Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • Last week after a hangover that made me feel like my head was in a blender, I made a conscious decision to give up drinking alcohol.

  • Not forever - wouldn't do that...

  • But certainly for a few weeks - for a few months - to see what positive effect it would have on my everyday life.

  • This week, my so-called friend Ryotaro surprises me with a trip to try a highly potent, illegal form of homemade sake.

  • Coincidence! I swear.

  • [CB]: Yeah, sure...

  • Once thing I promise you... is that you're gonna get a hangover again.

  • [CB]: Ohh, god.

  • It's worth it though.

  • As I've said before, drinking sake is a highly deceptive process.

  • It looks like purified water and it tastes like the meadows of Narnia - it has a highly delicate flavor.

  • But drink a bottle or two, and you will get the hangover to end all hangovers - not too dissimilar from drinking a bottle of wine.

  • The sake we're trying today is not only cloudy in appearance, but it's also highly illegal to produce throughout most of Japan

  • and we'll get on to why that is in a minute.

  • But perhaps, above all, it's an absolute nightmare to pronounce.

  • What is it again? D... Dubrovnik?

  • 'Do-bu-ro-ku'!

  • [CB]: Doburoku...

  • Yeah, that's right.

  • The easiest way to remember it is it sounds like 80's pop sensation New Kids on 'doburoku'.

  • [Ryotaro]: And you are a fan?

  • I can't say I am-- or!

  • Dwayne 'doburoku' Johnson!

  • [Ryotaro laughs]

  • Fun fact: I actually spoke with Dwayne the Rock Johnson last week! -- [R]: No fucking way!!

  • Yeah! I spoke with him the other day.

  • Ah, sounds like you've been drinking again.

  • [CB]: No......

  • Be prepared to be amazed over dinner, because I've got a story for you.

  • ... Unless you follow me on Twitter in which case you already know.

  • [R]: And I'm not!!

  • [CB]: You don't follow me on Twitter??

  • No! Why do I have to?

  • All my friends follow me on Twitter.

  • --And that means I'm not your friend!

  • [dunnnnnn]

  • In a nutshell, doburoku is essentially unrefined sake that hasn't undergone filtering or pressing after fermentation,

  • giving it a cloudy, creamy-like appearance.

  • Before the 20th century, the drink was incredibly popular due to its simplicity and was home-brewed across the country.

  • However, after liquor taxation laws were introduced in the 1800s, home-brewed sake in Japan was completely outlawed.

  • The good news though is in recent years, home-brewing has reemerged in special zones,

  • with the Japanese government currently permitting about 150 towns and villages across the country

  • to brew, bottle and sell their very own doburoku.

  • And in order to get our greedy hands on this rare treat for the first time,

  • Ryotaro and I are travelling north to one such town called Tome,

  • hidden away in the Miyagi countryside about an hour north of Sendai.

  • But before we get to enjoy a bottle for ourselves,

  • first things first we're gonna pitch in and help brew a fresh batch of doburoku.

  • Given rice is the main ingredient in sake, it's essential to source nothing but the very best.

  • And here in Tome, they're not only blessed with having some of the largest rice fields in north Japan,

  • but they're also organic and free of chemicals for a pretty good reason.

  • In the winter months, over 100,000 migrating birds journey over from Siberia to have a bird holiday.

  • In effect, the rice fields of Tome become an enormous bird hotel.

  • By accommodating the birds and avoiding nasty chemicals,

  • the farmers of Tome have created a cheeky symbiotic relationship between nature and the local cuisine.

  • So the rice has been harvested, polished, just been cooked, and now we've gotta dry it

  • before it gets mixed with malt and yeast to begin the process of becoming sake.

  • This is where I come in.

  • Apparently you've gotta spread the rice out first.

  • ... And all over the floor, in my case.

  • That's embarrassing... --[R]: I saw that.

  • Change!

  • [R]: 'Change'! Hehe! Change!

  • [R]: It's so funny, like you with two housewives, hehe.

  • So before the rice goes in the pot, it needs to be about 20ºC.

  • It's currently about 30ºC, but the temperature's going down very quick - it was steaming about 3 or 4 minutes ago,

  • and thanks to the fan, and these incredible hand movements, the temperature's gone down rapidly.

  • It's hard work.

  • Hehe.

  • It's hard work.

  • Mm.

  • As doburoku is brewed in so few towns and villages, the essence of the drink is in its locality.

