The Carnivore’s Conundrum: Japanese Cooking


(Photo by Kate Turner)

Konnichiwa! This week in the Carnivore’s Conundrum I tried my hand at Japanese cooking. Now, as a 6”2, white, I am not Japanese in the least, so cooking food that was not in my comfort zone was a challenge to say the least.

Japanese cooking is flavourful and for the most part, healthy. There is a great book to check out called Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama, which was the source I used as ideas, to cook most of my meals.

It discussed the benefits of traditional Japanese diets and how they have been bastardized by Western fast food.

Unfortunately, I cannot travel to Japan and eat accurate traditional Japanese food, but with a little Internet searching, some teriyaki sauce and a bag of bok choy, I could get pretty close.

The first thing to discuss when looking at this diet is tea. Green tea helps with digestion and is full of anti oxidants. It tastes great without any added sugar or milk and, as it contains very little caffeine it can be consumed right before bed, but after a meal is preferable.

Stir-fry is something I made a lot of this week, and is popular in Japan. Udon noodles or rice can be used and it is a perfect opportunity to get all of your vegetable servings.

At most grocery stores they sell mixed stir-fry veggies. They come in a bag and are easy to add to any sauce in a wok or frying pan to make a delicious stir-fry.

A Japanese diet also relies heavily on seafood. Fortunately, salmon, and other fish, are very good for you. Most fish contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Unfortunately, fish can be quite expensive, and hard to manage on a student budget. Shrimp is a good substitute; although it may be pricey at first, a bag of shrimp goes a long way.

Another major benefit of Japanese cooking is that, it is quite inexpensive. Noodles are cheap, and rice is even cheaper.

But, let’s just pause for a second and talk about Ramen noodles.

Yes, they are a staple of student life. Even I have stacks of Mr. Noodle on reserve, should my groceries not last. But Ramen noodles are incredibly bad for you. No matter how easy it is to make them, you have to avoid them.

There’s a small coating of wax that goes onto the noodles. Eventually when it gets into your system, that coating of wax builds up in your arteries and veins.

Not so tempted to boil a bottle of water and eat a package Mr. Noodles now? Didn’t think so.

Well, as they say, “another week another yen”. Next week I’ll be embodying TV’s Ron Swanson and embracing my inner manly man.

Maybe it’s this ‘moustache’ that’s crawling across my face, but I’m in the mood for some red meat.

See you next time for a special viewing of 700 Pounds starring Will Smith.

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