A friend from a culinary forum told me that there is a new rage in Japan and it is tomato gari: a slice of tomato topped with some gari (thin slices of Japanese pickled ginger - the ones you eat with sushi) and salt. Well, I had to try it! I wasn't sure how it is supposed to look like, so the composition is my 'invention', and I used some Maldon salt (in flakes). And then I tasted it.
A M A Z I N G ! ! !
A real hit to the taste buds...but...I wanted a second...wow, still surprising...and then a third...and I was tired.
Yes, I will make it again, for some posh Japanese dinner maybe, I will serve ONE single slice per person, maybe between courses, or as a starter to wake up the taste buds. But no more. With one I think that people will remain wanting more...and they will remember it in their 'culinary memory bank' like something unique. More than that, and I feel it may be too much.
Now, for something less experimental:
Simmered Tofu Balls with Celery
I make this a lot, especially for my kids. I buy the tofu balls in the Chinese shop. They are already fried and puffy, and they are very versatile. For this recipe I just simmer them for 10 minutes with celery stalks and vegetable stock, then I lift them up from the stock (which I use as a base for soups or other things) with a slotted spoon, and I serve them, warm. They are so simple to make and yet they taste quite elaborate. I often serve them as part of a Japanese meal (as the protein dish) accompanied by a bowl of rice, a bowl of light soup, and some steamed seasonal vegetables dressed with soy sauce and lemon.