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The Madrid Fusion Congress introduced us to some of the world’s most unusual foods, like tuna sperm
We’re not sure we’d be able to stomach this supposedly new food trend.
Foie gras is one of the most controversial foods in the world: states have banned (and then un-banned) the fatty goose liver, and animal rights activists are concerned that the geese and ducks used for the haute dish are not raised or killed humanely. At the annual celebration of innovative international cuisine, Madrid Fusion Manila, which took place in the Philippines this year, media and food buffs noticed an unusual trend in the Filipino culinary world: fish sperm as the new foie gras. Apparently fish sperm, especially tuna sperm, has a consistency and taste that’s similar to foie gras, but it’s much cheaper at about $3.30 per pound, according to CNN.
Fish sperm would probably make anyone squeamish (although we eat the female counterpart, fish eggs, in our sushi dishes), but chef Margarita Forés, who presented tuna sperm as the focal point of her dish at Madrid Fusion Manila, insists that it is commonly eaten. In the Philippines, no part of the animal is wasted. She further proved this by following up with a serving of beef with pig udders. Bruce Ricketts from Mecha Uma also cooked the sperm of Spanish mackerel.
But eating reproductive fluid from underwater creatures is hardly a new innovation. Shirako is a Japanese delicacy, and it is the milt, or sperm sacs, of male cod. Eat up!
Are you bored of the same old Japanese food and looking to try something new, exciting and a little strange? From potentially life-threatening to overwhelmingly pungent odors to just plain odd, here’s a list of 20 of the weirdest Japanese delicacies from the sea. If you are feeling a little bit curious and want to expand your Japanese cuisine horizons, click the link to find out more!
1. Shirako (fish milt)
Think of shirako as the male equivalent of caviar. Not that caviar is necessarily feminine, but whereas caviar are the eggs of fish, shirako is cod sperm. Technically it is the sperm sac and can come from many different kinds of fish. Shirako is described as tasting “creamy” and “custard-like.” It can be steamed, pan-fried or deep fried, but no amount of cooking will take away the uncomfortable silence when you tell your friends what you ate in Japan.
2. Fugu (pufferfish)
As fugu contains a lethal amount of poison, this is one fish that you want a professional to handle. And especially if you are thinking of trying the liver, which is delicious but full of poison, you may want to do some research on your fugu chef before chowing down. Usually fugu is served raw as thinly-sliced almost transparent sashimi or in a hot-pot dish, and apparently you can even eat its ovaries pickled in rice bran paste. Fugu death statistics are iffy, but one of the most famous people to die was kabuki actor Bando Mitsugoro who ate four fugu livers and died in 1975. Most fugu tasters will tell you the allure of trying the fish is not the taste, which is a bit bland and underwhelming, but the rush you get defying death.
3. Ikizukuri (live sashimi)
Not for the faint of heart, ikizukuri is the practice of preparing sashimi from live seafood such as fish, shrimp or lobster. The sashimi is then served right on top of the still living animal. Supposedly it makes the fish seem incredibly fresh, adding to the taste. Needless to say, ikizukuri is very controversial as you are basically consuming an animal as it sits dying in front of you. Watch this video below if you want to see it in action:
4. Funazushi (fermented sushi)
Funazushi is made by pickling a type of Japanese carp in rice for up to four years. The resulting fermented fish is then cut into slices and served as sushi. Funazushi is actually a very old style of preparing sushi that is still done around Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. As you can imagine, the smell is incredibly strong and it has a vinegary taste.
5. Kujira (whale)
Regardless of what the international community thinks, Japan continues its controversial whale hunts every year in the name of science and that meat is sold somewhat openly in Japan. And to the surprise of many, it is a fairly common menu item in some school lunches, though few adults actively seek it out and whale meat is not so common in restaurants. As controversial as whaling is, you would think whale meat would taste amazing, but most describe the taste as a little bland, which is probably why it is so often deep-fried when it appears on middle school lunch menus.
▼ A school lunch menu with whale to celebrate “Wakayama Day,” a prefecture known for its whaling industry
6. Tobiuo (flying fish)
If you are a fan of sushi, you may be familiar with tobiko , the colorful eggs of flying fish. But have you ever tried the actual fish? Flying fish are a lean and light-tasting fish but be careful of those sharp wings!
7. Ankimo (monkfish liver)
As horrifying as the monkfish looks, the liver is considered one of Japan’s finest delicacies. Its taste is compared to the richness of foie gras. Monkfish liver is served in a tangy ponzu sauce after being rubbed with salt and rinsed in rice wine.
8. Kurage (jellyfish)
Jellyfish is usually dried first because it spoils so quickly out of water. The dried jellyfish is then rehydrated by soaking it in water and served in a vinegar sauce. Some describe eating jellyfish like munching on rubber bands but others compare it more to cooked squid. It does not have much of a taste, so the dressing is key.
9. Shishamo (smelt)
Shishamo is a fish about 15 centimeters long that is grilled and eaten whole. It is often served in school lunches where kids fight over who can have the “most pregnant” one since the eggs are considered extra tasty. See? Kids all over the world are equally gross.
10. Shiokara (fermented fish viscera)
Made from mashed-up salted insides of various sea creatures that is left to ferment, shiokara is definitely not for everyone. Even a lot of Japanese people consider it to be an acquired taste. The somewhat unappetizing description may put some off, but many love its salty, strong flavor.
11. Hoya (Sea Pineapple)
This funny looking animal that seems like it belongs in a sci-fi film has a strange taste to match its appearance. While not incredibly common in Japan, it is often served as sashimi and supposedly goes well with sake.
12. Sazae (horned turban sea snail)
If you go near the ocean during summer in Japan, you may be able to see horned turban sea snails being grilled on the side of the road. They can also be eaten as sashimi and one of the most popular ways to eat it is to pull out the bitter-tasting black intenstine-like part at the bottom of the shell.
13. Kegani (horsehair crab)
Although tasty, these hairy crabs do not taste that much different than any other crab. Their hairy exterior is what makes them so unique.
14. Uni (sea urchin gonads)
Sea urchins are another one of those terrifying creatures with yummy insides. After carefully breaking the spiky exterior, the gonads of the sea urchin are scooped out and eaten raw. They have a briny, almost creamy taste and can fetch a high price.
