Saturday, 28 December 2013 06:44

Japanese Cuisine Made Simple Yet Very Tasty

Japanese cuisine for me was non-existent until I tried sushi for the first time which happened about 15 years ago.  Like most people the idea of raw fish was not appealing.  I had not bothered to look into whether or not there was more to sushi and if Japanese cuisine could be enjoyed.  Like the word Kleenex meant tissue or Band-Aid meant adhesive bandage the word sushi meant Japanese cuisine.  As I grew up a bit and started to explore the world of food a bit more I realized that there was more to Japanese cuisine than sushi, even though that seemed to dominate. One day I finally dipped my toe in the sushi pool and lo and behold I loved it.  I was absolutely in love with it.  I made a point to have it at least once per week back then.  I am not sure if it was the combination of textures, the kick from the ginger and wasabi or the saltiness of the soy sauce that kept reeling me in but it did.  I was not interested in the 'California Roll' because in my mind if I was going in I was going big.  Eel, Salmon, Red Fish, White Fish it just did not matter as long as it was from the sea I wanted to eat it.  That also led me to love seaweed and all its forms.  From kombu to nori to arame and wakame.  Again, if it was in the sea I wanted to try it.  That being said I was never brave enough to try uni (sea urchin). These days because I am infatuated with throwing the culinary ideals out the window and doing what I want I decided to combine seasonal fall flavors with tofu but why stop there.  Why not toss in some heat and crunch while I was at it.  I do not have rules in my kitchen other than do not run with knives and no playing in the kitchen as there is fire and danger all around (sorry I thought I was talking to my 7 year-old stepson for a moment there.)  Back to the story of food, and Japanese cuisine specifically.  Boundaries across the food spectrum are being torn down and no longer are we seeing the simple meat and potato dishes.  There are all sorts of ways to combine flavors into a harmonious dish especially when they are either complementary flavors (Asian and Mexican with their spices) or completely opposite (Polish and South American.)  However you slice it food is coming together from all different angles. On Thursday I was inspired by a post I saw somewhere (I cannot remember where) and kept the idea in my head.  The picture I saw showed tofu with a splash of soy sauce, a dot of sriracha and nothing else on a plate.  I thought about that and decided to take that up a notch or three.  I wanted to include in-season foods like butternut squash, acorn squash or even a sweet potato.  I wanted the sriracha to last on the palette a tad longer and to do that I needed vinegar.  I wanted a fresh taste and some crunch so I took cilantro and red onion and placed them on the cutting board.  Was there something else that would allow this combination to peak and take the meal to the next level?  Maybe, but at the time I couldn't think of one as I had just finished running 6.25 miles and wanted to eat. The following recipe for this Japanese cuisine style meal was made in no time at all with few ingredients.  The meal is vegan and yet still packed with protein and complex carbs.  I think this can be used as an entrée or an appetizer.  Basically what you end up with is something that is flexible and sure to please everybody you serve it to. [recipe] You can pour the rice wine vinegar and tamari mixture to a bowl and serve on the side if you feel that you need a bit more tang.

What Types Of Japanese Cuisine Do You Enjoy The Most?

Published in Lunch Recipes