Who says that we can only be in one place at a time? Feeling the need to find a comfort zone in a foreign country, student Ilaria Corti, from Italy, talks about origins and traditions with other international students. All of this over a nice meal from their home country. This time, she 'visits' Japan with her two friends Mayuko and Onoka.
We left before Christmas holidays with a mixed European lunch. As I try to do every time, I would like to switch continents this month and move to Asia, to Japan. I must confess that I’m becoming more and more contaminated by the international recipes I’ve been meeting since I started to write this blog. It’s a gradual, but I think also decisive process and I remember to be a lot more flexible and creative when I cook now.
A crucial thing I’ve learned recently is a principle of the Japanese cuisine, related to balance and harmony. It’s not just related to the nutritional aspect of food, but also to its colour and texture. A dish is a product of our intention, and we can take advantage creating something that is beautiful as well as balanced in the taste. I remember when my friend Masaki came to Italy and we cooked some typical dishes of my region. Sometimes he said: ‘really intense!’. Inside the Japanese cooking style and culture almost everything has a clear structure, and is made with a purpose.
I was with my two friends Mayuko and Honoka when for the first time I heard them talking to a Japanese student a few years older than them. The form of the conversation in Japanese changed and during it, my friends sometimes took a little bow. Afterwards, they explained to me that it’s a strict rule in Japan that if you talk with somebody even a couple of years older than you, a formal approach should be held and it is kept that way until you reach a very close relationship with a person. This strong attention to social interactions is extended to every other person, because a main concern is to be very appropriate and polite. That’s maybe one of the reasons why speaking with my Japanese friends is very pleasant!
Some weeks ago I had the big luck of preparing some homemade ‘sushi’ with them. I think it is a perfect representation of the Japanese cooking style, especially for the balance of colors and nutrients! Quite cheap and absolutely delicious!
What I really loved about this recipe is of course that it is so fresh and healthy, you can choose which ingredients you put inside and you can avoid cutting sushi in the typical but also difficult way and just fill the seaweeds as a wrap.
The recipe for 2 people:
Nori seaweed (you can find it at the supermarket and you can cut if it’s too big)
200 g sushi rice
Vegetables (carrots, cucumber, peppers) as much as you want
Avocado as much as you want
Sushi raw fishes ( salmon, tuna) or smoked fishes (as much as you want)
20 g rice vinegar
What do you do:
Wash the rice until the water becomes clear. Cook the rice with the proportion of 3 measures of water (300 grams) and 2 measures of rice (200 grams) until it absorbs all the water but the rice grains are still intact, add water if needed, and then let it cool down. Add the rice vinegar to the cooked rice and stir it well. Chop all the vegetables and the avocado in a vertical shape. Cut the nori seaweed in a triangular shape. Fill it in the center with some rice and then with your favourite filling. Dip it in soy sauce.
After this blog I can’t wait to make sushi again!
Hope you will enjoy it!