A Japanese housewife named Harumi Kurihara has changed my life a few years ago. I bought her book Everyday Harumi just out of curiosity but it turned into one of my cooking bibles (and I fully agree with this excellent blog entry published by The Huffington Post in 2010 already).
The subtitle of Harumi’s book reads: “Simple Japanese Food for Family & Friends” and that is true: it is a simple – yet highly refined – cuisine that makes everybody happy, family and friends alike.
The Harumi soup I prepared in my Parisian kitchen tonight (you see, France really isn’t that nationalist and old-fashioned anymore!) takes – all in all – just 15 minutes of work. Given the delicious result that seems ridiculous – but this lady chef just knows how to enhance ingredients.
Yes, you’ll need some exotic (Japanese) ingredients like Mirin and you should have a home-made dashi stock at hand (don’t use instant dashi, it just isn’t where it’s at). But you’ll see, once you’ve started cooking à la Harumi you’ll buy everything she wants you to have in stock anyway. It’s just too good.
Harumi’s “Hot Noodle Soup with Sliced Duck” which I served my family tonight is a marvel made of just five ingredients: duck breast, spring onions, dashi stock, soy sauce and mirin – and that’s it. And it takes only 10 minutes to cook everything. And it’s great. You add some Asian noodles and you have a beautiful supper. My family ate with delightful devotion. No leftovers whatsoever.