Tonkatsu (1963); Kobe & Matsuzaka beef, Genghis Khan BBQ (1962)

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Sun Jun 13 05:58:05 UTC 2004

TONKATSU--9,790 Google hits, 1,120 Google Groups hits
NOREN + JAPANESE--6,030 Google hits, 292 Google Groups hits
("Tonkatsu" is not in the OED.  "Noren" didn't make even the revised OED.)

  I found a little gem of a book from 1962 here at the NYU Bobst Library.  I thought I saw "tonkatsu," but I'm running out of time for this library's 2 a.m. closing.

   1. Chinese Food a Specialty
By Isao Kadota. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973). Washington, D.C.: May 26, 1963. p. K23 (1 page):
   Apart from _raisukare_, the most typical Japanized foreign dish is probably _tonkatsu_--which could be described on the menu of a pretentious restaurant as "Pork Cutlet a la Japonaise" and which is popular among foreigners visiting Japan.  The word _ton_ means pork, while _katsu_ is an abbreviation of cutlet.  But the _tonkatsu_ is a very Japanese form of pork cutlet.
   Most _tonkatsu_ restaurants have a typically Japanese appearance (unlike those serving genuinely foreign food, which try to look as un-Japanese as possible).  Quite a few of them hang _noren_--the slit curtain hung over the doorways of Japanese restaurants--at their entrances.
   Tenderloin of pork is used for _tonkatsu_ and is normally sliced very thick.  The sinews are removed, the meat is sprinkled with salt and pepper, dipped into a batter of flour and beaten egg and then covered with bread crumbs.  The final stage is to deep-fry it in vegetable oil.  WHen eating _tonkatsu_, most Japanese flavor it with Japanese Worcestershire sauce (sweeter than the Western variety), gravy sauce, or Japanese soy sauce.  Usually, it is accompanied with finely-sliced cabbage.  It is fascinating to watch an expert cook slice the cabbage with amazing skill and speed.

   2. A Japanese Version of Swiss Fondue Is Okonomiyaki, or What--You--Will
By CRAIG CLAIBORNE Special to The New York Times. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Feb 17, 1966. p. 45 (1 page)

by Harvey S. Olsen
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company

Pg. 227 (-330):  CHAPTER 5  _On Dining Out in the Orient_

Pg. 230:  By nature I am a gourmet and relish every conceivable type of food from the simplest hot dog and humblest hamburger to glamorous _duck a l'orange_, _Fettuccine Alfredo_, _crepes Grand Vefour_, _sole Belle Meuniere_, Hungarian beef goulash, veal stroganoff, smorgasbord _a la Viking_, _Kobe and Matsuzaka beef_, tempura, sukiyaki, and the appetite-arousing Chinese specialties, particularly the Cantonese variety.

Pg. 231 (HAWAII, Royal Hawaiian Hotel Monarch Room):  Every night except Sunday and Monday, the famous _Kamaaina_ dinner is served, which is a six-course repast featuring green turtle soup, breast of _Kahunakaku chicken_, _Liliuokalani salad_, pineapple delight, and other native specialties.

Pg. 232 (HAWAII, Canlis' Charcoal Broiler):  The "original" _Canlis'_ Idaho baked potato served with gobs of butter, parmesan cheese, green onions, and minced bacon is extraordinarily good.

Pg. 234 (HAWAII, "The Luau"):  Other components usually included are _lomi lomi_ salmon, hand massaged local fish mixed with fresh tomatoes and onions, the _moa_, _chicken luau_, mixed with (Pg. 235--ed.) Hawaiian spinach and/or taro tops, and coconut cream served in fresh coconuts. (...)  The _limu_, dried seaweed, is a seasoning.  To all of this you add the _halakahika_, the luau-style pineapple, the baked bananas (_plantains_), banana muffins, and coconut cake.  These are all generously laced with Polynesian rum punch.

Pg. 236 (HONG KONG):  CANTONESE...PEKING (_Peiping_ or _Northern_)...


Pg. 238 (HONG KONG): ..._Shanghai_ style--the so-called _"Beggar's Chicken"_--to name but a few.

Pg. 241 (HONG KONG, Princess Garden Restaurant):  The local CHinese wine, _shiao shing_, will remind you of _sake_, which the Chinese claim is a derivative of their own.

Pg. 245 (JAPAN, "Japanese Specialties"):  SUKIYAKI...

Pg. 246 (JAPAN):  TEMPURA...

Pg. 247 (JAPAN):  KOBE AN MATSUZAKA BEEF.  The Japanese are extraordinarily proud of these two succulent, tender beef specialties of the country which are reputed to be the finest meats in all the world.  Certainly one would have to travel far and wide to find anything more superlative.  There are several unusual qualities to these two types of beef, the first of which is that with labor being so peuriously inexpensive, carefully trained men can, and do, work amazingly tedious hours at massaging the beef cows twice a day in such a way as to inhibit hard muscles from forming.  In this manner, plus the fact that they are also kept in pens to keep them from getting muscular, the meat is kept tender even while on the hoof.  The second feature is that the cows are slaughtered prior to having wasted any of their strength on reproductive activities.  Last, but not least, the cows are fed great quantities of beer daily except Saturdays and Sundays.  Most unusual.  But the results are taste titillating.
(Again, the OED does not have "Kobe" and the revised OED does not have "Matsuzaka."  Awful--ed.)


