Sunday, October 16, 2011

Retort Report / Ramen Radar: Muji's Green Curry & Nakamuraya @ Fall MUGF 2011

Trying to relax while feeling you've accomplished something over the weekend is a tricky endeavor. Hope everyone had a good one. Mostly wanted to give an update about Mitsuwa's Fall Umaimono Gourmet Fair coming up end of the month but throwing in a retort curry while I'm at it. Pictured below MUJI Japan's delicious Green Curry that came from a pouch and reheated in rapidly boiling water. Later tossed up in the same fry pan a super quick seared cabbage side that literally took two minutes. Embarrassed to even mention but all of what I can remember on highest heat: Olive oil, cabbage, drizzle of sake, pinch of Dashi powder, S&P, dried chili pepper flakes. In that order.

I can do a whole post proclaiming my love for all things MUJI, but for now for the uninitiated I'll just say they're kinda like the IKEA of Japan except maybe a hundred-fifty times cooler. More a total lifestyle based concept where they sell quality minimalist inspired products from clothes to tableware, beautifully spartan mechanical pencils, wall mounted CD players, and recent past years even MUJI Homes to contain of course all your MUJI furniture.

I also always enjoyed their foods, the basic "General Store" like feel the packaging and contents had. They offered quite a few selection of retort pouch curries as well as 'curry kits' with premeasured spices for the more DIY spirited. Muji's Thai Green Curry (Chicken) rings a particularly sentimental note for me as it was a staple in my tiny Japanese suburb studio apartment back in the day.

At a highest Five Muji Chili Pepper unit rating it packs a good level of heat and also hardly sweet it is surprisingly more authentic tasting than what's probably served in most Thai restaurants here. Each pouch contains a nice amount of bamboo shoot, dark meat chicken pieces, straw mushrooms, and token Kaffir lime leaf and Bird's Eye chili pepper. Good stuff.

Yes another Mitsuwa Umaimono Gourmet Fair is on its way the end of the month, 27th (Thurs.) to the 30th (Sun.). I'm particularly looking forward to this one as legendary Nakamuraya will be there showcasing their famous Shio Ramen. The online description lacked any whereabouts which made me hesitant to post about it earlier but the recent flyer I picked up at Mitsuwa finally mentioned that Nakamuraya will be at Torrance.

The closest thing I've had to a Chef Nakamura influenced creation was a Niboshi Ramen at Ramen California last year that was close to divine to pronounced dried fish wafu ramen fans like me. Unfortunately I've heard Ramen California has since acquired new management and have lost any ties to Nakamuraya in Japan. Been completely regretting not having had the chance in returning before, but maybe this Mitsuwa Fair appearance is a hint at renewed interests in establishing a locale in L.A. or O.C. in the near future. One can wish...

Picking up some Beef Tongue Bento Box and Menchi Katsu will be high on my list and seems to also be only available at Torrance. I'm not very familiar with Hawaii's Gomaichi Ramen that will be at Mitsuwa Costa Mesa but the photos of their Japanese style TanTan Men and Sung Hon Men looked mighty good so I hope to drop by there as well. Heck maybe I'll make it a mini ramen crawl of sorts and visit Nidaime Tsujita that I hear is finally open for a bowl of amazing tsukemen while I'm at it. :)


K and S said...

heart MUJI too, have never tried their green curry, may have to soon :)

caninecologne said...

hi dennis - they should have a MUJI here in San Diego! i went to the one in SoHo/NYC a few years ago and enjoyed looking at all of the different products. i love the minimalist designs..

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat! Love their Thai Green Curry and also the Indian Butter Curry. But I love all curries, haha.

Hi CC! I knew there was one in NY and maybe even an online store. But visiting a MUJI store is part of the whole experience in my opinion. Love all their products too. :)