Seared Salmon Belly, Nobu Toro Hagashi Style

Well, Tuesday night (30 Aug 2011) would be the last night I would be cooking for my mother-in-law before she headed home on Thursday AM.  So I thought I’d cook a dish that was served to me at Matsuhisa, LA during one of my omakase meals.  The dish I chose to do was a variation of the toro hagashi (from my omakase meal of 28 Dec 2007).  The recipe is described online at:

http://books.google.com/books?id=wPMvfj0W7isC&pg=PA81&lpg=PA81&dq=toro+hagashi&source=bl&ots=WiP6ldr2r_&sig=6cL06E8qlH37se9tGffsRudCVvg&hl=en&ei=SWteTomGL8Ll0QG_84DVAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=toro%20hagashi&f=false

Since I didn’t have time to get the (O)toro for the meal, I chose to use skinned salmon belly from a fillet of wild Atlantic King Salmon that was available at Whole Foods Newtonville.  Actually, the dish is pretty straight forward.  Basically,  it was searing thin belly meat that was seasoned with 1 teaspoon of 4:1 salt/pepper mix and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (much I like I did for the salmon tobanyaki).  After that, all that was left was to top it with blanched asparagus pieces and sauteed mushrooms and pour over some yuzu dressing. The yuzu dressing recipe can be found online at:

http://books.google.com/books?id=wPMvfj0W7isC&pg=PA81&lpg=PA81&dq=toro+hagashi&source=bl&ots=WiP6ldr2r_&sig=6cL06E8qlH37se9tGffsRudCVvg&hl=en&ei=SWteTomGL8Ll0QG_84DVAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=yuzu%20dressing&f=false

I actually use the original formulation from Nobu: The Cookbook that uses 1 teaspoon short of the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce called for in the online version.

Yuzu dressing ingredients (before adding the oil)

Completed yuzu dressing

So for my mother-in-law, my wife and I, I used 3 5oz pieces of skinned salmon belly, 8 oz of mixed mushrooms, and ~1/2 lb of asparagus (about 12 stalks cut into bite size pieces).

Asparagus for 3 orders of hagashi

The asparagus pieces was blanched for about 4 minutes, shocked in ice water, drained and set aside while the seasoned salmon belly portions were seared about 2 minutes a side at 50% max power (then plated and rested).  With those items done, it was just a matter of quickly sauteeing the mushrooms in a little olive oil in a hot wok on high heat for about 3 minutes.

Plating the dish was just as easy, with the seared salmon belly pieces already resting in their serving plates, I topped them with a portion of the asparagus pieces and some of the sauteed mushrooms.  The dish was then finished with about 3 tablespoons of Nobu’s yuzu dressing/plate.

Seared Salmon Belly, Nobu Hagashi Style

My mother-in-law has been somewhat hesitant about dishes with acidic components in them because of digestive problems that she’s had in recent years (she was unable to eat the key lime pie dessert offering at Legal Seafoods during this trip). Happily, she loved this offering and was quite satisfied with the meal!

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