Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
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.
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
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
which suggested I was on the right track. Anyway, for two people, that came to:
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
So I prepared all the vegetables, then the ponzu and then mixed all the ingredients in a bowl.
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
volunteered to help with sauteeing the peeled brussel sprout leaves while I braised the eel in the heated ‘kabayaki’ sauce. Based on the
information from Nobu: The Cookbook (p. 166), his Boiled Sea Eel With Tsume Sweet Sauce suggested simmering fresh sea eel for 30
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.
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!