Last week, Jan and I went over the hill to Santa Cruz to visit her “new” brother. While we were there, we stopped by a large book store that was going out of business. The cookbook section was fairly picked over, but as I was perusing the fiction section I found a book Izakaya: Japanese Bar food—someone had obviously picked it up and then changed their mind, leaving it “where ever.” Their loss, my gain.
Paging through the book I put place markers whenever I came to a recipe that I thought I might like to try. When I finished I had marked easily 70% of the book. The recipes I finally decided to make were: beef and green onion skewers; shiitaki and sesame skewers; onigri with tuna and Japanese tartare; and Japanese pickles. I served the leftover poke by itself as one more side dish.
However, being me, I could not make them as written—I had to go all California Fusion on some of them. Jan challenged me to make the beef skewers Santa Maria style. I thought I could do better than canned tuna in the onigiri. The mushroom recipe, however, were too perfect and simple to change.
Note: I also made a crab and wakami salad, but it came out so disappointing that I decided not to post it.