Peko Peko — I’m Hungry!
There are many ways to lend support to our friends suffering in disaster stricken Japan. One way is with a delicious result by investing in Peko Peko, Family – Friendly Japanese Recipes, a cookbook to support Japan’s Recovery. Created by a small volunteer army of bloggers, foodie extraordinaires and curated by Stacie Billis, Rachael Hutchings and Marc Matsumoto, the proceeds go to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. This wonderful cookbook gives a fabulous introduction to Japanese cuisine basics.
My copy arrived just as I got back from Seattle and I have been perusing, reading, and ogling the recipes ever since. Two preparations thus far under my belt, a partial effort on the Misoyaki Roast Chicken (sans Onion Sauce) using a combination of mirin, aka miso to flavor roasted chicken (oh my goodness so good!) and an experiment with Kale Chips. I love slow braising kale and looked forward to another way to prepare this rich, leafy green. According to wikipedia, “Kale is considered by nutritionists including Dr Joel Furhman to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world with extremely powerful antioxidant properties.”
Kale chips with Gomashio (contributed by Sarah Kate Gillingham-Ryan) is just rinsed and dried kale pieces rubbed with sesame oil and Gomashio (sesame seeds and salt) and roasted in the oven until crispy, usually served as an appetizer. I didn’t have a chance to drive over the hill to purchase commercially produced Gomashio, so I guessed about the ratio of sesame seeds and salt (10/1.) The resulting chip is earthy, salty and warmed with the wonderful hint of sesame. Since I had a whole bunch of kale I spilt the the batch between flavoring according to the Peko Peko recipe and something leftover from 660 Curries — crazy me. Using left over Maharashtrian Garam Masla (peanut, sesame, coriander, cumin, thai chile, nutmeg, mace, and unsweetened coconut.) I chose to flavor the second batch with this Indian spice combination with a little sesame and olive oils. While I had hoped to love these kale chips, I could not eat either preparation on their own as a snack, choosing rather to crumble and sprinkle as a flavor enhancer. Their huge flavor really sparkles.
There are many more recipes to try, and I love just reading all 59 entries. More on the results later. If you are interested in purchasing the cookbook the link is below.
Amended 8/9/11 Found a gomashio recipe at www.herbivoracious.com