Monday, January 10, 2011

Tranquility of Forest

This is one of those dish of mine which have so many components and ingredients. One of main part of the dish is "wood pudding" let's say. First, I made wood stock with hickory wood chips(some where burnt, some are just as they are), bay leaves, eucalyptus leaves, juniper berries, sassafras, glucose, honey, a few drops of vanilla since a lot of toasted barrels made of French oaks and such contains a lot of vanillin so that I thought it would make sense to add some and also to add more complexity to the stock.

I took part of wood stock and thickened with kuzu starch and made them into balls. They have very unique texture and I don' t think it is possible to achieve it otherwise.
streusels made with spices such as cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, etc, yuba, malt soil, dried thyme leaves, powdered hickory smoke powder, and dark moscovado.

I randomly placed these ingredients above so that every bite is different. So many layers of aroma and textures will definitely keep you want to have next bite. It's almost like an experience of walking in the woods and you can hear fallen leaves as you step on them and
aroma of smoke, wood, vegetal, earthiness.

Sunday, January 9, 2011



Potato and leek soup

I remembered talking with my chef in the walk-in few days about changing the set of our snapper at work and one idea was potato and leek soup. Even though we ended up choosing different set after all but I was a little interested about trying it out. When I saw snapper at fish section of local international grocery store, I just had to get it to try it out.

Creamy potato puree on the bottom, olive oil poached snapper, butter, cruton, freshly ground black pepper and last but not least different types of leek.

I was looking at really close look at leek today. It's a very common ingredient here but in Japan, you don't see it very often. We have scallions and some of them are looking somewhat like baby leek but definitely not as big as leeks. Anyway, I was looking at it from different angles. I cut a little slit on from top to bottom and I started taking a layer at a time so that I can get these square sheet of leek. I sticked a large sheet into a fryer first, since I was looking
for an idea. Why not right? Deep frying sounds like a pretty good place to start. I pulled it out a couple times to see what's going on and all the sudden it started to puff up like traditional pomme souffle which I thought was very interesting. After that I started cutting strips, squares circles, etc. I also noticed on the inner side of each layer, there is a very thin film like substance and so I started to carefully peeling these films and ..... deep fried it to see what happens. As a result, I got this thin transparent and crispy film.

It was pretty fun and interesting to take a look again at these common everyday ingredients in a different angle to see what else is hidden.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



N2O, sugar, vanilla

Happy New Year to everyone!!