  • Historically, rice farmers labored for long hours and lived off little income.

  • And given refined sake is a pricey indulgence, instead of blowing all their pocket money, farmers started brewing their own.

  • And here in Tome, they've kept that tradition alive.

  • Every ingredient used in the brewing of doburoku, including the all-important yeast and lactic acid,

  • has been harvested and cultivated within the town.

  • It took over a year of trial and error to perfect and a relentless certification process from the government, but it paid off.

  • Today, they can legally prepare and sell their very own delicious local brew within the town.

  • So we've just put the rice into malt and yeast, and already it smells - it kinda smells like sake already.

  • It's got that sweet fragrance to it - that sweet aroma.

  • So this is left in the fridge for two weeks and it's stirred daily.

  • And at the end of the two weeks, you should be left with 12% alcohol.

  • It's not allowed to be called 'nihonshu', it's not allowed to be Japanese sake.

  • It's just labelled as an alcoholic beverage.

  • Nevertheless, it smells an awful lot like sake.

  • [R]: It does already.

  • [CB]: Chef Ryotaro.

  • Ryotaro's kitchen.

  • [C]: Ryotaro's kitchen... The most disappointing kitchen show to come out of Japan yet.

  • --[R]: So I'm going to make a bottle of my own.

  • So first of all, we need to put sake...

  • Oohh...! [CLANK]

  • [laughter]

  • I... I put too much in there!

  • [CB]: Did you just break the bottle?

  • No, I didn't!

  • Look at that.

  • So right now, I'm about to put the lid on the bottle.

  • But they let us practice first.

  • -- [CB]: This is... This is terrifying. -- There it goes!

  • [CB]: ... Look at your little face.

  • [CB]: Now stick your finger in there and see what happens.

  • [CB]: Hahahahaha!

  • [R]: I don't think so...

  • What could possibly go wrong?

  • [R]: Good timing - get the timing right!

  • -- I did it! Yayy. -- [R]: Looks alright! Looks alright.

  • I didn't lose any fingers either.

  • Success!

  • [CB]: Your sticker's a lot higher than the good one...

  • [CB]: Why is that?

  • I'm always higher than the others, that's why.

  • [CB]: Egotistical son of a...

  • [R]: Right!

  • [CB]: So it looks an awful lot like 'nigorizake', that kind of cloudy sake but,

  • the main difference is there are much more rice grains in it.

  • It's kind of a thick, pulpy sake.

  • You can feel the rice, actually.

  • What?

  • You can feel the rice a bit.

  • 'You can feel the rice...'

  • It looks a little bit like a pina colada.

  • Hmm.

  • I do quite like it.

  • It tastes more alcoholic than normal sake.

  • --[R]: It does indeed.

  • --[CB]: But it's got a real kick at the end of it.

  • In the same way whisky like hits the back the back of your throat.

  • --Right, right. --This feels like it's got a kick in the back of your throat.

  • Before coming to Japan, my image of sake was just, y'know, kind of a clear, water-like liquid.

  • So clear and pure.

  • But over the years, I've actually found that I prefer cloudy sake - it's got a lot more depth to it.

  • It tastes like I'm drinking a cocktail, almost.

  • It's quite good, I really like this. But, what about the other one?

  • [R]: Because they make the doburoku right there, right now,

  • they actually served us some doburoku - an unheated version, which is like raw doburoku.

  • --So it looks the same. --It's not for sale.

  • I mean, they actually served it for free.

  • [R]: Wow... [cough cough]

  • -- Wow... -- It tastes like being hit with a baseball bat in your mouth.

  • -- It's a little bit more bitter. -- Yeah.

  • -- And... -- It's for adults.

  • It's for adults...

  • [chuckles]

  • I'm not an adult.

  • I may look like a 45-year-old man, but I am just 28-- 29.

  • -- Don't even know my own age... -- Ohh, come on.

  • That's what happens when you drink this - you forget your own age!

  • -- It's the miracle of doburoku... -- You just forget about everything...

  • So we've got shabu shabu pork here, which is pork you dip in boiling water to cook it.

  • But it's not normal shabu shabu pork -

  • they've got some sort of sake sauce that goes with it. -- Doburoku sauce with it.

  • Bloody hell... Doburoku everything.

  • So when you put the thinly sliced pork into the water, it boils in about what, 40 seconds?

  • -- [CB]: If that, it's cooked... -- [R]: Less, even. Less.

