Monday, February 25, 2013


Hello to all new readers and anyone who has been following this blog since its conception. Your time is much appreciated. First of all, I just want to mention my new Twitter account. Please check it out and follow me! I'll be posting a bunch of interesting tweets and pics from my last month here in Japan and upcoming trips to China and Thailand. So for all of you foodies who love Asian cuisine, I hope you'll tag along for the ride! Now that I'll have readers to enjoy the adventures with, I really want to challenge myself and expand my palette during my all of my new dining experiences. So once again, follow Opened Jar@10ThousandBites on Twitter. There's a link in the right sidebar.

Bite 4: As I promised before, I'd like to reveal a little bit more about myself and how it relates to my future endeavors as a culinary artist. I think it'll be easier if I work my way backwards. As you know, I've been teaching English in Japan for nearly two years now. You may be wondering how I wound up half way across the world. Long story, not so short, I decided to withdraw from a master's program at the University of Miami when I felt I no longer had a burning passion for what I was doing. I had been enrolled for less than a full semester. "What kind of program?" and "I should stop reading now because this dude's a quitter." are all things you're probably thinking. That's ok, I'll continue anyway. Before moving back down to Miami to pursue a master's in musicology, I studied orchestral performance at The Juilliard School in NYC. It was there that I received my bachelor's degree after four grueling years of sitting in the back of an orchestra, pumping out tectonic waves of godly sound from a Tuba. All exaggeration aside, the experience of going to such a prestigious performing arts school was absolutely unforgettable. How does this all relate to food? Well, I believe many artistic principles are completely transferable. The way a musician tries to blend sounds with the person sitting next to them in an orchestra is quite similar to the idea of flavor pairing. Or how about a complex rhythmical passage? Try thinking of someone manning a grill. In order to achieve the perfect state of tenderness for your meat, one must be able to calculate temperature, cook times and flip frequency, all while drinking beer, brushing on sauce, controlling a hazardous flame and having a semi-intellectual conversation (about half of that was serious.) Since I'm starting to rant, I'll 86 the music jargon and leave out the fluff about arts high school for now.

Bite 5: Now we can get down to business. I haven't posted any pics of my recent cooking due to a severe lack of anything that resembles a real kitchen in my apartment. No excuse, I know. But take a look and have mercy on my soul.

Notice how the electric burners are similar to an Easy-Bake oven in both size and wattage. Oh, wait! The baby pink Easy-Bake wins! Why? Because I don't even have a damn oven!

I was able to make due with a fridge this size in college, but it doesn't matter what's inside if there's nothing to cook with. At least the rice cooker is top notch!

On the bright side, I've been able to hone in on my sushi and sashimi skills.

Bite 6: Now that I've got you up to speed, I want to continue moving forward. As I mentioned before, I'll be finishing up here in Japan in a month. After that, I'll be heading over to China and Thailand for 3 weeks. I really want to take advantage of being around awesome food while I'm over there, so I've decided to do a "checklist challenge." I'm compiling a list of about 100-150 different dishes and delicacies that I feel I must try during my stay. Scorpion and genitalia are on the list, for all of you Bizarre Eats fans. As we get closer to my departure, I'll post the checklist. I'll then update you during my trip as I start checking things off. I promise, it'll be worth your reading time.

When I get back to the states and settle back into NYC, I'll gradually start introducing some of my culinary creations, classic dish attempts, reviews and all kinds of refreshing palate cleansers between those posts. So from here on forward, I humbly ask for your comments and creative criticism. Even though you can't taste these posts, creative thoughts are always valued. 

Next time on Ten Thousand Bites: The 30 day countdown to departure begins. Stay tuned for a top ten list of the Japanese budget-friendly meals and treats I've become a bit too familiar with during my time here! 

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