Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

I noticed the recipe for the regular mooncake crust asking for “lye water.” I also found it as a component of the dough for char chiu bao. As far as I know, only chinese (or chinese influenced) recipes require this ingredient and only those recipes that involve rice or wheat flour. In indigenous Filipino cooking, it only shows up in two items, both of them kueh-type snacks and appears to be as flavouring. A few drops is also used to release the flavour/colour of achiote (anatto) seeds. My question is, what exactly is the role of lye water in Chinese cooking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't quote me on this, but I think it's use as a tenderizer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For char siu bao, I think it's supposed to act as a bleach to make the bread white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the research on google, it says that lye water allows the flour to absorb water better and makes it more elastic. The lye water can also be used as a preservative and neutralize the acid.

Since lye water is a bit bitter, it is common to add vinegar when eating wonton noodles to cover the bitterness.

Lye water can be found in Southern style noodles, zonghi, and dumpling skins.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if it has something to do with the springy bouncy toothsome texture that is well liked by the chinese, or to act like vitamin c or ascorbic acid in bread making which tighten the dough and acts as an astringent . I have been looking at various cookbooks but non of them explains its function.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

Lye water "Gan sueh" in Cantonese, or Kansu in Japanese is an essential ingredient in making ramen noodles in Japan.

It is what gives japanese Ramen noodles as well as many Southern Chinese style

egg based noodles their chewy springiness.

For many years, the use of lye water and similar alkaline and even toxic chemicals like borax, "Pang sah" has been a controversial subject in Chinese cooking.

Lye water and relatively weaker alkaline ammonia based solutions and potentially toxic Pang sah, or borax is used to give prawns in Chinese restaurants springy almost elastic texture. and are added extensively to Wonton noodles especially in Hong Kong and Southern China.

I had a patient who was a Cantonese chef who told me years ago about how borax was used.

In a nutshell, the prawns are treated with the borax, and rinsed at times for over two hours in restaurants to remove as much of the chemical.

In recent years, health authorities in Hong Kong have tried to prohibit the use of pang sah, and from what I hear, all these other related alkaline solutions, but its use is still prevalent all over Chinese restaurants in countries where the health authorities are not vigilant, or simply unaware. Pang sah is sometimes even added to rice sheets or cheung fun and as a chef once admitted to me, radish cake. :huh:

When you encounter prawns in dishes like hargow or Crystal or "Emerald prawns"

and the texture is extraordinarily chewy and elastic, chances are it has been treated with borax or a similar alkaline chemical. :unsure:

Danjou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of thanks to Danjou for his enlightening post. That about answered my original question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  As far as I know, only chinese (or chinese influenced) recipes require this ingredient and only those recipes that involve rice or wheat flour. 

There are other cuisines that use lye or similar alkaline solutions. The nixtamalization process that maize goes through to become hominy. Usually, in this process lime is used instead of lye, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  As far as I know, only chinese (or chinese influenced) recipes require this ingredient and only those recipes that involve rice or wheat flour. 

There are other cuisines that use lye or similar alkaline solutions. The nixtamalization process that maize goes through to become hominy. Usually, in this process lime is used instead of lye, though.

Yes, as I subsequently discovered in my search to find answer to my original question. Foremost among them is what you just mentioned and also for firming up fruits for candying (squash, winter melon and breadfruit) where lime (cal) is the preferred alkali. The ludefisck (sp?) of the Scandinavians is another that quickly comes to mind. Apparently they also use an alkali spray to make pretzels take on that glossy varnished look. But Danjou's red flag about borax is quite sobering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all

apologies for the uncorrected posting above :smile:

Anyway....here are some more thoughts about alkaline solutions.

Food grade lye water is used extensively in the class of noodles in Southern China called "Gansueh Meen", or literally, "lye water noodles"

When made well they are delicious; but in the fiercely competitive Hong Kong noodle restaurant business, some noodle restaurants, specifically the wonton noodle restaurants are resorting to more unusual basic alkaline solutions to make their noodles achieve an even more chewier texture which is so prized by the Cantonese.

