Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Narrowing the Field

Okay, so I?ve accepted the fact that no matter how tasty all those recipes look, I can?t possibly prepare and serve them all at a single dinner. So? I?m gonna have to choose.

For appetizers, I definitely want to make the stuffed cucumbers from the Time Life cookbook, and some of the dumplings from The Joy of Cooking. Next will come the soup, and although all the cookbooks had a nice soup recipe or two, as far as I?m concerned, no Japanese meal is complete without a classic bowl of miso shiru. So for the soup course, I?m sticking with the tried and true.

And I definitely want to make some sushi and sashimi. Maybe a few nigiri sushi, some maki rolls, a few slices of tuna and salmon, and I may try some hand rolls or a couple of the more creative ideas from the Periplus Mini Cookbook.

For the main course, I want to make my yakitori skewers as usual, and I definitely want to try that ginger pork recipe from Japanese Homestyle Cooking. And from that same cookbook, I also want to make the Spinach with Sesame Dressing, and the Eggplant with Miso.

I think I?m going to skip the noodles this time, and I probably won?t even serve any plain white rice. Although it just seems wrong somehow. You gotta have gohan.

For dessert, I?m going to keep it simple with a green tea sorbet served with some kind of fresh fruit. Whatever looks best at the produce market on the day I go shopping. There should be no lack of luscious ripe choices at this time of year. For beverages, a steaming pot of green tea, some nice cold Sapporo beer, and of course, a bit of hot sake.

I know this may sound like a lot of food, but I?m going to keep the portions small, and pray for lots of tasty leftovers. My son Will is going to be here for my Tampopo dinner, and that kid has always been able to eat his own weight in Japanese food.