March 11, 2011 – A day that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It’s taken me nearly a week to write about the 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan and the subsequent tsunami. I watch news reports, videos, and pictures nightly – sometimes into the small hours of the morning.
I cry as I watch those that suffered look for loved ones and I cry for those that lost them.
I bite my nails with worry as I watch videos of the torrent of water rushing towards frightened people and desperately moving cars. I mirror the cries of those on camera “Hayaku!” (Hurry!)
I hope that more survivors will be recovered, even though with each passing day that hope dims.
I smile brightly with relief when I hear that one family we know is safe.
I worry that another family isn’t when another day goes by in silence. Every day we hope for word but none comes. My mother sends them a letter hoping for a quicker response that way, but all we can do is wait.
I’m filled with pride when my fandom goes above and beyond with giving and raises over $13,000 after only 5 days. Arashi fans mimic the values, the love, the humanity of the group.
My head has been so full of different thoughts that I can’t seem to voice them yet. They are all jumbled and they run together whenever I sit down to pen them. This tragedy has hit me harder than any other. I feel so strongly connected to it because Japan is half my home. It’s where half my family lives and it’s where family friends reside. It’s where I grew up as a child and it’s where I hope to return to in the future. To see it suffering so much is so difficult to watch.
Potato and Onion Korroke Recipe
There are a lot of Japanese recipes passed down from my mom that I cook on a regular basis. Some people may sit down to a bowl of stew or a plate of roast and feel like home. I sit down to a steaming bowl of soft, white rice and sukiyaki. Something loosens inside my chest as I dip my hakusai into my carefully beaten egg and a huge smile spreads across my face.
I can’t go a few days without eating some type of Japanese food and lately it’s been every day.
Today, is our curry day. This is an official day in the Scribbler household. We alternate between Japanese curry and Indian curry, but Thursday is always Curry day. Today was Japanese curry so my hubby had Tonkatsu Curry and I had curry with korroke. My mother used to make these on “special” occasions – usually church potlucks. They’re yummy balls of potato with a crispy, crunchy coating. Her’s usually had ground beef inside mixed with the potato, but I obviously omitted that step.
If you know how to make tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), then making korroke is very simple.
Potato and Onion Korroke
Note: This recipe makes about 3 medium korroke. If you want to make more, then just double it.
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until soft (I used Yukon gold today, but any potato works)
- half medium onion, diced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 egg, beaten in a bowl
- 3 tablespoons flour
- oil for frying
- After boiling potatoes, drain and set aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, place butter into a frying pan and melt on medium heat. Add diced onions and pepper to taste. Cook until just translucent.
- Add onions to drained potatoes and mash until just smooth.
- Form into 3 balls. Flatten slightly with palms until about an inch thick.
- Place flour onto a plate and place panko onto a separate plate. Beat egg in bowl and set next to plates.
- Coat korokke completely in flour, then dip in egg, then coat thoroughly in panko.
- Heat oil in fryer and cook korroke until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
You can eat these on their own with rice, or as a sandwich with Japanese Mayo, Bulldog tonkatsu sauce and diced cabbage in a bun.
Or you can have it like I did with Bulldog tonkatsu sauce with my curry.