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.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist