7.266 Gu Ba

7.266

27 (Tue) September 2016

Gu Ba

3.5

at National Institute of Public Health

-Wakoshi, Saitama-

with meeting participants

For lunch in the NIPH cafeteria today, one of the offered items was billed as a Korean soup.  Turned out that “gu ba” was “guk bap (국밥),” the spelling a reflection of the Japanese linguistic tendency of dropping the final consonant of any syllable.

The dish was excellent.  Somewhere between kimchi guk and galbi tang : hearty with a bit of spice, well balanced, well seasoned.  I could eat this every day of the week, twice on Sundays.  Perpetually amazed at how the Japanese, even at a public cafeteria of a government agency in a sleepy suburb, are always so good at getting food so right.

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Any of these options, I could eat daily.

Japan is now the 14th country and Wakoshi is the 25th city outside of Korea where I’ve eaten Korean food in a restaurant (cafeteria, close enough) (roughly in order of experience) :

  1. USA : 01.01 Silicon Valley (San Jose, Santa Clara, etc.) CA; 01.02 New York NY; 01.03 Boston MA; 01.04 Northern Virginia VA; 01.05 East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, etc.) CA; 01.06 Los Angeles CA; 01.07 San Francisco CA; 01.08 San Diego CA; 01.12 Chicago IL; 01.13 Washington DC; 01.23 Guam (6.283 The Boss’s Beefy Birthday Bash)
  2. THA : 02.09 Bangkok; 02.10 Pattaya
  3. CHE : 03.11 Geneva
  4. GBR : 04.14 London
  5. CHN : 05.15 Beijing
  6. KHM : 06.16 Phnom Penh (3.269 Fried Beef with Red Ants)
  7. LAO : 07.17 Vientiane (3.272 Pho Ga)
  8. PHL : 08.18 Metro Manila (5.005 Ki for Ki)
  9. FJI : 09.19 Suva (5.178 Bibimbab)
  10. PNG : 10.20 Port Moresby (5.276 Spicy Chicken Muchim)
  11. RUS : 11.20 Moscow (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns…)
  12. AUS : 12.21 Melbourne (5.342 Crocodile Meat…)
  13. MYS : 13.24 Kuala Lumpur (6.333 Jacked — Three Ways)
  14. JPN : 14.25 Wakoshi
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Later that evening at the welcome reception.
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As befitting a public health agency, especially in the context of a meeting on obesity (see for contrast 6.224 NCD Risk Factors) …
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… the spread consisted of dishes that were appropriately low in calories, sugar, fat, and salt, high in nutritive value …
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… while being (kinda) tasty.
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Good intentions, poorly executed : even if the chicken were halal, any hint of alcohol (presumably sake added to sauce) would prohibit muslims (e.g., delegates from Malaysia) from partaking of the dish.
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Another example of what amazes me about Japanese food sensibilities …
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… the udon station included bowls containing slightly underpoached eggs that attain perfect cookedness upon the addition of hot broth.

Mission to Japan, Day 3 (see previously 7.265 Negibasashi Maki).

In Tokyo.  Here to attend/facilitate a workshop on childhood obesity, Tuesday thru Friday.  Arrived Sunday morning.  Flying back to Manila on Saturday.

MIDNIGHT SNACK

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At 2130, prior to 2200 closing time, staff come around to slash prices on sushi items.
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At 2140.

I would get so fat — noting that I am already well within the obese BMI range — if I were to live in Japan, surrounded by so much food that’s low in calories, sugar, fat, and salt, high in nutritive value.

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325 JPY = approx $2.75
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Assorted Sashimi (3.5)
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Saba Maki (2.5)
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Shrimp (2.5)

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