I have been quite alarmed at the strong whiff of ammonia I have encountered at several top notch wonton noodle restaurants in Hong Kong.

A Japanese chef told me that many ramen lovers in Japan actually view the flavor

of kansu or lye water as an intergral part of the flavor of ramen. Indeed, I have eaten in many ramen restaurants in Japan and have noticed that the taste of the kansu in the noodles will vary from restaurant to restaurant, ranging from strong to mild, and this correlates with the amount of kansu used, which I also observed, is proportional to the "springiness" and elasticity of the resulting ramen.

Alkaline chemicals like lye water are also used in the Chinese rice dumpling called "kansueh jiong" in Cantonese, or Lye water dumpling, but if made properly and well, and eaten in sweet red bean soup or simply dusted with sugar or topped with a bit of syrup they are delicious.

In Chinese restaurants all over, especially Cantonese restaurants, you will probably notice that at times the beef in classic dishes like "oyster sauce beef" or "Chinese style steak" and many other stir fried beef dishes, and especially in San Francisco's Chinatown, "Steak kow" are extraordinarily and almost unnaturally tender, chewy and succulent. It means that baking soda was used to tenderize it. :hmmm:

Pang sa, or borax has been used for a long time, but exactly when it began I am not sure. It was only available from Chinese medicine shops and I recall it being mentioned by Cantonese chefs when I was a kid during the Sixties.

I knew that the extraordinarily crunchy and delicious prawns we would eat at many reputable and famous Hong kong restaurants were in many cases, treated with a white powder called pang sa, but did not realize it was borax until much later, when many years ago, I noticed a huge sack of borax at a Chinese restaurant supplier's shop. I innocently remarked to the proprietor that I did not realize they also sold detergent, to which he replied, "Oh that is pang saH" :shock::shock:

Nowadays, most good Chinese chefs do frown on the use of pang sa, and there are many safe and natural techniques to achieve the prized crunchiness in prawns without using any chemical or additive.

But I still encounter it in restaurants all over Asia where government regulations are lax. I suspect in many cases, unscrupulous restaurant owners and their line chefs use it to cut losses, especially when the prawns are no longer fresh, as it firms up the flesh; and although it is rinsed for hours literally, I doubt it is completely washed away.

Pang sa was added to all sorts of things, especially commercial, mass produced fish cake, fish balls, and as i mentioned above dim sum restaurant items including at times radish cake, as well as fresh flat rice noodles and even some dried soy bean sticks "Foo Juk".

Commercial, non artisanal and extraordinarily chewy fish cakes and fish balls were, and in some places are still are treated with pangsah.

I think it is the fierce competition in the Chinese restaurant business and food industry all over Asia is only one of many reasons why many establishments used and still use borax, especially in countries where government regulations on its use are poorly enforced or non existent.

But over the years, many genuinely good Chinese chefs, the ones who are purists and true artisans at heart, have tried to stop the use of this chemical, especially in recent years when the potential risk to health became apparent.

I know for certain that many of these great chefs are trying to teach a higher standard of food safety to their students and to do things the more difficult but safe way rather than use these chemical short cuts.

cheers,

:wink:


Edited by danjou (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Danjou, Thanks again. I notice you are based in the Philippines. Perhaps you can join us from time to time in the Filipino cuisine thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still trying to figure out what role lye water plays in mooncake skins. One thing I noticed when making them is that the dough is initially very wet, almost the consistency of soft serve ice cream. But then as the dough is rested it firms up to the point that it can be rolled out. Is it the lye water that causes this to happen?

There also another recipe that uses lye water--Chinese almond cookies. I plan to make those after I've done with the mooncakes, and I'm wondering what the purpose of lye water is in that recipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanations, danjou.

I also had heard of borax (Pang Sa) used to tenderize beef in restaurant cookings when I grew up (in the sixties/seventies). The soft texture in those "steak balls" always amazed me.

