Posted on Sunday, 15th November 2015
‘NIKKEI CUISINE: JAPANESE FOOD THE SOUTH AMERICAN WAY’ BY LUIZ HARA
One of my favourite food bloggers / supper club chefs / cookery writer is none other than Luiz Hara from TheLondonFoodie who cooks some of the most extraordinary Nikkei food imaginable. I have had the the opportunity to sample his cooking on numerous occasions at his supper club events in his East London home, and following on from the success of his supper clubs, Luiz has recently brought out his first cookbook. Called ‘Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way’, the book is a celebration of the best that South American inspired Japanese cooking can offer.
I strongly urge you to try one of his supper clubs which you can book through his website. Failing that, you can try and replicate some of his recipes, one of which, I had the opportunity to help prepare at his cookery class. The dish was salmon and passion fruit tiradito which I love because it is so fresh, lively on the palate, tangy and visually appealing. I am featuring the recipe below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Salmon and Passion Fruit Tiradito
with Crispy Butternut Squash ‘spaghetti’ and Espelette Pepper
½ butternut squash
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes, plus extra to garnish
200g (7oz) sushi-grade salmon fillet, skinned
a few sprigs of chervil (or coriander (cilantro)), to garnish
a sprinkle of finely ground Espelette pepper (or shichimi pepper), to garnish
For the passion fruit leche de tigre:
4 small passion fruit, juice and seeds (around 50g (1.oz) in total)
1 tsp ready-made aji Amarillo paste (available from Peruvian food shops)
juice of 1 lemon (4 tbsp)
¼ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, cut
1cm (.in) slice of root ginger
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
¼ banana shallot, very finely chopped
2 tbsp very finely chopped chervil (or coriander (cilantro))
First, make the passion fruit leche de tigre. Reserve 1–2 tablespoons of passion fruit seeds and set aside. Then whizz the remaining ingredients (except the shallot and chervil) in a food processor. Next, pass the mixture through a fine sieve (strainer) and then add the finely chopped shallot and chervil. Refrigerate until needed.
Next, peel the butternut squash. Using a zester, cut fine strips of squash rather like spaghetti. Line a plate with kitchen paper (paper towels). Add the oil to a deep pan no more than one-third full (the hot oil will rise to the surface as the squash is added) and heat to 140C (275F). Deep-fry the butternut squash ‘spaghetti’ for about 2 ½ minutes until lightly browned, transfer to the lined plate. The squash strands will not be crispy at this stage but don’t worry – they will crisp up as they cool. Season with sea salt.
Remove any residual brown flesh from the salmon fillet. Cut the salmon into thin slices and arrange them in a single row over each of four serving plates. For each plate, spoon 2–3 tablespoons of the passion fruit leche de tigre over the salmon, dot the reserved passion fruit seeds around the plate, arrange a line of crispy butternut squash ‘spaghetti’ in the middle of the salmon row and scatter a few sprigs of chervil over the squash and on the plate. Sprinkle over some sea salt flakes and Espelette pepper and serve immediately.
Recipe from Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way by Luiz Hara. Published by Jacqui Small (£25).