I’m incredibly excited to help announce that Peko Peko: Family-Friendly Japanese Recipes is finally available from Blurb.
I remember the morning I woke up and first saw the news of the tsunami in Japan. How I watched in horror as the news networks repeatedly played footage of entire towns being washed away, as if they were being flushed down the drain. I saw and heard the shock in the people’s faces, sighed with relief with them as loved ones were found, mourned in grief with those who were not as fortunate.
There seemed to be so much that needed to be done. So much that you almost didn’t know where to start.
Then I got an email from Rachael of La Fuji Mama, inviting me to be a part of this ambitious project to put together a charity cookbook and raise funds for Japan. How could I say no?
I had it easy. All I had to do was cook, shoot, and write two Japanese or Japanese-inspired dishes. The list of contributors was a bit intimidating, and being among such talented individuals motivated me to do my absolute best. That was just the beginning. So much work had to go into designing the book, editing the recipes (thank you Justin!), laying everything out, shooting more photos, writing more text, coordinating with sponsors …
If they left it up to me, I might still be trying to decide what color to pick for the cover. Instead, thanks to the many weeks of hard work from curators Rachael, Stacie, and Marc, the book is done (and done beautifully) and it’s available now.
One of the recipes I submitted is my favorite way to prepare salmon: Miso-Glazed Salmon. I first tasted this miso glaze when Nobu opened in New York City back in 1994. I had miso-glazed black cod (gindara) and it’s a food memory that has stayed with me since. It’s best used with a fatty fish, and my fish of choice for this used to be Chilean sea bass (though not anymore due to overfishing). It’s a marinade you can easily use for chicken, too. Or try it with eggplant and mushrooms for a vegetarian twist.
If it helps any, this is the same salmon I brought to a NJ potluck and made a convert of salmon-noneater Chris of ThePeche. And if that doesn’t help enough, I also had to shoot this the day after surgery, so imagine me hobbling around trying not to bend too much, asking my mom to hold things down for me.
(If the food doesn’t get you, maybe pity will?)
The other recipe I submitted is an easy and Simple Green Tea Ice Cream. You know me. I like ice cream. I like making tea-flavored ice cream. This was an easy choice for me, and I’m glad they asked me to do it.
There are 57 more family-friendly recipes in this cookbook, and 100% of all the profits will be donated to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, a foundation giving access to new sources of funds to causes that might never be funded through traditional development and philanthropy approaches. In other words, it helps those who might might otherwise be forgotten. They have a funds report page where they give updates on their research and decisions on how to distribute the money raised.
The book also includes a glossary of over 50 Japanese ingredients, with substitutions for the American home cook. Take a look at the Peko Peko contributor page for a full list of all the bloggers involved in the project. Then browse the site for a taste of the other recipes you might find in there. (Alice’s Udon has been calling my name for weeks now.)
It was such a privilege to be part of this project. If anything, it will help me always remember the look on Chris’s face as he became a salmon believer. Even if only for that one evening.