I need to get back to our lodgings to catch up with the kids but I'm staying for a bowl of soup before we go. I've been working with the kombu
harvesters and they make the best stock so their soup is amazing. They've been trading with the growers in the harbour and the rooftops so the soup is rich with bean tops
, radish, shi-itake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and spinach leaves. We are standing around the soup rickshaw each supping from a bowl full of rich hot savoury soup. it's the stuff of life.
I've got to pause to comment on the soup rickshaw design. They have a highly insulated soup cauldron and space to store these ultra-light heat-proof lacquered paper bowls. It's a great idea. Maybe I could set that kind of business up at home. Part of innovation is definitely working out what great solutions are transferable and spreading the best solutions around
On the way back up from the metro stop to our lodgings I pause to speak to several other food vendors. they all have delicious offerings. It's great to see people using their creativity to make wonderful dishes from the new products on the market in Tokyo, and lots of them are using the eggs from our fowl projects. I pick up a paper bag of shrimp and vegetable tempura, originally sourced from the new eco-shrimp farms in the bay. I understand they imported a wh*** load of PL-25 young shrimp post-larvae to grow on and now they're verging on ready to eat. It's great the way everyone involved in these new innovations is taking on the design considerations. As the shrimp grow they need more space each - so the farmers can cull some and the result is delicious fresh shrimp tempura.
picture of tempura from here
The same principle seems to have been applied in the next batch of products I sample. There's a cart on the corner of our street selling fresh egg rolls. They've acquired some of the beetroot thinnings and some of the first batch of early potatoes
, grown under cover in the heat island of the metropolis. One kind of egg rolls they are making has a beetroot, bean sprout and garlic chive filling, so they are bright pink! I love the way these crops are by-products of future crops - beetroot thinnings from gardens, garlic chives snipped from the plants which will be making bulbs all year. It's well in line with one of the permaculture principles described by David Holmgren
'you can't work on an empty stomach - obtain a yield'. Another kind of roll they are selling is filled with a wonderful mustardy mixture of crushed new potatoes and daikon radish. I take a bag of those as well. It's a good feast, our hosts will enjoy them as much as the kids do.