Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Gourmet Ingredients, Updated
Here's one for my gourmet ingredients list that's actually important:
Decent quality olive oil.
A while back I ran across a sale at Sapporo Seikyou for olive oil. It was amazingly cheap -- a liter for something like 700 yen. That saying "If something sounds too good to be true... it probably is" -- there ya go. The stuff was very low quality. I suspect it was "watered down" with canola or another oil, because the olive oil flavor was really weak and the color was off. And it went bad in weeks.
I was surprised because that store is generally a really good store. I think they were had. The oil was labeled as being from Turkey. I've gotten lots of Turkish imports in Japan now, and this one was the first real loser, though. The pasta is just fine. (Yes, you heard me, Turkish pasta.) Generally I get imported Italian pasta because it is, ironically, cheaper than the domestically produced stuff or is a type that you can't find domestically (like, say lasagne). Oh yeah, that reminds me, I should put up the okara lasagne recipe, just to melt brains.
More recently I picked up a liter for about 900 yen at CostCo that was very good quality.
I like to make this one dish that's a weird Japanese fusion dish and it's absolutely ESSENTIAL to use olive oil to get the sauce right. It's really simple. Cook soba (buckwheat noodles) in the normal fashion, then in a frying pan put in olive oil and heat gently, then add fresh cream to it (I use a low fat whipping cream, strangely enough -- not that spray stuff, real cream, btw). Just get the sauce hot, then add a TINY amount of salt and some salmon flakes. Pour sauce over cooled soba, add edamame for extra protein and taste, serve to four year old who gobbles it up.