台日交換便當

締結美味關係
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2019 / 12月

文‧鄧慧純 圖‧莊坤儒


日本文化裡,吃完飯必定合掌說聲「御馳走様」(ごちそうさま),意味著感謝料理人為了這道餐點四處奔波張羅的辛苦。料理傳遞著「交流」的情誼,藏著想把美味食物「分享」給朋友的心情。長久以來,台日間持續交換、共享對料理的味覺記憶,點點滴滴締結了台日的美味關係。


七月仲夏,來自日本宮崎的藤藪志保和篠原有紀子不約而同來到台灣,在宜蘭、高雄兩地舉辦料理教室,選用台灣在地食材,注入日本的料理精神,融合兩地民眾對食物的熱愛,大家一起「いただきます」(開動了)。

食物牽成的緣分

誰說一個廚房容不下兩個女人!那天在宜蘭穀東俱樂部創辦人賴青松甫開幕的「慢島生活」裡,少說擠進了14位女性。以藤藪志保為首,賴青松的夫人朱美虹居間翻譯,來自各地的學員共襄盛舉,學習用宜蘭在地食材做日本家常菜。

藤藪志保特地將家鄉宮崎的雞肉南蠻漬搬上桌,酥炸的雞塊浸入糖醋醬汁入味,再淋上塔塔醬,這道源自她家鄉的料理,如今已風行全日本。冷盤是「白和え」(しらあえ),以豆腐磨成泥為底的沙拉醬料,在日本流行用水果入菜,此回藤藪志保則用了當季的竹筍和自己最愛的台灣鳳梨,味道竟意外地合拍。

藤藪志保示範如何煎出完美的玉子燒,再把平底鍋交給學員,讓學員們自己動手試做。用上今年生產的青松米,做成壽司飯,並配上紫蘇葉、彩椒、香菇、酪梨、茄子、毛豆等,讓大家隨興搭配捏成各色的蔬菜球壽司。

儘管語言不通,但當天的慢島生活滿是笑鬧聲,十多位學員在不甚寬大的廚房裡,忙亂地捏壽司球、試吃、擺盤、拍照,然後,大夥兒坐定位,齊聲說:「いただきます。」

這樣一場難得的料理饗宴,是早在2015年,由九州宮崎縣政府資助的「台灣塾」計畫即結下的緣分。

宛如鄰家女孩般清新的藤藪志保,和台灣結緣於大學時對亞洲電影的喜好。2010年,她從新聞工作轉職,投入從小就喜愛的烹飪領域,「食物是很好的話題跟媒介,而且,食物是讓身體健康、補充營養的來源。」放下記者的筆,改拾起菜刀、鍋鏟,「就像改用料理來做報導。」藤藪志保說。她從東京回到故鄉,參與宮崎縣產業振興機構推動的「台灣塾」計畫,也自此與台灣有了更深的緣分。

2018年,藤藪志保成立「食設計」工作室,2019年暑日,她向賴青松提案,想到台灣開辦料理教室;而賴青松的夢想是希望能持續跟九州的食農夥伴保持聯繫,兩人一拍即合,而有了這充滿笑鬧、一夜限定的台日交流料理教室,「我們是用夢想去支持夢想。」賴青松說。

享受季節料理的一期一會

篠原有紀子與「去去高雄chill chill kaohsiung project」的「節氣食旅」亦是透過宮崎台灣塾而啟發的精采企劃。

出身關西的篠原有紀子,舉手投足帶著日本女性典雅溫柔的氣質。多年前隨先生移居宮崎,轉投入蔬果顧問領域,她觀察到每個農友照顧農產品都像在照顧自己的孩子一般,讓她亦加慎重自己作為種植者與食用者中間的媒介者。

受宮崎縣產業振興機構的委託,她協助當地農家,從農友的角度來探討如何展現食材的魅力及食譜開發。因台灣塾而結識了「去去高雄」創辦人Nato和Trista,而結伴企劃「節氣食旅」,展開食材的探險。

「如果用一個英文字來形容我的故鄉高雄,我覺得是『chill』,感覺高雄人蠻做『自己』的,沒在管現在流行什麼。」Trista解釋「去去高雄」的由來。經營民宿的Nato和Trista,來客多是外國朋友,要怎麼介紹家鄉呢?他們藉由走遊傳統市場和舉辦料理教室,介紹外國友人高雄的風味,也趁機認識高雄友善耕種的小農。利用「節氣食旅」,深入探索高雄食材的獨特與季節性,以及隱藏在食材背後的故事。

每一次的企劃由Nato和Trista建議當季食材,解釋台灣人喜愛的口感,篠原有紀子則思索著同樣的食材搭配日本的做法在台灣接受度高嗎?

