Home made Sushi

February 27, 2017

I won’t try to proclaim I know what I am doing. All my knowledge is off the internet and traditional common sense.  I have so much respect for the craft.  But when you’re a picky foodie and you have 5 in your family who have picked up similar tastes, it’s really hard on the wallet to really eat “till your heart’s content worth” of sushi.  

Last Saturday arvo, I just got the craving to really pig out on sushi.  

Google Check, nearby Rufus King Seafood at Ashgrove is open and apparently offer local seafood straight from a trawler from Straddie.  

Drove up, got tuna, salmon sashimi grade, oysters and some green prawns. Not a bad start.  

As with all things, when you ask the professionals, is your fish sashimi grade, they will mumble and only point to a few things.  Usually salmon and tuna because the logistics chain and the regulations have certain criteria that a product has to clear in order for it to sell as sashimi compliant. Well to eat well in this country full of sashimi naive beaucracy, you have to take some risks. The wild caught straddie prawns were really shiny, the green tail print was so bright, I couldn’t resist and took the risk of eating one completely raw, my wife joined. We said, ok if we die, we won’t regret it. And the rest I blanched for 10 seconds.  The oysters as always landed in my and my wife’s stomachs without the kids seeing.  
On the other hand, prepped some cucumber and egg for kids friendly fare.  

I admit, my egg made in a frying pan was jaggety on the edges and the cucumber roll is not pretty and the sushi rice was too acidic due to too much vinegar. In the end, only 5 varieties of neta but we were happy and full with home quality sushi.  

Tips. 

Wash your sushi rice very well.  If available, get Japanese origin rice which has been hulled recently.  Rice starts to oxidise and dry very soon. Don’t look at the price but look at the mill dates or best by dates. Cook rice with a sliver of konbu.  
Mix rice with vinegar mix (vinegar, sugar, salt).  Mix in a cutting motion trying not to make the stickiness increase.  And fan while doing so to reduce the temperature.  

Cut the fish beforehand.  

Prepare tezu (hand vinegar).  Water and vinegar 4:1 should work.  

Coat your hand in tezu and clap your hands to get rid of excess tezu and to get your sushi craftsman mood up.  

Mold rice into shape in your weaker hand, put some wasabi on the rice, put fish on and squeeze gently from all angles using the palm of your weaker hand and the pointer and middle finger of your dominant hand.  The point is not oversqueezing.  The sushi rice at cheaper restaurant you might have noticed is too hard.  Try to mold the rice without making it too clumpy.  

You will need a bamboo slat to make the sushi rolls.  



Hot Smoking on the Kettle BBQ 

February 21, 2017

Lately I am into hot smoking with my kettle BBQ. I don’t like to follow a set recipe and I just like to improvise and experiment with everyday stuff around home and test my image.

My BBQ is pretty consistent with my choice of cars or shoes. I am more interested in basic practicality more than the high spec features and the glitz and glam of high end brands.  Of course there are the things that can’t be compromised, for example, I really prefer coal to gas. Hence, the Bunnings $50 kettle works just fine along with a simple fan to accelerate the lighting. Same with the smoking method. Basically you are holding the food at a particular temp and infusing smoke.  Can’t be that hard?  IMHO, You shouldn’t need to get special imported cherry wood for an everyday meal on the barbie.

Recently I tried some corn husks, coffee grind, and some dragon leaves from the yard.

The dragon leaf did create too much of an insense kind of smoke and didn’t agree too well with sausages (of course not that bad and still enjoyable but a lesson learned).

Note: I got a heads up from my pro smoker friend and he said to me using green leaves is always a no-no.  Even with wood, the drier the better and evergreens are never used.  I agree that pine needle aromas probably won’t go too well with smoked meats.  Anyway, some grass or leaves might produce poisons and are never used in smoking.  So my experimenting with yard leaves ends here..


BTW, What’s your favourite cut of beef?

