No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Marc Matsumoto

Hi! I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques while giving you the confidence and inspiration to cook without recipes too!

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What do macarons and Japanese grocery stores have to do with each other? Not much, unless you happen to be making Pierre Hermé’s Macaron au Wasabi et au Pamplemousse, in which case you’ll need to find a fresh wasabi root and yuzu juice to add to the ganache. Such was the case, last weekend when

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

What do macarons and Japanese grocery stores have to do with each other? Not much, unless you happen to be making Pierre Hermé's Macaron au Wasabi et au Pamplemousse, in which case you'll need to find a fresh wasabi root and yuzu juice to add to the ganache.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Such was the case, last weekend when Stéphane from Zen Can Cook and Claire from Colloquial Cooking decided it would be a good idea to attempt to recreate this scary sounding confection in my kitchen.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)
No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)
No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Stéphane and Claire are both French, and are naturally endowed with loads of patience for labyrinthine recipes and project an aura of extreme macaron making skills. Being neither patient nor skilled with anything involving meringues, I thought I could best contribute to the epic endeavor by doing what I do best and improvising a dinner out of the provisions acquired at Mitsuwa earlier in the day.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

To get things started off on the right foot, I put together a sashimi plate. I think that some of the more delicate seafood gets overwhelmed by soy sauce and prefer a lighter handed approach when seasoning these morsels. It's not very traditional, but I decided to pair each item with an accompaniment I thought would best fit its inherent characteristics.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Shima Aji_ (島鯵 = Amberjack) with ume and green shiso "tapenade" on a shiso leaf.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Hotate_ (ホタテ = scallop) with yuzu juice, yuzu kosho and a pickled ramp with shaved Himalayan pink salt.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Katsuo_ ( 鰹 = bonito) tataki with green chutney and cherrywood smoked salt.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Hirame_ (平目 = fluke) with sweet red miso and yuzu zest.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Oh Toro_ (大トロ = tuna belly) with fresh wasabi.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Following the sashimi course, I served a grilled skewer of Tokyo Negi (sweet giant green onions) and shishito peppers. They were lightly sprayed with oil then coated with sea salt and grilled in the broiler.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)
No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

For the rice course, I made my Unagi Kamameshi. You can hit the link for the recipe, but It's basically rice cooked with dashi and bamboo shoots in an iron pot with grilled unagi and mitsuba mixed in at the end. The powder on top is ground sansho (sichuan pepper)

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Buta jiru_ went with the rice course. It's a pork based soup which I made by braising Berkshire short ribs for a couple hours with ginger and the green parts of the Tokyo Negi until the meat was falling off the bone. Cubed daikon, carrot and konyaku were added in towards the end and it was seasoned with mirin and miso. The garnish is freshly ground _shichimi togarashi.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Nimono_ literally means "simmered things" and involves carved veggies simmered in a light dashi broth. For this one I used bamboo, okra, carrot, shiitake mushroom, konyaku and kabocha.

No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Unfortunately, the macaron had to rest overnight, so we weren't able to eat them for dessert, but here's a money shot of the insides of this confectionery piece of genius exposing the grapefruit confit and wasabi ganache. It really was one of the most novel flavour combinations I've ever tasted with every subtle element contributing to one irresistible macaron. The wasabi isn't the dominant flavour and compliments the bitter grapefruit confit, and sweet and creamy ganache perfectly.

I'm still not entirely sold on a recipe that takes 2 days and every pot and bowl in the apartment to make, but I'm definitely curious to try some of Hermé's other combinations now.


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