A perfect Onsen Tamago in South Bend

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I’m about to start 8 weeks of intensive Japanese training as the St. Joseph river flows under the South Bend sun as it always does in front of my window. My Japanese summer workshop at Indiana University is virtual, therefore, on top of the missed opportunity of visiting Japan, there’s also no immersive Japanese environment ready for me. I have therefore been thinking about what to do to aid my language and culture studies, and to make the experience at home more like a journey.

My fiancé suggested watching Japanese anime every day. But let’s face it, with 4 hours of live sessions every weekday, plus homework time, and time I need for graduate school TA and reading tasks, anime sounds like a luxury. I realized that I can’t add new activities to my day, but merely add Japanese elements to what I already do on a daily basis. Bingo! I can try making Japanese food.

I’m adding a picture to this blog post, and it’s of my attempt at making a Japanese poke bowl. I used Japanese white rice bought in a south bend Asian market for the base, and Japanese soy sauce for the dressing. The most important, and also the most tricky part of making this poke bowl was making the onsen tamago (温泉卵), a traditional Japanese low-temperature egg. I made sure that the water in the pot was around 70 °C and left the egg in there for 30 minutes when I replied to a couple of emails. As you can see in the picture, the onsen tamago turned out legit! Now that I’m fueled by the yummy poke bowl, I’m even more looking forward to learning the Japanese language and culture this summer by taking classes and also by searching for Japanese recipes to try my hands at them.