  • [CB]: 0 to 30 seconds, your pork goes from being raw to cooked,

  • which is great if you are as impatient as I am when it comes to eating.

  • [R]: Mm, can I just add - okay, this is like a sesame sauce, right?

  • And I'm going to add a little bit of the doburoku sauce into it.

  • So that it can change a bit of the flavor.

  • Mm!

  • Isn't that nice? With the doburoku.

  • [CB]: That is such an annoyingly cumbersome word to say - 'doburoku'.

  • Yeah, like - well just say like 'dob-rock'.

  • -- 'Duh-brock' - the rock. -- Like dub - 'dub-rock'.

  • The rock... The Rock!

  • Speaking of The Rock, did you see he gave me a shoutout on Twitter?

  • No kidding.

  • Yeah.

  • Really?

  • I went to my friend's restaurant - he owns it - and he thinks he looks like The Rock.

  • Do they look the same? I don't know.

  • Nevertheless, we tweeted The Rock himself, and he said, 'Well, where's the restaurant? I have to drop by the next time I'm around.'

  • And, besides that, I've got a friend who looks like The Rock.

  • Did you get a shoutout from The Rock on Twitter? -- No, no, no - you have to do it again!

  • Y'know, it's like 'I found another guy who looks like you'.

  • 'Oh look, The Rock! It's another person that looks like you from Japan...'

  • He'll be like, 'yeah, the joke's wearing thin, Ryotaro. Get out.'

  • [CB]: What's the verdict on dubroku then?

  • Well, the heated version - the ones they're selling...

  • The one they're selling, unsurprisingly, it's quite good. -- It's pretty good, it's pretty good.

  • 150 villages across Japan that are allowed to produce doburoku.

  • Yep.

  • Getting there.

  • Yeah, you're getting there. -- Now I can pronounce it.

  • 'Doburoku'.

  • Do you know what's really hard to pronounce?

  • Have you ever tried to say 'cold brew coffee' in Japanese?

  • Koro blyuhd-- [shock]

  • There you go!!

  • [Chris slowly saying 'cold brew coffee' in Japanese]

  • Is that 'brew' or 'blue'?

  • [Cold brew coffee in Japanese again]

  • Ah, blue- Is that blue coffee?

  • Brew - like brewed.

  • Ah, like blue... as in blue? -- Not blue - not blue coffee.

  • Some sort of zombie version of coffee. -- I thought it--

  • So before you come to Japan, those are the two phrases - the two words - you need to know:

  • cold brew coffee, and doburoku.

  • The only way I can get over a hangover these days is if I have a nice big lie in until 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

  • Unfortunately, that's not happening mate.

  • What do you mean?

  • Well, I mean, we need to wake up early tomorrow to see the birds.

  • And for that, we are waking up at, say... four.

  • You mean 4 in the evening?

  • No. Four in the bloody morning.

  • .........

  • What.

  • When you...

  • When you said we were gonna go look at the birds at 4, I thought 'oh yeah, in the afternoon'.

  • Why would a bird get up a 4 o'clock in the morning?

  • No, they get up at 5:30 in the morning.

  • Why would a bird get up at 5:30 in the morning?!

  • But Chris Broad...

  • 'Nice and shine'...

  • How am I gonna get up at 4 o'clock in the morning after drinking 4 or 5 of doburoku?

  • -- Oh my god... -- [Ryotaro laughing]

  • Aurgh...

  • It should be illegal to get up this early.

  • [R]: Lazy bastard.

  • You call me lazy, but I get up at 9am and I go to bed at 2 or 3am 'cause I usually edit really early into the morning.

  • Abroad in excuses.

  • 'Abroad in excuses'......

  • [CB]: Well, this bird better be bloody spectacular.

  • It's not 'a bird'.

  • It's 'bird-s'.

  • Whatever. Whatever...--

  • Bird-S!

  • -- [R]: Got it? -- [CB]: Mhm......

  • [CB]: It's so loud. It's incredibly loud.

  • Thousands of birds - apparently there's 100,000 birds on this lake, and it's almost deafening how loud they are.

  • To live around here would be nothing short of a nightmare.

  • Unless you like birds, in which case, best place to be in north Japan.

  • This actually reminds me a little bit of climbing Mount Fuji,

  • because I think that's the last time I got up this early and saw the sunrise. And it is beautiful.

  • Not that I expect to see it again for a long time.

  • Hah. This is a one-off.