15. Chirimen jako (young salted dried sardines or anchovies)
If you prefer to eat hundreds of fish at once, chirimen jako is for you. It is made by drying and salting young sardines or anchovies. They are usually put on top of rice or mixed in with vegetables. They have a very salty and slightly fishy taste, but are not overwhelming.
16. Awabi (abalone)
Although it looks like a clam, an abalone is actually a sea snail and is considered a delicacy in Japan for its chewy texture and crisp taste. Abalones are eaten raw as sashimi but are also grilled. A popular way to prepare abalones is to grill it live, right out of the water, as seen in the video below:
16. Mentaiko (marinated cod or pollack roe)
Mentaiko is actually an import from Korea, but after coming to Japan the spicy marinated fish eggs became an incredibly popular dish. Besides being eaten as is, it is also used for everything from rice balls to spaghetti to flavoring mayonnaise. It’s is so popular in Japan that you can even find mentaiko-flavored potato chips.
17. Namako (sea cucumber)
Sea cucumbers are usually eaten raw in Japan where it is eaten alone or with a vinegar dressing. It is considered to have a “delicate taste,” but some just find it very bland.
18. Shirouo no odorigui (dancing ice fish)
Shirouo are tiny transparent fish that are eaten live and are said to “dance” in your mouth. They do not have a lot of taste, but dipping them in some soy sauce and eating a spoon full of moving fish is probably enough action for your tastebuds.
19. Kamenote (Japanese goose barnacles)
In Japanese this barnacle is called “turtle hand” since it looks exactly like one. They can be a little tough, and make sure you completely remove the shell before eating, but they have been called “juicy” and “tasty.”
20. Kusaya (Japanese style salted-dried fermented fish)
This Japanese delicacy is made by taking a fish like mackerel, soaking it in a brine for up to 20 hours, then laying it out in the sun for a few days. Some kusaya makers pride themselves on having used the same brine over several generations to make their stinky fermented fish. Although the smell can be overpowering, the taste is actually quite mild.
Have you tried any of these weird seafood treats from Japan? Would you try any of these strange delicacies? Let us know!
Afterthoughts – Sampling Monk Fish Liver & Cod Sperm at Kishoku
Whenever I crave for a cleansing meal, my mind naturally drifts to Japanese cuisine. What makes Japanese cuisine so endearing to me is its techniques in enhancing the true essence of the ingredients, in highlighting and even elevating the ingredient’s purest taste. The Mister and I are huge fans of omakase meals, since there is always that element of surprise, where you place your trust and expectations in the hands of the chef. Every year, we make at least one food pilgrimage to Tokyo to indulge in the meticulous decadence that is Japanese cuisine.
Luckily for us, our home base of Hong Kong has its share of fine sushiyakis that could give Tokyo a run for its money. Recently, we ventured to the oddly named “Bigfoot Center” in chaotic Causeway Bay to experience the new Kishoku. This newish restaurant opened quietly a few months ago under the helm of Chef Ah Do, who’s loyal following from his previous position at Sushi Ta-ke has since moved with him to this new location. Getting into the restaurant was a challenge in itself, as the entrance design of 4 decorative panels confused us in finding the door. Stand a little closer to the 2 lefthand panels, and one of the panels mysteriously slide open to reveal the plush interiors. Furnished in muted yet luxurious shades of beige, diners walk down a runway flanked by plush, wide booths separated by woven screens before arriving at the glowing sushi counter. The decor actually reminded me of our apartment – very spa / zen-like!
In my view, there is no point in eating omakase if you are not sitting at the sushi counter. That live interaction with the chef and the theatrics of sushi making is really what defines omakase. We were promptly seated in front of Chef Ah Do on heavy, plush chairs. One thing, however, that I have to note is that it didn’t smell fantastic in the restaurant – I think it has something to do with the remnants of recent renovations, but I felt the sushi counter smelled worryingly “fishy”. Hence, I wasn’t entirely convinced of the meal ahead.
There first, must be sake. We ordered the recommended house sake, served cold. There are 4 omakase menus on offer, and we went for the Sho option, which caters to “serious sushi lovers”.
We first whet our appetites with a nest of sweet shiroebi(white shrimp) served on top of a refreshing shiso leaf. The small, delicate shrimps were incredibly fresh and sweet, and melted in the mouth.
To add some contrast in texture, we were served airy slivers of fried cod skin that tasted like chips but with none of the heavy oil. The addition of Japanese mayo made this little side-dish a sinful treat.
Next up, watanikani with egg sauce. This crab meat dish was sweet, light and incredibly fresh.
Another small plate of ebi. For someone as ebi-obsessed as me, this was a very welcomed sight.
Kawaakiaccompanied by monk fish liver sauce. The flesh of the white fish was firm with almost a crunchy texture.
I am a fan of monk fish liver, and this luxuriously creamy sauce was the perfect dip to play contrast with the fresh crunchiness of the kawaaki.
A little plate of crunchy seaweed with a yuzu-based soy sauce to refresh our palates. The seaweed tasted like the ocean.
Almost too beautiful to eat – the sanma (pacific saury) arrived wearing a glistening silver coat, dressed with soy, negi and shallots. The meat was deliciously robust with a pleasant oily undertone.
Thick slices of Toro sandwiched between a toasted piece of nori, with a shiso leave tucked in between. We were asked to refrain from soy sauce for this, but I secretly dipped mine in a tiny bit of soy as I felt the brininess of the sauce really complimented the melt-in-your-mouth fattiness of the fish. Oh, this little sandwich was divine!
I also loved how Chef Ah Do split the shiso leaves in half by cupping his hands and pressing compressed air through to break the leaves.
Smokey, salty bonito. I’m not a huge fan of bonito as the smokiness often taste to overwhelming for me, but the balance between garlicky negi, shallots and fresh cress really made this dish sing.
Uni served in its own shell, topped with yuzu-soy brined ikura. I always view uni as the key indicator of a Japanese restaurant’s quality, and the uni served at Kishoku was out of this world good! Sweet, buttery yet still light and refreshing on the palate, this was a dynamo of a dish. I loved the citrusy pop of the ikura, thanks to the yuzu.
