Kasia Cwiertka and Sea-ling Cheng

Amsterdam & Hong Kong

The most wonderful moments (so far?!) we shared with Sidney Mintz

On the 30th of November 2001, after a long day at the AAA meeting, Sidney and the two of us (foodies in every sense of the word!)had dinner together at the Japanese restaurant Sushiko on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington D.C. It felt like being taken to a pastry shop by our most beloved grandfather whom we hadn't seen for a long time. Sidney recalled this occasion somewhat differently. "I felt," he wrote in his e-mail to us shortly afterwards, "like a Hollywood producer having dinner with two actresses from his movie." (Now we know how far anthropological imagination can take us!) Despite this slight difference in perception, we had a wonderful time.

The fun started as soon as we entered the restaurant —when the three of us rushed upstairs giggling for reasons we would rather not reveal here. We spent the rest of the evening chatting and laughing over delightful Japanese delicacies. It was one of those enchanting evenings that stay in our memory with a warm yellow glow, like sitting in front of a family fireplace with grandpa—only this time, grandpa was munching on sushi and sipping sake!

Since the restaurant didn't have Sidney's favourite dish on the menu, we've included a recipe for this delicacy here.

Sea Ling coming out of her viva (oral defence) alive at Oxford.
Kasia standing within 50 meters from Maurizio's café.

Simmered Fish Head (Kabutoni)


Head of red snapper, yellowtail, salmon or other large fish
1/2 cup fish broth (dashi)
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (if not available substitute with sake and add some sugar)
Some fresh ginger (finely chopped)


    1. Split the head in two.
    2. Rinse with hot water and clean the remaining dirt and scales with cold water. Bring all the liquid ingredients to boil in a shallow pan and place the two parts of the head there with eyes up.
    3. Skim carefully and let to simmer for a few minutes.
    4. Serve sprinkled with fresh ginger.