Hello to anyone dropping in by way of the second piece on my and my family's recent Indian odyssey in the travel section of the Sunday Times.
Thought I'd use this opportunity to shamelessly plug my forthcoming appearance at the Asia House Literary Festival next month.
Fresh from my even more forthcoming trip to Tokyo (next week - woo-hoo!) I’m going to be divulging some of the great secrets of Japanese cuisine, talking about the current trends there, and looking at the weird and wonderful techniques and ingredients.
Here’s the blurb:
Michael Booth - Sushi & Beyond What the Japanese Know About Cooking with Erica Wagner of The Times
Tuesday 18 May, 2010 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM Location: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish St, London W1G 7LP,
Asia House Festival of Asian Literature
The Japanese go to surprising lengths and expense to eat the finest, most delectable, and downright freakiest food imaginable. Their creativity and ingenuity, not to mention courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm, whale penis and octopus ice cream, is only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi-saturated West. In Sushi & Beyond, travel and food writer Michael Booth takes a fascinating and funny journey through this extraordinary, food obsessed country.
Tickets £10, Concessions £6 Asia House Friends £5
For booking please call 020 7307 5454
Online booking closes 24hrs before all events. Bookings are neither refundable nor transferable.
This is, simply, my favourite place on earth: Tsukiji, the largest sea food market in the world. It's been written about endlessly, of course (including in Sushi and Beyond, where I describe a visit with a top sushi chef), but I had a few photos that I thought I'd post from some of the visits I've made there recently.
It is, rightly, one of the main tourist sights of Tokyo but, for me, Tsukiji is more than that: it is one of the great wonders of the modern world - a testament to man's greed, ingenuity, magnificence, courage and downright, short-sighted stupidity. It is also, of course, a living, daily-updated catalogue of global sea life. Everything is here, from shrimps the size of eyelashes, to vast slabs of whale blubber.
There are plans to demolish it and move the market to a location further out in the bay so if you have the chance, go and see it sooner rather than later.
On the way in.
Something possibly not nice.
Sea squirts. Or hernias. Not sure.
Don't tell George Monbiot!
It's not what you think. Wait. What were you thinking?
Very expensive frozen food.
Elvers. Long way from Gracelands.
That's going to take some microwave.
Okay, gather round guys. This is the one that stole our sand.
Anyone feel a bit of a draught.
Monkfish livers. Or polar bear lips. Not sure.
A fascinating if gruesome technique for keeping fish fresh: the fishmonger half chops the fish's head off then sticks a piece of wire down its spine. They don't seem to mind.
Whale meat, get it while it's hot.
Fish eggs grown on seaweed. What will they think of next?
Scorpion fish. You'd look pissed off too if that damned fugu kept grabbing all the toxic seafood headlines.