it is the purplish with black specked item you see in the first photo below. Gobo, or the burdock root, symbolizes deep roots. Meanwhile the lotus root with the holes that symbolize looking through a hole to see the future.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Onishimi, A bowl of slow stewed vegetables with lotus root, carrot and konnyaku Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner Onishimi, A bowl of slow stewed vegetables with lotus root, carrot and konnyaku

Orange

We ended on a typical Asian auspicious symbol for celebration of life and abundance:: an orange.
Ippai PDX Osechi Dinner with Jane Hashimawari, We ended on a typical Asian auspicious symbol for celebration and abundance:: an orange.

If all this talk of Japanese New Year piqued your interest, next week is the start of Chinese New Year and I’ve shared before some auspicious symbolic food to eat during Chinese New Year. In addition on Sunday January 29 at 11 AM – 4 PM at Portland State University is Mochitsuku! At the Smith Memorial Student Union (1825 SW Broadway) there will be mochi samples, food vendors, stage performances (11:30-3:30), and hands-on activities for all ages. Some of the activities will include

  • Families can dress in traditional Japanese attire for photos.
  • Experience hands-on cultural demonstrations including calligraphy with Sekko-Kai Calligraphy School, kabuto origami, ikebana (traditional flower arranging) demonstrations with WILD Chiharu’s Flowers, fukuwarai (Japanese New Year’s game) with The International School of Portland, tea ceremony with Nikkei Fujinkai, New Year’s card making with the Portland Japan Girls, and learning to play go (Japanese chess) with the Portland Go Club.
  • Mochitsuki will host performances by The Slants, the world’s first all-Asian American dance rock band, founded right here in Portland.
  • Experience traditional Japanese drumming and musical guests: Portland Taiko, Utsuki-Kai, Takohachi Taiko, Oregon Koto Kai, Dance Leo and the International School Chorus.
  • Enjoy food with rich cultural significance. There will be mochi pounding demonstrations with Utsuki-Kai throughout the day, free mochi samples by Konko Church, and children’s bento cooking classes with Daizu Kitchen. Indulge in appetizing Japanese fare (including Japanese curry favorite Kalé and I’m excited for the baked goods of Oyatsupan Bakers coming in from Beaverton). Plus, take advantage of the opportunity to purchase these foods to enjoy at home!


Find out more at their website. I’ll be there after my gym around 11:30 AM or so! Admission is $10 for adults in advance ($12 at door) and $4 for ages 4-12 ($5 at door). They also have senior and student rates – note that seniors are ages 62 years and older. But, seniors 88 years and older are free and children 3 years and younger are free.

Are there certain New Year’s traditions you have with your upbringing or culture or that you do just because in your family?

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