Morimoto Castella/Kasutera

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/morimoto-nyc-3/

Recently, my wife started reminiscing about an offering from Iron Chef Morimoto’s NYC restaurant.  That item, from the omakase menu was the castella that was served during the nigiri course.   As it turns out, it’s also offered on the nigiri portion of the dinner menu at the restaurant.  After one of omakase meals, Omae-san graciously sent home with us a small package of the castella for my wife (since she became a big fan of that item); when my mother tried it, the offering made a fan of it as well!

The ingredient list for the castella turned out to be:

Syrup –
1/4 c sake
3/4 c sugar

sake for the syrup

3/4 c of sugar

start of the syrup

sake syrup just about done

combine both ingredients in a small heavy sauce pan and heat to dissolve the sugar

completed sake syrup

1/2 lb peeled deviened shrimp

10-12 U16-U20 shrimp, peeled, deveined and cleaned

puree the shrimp in a food processor/blender until completely smooth

loaded up shrimp

pureed shrimp

pureed shrimp ready for the castella mixture

16 eggs
Separate 16 eggs into the 16 yolks and 12 egg whites, reserving 4 yolks for some other application

Separated yolks and whites

2 T milk
2 T cream

Here, as per Martha Stewart, I read this as 4 T of half-and-half

milk and cream…half and half

2 T flour

flour for the castella

So basically, I needed to make  (1) a sake syrup, then (2) separated eggs, (3) beat the whites to lighten the

starting up on the egg whites

finished whipped egg whites (yes, I hand whipped 12 whites!)

mixture, (4) combine the shrimp puree with the egg yolks, half-and-half and (5) carefully incorporate the hot

Adding the pureed shrimp to the beaten eggs

…Adding the half and half…

Adding the sake syrup

syrup (in a thin gradual stream).  Once that was all done,I would have to ‘dust’ and blend in the flour and

dusting in the flour

then fold in the whipped whites with a whisk while trying not to deflate the mixture.

Adding in the whipped whites

The cooking step would be to get the mixture into 9″ x 13″ greased/oiled baking pan and popping into a

Folding the egg whites to the mixture

 

loading a grapeseed oil greased non-stick 9″x13″ baking pan

ready for the 350 F degree oven

preheated 350 F degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Doneness testing would be to stick in a metal skewer to

looks like it’s done!

see if it would come out clean.

the castella looks good and the metal skewer came out clean!

As far as the skewer test went, it came out clean and the castella was still plenty hot, so I let it sit to cool to room temperature.  I unmolded the castella by putting a cutting board on flipping it upside down.  It looked ok, but not the nice golden brown I was expecting on the other side; but I figured that was ok, per se.

castella turned (flipped) out on a cutting board after sitting for about 15 minutes

When the castella seemed to be about room temperature, I cut a slice to look inside and split the cut into

a view to a cut

three “sashimi” pieces.  It looked ok, but it was pretty clear the whipped egg whites had separated out a little

…somebody wanted to sample right away!

bit. Still, my wife was excited and wanted to taste test it right away. The flavors were very close to what we remember of the castella at the restaurant.  The next time I make this, I’m certain I could make a microbatch half portion. One of the things I noticed from this attempt was that it seemed the whipped egg whites separated from the overall mixture. So I imagine I would have to incorporate the whipped egg whites a bit more to incorporate it more thoroughly with the mixture base even though it might deflate the mixture more than intended.

One final observation: after chilling the castella in the refridgerator for a few hours and tasting a few more cut samples, the castella flavors really seemed to meld and really seemed to taste like the offering from the restaurant.  My wife is still asking me if it would be possible to reduce the amount of sugar and shrimp in the dish.  I suppose that something the next time I make a microbatch.  I might also touch base with Omae-san at Morimoto NYC to see if there were any ‘adjustments’ that were made to the recipe since the book came out.

Perhaps as part of my holiday tasting menu ‘rice course’, I could include two pieces per person as part of a ‘nigiri’ offering.

 

 

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