Sumo-Style Hot Pot with Chicken Meatballs

Sumo is the most perfect of sports. It has elegance, ceremony, danger, art, speed and most importantly two fat bastards smacking the shit out of each other. It is immaculate, which is why it has remained essentially unchanged for thousands of years. It remains the only thing in the world I want to see stay static. The only thing I love that loves me back.”

Warren Ellis – Transmetropolitan

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Miso-Marinated Scallops with Kiwi-Yuzu Salad

IMG_3224Massaging fresh Pacific Scallops with white miso and sake is a great way to add an extra savoury-sticky layer of flavour to their already dazzling natural sweetness and a quick sauté in butter takes it over the top. The accompanying salad utilizes flavours I learned back in my Wasabiya days that play well with scallops plus add a much-needed, butter-cutting citrus bite.

Everyone thinks that the scallop/kiwi pairing is weird, but not only is it legit delicious but (according to my former chef and mentor Hiro) it’s a classic way to prepare mollusks in Japan. Try a bit of the vinaigrette with a sliver of raw scallop and you’ll see. (more…)

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Top Five Iron Chef Japan Episodes

Top Five Iron Chef Japan EpisodesWhile putting together last week’s insane love letter to Iron Chef I reviewed quite a few episodes on YouTube and thought I’d share my top five with the internet at large.

This list is by no means comprehensive or authoritative. I’ve pulled only from the fraction of episodes dubbed for Food Network in English and have used no metric more sophisticated than my own enjoyment. If you’re looking for a proper “Top” five list with statistics and pie charts showing the cultural impact of Kaga’s hairpiece, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Try Google Japan. (more…)

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If Memory Serves Me Right : A Mad Ode To Iron Chef Japan

Iron Chef 1When I was at a college residence in Southeastern Ontario during the early ‘aughts, everyone’s room looked exactly the same: Same stack of already-obsolete CDs, same Princess Mononoke poster on the wall, same mountain of clothing on the bed and wasteland of drafting paper and half-eaten Rabba’s pizza slices on the floors. And on TV, one of three things could be counted on: Undergrads, Buffy the vampire Slayer, or Iron Chef.

For the most part, TV was just part of the constant, reassuring din of college life, often mixed with caffeine-induced stress babble and the occasional Rage Against The Machine Song. You would look up every so often from your work, check in with what was happening on-screen and check back out. But sometimes (usually due to severe sleep-deprivation) you looked up and got hooked for the whole episode, homework and future employability forgotten.

This happened to me a lot with Iron Chef (which would explain my poor grades) and began an interest/obsession with the show that would last more than a decade into my later life. If it wasn’t for this strange little show from Japan I may not have had enough of an interest in food to join my then girlfriend-later wife Crystal for that fateful night of Chinatown gluttony. And if that epiphany had never happened, maybe I never would have become a professional chef. (more…)

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