March 23, 2011

Tribute to Japan

The tragedy that hit Japan last week still disheartens me. But as many have grieved with the Japanese, many have also admired their utmost resilience through it all. We can sympathize with them and we can also learn from them. {NKristof}

Among many things Japan does really well (cars, electronics, anime), its cuisine is also enjoyed all over the world.

1st Course: Spicy Tuna in Cucumber Cups { original recipe }


  • 1/2 lb. sushi grade tuna
  • 5 Persian cucumbers, peeled
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 scallion, white part only, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayo
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • black sesame seeds for garnish
  1.  Heat rice vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and scallion in a small saucepan on low heat for 2-3 min. or until the sugar and salt dissolve. Set aside to cool.
  2. Slice cucumbers into 1-inch pieces. With a paring knife of melon baller, scoop out the center so you have a little "cup" on one side of the cucumber.
  3. Pour the now-cooled vinegar mixture into a Zip-loc bag and add the cucumber cups. Allow to marinate for 5 min.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the tuna until they turn into small chunks. Mix in the mayo and Sriracha. Season with salt. 
  5. Remove cups from the marinade and fill with tuna mixture. (This sounds much easier than it is, but be patient and finish through 'cause it'll be worth it). 
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!

2nd Course: Baked Crab Rice Casserole.

3rd Course: Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon { serious eats }

  • 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 inch. peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 salmon fillets, skin-on (~1 lb.)
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, chopped in 3-4 inch pieces
  • a handful of spinach

1. In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, ginger and 3 cloves worth of garlic together until honey dissolves. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade in a separate bowl. 

2. Place salmon fillets, skin side-up, in marinade.  Allow to marinate for around 30 min. 

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place remaining garlic in a medium skillet with a drizzle of olive oil.  Toss in bok choy and spinach.  Cook for about 3 min. in medium heat.  

4. Place salmon fillets on an aluminum foiled baking tray and place in preheated oven (preferably bottom rack).  Bake until fish is well-carmelized, about 10-12 min. depending on thickness.

5. Arrange bok choy/ spinach on plate and top with salmon!

4th Course: Miso-Marinated Rib-eye Steak

5th Course/ side dish: Sesame-Garlic Soba Noodles { the kitchn }

Ingredients: serves 3
  • 3 cups soba noodles (about three bundles)
  • 3 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 green onions sliced into thin rounds

1. Boil a pot of water and add the soba noodles with one tbsp. of salt.  Cook until tender (about 4 min).  Drain and transfer to serving dish or bowl.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat sesame oil until hot.  Then add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant.  Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce.  Pour this sauce mixture over the noodles, toss until well-coated and top with green onions for garnish.

6th Course/ dessert: Sara Lee Apple Pie w/ Starbuck's Coffee-flavored Ice Cream

Wrap the crust with aluminum foil to avoid burnt crust. 

Make it pie a la mode!



  1. Great post! Those cucumber cups looks amazing.

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