今年夏日因應酷熱的天氣,節氣食旅設計以「薑」為素材。一開場就由Nato介紹找薑的過程,如何跟在地的小農一起採收,學習土地的知識。然後篠原有紀子帶領學員,將嫩薑刨成片、以滾水燒淋、濾水吸乾,再裝罐成為甘酢漬嫩薑。同場也品嚐生薑炊飯、薑汁汽水、沙拉佐生薑紅蘿蔔醬汁。她十分享受一年數次來到台灣,以料理為媒介跟久違的朋友碰面的非日常感,打開對台灣的眼界。

五年多來,Nato和Trista則透過篠原有紀子的眼光更感知家鄉的美好,「高雄的季節感雖然不明顯,但是還是有的,只是我們沒有太花心思關心,日子的溫度、濕度,吹拂的風,每天都在變。有紀子的料理風格很受茶道的影響,很重視『當下』,而這也讓我跳脫對料理口味的重視,而從食材的季節性去理解。」Trista說。

「節氣食旅」今年已邁入第五年。她們一起試過春日的番茄,夏日的柑橘、檸檬,冬天的大根和秋日的栗子,還有梅子、高麗菜等。未來還想試試日本沒有出產的木瓜、柚子等,讓人不禁期待起這台灣食材與日本料理同框的一期一會。

那一杯濃甜Q的珍珠滋味

像是交換便當的概念,日本料理家來台以食會友,台灣的特色飲品則以小點之姿,在日本掀起旋風。九州第一大城福岡,不管是地上店的斜角巷,或是進駐市中心賣場的春水堂、大三元、貢茶等,都因為珍珠奶茶形成排隊風潮。

兩年半前入駐福岡的春水堂,是台灣珍珠奶茶的創始店。店長下谷田美穗告訴我們,剛開幕時以店內消費為主,但考量營業額的提升,設計了TakeOut的窗口,沒想到卻無意中拉抬了營業額,廣受高中生客群喜愛。在日本祭典裡才會有邊走邊吃的景象,卻在台灣手搖杯、珍珠奶茶的進駐後,悄悄的改變風氣。下谷田美穗表示這一波珍珠帶起的風潮較去年的營業額度成長四成之多,真可說是小兵立大功。

在台灣已經營一甲子,近年得到米其林一顆星認證的「大三元酒樓」也進軍日本市場,第一站就在九州福岡展店。除了自家拿手的港式飲茶,還加入了小籠包和珍珠奶茶。珍珠和茶品是從台灣進口,餐點則委託日本當地的台灣業者製作,滿載台灣味。

在日本工作多年的店長余啟貞指出,早些年日本人的認知,台灣料理與中華料理幾乎可畫上等號,但近年隨著日本旅客訪台增加,加上日本媒體大量報導台灣資訊,日本人開始能辨識珍珠奶茶、滷肉飯、雞排等台灣料理,兩地的理解更貼近。

余啟貞還透露,這一波珍珠奶茶風潮確實讓日本人認識這台灣特產。她遇過一對老爺爺、老奶奶到店裡想品嚐珍珠的滋味,剛開始兩人共飲一杯,臨走前再外帶一杯,隔天又帶著孫子來體驗。大三元算是當地最早提供台灣手搖杯各式選項服務的店家,可以選茶種、甜度、冰塊,也讓日本知道台灣手搖杯,可以做這麼多客製化的微調整,讓日本開了眼界。

從一杯珍珠奶茶,到一桌料理,如果說,味覺是記憶的延伸,那麼相信台灣人和日本人的「交換便當」會引領著大家一次次的來到台灣、去到日本,一次次更深入的去探尋那曾在旅途中、記憶深處難忘的好味道。

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EN

Taiwan and Japan as Lunchroom Buddies:

Taste-Testing Each Other’s Foods

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by David Mayer

After finishing a meal in Japan, one expresses appreciation to the chef with folded hands and a custom­ary phrase: “go chi sou sama.” A meal is a form of sharing. It com­munic­ates the chef’s wish to share delicious food with friends. For a long time, Taiwan and Japan have shared the tastes of their respective cuisines, and these exchanges provide the mainstay of the culinary relation­ship between our two countries.