Now, comes the “Fear Factor” challenge. Monk fish liver and shirako (cod fish sperm)! I’ve had monk fish liver on several occasions in the likes of Kyubei in Tokyo, and I adore the subtle ironiness that settles on the palate after each bite. However, I’ve never had cod sperm until now. As an adventurous foodie, I have a very open-minded view on food. The “sperm” in question was curled in a tube that much resembled the look of pig uterus (perhaps internal reproduction organs all look similar)? Taking a deep breath, I gulped and chewed. The taste is incredibly creamy, yet with a peculiar, residual aftertaste. I must say I wasn’t a fan of the aftertaste………
Hence, a juicy fig was a very welcomed palate cleanser.
Now comes the sushi courses. First up was the ichijiku, a sort of large shellfish. The bouncy texture was a delight to chew, especially when the clam seemed to get sweeter with each chew.
Another beauty of a fish – the saba (mackerel). I’m usually find saba to be a bit too fishy for me, but this one (with a brush of soy) was delicious.
A broiled piece of akamujisushi.
O-toro! I usually prefer chu-toro(medium fat tuna belly) to o-toro, but this buttery, melt-in-your-mouth piece of beautifully marbled o-toro had me second guessing.
Sorry, but I can’t remember what this piece was! It was delicious though, with a shiso leave tucked.
Monster uni! This sushi was so heavily loaded with uni that it was sloping off the sides! The decadence in the amount of uni reminded me of a similar experience in the fabled Jiro in Tokyo. The quality here was superb!
A bowl of miso soup filled with sweet, succulent seafood.
Last sushi course – broiled toro skin. Fatty, creamy and oh so indulgent!
We were dangerously full by this point, but we couldn’t pass up on desserts, especially when they have tempting names such as cheese ice cream(below). This scoop looks deceptively average, but the taste was perception-altering! Who knew cheese could taste so good in an ice cream! And I’m not talking about “cream cheese” here. The ice cream was velvety rich with cheese aroma, and little flecks of soft, yielding cheese adorn each bite.
It’s autumn, so persimmons are in season. We each gobbled up the crisp persimmon and sweet Japanese grapes. I love Japanese grapes as they have an almost honeyed, drunken taste resembling sweet port.
Finally, we each devoured another ice cream scoop, this time, in “sea salt” flavour. The subtle salt further accentuated the creamy sweetness of the ice cream. This was my favourite ice cream out of the two.
Verdict: What a find! Kishoku has definitely been added to my list of “favourite Hong Kong sushiyakis”. The freshness of the ingredients is evident in every bite, and Chef Ah Do is not afraid to stray outside the strict confines of Japanese cuisine to forge out new flavours combinations. In my opinion, there’s no point coming here to order a la carte, as omakase really is your best option. The sushis average around HK$90 per piece, and our decadent omakase (although steep) at HK$1300 per person, felt like more bang for your buck. Bottom line – this is a sushiyaki where you come for the best quality and experience, so its natural to also be paying premium for this. But it sure is a pretty penny well spent!
If the above are too luxurious for you (but an occasional indulgence is fine!), Uni Gallery offers a list of lunch items at really reasonable pricing.
Each lunch set comprises of a main, soup, salad and rice.
The Fantasy Chirashi is at $19.00 with 30g base of Uni (with minimum of 1 sashimi add-on from more than 20 types of sashimi required to enjoy the deal, starting from just $4 for salmon sashimi) and comes with botan shrimp, swordfish, Ikura, salmon, shredded egg (kinshi tamago) and crispy dried shrimps on a bed of sushi rice.
The Unadon $14.90 is another rice bowl, featuring a huge slab of grilled roasted eel with shredded egg. The skin was a tad too thick to my liking though.
As for the Wagyu Beef Yakiniku $16.90, the beef was nicely cooked with yellow onion, shimeji mushroom and shredded carrot and finished off with a dash of sesame.
Forget fillets – try fish heads and sperm instead
I have a friend who regularly asks his fish to be returned to the kitchen if it's still "looking at him". And he's far from alone – for an island nation, Britons are still very squeamish about fish, particularly those bits that other cultures regard as delicacies. We're just about comfortable with a nice fillet, but not many people are keen to get their hooks into livers, tongues, fins or heads.
But might the nose-to-tail revolution that chef Fergus Henderson started with meat in the 90s work similar wonders for fish?
"Fish offal is consumed readily in France," chef Michel Roux Jr points out. "My favourite is probably cod liver. I also like to use cod tongue and throat." Monkfish liver is popular in Iceland and Spain, and has long been a delicacy in Japan (called ankimo), served in miso soup or steamed.
In Norway, cod tongue is extremely popular. In Portugal, fish-head soup is a national dish, and the same ingredient is frequently served in curry sauces in India. In China and other parts of east Asia, every little bit of the creature is used, from fish lips braised in sauce to the skin, deep-fried and served as a side dish in noodle shops. Intestines are steamed with egg, and bones are used to make stock.
But in the UK, we're lagging behind. It wasn't always thus: as Roux Jr points out, fish offal "was commonly enjoyed in the UK in medieval times, but seems to have gone out of fashion". Indeed, there may be some work ahead to erase negative childhood memories of being force-fed cod liver oil for its high level of vitamin D. As chefs are keen to point out, the fresh version of fish liver is far more palatable.
At Seahorse, his restaurant in Dartmouth, fish chef Mitch Tonks pan-fries monkfish liver with shrimps or leeks and cream, or serves it cold with sweet peppers and chilli. "It is regarded by chefs as the foie gras of the sea because of its soft creamy texture and slightly saline taste, which is unique and delicious," he says. "But there is a general squeamishness about fish in this country, which makes people shy away from offal such as monkfish, mullet and cod livers."
Herring and cod roes are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who uses them in pâtés and spreads. And why not? Caviar consists of stugeon roe, and the roe from grey mullet or tuna is Sicilian caviar (bottarga). If it is from carp and mixed with bread and olive oil, it's taramasalata. Most of us are happy to stick a tub of that in our shopping basket – but we tend to steer clearer of fish sperm (also known as milt or soft roe). In the Japanese delicacy shirako (literally white child), the milt is often served in its sac with ponzu sauce. In Sicilian cuisine, tuna milt, or "lattume", is used as a pasta topping.
EU member states have just signed up to an agreement to phase out fish discards at sea, in a move to protect dwindling stocks. The least we can do is to stop throwing out perfectly edible bits of the fish that are caught. According to Sonny Elliot of sustainable retailer Rockanore Fisheries in Hastings, as things stand in the UK, nearly half the weight of the catch landed is thrown away. "If we're filleting 100kg of cod, nearly 50kg of heads, guts and bones ends up going to landfill," he says. "Occasionally people ask for bones to make stock, but mostly they just want flesh."
