Reproducing Michiba’s Miso Cheese Stew (Pt. I)

Ever since I saw the Iron Chef Japan retrospective “The Legend Of Michiba”, I was intrigued by his offering of mascarpone miso nabe which was also featured in Iron Chef: The Official Book (pgs 96,100). Interestingly, Iron Chef Michiba has a website http://www.michiba-shunsara.jp which has a page ( http://www.michiba-shunsara.jp/menu/sz004 ) that briefly discusses combining cheese and miso – particularly for things like stew and miso marinated cheese. Although it’s in Japanese, you can get a pretty good idea by using the google language translation tools.  In fact, it was interesting to note that my omakase meal at Basho, here in Boston, included a red miso marinated block of cream cheese as part of the third course (see https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/category/omakase-menus/basho-boston/).  Getting back to reverse engineering Michiba’s miso and cheese stew, I consulted Epicurious.com to get some guidance on what to expect in trying to reproduce Michiba’s dish (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Broccoli-Mascarpone-Soup-236583).  I also spent time watching the following video and carefully taking notes while Michiba made this dish –


(Note time indices 14:03-14:24,16:23-16:44)

I’ve attempted to reproduce this dish on three different occasions, and this is the recipe I finally settled on –

4 cups dashi
3 Tablespoons miso (I use Yamajirushi shiro miso here)
3/4 cup (6 oz) mascarpone
3/4 cup (6 oz) broccoli florets
1 1/2 lb king crab meat (in shell)
20 littleneck clams cleaned, well scrubbed
chives (for garnish)

1. Remove king crab meat from shell and cut into 2-3″ pieces (use food shears for cutting away the shell)
2. Bring dashi up to a simmer on medium heat; reduce heat, but keep the dashi on simmer and filter in the shiro miso
3. filter in mascarpone a bit at a time
4. add clams and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. add broccoli florets and cook for about 5 minutes more
6. when all the clams have opened, add crab meat and cook for about 2 more minutes
7. stir well and top with chives cut into 1-2″ lengths

It’s interesting to note that if you look at the published pictures for this dish from Iron Chef: The Official Book (pgs 96, 100), it appears that tomatoes and japanese eggplant were added to the dish as opposed to what you can see by watching the cited youtube video (from time index 8:15-8:24). What I tried to reproduce was what I saw in the video, as opposed to what I saw in the book (and so I left out what appeared to be tomatoes and japanese eggplant from the book’s published pictures).

But how did the final product taste?

I must say, like Iron Chef Michiba (see time index 17:08-17:29 of the cited youtube video), I too was very pleasantly surprised how well this turned out.  The flavor reminded me of Legal Seafoods New England Clam/Fish chowder with the exotic hint of miso.  As I had expected, this dish really didn’t need to add any salt since the recipe had miso in it.  The only other thing I would have done is to add fresh cracked black pepper on top of the individual servings.  As far as I’m concerned, this one’s a keeper.  I hope to get to Part II of this write up with pictures in the near future.

I’d be curious to know how well I did in reproducing this dish.  Michiba-sama – if you and your staff read this, could you provide any corrections?  ありがとうございます(arigato gozaimasu).

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