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Posts posted by dougery

  1. So I've been living here in unincorporated Auburn (half way between Auburn and Fed-Way) and have not found a decent Indian restaurant yet! (Not that I've been trying very hard lately since my finicky toddler dislikes Indian food.) I really miss Taste of India up in the U-District.

    Anyone have any good suggestions for this area of WA?


  2. BTW,

    Here is another link to a reliable dealer. Have bought a few Hattori knives through them and their service is excellent. This site also has an excellent tutorial on sharpening:


    Japanese knife sharpening is an art form in itself. If you're not familiar with Japanese sharpening stones, I would strongly recommend looking into getting some and practice up on some of your lower quality knives (or buying some at a thrift shop to practice getting the right angles and techniques. Steel quality/hardness won’t be the same, but you can work on your basics). It will require some patience and practice but the end results will easily surpass the results you would get from mechanized sharpeners or sending them to your local cutlery shop. This place has a good selection of quality stones, not to mention some great woodworking tools (Festool power tools, Damascus chisels, etc.!) Another great retailer to do business with.


  3. Wow...

    The answer to this question can be quite daunting. The link Octaveman and Whatsamcgee offered to Knifeforums.com is the best resource, but you really need to take your time when going through there. Most posters are pretty good about being objective and accurate, but just be careful, there are some hacks out there as well that could steer you in the wrong direction.

    To help point you in the right direction, I would recommend doing research on two types of knives:

    * The western style "gyutou" (Western style chefs knife with an asian influence, most visible feature is the lack of a bolster).

    * The "petty" knife (about 5" blade length, used as a utility or paring)

    Once you've done some research on these styles you can branch out into more specialized knives such as the honesuki (boning knife).

    There are so many different types of steel, it could be mind boggling. Some steels can be prone to discoloration or rusting and require higher maintenance than most people expect. Be sure to do ample research into the types of steel.

    If you are just looking to get your feet wet without spending too much, Tojiro (found on Korin.com) makes an excellent gyutou. It has a hard high carbon steel core/blade, which is sandwiched between layers of stain resistant steel. These are really good knives for a great price. One note, some reports of inconsistent quality have popped up here or there, but Korin does a great job of backing up their products. Others in EG have written about Togiharu knives, but I'm not too familiar with this line. The steel is a little softer and I prefer my gyutous with a higher HRC (hardness rating).

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese knives! WARNING: They are an addiction!

  4. Probably too late (not many shopping days left), but for someone new to higher quality knives, I would go with either Forschner or Wusthof Classic. I have a collection of Japanese knives myself, but most of these are typically made with a harder steel, meaning more difficult to sharpen for the novice/beginner. Although the Togiharu is a fantastic knife for the price, and utilizes a softer steel, the only reason why I would not place this at the top of the list for someone relatively new to knives is due to the lack of a bolster (of course many stamped or cheaper knives don't have one as well). I think many folks prefer this for comfort and grip.

    Wusthof and Forschner are made with a slightly softer steel, making them easier to sharpen, yet they are still very high quality knives. 8" is a good starter size.

    One note: the Wusthof classic line looks a lot sexier than the Forschner. It's a forged blade compared to Forschners stamped. don't get me wrong, Forschner is a fantastic knife, just utilitarian though.

    All of this is IMHO

    Happy holidays all!

  5. I use a unique combination of intuition and a variation of the Chaos Theory...

    Actually, 1/2 of my recipes are on my PDA and backed up on hard drive, 1/4 are filed in folders along side my books, and the rest are stored in the soft matter between my ears. The problem I'm having is I recently moved and all of my books are in boxes until remodeling is complete, I spent an hour in the garage the other day trying to track down a sticky buns recipe...

  6. Thanks everyone!

    I didn't want to cause a controversy. I'm usually of the opinion that better is synonomous with expensive, but apparently not in the case of mandolines. I've done some research and it seems that the Benriner is really highly regarded by many home cooks and restaurants alike. Unfortunately, this year being the first with a little one makes the budget (shock! horror!) something I have to stick to. So a Benriner. :smile:

    Hey! Controversy is healthy!

    The first time I saw a Benriner, I had the same reaction as well.

    "You want me to slice ALL of these with THIS little thing!?"


