James Bond and Kissy Suzuki’s Japanese Fish And Rice

In the James Bond book and film, You Only Live Twice, Bond goes to live with the Ama pearl-diving people. The deliciously named Kissy Suzuki is detailed to teach him how to attempt to pretend to be an Ama, bit of a tall [sic] order since he is about twice the height of all of them. Obviously he has to learn to dive for pearls and after a morning’s diving he manages to collect five shells and….

“Later they stopped for a lunch of rice with a few small bits of fish in it and dried seaweed which tasted of salty spinach”

 Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice

If you are wanting to be posh with this recipe you could use sea bass fillets for the ‘bits of fish’, but last year I stopped for a night at a self-catering cottage in deepest, darkest Derbyshire. It was the middle of a hot summer and I knew the ingredients I took with me could not include fresh fish if it was going to be kept all day in a hot car boot. So, bold and brash, I substituted a tin of tuna and I found that it was not bad at all. The addition of the avocado (I don’t think the Ama people could lay their hands on avocados in the sixties) might not be authentic, but it is essential to prevent too much of a ‘fishy’ taste. The avocado works in the same soft, calming way that it does when paired up with chilli con carne.

Recipe for James Bond and Kissy Suzuki’s Japanese Fish And Rice

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 150g/¾ cup Japanese jasmine rice
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 260g tinned tuna fish (drained weight) NB in olive oil
  • 600 ml/2½ cups fish stock (made at the time with just boiled water and two fish stock cubes)
  • 2 tbsps martini rosato
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs good soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 sheets nori seaweed
  • Indonesian long pepper; or some generous grinds of ordinary black pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 heaped tbsp ricotta or cottage cheese

Method

  1. Boil a kettle.
  2. Peel and chop the shallot.
  3. Fry the shallot gently in a medium saucepan, using some of the oil from the tuna.
  4. When the shallot is just turning transparent, add the rice to the saucepan, stir to coat and fry gently another couple of minutes.
  5. Meanwhile combine mirin, soy, sugar and pepper. Add to the shallot and rice.
  6. Add the just boiled water, and the stock cubes and simmer for about ten minutes (whatever it says on the packet). Drain, and return to the saucepan.
  7. Meanwhile peel and chop the avocado into quite small pieces, reserving the odd few for garnish.
  8. Drain the tuna and add to the cooked and drained rice. Tear the nori into the rice also. Add the chopped avocado. Mix well.
  9. Serve with the ricotta dotted into small blobs all around, and the rest of the avocado in the middle. 

You may also find these posts interesting

To find out more about seaweed, follow this link.

To find out more about jasmine rice (does not contain jasmine), follow this link.

The music and film to listen to and watch when you make and eat this

What else to listen to while you cook this than the deep rich Bryn Terfel and Roberto Alagna singing Au fond du temple saint from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.

Then enjoy some salty excerpts from You Only Live Twice.

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