Despite being a country bumpkin, born and bred in a small town, I came to the comparatively huge City of London in 1999 and for some reason it suited me and I have now been living here for over 15 years. I have met a lot of English people through my hobbies, and whether the similarity is due to Japan and the UK both being island countries I’m not sure, but there are quite a number of things about Brits, such as their way of thinking and sense of humour, that Japanese can relate to and I am fortunate to be surrounded by some great friends.
However, I do often miss my home-town! Imabari is a place with both mountains and sea, it is also home to quite a peculiar food culture, particularly popular are; ‘tai-meshi’ (a rice dish with fresh sea bream from the Setonaikai), yakitori, senzanki (soy-marinated deep-fried chicken), and a B-class gourmet rice dish with roast pork and egg. Luckily for me, my mother was an excellent cook and from childhood I have been surrounded with delicious food.
My mother’s tai-meshi was particularly exquisite and I would love to be able to share the recipe with you here but the details are a trade secret and so instead I will share a recipe from the Imabari region’s food popularisation association. If you have a chance to visit Imabari, please try eating at a local Japanese restaurant or get the lunch box from the Imabari train station where you can try authentic tai-meshi for yourselves. In the meantime - why not try to make it at home?!