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Eating with partners and other vendors in Tokyo

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.

Views: 18

Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 25, 2010 at 5:06pm
Holmgren is right!!! That soup looks so yummy!!!
Comment by John D. Boyden on March 25, 2010 at 7:00pm
Your posts are thoughtful and pictoral! the quality is readable, usable and includes good links. It's hard to get readers wity soooooooo many posts available! A nice imagining :) (I'll stick to meat) +1 vision
Comment by Alex Stovell on March 25, 2010 at 8:47pm
Hey Alice, love the post :) The soup _does_ look great too! I think Imagine posts are generally underrated, but definitely my favourites.
Comment by Starling on March 25, 2010 at 8:48pm
Thanks so much for the encouragement my friends! I really appreciate it I needed a boost today. Don't forget to mail me back if you are feeling neglected. :)
Comment by Lori Hutcherson on March 26, 2010 at 11:35am
This was brilliant...and it also made me drool a little. Now I'm totally hungry and will probably have to make some cabbage soup for lunch. I'm not sure why it made me crave that, but...it did. :) Great job on this post!


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