- 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.
Reprinted with permission from the book:
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen
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.