Real Life Cooking Mama: Share Your Cooking Projects


Could we just irradiate some eggs?


To my understanding is, the reason its safe to eat raw eggs in Japan and other countries is not due to treatment of the eggs but treatment of the chickens. Apparently Salmonella and such generally only get inside the egg if a chicken is carrying it when the egg is formed, and other countries have more stringent standards about the health of egg laying hens.


My understanding is that American eggs are washed to make them safer to eat, while eggs in Japan are unwashed to make them safer to eat. Both do what they are intended to, but not washing them makes raw eggs safer to eat in Japan. How the chickens are treated has more to do with the safety of eating chicken sashimi than eggs.


No way, that’s not a thing. one google later … Wow.



If I eat eggs raw, it’s only if I get them fresh from the farmer’s markets where the yolks are reddish-orange. I don’t trust supermarket eggs for that kind of freshness because of standards at the poultry plants. (They are fine cooked or baked, but would never touch raw)

On that note, Tamago Kake Gohan is pretty satisfying for breakfast.


Yep, it’s totally a thing. Not bad, either. Definitely wouldn’t want to eat it outside of Japan, though.

There’s so much raw food in Japan. Standard sushi and sashimi, chicken sashimi, basashi (raw horse), beef, sea urchin, etc.


You can always try to get pasteurized eggs:


Liquid eggs are also an option, and are frequently pasteurized.

I applaud your at-home pasteurization of flour. That’s the direction we’ve been going in the food safety world - after the Tollhouse outbreak years back, we started taking a hard look at flour and other powdered ingredients, and lo and behold they are vectors for foodborne illness.

Cook your shit, yo.


This is generally the case, yes. In many other countries, it is common to vaccinate poultry against Salmonella, and this greatly reduces the frequency with which it is transmitted to eggs.

There’s a pretty lengthy risk assessment publication from the USDA on the topic of Salmonella in shell eggs, if you want to get way into the specifics.

It’s something like 1 in 20,000 eggs in the US that carries Salmonella. Given that we produce something like 40 billion eggs a year, that’s a lot of possible illness out there.


Are there any stats on other East Asian practices like leaving food at room temperature for long periods of time?

I’m fastidious about temperature control and the safe re-heating of leftovers, but I get the impression this isn’t the case in many other places.

(Well, except Australia where no one will even let me take food home in the first place…)


So I’m no expert but my reading of your post and that recipe seem to have me thinking that you put dry powdered flour in a microwave, turned it on, and called that heat treating.

Very cool if it works but I always thought microwaves worked by agitating liquid molecules causing jiggling we call heat. I believe there’s no liquid in powder flour. Would the flour not exit the microwave at the same temperature it went in?

I have a feeling I’m wrong but I figure I should ask anyway because I see an opportunity to learn.


The best stats I have about those are the result of imported traditions. Like, there are places in NYC that handle things more like they do in East Asia, but right here in the US. It’s a common reason for us to seize and destroy products as well as test them.

I can’t give you details, but in my experience, I have come to question the safety of many of these practices.

There is a growing conflict between “traditional” food handling practices and modern food safety. In a few cases, the old ways are legit - but in many others, the old ways create problems that we can now detect, but cannot really usefully change because tradition is more resilient than fact.

We know a lot more about European food safety practices. Japanese and Chinese food safety agencies are not particularly forthcoming with information, and also, they don’t collect the same data that we do. This is why we don’t know lots about, say, rates of listeriosis in Japanese sushi restaurants - because they don’t really collect that information (last I checked at least).




We ate at a Mexican place late a night. We were the only ones there. The service was slow as balls. The food was serviceable/good, but the portions were enormous. We definitely couldn’t finish it all. They didn’t let us take the leftovers with us.


They specifically said it’s dangerous to let us take the leftovers.

I ran into it a couple more times in Sydney over the following years. Apparently it’s a thing?


Yeah, I looked into it more, and it’s more a case of restaurants refusing, rather than there being any actual thing about it. Seems to be more of a Sydney and Melbourne thing, too, I’ve rarely been refused in other cities.

I figured maybe there was a new rule, since back when I was working in hospitality, I could quote chapter and verse, but there wasn’t any provisions about it, the only recommendations were to write the date on the container, and to give some quick-and-basic food safety instructions, which handily, was also enough to satisfy most insurers. Apparently, the two big issues(and one minor one) among restaurant owners is that they’re losing control of the food(and thus, both the flavor and food safety), and Image(since it looks a bit low-class to have people walking out of the restaurant with plastic tubs in bags, and if someone does get food poisoning and goes to the media, you can take a reputation hit even if you’re not liable.) The Minor problem is just that it’s a bit of a pain in the ass, and there’s a bunch of restaurants that simply don’t keep any takeaway stuff on hand.


It’s just interesting because ZERO restaurants in the US do this. You can take your doggy bag from the Michelin 3 star joints.


Oh, I know. It’s pretty much the same in the UK. But both the UK and US don’t have the problem of cultural cringe - a particularly strong affliction in Sydney and Melbourne - which is like a deep-seated national insecurity about our culture that causes people to automatically deem it inferior or dismiss it out of hand as not real, and almost always comes coupled with the need to appear very cultured, like a young teenage boy trying (and failing) very hard to appear all grown up, because they only understand the appearance rather than the reality of being an adult.