by Hideo Dekura
New Holland Publishers, Sydney, 2015
Cooking on page 32
Since 2003, we’ve been lucky enough to host three Japanese exchange students—Asami, Yuri and Yumi. Asami was the cook among them. Before coming to Australia to attend high school, she worked in a sushi restaurant in Japan, and we’ve enjoyed her efforts on many occasions.
While I don’t cook Japanese food very often, I do love the flavours. This cookbook is a goldmine of recipes that might be served at Izakaya restaurants, Japan’s answer to informal gastropubs.
Hideo Dekura runs the cooking studio, Culinary Studio Dekura, He is known as an expert in all aspects of Japanese cuisine. About 10 years ago, the Japanese government awarded him for his contribution to Japanese food and cooking.
Page 32 has recipes for five dips, four of them based on cream cheese.
Cream cheese with wasabi
50g (1 3/4 oz) cream cheese
10g (1/3 oz) wasabi paste
Spread wasabi over cream cheese. Rest for more than one hour before serving.
How it played out
I made this exactly as written, using wasabi paste from a tube—very handy to have in the fridge. My spreading wasn’t very glamorous, but it was just for Poor John and me. Served with crackers.
Two other options on the same page were dips with cream cheese with bainiku (pickled plum puree) and cream cheese with miso. The amounts and method are the same as the wasabi version, so you three recipes in one. The two other options were using cream cheese and sardines, and avocado and tofu.
Delicious, and what could be easier! I really like the idea to coat a cube of cream cheese with another bold flavour. Yum!
I haven’t yet visited Japan, but it’s on our to-do list. I’d especially like to visit their markets. If you love markets as much as I do, check out our visit to a market in Bhutan.