Pg. 249 (JAPAN):  Remember this: _Nagoya chicken_ is to the bird what _Kobe beef_ is to the cow.
   BATAYAKI is a first cousin to sukiyaki, the only notable exception being that _batayaki_ is prepared in a sauce less pungent than that used for sukiyaki.  The _batayaki_ variety is also of a soybean base but mixed liberally with butter; hence the name _"bata,"_ the Japanese pronunciation of our "butter."  The Japanese prefer grated radishes as a base for eating _batayaki_.  (...)
   OKARIBAYAKI is less well known but typically Japanese.  It is comprised of finely sliced wild game and adorned with chrysanthemum leaves, sprouts, and vegetables, all prepared in a special _okaribayaki_ grill.  (...)  This latter serves a bubbling hot, utterly delectable hunter's dish, the _kamonabe_: duck chunks and vegetables served together with hot noodles in a marvelous and piquant sauce.



Pg. 257 (JAPAN):  When the _jochu-san_ (Japanese kimono'd waitress) ties your husband's shoe laces upon your departure, he'll be spoiled for life.

Pg. 260 (JAPAN, Chinzanso, Avenue M near 15th):  The specialty of the house is Genghis Khan barbecued beef and chicken which consists of grilled meats and fowl, and vegetables served for four or more persons who are seated at the table around a brazier.

Pg. 268: (JAPAN, OSAKA, Alaska):  Kobe sirloin steak from beer-fed, hand-massaged beef.

Pg. 268 (JAPAN, OSAKA, Hotel Osaka Grand):  The _Maple Room_, second floor, features Japanese food exclusively including tempura, sukiyaki, _kabayaki_, and the "house specialties," the _teishoku_ (full "menu of the day") dinners.

Pg. 274 (TAIWAN):  The MONGOLIAN BARBECUE, a colorful Chinese concoction from the Northlands, offers a generous feast, prepared with great flourish, and known, alternatively, as a Genghis Khan barbecue.  The Mongolian barbecue brazier is more vigorous than the regular charcoal grill, shooting its searing flames skyward in a brillian display.  The groaning hors d'oeuvres tables are generously decorated with platters of spicy, marinated raw beef, venison, wild boar, mutton, and heaping mounds of green uncooked vegetables.  The diner makes his choice of the uncooked victuals, selects his all-important sauces and seasoning, and passes to the end of the table where he hands his choices to a clever chef presiding over the charcoal-filled broilers.  The seething flames, the sizzling meats, and the spitting oils present an unusual sensory experience.  When cooked, the Mongolian feast is something extraspecial for your chopsticks.  As when coping with Swedish smorgasbord, you are expected to go back to the Mongolian grill again and again.  Try rice wine with the Mongolian barbecue.  It is taste stimulating and, while it seems weak, has a high degree of potency.
   The CANTONESE BREAKFAST is delicious, consisting of hot or cold Cantonese pork sausage, steamed dumplings filled with mincemeat, ground pork or beef, steamed gingerbread, watermelon, and sometimes a clear chicken soup or broth, and always tea...tea...tea.
   Do-it-yourself gourmets will automatically approve and swear by the SHANSI RESTAURANT on Chung Cheng Road, where the feast is _Huo Kuo_, a chafing dish, which literally means "Hot Pot."  The meal begins with a variety of "appetizers" including cold pickles, fish, and fried shredded chicken with slivers of cold boiled ham, chicken, and beef with sliced cucumbers, which are meant to whet the appetite.
  Each guest for the "Fiery Pot" is next given his own bowl for mixing the dipping sauce to his own taste.  In it will go a  (Pg. 275--ed.) choice of raww egg, bean paste, vinegar, ginger juice, sesame seed, soy sauce, shrimp oil, hot sauce, and/or onions.  Any and all of the foregoing are combined to create a tangy dressing for the meats, a portion of which is cooked with the meal and part of which is used, uncooked, as a condiment.  The "Fiery pot," placed in the middle of the table over the glowing charcoal coals, exudes an aromatic, appetite stimulating aroma from the cooking beef, pork, lamb, and sometimes game, such as venison, when in season.
   The GIRLIE RESTAURANT is a unique specialty of _Taiwan_.


Pg. 278 (THAILAND):  Thai rice is served fried, boiled, in (Pg. 279--ed.) soup, as a stuffing, and frequently as a hot side dish with green onion shavings, sliced cucumbers, soy sauce, and grated chili peppers.  In savoring a full dinner, a Thai family normally will start with soup and will then have fish, vegetables, and a good selection of meat curries, consumed with rice.  A favorite Thai soup prepared on a charcoal brazier is _Gang Tom Yam_ which includes leaves of the makroot, lemon grass, watercress, prawns, chicken, fish, and _pri-kee-noo_ peppers.
   _Haw Mok_, a flaming hot Thai specialty, is made by pounding dry chili peppers, shrimp paste, lemon grass, onions, garlic and salt, and blending them with steamed coconut milk and soy sauce decorated with egg and slices of raw fish.  It is served in a large banana leaf.
   The hot Thai curry _Gang Pet_ includes beef, pork, shellfish, coconut milk, chili peppers, ginger, caraway seeds, the paste of lemon grass, garlic, mashed shrimps, lots of pepper, and wild rice.  The Thais are particularly fond of their desserts, particularly concoctions of sweets made from milk, sugar, coconut, and rice.  Favorite Thai dishes to top off a meal are: _Salim_, made of thin strips of egg noodles in sugary coconut milk, and _Songakaya_, a cocnut milk pudding, served both hot and cold, made from both the whites and yolks of eggs, palm sugar, sticky rice, mangoes, and other fresh fruit.

Pg. 293 (TOKYO restaurants, Akahane):  ...that grand Japanese specialty, the _yama dori_ (mountain chicken).

GOTTA GO!--ed.

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