4 words – deep. fried. mochi. balls. That’s reason enough to come to the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival. Every year, the Japanese celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms (or the coming of spring). The 2 weekend affair is filled with great food, local music and a festive parade.
Ever since I was very young, I would volunteer with my basketball team selling hot dogs and lemonade. The festivals concessions have since evolved to serving Japanese classics such as okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), takoyaki (squid balls), dorayaki (red bean pancakes), kalbi ribs and udon. The food stands are so popular, I waited almost an hour for a plate of $6 kalbi ribs. Though it was completely worth it in my opinion.
My all time favorite will always be the deep fried mochi balls. Little gumball sized mochi are deep fried until their crispy and chewy on the outside and soft and gooey in the inside. The mochi are topped with a thick sweet soy sauce and nori (seaweed) flakes. The salty-sweet with the warm-chewy make for a perfect combination.
I encourage you to make an effort to come this weekend! Most stands are fundraising for a tsunami relief fund. So while you’re enjoying some tasty treats, you’re also helping others. Win-win!