I always wondered about those shrimps in "crystal shrimp" (ball lei ha kao). They look almost transparent instead of an opique white color. The taste is so unlike the natural, cooked shrimp.

How about the dried squids? When I was small, I passed by some wet market and I saw merchants used buckets of water to soak the dried squids. The dried squids swelled up to about 3-4 times the original size. I knew it's more than water that's in the bucket but did not know what else was used. Do you know if they use lye water?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it soda that's normally used with beef and prawns,and other meats too?as with the question of MSG I used to be a purist and wouldn't touch it, but used in the very smallest possible quantities it gives such a good result that it's too difficult to ignore. It also is a very good 'defisher' ie defusing slightly rank odours that have no place in Cantonese food. Utter discretion is needed, however. Maybe Borax is what's used with dried squid . Here in London it used to be possible to buy soaked squid of the most extraordinary tenderness. Maybe I should try-anyone know the right amount to use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings and "magandang gabi" from Manila to all of you,

Yikes, this is the first time I have heard of the use of pangsa on beef ....the horror....the horr... :sad:

The addition of baking soda in Cantonese beef dishes is as you all probably know, an old tradition.

Even the chewy springy consistency of steamed beef balls cannot be achieved without first treating the beef with soda or "Soh Dah Fun", and of course, water chestnut flour and pork fat.

Used sparingly and carefully one can achieve that silky succulent texture " Waht" and "Chueh" so loved by the Cantonese. I try to be a purist too, but I concede

dishes like "Jung sik Ngow lao" or Chinese style beef steak just does not taste right without first treating the beef.

The texture can be a bit odd to Westerners however.

There were also economical reasons why many restaurants tenderized their beef with soda; this was simply because they need not buy more tender but expensive tenderloin and instead use cheaper and tougher cuts which they would just slice up and tenderize with baking soda.

Indeed baking soda is also used to treat prawns, and even though it is far safer, it is apparently less effective than borax, which is a much stronger base.

The archetypal dish is the "Boh lei har kow" or Glassy prawn balls you mention, as well as "Ching chow ha yun" or stir fried shrimp as served in Shanghainese or Peking restaurants and frequently a lot of the shrimp based dim sum fillings like hargow even in upscale Chinese restaurants are treated with borax or soda.

Another reason why borax was favored is that baking soda also leaves an unusual and rather odd odor and taste even after thorough rinsing and a lot more baking soda had to be used to achieve that chewy and truly unnatural texture.

I always remember how my mother, herself a student of the Hong Kong chef Chan Wing long ago, would always frown when she tasted soda treated beef in restaurants. :huh:

I completely avoid the use of any chemicals and much prefer the natural taste and texture of fresh prawns.

Although it is possible other chemicals are sometimes used, lye water is usually the main ingredient used for making "dew peen" or dried and cured cuttlefish/ squid. It is essential and it gives the dried squid its characteristic appearance, texture and taste.

Famous Singaporean dishes like "Jiu her eng chye" , which is cured cuttlefish dressed with a hoisin based sauce on top of blanched water convolvulus or "Kangkong" just does not taste right if fresh squid is used.

One of the well loved Hakka dishes is 'dew peen' and fresh cuttlefish stir fried together with salted shrimp paste :raz::biggrin:

I do recall that Lye water is also used to treat dried jelly fish.

And I also wish to add, as a warning to people who love salted fish, that the often exotic chemicals used in curing salted fish in some areas, like apparently ammonia containing chemicals :blink::huh: has resulted in a product which has been linked to the high incidence of nasopharyngeal cancer in the coastal regions of South China and Southeast Asia....but that is another tale.

cheers to all

:smile:


Edited by danjou (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the fascinating information, danjou, I've always wondered what those packets of Borax powder were for. Is it really very dangerous? I'm quite tempted to try it. Any idea how long soda has been used? I must say I find stir fried beef tenderloin pretty unpleasant, particularly untreated. The only time I don't use soda is when I have skirt available. I'd be thrilled to know your mother's method for preparing beef!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although mentioning “lye” summons images of a very caustic chemical and of paint stripper, most of the food quality lye we use is home made. We gather a weed called locally as kulitis (amaranth), dry them and burn them to cinders. Gather the ash in a cracked earthenware pot, pour some water into it and catch the dripping in a clean receptacle. We use this as a coloring/flavoring for a steamed pudding called kutsinta and a steamed rice stick snack called suman sa legia. For the hominy-like corn snack called binatog though, ash is directly boiled with the maize to leach it out. This makes the hull separate easier and more importantly, activate more protein and certain nutrients that otherwise would remain dormant.

