The first time I had wagyu beef was in Hong Kong, when the chef cooked small cubes of beef on a grill, with nothing but a little garlic. There began a lifetime obsession with wagyu meat which has left me considerably poorer. Wagyu is never cheap but is always delicious and the most entertaining way to eat it is the method known as “shabu-shabu” where you cook it yourself by dunking a slice of it into a pot of boiling water, and then dipping it into a sauce. Two kinds of sauce are used with shabu-shabu – a creamy sauce called gomadare, which is made from sesame seeds, miso paste and soy sauce; and ponzu, which is a vinegary sauce made from soy sauce and lemon juice. After the beef has been eaten the boiling water has become a light beef stock, into which vegetables such as shitake and enoki mushrooms, chinese cabbage and grilled tofu are added. When they have been eaten, the remaining stock is used to cook some noodles, which the Japanese regard as a final treat. In fact the meal is down-hill all the way, as everything is an anti-climax after the exquisite beef.
The photos show, firstly the wagyu beef, secondly the cooking pot, and thirdly the starter which we were served in a meal which cost £44 a head. This is probably the most expensive meal you will eat in Japan.
The idea of Slow Life is to take the principles of Slow Food, which are “good, clean and fair”, and extend them to life in general.
Here in the Lake District, the air is clean, the pace is slow and the atmosphere is calm. If we don’t grow food ourselves, we can buy it in friendly small shops, where you know the quality is going to be the best.
This blog is a celebration of the Slow Life, with forays into the world of design, music, the arts, gardens, and my particular weakness, Japan.