Sure I enjoy my rib fillets too but feeding a family of 5 requires a bit more creative thinking.  My family and I don’t mind a bit of texture in beef and so when I go for an everyday steak, oyster blade steak is my favourite. Marinate in miso, salt and sake for 48 hours, put it on the Bbq for a sear, that’s another winner too.

Man, beef chuck, on the other hand is a bit trickier…  looks so nice and marbled but put that sucker on for a simple grilled steak, you are going to be chewing all night.  It’s a cut recommended for slow braising but I would much prefer cheeks for braising and chucks can get dry quickly.  But as you can see, smoking for a couple hours might very well be one of the best ways to enjoy this cut.

I simply salt and peppered the chunks, smoked with about 10 heatbead briquettes (the best briquettes!) and the coffee and corn husks with a humidifying water tray for about 2 hours, coat them with sauce (Bbq, soy and left over homemade apricot jam) smoked again on higher heat for 30 min and done!  Look at this!  Most of the gristles have tenderised and the smoke infusion is heavenly and the Bbq sauce is spot on!



Ullo wine purifier

February 17, 2017

This item was on kickstarter and I backed it with some funding a while ago. The product arrived and I finally used it!  

Happy to report that it does change the taste of wine remarkably.  I am guessing it has some activated charcoal in the filters. The wine became very mild.  Apparently this is the pure taste of wine without sulfites. I have never had unbottled preservative free wine so can not compare but I did like the filtered taste much better in this cheap bottle of red.  

The filters are only designed to be single use so the new filters will be saved for the good ones.  Meanwhile I will try reusing the filters anyway. 


Some Bbq miso marinated beef to go with it. 




Muso Ramen at the Kitchens Robina

November 26, 2016

Congratulations to Muso Ramen for opening their second shop in the new food precinct, ROBINA KITCHENS . 

They have decided to go with a pork free, chicken approach with the new shop. The Gyokai tori paitan ramen was delicious.  I will concede he has taken the chicken cloudy soup one step further than my own creation. It is worthy of being the signature dish at his proud establishment as compared to mine only being good enough for a monthly limited dish.  

Akira San and I take a very similar approach to our ramen.  Sous vide, Yamato noodle machine, pressure cooker,  all are result driven and employing innovative equipment and processes where applicable.  

I wish him and Muso Ramen the best of luck!  


The Good Food Guide 2017

July 19, 2016

Wow! Never thought I would be freaking out on stage in front of company like this. I did not even plan on going to the party but lucky I made it!

When I left my corporate job six years ago, I never associated myself or ramen to be anywhere in proximity of the glitz and glam of the annual good food guide awards. But I am glad I just kept doing what I love, am very happy and honoured to be recognised by people who know food! It seriously would never have been possible without you so I would like to thank my family, the best, hard working staff in the world, and to all my loving supporting customers!

Feel so happy for regular customers Taylor of Anise for Best Bar Food, Ben Williamson of Gerrard’s, Chef of the Year, Jerome of Gauge for Best Restaurant of the Year! David at Restaurant Two for a Hat, Phillip at Ecco for two hats, and Brenden and Ryan at Esquire for Three as usual!

Also our neighbours to be, OTTO, the Best New Restaurant of the Year! Maybe a happy surprise for our landlords Dexus to have two winners in the 480 Queen building!

Check out the video just uploaded!!

http://www.goodfood.com.au/…/the-winners-roundup-brisbane-t…


Results: Ecuador and Kumamoto Charity Appeal

May 23, 2016

 

Results: Ecuador and Kumamoto Earthquake Charity Appeal

Thank you everyone for their support in contributing to this cause.  We are happy to report the following activity summary for the $1 for every bowl of ramen sold charity appeal held last month.

