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2011 Nihonshu no hi dinner at Tei An Sake brewing season opens in Japan!

#1 User is offline   ChefHung 

  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 26-October 10

Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:27 PM


Just wanted this group of discerning eaters know that I am teaming up with Teiichi Sakurai and the staff at Tei An for a celebration of this year's opening of the 2011 sake brewing season in Japan.

On Sunday, Oct 2nd at 7pm, we're presenting a special dinner of authentic and progressive Japanese cuisine, paired with sakÚ. Our emphasis this year will be on sakÚ from the Tohoku region, which was devastated by disasters earlier this year. The overall effect of those events on the quality and availability of Tohoku sakÚ won't be known until at least next year, so we'll savor these 2011 brews while we still can. As a side note,we're drinking brews produced prior to the disasters--there should be no contamination concerns.

Here's the proposed menu

Course 1: Otoshi Appetizer
Course 2: Seasonal sashimi (Chef won't say of what, only "whatever I can get that day that's great.")
Course 3: Seasonal terrine
Course 4: Uni (sea urchin) risotto with shrimp.
Course 5: Gibier (wild game)
Course 6: Choice of soba
Course 7: dessert

Paired with at least five sakÚs, again, focusing on brews from the Tohoku region.

I'm excited to apply my sakÚ skills to a menu from this great chef.

Cost will be $100 pp + tax & gratuity.

Please reserve with Tei An. Specify the Oct 2nd sakÚ dinner. 15 of the available 35 seats are already filled.

Thank you.

Hung Nguyen
Texas's first and North Texas's only Advanced Sake Professional

#2 User is offline   Scott 

  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 26-October 10

Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:51 PM

7 courses and 5 sakes for $100? Nice.


#3 User is offline   ChefHung 

  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 26-October 10

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:08 PM

...speaking of soba..

I had the privilege of studying how to make Akita-style soba with a recognized soba master (Sato-san from Kaneni restaurant in Kakunodate) last Spring. I have (long) videos of the lesson which I might be able show at the dinner, if anyone is interested. I could manage a batch, after a little practice, but its quality fell well below acceptable. Going through the process helped me to realize that, "hey, this ain't easy."

Below are photos comparing cooked soba I made with those made by the master.

Posted Image
My soba. Note the uneven thickness, the jagged, imprecise knife work, etc. In the mouth, the texture acceptable but not anything to write home about, either.

Posted Image
Here's the teacher's soba, cooked up for us to eat. My new definition of perfect Akita soba. Firm to the tooth, but then possessing a seemingly "melting" quality, perhaps by the spread of robust buckwheat flavor, in the mouth that is rather hard to describe. Sauce would be nice with this, but trust me when I say that sauce was not really necessary.

If I recall all of this correctly, the master told us he studied soba from several Southern masters, starting in Hiroshima, then several stops northward before landing for a while at a soba shop in Osaka eventually. At each place, he said, he made 10-15 batches of soba a day, six days a week, for an average of two years before he felt that he had mastered that style. He came home to Akita prefecture to open a shop, where he and his small team turns out nearly perfect soba made from Akita ingredients, six nights a week.

Lucky for us, at the Tei An dinner, we'll enjoy Teiichi's soba, which is pretty darned great, and not mine! :oops:

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