Morimoto Daikon ‘Fettucine’ With Tomato-Basil Sauce

What to make for the 1st weekend of spring 2013?

After much reflection and scanning my cookbooks, I came across my Boston University demonstration lecture notes of 10 Oct 2007 featuring Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.  In those notes, I remembered one of the dishes being the daikon ‘fettuncine’.  So I thought that would be a great first course for a Saturday night (23 Mar 2013) dinner. The online recipe can be found here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/restaurants/recipes/34662624.html

During the demonstration, the daikon ‘fettucine’ was originally made by  katsuramuki process which was then rolled up and then cut into ‘fettucine’ ribbons. I don’t think I was quite so brave as to attempt that method – especially since I didn’t quite have that knife skill (something I need to learn how to do?).  You can watch Iron Chef Morimoto doing katsuramuki here:


(see time indices: 2:03-2:48)

As noted from the chef, for most folks, using a swivel peeler running the length of a daikon would suffice. How long a length of daikon?  I figured out that I needed to use a 12″ long daikon which I settled on by measuring out a pasta strand of DeCecco linguine!  In preparing the daikon fettucine, Iron Chef Morimoto made note that the daikon was to be soaked in heavily salted water for as little as 6-8 minutes (even though the recipe calls for doing it 15-20 minutes).  The key point is to note the heavily salted

Daikon 'ribbons' from a swivel peeler soaking in 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt

Daikon ‘ribbons’ from a swivel peeler soaking in 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt

water (which is not mentioned in the book), which I took to mean ‘sea-water salty’ (~1/4 teaspoon per cup of water). As for the garlic, the recipe in Iron Chef Morimoto’s book calls for the garlic to be minced; but in the demonstration, Iron Chef Morimoto clearly demonstrated the garlic sliced thin – not unlike the techniques used by Nobu Matsuhisa. And while the recipe in the book calls for the onion to be finely chopped, I saw Iron Chef Morimoto doing a classic fine ‘french’ dice of the onion.

clockwise (l to r): 14 1/2 oz can of plum tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, finely minced onion, finely sliced garlic

clockwise (l to r): 14 1/2 oz can of plum tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, finely minced onion, finely sliced garlic

In most cases, I tend to exclude the sugar for recipes; but in this case, because of the pepperiness of the raw

squeezing the tomatoes from the can into the pot

squeezing the tomatoes from the can into the pot

Adding back the rest of the tomato can's contents to the sauce pot

Adding back the rest of the tomato can’s contents to the sauce pot

daikon, I went ahead and added the sugar to the sauce – because presumably it was there to cut daikon’s

Sweating down the onions and the garlic in olive oil

Sweating down the onions and the garlic in olive oil

Adding the 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to the sauce

Adding the 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to the sauce

sharpness.

Getting the fresh basil for the sauce

Getting the fresh basil for the sauce

...which made 1 tablespoon of finely minced basil

…which made 1 tablespoon of finely minced basil

When I went to correct the seasoning of the tomato-basil sauce, I found the addition of 1/4 teaspoon

The initial teaspoon of salt

The initial teaspoon of salt

basil added to the sauce

basil added to the sauce

of the 4:1 salt/pepper mix to be sufficient. Once the sauce was ready, I transferred it to a saute pan and drained

Getting the sauce into the sautee pan in preparation for the addition of the daikon ribbons

Getting the sauce into the sautee pan in preparation for the addition of the daikon ribbons

the daikon ribbons and then added them to the warmed sauce. One other note – it actually took me about 3 or 4 minutes for the daikon ribbons to ‘cook through’  in the tomato/basil sauce rather than the 1 minute mentioned

Addition of the daikon - it really looks like pasta in sauce, doesn't it?

Addition of the daikon – it really looks like pasta in sauce, doesn’t it?

in the book. Once everything was cooked through, I carefully teased out portions of the daikon into serving bowls and the transferred spoonfuls of the sauce from the saute pan to top the ‘fettucine’.

Daikon 'Fettucine' With Tomato Basil Sauce

Daikon ‘Fettucine’ With Tomato Basil Sauce

Upon tasting the dish – both my wife and I commented on how mild and light the dish was.  My wife thought the dish needed a little ‘punch’ – and as per the photo in Chef Morimoto’s book (p. 171), the dish is garnished with threads of ito togarashi.  Perhaps that little spicy hint might be something I need to add, the next time I do this dish.

Advertisements

, , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: