Japanese Soul

August 27th, 2012 § 0 comments

It is early autumn weather here on Prince Edward Island. Bright blue skies and billowing cumulus that periodically blocks the rays. Tingling winds. The taste of salty seas in the air. Weather for robust food. And, that is what Exquisite Maiko is providing. As HG has noted, EM, utilizing her brilliant knife skills, turns out lovely compositions of raw fish, vegetable and herb slivers and more. A magic hand at the the frying pan, the Exquisite one creates the best tempura ever. Lighter than air and totally greaseless. But, there is an earthy side to EM, a love of deeply flavored Japanese soul food, the type of cooking an old fashioned Japanese Mom would turn out for her family. That means long simmered ox tails simmered in salt and peppered water with a dash of sake; deep brown chicken curry; hot and sour soup with lots of mushrooms; pork bellies that have been simmered, marinated, seared and stewed; spare ribs with a unique dry rub crust; pork tenderloin cutlets dusted with panko and deep fried (served on a bed of shredded cabbage and daikon radish); pancakes of oysters, fish, mushrooms, shredded carrot in a batter of flour and baking powder. For cool mornings, EM provides her own version of congee, not a puree like the Chinese but a soupy bowl of rice and vegetables. Given a dash of soy sauce and sriracha, EM congee brightens leaden skies.

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