Sunday, 2 May 2010
We’re just in the middle of an almost-one-week national holiday, traditionally called “Golden Week”. Delighted!! The premier day kicked off on 28 April in honour of the birthday of the late Showa Emperor, the first couple of days in May follow up as consecutive public holidays. Now, let’s try a small brainwork... this year, adding 3 paid leaves and 2 weekends, we get a total of up to 12 days to be freed from our workaholic life!
In Japan, new life starts in April, and May is a month to grow it. As the hue of trees, woods and mountains is deepening day by day, I’m inspired to cook something green as if St Patrick’s Day were belated on my calendar...
Well, everybody loves Mexican green guacamole (real or Tex-Mexy) and I’d rather say “without guacamole, no Mexican foods”. According to my cookery mantra, guacamole even meets the “easy” trinity; 1.easy to cook, 2.easy to adapt and 3.easy to eat! It’s worth remembering Nigella Lawson once introduced “roquamole”, her gorgeous twist mixing avocado with Roquefort and sour cream. Take this shortcut if you’d missed the program:
Among many variations of guacamole in the world, then “wasabimole” is my little creation - super-speedy to prepare, yet healthier and more pungent with a hint of “wasabi” paste, an acclaimed Japanese condiment. Coupled with peppery watercress in place of the coriander, it brings an early-summer impact to your sharpening taste!
* Serves 2
1 ripe avocado, peeled and stone removed
2 tbsp watercress, roughly chopped
1/2-3/4 tsp wasabi paste
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt, to taste
Shichimi togarashi (available in a Japanese grocery)
1. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, add all the other ingredients.
2. Put the mixture into a bowl and serve immediately, sprinkled with the shichimi.
1. You don’t need to use fresh wasabi. Indeed, the paste in tube (or powder diluted with water) works better for the recipe.
As well as classic guacamole, this goes delicious with anything floury like wheat tortillas, corn tortilla chips, and crunchy toasts. Fresh vegetable sticks and greens will do too. Today, I made a version of quesadilla folded with grated cheddar. Be warned, this is so yum.
FYI, “shichimi togarashi” (or simply “shichimi”) is a Japanese chilli-based condiment. As the word of “shichimi” means “seven tastes”, its blend includes several spices like red chilli pepper, black sansho pepper, dried mikan orange peel, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nori (dried seaweed) and hemp seeds. Being available at any grocery and supermarket, shichimi is used to spice up not only hot noodles, but yakitori and other savoury dishes. Also, it’s been a rising flavour for potato crisps/ rice crackers over recent years.