May 24 2008 was the date my wife and I got engaged at Matsuhisa, LA. I had talked with Matsuhisa-sama during my visit to Matsuhisa the prior December about doing an surprise engagement dinner for my now wife. We were seated at a corner table on the wall opposite the sushi bar ( http://files.kevineats.com/pics/2010/100806-Matsuhisa/DSC05555+DSC05554+DSC05553+DSC05552+DSC05551+DSC05550.jpg – see the table situated next to wall on the left side of the picture). Just prior to the beginning of dinner, I handed Matsuhisa-sama the engagement ring so that he could bring it out with one of the omakase courses, resulting in the fact that the moment to propose to my wife would be as much as a surprise for her as it would be for me.
Here’s what we had for our omakase engagement dinner
When my wife and I tasted this dish, we both agreed it wasn’t wakame that was in the dish but more likely nori tsukudani, which both of us had when we were growing up. Of all the courses we had for the omakase, this is probably the dish she liked the most. I still make this for her every May 24th. At this point I was sort of beginning to wonder when the ring was going to show up…
So after the waitress had cleared the plates from our 3rd course, she returned with our 4th course and served me first. Now remember we were seated at a corner table on the wall opposite the sushi bar. So then Matsuhisa-sama came walking up quietly behind my wife and was nodding frantically with a big grin at me as he started to place the soup bowl in front of my wife…with the lobster claw wearing the engagement ring pointed at her. I didn’t realize for a split second until I saw the glint of the diamond in the restaurant light and quickly got down on one knee to propose to her. At the point, everyone in the restaurant started applauding. My wife, speechless, finally reacted by nodding ‘yes’ (to which everyone began applauding again).
We will remember this omakase forever. Matsuhisa-sama, thank you to you and everyone at Matsuhisa who made this possible.
* * *
So as I mentioned earlier, I’ve made course #3 from the omakase meal every May 24th. Instead of using the gold leaf for the dish, I’ve chosen to use o-toro in place of the gold leaf and the toro. I’m grateful to Sakanaya in Allston, MA for having the ingredient (http://sakanayaboston.com/en/). It’s been really difficult to get o-toro to make this meal in recent years. So the engagement anniversary meal was –
extra virgin olive oil, yuzu, dried miso
Broccoli Floret, nori tsukudani karashi su miso
Side Of Blanched Broccoli
I all ready had all the ingredients for the tomato ‘sashimi’ started. All I really needed to do was to make the sauce of the Otoro ‘steak’. The online recipe can be found here –
So I scaled the recipe for the sauce, replacing the wakame with the nori tsukadani so that it would be enough for about 8 tablespoons (4 tablespoons/person)
Nori Tsukudani Karashi Su Miso
1/2 teaspoons karashi paste
1 teaspoon water
4 tablespoons Nobu-style Saikyo Miso (https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/nobu-style-saikyo-miso/)
1 tablespoon+1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons nori tsukudani
2 tablespoons water (to thin the sauce)
I pretty much followed the online recipe in terms of preparing the (O)toro steak using 1 teaspoon of a 4:1 salt/pepper mix with a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and dry rubbed the Otoro with it. The Otoro was dry
seared in a hot pan and then cooked 2 min/side at 50% max power (cooked in its own fat). While that was cooking, I plated a sliced tomato with extra virgin olive oil, yuzu juice and topped the tomato slices with dried white miso, Nobu-style –
I then plated 4 tablespoons of the nori tsukudani karashi su miso sauce per plate while the otoro was resting –
and then added the otoro –
and of course, we had a side of my wife’s favorite vegetable – blanched broccoli.
Otoro – Sakanaya, Allston, MA