Japanese Appetizers

Comfort Food Fights Loneliness

Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf…they may be bad for your arteries, but according to an upcoming study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, they’re good for your heart and emotions. The study focuses on “comfort food” and how it makes people feel.

Researchers found that comfort foods are foods which are consistently associated with those that are close. Thinking about or consuming these foods later then serves as a reminder of those close others.


A Spicy Starter to Begin the Meal


100 g sliced smoked salmon, about 6 slices
1 roasted red pepper
3 green onions
4 slices white sandwich bread, at least a day old
1 egg
3 tbsp (45 mL) mayonnaise
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each Tabasco sauce, salt and black pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) store-bought fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp (30 mL) each black and white sesame seeds
1/4 cup (50 mL) mayonnaise
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp (2 mL) wasabi paste
Fresh chives for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with oil, or lightly oil. Finely chop salmon. Pat pepper dry with a paper towel and finely chop. Thinly slice green onions. Remove crusts from bread. Place bread in a food processor, then pulse until tiny pieces form. Don’t overpulse or bread will turn pasty.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg with mayo, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Stir in both fresh and dry bread crumbs until evenly mixed. Then stir in salmon, pepper and onions.
  3. Place sesame seeds in a small, shallow dish. Scoop a heaping tbsp (17 mL) of salmon mixture, then form into a cylinder 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. Holding each end, roll sides of cake in sesame seeds until lightly coated. Place on baking sheet. Gently press down in the middle. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. Bake in centre of preheated oven until a knife tip inserted into the thickest part comes out warm, 13 to 15 min.
  5. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small bowl, stir mayo with chopped chives and wasabi. Taste and stir in a little more wasabi if you like. Place cakes on a large platter, then spoon about 1/2 tsp (2 mL) wasabi mayo into indented centre of each. Then tuck a small piece of chive into centre of mayo mixture.

Nutrients per cake with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sauce:

93 calories, 7 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 153 mg sodium, 3 g protein

Source: Chatelaine