Japanese fare: humble to flashy


October 17, 2007|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter

Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking

By Harumi Kurihara

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

By Masaharu Morimoto

DK Publishing / 2007 / $40

The artsy tableaus in the Japanese Iron Chef's new cookbook might be more at home on a coffee table than in the kitchen.

Masaharu Morimoto's brand of global fusion is a flamboyant 180 degrees from Harumi Kurihara's more humble - and practical - home-style fare. Eating is theater to the television star and restaurateur.

I wasn't too intimidated to make Morimoto's signature raw Tuna Pizza With Anchovy Aioli but couldn't find decent ruby-red, sushi-grade fish in time. I can imagine cooking recipes for Orange-Roasted Seafood, Bamboo Shoots With Fresh Mint and Tofu and Spicy Pork Sauce at home.

But other dishes, particularly desserts calling for seafood ingredients, seem ostentatiously exhibitionist. Sugared Salmon With Beet Sorbet, Squid Strawberry Ice Candy, Vanilla Ice Cream With Lobster Sauce, anyone?


Eggplant and Harusame Noodle Salad

Serves 4

3/4 pound eggplant

1/2 cup dried harusame noodles (see note) or vermicelli rice

cilantro leaves for garnish


2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger

1 red chile, sliced

1/2 teaspoon granulated chicken stock powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water

Peel the eggplant after removing the stems. Cut in half horizontally and chop in quarters lengthwise. Soak in cold water for 5 to 6 minutes to remove bitterness.

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, taking care not to overcook. Cool in cold water, drain and roughly chop.

Place the eggplant in a steamer and cook until soft. Remove and leave to cool.

To make the dressing, add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and chile to the dissolved chicken stock and combine.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, lightly squeeze to remove excess liquid and place on a serving dish.

Arrange the noodles on top and pour the dressing over them. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

Note: Harusame noodles are very fine and translucent, made from mung beans or potato starch.

From "Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking," by Harumi Kurihara

Per serving: 339 calories, 7 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 64 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 978 milligrams sodium

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