Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Japan on a Plate - RIP 19 January 2008

Salad of yellow and white nectarine, wakame and red radish flavoured with honeyed ginger and sesame oil, ringed with tamari roasted seeds (pepita and sunflower) and raisins.

Chef Notes
This turned out well and had the sharp radish flavour, sweet nectarine and salty wakame. Was maybe a little wet. I think the seeds gave the salad a much needed crunch to the texture and that familiar salty soy flavour. As noted in the review – where was the daikon!?

Soba noodles flavoured with kome miso, shallots and coconut oil served with (1) sesame and soy marinated white cabbage, (2 ) pickled ginger and a (3) soy and wasabi granny smith pulp.

Chef Notes
I still haven’t mastered soba noodles – I though the coconut oil and miso would prevent the ‘glug’ factor but not to be. Maybe if I had let the noodles cool then used poured the coconut oil/miso over the top like a sauce it might have been more successful – still, the flavour was interesting enough to try again. The cabbage good – the finer the better while the apple and wasabi pulp was tangy – needed more wasabi or a different apple variety to really take off.

Nori rolls filled with an avocado and hatcho miso paste, black sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar flavoured roasted pumpkin, red capsicum and cucumber and served with soy and wasabi.

Chef Notes
A bit of a let down from how I imagined this dish would turn out. The pumpkin was too moist and didn’t take on the rice vinegar flavour of traditional sushi rice that I anticipated. Possibly needed a grain to give it some structure – maybe shitake flavoured barley?

Cherry and mint agar agar jelly served fresh sliced cherries, coconut milk granita and fresh mint.

Chef Notes
The jelly/slice/brick was a bit tragic. My first foray into jelly was an interesting one which yielded a flavourful slice – similar consistency to quince paste and without the transparent characteristics of jelly. Nearing the end of cherry season you could was evident in the flavour of the cherries. And the coconut milk – I forget that not everyone is as satisfied with the flavour of coconut as me! Will definitely by giving the agar-agar a second go and hopefully the result is a dessert which doesn’t require a knife to eat it.

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