My cookbook 'Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South South American Way' was recently published by Jacqui Small. It was a hectic but incredible time writing this book, which saw me travelling to Peru, Brazil and Europe to research it. I learnt a great deal about Nikkei life and cuisine and some touching stories about my own family I never knew. The book is a personal collection of over 100 recipes ranging from family favourites to contributions by Japanese and Nikkei Michelin-starred restaurants I visited during my research trips.
I will be sharing with you in the coming 12 weeks, 12 recipes from the Nikkei cookbook and I hope they will encourage you try cooking Nikkei at home. If you try one of these recipes I would be keen to hear your thoughts.
Thanks and enjoy!
Salmon and Passion Fruit Tiradito
Crispy Butternut Squash, Espelette Pepper
The world is your oyster when it comes to seasoning Tiradito. Much as I love using lime as a major component for Leche de Tigre, there is a whole range of different fruits to play with. Here, I use passion fruit and aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli) to create a zingy, punchy dressing that works really well with the fatty salmon. Finish the dish with a dusting of fine Espelette pepper for a gentle, fruity hint of chilli.
200g sushi-graded salmon fillet, skinned
½ butternut squash
Sunflower oil for deep-frying
a few sprigs of chervil (or coriander)
For the passion fruit Leche de Tigre (Tiger’s Milk):
4 small passion fruit, juice and seeds (around 50g in total)
1 teaspoon of aji amarillo paste
1 lemon, juiced (60ml)
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 clove garlic, cut
1cm slice of ginger
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
¼ banana shallot, very finely chopped
2 tbsp of chervil, very finely chopped (or coriander)
A sprinkle of Espelette pepper (can substitute with sichimi pepper)
A sprinkle of Maldon salt flakes
Make the passion fruit leche de tigre by whizzing all the ingredients (except the shallot and chervil, and 1-2 tablespoons of passion fruit seeds to be reserved for the presentation) in a food processor. Pass it through a fine sieve, add the finely chopped shallot and chervil. Refrigerate until needed.
Peel the butternut squash. Using a zester, cut fine strips of squash rather like spaghetti. Line a plate with absorbent paper. Add sunflower oil to a pan and heat to 140°C (note – use a deep pan and do not fill more than 1/3 full as the hot oil will rise to the surface as the squash is added). Fry the butternut squash spaghetti for about 1 minute until lightly browned, transfer to the lined plate. The squash strands will not be crispy at this stage but do not worry – they will crisp up as they cool down. 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 the four serving plates. For each plate, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the passion fruit leche de tigre over the salmon, dot with a few 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 (or coriander) over the squash and on the plate. Sprinkle some Maldon sea salt flakes and Espelette pepper. Serve immediately.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, it is on sale on Amazon here. Alternatively, if you are visiting my supper club, you can purchase a signed copy here.