serves 2 or 3
Citrus zest adds a tremendous boost of flavor and complexity to whatever it touches, has virtually no calories, and costs almost nothing. I can't get enough of it. A ten-dollar investment in a Microplane zester will reward you for years, but you certainly don't need one. Just slice off the peel of any citrus with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, scrape away any bitter white pith clinging to it, and mince it up.
This is a kind of wafu (Japanese-style) pesto, except that it's spooned over fresh soft tofu, not pasta. This dish really wakes up the palate and the appetite, so it's good to serve it as the first course of a special meal.
Blend everything except the tofu in the blender. Divide the tofu into two or three of your prettiest bowls, and spoon over the sauce. Taste for salt, and garnish with the reserved zest.
Reprinted with permission from the book:
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen
by Eric Gower
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen is a coup d'etat. Its elegant, easily prepared, and highly original dishes combine Japanese and Western elements in ways that produce completely new tastes.
Author and chef Eric Gower artfully uses staple ingredients and seasonings from Japanese cooking - like edamame, shiitake, ginger, and soy sauce - in his own unique contemporary style. His dishes are born of a passion for good home-cooked food and experimentation over fifteen years spent living in Japan.
Each recipe expresses Gower's innovative approach: effortless blending of Japanese cuisine with that of other countries (particularly Italy), minimalist presentation, emphasis on time saving, and a playful, free, and joyous approach to the making of great food.
Evoke the atmosphere of traditional Japan every lunchtime
This cute bento lunchbox takes the form of a traditional Japanese teahouse, with tiled roof, sliding doors, noren curtains, and a large banner showing the kanji character for tea.
The two-story building and separate roof compartment are big enough to fit a hearty lunch for a hungry student or office worker. Use the two box compartments for main and side dishes, sandwich and salad, or rice and toppings, and pop some candy or a snack in the roof. [US$29, €25.52]
This Kamasada ironwork bottle opener is the perfect gift for a craft beer aficionado.
It combines strength of purpose with a simple, elegant design, a sturdy feel and a tasteful matte-black color. The oval head gives great purchase on a bottle cap, while the width and heft of the grip make it easy to hold. The only decoration is a series of triangular windows in the grip that also reduce weight to a comfortable 100 grams (3.5 oz).
This solid utensil is manufactured in the Kamasada technique, a Meiji-era variation of the centuries-old Nambu Tekki (Southern Iron) style.
It was designed by Nobuhiro Miya, one of the foremost ironsmiths of the modern age, and combines traditional Japanese technology with a Scandinavian sensibility. Kamasada ironwork is characterized by its beautiful deep black color and long-lasting sturdiness. [US$ 19, €17]