But there are small signs of a sea change in restaurants and at home, as people start to cook and eat more adventurously. Yashin Ocean House, a new seafood restaurant in London, serves up deep-fried fish spines. At Yum Yum Ninja in Brighton, set menus regularly include fish-head soup, while its nose-to-tail philosophy extends to shellfish, with waste such as scallop frills dehydrated and ground for seasoning.
Online fishmonger the Fish Society sells livers, cheeks and "fin ends" (offcuts and leftovers). A couple of years ago, fish heads were added to the site, and they were soon outstripping sales of fish such as whiting. Fish heads are a cheap source of nourishment and can be turned into a great meal – use them whole or split in stocks, soups and curries or, if you prefer, remove the surprisingly sizeable amount of flesh after simmering for 20 minutes and add to dishes.
Iceland’s Big Thaw
If you want to understand what happened in Iceland — the whole story of the crash, the banks failing, the recent signs of recovery — start at the prime minister’s office in downtown Reykjavik and continue east for a bit until you ascend a steep bluff overlooking the icy waters of Faxafloi Bay. There you will arrive at a used-car lot. Ask for the owner of this establishment, who is a short, 61-year-old man with extremely thick glasses named Gudfinnur S. Halldorsson — he goes by the name Guffi (pronounced Goofy) — and have him to tell you the story of the Porsche that kept on giving.
During Iceland’s boom years, which lasted from 2003 until 2008, a customer showed up at Guffi’s dealership wanting to buy a Porsche on credit, no money down. Guffi didn’t inquire about the man’s line of work in fact, he didn’t care if the man paid back the loan — that was the bank’s problem, not his. Guffi sold the Porsche, and the customer drove it for a month or so until the first payment was due. The man had no interest in making the payment, and so Guffi, who always aimed to please, helped the man resell the vehicle for a profit. Guffi did the same thing a month later, and again a month after that all told, Guffi sold the same car five times in six months, amazingly charging a higher price on each successive sale.
To understand how this strategy was even possible, it helps to know a little about banking in Iceland. In 2001, the Icelandic government began relinquishing control of the banking sector to allow for privatization. One consequence, says Gylfi Zoega, a professor of economics at the University of Iceland, was that “ownership of the banks went to a few wealthy businessmen.” These businessmen, Zoega says, hired local bankers, who had very limited experience in international banking, to run things they issued bonds on the international market, where institutional investors were only too happy to buy them. After all, this wasn’t Argentina — this was Iceland, a Scandinavian country whose national banks had no history of defaulting on their loans. “It appeared to be a sound investment,” Zoega says. Money poured into the country, and the economy boomed. With the help of the banks, investors went on spending sprees, buying large stakes in foreign and domestic businesses the prices of everything from houses to used cars soared Iceland’s stock market spiked, rising 900 percent between 2002 and 2008 and, of course, money flowed into the hands of all sorts of Icelanders, like Guffi.
Guffi sold a lot of cars during the boom, but he didn’t save much. When I asked him what he spent his money on, he replied that he traveled widely, skied often and entertained a number of girlfriends from abroad. “Take a look at the beautiful girls from Ukraine and Switzerland,” he told me wistfully. “You’re like a kid in a toy store. Several times, I’ve brought them home so that they can have a vacation here. Then I show them Iceland.” He added, thoughtfully: “What I was doing was good for the tourism business.”
At first, it was all going splendidly for Guffi as he Rollerbladed down Laugavegur Street with voluptuous girlfriends and sold and resold the same luxury cars. Then he became tired — exhausted, really. He was working 13-hour days. “Do you know how much time it takes to bring all those papers to the bank every time someone takes out a loan for a car?” he asked me. The girlfriends also proved enervating. “I found girls on the Internet that’s heavy work. You’re reading all these stupid letters that they send.” By the time the crash hit, in late 2008, Guffi was relieved. Nowadays he sells fewer cars he no longer regularly earns more money each time he sells the same car, but he still gets a commission, and his lifestyle is simpler. “I do nothing stupid, and then I have no stress,” he explained happily. “I have no more Ukrainian or Swiss girlfriends. I have an Icelandic woman now.”
As we chatted, a young couple entered Guffi’s shop, and in no time he sold them a black 2005 Ford Focus. Guffi noted proudly that this was the second time he had sold this car. It was no Porsche, but Guffi looked pleased.
During the boom years, Iceland became a nation obsessed with banking. “Everyone was working for the banks — from the physicists to the philosophers,” one Icelander told me. I met two women in their mid-20s who said that when they graduated from college, virtually all of their classmates were jockeying to get into finance, and for a brief spell, they both became bankers. I asked one of the women, who trained to be an engineer, if she ever paused to consider whether she really wanted to be a banker. “It was just the coolest,” she recalled giddily. “Everybody was like, Yeah, give me a high-five!”
The success of the nation’s banks, however, was deceptive to say the least. The assets of Icelandic banks were equal to 174 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2003, and rose to 744 percent in 2007, while the G.D.P. itself rose by an average of 5.5 percent per year. The economy was fueled almost entirely by foreign money. Then, as the global financial infrastructure teetered on the verge of collapse, the bonds came due, and Iceland’s banks couldn’t repay them. Depositors in other countries raced to pull their money out of Icelandic banks. The government didn’t have the resources for a bailout the banks failed. The government did guarantee that Icelanders would not lose the money in their savings accounts, but other financial assets — including the many investment funds that the banks offered — plummeted in value, and many ordinary Icelanders lost large sums that they believed were safely invested.
To make matters worse, many Icelanders are now deeply in debt. During the boom years, when Iceland’s currency was strong and the banks were taking in money from abroad, it was easy for Icelanders to get “foreign-currency loans.” Consumers borrowed Japanese yen, for example, at very low rates on the condition that they repay the loan in yen. After the crash, Iceland’s currency (the krona) plunged in value, and suddenly the payments that people had to make on their mortgages and car loans doubled. A low krona has led to a number of other problems: since 2007 the price of imports has risen by 85 percent and consumer prices have gone up 34 percent.
