SASHIMI WITH DIPPING SAUCES
ASUPARAGUSU SU NO MONO (ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH CUCUMBER CHRYSANTHEMUMS)
(PAN BROILED DUCK WITH DAIKON SIPPING SAUCE)
NASU ITAME-NI (SPICY EGGPLANT)
(JAPANESE STEAMED RICE)
MILD DIPPING SAUCE
Makes about 1 1/4 cups 1 cup Japanese soy sauce 1/4 cup sake or dry sherry 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Combine soy sauce, sake and ginger in saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and strain into small serving bowl. Serve at room temperature.
SPICY DIPPING SAUCE
Makes about 1 3/4 cups 1/4 cup sake or dry sherry 1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce 1/2 cup grated daikon (Japanese radish) 1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (dried blend of hot spices)
Warm sake in small saucepan over medium heat just until heated through. Remove from heat and ignite sake, shaking pan gently until flame subsides. Transfer to small bowl and cool. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
2 tablespoons wasabi powder* 2 tablespoons water
Blend wasabi powder and water until smooth. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes. (If wasabi is unavailable, substitute paste made of 2 tablespoons dry mustard mixed with 4 teaspoons water.)
*Wasabi (grated green horseradish root powder) is available at oriental markets.
ASPARAGASU SU NO MONO
(Asparagus Salad with Cucumber Chrysanthemums)
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
SASHIMI WITH DIPPING SAUCES
Finding absolutely fresh fish is the only difficulty in preparing sashimi (the Japanese demand that theirs be no more than 12 hours out of the water). If by virtue of geography or uncaring fishmongers you cannot get just-caught fish, substitute another first course; do not attempt to create this dish with anything less than the best ingredients.
8 appetizer servings
2 pounds bones and skinned fresh ocean fish
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups shredded daikon (Japanese white radish) or other mild white radish, turnip or cucumber
Mild Dipping Sauce (see recipe) Spicy Dipping sauce (see recipe)
Wasabl Paste (see recipe), hot mustard paste or prepared horseradish (garnish)
Cut away and discard any dark portions of fish. Using very sharp knife, cut fish into slices about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch wide, or slice into julienne strips (firm fish such as tuna can be cut into 1/2 inch cubes). Or, cut fish at any angle into almost transparent sheets. Wrap in plastic and chill.
Arrange shred lettuce along one side of serving platter. Mound radish, turnip or cucumber along opposite side. Lay fish attractively in center.
Serve with dipping sauces and Wasabi Paste, allowing guests to mix sauces and Wasabi Paste to their tastes.