Osaka’s Miso

Lately, I’ve been enjoying a daily bowl of miso soup, thanks to a recipe I found in my mother’s old cookbook titled “Longevity Miso Soup.” The recipe caught my eye, and I’ve grown quite fond of it.

To make it, I mix 80g of red miso, 80g of white miso, a dash of apple vinegar, and grated onion (about one small onion) to create a miso base. I have a bowl of this soup every morning.

Even on mornings when I wake up without much of an appetite, sipping on this miso soup gives me a warm, comforting feeling that instantly boosts my well-being. It’s known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to promote gut health.

I usually enjoy it after my morning jog, and while I’ve been maintaining my weight so far, I haven’t seen any significant signs of weight loss yet (laughs).

As for its effects on weight loss, I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve rediscovered that miso is gentle on the stomach and provides essential nutrition. Traditional ingredients like miso always seem to work wonders.

Now, to get to the point: near my workplace, in the vicinity of Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, there’s an old miso shop called “Torii Miso,” which has been in business since the Edo period. It’s said that the wife of Junichiro Tanizaki, a famous Japanese author, used to shop here.

In front of the shop, there’s a sign that humorously reads, “No handsome men or beautiful women here, but we’re somewhat decent. Our miso is also somewhat tasty.” It’s quintessentially Osaka, and I love it.

Even during the Edo period, it seems like people in this area had a lively and fun-loving spirit, with phrases like “moukarimakka” (meaning “Are you making money?”), “bochibochi dennna” (meaning “Take it easy”), and “doudekka” (meaning “How’s it going?”) floating around.

When I go on hiking trips to Nagano or Niigata, I always make sure to buy some miso to take back home. The miso from these rice-producing regions is exquisite because of the high-quality rice and water they have. But I must say, Osaka’s miso is quite competitive and holds its own.

In front of the torii gate at Tenmangu Shrine, there’s Osaka Hanjoutei rakugo theater. I remember seeing Katsura Sanshi (now Katsura Bunshi) in the Tenjinbashi Shopping Street when it first opened, and the neighborhood was bustling with activity.

I’ve always wanted to go and listen to rakugo (traditional Japanese comic storytelling) there, thinking it’s so close by and I can go anytime, but time flies, and I haven’t made it there yet. It opened in 2006, so it’s been 17 years already – time sure does fly!

This year, I’m determined to go and listen to rakugo, have a good laugh with my mouth wide open without a mask on!

落語研究会 上方落語四天王 【DVD】

(2023/5/18 16:53時点)

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