Thanasis is a writer, editor, and professional geek. He usually writes about what he thinks he knows about the struggles of studying languages, surviving as a creative soul, and socializing as an extroverted introvert.
I haven’t had gyōza in ages. I remember that the last time I had these little tasty devils was in a small restaurant in Shanghai. So essentially they were jiaoji, but the recipe is so deeply engraved in Japanese culture that they have their own way of preparing the dish. I don’t know about you, but since this show started I’ve started cooking more. Especially since the team decided to create a Manga.Tokyo feature about anime recipes (more about that in the themes section).
I don’t know about you, but I already feel myおなか (onaka – stomach) craving some delicious gyōza.
We haven’t had the chance to see Kotori’s mother a lot, and her starting the episode was a breath of fresh air. Her sequence with Shinobu-chan’s mother was fast and thorough, reminding us that news travel fast when sharing a neighborhood.
After finding her best friend cooking with Tsumugi and her father, she agrees to help them out cooking their next dish. Tsumugi-chan, over-enthusiastic by someone entering the restaurant, she mistakes Shinobu-chan for a customer. Her genuine excitement along with her taking the word パーティー (party) a little too literally, paved the plot of this episode: Tsumugi is excited to be able to bring her friends along, because that what you do in a party, right? You have fun with your friends. She has even made invitations when her father tells her that it’s not polite to bring people to someone else’s house. The series is part pedagogy part cooking, except when they mix them in one explosively educational mix. Kōhei is a very sensitive father that can make heads over tails of a situation: he remembers that Tsumugi has probably connected the word ‘party’ with memories of her mother giving her and her friends sweets when they gathered in her house. He makes the best of the situation and promises Tsumugi that she can have a party with her friends in their house and still go to Kotori’s to make gyōza.
The second part of the episode was all about the group preparing the gyōza, Shinobu-chan caring about Kotori and her reasons for cooking, and Yagi-chan’s awesome cooking skills (he was invited by Tsumugi to the gyōza party as well).
Cooking lesson of the day: This is the one cooking instruction I singled out from the rest of the preparation sequence: Always buy freshやさい (yasai – vegetables) and be sure to wash them thoroughly!
Gyōza: Gyōza (餃子) are dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables and wrapped in a thin dough. Gyoza originated in China (where they are called jiaozi), but have become a very popular dish in Japan. The typical gyōza filling (あん) consists of ground pork, nira chives, green onion, cabbage, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, but some creative gyōza shops have also come up with a range of other fillings. There are many types of gyōza; in this episode we saw yaki gyōza (pan fried) and sui gyōza (boiled).
Anime Recipes: Many anime feature food in their episodes. We found ourselves drooling in front of the screen so many times, that we decided to make some of the recipes ourselves. Be sure to check out our Anime Recipes Section for some delicious Japanese dishes. If you decide to make any of them, please share your dishes in the comments section!
For an anime that has no clear plot advancement, Amaama to Inazuma is fitting my anime schedule like a good American sit-com, but with a slightly better concept. Seeing Yagi-chan and Shinobu-chan preparing the food, the rest of the group feels like it’s watching a cooking show. I must say that I prefer Tsumugi-chan to Gordon Ramsey any given day. Tsumugi-chan and her friends are loving every moment of what they do; they don’t want to become famous chefs or win the golden plate of a serialized competition. They make simple dishes, food that you and I can easily try our hands on if only we tried. There is nothing fancy or pretentious about their passion. Like Kotori-chan says, it’s just an important thing that brings a smile on her face. What about you? What brings a smile on your face?
Every time an episode ends, it leaves me with a huge smile on my face. You don’t need to see people saving the world or exotic adventures in faraway kingdoms. Sometimes the only thing you need is a little girl enjoying her meal.
NEXT TIME: Goheimochi and Adventure, 「五平餅とだいぼうけん」（第7話）
Based on the manga “sweetness & lightning” by Gido Amagakure originally serialized in the monthly GOOD! AFTERNOON magazine published by KODANSHA Ltd.
Anime official site : http://www.amaama.jp/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/amaama_anime
(C)Gido Amagakure, KODANSHA/”sweetness & lightning” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.