Cookbook Challenge W14 (Japanese) – Tartare of Tuna with Goat Cheese

Cookbook Challenge

Cookbook Challenge

This week’s challenge proved to be more challenging in many ways. Firstly, I did not own any Japanese cookbook and hardly have any real reference at all. Secondly, looking for the garnishes was a real challenge. I wanted to do justice to the recipe and felt a little pressure to get it absolutely right.

Thirdly, weeekends are usually packed with activities and I think I had bitten off more than I could chew this time. Pamela from My Man’s Belly was in Melbourne for a short visit and suggested that we catch up. Both of us discovered each other through a Food Exchange program. And it is exciting to meet a food blogger not from Australia but from LA! She is such a darling and bought us a really awesome food package. It was so good to meet her and have a different perspective on food and we enjoyed ourselves so much. I hope she did too! I cannot wait to cook up a storm with some of these goodies.

Awesome package from My Man's Belly

Awesome package from My Man's Belly

So in the midst of enjoying a great morning and afternoon with Pam and her friends, I was also in search of mache and the right goat cheese for this recipe. I would have loved to use one of the lovely fresh goat cheese from Holy Goat but as usual, I arrived too late at Gaswork. Then we headed to Prahran and was told by Damien Pike that mache was not in season. Discouraged.

My search continues late into the afternoon after we dropped Pam and her friends at the hotel. Most of the shops were closed by that time and thanks to @eatnik, I managed to find fresh purple shiso at KFL in Flemington. We quickly headed home and made this dish before our luicha dinner at a friend’s place. It was such a mad rush but it was all worth it at the end. :)

Purple Shiso

Purple Shiso

This very simple and delicate recipe was taken from the book ‘My last supper’ by Melanie Dunea. It showcases 50 great chefs and their final meals. It was both relieve and inspiring to find that Tetsuya Wakuda was featured in this book. This man is definitely one of Australia’s great culinary export and Tetsuya is still sitting in the top 50 list of the world’s best restaurant. And hence, the little pressure of having to get this right.

Tetsuya reveals his final meal

Tetsuya reveals his final meal

Ingredients:

  • 250g finely diced tuna
  • 1tsp finely chopped anchovies
  • 60g fresh goat cheese, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 pinch of white peper
  • 1 pinch pf sea salt
  • 1 pinch of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • Shiso (Japanese mint) and also known as Perilla for garnish
  • Mache (lamb lettuce) – This is not in season so I used snow pea sprouts for garnish
Fresh yellowfin tuna

Fresh yellowfin tuna

Method:

Mix all ingredients together (except the garnishes) in a large bowl. Divide into small portions and serve with shiso and snow pea sprouts as garnishes.

Final dish of tuna and goat cheese

Final dish of tuna and goat cheese

I am not sure if I had done this dish any justice. I tried finding the mildest goat cheese that I could find but I felt that it did over power the dish a little. It could probably pretty well without it. The balance of all the ingredients were all well measured. I would definitely make this again when I get hold of some mache. This is a great party dish to start with and I was quite please to have a little taste of Tetsuya at home – clean, simple and impactful on a single mouthful.

The list of yummy Japanese goodness from fellow bloggers:

Ange from Vicious Ange Japanese rolled pork with plums, coriander, soy sauce & spring onions
Agnes from Off the Spork Japanese mushroom noodles
Rilsta from My Food Trail Teriyaki salmon
Silvermoon Dragon from Dragon Musings Teriyaki beef with soba noodles
Rizka from ini, itu Goujons of sole with dill mayonnaise
Shellie from Iron Chef Shellie Sushi
Leigh from Chit Chat Chomp Pork & lemongrass wontons; Chicken miso soup
Yen from Food for Four Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)
Kate from Something by Kate Japanese eggplant slices
Carolyn from Gluten Shmooten Beef & Vegetable rolls; Sushi rolls
Bri from Bri Eats Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)
Sarah from The Sugar Junkie Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)
Cherrie from Sweet Cherrie Pie Matcha chiffon cake

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can use marshmallow cream in a dish?