By pure coincidence, this July two chefs from Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture, Shiho Fu­ji­yabu and Akiko Shi­no­hara, came to Taiwan to teach cooking classes in Yilan and Kao­hsiung, where they have combined Taiwanese ingredi­ents with the spirit of Japanese cuisine. So, without further ado, ita­daki­­masu (“let’s dig in”)!

Connecting through cuisine

Whoever said that no kitchen was big enough for two women?! Fully 14 women squeezed happily into the kitchen at a cooking class organized by Island Time, a forum recently launched by Lai Cing-soong, co-founder of the Ko-Tong Rice Club in Yilan County. With Lai’s wife Chu Mei-hung serving as interpreter, Shiho Fujiyabu taught the students how to do Japanese-style home cooking using local Yilan ingredients.

One of the dishes made by Ms. Fujiyabu was chicken nan­ban­zuke, which features fried chicken smothered in sweet and sour sauce and topped with tartar sauce. This dish, which originated in her hometown of Miyazaki, is now all the rage throughout Japan. For cold hors ­d’oeuvres she went with shira-ae (mashed tofu salad), using in-­season bamboo shoots and her favorite Taiwanese pineapple. It was outstanding.

Fujiyabu demonstrated how to fry up a beautiful tama­go­yaki (Japanese omelet), then handed a frying pan to a student so the latter could give it a try. Next she took rice produced this year by the Ko-Tong Rice Club and had the students use it to make vegetable sushi from shiso, bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, eggplant, and edamame.

Despite the language barrier, laughter rang out con­tinu­ally during the cooking class. In the none-too-­spacious kitchen, the students busily shaped sushi balls, taste tested, laid out sushi platters, and took photos. Their work complete, they all sat down to eat, and before starting they said in unison: “itadakimasu!”

The roots of this scintillating culinary experience trace back to Taiwan Juku, a 2015 course on Taiwanese farm cuisine which was held in Kyushu and funded by the government of Miyazaki Prefecture.

Fujiyabu, who has a distinct “girl next door” air about her, quit her job as a journalist in 2010 and switched to cooking, for which she has had a passion since childhood. “It was like I had switched to using cooking as my journalistic medium,” she says. She returned from Tokyo to her hometown and joined in the Taiwan Juku project promoted by the Miyazaki Enterprise Promotion Organization. This marked the beginning of a deeper relationship with Taiwan.

In 2018, Fujiyabu opened a cooking studio called Syoku Sekkei (“food design and coordination”), and in the summer of 2019 she approached Lai Cing-soong with a proposal to come and teach cooking classes in Taiwan. Lai, for his part, already had a dream of maintaining strong ties with farm cuisine partners in Kyushu, and so accepted the proposal with alacrity. “We’re using dreams to support our dreams,” says Lai.

The government-sponsored Taiwan Juku project was only set to run for a year, and has now come to an end, but in the meantime, its emphasis on “making friends above all else” has led to a lot more people-to-­people ties than anyone ever anticipated.

Seasonal cooking

The Farm to Table Project, a cooking workshop that Akiko Shinohara developed for the Chill Chill Kaohsiung Project, is yet another outstanding activity that has resulted from the Taiwan Juku program in Miyazaki.

A native of Japan’s Kansai region, Ms. Shinohara is in every way the proverbial Yamato nadeshiko, the personi­fica­tion of an idealized Japanese woman. Many years ago, she moved to Miyazaki because of her husband’s job there. As a vegetable sommelier, she was hired by the Miyazaki Enterprise Promotion Organization to help local farmers develop a new cookbook. Taking the farmers’ perspective, she set about finding ways to bring the delicious tastes of food ingredients to the fore. As a result of the Taiwan Juku program, she got to know Nato and Trista, the organizers of Chill Chill Kao­hsiung, with whom she joined hands to roll out her workshop.

In explaining the origins of the Chill Chill Kao­hsiung Project, Trista commented as follows: “If I were to use one English word to describe my hometown of Kao­hsiung, I think that word would be ‘chill.’ I feel that the people of Kaohsiung don’t pay attention to what’s in fashion. We just do our own thing.” As the proprietors of a bed and breakfast where most of the guests are from overseas, Nato and Trista often think about how to present Taiwan to foreigners. They lead foreign visitors through traditional markets and point them to cooking classes so they can appreciate the feel of Kaohsiung, and they use Akiko Shinohara’s cooking workshop to do deep-dive explorations into Kaohsiung’s food and seasonality, and to look at the stories behind the foods.

