Seafood remains one of the most intimidating aspects of cooking to most home chefs.
In the Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook, Chef/owner Ben Smith sets out to demystify the qualities of different fish as well as the Asian ingredients used in his award-winning, Memphis based Tsunami Restaurant kitchen. Anyone interested in healthy, Asian-influenced seafood cookery and the cooking style and philosophy of a chef with a penchant for creating “clean, uncluttered presentations” and “crisp, identifiable flavors” will find the Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook to be an inspiring and accessible tool.
Influenced by his culinary experiences from San Francisco to the South Pacific, Chef Smith includes over 150 recipes, such as Pacific Rim-inspired dishes like Sautéed Mahi-Mahi with Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Cilantro Pesto, Thai Beef Salad, and Lemongrass Ice Cream, as well as new twists on Latin American foods such as Scallop Ceviche and Chilled Avocado Soup. He even offers a nod to his Southern roots with innovative recipes like Crawfish Cakes with Black Bean Remoulade.
Chef Smith’s practical advice and entertaining anecdotes, infused throughout this easy-to-use, elegantly photographed cookbook, give a glimpse into the daily life of this lively restaurateur. His infectious love of fresh and simple, internationally inspired dishes makes this a handy guide for anyone who has ever left their favorite Pacific Rim restaurant wanting to try it at home.
Chilled Avocado Soup
This is a great soup for a first course before a grilled dinner. It’s rather rich and substantial, so you should serve smaller portions if other food is to follow. But a large bowl with a dollop of picante salsa and a side of tortilla chips makes for a great lunch on a hot day.
8 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups chilled vegetable stock
1 tsp. toasted, ground cumin seeds
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
salt to taste
Peel and pit the avocados and toss them together in a large bowl with the lime juice, lemon juice, and yogurt. Puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and chill well before serving. You may thin the soup down with additional stock or milk.
About the Author
Chef Ben Smith was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and worked for Jeremiah Tower at Stars Restaurant from 1986 to 1989. After further experience in culinary jobs from Australia to Hawaii, he returned to Tennessee and opened Tsunami in 1998, introducing innovative, contemporary, Pacific Rim-inspired cuisine to Memphis and the mid-South. Two months after its opening in July 1998, Tsunami was voted Best New Restaurant by Memphis magazine. Since that time it has maintained one of the top three spots in the categories of “Best Seafood” and “Most Creative Menu” in Memphis magazine’s readers’ poll every year.