World Of Nobu: Eel With Sansho Salsa, Nobu Tokyo

Previously, on –


With the warm Saturday weather (11 May), I thought I would try my hand in preparing one of the new World Of Nobu recipes which seemed approachable.  Looking through the book, I settled on try the Eel With Sansho Salsa (p. 150). Nobu West (p. 106) had a version of this salsa which I used as guidance in making the salsa for this recipe without measurements.

10 peeled brussel sprouts


half that red onion for the salsa

I estimated the microbatch of the salsa for this dish to be:
1 T + 2t + 1/4t finely diced red onion
1 T + 2t + 1/4t finely diced spring onion (vidalia?)
1 t finely diced red bell pepper (deseeded and destemmed)
1 t arima sansho
3 T ponzu
pinch of ground sansho

arima sansho for the salsa


sansho powder to finish the salsa

Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook (p.  36) also had a sansho salsa:

1 T finely diced red onion
1/2 japanese cucumber deseeded and finely diced
1 t arima sansho
1 T ponzu
1/4 t finely chopped kinome

ingredients for the ponzu: 1/2 T yuzu juice, 1 T soy sauce, 2 T rice vinegar (1:2:4)

which suggested I was on the right track.  Anyway, for two people, that came to:

minced vidalia

3 1/2 T finely diced red onion
3 1/2 T finely diced spring onion (vidalia?)
2 t finely diced red bell pepper (deseeded and destemmed)
2 t arima sansho
6 T ponzu
1/2 t ground sansho

finely minced red and white onions


a nice red bell pepper….


…of which I only needed….


So I prepared all the vegetables, then the ponzu and then mixed all the ingredients in a bowl.

the salsa just before adding the sansho powder

Since I was unable to get fresh eel, I opted to get the store bought variety and braised it in a pan with 3 parts each of mirin, sake, soy.
Per person, I portioned 5 brussel sprouts peeled and sauteed in olive oil 3 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix.  My wife

brussel sprouts for the dish

volunteered to help with sauteeing the peeled brussel sprout leaves while I braised the eel in the heated ‘kabayaki’ sauce.  Based on the

pan braised eel in Nobu’s kabayaki sauce

information from Nobu: The Cookbook (p. 166), his Boiled Sea Eel With Tsume Sweet Sauce suggested simmering fresh sea eel for 30

starting to plate dinner!

minutes.  In this case, I thought I could simmer the store bought unagi for about 15 minutes (7 minutes one side and about 7 on the other) to heat it through for dinner.  Once the brussel sprouts and eel were done, I plated the sprouts and then topped it with the eel.

dinner’s ready!

Using a ring mold, I carefully topped each eel with two tablespoons of the salsa to each portion.  My wife was skeptical about the flavor profile but was surprised how well balanced the flavors were!  She mentioned how nice the salsa balanced and cut the richness of the braised eel.  Thank you Chef Yamaguchi and Matsuhisa-sama.  It was a great dish for dinner!

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