For each workshop, Nato and Trista suggest particular seasonal vegetables, and explain how the Taiwanese prefer to have them prepared, while Shinohara thinks about how to take them and use Japanese cooking methods to create dishes that will prove popular in Taiwan. She says: “Japanese cuisine is meant to be appreciated with all five senses. The feeling of Taiwanese cuisine, meanwhile, is one of vigor and energy.”

Earlier this year, they responded to the summer heat by making ginger the focal ingredient of the workshop. Nato started things off by explaining how one sources ginger from small local farming operations, then Shinohara showed the students how to thin-slice the ginger then blanch and dry the slices, resulting in a ginger relish that can be put up in jars. During the same session, students tasted ginger on rice, ginger ale, and salad with ginger and carrot juice.

For the past five-plus years, Nato and Trista have gotten a new appreciation for their hometown’s charm by looking at it through Shinohara’s eyes. Trista states: “Akiko’s cooking style is deeply influenced by the Japanese tea ceremony. She cares deeply about ‘the current moment,’ which has prompted me to drop some of my emphasis on delicious taste and understand things instead through the lens of season­ality.”

This year marks year five of the seasonal cooking workshop. Together they’ve tried tomatoes in the spring, mandarin oranges and lemons in the summer, chestnuts in the autumn, and daikon radishes in the winter. In the future, they’re hoping to try out some fruits not grown in Japan, such as papaya and pomelo. One can’t help but feel a buzz of anticipation as each new workshop draws near and a unique combination of Taiwanese ingredients and Japan­ese cooking pops up on the radar.

Bubbly boba

Much the same as Taiwanese kids like to trade lunch boxes at school, so it goes between Japan and Taiwan when we try out each other’s foods. Japanese chefs come to Taiwan to learn about the things we eat, and to make friends in the process. And, distinctively Taiwanese foods get introduced in Japan and make a big splash there.

Taiwan’s famous bubble milk tea (or boba, as it is often called) was originally invented by the Taiwanese restaur­ant chain Chun Shui Tang, which opened a shop two and a half years ago in Fukuoka’s bustling Hakata District.

Shop manager Miho Shimotanida tells us that when the shop first opened, most of the customers drank their tea inside, but business increased and she opened a “take out” window. This only increased her business all the more. The Japanese are rather proper with their eating habits. The only time they eat while walking in the street is during certain festivals, but the incursion of Taiwanese bubble milk tea is quietly changing all that. Ms. Shimotanida reports that her business is up by more than 40% over last year.

3 Coins Restaurant, which has been doing business in Taiwan for over 60 years and last year was awarded a Michelin star, has now embarked upon the Japan market under the name of Daisangen. In addition to the Hong-Kong-style dim sum dishes that have long been a mainstay of its business, Daisangen has now added xiao­long­bao steamed dumplings and bubble milk tea to its menu, giving it a distinctly Taiwanese flavor.

Restaurant manager Yu Chi-chen, who has worked many years in Japan, notes that Japanese people used to consider Taiwanese cuisine to be virtually the same thing as Chinese cuisine. But the number of Japanese tourists visiting Taiwan has risen in recent years, and Japanese news media have started to report extensively on all things Taiwanese. As a result, the Japanese have gotten to where they can identify bubble milk tea, braised pork over rice, fried chicken fillets, and other typic­ally Taiwanese food items. Today, people in Taiwan and Japan understand each other better.

According to Yu Chi-chen, the recent bubble milk tea craze has familiarized the Japanese with this quintessentially Taiwanese treat. Meanwhile, Daisangen is the first restaurant in Japan to sell Taiwan-style tea shakes. Part of the product’s charm lies in the fact the customer chooses the type of tea, the degree of sweetness, and how many ice cubes to put in. Allowing the buyer this level of customization came as a real eye-opener for consumers in Japan.

If a flavor is indeed the extension of a memory, then I daresay that interest among the people of Taiwan and Japan in each other’s cuisines will spur all of us to travel back and forth and create indelible memories as we experience the unforgettable flavors that are out there to be discovered and enjoyed.

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