Grilled Salmon “Yuan” Style, Tofu with Ricotta Cheese, and Apple & Radish Dressed with Miso Mayonnaise

I am so very relieved right now!!  I thought my computer has reached the end of its lifespan (because it died on me the past Friday).  Fortunately, my cousin was able to fix the computer for me over the weekend and I feel like I have my life line back.  Very very thankful for family member who specializes in computer and who can revive my computer back to life!! 

So, I cooked this Japanese style dinner Friday night as I was mourning for my computer.  I needed something comforting that reminded me of my childhood (growing up in Japan).  You might be wondering what is “Yuan” style?  I know the simple answer, but don’t ask me where this Chinese sounding name came from.  Basically, Yuan style is a very popular Japanese grilling style, mainly using “yuzu” (which is a golf size citrus fruit used in Japanese cooking), soy sauce, and mirin (Japanese sweet condiment derived from rice wine).  I made 3 different recipes for the dinner, but you can cook one or two or all three!!  The recipes are from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking.

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Grilled Salmon “Yuan” Style: serves 4

1/4 cup sake (you can use dry sherry)
1/4 cup mirin (you can buy this at any Asian markets)
1/2 cup soy sauce
half a yuzu, lemon, or lime sliced
4 x 1/4 pound salmon fillets, each cut into 3 pieces, bones removed
sudachi or lemon/lime, to taste

In a large dish mix the sake, mirin, soy sauce and yuzu, and marinate the salmon for at least 3-4 hours. 

**It could be a bit difficult to find yuzu, but you can buy the yuzu essential juice at a Japanese market or online.  I mixed in about 1/2 teaspoon into the marinade mixture.  If you can’t find any of these, don’t worry, just use lemon or lime. 
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I used sliced limes and placed them on top of salmon pieces to marinate.
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Remove the salmon from the marinade.  Place under a hot grill until just cooked.  Serve with wedges of sudachi or lemon/lime. 

Tofu with Ricotta Cheese: serves 4

1-1/3 cups soft/silken tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 Tablespoon mirin
1/2 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
5 shiso leaves or mix of fresh basil and mint
dried fish flakes (katsuo bushi) and toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

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Chill the tofu thoroughly before taking it out of the package, then drain it and place in a serving dish.

To make the sauce: lightly mix the soy sauce, superfine sugar and mirin in a small, heat-resistant container.  Microwave on medium for about 3 minutes without covering, then leave to stand for a few minutes before adding the freshly grated ginger (OR, you can just use a small saucepan and heat on top of the stovetop). 

Place the ricotta cheese on top of the tofu and sprinkle with the shredded shiso leaves, dried fish flakes and sesame seeds.  Finally pour over the warm saue and serve immediately. 

Apple & Radish Dressed with Miso Mayonnaise: serves 4

For the miso mayonnaise

2 teaspoons saikyo miso (this is a specialty miso from Kyoto; you can substitute by mixing 2 teaspoons of white miso with a little of superfine sugar)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
**I also added about 1 Tablespoon of ground sesame seeds

2-1/2 Tablespoons shelled walnuts (I omitted this due to allergy issues)
3/4 cup red apple
salt
2-1/2 cups radish
**I also added chopped baby spinach and sliced cucumbers

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In a bowl, combine the miso, mayonnaise and rice vinegar. 
Cook the walnuts uncovered in a microwave on very low heat for 1-1/2 minutes.  Leave to cool and roughly chop.

Wash the apple complete with skin.  Cut into 4 wedges, removing the core, then slice each wedge into 1/10 inch thick pieces.  Add a little salt to a bowl of water and soak the apple in the mixture to keep it from discoloring.  Slice the radishes into 1/10 inch thick round pieces. 
Just before serving, drain the apple and pat dry.  Then dress the apple and radish with the miso mayonnaise sauce.  Arrange in a serving bowl and sprinkle the walnut pieces on top. 

My opinion:  2 words for me :  Comfort food.    Salmon tasted like a very traditional grilled Japanese salmon, always loved the taste!  My oldest daughter devoured this salmon!  Great with hot steaming rice!! – please be sure to use the short grain rice!!

Tofu was another traditional home cooked tofu recipe, I love the ginger sauce with fish flakes!  I do have to say it’s an acquired taste;  if you’re not used to the texture of very soft tofu, or eating fish flakes, this will be very foreign to you, however, I highly encourage you to try before making a quick judgement! Ricotta cheese is an odd combination at first.  It adds more sweet smoothness to the taste, however, I prefer this tofu dish without the ricotta cheese. 

Salad is another Japanese style salad which reminds me of home.  I was very content after the end of this dinner (even though my heart still ached for my computer).  Now that my computer has a little longer shelf life, I can look back to this dinner with more fondness!!!

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