The Heights of EM: Soba & Tempura

August 15th, 2014 § 0 comments

Exquisite Maiko, HG’s daughter in law, brings an arsenal of knife skills and Japanese flavors to the kitchen. Speed. Timing. Precision. These were all in evidence last night as EM prepared a soba and tempura feast. Typical of EM, the soba was presented on a platter in sightly individual whorls not in a big, ungainly clump. The soba went into individual bowls with broth and topped with finely chopped scallions. Wasabi and a citrusy Japanese pepper mix were on the table. On to the tempura: sole, cod, haddock, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, sweet onion slices. All were dipped in EM’s special batter and received a brief cooking in hot oil. The result was, as usual, sublime. There is no tempura quite like EM’s. Spectacularly light and greaseless, every bit of seafood and vegetable flavor retained and enhanced. EM added an original tidbit: corn tempura. EM cut rectangles of corn kernels from some cold, cooked cobs and gave them the tempura treatment. Mouth heaven. The crispness and sweetness of the corn gave it a dessert like quality. Of course, this is a highly unfair meal. Tempura goes straight from the pan to the dish. No waiting. This means everyone is scaling the culinary heights while EM is in constant motion at the gas range. Only a momentary pause to snare a few chopsticks worth of food. Recognizing this inequity, sensitive husband SJ prepared some pre-dinner clams casino for EM (one of her favorite dishes). The only problem with EM’s cooking is that it dims the luster of HG’s favorite Japanese restaurants.

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