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Dining with the Chef

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The island of Kyushu at the southwest end of Japan is home to the prefecture of kumamoto. One thing that draws people to the area is its outstanding local cuisine, featuring the finest ingredients from both land and sea. To learn more about Kumamoto's cuisine, host Yu Hayami visits one of Kumammoto's preeminent chefs. In this episode, they make Dago soup, a traditional dish made with plenty of spring vegetables from Kumamoto, as well as mustard miso-stuffed lotus roots, an iconic local favorite.

The theme of this episode is deep-frying. They'll be working with mushrooms, in season for fall, and making Autumn Kakiage mixed tempura with a variety of ingredients, like lotus root, maitake mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, and more, for a deliciously crunchy and colorful dish. A variation on the recipe will also be made, letting the flavor of nori shine in the chicken tenderloin nori-fry.

Oysters are one of the culinary highlights of winter. Japan's oysters are known for their size and creamy flavor, and in this recipe chef Rika Yukimasa uses them for two different dishes. The first is deep-fried oysters, breaded with Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs to make them crunchy outside yet tender inside. She also makes oyster rice, letting the rich flavor of the oysters soak into the rice for a delicious finished dish. Chef Yukimasa rounds things out with a light cabbage salad - the perfect match for a fried main dish - to complete the "oyster festival."

In this episode, chef Rika makes deep-fried rockfish. By frying these spring fish whole at a low temperature, she can seal in their rich flavor to enjoy their flaky white meat and firm red skin, and serve the fish plated beautifully with grated daikon radish and ponzu sauce and scattered slices of green onion. For the side dish, she makes vegetable agebitashi with seasonal vegetables; by deep-frying these vegetables plain and then coating them with a special sauce for a dish as beautiful as it is delicious.

In this episode, they'll be making deep-fried rockfish. By frying these spring fish whole at a low temperature, they can seal in their rich flavor to enjoy their flaky white meat and firm red skin, and serve the fish plated beautifully with grated daikon radish and ponzu sauce and scattered slices of green onion. For the side dish, they'll make vegetable agebitashi with seasonal vegetables, by deep-frying these vegetables plain and then coating them with a special sauce for a dish as beautiful as it is delicious.

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