Saturday, June 20, 2009

Return to Tenchi - Calgary Alberta

After a previous trip down to Tenchi in Kensignton without a camera I returned fully equiped with a very interesting plan. I decided to change my style in ordering sushi. After three years of trying the same staples and occasionaly mixing it up I have decided to now simply ask for a 20$ Omakase(Translates to chefs choice). I went in blind and my sense were very much appreciative.

From Calgarys own Pragmatic and Personal Sushi Blog

The chef accepted the challenge and started me off with a soup and a sea weed salad. I have a feeling the miso was not home made, but I could not tell, it resembled the packaged products but had a fresh tasting sea weed and green onions. The salad was a very nice mix of fresh soaked sea weed, seasame seeds and a special sauce. I also decided to go a little all out and grab a sopporo.

From Calgarys own Pragmatic and Personal Sushi Blog

I was then again suprised by a fair plate of mixed tempura. Yam, melon and shrimp where key players in this plate. A very nice fry with not much oil. A definit winner. The sushi arrived just a little later and was shocked to see a a selection of futomaki (large roll), nigiri(Pieces on rice) and sashimi (Simply fish). The shrimp, scallop and red clam were amazing. I was shocked when I saw two pieces of shell fish on my plate considering that their season is usually in the winter. I inquired further and found that Tenchi has an ace up it's sleeve. It imports their clams f rom Japan. Japan is known for having the best, year round crop of clam. It was leaner, more succulent and smooth as butter. If you are to check out this restaurant I highly suggest getting clam and scallops.

From Calgarys own Pragmatic and Personal Sushi Blog

The crunchy roll blew my mind. I still am not able to guess at what was in it. But it had a crunchy, smooth, popping texture that exploded my taste buds. Tempura, fish roe, avocadoes and cuccumbers where used in this piece, I also believe there may have been some chicken believe it or not. I am missing what the tempura is but non the less very tasty.

From Calgarys own Pragmatic and Personal Sushi Blog

The sashimi although simple was very good. The maguro and sake were very tasty and very fresh. Over all Tenchi may or may not be a step above their competition across the street ( Sushi Zeal) . Both are very hospitable, good service and some impecable food. I'll rate this one fairly high for it's flexibility, service, food quality, originality and atmosphere. I'll rate them with a 7.5 of a total 10.

Never be afraid to ask for what ever the chef is willing to make for you. It's a great way to save on a usually costly trip to the sushi bar and it will give you some diversity in what you eat. It may or may not also be a compliment to the chef.

Till the next time, Mata Ne!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dashi Stock to Miso Soup

Alright well it's about that time every year(summer) where I have time, energy and am on a cooking binge again! This year I'm even going to include some TASTY pictures :D. Today I'm gonna give you a really quick run down on how to make a dashi stock and then turn it into a miso soup.

First I'll tell you a bit about dashi stock. Dashi is a fish and kelp based broth that comes from Japan and was more than likely passed down to them from the chinese. This is the basic broth for almost any soup you eat in a japanese restaurant, ramen, udon, miso etc. Dashi is also applicable in many other recipes.

So to start you will need

Bonito Flakes
Soy sauce
Green Onions
Canola Oil
Cooking Sake

Miso Paste (Fermented soy been paste, the darker it is the richer in flavor, the lighter it is the sweeter the flavor)

I add a little garlic and a little ginger to mine. You can also add a few pieces of pork, shrimp or chicken.
I also like adding some starch aka: Complex carbo hydrates to my soups, I usually opt for udon noodles or simple ramen noodles(yes the mr noodle kind work just as well)

Add2-3 healthy pinches, cruched, to about 4 cups of water on a medium heat. Add about half a sheet of kelp , crushed and soy sauce for color. Careful, miso is also very salty so go easy on the soy. Next add about 1/3rd of a bunch of green onions and a drizzle of canola. A splash of cooking sake does add a lot of taste but is not necesary.(Add extra ingredients here). Let come to a slow boil.

Now at this point if you've let it sit and slow boil you'll notice that its smelling like a wonton soup, PERFECT! if it doesn't... well keep going and better luck next time.

So you have a dashi stock, Now what?
Well from here you add whatever you want out of it. Wontons, noodles, more meat etc, at this point you can do almost anything with a dashi stock but we are making miso so I will go with that.

Lower the heat of the broth to about 2-3, or very low. You don't want it to be too hot when you add your miso or this will add to the cloudyness because the soy protein is being denatured. Add about 2 tablespoons worth of miso paste and stir.

At this point you are basically ready to serve. Makes 4 servings

Enjoy, Mata ne.