There is an upside to a weak currency — namely Iceland’s exports are now cheap for people in other countries to buy. Which has prompted such questions as: What should this island nation export besides fish? And if Icelanders are not world-dominating bankers, what are they? Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson was one of dozens of Icelanders I met seeking answers. Gudjonsson is an entrepreneur who has founded a number of successful start-ups, including Oz Communications, a software company that was eventually purchased by Nokia. When money was easy, he said, “innovation was at a minimum in the country.” The prevailing sense was that it was a waste of time to invent things yourself when you could just “buy innovation from someone else.” The boom, Gudjonsson concluded, “made us lazy thinkers.”
Other entrepreneurs shared Gudjonsson’s sentiment and were determined to reinvigorate business innovation in Iceland. With the help of two local universities, they founded an incubator, known as the House of Ideas, where people could congregate and work. Early one February morning, I paid a visit to the House of Ideas, which is located on the waterfront of downtown Reykjavik, in a former fish-processing plant. Inside was a cavernous, concrete space, furnished with couches, orange hanging lamps, a potted plant or two and an espresso bar. It was a veritable refuge for the financial sector. I met a 26-year-old man named Agnar Sigmarsson, who introduced himself as a former stockbroker at what he described as “one of the most corrupt banks ever.” Sigmarsson told me that his bank was buying large tracts of land in order to build a new city from scratch. “Personally, I was like, ‘Why would anyone buy this land, because there was a perfectly nice town that had a lot of space right next to it?’ ” he recalled. Sigmarsson has since gone to work at a software company. I met two women, both former bankers, who invented a board game. And there was an architect, Gunnar Sigurdsson, who during the boom years was working on a massive new headquarters for a bank and was now collaborating with another architect, Astridur Magnusdottir, to design a park.
Sigurdsson and Magnusdottir drove me out to the proposed park site and explained how they incorporated ideas from drawings done by neighborhood children into his designs. As we stood together in the howling wind and snow, Sigurdsson spoke fondly of his young collaborators: “We really have some good future designers in them. A few guys really drew some crazy and nice lighting. You see these boring lamp posts? They’re going to go.”
At the House of Ideas, there was something like euphoria that the age of banking had come and gone. One man observed that the banks were “brain-draining the nation,” but since the crash these same banks “were off-loading lots of people — lots of good and clever people — who became available for us.” Another entrepreneur remarked, “I think there was a lot of pent up pressure — creative pressure –—and companies and people were dreaming of making interesting things for years without being able to do so.”
Some of this was simply the rhetoric of the unfailingly optimistic businessman trying to put a shine on things. Just a month after my visit, the House of Ideas had to close its doors because of budget cuts. The incubator’s former managers are looking for new investors so they can reopen. And yet despite the challenges that Icelandic entrepreneurs face, they do seem to share a genuine sense of relief that their nation had given up its vision of becoming an island of Porsche-driving, Armani-wearing financiers. Gunnar Grimsson, an Internet entrepreneur, told me that Oct. 6, 2008 — when Iceland’s economy hit rock bottom, and the entire country was seized by panic — was also his son’s 16th birthday. “I went up to my boy, and I had already congratulated him on his birthday, but then I said, ‘Congratulations, you will now be able to live in a society which is closer to realizing what it is.’ ” I pressed Grimsson, asking why exactly he was so happy for his son. “After this,” Grimsson replied, “he had a much better chance of growing up to be a real person instead of a vapid airhead.”
Historically, Iceland was a nation of farmers and fisherman. Just a century ago, more than half of all homes were made of turf. What money people had, they spent on food. Icelanders proved ingenious at making their food last, and they did that, in part, by eating everything that was even arguably edible.
When I visited Iceland in mid-February, the country was observing a holiday known as Thorrablot — a kind of Icelandic version of Thanksgiving, featuring the traditional food that helped sustain Icelanders of the past. Instead of turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, the meal was rotten shark meat, sheep’s head and ram’s testicles. I partook in this cuisine in a restaurant in Reykjavik called Mulakaffi, whose walls were adorned with pictures of the owner — a burly man, rifle in hand, dressed in a bright orange full-body snowsuit. “The owner is a big hunter,” one regular patron told me. “He kills almost everything he sees.”
I loaded my plate and was promptly invited to take a seat at a table of large, boisterous and very muscular men. Gudmundur Sigurdsson and Hjalti Ursus Arnason were both former professional strongmen Arnason was also something of a local celebrity known to many by his nickname, the Great Ursus.
“We only get to eat this food for two weeks of the year,” Arnason told me as he savored his meal.
“Even the dogs in Greenland would not eat this,” another man at the table said proudly.
For Arnason and his compatriots, this holiday represented the ethos of Iceland — a willingness to do whatever needs to be done to survive. “I lived in Norway, and they’re well organized, but they don’t take risks,” remarked Hallur Magnusson, who, along with me, was the only other man at the table who did not look as if he could bench-press 400 pounds. “The Icelanders came from Norway, but they were the younger sons, who didn’t inherit land, so they went to Ireland and got all the most beautiful women, and then they brought them here. That’s why we are the bravest men and the women are so beautiful.” This was also why, the men at the table explained, Icelandic men have won the World’s Strongest Man title eight times and Icelandic women have won the Miss World competition three times, despite the country’s size. (There are only about 300,000 inhabitants.)
At the mention of women, I noted that I had yet to see a single female patron at the cafe. “This is not a fag place,” said one of the men somewhat defensively. “It is because there are no salads or that kind of stuff,” Magnusson added.
In general, Icelanders are quite proud of their rugged Viking past. Politicians made much of this during the boom years. In 2005, the president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, visited London and talked at length about “why daring Icelandic entrepreneurs are succeeding where others hesitate or fail.” He explained that the “success of this voyage” is “rooted in our traditions and national identity,” and “we are succeeding because we are different, and our track record should inspire the business establishment in other countries to re-examine their previous beliefs and the norms.” He concluded by vowing, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
The men at Mulakaffi conceded that it was precisely this kind of thinking that led the nation’s bankers to take such enormous risks and that ultimately led to the economic meltdown. But this didn’t seem to give them much pause. One of them told me that when the economy was flying high, he owned a construction company that employed 500 people, and then his business “went straight off a cliff.” “I didn’t want to cry over it,” he assured me. “I feel no regrets.”
