A few weeks ago one of our students, an old man in his 70s, handed us a small paperback cookbook called Japanese Favorites. Finally, some guidelines for making a few of the things we’ve tasted and enjoyed while living here. What I love about Japanese cooking is that the ingredients themselves, their colors, and textures take center stage; like this light, refreshing appetizer that stars fresh raw tuna and leeks.
2 TBS. thinly sliced leeks
1 Japanese cucumber, washed and shredded
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
400 grams (14 oz.) fresh sashimi-quality tuna
Black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. dark soysauce
Our sweet cat chopstick-holders
- Place the sliced leeks in a small bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Shred the cucumber into long, thin strips with a vegetable peeler and set aside.
- Transfer the leeks to a small bowl. Add half of the grated ginger and toss well to combine. Dice the tuna and add to the bowl with the leeks, along with the black sesame seeds.
- Divide the tuna mixture into four equal portions. Place each portion on a serving dish. Garnish with the reserved shredded cucumber and serve with small bowls of soysauce and remaining grated ginger for dipping. Serves 4.