This week I find myself in Northern Japan where it’s kind of a magical place for produce. The cold waters and sunny landscape bring an array of tasty things like super sweet corn, potatoes, my favourite milk in the world, great beers, the country’s famous whiskies, scallops, oysters, and snow crab. This is just to name a few. When I come here, there are a few things I never miss like local cassis nectar, the most fluffy and flavoursome potatoes, sticky yam, Hokkaido butter, soft serve ice-cream, Sapporo style ramen with a good knob of that tasty butter on top, and their corn. Greens are dried and preserved for the harsh cold winters, so expect leeks and radish for freshness during this time of the year. I also look forward to a hot pot of Nabe soup with a clean but rich stock that is round from the glutamates that come from good kombu seaweed and bones. It’s a kind of celebration of produce, that needs no saucing to eat with. It’s the cleanest sort of eating that puts pride into local food and history.
This recipe is a classic French dish that the Japanese have adopted into mainstream cuisine. You’ll find this cheesy baked potato dish in many restaurants and diners, along with other classics like curry rice and Japanese style spaghetti dishes. Its simple flavours and rich taste match this passion for food that showcases its ingredients.
CHEESY POTATO-Y GOODNESS /