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Monday, December 24, 2012

Mayonnaise is EVERYWHERE in Japan【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

By Michelle

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

If you are a mayonnaise hater, stay out of Japan. You wouldn’t think it, but the good ole American companion to Wonder Bread is a staple of down home Japanese cooking. From potato salad to lotus root smothered in mayonnaise, at least in Chibu, you can’t sit down to a meal without some mayonnaise-based dish on the table. Aside from being a main dressing for side dishes, mayonnaise is squeezed atop traditional Japanese dishes such as okonomiyaki (Japanese “pizza”), takoyaki (fried balls of dough with squid in the middle), yakisoba (a noodle dish), and many kinds of katsu (fried meat).

▲ Okonomiyaki isn’t complete without a dash of mayo.

▲ Lotus root covered in mayo.

▲ Pork Katsu with, you guessed it, mayonnaise.

While browsing through Domino’s Japan’s pizza menu, you won’t be able to find anything that resembles a Meat Lovers’ pizza or many of the other beloved staples of college students. Instead, you will be overloaded by a variety of pizzas drenched in mayonnaise.

▲ Quatro Giant pizza anyone?

▲ How about a Chicken Teriyaki pizza…with mayonnaise of course.

▲ Mayo Potato pizza. Would you like some pizza with your mayonnaise?

If you’re interested, check out Domino’s Japan’s website for more unusual pizzas.

The most popular Mayonnaise sold in Japan comes in a squeeze bottle with a picture of a Kewpie doll embossed into the plastic. It’s made from apple and malt vinegar and egg yolks instead of whole eggs. Compared to its American counterpart, Japanese mayonnaise is slightly sweeter and more decadent.

I have fallen in love with Japanese mayonnaise and actually prefer it to the Best Foods brand I grew up with back home (Will I be allowed back in the US after writing this?). For those of you who have tried it, what are your thoughts on Japanese mayo? And for those of you who were brave enough to eat it, what do you think about mayonnaise pizza?

Michelle is originally from California, but currently living in the tiny fishing village of Chibu, one of the Oki islands in Japan. Being one of two foreigners living in an island village of a little over 600 people presents many adventures. Come back every Saturday for a new article featuring the interesting and bizarre things she comes across in her life in rural Japan. Once a week not enough? Check out her blog, You, Me, And A Tanuki, for photographs and even more articles.


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