Playing with the sand at the side of the road

The JK-Meshi! Challenge

We’ve seen something of a renaissance of short shows from the past few seasons of anime. Perhaps the rise of Teekyuu has inspired others in its wake, what with its crazy Blu-Ray numbers for a show so lacking in duration.

And so, to Autumn 2015, where one of those shorts is a show about high school girls shooting the shit and cooking basic meals - JK-Meshi!.

The dialogue’s been OK-ish so far, but the animation (or lack thereof) has been appalling. But hey, I’ll accept this shoestring they’re on, especially when I only need to see the horrors of their poor Flash animation three minutes a week.

But the real meat of the show surely must be in the premise of showing off an easy-to-cook meal every episode.

Unfortunately, one of my many weaknesses is to get swept up in fads and bandwagons much too easily, so by the time I thought that a series of attempts on the apparently easy recipes would be a good idea, it was already too late.

The JK-Meshi! Challenge

Hence, the JK-Meshi! Challenge.

Rules of the JK-Meshi! Challenge

Step 1: Make the recipe from the episode.

Step 2: There is no Step 2.

Hard mode: Don’t look up any other information.

Round 1: Special Miso Soup

My special miso soup! Just put lots of fried tomatoes in leftover miso soup, dribble some olive oil on top, add sesame seeds, and voila!

Protagonist girl

Let’s first cast aside any notions that I had “leftover” miso soup hanging around and say I made that specially for this. Well, when I say “made”…

Miso paste

Isn’t that a sight. I wasn’t brave enough to go to the Asian food shop this time around, but I fear I’ll have to get over that pretty damn soon.

Tomatoes and leek

Week 1 and I’m already deviating from said recipes, but I’d heard that miso soup usually had leek in, so I bought some. You can also see my chopped tomato here.

Tomatoes after frying in oil

Whether I’d overdone the tomatoes or not, I was never really certain.

But I can’t just put raw leeks in, and I can’t make them in the soup given it’s single step is to pour in boiling water, so I improvised and fried them.

Frying the leeks

In the juices of the tomato, no less! I always hear cooks banging on about not wasting juices, so I must be doing well.

Everything together

After the leeks didn’t fry for long enough, I put everything together: the just-rehydrated soup, the quickly-cooling tomatoes, and the underdone leeks. Finally, the easiest part, the sesame seeds.

Everything together

Comparison shot

I’m a little worried that my tomatoes aren’t perfectly floating to the top like in the fictional miso soup at this point, and it turns out my worries were well-placed.

This tasted a lot like miso soup. So much so, that I wouldn’t have guessed anything else was even in there. Sometimes a wisp of heat came across the palate, which could have been the sesame seeds, but otherwise I only had the soft mush of the tomatoes and the underdone crunch of the leek to force myself to try.

I’m going to assume the recipe was good, but using nearly out-of-date tomatoes, messing up the frying of the leek, having leek there in the first place, and using Itsu paste were the fatal flaws in this rendition.

Perhaps we can all learn something from this.

Result: JK Messy

Please don’t use the hashtag #jkmeshichallenge. Seriously.