Friday, March 25, 2011

Eating Japanese Food to Help Japan

We usually have Mexican. Whenever I get together with my friends Sarah and Audrey we can count on a little guacamole and several margaritas. This time, however, Sarah suggested shabu-shabu. Since the heartbreaking disaster in northeastern Japan struck on March 11, I've been eating as much Japanese food in New York as I can. For some reason, I think if I eat Japanese food, I'm somehow offering my support to one of my favorite places in the world.

We chose Shabu-Tatsu, an East Village establishment that none of us had ever visited. I read a few good reviews on Yelp and made a reservation. It had been a while since the three of us had shabu-shabu, a popular Japanese hot pot in which we boil the thinest, freshest slices of meat with tofu and vegetables at the table.

Thinly sliced prime beef

As it turns out, we actually were helping Japan by eating at Shabu-Tatsu. NBC Universal and the New York State Restaurant Association had just started Dine Out for Japan Relief, and Shabu-Tatsu is one of the more than 60 restaurants – some Japanese, some not – that are participating from now until March 30. Restaurants are donating up to 5% of proceeds from every meal it serves to the relief and recovery efforts.

The girls and I sipped sake and noshed on amazing prime beef, napa cabbage, green onions, firm tofu, carrots, mushrooms, shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves), and harusame (clear noodles made from potato starch).

Rice and dipping sauces await the veggies and beef

Of course, we couldn't help but talk about the crisis in Japan. I mentioned the 60 Minutes segment that aired just a few days prior to our dinner.

In the midst of our helplessness, we took comfort in knowing we stood in solidarity with our friends in my beloved Japan, even if we contributed only a few dollars to the cause. As I move about my life, Japan is never far from my mind. Issho ni ganbaremashou. 

Eat at a participating restaurant and help Japan

1 comment:

VENUS said...

Wow the food looks amazing!!!! Just so mouth-watering! Yes, we went recently for Japanese food and hoped that somehow our little meal made a difference somehow in the grand scheme of things...