Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dinner at Hide and Reiko Obatake's

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We were so fortunate to be invited to Hide and Reiko Obatake's for another fabulous meal while vacationing in Seattle.  We are constantly in awe of Hide's healthy and flavorful Japanese style cooking.  Everything was cooked to perfection with the freshest of ingredients.

Dinner started with vibrant orange salmon roe with cream cheese and capers on top of crackers.  Following that were Manila clams sauteed in a nice white wine and a little butter, topped with chopped shiso from the Obatake home garden.  The main course was Gintara kasuzuke black cod which had been marinating overnight with salt first, then in sake paste for 3-4 days, so was seasoned perfectly. Accompanying that were New York steaks, sliced in strips and served with Hide's famous white sesame teriyaki sauce and finely chopped green onions.  Hide makes and bottles this sauce, then gives it to friends who can use it as a finishing sauce on any meat or vegetable, the most delicious drizzle ever.

As a side dish, Reiko made a Japanese potato salad which included fresh diced apples, a sweet surprise with each mouthful. There were two burdock dishes; a delicious kinpira gobo made by James Yuasa, stir-fried with carrots in a traditional glaze, and Hide's gobo with ume and chopped shiso leaves. We had never tasted anything like it. Another side dish was a hijiki  (seaweed) salad with carrots and edamame, simmered in a light delicate sauce until all of the flavors had been incorporated. There was also Japanese eggplant that had been simmered in a light, delicate sauce topped with bonito flakes and white sesame seeds. Then there were toasted onigiris, triangular-shaped rice balls, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, comfort food at its best!  The meal ended with a delectable egg flower soup made from fish stock with tofu and topped with shiso.  Betty Yuasa's Chinese sponge cake with sweetened berries and vanilla ice cream put the dinner over the top. Words cannot describe what a memorable evening that was. Hide's home-style cooking makes you eat second and third helpings until you are stuffed beyond belief.

Here are the mouth-watering photos from that evening including Hide's hand-written menu.

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