A peek into “Harumi’s Japanese Cooking”

On a recent trip to Portland’s Anzen grocery store, I picked up “Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.” Harumi Kurihara has been described as “Japan’s Martha Stewart.”

We served Harumi's scallops with sliced cucumbers as a side dish.

We served Harumi’s scallops with sliced cucumbers as a side dish.

She offers elegant, simple dishes that emphasize fresh and seasonal ingredients. We tried “Scallop Saute with Miso Sauce.” At first, I was puzzled and maybe a little put off that she has Westernized many dishes. But as we consumed the scallops, we thought the combination of flavors and textures made the dish a winner. We served a bowl of sliced cucumbers on the side with sea salt, Japanese rice vinegar, a little sugar, green onions and sesame seeds.

You can buy miso and mirin at most grocery stores, but if you want an adventure, travel to Anzen Hiroshi’s, 736 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Portland. The grocery carries many Asian products, but it specializes in Japanese items, including serving dishes and cookware.

Here’s Harumi’s recipe:

Scallop Saute with Miso Sauce

8 oz. very fresh scallops

Salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

All-purpose flower — to dust the scallops

1-2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons miso

1 tablespoon mirin

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon superfine sugar

1-2 tablespoons water

1/2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Small bunch of watercress

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste (Note from Janet: See what I mean about blending flavors?)

Season the scallops with the salt, pepper and garlic and then lightly dust with flour.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Briefly fry both sides of the scallops until seared on the outside but still rare in the middle.

Take the pan off the heat and remove the scallops. Add the white wine and then the miso, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and water to the pan and stir. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, then remove. Mix in the mustard and heavy cream.

Tear the leaves off the watercress and arrange on a large plate. Chop the stems finely and set aside as a garnish. Place the scallops on the bed of watercress leaves, pour the hot sauce over and garnish with the finely chopped watercress stems. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Serves four.

— from “Harumi’s Japanese Cooking”



Janet Cleaveland

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 52 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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