  7. Went to the Rock for lunch, I loved the Pizza! I'm sorry to say that it was a work lunch so no beer :sad:

    Do you know of any good Japanese Restaurants in the area? I've been to a couple, but the fact that I can't remember their names should give you a clue on the quality of these estalishments.

    I will definitely check out Aguri though! Love Italian.

    Thanks for the recs! :smile:

  8. This is a bit off topic, but I am compelled to comment.  I really don't know if the Benriner is good or not.  But, it appears to be a compromise.  I subscribe to the attitude that pricey tools are almost always worth it.  Assuming that there is a strong correlation between price and quality/functionality/efficacy.  It is just so rarely worth it to buy a cheap tool.  If it is so full of compromise that it becomes a chore to use, it is infinitely more expensive (since you never use it) despite the initial low cost.

    The above though is only a philosophy of buying tools.  I have no idea about mandolins, I just know that they generally cost a LOT more than that.  The Benriner might be that jewel in the rough - I don't know.  But, I do know that I would think long and hard before buying a cheap tool.


    Definitely not a compromise. I have used these in a few VERY busy Japanese restaurants, and after years of use (without a new blade) this little mandoline performed amazingly. This device is a staple in many a Japanese kitchen and would be a great addition to any kitchen drawer.

    Daikon, cucumbers, carrots.. you name it, this is hands down one fantastic little machine. "Jewel"? - YES "cheap" or "in the rough" - far from it.

  9. I recently saw part of a show on competitive eating and was quite astounded by the fact that this is an organized.... shall I say... "sport"?

    The following is the governing body of this activity.


    This woman (37 yo and 105 lbs) out-ate huge guys that out weighed her 5 fold! How can she eat so much without blowing a gasket?! :blink:


    I find this whole activity amazing! Is this a direct reflection of American Culture (everything in excess, and as fast as possible)?

    What was really hillarious was the play by play commentary. It would go something like:

    "Her technique is astounding! Notice how she removes the bun and sips her water at strategic moments."

    There is actually technique and strategy? :shock:

    These folks actually train for these competitions! Hmmm... Maybe I could get a job as a personal trainer? :wink:


  10. Stir fry! A million options out there, and you can usually whip up something good and quick with what you have in your fridge and pantry. You can also easily convert many a stir fry into a good chow mein very easily.

    If you can't get quality chow mein noodles, a quick and very dirty way to go is to use those cheap ramen noodles, break them in half and bake them at about 375 degrees until golden brown, then break them up.

    Also... Ma Po Tofu is a great quick and easy meal. This thread has some great recipes and recommendations!


  11. My understanding of the term "chef" is that he/she cooks professionally and is given a degree of creative license (in regards to the menu). As well, that person SHOULD be a very good "cook".

    Myself... I would consider myself a good cook, but on occasion, my friends jokingly call me "Chef Doug".

  12. Note: You may use ground beef in place of ground pork, or use pressed tofu if you are a vegetarian.

    Do you mean in use pressed tofu as a pork substitute in addition to the silken tofu (ie 2 kinds of tofu in the dish)? Woul you treat the pressed tofu in exactly the same way as the pork (marinate, fry, drain)?

    For a meat substitute you can used dry textured vegetable protein. When it is rehydrated, it has the texture of ground meat

    Straight age or age tofu http://www2.nsknet.or.jp/~tofu/gif/age.gif works very well as a meat sub as well. I've used age tofu as a sub in gyoza, wontons, etc..

  13. Looks utterly delicious! I just made some the other day as well. I love Ma Po Tofu (so does our toddler).

    I sometimes add a tablespoon of red miso to the pork marinade, really adds a different flavor to the dish (all good).

    Thanks for sharing the pics and tips! Fantastic!

  14. It is my understanding that there are several varieties of Masamoto knives.  I'm no expert but the super, super expensive like several hundred dollar ones aren't really their primary business.  I'm not sure about the exact price conversions but I happened to meet another English speaking woman while I was in the knife shop and she buying a couple knives for her chef-brother who said they were much cheaper in Japan.

    I took a look at Korin in NYC and see there are three different Masamoto lines. There are a couple of versions that are more at the Wusthof, Henckels price point (like the VG-Western Style).

    This site offers slightly lower prices and their customer service is excellent.

    Masamoto VG series is hard to beat!


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