Learning about Japanese cookery - your disasters and your successes

(from the forums. Share your mishaps and successes!)

I have come to a point where I have been experimenting with Japanese and Japanese-inspired dishes for long enough to become quite philosophical about my mistakes and become more and more confident to try new things. My biggest successes have been since I started frequenting Just Bento and Just Hungry (I'm not just ass-kissing, it's true!) but I started when I was about 18 and I guess over the years I've learned quite a bit. Looking back at those days, I remember making sushi with overly gloopy, sticky rice, and struggling with tamagoyaki, but I also have disasters even now. The successes make up for those disasters and luckily I have a few of those, too!

I was wondering, what are forumers greatest sucesses with Japanese cookery? Those dishes which make you really proud, and make you think you've really come a long way?
On the flip side, what comedy disasters have you learned from over your time cooking?

Mine? Disasters - Gloopy, doughy tempura (my first Japanese teacher told me she did the same, years ago), a few weeks back. Also, MASSIVE fat udon which looked like tagliatelle...which was only yesterday blushes
Sucesses - Today's udon, which were with renkon and fresh asparagus - delish. Also, my last tempura experience, when I felt I'd finally nailled it. I must admit, I added some sparkling water, which is a little trick that is probably not totally okay...but it really worked!

So, I'd love to hear about everyone else's successes and disasters along their Japanese cuisine journeys!

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