Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Sunomono Salad

This week has been so amazing! First, I was nominated for a food blog award, and NOW I have been offered a little side job giving cooking tips on the radio! (More details on that as I get them) needless to say, I am a supremely happy girl. The cooking classes are going well too, of course. Today I taught some basic Japanese food to three adorable surfer boys who wanted to learn how to make sushi (“But no shark, ok? We don’t eat them, they don’t eat us.” Too cute.) Living in Los Angeles, we have access to some great Japanese markets, I can go completely crazy shopping there sometimes – all those interesting seaweeds, bean paste treats and sparkling fresh fish, plus the irresistibly beautiful and inexpensive table wares - it seems like there is something new to try every time I go. If you are in LA, I really recommend Safe and Save (yes, it’s a funky name) on Sawtelle in West LA. The owner is the nicest man, the fish extremely fresh and the selection and prices are amazing. And bonus! Free Parking in the back. For the class today we made miso soup, basic maki, inside out rolls, spicy tuna hand rolls and some sunomono salad. They got more rice on the floor than into the rolls, but it was a super fun experience and really made me smile. Plus, they loved the food, and all promised to try it on their own sometime. Here is a ridiculously easy sunomono salad recipe for you to try. I know its not that most Christmas-y recipe, but I promised to post a non-dessert…enjoy!

1 English (hothouse) cucumber
1 red chile pepper, sliced into thin rounds. If you don’t want it spicy, just add some sliced red bell pepper
6 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Peel the cucumber and slice it as thin as possible. (Now is definitely the time to break out that mandolin, or V-slicer) Toss with everthing else but the sesame seeds. Let it marinate for 15 minutes, then top with sesame seeds and serve as a light and refreshing salad.

Serves four


A cup of sliced cucumber contains 14 calories

The 100 specialized receptor cells on each taste bud pick up five different

flavors: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami.

The Arabs built the first “industrial” sugar refinery on the island of Crete, which they

renamed Qandi, around the year 1000, The word candy comes from this word,
which means “candied” or “crystallized.”

Temperature covers up bitter flavors. That’s why coffee tastes better hot than cold.

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