Japanese Cooking with Local Foods

Japanese Cooking with Local Foods

Part of Ep. 2101 Japanese Gardening

At Phin Sushi Japanese Restaurant Chef Taka turns simple cucumbers into exotic Japanese cuisine. Canned tuna will never be the same!

Premiere date: Mar 02, 2013

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:

A show on Japanese gardening wouldn't be complete without a look at the wonderful cuisine of Japan. I am with Chef Taka and we are at Phin Sushi Japanese Restaurant in Belleview, Wisconsin. Chef Taka is going to use cucumbers one of the plants that in the middle of the summer we're all trying to get rid of in Wisconsin. He's going to use them in a Japanese way. What are we going to make today?

 

Chef Taka:

I'm going to make the sunomuno cucumbers.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Sunomuno cucumbers.

 

Chef Taka:

Especially summer season, perfect match with a vinaigrette sauce. I'm going to-- should I?

Shelley Ryan:

Please, by all means.

 

Chef Taka:

I'm going to cut the cucumber first.

 

Shelley Ryan:

That alone is an art. You're actually going to make us three different dishes to show us the variety that we can use whether it's a Japanese cucumber or the larger American cucumber.

 

Chef Taka:

Right, it doesn't matter whatever you want, cucumbers. If I'm going to use Japanese cucumbers-- I'm just cutting them.

 

Shelley Ryan:

See, I'd already be in trouble!

 

Chef Taka:

Yeah? So, I just cut it.

 

Shelley Ryan:

That turns into such a beautiful shape.

 

Chef Taka:

Easy to divide.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Now, is there any cooking involved today? Any cooking?

 

Chef Taka:

No, all raw.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Chef Taka:

A little salt, and mix it up. Then, I'm making a sauce. This is four ounces of vinegar.

 

Shelley Ryan:

What kind of vinegar?

 

Chef Taka:

Any type is okay, but this is a rice vinegar.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, easy to come by.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, and two ounces of soy.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Just regular soy sauce?

 

Chef Taka:

Regular soy. And four ounces of dashi Japanese broth.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Dashi Japanese broth?

 

Chef Taka:

If you don't have dashi broth, just water is fine. And four ounces of sugar.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Just plain old white sugar.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, and then you just mix it up.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This is kind of our sauce for all three dishes?

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, I'm going to use the same sauce.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay. It's kind of sweet-sour.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep. So then, a little bit sesame seeds and sesame oil.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I love sesame oil, toasted?

 

Chef Taka:

Yep.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I love the beauty of the dishes you're using.

 

Chef Taka:

Thank you, so cucumber.

 

Shelley Ryan:

What's that?

 

Chef Taka:

This is wakame seaweed.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This usually comes-- in the stores it's dehydrated.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, those are the dry ones.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This is something we would reconstitute in water.

 

Chef Taka:

Yeah.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay. ‘

 

Chef Taka:

Make sure you mix it up.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So the sugar is dissolved in the bottom.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, then put it on top. Maybe one more.

 

Shelley Ryan:

About three tablespoons of the sauce. We will have these recipes on our website so don't worry about exact proportions here.

 

Chef Taka:

A little garnish on top.

 

Shelley Ryan:

And what is that?

 

Chef Taka:

This is beets.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Oh, it's beautiful, it adds just a pop of color to it.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, then sesame seeds on top. So this is the first one.

 

Shelley Ryan:

What is this one called?

 

Chef Taka:

This is sunomuno cucumber.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Sunomuno cucumber, that is beautiful.

 

Chef Taka:

So then I'm going to do next plate. Maybe different shape.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Should I put this up here?

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, and different ones.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This time, you're using the American grown cucumber. What kind of leaf is that?

 

Chef Taka:

This is a bamboo leaf.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay.

 

Chef Taka:

Again, a different shape, type of cucumbers. Seaweed again.

 

Shelley Ryan:

More seaweed, which is excellent for us.

 

Chef Taka:

We're going to use shrimp.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Now this is raw seafood.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep, so then cutting octopus. One more piece.

 

Shelley Ryan:

We've got, it looks like crab. Crab, shrimp, octopus and salmon egg on top.

 

Shelley Ryan:

More of the sauce, wonderful.

 

Chef Taka:

More sauce. One more. Then a little sesame seeds on top.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So that's our real exotic one. Your last one is something that any Wisconsinite can handle.

 

Chef Taka:

Yep. That's a different shape of cucumbers.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Either cucumber would work.

 

Chef Taka:

And wakame seaweed. Then we're using-- What do you think this is?

 

Shelley Ryan:

That looks like tuna from a can.

 

Chef Taka:

Yes, tuna canned. Just a little on top.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Just a little bit of regular tuna. This is a healthful dish then again, too.

 

Chef Taka:

Absolutely, yes. So then sauce again.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You just turned a can of tuna into something exotic.

 

Chef Taka:

Then, a little bit maybe of garnish on top again. And little sesame seeds.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's beautiful. What a great way to serve tuna in the hot summer with our fresh cucumbers. Taka, these are great, I can't thank you enough for such beautiful dishes all made from Japanese cuisine and using Wisconsin cucumbers. Thank you very much.

 

Chef Taka:

Thank you.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Canned tuna will never be the same. For Chef Taka's recipes and more please check out our website at: wpt.org then click on The Wisconsin Gardener. I'm Shelley Ryan. Thanks for joining me on The Wisconsin Gardener.

EPISODE SEGMENTS+
EPISODE RESOURCES+

Funding for The Wisconsin Gardener is provided, in part, by The Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.