But I have always wondered about those dishes that you (Danjou) mentioned such as the beautiful chewy prawns, the beef steak that you can slice with a chopstick no less, and the reconstituted dried giant squid slices that were gelatinous instead of chewy tough. Are they toxic? How dangerous is eating these as to eating say, Scandinavian lutefisc?

Thanks again.


Edited by Apicio (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOOOOO Caustic soda is crystal lye. Depending on the quantity of dried squid you want to experiment with just use the lye water in a bottle you can pick up in a Chinese food store. And use the smalles possible container so you do not have to dilute it too much. Use the largest container of water though and frequesnt change when flashing it out. Let us know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought Borax powder, not lye water, which I already had-it's good for noodles, but it doesn't give me a good feeling, in the end-like commercial chinese fresh egg noodles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi folks,

I check egullet after several days...and what have you kids been up to...omigosh....playing with chemicals :blink::shock::shock:

I don't have time for a more detailed reply, but I am alarmed.

I am confused....and to quote my mom.."Aeeeyah " :wacko: ,

muichoi, are you going to hydrate dried squid ?

Don't add lye water to the dried squid :shock:

The dried squid has already been processed with lye water and dried.

You have to soak it in fresh water until soft. I think this might reqire a few changes of water.

Dew peen or cured dried squid and most varieties of dried fish all over Asia, from hahm yue or kiam hee or salted fish in South China to Tuyo here in Manila were all developed as a result of the need to preserve seafood in the days when there was no refrigeration.

Lye, soda and borax are bases which denature proteins; which means the protein is changed but not destroyed.

I think the reason for the use of lye and borax was that they also kill bacteria and is therefore a preservative as well as possibly making the protein more easily digestable and as we have seen, firms up the texture.

But borax poses a very signficant danger to health, which caused its apparent ban in Hong Kongas well as in many other countries, yet its use is still widespread in places where government is uninformed and enforcement is poor.

Please read the following bulletin released last year by the Bureau of Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Canada:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/i...20040714e.shtml

here is another warning, from Thailand:

http://www.dmsc.moph.go.th/webroot/food/fi...este/borace.htm

Muichoi, my mother tries to follow an artisanal approach to Chinese cooking and never uses any soda or chemicals in her beef dishes and prawns.

From as long as I recall, she feels this trend toward treating food with all these chemicals is completely repulsive and poses a grave health risk.

She is able to make her prawns wonderfully firm and crisp without ever having to add any chemicals.

Prawns that are treated with borax or soda always lose their natural taste.

I am certain these chemicals also alter things like the natural carbohydrates and vitamins aside from changing the proteins; which probably accounts for the drastic reduction in flavor of treated prawns. The taste or flavor has to be restored by seasoning the treated prawns .

it is the same with soda treated beef, the natural flavors disappear when it is treated with soda. The flavor then has to be restored with the addition of marinade.

Sorry for the long rambling post....

