Before you start reading: Apparently, Tumblr doesn’t show the pictures on the dashboard, so I do suggest you click on the pictures to go directly to my blog to see this. It’s really worth it.
Today, my husband officially went insane.
We had guests over and he went seriously overboard and made us the happiest people alive. I contributed somewhat with picking out wines and making a feeble attempt at a dessert, which was actually quite befitting.
I knew he was gonna make tonkatsu, but I had no idea he was about to make tonkatsu sauce from scratch. And just to add to the whole performance, he made not one, not one I say, but two dashi broth bases. Here are a few pictures illustrating some of the process of his beautiful project:
For starters, we had a Japanese radish salad with konbu (pickled, salted seaweed) and nori (dried seaweed), green lettuce, sesame oil, katsuobushi (dried fish flakes) and a fantastic ponzu that we bought in Japan a few months ago which I have been dying to try. It did not disappoint in any way. Wine: Monferrato Chiaretto Rosé (2009).
Second appetizer was agedashi-dôfu or deep-fried tofu, with three different toppings. He called it “Tofu tricolore”, the silly goose. First topping was shaved Japanese radish, spring onions and ponzu. Second topping was Korean nori. Third topping was the bottom part of spring onions cut in thin stripes, with kimchi base and sesame oil.
At this point, we had already started to drink the second wine: La Paulière Petit Chablis (2008). The main dish, tonkatsu, came with a trio of side dishes. As always, there was rice. Then, he also fried up some eringi mushrooms and mixed it with pickled enoki (nametake). And of course, any Japanese meal is empty and meaningless without the miso soup, which was brewed from the base of the dashi broth made from all the small fishes.
The beauty of the night was, of course, the tonkatsu. This too had three toppings. The one furthest to the right was his own, home-made tonkatsu sauce, with ground sesame seeds. The one next to it was shaved Japanese radish with spring onions and the awesome ponzu sauce that came from heaven. The third topping was maccha salt (or sweet green tea salt).
The leftmost parts of the tonkatsu were left for a post-dinner mini-dish, the ochadzuke:
This was where the second dashi broth came in: you take what’s left of your meal and rice, basically, and then you pour broth over it to make a “tea” like thing, which tastes just awesome. My vocabulary has unfortunately taken a vacation due to incredibly full stomach, but people should get the idea.
Last, but NOT LEAST, my fantastic, wonderful contribution of whipped cream (great proportion of cream and sugar, I might add) with fresh raspberries. I was planning on serving a dessert wine together with this, but we decided against it since we had already enjoyed so much it was impossible and also, it was late. But it was goooood: