Nobu Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/nobu-sobabuckwheat-risotto/

I was first introduced to Nobu’s balsamic teriyaki sauce during my 15 Dec 2006 omakase at Matsuhisa in LA. Nobu Now lists the recipe for the sauce which contains balsamic vinegar, soy, mirin, sugar, chicken stock and kudzu slurry.  I’ve made this sauce several times before and I’ve pretty much stripped it down to a reduction of balsamic, soy and mirin.

The original recipe for the sauce is:
8 3/4 oz (1 cup+1 T+1 t+1/2 t) balsamic vinegar (I use colavita here)
3 T+1 t soy sauce
3 T+1 t nikiri mirin
10 1/2 oz chicken stock (made from the bones)
1 3/4 oz (3 T+1 t+1/2 t) sugar
1 T kudzu mixed with 1 T water

The chicken stock recipe/specifications appears nowhere in Nobu Now; I did, however, find it online at:

http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/8285/1997/08/24/Nobus-Chicken-Stock/recipe.html

The sauce begins by reducing the balsamic by about 2/3’ds (about 20-30 minutes). Thomas Keller also mentions that, “When making a vinegar…glaze, reduce it slowly…If you boil it too hard, the acid will remain and make the glaze too sharp” (The French Laundry Cookbook, p. 238).

In the meantime, the chicken stock, soy, mirin and sugar are heated (stirring) separately from the balsamic until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes).  The kudzu slurry is added to the chicken stock mix to thicken it and then the balsamic reduction is added to complete the sauce.

I found that I can just reduce the balsamic and then add a heated mix of the soy/mirin to the balsamic reduction and then heat the mix until the sauce thickens to a syrupy consistency. While I know I omitted the sugar, I feel the mirin adds enough sweetness like a teriyaki tare. And while I know I also omitted the chicken stock, I feel the overall flavor profile is  close to what I was served at Matsuhisa in LA.

So, for dinner tonight (21 Nov), I was able to obtain some cuts of O-toro. I planned on making a variation of the Kobe NY Strip on soba mushroom ‘risotto’ with truffle oil and balsamic teriyaki.  I planned on replacing the NY Strip with the Otoro and then adding some spears of blanched broccolini.

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