Learning How To Make Harumaki

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com-

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/matsuhisa-la/

In the continuing thread of planning for holiday dinners, I needed to consider what to do for dessert.  Looking over my list of the omakase meals at Matsuhisa, LA – I came across: (Omakase, 28 Dec 2007 banana chocolate harumaki with vanilla ice cream, creme anglaise/chocolate swirl sauce.  But I’d never made harumaki before.   Nobu Now has a recipe for that dessert as Banana Egg Roll (p. 227).  The contents of the harumaki has a layer spring roll wrapper, then a shiso leaf, alternating slices of fresh and caramel coated banana, then icing strips and finally grated/finely sliced chocolate on top.  The whole thing is then rolled up and deep fried.

I decide to at least teach myself how to make a ‘stripped down’ version of this dish. I went over to Whole Foods, Newtonville to at least get the wrappers.

Commercially available wrappers

Commercially available wrappers

To begin, I peeled a banana and sliced it up, segregating half of the slices to be quickly sauteed and reserving the rest as the

A banana for TWO harumaki

A banana for TWO harumaki

fresh slices as specified in the recipe.  And while I *could* sautee/coat the sauteed slices in caramel, I came to realize the

Separated banana slices

Separated banana slices

softened cooked banana slices would serve as a kind of glue to hold the fresh banana slices in place when the harumaki would

Cooked banana slices using a little rice oil, 1 minute/side

Cooked banana slices using a little rice oil, 1 minute/side

be rolled into its final shape. It was more important that I learn *how* to make the harumaki – the caramel coating of the banana’s could come later.  After doing a little research, I came across: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-bananas-with-cardamom-praline-sauce-231512 which suggested I could sautee the banana slices about  1 minute per side.  Instead of cooking the bananas in butter, I thought I’d sautee the bananas in a little rice oil.  Once I finished sautee’ing the banana slices, I set them aside to cool and firm up.

At that point I went and shaved about 1/4 lb of 70% valrhona chocolate and set that aside.   I then pulled out the wrappers and

A harumaki wrapper sheet

A harumaki wrapper sheet

then laid a layer of shaved chocolate, then a row of alternating fresh and cooked banana slices.

Filling the banana egg roll

Filling the banana egg roll

I took a look at the wrapper package about how to complete the harumaki which began with folding part of the wrapper over the filling.

Visual instructions to close up the harumaki

Visual instructions to close up the harumaki

I then folded up the sides and then ‘rolled’ the harumaki away from me toward the point.

First step n closing up the roll

First step n closing up the roll

folding up the sides

folding up the sides and then sealing the point with a little flour/water paste

It was then a matter a figuring out to fry the harumaki.  Instead of submerging the banana egg roll in hot oil at 355 degrees F,

Using wooden chopsticks to watch the oil begin to sizzle for frying

Using wooden chopsticks to watch the oil begin to sizzle for frying

she suggested frying the harumaki in half-deep oil in a frying pan at about 66% max power.  She commented that she thought

starting to fry up the harumaki

starting to fry up the harumaki

about cooking the harumaki for about 2 minutes on the first side and about 1 1/2 minute on the other side.

Flipping the harumaki over to finish cooking

Flipping the harumaki over to finish cooking

Once I finished cooking them, I moved them to a cooling rack to drain.

Draining and cooling off, ready to eat!

Draining and cooling off, ready to eat!

My wife and I tried the harumaki and she was absolutely delighted how it turned out.   I can imagine plating this with ripe fresh fruit and then dusting it with confectioners sugar.   When I make a full fledged attempt at this, I guess I’ll document the whole process of making the caramel for the bananas and the icing as well. While the wrapper I used seemed a little thick, I can imagine using fresh made lumpia wrapper (which my wife knows how to make) or even possibly phyllo dough as the wrapper.  But the important thing about this experience, is that now I can conceivably imagine making the Crab/Shrimp/Seafood Spring Roll With Matsuhisa Maui Salsa And Caviar!

Update (8 Aug 2015)

So I decided to remake this dessert harumaki with half an unsliced banana in each roll, dusted with confectioner’s sugar and accompanied with a quenelle of raspberry sorbet –

...a nice way to end a dinner...

…a nice way to end a dinner…

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