TOKYO: Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force has started a Twitter blitz to publicize various “karaage” deep-fried chicken dishes served at its bases nationwide, showing a rivalry against the Maritime SDF’s famous navy curry.
By posting cooking videos and other tweets on karaage dishes, a topic familiar to many people, the ASDF hopes to increase public understanding of its activities.
“If the level of public recognition is 100 for the MSDF curry, we want 200 (for our karaage),” ASDF Chief of Staff Shunji Izutsu told a press conference Oct. 9, stressing his determination to make the ASDF karaage chicken popular.
The ASDF began posting recipes of various karaage made at its bases using locally sourced ingredients on its website in April 2018. But its karaage “is barely known,” an ASDF senior official said.
As part of its efforts to increase recognition, the ASDF started posting cooking videos on Twitter Oct. 9.
In the first one, the ASDF introduced a recipe from the Naha Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, showing how the chicken is marinated in juice of citrus depressa, which grows in the southernmost prefecture.
The video has been viewed over 110,000 times already. The ASDF plans to release a second cooking video soon.
Meanwhile, an MSDF official said, “We can’t imagine ourselves losing.”
The MSDF’s famous curry was born after the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Navy incorporated curry, already served at the British Royal Navy, into its menu in order to resolve its personnel’s malnutrition.
Keeping the tradition alive, the MSDF still serves curry to its members every Friday.
Dishes replicating curry served in the MSDF’s destroyers have helped boost local economies in Mutsu in Aomori Prefecture, Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture and Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture.
While the food rivalry is arising between the ASDF and the MSDF, a senior Ground SDF official said, “Although there are local dishes unique to our individual bases, we aren’t very interested in doing something similar as the GSDF.”
“We’ll wait and see what happens,” the official added.