Close to where I live there is a grocery store called Uwajimaya. Inside you can find the widest variety of Asian groceries, meat, seafood and produce. Whenever I go, I have a very specific list as to what I am in need of. This is of course when I’m about to embark on cooking up an Asian meal for Hubby and B.
So many times, however; I find myself intrigued by all of the groceries that sit before my eyes on those shelves. Sauces, one after another — labels are written in Asian and I have no clue what they are or what they are used for. Then there is the tofu section and even DRIED tofu as I discovered in these big blocks and oh those glorious pink puffy rice cakes filled with so many things — how do you eat them? And with what? It’s so interesting to me! But for whatever reason, I am too shy to ask the people working there if they could help me figure out what some things are (is that strange?). So off I go, reading one product after another only imaging what it could be used for.
Luckily for me, I feel very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people through the sharing of my Airstream travel stories here on J5MM. One couple in particular has a very special place in my heart. They reached out to me asking my varied opinions on certain types of Airstreams, etc. and through that, our friendship developed into something very special. I shared with them my interest and admiration of the Japanese cuisine and culture and in return, they have taught me (and B) so many wonderful things about Japanese life that I was so happy to have learned.
On my door step a couple of weeks ago, there was a package waiting for me. When I opened it up, this is what I found inside:
A beautifully hand written card from my friend and goodies from Japan. For now, I will focus on the bottle to the right of that card and what is inside. It is called Yuzu Ponzu and like my description reads in the very first photograph in this blog post, it is AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING stuff. Salty yet sweet with a tang like you have never experienced thanks to the yuzu fruit. I have about half of the bottle left and you can bet that when I run out I’ll be making a trip to Uwajimaya with that empty bottle in hand asking to see if they carry it :)
My friend suggested pouring some on top of sliced tomatoes and sweet onions – which I promptly did for dinner that evening. We were all blown away by the delicious simplicity of this salad.
This afternoon, in the Airstream I made this salad (again) after some spring cleaning but added a little twist to it. Brown butter.
It definitely took it to the “decadent,” level that was for sure. Instead of the onion I went with radishes, sliced green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds as you can see in the picture below. Honestly, the possibilities are endless but I believe with this a “less is more” approach is perfect.
If you make this salad, the brown butter style — pour the butter over your salad just before eating and listen the tomatoes “sizzle,” then promptly devour.
I feel so happy to be able to share this recipe (if you can even call it that — it’s so simple) with you thanks to my sweet friends. If it were not for them, I would have never learned about this most amazing Japanese ingredient, sauce, miracle?
Just three ingredients and you are set — I think this is the perfect spring/summertime salad to add to your Airstream dining repertoire.
If you try it — let me know!