Pork Bowl with Collard Greens, Macaroni and Chow Chow Relish

When Luke and I were in Tokyo, one of the things we eventually realized is that we were ordering our food all wrong. One night we stumbled into a little hole in the wall that featured miniature coal grills in the middle of the table. You could order an assortment of meat and vegetables and grill it yourself. As we paged through the meat choices, it struck us that a plate of meat, while delicious, didn’t seem like a particularly complete meal. It was a little early for dinner, and we were the first people in the restaurant, so we couldn’t look to the other patrons’ plates for hints on how to order. We tried to ask the server how big the plates of meat were, but language was a barrier, so we were on our own. We ended up ordering two platefuls of thinly sliced meat, and a side salad. Once the restaurant began to fill, and others around us began to get their food, we realized what was wrong with our strategy- everyone else ordered rice, vegetables, meat, and then¬†made a bowl!¬†It was supposed to be obvious that all of the ingredients on the menu were to be mixed together. (It was also supposed to be obvious that you were meant to grill the vegetables with the meat. When our server realized we were eating our veggies raw, I think he was appalled by our total stupidity). I immediately wished that I could have a food do-over, and cursed my American tendency to eat all of my dishes separately. Continue reading Pork Bowl with Collard Greens, Macaroni and Chow Chow Relish