Japanese for One
I must say, I’m excited. I have virtually no experience cooking Japanese food, but since my parents and uncle went out to Chinatown for dinner and I was in the mood, I decided to try my hand at it. Here’s what was on the menu (I added a twist to both items):
Salmon and Green Tea rice (I subbed the rest of our smoked trout, since the recipe called for salted salmon fillets anyway). Basically, I heated leftover brown rice, brewed a pot of green tea (leaves, not bags, thank you very much), chopped up the trout and a few umeboshi plums, poured the tea over the rice, then topped that with nori and a little bit of wasabi.
Gomae (usually with spinach, but i used rainbow chard). You blanch the greens, then squeeze out the liquid and serve them with a sesame dressing (I used Chinese sesame paste, soy sauce, and a little honey, diluted with water).
I didn’t intend for this to be such a fancy (ish) meal, but I got a little carried away.
The verdict? Well, the gomae was DIVINE… it really tasted like it does in restaurants, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I also can’t believe I ate an entire bunch of chard BY MYSELF.
As for the green tea rice (I hope it doesn’t keep me up late– I just realized how strong that tea was), it seemed to get worse every bite. It’s not to say it was bad– in fact, the first bite was divine, especially because I love soupy rice. The problem is that I let the tea steep for WAY too long… it was impossibly bitter, and the wasabi didn’t help much. In fact, I didn’t feel it needed wasabi at all. My wasabi was also that crap that comes out of a tube. It’s definitely an idea I’m going to play with, but I couldn’t even eat half of it!