Before I left Toronto for the holiday break, I unfortunately had to say goodbye to my dear Japanese roommate who had been living with me for the past several months and is now going back to Japan. Thankfully, we sent him off with a nice farewell dinner, filled with some very tasty Asian and Japanese dishes. Here’s what we had:
This is sauteed bok choy, an easy dish I’ve blogged about before which is absolutely delicious. My roommate made this for everyone, and made it nice and spicy with the addition of some chili peppers. I really think this saute brings out the flavors of the bok choy perfectly.
This simple udon dish was my contribution to the night’s meal. It’s just cooked udon topped with nori seaweed strips and sesame seeds, served alongside a shiitake dashi broth for dipping. Despite its simplicity, this dish is authentically Japanese and packs a lot of flavor, and I was happy to see that it was a big hit all around.
Finally, there’s the other dish my roommate made, what I’m calling じゃがじゃが, or jagajaga. This was a vegetarianized version of the ever-popular Japanese dish 肉じゃが, or nikujaga, which literally means “meat (niku) and potatoes (jaga, short for jagaimo)” (you can read more about it here). To make this vegetarian, my roommate simply omitted the meat and added more potatoes, hence my name jagajaga. Get it?! Anyway, all punning aside, this dish was a great success, which was extra lovely for me since I hadn’t had nikujaga or anything like it since I left Japan and stopped eating meat over three years ago.
So overall, it was a satisfying meal, although bittersweet given its occasion. This blog post goes out to you, Katsu—I hope you keep enjoying life and cooking tasty dishes like these, wherever you are. You will be missed. Until we eat again! 一緒にまた食べる日まで！