Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Food at an Open Campus Event

Mee Kati and coconut gelatin dessert

Kochi University Faculty of Agriculture held an“Open Campus” last Saturday (November 5th). It was a friend of mine studying there who gave me the information about the event, and the moment I heard about the food stalls by international students, I told him, “I’ll be there!” For more details about the "open campus" event, click here.

Unfortunately I had a previous engagement in the morning, so it was already past 2 pm when I arrived at the university. Starving, I headed straight for food stalls, and the first thing I bought was this “Mee Kati,” rice noodles seasoned with coconut milk, with a coconut gelatin dessert in a paper cup. I was told that they were Laos food (IIRC). The rice noodles were very good with the tasty toppings.

These roasted chickens looked so tempting, but the student there told me that they’d need some more time to be done, and I couldn’t wait. When I came back to him after trying other dishes, the chickens were all gone :(

This was Bangladesh stall, I think, and they sold curry flavored rice and something like deep-fried dumplings. I only wanted the rice but they insisted that I buy both (one pack of each). After I ate about half of them, I realized that I forgot to take a photo, so I put what was left then in one pack and took this shot. The dumplings were good, but the rice was a bit too mushy for me.

Chinese students making dumplings. I was already very full, so didn’t buy any.

Can you imagine what these are? They look like warabimochi (bracken-starch dumplings) coated with soybean powder, but actually these dumplings were made from sago palm starch. The students studying about sago palm and its use experimented on making sweets using sago palm starch and finally came up with these dumplings. They were pretty close to warabimochi and I liked the taste. The students said they also tried kimchi-nabe (hotpot dish seasoned with kimchi) with the sago palm starch dumplings, only to find out that it was a too adventurous attempt.

It was too bad that some foods were already sold out when I got there. Maybe next year I’ll be there before lunch time and try more foods. Out of all the dishes I tried that day, I liked Mee Kati the best. Gee, I should have asked for the recipe!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting event. I would have enjoyed all the international foods...

Reid said...

Hi Obachan,

I love warabi mochi. It's probably my favorite. Mmmmm! =)

Thaaniya said...

Yum! Yum! I've dropped into your blog a few times. I like the food that you feature on here, so this time I'm gonna add your site to my blog links.
Can't wait to see more yums!

Anonymous said...

I would like to make the traditional japanese breakfast here in America: miso soup, rice, a side vegetable, and a piece of grilled fish!
How does one make a great grilled fish in an american kitchen?
Do I stick the fish in the broiler part underneath the oven?
Do I buy a little griller?
Do I go out and grill in an open pit barbecue?

obachan said...

It was interesting. I’ll be there earlier next year to try more foods. ;)

The sago palm starch dumplings were pretty close to warabimochi, with only a slightest hint of something…maybe a smell of the bark or something???
BTW, I felt so sorry about their kimuchi nabe.

Thanks for dropping by and linking to my site. There’ll be more yummies to come, so I hope you keep coming back :)

If you don’t mind the broiler part of your oven smelling like fish, I guess you could (at your own risk).

They say fish tastes the best when charbroiled, but I don’t know if you want to light charcoals first thing in the morning without using that smelly lighting fluid. Adjusting the heat may be difficult with a big open-pit BBQ thing. If you could somehow get something about this size which allows this much distance betw. the fish and the charcoals (glowing, not burning with flame), that would be the best. Perhaps it is better to do this in your backyard and be ready for some smoke. Again, I don’t know if you want to do all this first thing in the morning. Buying what they call “fish roaster” could be a reasonable solution, depending on the price, though.

Some Japanese cookbooks/websites say that you can get a decent result by just using lightly greased frying pan, and greasing is not necessary if you place a baking sheet underneath the fish. But none of them say that the fish would taste as good as when it’s charbroiled.

Evil Jungle Prince
‘cuz I've tried their gyoza somewhere else. I wanted to try something I’ve never tried before.

glutton rabbit
Those foods at the stalls must have been different from what they have in their home countries, because here they must have done a lot of substitutions and omissions. Warabimochi with coconut! Hmmm...never thought about that, but sounds interesting. What about warabimochi in coconut milk?