No Recipes vol. 15 (Mitsuwa & Macarons)

Wasabi Grapefruit Macaron

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.

Sashimi Plate

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.

White chocolate and pistachios

Fresh wasabi being grated

Macaron assembly line

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.

Himalayan Sea Salt being grated onto sashimi

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.

Shima Aji
Shima Aji (島鯵 = Amberjack) with ume and green shiso “tapenade” on a shiso leaf.

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

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

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

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

Grilled Tokyo Negi and Shishito Peppers
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.

Unagi Kamameshi
Unagi Kamameshi
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).

Buta Jiru
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.

Nimono
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.

Grapefruit confit in a wasabi ganache

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.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    This array of sashimi, unagi-don. buta jiru and nimono is so stunning that I would be well distracted to wait two days for dessert (though I am so with you on impatience for fancy recipes).

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    This array of sashimi, unagi-don. buta jiru and nimono is so stunning that I would be well distracted to wait two days for dessert (though I am so with you on impatience for fancy recipes).

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    [burp] You forgot to mention that on top of all the courses pictured above we drank macaron batter out of the piping bag [/burp]

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    [burp] You forgot to mention that on top of all the courses pictured above we drank macaron batter out of the piping bag [/burp]

  • http://blog.lemonpi.net/ Y

    Sounds delicious. The unagi is what’s reeling me in though. I’m going to use bamboo shoots and dashi in my rice next time.

  • http://blog.lemonpi.net Y

    Sounds delicious. The unagi is what’s reeling me in though. I’m going to use bamboo shoots and dashi in my rice next time.

  • http://www.candypenny.blogspot.com/ Marie

    Any reason to go to Mitsuwa is a good one!The macaroons look great too.

  • http://www.candypenny.blogspot.com Marie

    Any reason to go to Mitsuwa is a good one!The macaroons look great too.

  • amy

    I love your pictures. The meal itself looks delicious. I second Marie on the Mitsuwa excuse!

  • amy

    I love your pictures. The meal itself looks delicious. I second Marie on the Mitsuwa excuse!

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    I’d pay to have that meal! So well done, Marc.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    I’d pay to have that meal! So well done, Marc.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Stéphane and Claire: So, um, Marc–what did you make?

    Marc: Oh, I made a 14 course tasting menu made only from stuff in my fridge. What did you guys make?

    Stéphane and Claire (faces turning the wee-est bit pink): We made cookies.

    Sorry; couldn’t resist–it all sounds great! And sometimes a “cookie” is well worth every hour and every pot that it took to make it!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Stéphane and Claire: So, um, Marc–what did you make?

    Marc: Oh, I made a 14 course tasting menu made only from stuff in my fridge. What did you guys make?

    Stéphane and Claire (faces turning the wee-est bit pink): We made cookies.

    Sorry; couldn’t resist–it all sounds great! And sometimes a “cookie” is well worth every hour and every pot that it took to make it!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Heh, you know I’m all about the two-day desserts. Decadent omakase. I could inhale that rice bowl, too.
    I didn’t know sansho was *sichuan* pepper, now I have to actually use it when it’s offered to find out for myself! :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Heh, you know I’m all about the two-day desserts. Decadent omakase. I could inhale that rice bowl, too.
    I didn’t know sansho was *sichuan* pepper, now I have to actually use it when it’s offered to find out for myself! :)

  • http://www.inomthings.com/ ila

    ogawd… that whole meal looks incredibuhls. i agree, i think katsuo tastes better sans soy sauce… My mom does red onions + shiso chiffonade + grated garlic + ponzu drizzle. and hirame is ausome with yuzu-miso too :p

    • marc

      Mmmmm I used to have katsuo with daikon oroshi, green onions and ponzu. I like the sound of your moms though!

  • http://www.inomthings.com ila

    ogawd… that whole meal looks incredibuhls. i agree, i think katsuo tastes better sans soy sauce… My mom does red onions + shiso chiffonade + grated garlic + ponzu drizzle. and hirame is ausome with yuzu-miso too :p

    • marc

      Mmmmm I used to have katsuo with daikon oroshi, green onions and ponzu. I like the sound of your moms though!

  • http://formerchef.com/ Kristina

    Stunning photos. I wish I could get someone to come make such an incredible meal for me while I baked cookies (acknowledging that Pierre Herme’s macarons are not simply “cookies”).

    I’m a firm believer in making those recipes which take every bowl and 2 days at least ONCE just to know how it’s done. After that, some things are better left to others to make (this is my personal feeling about croissants-I’d rather buy good ones than make them at home).

    • marc

      Now that I’ve tasted one of his macarons, I may just have to go through the rest of his book and try them all!

  • http://formerchef.com Kristina

    Stunning photos. I wish I could get someone to come make such an incredible meal for me while I baked cookies (acknowledging that Pierre Herme’s macarons are not simply “cookies”).

