, Gloucester, MA


October 17, 2012

Cooking Japanese from the farm

This is a fascinating recipe for a Japanese broccoli tossed in a dressing made with smashed tofu, miso, sesame, and vinegar. (The recipe calls for yuzu, a relatively obscure citrus, which I replaced with a lemon.) The whole blends into a meaty but velveteen vegetable dish ridged with nuttiness and citrus. The tofu, all the liquid pressed out of it, becomes a warm stage for the very Japanese combination of tastes. Tossed with fresh broccoli — or cauliflower, the author, Nancy Singleton Hachisu, suggests — a recipe like this, like many from Hachisu’s new cookbook “Japanese Farm Food,” is a new horizon for a bowl of cruciferous veggies. It’s a delightful alternative to aioli or hollandaise, which is as dressed up as broccoli gets west of the Silk Road. Put this broccoli beside a bowl of sesame noodles and you have a beautiful vegan dinner. Alone for lunch, this dish achieves alchemy: a light meal with substance.

Twenty-four years ago Atherton, Calif., native Nancy Singleton flew to Japan to learn the language and eat sushi. Life took a sharp turn when she met a young, lanky Tadaaki Hachisu. Today she is back in the U.S. to promote “Japanese Farm Food,” a gorgeous cookbook and fascinating testament to the life that unfolded for her after she married Hachisu, who had grown up on the family farm without running water, and was as curious about food as Nancy was. (He had already planted the very untraditional basil because he wanted to know what it tasted like.)

Nancy’s sushi pursuit made her a Japanese farm wife; she and Tadaaki have run the family farm for 24 years. While raising and homeschooling their three sons, Nancy also started an English immersion school for local children. In Japan, Hachisu makes her own miso, tofu, shoyu, vinegar, noodles; her husband grows their rice, the only rice they use.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards