Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cream cheese with salted kelp クリームチーズの塩昆布和え

I saw this recipe on line sometime ago. While we were at the Japanese grocery store last time, I found a package of salted kelp or "Shio Konbu"  塩昆布 and I got a package (see the second picture). This is an extremely simple but unexpectedly excellent  drinking snack.

Essentially, I mixed softened cream cheese and salted kelp from the package. The only change I will make is to cut the strands of kelp shorter next time so that it is easier to get a small amount of the cheese to smear on a cracker. The original recipe suggested adding cracked black pepper. 
"Salted kelp", I remember when I was living in Japan, this was chewy square pieces of kelp with its surface covered with salt. Apparently many new kelp products have been created in recent years including kelp snacks I posted before.

This version of salted kelp is from a company called "Kurakon" and the package has a cartoon of a character who is supposedly the manager of the company. It appears that different recipes by him using salt kelp are printed on each package. This one had a recipe for a rice ball with cheese and salted kelp and the image of the package at the company web site had cheese toast with salted kelp, which I may try later.

In any case, the combination of salty kelp and creme cheese was indeed a good one. We had this with Moffett Vineyards Willows Blend Napa Valley Red Wine 2007. This is an interesting blend of Cab Saub (47%), syrah (28%), and Cab Franc (25%). This is similar to the blends popularized by Aussie wineries.

This is a quite decent California red with nice black fruit upfront with some earthy spices and just right amount of vanilla. It has silky tannin with reasonable finish. I will give 92. This red went so well with the salt kelp cream cheese concoction on craker. Sitting outside under the cherry blossoms also helped, I have to admit.

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