Katsu kitchen

At home with Tim An­der­son

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - Tim An­der­son is a Masterchef win­ner and head chef and pro­pri­etor of Nan­ban in Brix­ton, Lon­don; @ Che­fTimAn­der­son

Ilive in Lady­well, in south­east Lon­don, in a mod­ern build­ing nes­tled in a lit­tle close. My wife, Laura, is Bri­tish, but I’m orig­i­nally from the mid­west, Wis­con­sin, and when I left for col­lege as a teenager, my mom sent me off with this fam­ily recipe book (1). It’s full of An­der­son favourites, such as ru­maki (a faux-Poly­ne­sian recipe of pineap­ple, chicken liv­ers or scal­lops mar­i­nated in soy sauce and port, then wrapped in ba­con and grilled) and tuna stroganoff – a sta­ple in my lean years! When there’s lit­tle in the house, I re­fer back to it for in­spi­ra­tion.

I’d al­ways been fas­ci­nated by Ja­pan and its food. I loved an­ime and J-Pop as a teenager, and at col­lege in Los An­ge­les – where I stud­ied Ja­panese his­tory – I be­came ra­men-ob­sessed, which is easy in LA: there’s Lit­tle Tokyo and so many good places to eat it. I like ra­men to be salty, with flecks of back fat in the broth, thin, hard noo­dles, gar­lic, beansprouts ... and you gotta have an egg ... all in a deep round bowl (2). But there’s al­ways space for in­stant noo­dles (3) – they’re an emer­gency thing, but un­de­ni­ably good.

I started cook­ing when I was in high school, but it was only when I moved to Ja­pan af­ter grad­u­a­tion that things started to get se­ri­ous. I met Laura there and bought her the cutesy Fry­panda pan (4) – quite sim­ply a fry­ing pan with a panda face on it – but as you can see we’ve got good use out of it.

I think ev­ery­one should have a blow­torch (5). I use mine for get­ting coals go­ing on a bar­be­cue, for fin­ish­ing the skin on fish with some crisp­ness and colour, also to cook through lit­tle scal­lops, for ‘smores with­out a bon­fire ... and for cheese on toast.

In my stash of Ja­panese es­sen­tials

(6) I in­clude dashi pow­der. It’s not a cheat like us­ing a stock cube ‘cos it tastes re­ally good! Smoky, fishy, umami. It’s a flavour en­hancer, re­ally: my mother-in-law al­ways adds it to fried rice. To make dashi from scratch, you need konbu (sea­weed) and fushi (dried tuna or mack­erel flakes). I also like this soy sauce (7) – it’s mel­low, sub­tle, not too ag­gres­sive or sweet. I put it in every­thing I cook, in­clud­ing spag bol. Thirdly, miso – a light, creamy white one for veg, and a caramelised, nutty red one for meat such as pork.

For all my Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents, I can’t live with­out Old Bay sea­son­ing

(8). Oh my god, I use it for every­thing – for eggs, for casseroles – yup, for cheese on toast ... It’s a very South­ern blend of spices – cel­ery salt, red and black pep­per, pa­prika – a savoury Bloody Mary kinda flavour.

5 8 6 4 3 2 1 7

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.