Author(s): Eric Gower
The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen is a coup d'etat. Its elegant, easily prepared, and highly original dishes combine Japanese and Western elements in ways that produce completely new tastes. Author and chef Eric Gower artfully combines staple ingredients or seasonings from Japanese cooking-like edamame, shiitake, ginger, or soy sauce-with the easygoing, flexible approach of his native California. His dishes are born of passion for good home-cooked food and experimentation over 15 years spent living in Japan. He achieves his big flavors with citrus fruits, vinegars, ginger, shallots, fresh herbs, and plenty of coarsely ground black pepper. Edamame Mint Pesto with almonds and garlic is an aromatic and satisfying departure from the usual basil. Tofu Salmon Mousse, lightly flavored with walnuts, is a smooth, rich-tasting spread for thinly-sliced toast and perfect for a Sunday brunch. Scallops with Miso, Ginger, and Ruby Grapefruit is an unforgettable blend of flavors, with citrus offsetting the deeper miso. Many of the dishes can be made in ten minutes, and can be paired with a salad and bread to make a meal. While incorporating Asian ingredients, the author tailors the recipes directly to any kitchen, and frequently offers suggestions for substitutions, such as fresh tarragon in place of shiso seeds.