Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Japanese Style Recipes

Tomato Gari

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, 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.

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. It is after a long absence!
    I am yoko suzuki.
    i received your letter today.
    When I saw your letter, I was
    very very happy!!

    I watched your blog.
    You publish several books! I am splendid! !
    I purchase it by all means.

    The spread of Internet is splendid that your diary is readable even if you are separated from me distantly.

    MY family are very well!
    As for Daisuke, 11 years old, Kenta became 8 years old.
    All two of them love soccer.
    Hideaki started new shop of yakiniku " 縁”
    When you'll come to japan, please come this shop!
    (But you are vegitallian, are't you?)

    Please e-mail it if good.
    My adress

  2. Yoko! So happy to see you here! Peter is in Japan now, for work, I am very envious!

    I hope to return too one day soon. I'll send you an email now!

    Please send me a photo or two of Hideaki Yakiniku shop (Yes, I am a vegetarian, but I would like to put it on the blog, some readers may be interested in seeing a real yakiniku shop!

    Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!

  3. I search and recently came across your blog and have been reading along. It was wonderful blog. I will give free hit of your site with your article.

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  4. The tofu balls look and sound delicious and v simple to make. I had a couple of lovely Japanese flatmates a few years ago and still get pangs for real Japanese home-style food sometimes... I can get the ready cooked tofu in Chinatown so I'll be trying this, and thinking of Kozue and Makiko (& hoping all is well with them at the moment...). Thanks for the recipe!



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