Every time I dine in a Japanese Restaurant, I just marvel at the downright intelligence of their cuisine – the way so many of their foods serve a purpose.
Wasabi is always consumed with sashimi, not only to counteract the potent scent of raw fish, but to safeguard against any harmful bacteria (such as Escherichia Coli) contained in the raw fish (wasabi is a potent antibacterial/antibiotic). Miso is a probiotic-rich food, supplying beneficial bacteria to enhance gut function. Edamame are rich in phytoestrogens to balance female sex hormones.
Oily foods such as prawn tempura are always served with a small side of grated daikon radish. Radish stimulates bile production and therefore helps to break down fats (ideal if you suffer from gallbladder issues).
So having picked up red mullet from my local fishmonger yesterday for our dinner, I was inspired Japanese style, to improve the digestion of this light oily fish, by pairing it with a delicious fennel and watermelon radish salad.
Ingredients for radish salad:
8 small breakfast radishes, trimmed and finely sliced
2 watermelon radishes, trimmed and finely sliced
A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
¼ small red onion, finely sliced
½ small ridge cucumber, finely sliced
1 fennel, finely sliced horizontally
For the dressing:
½ tsp grain mustard
½ tsp raw honey
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
2 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped dill
NB: I served this salad with coriander steamed red mullet and minted new potatoes and asparagus.