For more than 25 years, Takashi Yagihashi has been blending his contemporary French, Asian, and American cuisine, earning him a spot on many "best of" lists and a James Beard Award for "Best Chef: Midwest" in 2003. Chef Yagihashi's newest Chicago restaurant, Slurping Turtle, which focuses on Japanese comfort food, was an instant success, leading to a second location in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Yagihashi will share some of his favorite fusion creations when he joins us in the studio for The Dish.
Here is how to make a few of his signature dishes, with some words of advice from the chef himself: Beef short ribs with saifun bean threads, chiyan-pon-men, shrimp chiyahan (Japanese shrimp fried rice), hamachi tacos, pate choux and yuzu ginger lemonade to drink!
Beef short ribs with saifun bean threads (serves 2)
Saifun bean threads are more toothsome and chewier than rice noodles, so they're perfect for stir-frying, like in this recipe. I created this recipe for two servings; if you want to prepare it for four, just cook in two batches. I've combined these noodles with a spicy, tangy sauce and delicious beef short ribs.
2 bunches (3 ounces total) saifun bean threads
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon japanese soy sauce
1 teaspoon sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon hot chili oil
pinch of pepper
12 ounces ½ -inch thick bone-in short ribs, cut into 8 pieces
¼ cup dried wood ear mushrooms
½ cup stemmed thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/3 cup peeled thinly sliced celery (2-inch lengths)
¼ cup peeled thinly sliced carrots (2-inch lengths)
1 cup sliced napa cabbage, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons japanese soy sauce
1 tablespoon sunchang kochujang (korean chili paste)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
pinch each of salt and pepper
Instructions: Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the noodles. Turn off the heat and let the noodles sit for 20 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Drain well through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.
To prepare the short ribs, combine the garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, sake, sugar, chili oil, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the short ribs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
While the short ribs are marinating, prepare the vegetables. Cover the wood ear mushrooms with the hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes at room temperature. Drain the water and thinly slice the mushrooms. Combine with the rest of the vegetables in a bowl and set aside.
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To cook, place a large pan on high heat. Add the vegetable oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the short ribs one at a time and cook for 1 minute. Use tongs to turn the ribs until cooked through. Remove the ribs from the pan, set them on a plate, and cover to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Drain the oil from the pan and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Place the pan over high heat and add the sesame oil. Add all the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the noodles to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in sauce and season with the salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes longer, then remove the pan from the heat.
To serve, divide the noodles and vegetables between 2 plates and top each with 4 short ribs.
I still remember the first time I tasted these crispy, chinese-style noodles, on a high school trip to the southern Japanese port city of Nagasaki. This ramen dish is a hallmark of that part of the country, especially when combined with seafood. The seafood in Nagasaki is unbelievably good. This area is also geographically close to China and Korea, and is influenced by their cultures. Nagasaki, in fact, has the oldest Chinatown in Japan, established in the 1600s. You can try other seafood combinations in this recipe, too. Fish also works great with fried ramen noodles.
¼ cup dried wood ear mushrooms
1 cup hot water
¼ cup sesame oil
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails on
4 pieces squid, cleaned and cut into ¼ inch-thick rings
20 bay scallops (about 4 ounces)
16 pea pods, steamed
4 cups chopped napa cabbage
1 cupped stemmed enoki mushrooms
½ cup peeled and thinly sliced carrots
1 cup chopped baby bok choy
¼ cup shio base
2 cups ramen chicken stock
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup japanese soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoon cold water
dash of hot chili oil
pinch of ground pepper
6 ounces age-men (ready-made fried ramen noodles, available in asian food stores)
4 teaspoons hot mustard
Instructions: In a small bowl, cover the wood ear mushrooms with the hot water and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and thinly slice the mushrooms. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil in a very large saute pan or wide pot placed over high heat.
Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, then add the squid and scallops. Cook for an additional minute, or until all the seafood is seared on each side but not necessarily cooked through. Remove the seafood from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil to the same pan and return it to high heat. Add the pea pods, npap cabbage, enoki and wood ear mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots and bok choy. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, combine the shio base and chicken stock in a small pot over high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add it to the sautéed vegetables. Add in the seafood, followed by the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add it to then boiling liquid and cook for an additional minute. Season to taste with the chili oil and ground pepper.
Divide the fried noodles among 4 plates and place 1 teaspoon of hot mustard on the side of each plate. Top noodles with one-fourth the seafood and vegetable mixture. Mix well before eating.
Shrimp chiyahan (Japanese shrimp fried rice) Serves 4
20 pc 16/20 count shrimp shelled, deveined, no tail
4 c. Cooked short to medium grain rice
1/4 c. Carrots, small dice
1/4 c. Onion, small dice
1/4 c. Green onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. Toasted white sesame seeds
1/4 c. Corn oil 4 pc large eggs, lightly beaten
Fried rice seasoning liquid 4 t. Japanese soy sauce 1 t. Sesame oil 1 tsp. Hot chili oil 1 t. Grated fresh ginger 1 tsp. Grated fresh garlic 1 t. Rice vinegar 2 t. Mirin (sweet cooking sake)
Mix all ingredients together and keep in container until ready to use.
Heat large sautee pan over medium heat. Cook shrimp in 1 t. Corn oil, until cooked through, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the sautee pan and keep warm. Using the same sautee pan, wipe with paper towel. Add the remaining corn oil, and turn heat to high. Add the onion, carrots, green onion, and shiitake mushrooms, and sautee for about 1 minute. Then add the beaten egg. Using a spatula, scramble the egg for about 30 seconds. Next, add the rice and continue to stir fry, using the spatula to mix evenly. Discard any crumbles (chunks of rice). Continue to stir fry for about 1 minute and add the seasoning liquid. Continue to stir fry. Taste rice, and adjust, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to stir fry for 2 more minutes.
Place the rice into the small rice cup. Push down lightly, and place upside-down on serving plate. Remove rice bowl and place 5 cooked shrimp on top of the fried rice. Sprinkle white sesame seeds on top of shrimp to finish. Repeat for the 3 remaining servings.
Hamachi tacos Serves 4
8 t. Fresh sashimi grade hamachi small dice
1 tsp. Fresh chives finely chopped
2 t. Fresh cucumber small dice
2 t. Fresh red onion small dice
2 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 c. Romaine lettuce julienne
4 pc. Deep fried taco shape rare root chips
6 pc. Micro cilantro or regular cilantro leaves
2 t. Japanese soy sauce
1 t. Sesame oil
1 t. Mirin (sweet cooking sake)
1 tsp. Hot chili oil
Mix all ingredients together.
Method In a medium mixing bowl, add the hamachi, chives, cucumber, onion. Add the marinade and mix well. Let set for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste hamachi - adjust seasoning with salt to taste.
Plating Place the julienne of romaine lettuce on the plate, like sprinkles. (This will ensure the tacos will not move around when plated). Scoop about 2 t. Of the hamachi mixture into each taco shell. Next place the cherry tomatoes, then cilantro,. Place the 4 tacos on the plate.
4 cups water
400 g butter
2 tsp salt
600 g flour
16 each eggs
Combine water, butter, salt. Bring to simmer. Stir in flour. Continue to cook until dry. Place in mixer with paddle attachment. Slowly add eggs. Mix until incorporated. Place in cambro with plastic directly on top. Store in cooler. Crunch tops 370 g brown sugar 370 g flour 300 g butter
Combine sugar, flour, butter in mixer with paddle attachment. Mix until incorporated. Divide dough in two pieces. Chill. Roll out thin and cut with circle cutter. Store in cooler.
Pastry creams Combine in pot milk, heavy cream, vanilla beans, green tea powder and part one of sugar. Bring mixture to boil. (Remove vanilla beans) to the side combine egg yolks, eggs, part two sugar and cornstarch. Bloom gelatin. Once mixture comes to boil temper with egg mixture and return to pot. Bring back to boil. Remove from heat and add butter and gelatin. Place in hotel pan with plastic directly on surface. Once completely chilled place in mixer with whip attachment and finish product.
Green tea pastry cream
1 qt milk
1 qt heavy cream
225 g sugar
4 each vanilla beans
6 each eggs
12 each egg yolks
250 g sugar
140 g cornstarch
4 each gelatin
150 g butter
2 t green tea powder
Yuzu ginger lemonade
1 1/2 c. (12 oz) water
1 c. Sugar
2 oz. Piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 oz piece fresh lemongrass, bulb end only, finely chopped
1 c. (8 oz.) Bottled yuzu juice
1 c. (8 oz) cranberry juice ice cubes
2 c. (16 oz.) Citron vodka
5 c. (1 1/4 qts.) Ginger ale
8 mint sprigs for garnish
Method In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, ginger and lemongrass, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a container. Let cool, cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to one month. Yield should be 1 cup (8 oz.).
In a 1-quart pitcher, combine the syrup, yuzu juice, and cranberry juice, and stir to mix well.
To make each drink, fill a collins glass (larger than 10 oz.) With ice cubes. Pour 6 t. (3 oz.) Of the yuzu mixture, 1/4 c. (2 oz.) Of the citron vodka, and 2/3 c. (5 oz.) Of the ginger ale, into the glass. Stir 2 or 3 times. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve immediately.