I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia (before the Asian invasion), raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (in and around San Mateo), spent a decade in Manhattan, LA with short stints in Seattle, Boston and D.C.
Raised by an absurdly fussy eating family, we dined through the peak of the food revolution in the U.S. and thanks to first generation Japanese parents, my brother and I were privy to annual trips to Japan in between. And now, I reside in Tokyo.
For a food lover, privileged eating history is an understatement. I am blessed. I have eaten some out-of-control-mind-blowing food and experienced things even I can not believe. Thank you, mom, dad and ex boyfriends / dates who have treated me to some incredible meals!
As much fancy meals I have eaten, I am still a massive fan of normal, even bigger fan of home cooked meals. In Tokyo, the bar for normal is high and even the dinky neighborhood joint has delicious dishes.
One starter I can not get enough of, is smoked edamame. Smoked edamame is served in a lot of pub like eateries and even Italian restaurants. It’s one of the most popular appetizers and I see it on a lot of menus around Tokyo. I’ve never had smoked edamame outside of Japan, probably because most of the Chefs from abroad only eat at the fancy schmancy Michelin restaurants and miss the ‘regular’ places, but I sure do hope this Tokyo trend catches on worldwide. Edamame smoked is really, that delicious.
This particular place in the photo is from a neighborhood Italian place. They have a wood fire oven for their pizzas and baked pastas, so they throw the edamame in mini cast iron pots with wood chips on the bottom and steam them.
I once ate about six of these and made it my meal. Fun party food too — try it at home!