Good evening folks, up until dinner tonight I wasn’t going to write an entry. Mainly because the only joy and/or excitement I’d had today were scoring a perfect score on a kanji test (actually this in itself is quite a rarity and probably should be celebrated), and watching an anime I’d not seen in a while called Ichigo Mashimaro. If this title seems familiar it’s because I actually wrote a review of the first manga a good while back. Though I’ve not got it on here yet, it will be soon, along with all the other reviews I’ve done.
Which brings me to dinner. Entering the dining room the trays were not where they usually were. They’d already been prepared including a small nabe pot and a small bowl; the nabe pot being incredibly hot as it is. Nabe (鍋), or nabemono (鍋物) to call it by it’s full name, is a general term for a meal which can be referred to as a one pot meal. Anywho, on to the egg.
Back in England I’d only ever eaten eggs that were cooked (be they fried, boiled and so on) or included as an ingredient (say in meringue for instance), so seeing a raw egg waiting for me in the small bowl took me by surprise. Don’t get me wrong I knew that they were eaten this way in Japan, but this was a new experience for me. I’d eaten egg here, but like home it was always cooked, usually fried.
Tastefully wrong as I thought it was, I knew that I just had to experience it even if it was just the once. However, I was faced with a slight dilemma. Just … how was I supposed to eat it? Was I supposed to knock it back like a shot, hoping the yolk wouldn’t cause me to gag? Was I supposed to pour it over my rice or nabe? Or was it in fact just a decoration? I had no idea! Both myself and my fellow foreign friend just couldn’t think of how it was done, so we began to scour the room looking for someone else chowing down.
Just as I finally caught a glimpse of someone dunking a chunk of meat into the egg, thinking to myself that indeed it wasn’t to be eaten raw straight from the bowl, we were joined by some of our friends from France. I asked my French amigo who could speak Japanese very well just what to do with it, and was surprised to learn that they all had different ways of eating it. In France it is quite common to eat a raw egg.
One took the yolk and spread it across his rice, and the other two beat it, mixing the white and yolk, and poured it onto their nabe, drinking the leftover right from the bowl. I followed this inspiration and mixed my egg also. Well I say mixed, but I soom came to realise that chopsticks don’t work as well as a fork in this department, leaving me with a concoction of what can only be described as “I wish I hadn’t done that”.
Unfortunately for me I’d already finished of my nabe, rice and miso so had nothing to pour it over. Giving me only one option I hold the bowl to my mouth and take a very big sip of the clear and yellow gunk. The flavour can be described as very weak milk with the odour and texture of milk that has gone off. Living by the old motto of “I’ve started so I’ll finish”, I down the rest of the substance and quickly follow it by some ocha (お茶), Japanese tea.
I’m happy to report that I’ve yet to vomit and still have my vision, so I don’t think raw egg is deadly. However I did brush my teeth fairly soon afterward.