Forget the Clearasil and dumpster the Oil of Olay. My friend Hiro tells me that all I have to do to have beautiful skin is eat lots of motsunabe. Apparently, Japanese women have eaten pig intestines for ages, chasing the perfect creamy complexion.
On a cold winter night, the bubbling pot of motsunabe turned out to be a lot more appealing than it sounds. Garlic chives, fresh cabbage, and a sprinkling of togarashi peppers joined the wiggly bits in a truly delicious pork-based tonkotsu broth. The texture of the intestines was a bit challenging (think thin squares of rubber with a pillow of fat on top), but I actually found them much easier to eat than mozuku (a beloved Japanese dish made from seaweed that resembles slimy hair a bit too closely for my taste and is often encountered at breakfast).
If you’d like to visit Shimo-kitazawa the next time you’re in Tokyo, visit my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
2 thoughts on “Time For a Nice Bowl of Intestine Soup”
They have this soup elsewhere..but when Mexicans eat it, it’s called Menudo. Look it up.
You’re right – menudo does have that key intestinal ingredient (although most of the recipes I saw call for tripe rather than actual intestines). The Mexican soup takes the flavoring in a slightly different direction, with cilantro and oregano added to the peppers, and onions instead of garlic chives. All over the world, I guess they’ve figured out how to make every bit of an animal tasty!