    I’m a firm believer in making those recipes which take every bowl and 2 days at least ONCE just to know how it’s done. After that, some things are better left to others to make (this is my personal feeling about croissants-I’d rather buy good ones than make them at home).

    • marc

      Now that I’ve tasted one of his macarons, I may just have to go through the rest of his book and try them all!

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com/ Christina@DeglazeMe

    Marc, you amaze me. I’m speechless. The quality of those photographs, the intricacy of the sashimi, just flawless!

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com Christina@DeglazeMe

    Marc, you amaze me. I’m speechless. The quality of those photographs, the intricacy of the sashimi, just flawless!

  • http://www.theactorsdiet.com/ Lynn (The Actors Diet)

    the macaron had to rest overnight?!?!? how did you sleep!??!

    • marc

      Hahaha…. you have no idea how hard it was to restrain myself from eating one, well okay I cheated and ate one, but it was hard not to eat all of them before they’d had their one night’s rest.

  • http://www.theactorsdiet.com Lynn (The Actors Diet)

    the macaron had to rest overnight?!?!? how did you sleep!??!

    • marc

      Hahaha…. you have no idea how hard it was to restrain myself from eating one, well okay I cheated and ate one, but it was hard not to eat all of them before they’d had their one night’s rest.

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com Eralda

    What a lovely dinner! I am intimidated and intrigued by macaroons AND Japanese cuisine. I want to go to there :)
    Lovely photos!

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com/ Eralda

    What a lovely dinner! I am intimidated and intrigued by macaroons AND Japanese cuisine. I want to go to there :)
    Lovely photos!

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Be still my beating heart. That is the best macaron combo I’ve ever heard of! And you made them perfectly!

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Be still my beating heart. That is the best macaron combo I’ve ever heard of! And you made them perfectly!

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  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    What a fantastic flavor combination of grapefruit confit and wasabi ganache! I would certainly wait two days to try those macaroons! The sashimi are all gorgeous!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    What a fantastic flavor combination of grapefruit confit and wasabi ganache! I would certainly wait two days to try those macaroons! The sashimi are all gorgeous!

  • http://www.tasteduds.com/ Sheila

    Your Unagi Kamameshi looks so delicious and comforting. You’ve motivated me to try it.

  • http://www.tasteduds.com Sheila

    Your Unagi Kamameshi looks so delicious and comforting. You’ve motivated me to try it.

  • http://zencancook.com/ zenchef

    Woa.. love the pictures!
    Jenni raised a good point though.. the time it took two people to make Herme’s macarons was enough for you to make a 14 courses tasting menu. Hmmm. Lol.

    Good times!

  • http://zencancook.com zenchef

    Woa.. love the pictures!
    Jenni raised a good point though.. the time it took two people to make Herme’s macarons was enough for you to make a 14 courses tasting menu. Hmmm. Lol.

    Good times!

  • http://duodishes.com/ The Duo Dishes

    There’s a lot of good stuff going on here. Those macarons are crazy! Spicy, tart combo there.

  • http://duodishes.com The Duo Dishes

    There’s a lot of good stuff going on here. Those macarons are crazy! Spicy, tart combo there.

  • http://cheffresco.com/ Cheffresco

    Great post & awesome photos! Love the site! Thanks for stopping by ours :)

  • http://cheffresco.com Cheffresco

    Great post & awesome photos! Love the site! Thanks for stopping by ours :)

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    I love how you say that you have to be French to have enough patience to make macarons! Man, I wish I had friends who would come over and make those for me. What a wonderful feast!

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    I love how you say that you have to be French to have enough patience to make macarons! Man, I wish I had friends who would come over and make those for me. What a wonderful feast!

  • http://www.MyOwnSweetThyme.com/ Lisa

    I don’t know that I am eager to make them but I do know I would love to taste one of those macarons! What an astounding flavor combination. I feel inspired!

  • http://www.MyOwnSweetThyme.com Lisa

    I don’t know that I am eager to make them but I do know I would love to taste one of those macarons! What an astounding flavor combination. I feel inspired!

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com/ Julia @ Mélanger

    I am completely obsessed with macarons, and these look amazing. I have never made anything so exotic – the most being matcha tea so far. These look amazing. Please make more from the book. I still haven’t got it yet! :)

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com Julia @ Mélanger

    I am completely obsessed with macarons, and these look amazing. I have never made anything so exotic – the most being matcha tea so far. These look amazing. Please make more from the book. I still haven’t got it yet! :)

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  • http://rasamalaysia.com/ Rasa Malaysia

    This looks really fun! Will let you guys know how it goes. I am past due for a trip back to NYC. :)

  • http://rasamalaysia.com Rasa Malaysia

    This looks really fun! Will let you guys know how it goes. I am past due for a trip back to NYC. :)

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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