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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, a map is on 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 wonderful blend of history and mystery.” —Laura Joh Rowland, author of The Iris Fan

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, altering the lives of all who possess itread more

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

2 thoughts on “Time For a Nice Bowl of Intestine Soup Leave a comment

    • 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!

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