January 13, 2014
My parents hosted a shinnenkai (New Year’s party) last night and it was a fantastic feast! As usual, Hideko and Kuni battled it out in the kitchen for cooking space, laughing and making fun of each other along the way. Who will make the best dish of the evening? This competitiveness has harshened lately, as Kuni has been upping the ante and flexing his knife-handling skills for these Sunday night suppers. No one has ever questioned Hideko as the best cook in the house, so this of course threatens her reign.
But after all is said and done, Kuni has his own restaurant, and home is Izakaya Hideko.
The gourmet spread included sashimi, goya champuru, chicken and celery salad, garlic grilled wagyu beef and of course, gyoza (Johnny’s request). But the surprising favorite of the night was a new creation: cold tofu with taberu-rayu.
Super lazy! It’s just cold tofu, sliced negi (green onions), katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), a scoop of taberu-rayu and some shoyu drizzled on top. Brilliant! This was a saucy, garlic-y delight. Splurge on the best tofu you can for this dish, like San Jose Tofu if you’re from the Bay Area. To this salad, I would add zasai (fermented turnip) for some crunch.
Taberu rayu is a wonderful condiment that arrived in the last five or so years in Japan. It’s sesame oil infused with red chili and garlic pieces. I put it in ramen, fried rice, vegetable stir fries, and anything that needs some kick in flavor.
Thanks Izakaya Hideko!
Happy New Year!