If you want a sauce to inspire your creativity in Japanese cooking, this should get you started. Though kimizu—egg and rice vinegar sauce—is not derived from European cooking, you could almost think of it a Japanese Hollandaise sauce. It compliments the same delicate flavors of steamed vegetables, shell-fish, white fish, or chicken breast. I’m betting it would even be good on poached eggs. There is no butter in kimizu, so its bright flavor adds sparkle to blanched asparagus, broccoli, or spinach. It’s a pretty yellow topping to accent pink shrimp. Or make a luxuious salad with lobster or crab and cucumbers; avocado slices would add even more richness. It is served chilled or at room temperature, so you can easily make it a day ahead of a fancy meal.
1/3 cup sauce
- a pot of simmering water—the bowl in which you whisk the sauce should be able to float in the saucepan. I put a colander in the pan to keep the bowl more stable, yet still floating in the water.
- a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes to stop the cooking quickly
- 2 egg yolks (Ms. Shimbo asks for 3, but the sauce seems too thick)
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add, one at a time, the salt, sugar, and rice vinegar. Float the bowl in a pan of simmering water over low heat, and whisk the mixture to prevent the eggs coagulating as they cook. When the sauce has thickened, put the bowl into ice water and continue whisking until the sauce is cool.
I could have arranged this plate with steamed chicken and purple asparagus more carefully, but it would be even better if you could just taste the picture!
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