Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com
So thanksgiving this year was going to be a joint effort from my wife and I. The menu we had in mind was:
Nobu Tamago with Smoked Salmon
Roasted Shiitake New Style Sashimi
ginger spears, chives, yuzu soy,
new style oil
Nobu Daikon Faux Gras
Keller Apple Compote,
Nobu Soy Caramel
Pan Roasted Crisp Skin Duck Breast
Smoked salmon fried rice
Fresh cut Fruit Dessert
My wife volunteered to do the tamago, smoked salmon fried rice and the dessert. I was responsible for the shiitake, faux gras, duck and the suimono
We were fortunate that Mitsuwa Edgewater had re-opened for Tu, 20 Nov 2012 and so we were able to get a hold of a tamago pan. A guide to making the tamago can be found on p. 200, 201 of Nobu West. My wife combined 2 jumbo eggs with 1 oz of dashi, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce. To cook the tamago, my wife would wipe the tamago pan with rice oil dipped paper towel, pour in a thin
layer of egg, let it set and then use a spatula/chopsticks to roll the layer right to left. As she’d repeat the process, she’d alternate rolling the tamgo in the opposite direction (depending on which layer she was working on). Once she had gotten the tamago down to the next to last layer, she added in the
smoked salmon, rolled it up and let it set. Once the tamago was set, she divided into 4 equal pieces
to serve as the 1st (appetizer) course.
To do the 2nd course, I roasted the seasoned and oiled shiitake caps for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Once I got them out of the oven and onto plates, I topped them with the julienne of ginger, mince of chives, splashes of yuzu soy and then seared with smoking new style oil
Given the my previous experiences with the daikon faux gras, I thought I’d take a chance and slightly modify the recipe to use a 10:1 ratio of grated daikon and potato flour. One other thing that I’d been thinking about that’s unsaid in the original recipe for Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook is that that the daikon needed to be grated with an oroshigane instead of the grater I’m used to using.
Matsuhisa-sama comments that it’ll grate an item finer than most western graters (Nobu: The Cookbook, p. 20). I imagine the oroshigane grates breaks down vegetables into shorter fibers. The other challenges this time around was teaming up the faux gras with the apple compote from Thomas Keller and the soy caramel from Nobu 57. The Nobu soy caramel recipe can be found online at:
Now, I didn’t need that much, so the ‘microbatch’ version was made from:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon+ 1/2 teaspoon yuzu juice
3 oz sake
2 oz + 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
I first combined the brown sugar and yuzu juice on medium heat with a splash of water to make the initial syrup. The ‘syrup’ came together very quickly (within minutes). At that point I added the
sake and soy and let it reduce for about 20 minutes on 50% max power and then about 10 more
minutes at low heat. I noticed that as the ‘caramel’ got close to completion,
the mixture tended to foam quite a bit, so I had to take it off/put it back on the heat periodically.
And so I prepared the faux gras as I had before using a metal oroshigane and 10:1 ratio of daikon to potato flour. Once everything was done, I got all the items on the plates in three parts.
As for the duck, I prepared 5 portions as I had in the earlier write up. I still think that the duck needs to be roasted skin side up when it’s put into the oven.
To lead into the fried rice course, I served a simple suimono with a blanched shrimp to clear the palate and the memory of the rich duck and the succotash salsa.
My wife’s fried rice began by making a ‘crepe’ of 2 beaten eggs until it was set. She then pan fried 2 oz of smoked salmon with egg crepe and then added 1/2 c of corn kernels stir fried again and then pan fried about 4 cooked cups of rice. She finally stir fried the green part of 1 scallion (finely minced) to mixed and then moved it to a common serving bowl.
While enjoying this ‘tasting menu’, one of the things I noticed was that the daikon faux was much closer to my expectations in terms of texture (much more like biting into a piece of actual foie gras). It was a lot of food for this meal; if I had to do this again, I think I’d halve the portion of the duck course. I’m sort of glad we finished the meal with a simple dessert of fresh cut fruit. All told, I think my wife, my folks and I all enjoyed the feast.