I'm getting sleepy :unsure:

let's cook, eat and stay healthy :smile:


Edited by danjou (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Danjou-certainly makes sense and of course I agree with your mother! Really, though, I remember this soft and inflated dried squid with great pleasure, and was wondering whether this could be replicated by soaking in a borax solution which is then rinsed away-the pleasure of dried squid is not in its natural flavour anyway! Chinese food though is very much about texture-and warm water prawns simply aren't very good in general-so I don't have a problem about salt-washing them, and adding a bit of soda to the first wash-only 30 seconds contact or so-likewise beef-if i'm poaching or grilling ,for example, soda would be stupid, but in a saute/stirfry the meat is so denatured anyway that the smallest bit of soda is only an enhancement-such dishes are not designed to show of the excellence of an ingredient, which is possibly the main criticism to be made of chinese cuisine as a whole-which is strange given the cantonese ability to encapsulate the freshness of chicken, fish and vegetables like no other. Does your mother marinate beef at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      These have been mentioned a couple of times recently on different threads and I felt they deserved one of their own. After all, they did keep me alive when I lived in Xi'an.
       
      Rou jia mo (ròu jiá mò; literally "Meat Sandwich") are Chinese sandwiches which originated in Shaanxi Province, but can be found all over China. Away from their point of origin, they tend to be made with long stewed pork belly. However in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi), there is a large Muslim population so the meat of choice is more usually beef. In nearby Gansu Province, lamb or mutton is more likely.
       
      When I was living in Xi'an in 1996-1997, I lived on these. I was living on campus in North-West University (西北大学) and right outside the school gate was a street lined with cheap food joints, most of which would serve you one. I had one favourite place which I still head to when I visit. First thing I do when I get off the train.
       
      What I eat is Cumin Beef Jia Mo (孜然牛肉夹馍 zī rán niú ròu jiá mò). The beef is stir fried or BBQd with cumin and mild green peppers. It is also given a bit of a kick with red chill flakes.
       
      Here is a recipe wrested from the owner of my Xi'an favourite. So simple, yet so delicious.
       

      Lean Beef
       
      Fairly lean beef is cut into slivers
       

      Chopped Beef (sorry about the picture quality - I don't know what happened)
       

      Chopped garlic
       
      I use this single clove garlic from Sichuan, but regular garlic does just fine.
       
      The beef and garlic are mixed in a bowl and generously sprinkled with ground cumin. This is then moistened with a little light soy sauce. You don't want to flood it. Set aside for as long as you can.
       

      Mild Green Chilli Pepper
       
      Take one or two mild green peppers and crush with the back of a knife, then slice roughly. You could de-seed if you prefer. I don't bother.
       

      Chopped Green Pepper
       
      Fire up the wok, add oil (I use rice bran oil) and stir fry the meat mixture until the meat is just done. 
       

      Frying Tonight
       
      Then add the green peppers and fry until they are as you prefer them. I tend to like them still with a bit of crunch, so slightly under-cook them
       

      In with the peppers
       
      You will, of course, have prepared the bread. The sandwiches are made with a type of flat bread known as 白吉饼 (bái jí bǐng; literally "white lucky cake-shape"). The ones here are store bought but I often make them. Recipe below.
       

      Bai Ji Bing
       
      Take one and split it. Test the seasoning of the filling, adding salt if necessary. It may not need it because of the soy sauce. 
       

      Nearly there
       
      Cover to make a sandwich  and enjoy. You will see that I have used a bunch of kitchen paper to hold the sandwich and to soak up any escaping juices. But it should be fairly dry.
       

      The final product.
       
      Note: I usually cook the meat and pepper in batches. Enough for one sandwich per person at a time. If we need another (and we usually do) I start the next batch. 
       
       
      Bread Recipe
       
       
      350g plain flour
      140ml water
      1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

      Mix the yeast with the flour and stir in the water. Continue stirring until a dough forms. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise by about one third. (maybe 30-40 minutes).
       
      Knead again to remove any air then roll the dough into a log shape around 5cm in diameter, then cut into six portions. Press these into a circle shape using a rolling pin. You want to end up with 1.5cm thick buns. 
       
      Preheat oven to 190C/370F.
       
      Dry fry the buns in a skillet until they take on some colour about a minute or less on each side, then finish in the oven for ten minutes. Allow to cool before using.
    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By liuzhou
      We are all used to unami now. Maybe it's time to consider gan. Particularly found in teas, but also in other foods. An interesting article from a great magazine.
       
