For many Westerners, sushi is the most familiar part of Japanese cuisine. Certain restaurants in Houston are now branching out, however, by experimenting with robata—a method of cooking food over or around a tepee of glowing charcoal. The ancient technique seals succulent juices into skewers of meat, fish, and veggies via circulating heat from the glowing pyramid. Unlike Texas's ubiquitous barbecue pits, the process is smokeless, and due to the Japanese reverence for the freshest ingredients, it’s best conducted with food that’s perfectly in season. "In fact, the Japanese have narrowed the timing down to the very hours when an ingredient will taste its best," noted food writer Harris Salat in _Food & Wine_ magazine. “Japanese culture is so food-obsessed, even the mailman knows when an ingredient is at the height of its seasonality.”Read More
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