Department of Salad

Japanese potato salad

It’s been a long time since I have updated my blog. While coronavirus cases in Japan are relatively low to the US, we are far behind on getting vaccinated. The Olympic Games start in about a month and the Paralympic Games in about two months.

For now the Food Sake Tokyo market tours have come to a stop as the borders are closed. I am also waiting to get vaccinated before doing food tours with locals here in Tokyo.

Back in November, which seems like yesterday, I interviewed with the lovely Emily Rees Nunn for her Department of Salad. I love this salad newsletter which has changed the way I make salads at home. It has also introduced some new recipes for salads that I’ve made for years, but so much better, like a Greek Salad that takes me back to Athens. I’ve also changed the way I make my daily salad by letting the ingredients and dressing sit together for a while before eating. A small change, but big difference in flavor and texture. I spoke with Emily about Japanese potato salad. The interview and recipe is here:

https://eatsomesalad.substack.com/p/department-of-salad-official-bulletin-736

Potato salad is a classic dish found at most izakaya drinking pubs. It’s comfort food and very different from the potato salads I grew up with in Minnesota.

If you love salads I recommend signing up for Emily’s Department of Salad newsletter. There is a free version and paid subscribers receive an extra newsletter each week.

I hope to update the blog more. For the time being just waiting for the border to reopen so I can resume market tours to Tsukiji, depachika, Nihonbashi, and more. See you in Tokyo2022! Thank you for reading and I hope to update with more blog posts in the future. Welcome back!

Hanamaru Summer Udon Salad

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It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up and restaurants are starting their summer menu. Japanese restaurants, even fast food chain restaurants, offer menus that change throughout the year. This time of year many restaurants offer lighter fare, often featuring salad greens and generous vegetables. Each year I look forward to the summer salad at Hanamaru Udon, a chain of udon restaurants, with locations throughout Tokyo.

This year’s summer salad udon offers a full day’s of vegetables served over udon noodles for the bargain price of 500 JPY (about $5). The udon noodles are cooked and then quickly chilled in ice water and then topped with lettuce, carrots, daikon, deep-fried kabocha squash, okra, and some boiled chicken. Diners are offered the choice of a dressing, either creamy sesame or ginger. Here is a close-up photo on the company’s website. The other noodle bowls here are great, but the salad udon dish is one that I go back to often, especially in hot Japanese summers.

Hanamaru Udon restaurants are great for a quick meal. We went recently on a weekend and the shop was filled with families and school kids (both high school and college). If you are looking for a healthful meal and are on a budget, or are just craving some vegetables, check out Hanamaru Udon. The shop’s logo is an orange flower.

There is a shop in Ginza at Ginza 3-10-9, Kyodo Bldg. B1, and shops throughout the city.