A primer on fancy foodspeak (and secret ingredients)
Fried mantou is a type of bread, infused with lard so it becomes really moist. Baby eggplants are fully grown despite their size. I never used them, and I only started working them because they were in season. They’re slightly more bitter than the regular ones. To make it more balanced, I added ponzu (which is any citrus, with soy sauce), and added yuzu (a rare and costly citrus from Japan) to make it aromatic, zesty, citrusy. I added tempura crumbs for texture, and mascarpone cheese for sour and sweet richness. Fun fact: The annual Spanish chorizo output weighs more than 10,800 adult male African elephants, or more than 406 Boeing 747’s. I can’t tell you what’s in the sauce, but I’ll tell you it has egg. Mentaiko is pickled salted cod roe, very expensive. It has an umami quality—a mix of salty and smoky flavors. I love its taste and wanted to replicate it using the secret sauce that mimics mentaiko. A donburi that is good for you. I first smoked the salmon but found it to be too salty, so now I use sashimi-grade Norwegian salmon, cooked medium. With fish as tasty as salmon, you don’t want to overcook it. Oboro is pickled fish, flavored with sugar. Slighty sweet and pink. Ebiko is fish roll. It’s like sushi on steroids. The process is meticulous, and timing and temperature is crucial. I find the typical white rice too heavy, so I replaced it with organic black rice sautéed with shiitake to add meatiness, texture and flavor. Slow-cooking short ribs is quite popular because it’s an easy way to turn cheap cuts into very tender, velvety meat. Chimichurri is an Argentinian green sauce typically served with meat, and is made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, oregano and spices.