      Going, going gan
    • By liuzhou
      I’m an idiot. It’s official.
       
      A couple of weeks back, on another thread, the subject of celtuce and its leafing tops came up (somewhat off-topic). Someone said that the tops are difficult to find in Asian markets and I replied that I also find the tops difficult to find here in China. Nonsense. They are very easy to find. They just go under a completely different name from the stems – something which had slipped my very slippery mind.
       
      So, here on-topic is some celtuce space.
       
      First, for those who don’t know what celtuce is, let me say it is a variety of lettuce which looks nothing like a lettuce. It is very popular in southern mainland China and Taiwan. It is also known in English as stem lettuce, celery lettuce, asparagus lettuce, or Chinese lettuce. In Chinese it is 莴笋 wō sǔn or 莴苣 wō jù, although the latter can simply mean lettuce of any variety.

      Lactuca sativa var. asparagina is 'celtuce' for the technically minded.
       

       
      Those in the picture are about 40 cm (15.7 inches) long and have a maximum diameter of 5 cm (2 inches). The stems are usually peeled, sliced and used in various stir fries, although they can also be braised, roasted etc. The taste is somewhere between lettuce and celery, hence the name. The texture is more like the latter.
       
      The leafing tops are, as I said, sold separately and under a completely different name. They are 油麦菜 yóu mài cài.
       

       
      These taste similar to Romaine lettuce and can be eaten raw in salads. In Chinese cuisine,  they are usually briefly stir fried with garlic until they wilt and served as a green vegetable – sometimes with oyster sauce.
       
      If you can find either the stems or leaves in your Asian market, I strongly recommend giving them a try.
    • By Duvel
      “… and so it begins!”
       
      Welcome to “Tales from the Fragrant Harbour”!
      In the next couple of days I am hoping to take you to a little excursion to Hong Kong to explore the local food and food culture as well as maybe a little bit more about my personal culinary background. I hope I can give you a good impression of what life is like on this side of the globe and am looking very forward to answering questions, engaging in spirited discussions and just can share a bit of my everyday life with you. Before starting with the regular revealing shots of my fridge’s content and some more information on myself, I’d like to start this blog and a slightly different place.
      For today's night, I ‘d like to report back from Chiba city, close to Tokyo, Japan. It’s my last day of a three day business trip and it’s a special day here in Japan: “Doyou no ushi no hi”. The “midsummer day of the ox”, which is actually one of the earlier (successful) attempts of a clever marketing stunt.  As sales of the traditional winter dish “Unagi” (grilled eel with sweet soy sauce) plummeted in summer, a clever merchant took advantage of the folk tale that food items starting with the letter “U” (like ume = sour plum and uri = gourd) dispel the summer heat, so he introduced “Unagi” as a new dish best enjoyed on this day. It was successful, and even in the supermarkets the sell Unagi-Don and related foods. Of course, I could not resist to take advantage and requested tonight dinner featuring eel. Thnaks to our kind production plant colleagues, I had what I was craving …
      (of course the rest of the food was not half as bad)

      Todays suggestion: Unagi (grilled eel) and the fitting Sake !
       

      For starters: Seeweed (upper left), raw baby mackerel with ginger (upper right) and sea snails. I did not care for the algae, but the little fishes were very tasty.
       

      Sahimi: Sea bream, Tuna and clam ...
       

      Tempura: Shrimp, Okra, Cod and Mioga (young pickled ginger sprouts).
       

      Shioyaki Ayu: salt-grilled river fish. I like this one a lot. I particularly enjoy the fixed shape mimicking the swimming motion. The best was the tail fin
       

      Wagyu: "nuff said ...
       

      Gourd. With a kind of jellied Oden stock. Nice !
       

      Unagi with Sansho (mountain pepper)
       

      So, so good. Rich and fat and sweet and smoky. I could eat a looooot of that ...
       

      Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed.
       

      Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ...
       

      More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ...
       

      Miso soup with clams ...
       

      Tiramisu.
       

      Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual!
      On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity …

       
      When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×