I might have to come to terms with the fact that I do not like Japanese food.
I have a very dear Japanese-Swiss friend. We used to go to a restaurant called Sushi-train, in Geneva, about once a month. There I ate rice, with fried bits of fish on top, and rice wrapped in seaweed with cucumber, and let myself think that sushi was something I could do. And Claudia, twice as polite as everyone else, on account of being both Japanese and Swiss, left me my illusions.
Now I am in the U.S, and living with another sushi enthusiast (C and I were joined at the hip for 4 years), but this one will call me out. We've tried a whole host of Japanese restaurants in the area. J has a dear friend whose father was born in Japan to an army-dad. J himself enjoys fishy foods of all descriptions. So we find ourselves eating sushi a lot. And it always leaves me with a very odd feeling.
Branching out to other kinds of restaurant-Japanese fare has not been successful either. I do not like cold soba noodles, which appear frequently on menus. I like warm soba noodles, when made spicy and with peanuts- so basically Thai style. I do not like miso soup- it is so odd. I do not like tofu- though I know I must learn to love this, as a mostly vegetarian person trying to get by in the U.S without dying of boredom. I do not like soups with raw, or semi-cooked eggs in them. I thought I loved ramen but I do not like broths where I can smell the fish above all other things, and soy to me is not a flavour. I have not tried chawanmushi- an egg custard with bits of fish and scallions, but I hope to next time. I want to love edamame, but eating more than 2 (one edamame, two edamame?) leaves my head throbbing. Teriyaki chicken leaves me cold, as does hibachi- neither is interesting enough for me to use up calories over them.
I do like gyoza- but you have to be a monster to deny a pan-seared dumpling. Shumai, again a dumpling. All dumplings are amazing, and I don't know if loving these is enough.
I don't like Japanese food. And I am sorry to have to admit it.