One of the items that’s appeared on the Nobu menus are the Matsuhisa sliders. I was intrigued by its very existence and came across the following quote –
…For instance we’ve developed a slider [mini-hamburger] without using bread for the bun. It’s a ground beef patty with fried onions, mushrooms and tofu. Japanese people never eat bread with a meal and lots of people are avoiding bread or have an allergy. The new slider was developed for them… -Nobu Matsuhisa
With a little more research, I found: http://www.four-magazine.com/articles/1482/fourusa-four-recipes-from-nobu
Wow. A tofu bun. The first thing I thought might be useful was to learn out to make that tofu bun (thinking ahead to other ‘sandwich’ applications) which called for –
180g dry tofu (dry overnight in chiller with weight on top to remove water) – about 6.3oz to start
1 egg white (about 3 Tablespoons of packaged egg white, if you must)
15ml mirin – about 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon)
15ml soya sauce – about 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon)
Salt, to season (turned out to be 1/16t)
Note: The 3 tablespoon equivalent for 1 egg white was taken from http://www.allwhiteseggwhites.com/products/how-to-measure.cfm
So for this version, the tofu was basically double the amount, so I would need two egg whites (6 T), 2 T mirin
and 2 T soy sauce and salt to taste.
It’s interesting to note that the amount of egg white replaces the amount of water pressed out of the tofu!
So I had to mix all ingredients in a blender with the egg whites added last since I wanted to taste the mix for added salt seasoning (turned out to be 1/8t).
Form four buns (45g each[1.5oz] – estimated to be 3 tablespoons) and place in burger rings then cook in oven at 170C for 10-12 minutes. Interestingly, the amount made allowed me to put 4 tablespoon of the batter/3″ food ring!
Allow to cool cut each one in two pieces (170C==338F). But how large a ‘burger ring’? Well, as I understand it, a slider is a sandwich about 3″ (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slider_%28sandwich%29 ); so I figure I’d use 3″ molds for the buns.
But what could I do with the buns? Well, besides the obvious Matsuhisa burger slider (yes, I know, there’s the seafood and vegetarian variants), I could think
of doing a chicken katsu slider ( see http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/traveltips/10512 ) or pork belly slider or even a simple breakfast egg slider!
So, speaking of breakfast egg sliders, my wife volunteered to help out and to make the egg/sausage components for the slider whilst I got the the tofu buns
ready. Preparing the tofu buns required a little bit of care. So, in order to split them, I got a good sharp serrated knife and sliced the buns from the heel of
the blade to the tip in one careful stroke. I didn’t think it was a good idea to ‘saw’ the buns since I felt it might cause the to crumble. The color on the buns didn’t quite look right compared to the photo found at: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/495958977685221036 so I thought I’d get them into my counter top
oven to toast. And voila! The color of the buns came close to what I expected!
On plating the slider, I followed the idea of putting a bit of lettuce leaf underneath each slider to make it easy to handle and to give it a little lighter/fresh taste.
The sliders pretty much matched our expectations in terms of taste. There was also that nice faintly sweet/salty taste from the bun. Overall, I’m looking forward to making these buns again. The next time I do this, I’m going to go ahead and make the Matsuhisa burger slider with the fixings!