By Tana Kosiyabong
“Holy crap! It’s almost eleven,” I cried as I jumped out of bed in panic. I had a Cheap Appetite mission to tackle today. The plan was to survive a whole day at the Vancouver Public Library with only $10 food budget. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I sure loved the challenge. Unfortunately, by the time I had made it to the library, it was already noon. I had missed the breakfast altogether.
As a result, I had to abort the mission. No worries, I’ll revisit the plan next time I go to the library. But now it was time for Plan B! Wait… I never thought that far ahead. So, I walked around the library to see what’s worth writing about. Soon enough, I came across Kamiya Sushi in front of the main library entrance on Robson. Their spicy chicken teriyaki don caught my eyes. I ate more chicken teriyaki bowls than I could count, but I had yet to try this spicy sibling.
The restaurant looked nice and clean with a Japanese touch. The front door was almost too heavy to open. No wonder why there were only a few customers when I stepped inside. As reaching the cashier, I wasted no time to order the spicy chicken teriyaki don ($5.99), then poured myself a glass of iced water and walked towards an empty bar seat in the back of the restaurant. Soon after, the rice bowl was served.
At first glance, it looked really yummy. Then I realized that the cook had topped the chicken teriyaki bowl with the Fake Sriracha sauce, one of my pet peeves. Although it’s definitely spicy, I just didn’t expect Kamiya to take such an easy way out. I could have added the damn hot sauce myself. (If you want to try this dish, I suggest you stir the hot sauce in with the rice first.)
The chicken teriyaki was pan grilled and cut into small cubes, then lightly stir-fried with fresh sweet onion, cabbage and bean sprout. The crunchy veggies added fun textures to the bowl. The rice was al dente. Unfortunately, this dish was not a risotto. Kamiya used medium sweet dark soy sauce to season the dish. However, I couldn’t detect mirin aroma in the teriyaki sauce. Even though this dish didn’t taste like what I had imagined, it was pretty decent. Since I’m not a Japanese food expert, who am I to judge its authenticity?
Kamiya Sushi’s Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Don: ©©©
Kamiya is located at 202-345 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.331.0817
Now let’s talk about Sriracha sauce and its imitator. Sriracha is a municipal district of Chonburi, a coastal province in Central Thailand. The authentic Sriracha sauce was first made in this district as condiment/dipping sauce for the abundant local seafood. However, the infamously fake Sriracha sauce was made in California. It doesn’t taste like the original at all. But since the fake stuff was widely available in many grocery stores across the US and Canada, most people–including some famous chefs on TV–thought that it was the real McCoy. Seriously chefs, do your homework!
If you live in or near Vancouver and want to try Thai Sriracha sauce (see the above right photo), you can find it at T&T supermarket near Tinseltown, downtown Vancouver. Though it’s not the Sriraja Panich Brand I grew up with, but it’s close enough. If you want to order online, look for Sriracha Sauce from Thailand.
According to the Bird Chili blog, Sriracha Panich, arguably the first manufacturer of Sriracha sauce in Thailand, now markets the sauce under the name Sriraja Panich because “Sriracha” was trademarked in the US by Huy Fong, the manufacturer of the imitation sauce.
Imagine how you would feel if the identity of your beloved Tabasco sauce was stolen and distorted. And now the rest of the world thought the Fake Tabasco is the real deal. Then, you’ll understand why this imitation sauce pisses me off!
©2009 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.