Tobanyaki For Breakfast

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/ham-and-eggs
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/toban-yaki-nobu-style

I must say I was inspired when I heard about a Nobu breakfast dish I hadn’t heard about before.  The dish appears on page 4 of the the in-room dining menu found online at:

http://www.nobucaesarspalace.com/content/dam/cl1/Dining/Upscale/In%20Room%20Dining/NOBU-Dining-Upscale-In-Room%20Dining-1.pdf

The dish is described as, “Breakfast Tobanyaki – Kurobuta sausage, onsen egg, onion, crisp pork belly and roasted tomato”.  A picture of the new dish at Nobu’s Hotel in Las Vegas can be found here:

I thought, “Super – I get to use the toban’s for something else!”.  Of course, Nobu has used the toban dishes  for octopus, vegetables, main entree offerings with anticucho and other sauces.  Then there is his dessert toban from his first cookbook.  From the looks of the breakfast dish, I said, “that’s pork sausage, a kind of bacon, shredded cooked onion, roasted tomato and an onsen egg garnished with chives – I think I can do something similar!”

So I thought, “let’s have some fun and try to make something like this for a weekend breakfast”.  I already knew how to make onsen eggs; my wife volunteered to do the sausage/bacon and I’d do the sauteed shredded onion and maybe use a gin’an sauce (without the thickener) so that the ingredients wouldn’t stick to the toban plate.

a pound of red onions for 2 people

a pound of red onions for 2 people

I’d handle ~1 lb of red onions by slicing them up into the ribbons and sautee them in rice oil until they

Slicing up the red onions

Slicing up the red onions

were just softened for about 7 minutes on medium heat and seasoned with a few 3-fingered pinches of

Cooking down the sliced red onions on medium heat

Cooking down the sliced red onions on medium heat

4:1 salt/pepper mix.  The prepared onions I set aside, since they would be re-heated in the hot toban plates.

I followed up the onions by simmering  the unshelled eggs in water (fully covered) with the heat setting halfway between the 2nd and 3rd setting past “low” (~38% max power or 140.9 degrees) for ~45 minutes. I’d then get the toban plates into my counter top oven at 375 degrees to preheat while the eggs were cooking. For the sauce, I would just mix 2/3 cup of hot dashi with a tablespoon each of sake and usukuchi soy sauce.

My wife wanted to help out so I let her cook up the bacon and sausage items.  She started by dropping

Bacon, aka pork belly  (applewood smoked, dried cured from Niman Ranch)

Bacon, aka pork belly
(applewood smoked, dried cured from Niman Ranch)

in 4 slices of Niman Ranch bacon at 1 setting past medium heat to cook for about 9-10 minutes.

...everything goes better with bacon!

…everything goes better with bacon!

She drained off the pan of the residual bacon fat and dropped in 4 pork sausage links and cooked them

Completed bacon off to the side

Completed bacon off to the side

Johnsonville (original recipe) sausages underway

Johnsonville (original recipe) pork sausages underway

at the same heat setting for about 7 minutes.

Finishing up on the pork sausages

Finishing up on the pork sausages

Now it was just a matter of quickly assembling the dish.  Into the hot toban plate went four tablespoons of sauce, onions, onsen egg, bacon and sausage which was then quickly covered and brought to the dining room table.

The breakfast tobanyaki dish, assembled

The breakfast tobanyaki dish, assembled

Upon tasting the dish, my wife and I both commented that it was a keeper!  I liked the thickener-less gin’an sauce I added to the dish; but I think I’d cook the onsen eggs at a slightly higher temperature (closer to the 145 degree mark) if only to firm up the egg a bit more.  I would sort of like to know what sort of sauce was used at the bottom of the toban dish at Nobu Hotel at Caesar’s Palace.  My wife and I are defintely going to try this again in the near future.  In fact, I think I’d like to do this dish for my folks during holiday week.

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