Yoshoku is the collective term used in Japan for western dishes that are given a distinctive local twist. The most popular examples of this particular culinary style are kare raisu (rice topped with a curry gravy that is much milder than any South Asian original), omuraisu (tomato rice wrapped in a thin egg omelet), and beef hash or beef stew. The term further extends to American dishes that the Japanese have made their own.
One delectable example I encountered recently are the Osaka BBQ Ribs over at Tokyo Bubble Tea. Now, while it’s rather unusual to get a square meat at what is, essentially, a teashop, it’s one of my go-to places for lush, proper lunches that are more than satisfying.
TBT’s spin on a Southern classic really delivers in terms of taste, texture, and quality. A section of pork belly ribs are marinated in a sweet mix of tangy barbecue sauce, a hint of honey, toasted sesame seeds, and soy. After being grilled to perfection, more sauce is drizzled over and extra sesame sprinkled on top.
The end result is a section of ribs that fall apart almost as soon as you start prodding it gently with a spoon. Each bite is delightful: a proper balance of lean meat and unctuous fat, all beautifully flavored by the sauce with a smoky hit from its time on the grill.
The corn slaw and grilled veg that come with it are an excellent textural counterpoint and the sharpness of the grilled tomatoes are a nice way to offset the sweetness of the pork. My tip: skip the mashed potatoes and go with the garlic rice for some extra-flavorful oomph in your meal.