What About Wine?


Sake’s all the rage with sushi, but wine and beer are still an option.


“What you’re looking for,” says Rich Liebman, wine manager for Goody Goody Liquors on lower Greenville, “is wine and beer that will complement sushi. That means you need something to offset sushi’s spiciness.”


That means wines that are usually white, usually fruity, but aren’t necessarily sweet. A good sushi beer will have many of the same characteristics. Consider these recommendations by Liebman:


• Tsingtao ($7). This Chinese beer isn’t as robust as a European brew, but has more distinctive flavor than milder American beers.


• RHP Phillips EXP Viogner 1997 ($11). The Viogner grape has only recently caught on in California, and this is a fine example of what can be done with it — a touch sweet, but still fruity and mellow.


• Murphy-Goode Reserve Fume 1997 ($16). Murphy-Goode’s wines almost always offer value in their price range, and this is no exception. It’s not as dry as most fumes, but still hardy enough to stand up to that potent Japanese-style horseradish.


— Jeff Siegel




Asian Crab Cakes




Combine in a bowl:




1 1/2 lbs. Lump crabmeat


1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs


2 eggs


1 tsp. Vietnamese chili paste with garlic (available at all Asian grocery stores)


1 jalapeno chili, finely minced


2 green onions, slices




Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Form the mixture into small cakes 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You should have about 12 cakes.




Make a colorful pepper salsa to garnish the crab cakes. Combine in a small bowl:




1/2 small red bell pepper, very finely diced


1/2 small yellow bell pepper, very finely diced


1 jalapeno chili, finely minced


zest of one lime


1 tsp. Of fish broth (can substitute chicken broth)


1 Tbsp. Butter




In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat sauté the crab cakes until heated through and brown on both sides. Garnish with the pepper salsa.