Period: April 20-26

Result: Ascot 690 bowls, CBD 1188 bowls
Total Donation from Taro’s $1878.00
Total Donations Collected from Customers $493.75
Total Funds Raised for Donation $2371.75

Donations Sent to the following Charities

  • $371.75 NPO Kyushu Ramen Party
    Headed by an ex ramen chef, Mr Hamada, they are a charity that does ramen pop ups at various disaster areas and are funded purely by donations, manned by volunteers. I was dearly hoping to be of some help to Kumamoto and Tohoku in my own way so am happy to be able to contribute to their activities as if we were there ourselves.
依頼人名 TAROS RAMEN オーストラリア ブリスベン
振込先金融機関 ゆうちょ銀行
店名 一九九
取引種類 当座
口座番号 59572
受取人名 ボランテイアバンク
お振込金額 27,677 円

 

  • $1000.00 Ecuador via UNHCR
    Have thought that UN refugee humanitarian organization UNHCR has a very responsible role in the aftermath of the Ecuador situation and have decided they are appropriate recipients.
Donation Receipt
Australia for UNHCR
ABN: 35 092 843 322
Donation Reference: 8d38352cf4e844f
Donation Receipt: 70647
Frequency of Donation: One-Off
Donation Amount: $1000.00
Donation Date: 23/05/2016

 

  • $1000.00 Kumamoto via Plan International Japan
    I always want to put the benefit of the children first in any disaster situation so Plan International should be able to put our funds to good use.

■ カード会社請求屋号:プラン・ジャパン
■ ご購入金額        :74,450円
■ お支払い回数      :一括
■ 商品購入日時      :2016-05-23 20:49:07
■ 加盟店連絡先      :uketori@plan-japan.org
■ 加盟店コード      :37647
■ オーダNo          :27334246-420229-279484147-220887552


食育/Food Education 2

May 20, 2016
SONY DSC

SONY DSC

“Food Education 2”

There are actually quite a few “little” big fans of our ramen especially the dashi driven Shio, shoyu and tsukemen. These guys actually choose us as their birthday meals over McDonald’s. I am quite flattered and am slightly moved thinking that I am contributing a bit to a future of eating well.

I try to flood my normal adult customers with information about the technique, source and passion that goes into my bowl but that kind of intellectual overload aside,  the kids just simply love our flavour. Some of us adults including me, have been crammed with overwhelming flavours for a long time that we have just become so used to overloaded flavours and we just keep on wanting more stimulation or unconsciously leaning towards heavier flavours. The kids on the other hand have the most sensitive palates. They usually dislike spicy or too strong flavours. I think that is the way they should be. Their palate will naturally mature and start to want the spiciness or the stimulation as they grow older but while they are young their palate should be free to explore the various different foods within subtle natural flavours and that should hone their sense of taste and make them able to appreciate subtle differences. Once they are introduced to heavy or artificial flavours, it could be detrimental to their palate growth and building a sense of taste refined enough to enjoy the various flavours in the world, let alone growing up healthily, period. I find it intriguing and humbled that kids find the Shio or the shoyu to be a favourite in their field of subtle natural flavours.

Thanks kids and thanks parents for educating their palates right!

「食育2」

実はTaro’s Ramen、意外にもお子様のファンが多いんです。特に出汁の効いた塩や醤油、つけ麺などを好んで誕生日などの日に指定してくれる子が多いのです。後は、ご帰国された方とお話をする際に子供がTaro’sのラーメンが食べたいと言っているとも良く言われます。

子供というのは味覚がまだ発展途上、自然と辛いものやしょっぱ過ぎるものなど刺激を避ける傾向にあります。親として子供の味覚を育てる上でも刺激だけではなく科学調味料を遠ざけないと、味覚が馬鹿になってしまい大人になった時に些細な味の違いに気づけなくなり、後々は濃いめ好きで健康被害の恐れがあるだけでなく人生楽しめなくなってしまうと思います。

僕自身の子供時代(今でも実は結構好きで・・・)を振り返ってみても、甘い、もしくは油っぽいもの、例えばマクドナルドなどは自然に多くの子供が選ぶものですが、結構な数の子供達がうちの味をここまで支持してくれる事は光栄であるとともにとても未来にむけて明るい気持ちになれます。

子供たち、いつもありがとう!そして親御さんもお子様の食育に良い選択をありがとうございます!

太郎