Sunday, November 23, 2008

Memories of Japan

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It's only been a few months since we're back from Japan. But boy, do I ever miss it! This strange country with its complicated customs is definitely different from anything I've ever seen before. It's so much more than cherry blossoms and world famous gardens. The food is the best you'll ever find no matter what cuisine you prefer. The Japanese have elaborate ways of presenting food. Everything looks perfect. Always. You could go to a department store, go to the food court(usually in the basement) and spend hours just looking at the display . Impeccably presented salads, fresh seafood, Italian baked goods and not to mention the individually packaged, sealed french macaroons, (the current rage in Tokyo) and other goodies. My favourites were Takasimaya and Isetan.( Too bad we were not allowed to take photos).

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While Tokyo is a modern shopping mecca, Kyoto is a more traditional city with lots of beautiful temples and shrines. Real Geisha still exist in Kyoto. They can be seen on the narrow streets of the city walking to school or maybe to one of their appointments.

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A must see in Tokyo for any food lover is Tsukiji market. It's the largest fish market in the world, selling 400 different kinds of seafood on any given day. It may sound unbelievable but you can't even smell the fish, it's so fresh. Really.
I had the best and certainly freshest sushi at the market at 9 am!!! after lining up for 2 hours. It was all worth it.


My favourite Japanese desert? Mochi ice cream, a confection made of pulverized sticky rice and ice cream filling. Favours like honey lemon, mocha, blueberry cheese cake,azuki bean, green tea and my favourite: double caramel made me go back to Shinjuku district again and again.

All this reminiscing made me want to eat something very Japanese, very fast and even more delicious.
So here it is: wild salmon sashimi. It takes 10 minutes to make. If it takes longer, you're doing something wrong.

Salmon sashimi with sesame oil flavoured dipping sauce



1 bunch green onions, cut into 3-inch long pieces, halved
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
twelve 1/8 inch thick slices of salmon cut into 2 inch squares

For sauce mix tamari, lime juice orange juice and sesame oil.
Arrange green onions on 4 plates. Next arrange salmon pieces on top. Drizzles with some of the sesame oil mix.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with remaining sauce.

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