Here’s a story about a young woman who took her father’s recipe for 串カツ (kushikatsu — deep-fried, skewered meat and vegetables, a very popular Japanese street food) and turned his legacy into a successful business.
That’s one odd food combination that, according to this video, is a popular late night “comfort food” during the Harlem Renaissance:
Discussion / Writing / Research questions:
- What do you think are the differences between fried chicken and 唐揚げ?
- Do you like any odd food combinations?
- I’ve heard okonomiyaki described as “Japanese soul food”. What are other Japanese dishes you’d consider to be “soul food”? How would you define “soul food”?
- What are the typical foods that people in Japan like to eat late at night after going to a concert or other event? Do you think restaurants should stay open 24-7?
- The term “comfort food” refers to foods that remind you of your childhood. They’re usually not that healthy (high calorie, high carbohydrate and/or fat content) but they make you feel good (though maybe a bit guilty if you’re watching your weight). People especially like to eat comfort foods when they’re tired or sad. For some people, it might be mac & cheese or chili, fish & chips, pizza or curry and rice. For many people, it’s the foods that your mom (or dad) made for you a lot when you were a kid. For people with a sweet tooth, it may be ice cream. What are your comfort foods? When do you like to eat them? What are some typical comfort foods for people in your major language country?
- Try doing a little research on the Harlem Renaissance and teach your partners about that part of American history. Here are a few sources:
Two of my favorite things are movies and food/cooking. The 2014 film “Chef” (Japanese title: シェフ : 三ツ星フードトラック始めました is one such movie about food and cooking (and other things) that I enjoyed and it made me want to make hot sandwiches. Here are a few videos to watch (and whet your appetite):
“Chef” movie trailer:
How to make the cubano sandwiches:
How to make the bread (this guy has an odd sing-song voice, and the habit of saying “We’re going to go ahead and …” but the instructions are easy to follow).
Discussion and writing questions / projects:
- What movies about food and/or cooking have you seen and enjoyed (for example, “Tampopo” and “Ratatouille” (Japanese title: レミのおいしいレストラン), and here’s how to make ratatouille from the same site as the cubanos above:
- Do you prefer hot or cold sandwiches? What are your favorite ingredients?
- The director of “Chef” is Jon Favreau. He also directed the Iron Man series. Who are some of your favorite movie directors? Have they tried very different genres like Mr. Favreau? Do they often use the same actors in their movies?
- Do you think the movie title シェフ alone would be enough? Does it need the 「三ツ星フードトラック始めました」explainer? Why do you think Japanese titles are often more detailed than the originals?
- The movie “Chef” is, in part, about a man who changes jobs when he’s not happy/satisfied. This seems to be more common in today’s Japan. Do you think it’s a positive trend?
- Try making a “how-to” video of your favorite recipe. Or, write a recipe and add plenty of photos to show us how to make it.
- Do you think making your own bread (or any other homemade food) is worth the time and effort?
- Do you prefer how-to videos that show the person’s face?
- Tattoos (like the guy in the first how-to video) are not as uncommon in Japan these days. Do you have one? Would you get one?
Breakfast: a short film.
- Listen for the word “hangry” at about the 2:15 mark. What do you think it means?
- Also, good for people studying Spanish.
What is breakfast to you? Does this picture of a Japanese breakfast (Breakfasts From Around the World) look like what you usually eat?
And what if you lived in Iceland, where they (well, one guy anyway) bake their bread in a volcano: