Inside In The Moment issue three we uncover the secrets of wabi-sabi living, the Japanese philosophy that embraces the imperfect.
As Julie Pointer Adams, author of Wabi Sabi Welcome describes it, “a way of life that celebrates the perfectly imperfect – beauty found in the unusual, unfashionable places or objects, and in moments usually overlooked or unappreciated.”
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If you’re feeling inspired by the wabi-sabi lifestyle, try one of these delicious bowl food recipes from Emma Rice. She says: “I became fascinated with Japanese food the very first time I tasted it.
“The flavours were unlike anything that I had previously experienced and they immediately resonated with me.
“I loved what I now know as the ‘umami’ flavours of the shitaki mushrooms, the bones broths with the noodles, and the sweetness that comes from the mirin.”
Emma’s father and grandparents spent many years living in Japan in the early 20th century, and so they probably ate a lot more Far Eastern-inspired dishes that the average UK family at that time.
She also loves wabi-sabi-style bowl food as it suits her own family’s dietary needs: “I don’t eat much wheat, and when we discovered my son was wheat intolerant, we began to create family wheat-free meals.
“Also, we have a mix of vegetarians and pescatarians in the house, so the concept of serving one big bowl of rice surrounded by lots of little dishes filled with vegetables, grilled fish or meat, tofu or egg, meant that everyone could take whichever elements of the meal suited them.
“It just so happens that this is how the Japanese serve and eat their food.”
Emma’s spicy chicken salad recipe
- 2 chicken thighs
- Tobijan sauce or sweet chilli sauce
- Tamari soya sauce
- Sesame oil
- Large carrot
- Sweet heart lettuce
- Half a daikon radish
- 100 grams of black rice
- Marinade the chicken in a tablespoon of mirin and tamari soya sauce, but just for 10 minutes or so – otherwise it will get dry from the salt of the soya.
- Then roast it at 180°C in the oven, until the juices run clear.
- Meanwhile mix a tablespoon of Tobijan (fermented chilli sauce) – if you can’t get it use sweet chilli sauce with the sesame oil, and a teaspoon of miso paste, and teaspoon of grated ginger and the same of chopped spring onions. You can lubricate it with a tiny bit of water.
- Once the chicken is a little cool rip it into chunks and toss it in the sauce.
- Then grate the carrot and daikon, cook the black rice according to the instructions on the packet, and assemble all the elements in your bowl. Place the remaining sauce alongside as a dressing.