Sigurdsson, the former strongman, agreed. “We are a bit like bulldozers,” he said. “You cannot tell an Icelander they can’t do something. Of course there are some mistakes, but you go to the end, even if it’s the hard way.”
Eventually, Arnason offered his opinion and, as the Great Ursus spoke, his friends listened with deference. “Like most Icelanders, I had some stocks, and I lost all that money overnight,” he explained. “I had a show on the sports channel — a strongman and power-lifting show — and all of a sudden the advertisers disappeared. We had to continue doing it for much less money, and we couldn’t even give away prizes. Even so, I wouldn’t want to go back to when people were being crazy — buying everything without paying for it.”
I asked Arnason if, like so many Icelanders, he had taken out large loans from the bank. “I thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t taking millions in loans,” he admitted. “Everyone had brand-new cars and built big summer homes and boats. You felt like a loser or something if you didn’t have it. This is the feeling that many regular people felt if they weren’t making trillions, but maybe we weren’t so stupid.”
The real value of the economic crash, one young woman told me, was that “people are rethinking, Who am I as an Icelandic person?” A number of people suggested to me that the nation, as a whole, was going through a period of intense introspection and that the consensus seemed to be that Icelanders needed to return to their roots. “Everyone is knitting” is how Steinunn Knutsdottir, a drama teacher, put it. “People are also making jam.” I thought that Knutsdottir was joking, until one day I saw a woman standing directly across the street from my hotel, perched on a chair, yarn in hand, stitching some so-called “knit graffiti” into place around a tree.
The knitter’s name was Ragga Eiriksdottir, and ever since the crash, she has been earning a living with her knitting. Before that, she had several other jobs, including working for a pharmaceutical company and writing a sex column for a national newspaper. “I touched on the topics that might be forbidden, like masturbation or fantasizing while having sex with your partner,” Eiriksdottir said from her perch. She started a business that publishes books and produces popular DVDs on the art of knitting. She also runs a series of “knitting tours” in which she escorts knitters from all over the world on trips around Iceland. Eiriksdottir’s first book came out around the time of the crash. The timing was perfect, she said, because Icelanders finally realized that “we weren’t good with money and that we should do something that we are actually good at.”
“Knitting is the opposite of idolizing money,” she explained. “Knitting embodies thriftiness and is something old that has been with the nation forever. In the 1800s, the state actually published documents that outlined how much citizens should knit. It was said, for example, that a child from the age of 8 should finish a pair of socks each week.”
Eiriksdottir continued with her work. I noticed that she was using a bizarre-looking needle.
“Yes, it’s a cow bone,” she replied, explaining that this is what they used in the old days. “I prefer it to the modern needle, especially with all the fuzzy Icelandic yarn.”
If Icelanders are truly interested in getting back to what they’ve always done best, that means getting back to fishing. Fishing still accounts for approximately 40 percent of the nation’s exports. It offers a great deal of promise for economic growth because Iceland has managed its fisheries well and maintained a healthy stock of fish.
No one knows this better than Armann Kr Olafsson. Olafsson, a 44-year-old former member of Parliament and advertising executive, found himself out of work after the crash. Uncertain of his future, he accompanied his brother, the owner of a successful fish farm, on a trip to Boston to attend the city’s annual seafood convention. At the convention, an American asked Olafsson and his brother if they knew how to get a hold of some foie gras de la mer. The brothers inquired what that was. Monkfish liver, the American explained, and it was now a hot item at high-end sushi restaurants. “Our faces were just big question marks,” Olafsson recalled. “In Iceland, we usually threw this liver out.”
Shikigiku is a reliable option in Central, especially for a business lunch or dinner. In addition to tempura, they also serve kaiseki menus, teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi. The prices reflect the quality of the food, beautiful harbour views and convenient location.
4/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2805 0600
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
I have already introduced the recipe for preparing Ankimo/Frogfish Liver (Japanese Foie Gras) in a precedent article.
Although there are very few variations possible from the basic recipe, Lindsay at DeLuscious Life will be glad to hear that there exist many ways indeed to present that celebrated Japanese culinary experience:
It could be the very traditional and simple manner of just serving it inside a lacquer bowl:
(Fuji Sushi, Shizuoka City)
Another very traditional way is to present it cut in round slices with ponzu, chopped thin leeks and “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper”:
(Sushi tetsu, Shizuoka City)
As it is easy to shape, you could emulate Sushi Ko’s, Shizuoka City, creation:
Now, there is a slightly more complicated, if not tradtional fashion to prepare ankimo.
Suehiro Hamanako No Aji in Hamamatsu City cooks the ankimo again (after steaming it) in soy sauce, mirin and sake, and probaly one more secret ingredient, obtaining a great morsel reminiscent of real terrine or pate:
to be served as follows:
two diiferent tastes and aspects!
Ankimo is rapidly acquiring great popularity abroad, especially in the States where it is served in a traditional but definitely imposing way:
(Courtesy of Chuckeats.com)
or as a totally new gastronomic adventure such as “Ankimo with Plum sauce and Truffles”!
(Courtesy of Chuckeats.com)
Let’s seee if we can discover more!
“Namako” (in Japanese) has all kinds of English (and not so English) names: seslug, sea cucumber, trepang, beche de mer. The Chinese have always been a bit crazy about them inciting Europeans to trade them as far back as the 17th Century. The Chinese themselves have made themselves somewhat notorious for ollegal catching in Japanese seas…
They come in various colopurs (the red one is the most popular) and names: “manamako”, “Akako”, and “Kaiso”.
They are caught all along the Japanese shores.
Numazu Harbour in Shizuoka Prefecture is renown for its catches in winter, the best season as far as taste is concerned.
There are many ways to prepare it:
“Namasu” or namako pickled in vinegar and 2Namako Chaburi” are the most popular ways, but many people appreciate them cut in raw slices.
Even the insides/innards are appreciated under the name of “konowata” and are usually served as “gunkan” style sushi.
As much as I love Cod Whiting (“Shirako”), I have some reservations about Cod Roe or “Tarako”.
Tarako comes in two shapes:
1) fresh as it is
2) pickled in chili pepper, a very popular delicay in Japan under the name of “Mentaiko”, which originally came from Korea (“myonte”).
If it is fresh I appreciate grilled over charcoal until it becomes pink dry in the middle.
but most Japanese like it on top of freshly steamed rice oin “chazuke” (rice topped with hot tea)
Unfortunately it is not easy too find, whereas
“Mentaiko” can be bought at any good supermarket or fishmonger.
