Time For a Nice Bowl of Intestine Soup

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're actually jonesing to try motsu-nabe (もつ鍋), walk through the streets of Shimo-kitazawa and looks for sidewalk signs advertising it. The pictures tend to look like this one.

If you’re actually jonesing to try motsu-nabe, walk through the streets of Shimo-kitazawa and looks for sidewalk signs advertising もつ鍋. The pictures tend to look like this one.

If you’d like to visit Shimo-kitazawa the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & maps are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)