Shiso Tofu


  • 20 fresh shiso leaves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon baby ginger, minced (normal ginger will work too)
  • zest of 1 orange (or other orange citrus), 1 tablespoon reserved
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons juice of any orange citrus
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • sea salt
  • fresh coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tub oborodofu [or "silken" tofu], about 1/2 pound (200-250g)

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.

Recipe source

Reprinted with permission from the book:

The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen

by Eric Gower

Kodansha International

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.



Source: The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen
by Eric Gower
Copyright (c) 2003 by Eric Gower. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Kitchen & tableware ideas
Set of five sushi cats
sushi cats

Set of five super cute figurines in the popular Japanese series of Sushi Cats, or Neko Zushi.

These collector's items are sold in gumball machines in Japan, but you never know which character you have until you open the plastic case. Our set of five includes Toromi with pink randoseru school backpack, Margo with yellow blanket, Wasabi with two cucumbers, Nyadai with lobster and leek, and Shakebu in striped tie.

According to the manufacturer, Tange & Nakimushi Peanuts, the Sushi Cats are creatures from another universe who have been visiting Earth for millennia - images of alien cats can be found in ancient Egyptian wall paintings and even the Nazca lines.

Each piece depicts a friendly cat lounging on a cushion of rice wrapped with a ribbon of seaweed.

Each figure is approx. 4 x 3 x 1.5cm.

Perfect for cat lovers, anime fans, and kawaii maniacs.

[US$ 29.50, €28, free shipping]

Charming Teahouse-shaped Lunchbox
teahouse bento box

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]

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