Day 6 is a much shorter day in comparison to the other days, with the majority of it spent in classes. However, that is not to say that the classes have been boring, because they have definitely not! After the basic module lectures, we had a Japanese class that taught basic differences in pitch changing the meaning of words. I'm sure many of you would know about this already!
Right after the Japanese lesson was our lunch break. We had Karaage don (fried chicken rice bowl) takeaway, delivered right to the classroom, and the meat was just so juicy and chewy! Definitely one of the best Karaage dons I ever had!
The rice was placed in a separate container to ensure that the chicken wouldn't lose the crispiness of its skin due to the warm rice and water vapor. I'll also like to mention that I like how most of the food in Japan have an expiry date tagged to it, right down to the day and hour!
And when you thought the day is very boring, the next class I had was a squid dissection. The original plan was to have a campus tour but due to heavy rain. that plan was cancelled and replaced with a squid dissection class. I can't deny that that was quite a good and useful class!
We learned things like the difference between octopus (left) and squid (right). As you can see if you squint, the suckers on the arms of octopus do not have teeth while the suckers on the tentacles of squids have teeth.
As part of the dissection, we had to analyse the squid before we cut it up, and we say first hand the teeth that these squids had. I don't think they remove these teeth before cooking and serving it, but I am not sure about these. But, the teeth should be edible, especially after cooking!
Here are my friends cutting up the squid. It's surprisingly easy to snip open, which took me by surprise because the only other thing I have dissected was frogs and the skin of the frog I cut was very thick and difficult to pierce through.
Squid liver! This is an important ingredient for Ika-Shiokara, one of the famous fermented dishes in Hokkaido. I even heard that some of the locals even eat Shiokara with rice for breakfast. Personally, it was too fishy for me and I didn't like the taste. Many other foreigners can't take it either.
In squid's mouth are beaks -- one upper and one lower beak. I never knew about this, so it's a complete eye-opener for me! Apparently, different species can be differentiated using their beak shapes. It's surprising and amazing that squids have beaks as well, which makes me wonder about their relation to birds.
These beaks do not digest well, and some marine animals which prey on squids can be seen with huge loads of squid beaks in their bodies, and those beaks can then be used to identify which species they ate.
After the dissection is a class on canning of Pacific Saury, sanma. This requires gutting of fish by removing the head and innards, washing with water, then slicing them into smaller pieces that fit the can before actually putting the slices into the cans and sealing it.
Caution that this part will be a little gory, and you're free to skip past it if necessary.
After removing the head, the innards are swept out using your index finger. This fish is then washed for a while until the pink blood is gone from the surface of the meat.
This is the preliminary washing, where you immerse the whole sieve container into the water and pull it back up. Next would be to wash each individual sanma and ensure that each one is clean! After this would only be cutting them into pieces and canning of the sanma!
About 9 to 10 pieces are to be placed in each can, and arranged in a flower pattern! Ah, so beautiful!
And now with all the cans filled, it's time to seal the cans and store them overnight. There's a taste-test session on the next day, and the process of this as well as the results of the taste-test has to be written into a practical report. As much as the assignment doesn't sound that appealing, the practical classes in Japan Universities definitely are much more fun than those in Singapore!
This machine places the lid onto the cans and ensures that the interior of the cans are a vacuum. I won't do into details on how these work, but that doesn't mean that I don't think this is cool!
As the canning practical was my last class of the day, I returned to the hotel with the rest of my classmates from Singapore. We split up near the hotel, with a handful of us wanting to check out Fuji-Reika, which was located nearby. This store serves homemade ice-cream.
I got Black Sesame, where the very first bite was packed with oomph! with a milky and smooth texture melting into a strong sesame taste. Though, that gradually wore off with more spoonfuls into tasting just like normal ice-cream.
My friends got Mascarpone cheese, which is one of the best sellers, as well as Honey. The cheese was soft and fluffy and didn't feel overbearing when consumed, a little different from how my sesame one tasted. After tasting a bite, I can tell why it would be a bestseller, however according to my friend, after several bites, the initial oomph! vanished as well.
Honey flavor was just sweet though, and there didn't seem to be much depth to its taste. Likewise, the first bite was the nicest and the level of sweetness decreased as more spoonfuls were eaten.
Dinner was back at Tsugaruya Shokudo (I love the food there!) and this time I ordered Nabeyaki Udon/ There's quite a bit of Kamaboko in this, and since I love fishcakes, this is perfect for me! The other ingredients are definitely not lacking as well! The amount of udon is more than acceptable -- I almost couldn't finish the whole thing!
This udon only costs 550 yen, and is definitely well worth the money spent! Highly recommended for all those heading over to Hakodate~