Friday, February 27, 2015

quiet innovation

– the sauce is very good. what is it?
— it is six-year onion vinegar!
– what do you mean? this is six years old?
— no, half. every year we make the onion oroshi, with vinegar and mirin. but at first the onion is very hot, not good to eat. after one year, it is better. i take out half to use and put in new onion, vinegar, mirin. next year, i take out again half. six years now. it came with us from the old shop.
– you have an onion vinegar solera.
— you want recipe?
– sumimasen.
fresh onion sweetness without the heat, the richness of long-cooked onions without distracting caramelization, balanced by a rich acetic acidity: a smart japanese cousin of faviken's sour onions cooked in whey, and the unexpectedly correct match for well-aged maguro.

a thread running through lunch was the elegant use of ingredients: sayori nigiri chased by a skewer of its torched skin, kuruma-ebi dressed with a sauce of its brains. the shari was successfully iconoclastic—sasanishiki very al dente, each grain with a dot of crunch at its centre, pale pink and bran-scented from being dressed with a mixture of the traditional rice vinegar and the dark red vinegar made from sake lees.

discovered by the purest chance, but a worthwhile place to observe how a confident chef produces new, wonderful, and good-humoured food without having to make a big fuss about it.

the book

sushi shin (鮨心)
minamiazabu 4-12-4, platinum court hiroo 1F, tokyo

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