Turning Japanese in the Kitchen


The host, or kitchen samurai, relaxes, dreaming of soaking in a hot spring at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Miki alternates after dinner between cognac and kukicha tea (made from roasted tea stems).

The rice kuri simmers on the stovetop. Kuri, i.e. fresh chestnuts, are a traditional autumnal ingredient in Japanese cuisine.

Massive stalks of wheat celios add Asian visual flair.

Pressed tofu and sake are two staples of the Japanese kitchen.

Miki is blown away by the flavors!

A restful table setting in muted tones of blue, lilac and cream.

The appetizer course is served.

Miki digs into a tempura plate of fried goodness ; tofu, parsley, yams, peppers and onions.

Putting our new Japanese cookbook (a birthday gift from good friend Miki Shimada) to almost immediate good use, Cafe Drake gave a trial run of traditional Japanese cooking recently, with Ms. Shimada serving as guest and judge. While the moon rose on a Saturday night in Brooklyn, we set to work whipping up centuries-old recipes from the Land of the Rising Sun. The menu isa below. And while we won't be receiving any requests to sous chef at Nobu anytime soon, Miki assured us the home cooks of Nippon would smile in delight at our efforts. Given the reverance for seasonal changes held across the isle of Nippon, Japanese cuisine makes an excellent theme for a Fall dinner party.

Cocktails and Edamame
Carrots in Sweet Vinegar Sauce
Tokyo Deviled Egg
Sesame Shitake Mushrooms
Green Beans in Walnut Sauce
Vegetable and Tofu Tempura
Rice Kuri
Walnut Soymilk Flan with Raspberry Coulis
Kukicha Tea


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