It does come in many varieties and fluctuating quality.
Although most cod is caught off Siberia and North America, mentaiko is of course prepared in Hokkaido, but also in Kyushu. Actually “mentaiko” represents 70% of all “tarako” sold as it is easy to preserve.
When you choose a pack, ascertain there is no water under it and that the colour is even and shiny (which means the outer “skin” is fine).
As for sushi, there are many possibilities with maki filled with mentaiko and raw squid (“ika”=ikamentaiko maki), mentaiko with cucumber sticks, etc.
Now for nigiri, I discovered this interesting combination in above picture:
the “shari” (rice ball) is topped with a slice of grilled tofu, then secured with a strip of “nori” (dried seaweed) and topped with fresh mentaiko. Mind you this a favourite for my better (worse?) Japanese half, not for me!
“Ankimo” is the liver of the Frogfish (“anko”), a fish that can be found in most the Northern Hemisphere and elsewhere. Not a nicelooking fish, it is nonetheless appreciated almost everywhere.
The Japanese love it in “nabe” (Japanese-style fish pot au feu), while the French either introduce it in Bouillabaisse, or even better, baked rooled inside prime bacon.
The liver is much appreciated in some countries, especially France and Scandinavia.
In Japan they steam it in sake to make “ankimo”, which I usually introduce to neophytes as “Japanese fish foie gras”!
Pic taken at Yumeshin, Shizuoka City.
I asked for it served (it is a cold appetizer) as it is as “tsumami” (hors d’oeuvre) with “ponzu shoyu”, finely chopped thin leeks and a dash of “Momiji-oroshi” (grated daikon and chili pepper) on a shiso leaf.
It is also great in small pieces on a gunkan topped with the same as above!
As promised, here is the recipe for making “Ankimo”!
Note that sake can be replaced white wine.
Choose fresh ankimo. That is how it should look!
Take off blood vessels. Don’t worry about the nerves.
After taking blood vessels away it does not look pretty. Nothing to worry about actually!
Lightly salt all sides
Wrap it in cooking wrap and let rest for an hour.
That is how it will look after an hour.
Take off all water and salt with kitchen paper.
Get the teamer ready.
As in the picture place wrap on bamboo roll maker (use a soft plastic sheet if not available). Place the frogfish liver on third of the way as equally as possible.
Roll in carefully, making sure the wrap sheet does not accidentally penetrate the liver.
Twist both ends of the wrap sheet until there is no space left inside.
Cut extremities of the wrap making sure the roll does not unfold and wrap it inside another sheet.
Wrap inside cooking aluminum foil.
Twist ends to close.
-Put inside steamer and close.
-Cook for 30 minutes above strong heat
-Take off and let cool
For better consistency leave in refrigerator for a full day. Cut slices to your preferred thickness.
(For example) serve astride sliced cucumber, sprinkle it with a generous amount of ponzu shoyu and place half a spoon of “momiji oroshi” (grated daikon seasoned with chili pepper). Finely chopped thin leeks or shiso would make a nice finishing touch, too!
(Sushiya No Ichi, Shizuoka City)
“Shirako” is “whiting”, or in more prosaic terms, male fish sperm sacs.
It seems to be an acquired taste even for the Japanese.
The most available kind is that of “tara”, or cod. Do not confuse it with “tarako”, which is the exact opposite as it means female cod roe!
Other kinds, more expensive and tasty, are those of “tai” (seabream ) and “fugu” (globefish).
The best way to enjoy it is either:
as a “tsumami” (snack) with ponzu, momijioroshi (grated daikon with chili pepper) and some finely chopped thin leeks. Fresh seaweed is optional.
As a sushi, either on top of a gunkan. Ask your sushi chef to season it, so as to avoid the chore of dipping it into shoyu, or, if your chef is a real expert, as a nigiri. The last might seem difficult. Actually, there are two tricks to stabilize the “shirako” on the “shari” (rice ball): coat the the “shari” with chopped thin leeks, or put the “shirako” on a “shiso” (perilla/beefsteak plant) leaf, place the “shari” on top, press very lightly and turn it over!
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Tarantulas in Cambodia, live sea worms in Samoa, maggot cheese in Italy (an actual illegal food!), cobra in Vietnam, scorpions on a stick in Thailand, and yes, even coffee beans plucked from the poop of a civet cat in Indonesia. All of these delights and more await you in this little book. What's more, the author has actually eaten the foods he describes. I haven't decided whether that makes him studly or just stupid, but he declares most of the "delicacies" in the book to be scrumptious. I'll have to take his word for it. No live octopus tentacles for me today, thanks. I'm not a picky eater, but I don't seek out disgusting and potentially dangerous culinary experiences. They're fascinating to read about, though.
There are excellent close-up photos of each (ahem) "food," and entertaining, concise descriptions. For each item, he tells what exactly the food consists of, where in the world it is eaten, how it's prepared and eaten, and what the actual taste/texture experience is like. His sense of humor makes it fun to read. I had quite a few laugh out loud moments.
I liked the entry for bull penis, where he says, "Don't be a dick. Eat one instead."
Top reviews from other countries
This is THE book on the topic of so called "Extreme Cuisine" or "World Food", proving once and for all that one mans meat is another mans poison it is a graphic guide to some of the most exotic food stuffs that there are around the world.
I've been interested in odd or gross out food since I was young and watched the Indiana Jones' culinary challenge in The Temple of Doom, since then I've seen occasional magazine articles, tracked down some things myself on my own travels (mainly within the UK so limited) and read two good but mainly literary books on the topic The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes and Are You Really Going to Eat That?: Reflections of a Culinary Thrill Seeker .
While these other books might give a great deal more detail they are trumped by the visuals in Extreme Cuisine and this Lonely Planet production is much more in the way of a quick, at a glance, guide to some of the most infamous (such as Balut, which is essentially a bird embryo, or Witchetty Grubs of I'm a Celebrity fame) to the most esoteric and unusual (such as Sea Star, a variety of star fish, Sea Worms, the closest thing to Klingon Gak you'll encounter in real life, not to mention all the things you'd associate more with dog food than human consumption such as penis, pigs ear and pigs intestines).
