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July 02, 2012: Search Terms and Wasabi Fries

July 2, 2012

Having done the blog now for a while, and being dedicated to making it the best it can be, I daily check the search terms that steer people towards the blog. It is very important to me to see IF and HOW people are finding what they are looking for.

Sometimes the search-term combinations are just puzzling. Like today, when someone searched for “Kuribashi-Butterflies” I wasn’t quite sure what they were looking for. It doesn’t help that I am not a native Japanese speaker, in this case. Sometimes, it’s exactly clear, and I can tell that the searcher has found just what they are looking for. Like last week when someone was searching for the “difference between a New England Boiled Dinner and Corned Beef and Cabbage” and I covered that in the original article when Yoshio and I made Corned Beef for the Showa students.

Sometimes I’m pretty sure people are finding the right article, like the person who searched for “Rubber Band Around a Cockroach” and I think this is in reference to my recent article “Rock-a-Bye Lobster” where I talk about both lobsters with the rubber bands and compare them to a “cockroach of the sea.” Sometimes the search results have been gleaned from the search engines obviously scrambling various WOO articles. These are the most disappointing to me, as clearly the searcher has not found exactly what hey are looking for. Like someone who was recently looking for a “Green Tea Mocktail.” Now, WOO has several Japanese cocktails and several green tea articles, but no real green tea mocktail, unless you count my recent article “Nicole Loves Green Tea” about a green-tea latte recipe from my friend’s daughter.

Sometimes the search-terms are just amusing, like the person looking for “Squirrels Eating Yams!” Now I have a yam recipe and I think one of my articles about gardens mention my constant battle with squirrels eating my veggies. I’m pretty sure I didn’t help this person, and I wish them every success in their battle against pests, but I have to admit, their search-terms made my day!

Once in a great while, I get a search that just makes me think that WOO should have an article on that very topic. Such was the search from last week, when a viewer was looking for a particular wasabi-flavored chip made by a certain Japanese chef. Well, I never heard of the chef, but I thought a wasabi-flavored potato to be  perfect fusion dish, so here’s mine:

Wasabi-Fries:

Scrub well, three baking potatoes and section each lengthwise into 12 pieces, keeping the skin. In a wok, over medium heat, add 2 Tblsp. corn oil to potatoes. Cook for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Try to resist turning up the heat. You want the potatoes to brown evenly and cook all the way through. Towards the end of cooking, add another Tblsp. of oil, a sprinkling or coarse sal de mer, pepper and chili powder. Fries are done when you are able to pierce the biggest piece of potato with a fork. Serve hot with Wasabi Dipping Sauce.

Wasabi Dipping Sauce: To 1/2 C Mayonnaise (I like the Kewpie Japanese brand, for this, as it is a tad more sweet than traditional mayo, and has a slight yellowish color because they only make it with egg yolks) add 1 Tsp. prepared wasabi and 1 Tsp. mirin. Whisk. Top with toasted and crumbled nori.

If serving to an authentic Japanese crowd you might want to skip the pepper and chili powder, as they might find this too spicy, but I found this dish to be a great snack or a starter to a Japanese-fusion dinner. Should be perfect match with a Japanese beer!

There’s a saying: “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever will.” I’m sorry that I couldn’t help this particular mysterious searcher, but their suggestion of a recipe was fantastic!

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