Monday, February 20, 2006

Culinary Challenge Day 4

Alcoholic Dreaming

I awoke thinking about the wonderful plum wine my friend had often talked about drinking in Japan. I wondered where I could find some. Apart from a few nips of warm sake after one of my meals I had been beverage free during meals. Don't get me wrong this is not unusual for me, but I do occssionaly enjopy a glass of wine or an apertif which does completely change the feel of the meal. I was determined to track down some plum wine for dinner that night. Eager to begin my search I grabbed a handful of rice crackers (not sakata, but the chunky Japanese version wrapped in nori or filled with this strange slightly cheesy filling) and some umeboshi (salty plums) and headed out the door. Who says Japanese breakfasts can't be eaten on the run. (not sure it is too traditional though!)

The Search Begins

As I had a meeting in the city I thought would be the logical place to begin for my Plum Wine search. I was rewarded immediately upon my visit to the Great Eastern Food Store in Russell Street. There among there collection of Japanese teas nestled several brands of Plum Wine. Unsure of any brands I grabbed the one with the prettiest label (you have to start somewhere!). Before I left I picked a sheet of tofu skin, which I though would make an interesting addition to dinner. I had a quick lunch next door of believe it or not Miso Soup - half a day without it and I am missing it!

Exploration of Soy and Seaweed

With the purchase of the tofu skin I felt I should explore some more interesting tofu fillings for my nori rolls (sushi). Tofu skin is a strange thing. Wrinkled brown sheets of crispy tofu which is skimmed off during the tofu making process and dried. To use it must be soaked in boiling water. It can then be sliced and added to soups, stews or even nori rolls. For the nori rolls I have decided upon fried tofu strips, avocado, egg, red capsicum, steamed spinach, tempeh (a fermented soy bean product) and tofu skin. I soaked tofu skin in a mixture of soy and mirin. I mixed and matched my soy selection in the rolls. Before we ate though we sat down and enjoyed beautiful Plum Wine and oh my god this is definitely going to be something I enjoy regularly! For the record it is best served over ice with a slice of lemon.


Anonymous Al said...

Wow! Your culinary challenge has had me hooked. So much for workplace productivity! :)

Do you serve the plum wine at room temperature?

It would be great for *someone* to review some different brands of this interesting sounding drink!

Thanks for the great entertainment and inspriation, Pip!

12:21 AM

Blogger Pippa said...

The plum wine is best served cold, over ice with a wedge of lemon. There are 2 varieties that I enjoy, one is the Japanese variety that I mention here(around $15 a bottle) the other is a Korean version with contains whole plums and is slightly tarter. I will do a review of the different labels available for you soon. Glad to see you are enjoying the blog!

8:13 PM

Blogger Merlelayton said...

A couple of weeks ago I had an aching for some plum wine.

I found a bottle of Gekkeikan at our local store and took it home.

I had forgotten all about it till I was putting out my dinner tonight (special fried rice) and thought a glass would be nice.

Love it! I have only had it when dining out. But now I wonder....

How many days can I keep what is left in the bottle and do I keep it in the fridge?

Thanks for any help

4:32 PM


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