The book itself is landscape rather than portrait in presentation, works like a postcard flick book, each culinary delight has an entire page photo presentation on one page and the write up opposite it. Each write up is very succinct and to the point, including What It Is Where It Is How It Works The Experience and finally references, often including websites and addresses of where it can be found should you wish to embark upon the adventure of eating it yourself.
This would make absolutely fantastic birthday gift, Christmas gift or other fare, foodies or culinary adventurers will definitely appreciate it but equally would any interested reader. Its the sort of thing you could produce as a talking point among friends and make for some really interesting comparisons and contrasts in taste. As the author says in the introduction "Food is a very cultural, very personal experience. Indeed, it's as much about the mind as it is about the mouth." Recommended Highly. Great Fun.
I want to start this review by stating the obvious from the front cover which shows a lady with something resembling a long creepy crawly hanging out of her mouth. THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED.
I am such a picky eater that my mother despairs, especially as she has spent her life as a chef. To have a daughter that turns her nose up at anything that "doesn't look right" or "doesn't smell right" is practically a sin in her eyes. I must confess that I am terrible, but have improved with age and will try more and more stuff as I get older.
However, although I am a fussy eater myself it doesn't mean that I am weak stomached, in actual fact I'm the total opposite. I am one of those sad people that sit glued to the TV shows watching while they put Celebrities in front of a plate of something revolting. I have no problem watching other people eat weird stuff I just don't want to try it myself.
When I saw the front cover of this book I was intrigued as I love to see what other countries eat and consider delicacies. This book is perfect for people that are curious and don't have problems with pictures that may make some a little sick to the stomach! The book itself is quite small and is only around 7" x 5" and around ½" thick but makes for a perfect conversation starter if left lying on your coffee table!
This book is a collection of what Lonely Planet consider a glimpse of 65 of the worlds most challenging Foods. The first page is a note from the author Eddie Lin. Eddie is a former break-dancer turned food writer and has travelled the world looking for the weird and wonderful of the culinary world.
Each of the 65 foods has a double page spread. On the left you will find a brightly colourful picture of the food. On the opposite page he has broken down the food into four sections, what it is, where it is, how it works and the experience. Now I must warn you that if you have no desire to know about the actual foods then please don't read on. I want to give people an idea on the sorts of weird and wonderful are in this book.
The first page that I hit when I must admit my stomach did a topsy-turvy was the page with the name Maggot Cheese. Maggot Cheese comes from Sardinia and folks it is what it says it is. There are varying types of cheese, there is `Casu Marzu' which is basically rotten cheese, but maggot cheese is just the next step on. I won't spoil all the information given on this page but it is definitely an eye opener.
Page after page had me turning my head away and then back again to read the details of the vile picture on the left. It appalled and shocked me all at the same time, but again curiosity got the better of me and I just had to carry on reading.
I loved this book just because it addresses the sorts of food that the average person would squirm at. It is interesting to see what other countries consider delicacies, but admittedly there were times when I couldn't help but cover my mouth to stop from gagging whilst reading some of the more horrendous choices of food, such as fish sperm and fermented herring. The most bizarre page was 77 I had just recovered from page 76 which was Lutefisk to discover that Marmite is considered one of 65 most challenging. All in all, this book is very interesting, albeit a little stomach churning, and most definitely a conversation starter like I said before. I took this to work and found that out of the 8 in my team, two of my colleagues were fascinated and two were disgusted. The rest were indifferent. I figure it depends on the type of person you are as to whether you would find this interesting or awful. Personally I thought it was unusual but great.
7 th Annual LA LUCKYRICE Grand Feast hosted by Bombay Sapphire EAST
Friday, July 29 th | VIP 7PM – 10PM, GA 8PM – 10PM
Vibiana, 214 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.luckyrice.com | VIP (Early Entry): $150 | GA: $88
After six years of increasing hype and (sold-out) popularity in NY, SF, Miami and Houston (for the very first-time this year), the nation’s preeminent celebration of Asian epicurean culture is hosting one Grand Feast in Los Angeles! This one-night extravaganza will bring together the most popular Asian-inspired dinner concepts with local culinary and bartending talent from across the country. From kimchi and ramen to newer innovations and specialty pre-dinner cocktails, this year’s Festival will celebrate authentic culture and culinary fusions that have transformed the U.S. into a major Asian cuisine expert.
SIGNATURE YEAR OF THE FIRE MONKEY COCKTAIL FOR 2016
“Each ingredient from the “Silk Journey” is inspired by Asian Culture with a bold red color. This signature drink combines ingredients with great significance in Chinese culture while integrating popular ingredients in Western culture such as ginger beer. Pomegranates symbolize large families and health while mandarins are one of the luckiest fruits for the year. Lastly, Oolong Tea is a New Year’s Day staple for well wishes passed on by generation to generation. It’s drank by the eldest family member first, then onto the next eldest, and so forth.” – Bombay Sapphire North American Brand Ambassador Gary Hayward
Signature Bombay Sapphire EAST cocktails – like the exotic “Silk Journey” elixir, which was created to honor the Year of the Fire Monkey – will be served throughout the evening (recipe below). Top LA mixologists will create their own specialty drinks from craft cocktail hotspots such as Birch, General Lee’s, Upstairs at the Ace Hotel and more.
Slow Roasted Pork & Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll, Fresh Herbs, Spicy Fish Sauce
AYARA THAI CUISINE
Spicy Thai Larb Salmon on Betel Leaves
BLING BLING DUMPLING
Chicken & Thai Basil Dumplings
Pastrami Dumplings, Saurkraut, Sriracha, Thousand Island Dressing
BLUE RIBBON SUSHI BAR & GRILL
CRÈME CARAMEL LA
Filipino Mini Pavlova: Coconut Meringu, Ube Custard, Graham Cracker, Greek Yogurt Crumble
Coconut Fluff with Lychee Jelly
HANJIP KOREAN BBQ
HINOKI & THE BIRD
Housemade Tofu with Cherry Tomatoes
Homemade “Tofu Caprese,” Heirloom Tomato, California Olive Oil-marinated Kombu, Shisho Leaves
Soy Milk Panna Cotta, Matcha Green Tea Sauce, Candied Edamame
Ahi Tuna & Beet Tar Tar, Crispy Julienne Carrots
Braised Oxtail & Tendon Dumpling, Fermented Chili, Yu Choy, Black Vin, Herbs, Sprouts