Kombu-steamed portobello mushrooms

I think this meal represents quite well the epitome of Japanese simplicity.

The first component was steamed portobello mushrooms. Yusuke lined a steamer basket with thick strips of kombu (seaweed), sprinkled a bit of dashi powder, and then steamed the chunks of mushroom. To eat, we sprinkled a tiny bit of crushed sea salt, which was marvelous for bringing out the mushrooms’ flavour.

Yusuke has been using sea salt quite often lately, but he wasn’t sure if he was just imagining the difference in taste. He did a taste test to compare sea salt and table salt, one after the other, and confirmed that the difference was real! There was a post recently on World’s Healthiest Foods about different types of salt for further reading.

I ate the kombu “wrappings,” too, half with the dinner, and half for my lunch the next day. Yusuke thinks my hair might turn black from all the seaweed that I eat…

We also had miso soup with bean sprouts and unusually sweet green onions.

The final component of the meal was sliced avocado with an improvised ponzu sauce. As I’ve mentioned before, ponzu is a citrus-based sauce—often made with yuzu, which isn’t obtainable chez nous. Instead, Yusuke uses a mixture of dashi, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, water, and soy sauce. We had never mixed ponzu and avocado, but it turned out to be quite yummy: very refreshing in contrast with the richness of the avocado.

Avocado courtesy of Flickr user Island Vittles. Photo license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

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