Tag Archives: Japanese

Nobu’s Miso Black Cod

17 Oct

I was lucky enough to experience Nobu in TriBeCa because my ex-roomie, Amanda and her friend, Wayne, was visiting for fall break. What a great restaurant – the food was incredible.

We went for the $70 omakase/chef’s special which turns out to be really worth it. Unfortunately, I felt silly taking pictures of everything we ate.. so there are no pictures. I couldn’t remember every detail of what we had but here’s what I found on their menu that kinda fits what we ate.

– Fish tartar (yellowtail?) with caviar in wasabi soy sauce with a japanese berry to cleanse our palate (22) – the wasabi sauce was almost too spicy near the end but the berry went really well with the dish
– Yellowtail sashimi microgreens salad with matsuhisa dressing (20) – the sashimi was delicious
РSquid pasta with asparagus, shitake mushrooms in garlic butter sauce (19)  РI loved this dish, the squid is cut so it curls and resembles penne and was super tender, the flavor was amazing
– Black cod with miso and pickled ginger scallion (25) – the fish was cooked perfectly with the skin perfectly crispy, I did not like the pickled ginger scallion
– Tuna, yellowtail, salmon, Japanese red snapper, and mackerel sashimi + Miso soup (28) – their sushi is nothing special, I was too full to finish the miso soup (not a big fan) but it had tofu in it.. which I forgot to eat..
– Bento box dessert: warm valrhona chocolate souffl√© cake, shiso syrup, white chocolate sauce and green tea ice cream (9) – not impressed because I’m not a chocolate cake fan, the green tea ice cream was good but you can get that anywhere.. the box was cute, reminded Amanda of a doggy dish.. haha

So if you add up all those prices I got from the menu, the total would have been $123, so the $70 a person was actually a good deal. Amanda and Wayne were nice enough to treat me because they were staying at my place. =D They’re so nice!

I went home and for some reason that I can’t remember anymore I looked for the black cod with miso recipe. Surprisingly, I found it! Turns out Nobu has several cookbooks and this recipe has been circulating the web for some time since he shared it on a TV show. Of course, I had to try it so I went and bought cod, mirin and sake since I didn’t have those in my pantry.

miso cod

Here’s the recipe and here is another person’s take on it. I kinda roughly halved the official recipe since we wouldn’t finish that much fish and I like to approximate things. So I used a pound of cod, 1/2 cup sake, 1/2 cup mirin, 1/3 cup sugar, and almost a cup of miso paste. Since this was a test run, I marinated the fish for only a day, pan fried it and finished it in the toaster oven. I overcooked it by like 5 minutes (my mom kept insisting it wasn’t done), it only needed like 10 minutes in my 400F toaster oven.

The meal went really well with an apple sake (apple juice and sake) and salad with Tonton Ginger dressing (available in costco).

miso cod sakeThe sake bottle, cod, and apple sake drink.

Don’t try to microwave the extra sauce saved for garnish.. it burned horribly and melted the plastic ikea container. Oops.. cooking fail.

miso sauce messup

Reviews: Otafuku and Podunk!

28 Sep

I finally got to go out today and spent the day exploring two new restaurants and shopping at Union Square with two of my friends, Ying Ying and Mou. It was a lot of fun and I liked both restaurants so I recommend them to you! I definitely want to visit these again. Too bad the weather was humid and rainy. We even walked through a street fair along Broadway but I didn’t bother taking my camera out in the rain.

We first went to Otafuku for a snack (breakfast for me.. it was 1pm). Otafuku specializes in Japanese street food and offers a very limited menu of yakisoba (seafood fried noodles), takoyaki (octopus balls – also in plain or cheese), okonomiyaki (pork, beef, shrimp, squid, corn w/ scallion), edamame, some drinks and some desserts. The food ranges from $3 to $8 excluding drinks and dessert.

Here’s Ying Ying enjoying her $1 iced barley tea on the one and only bench outside the restaurants. There isn’t any seating inside. Mou is inside ordering.
otafuku front

There is very little space inside and they don’t like you staying in the restaurant to wait. They make you wait outside once you’ve placed your order and paid. Here’s the dude filling the giant takoyaki pan with batter. You can see the okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with cabbage and meat) being fried in the front.
otafuku takoyaki making

Close up of the dude putting the second layer of batter on top of the octopus filling. They later flip the balls over with a stick but I missed it. Crappy pic because it’s dark inside.
otafuku takoyaki making2

Here’s a half eaten picture of Combo B – 6 octopus takoyaki and 1 order of shrimip okonomiyaki. It takes 10 minutes for them to cook the pancake. Mou got his takoyaki much faster than us because those were made from the last batch. Everything was smothered in a tangy dark sauce, mayo and bonito (fish flakes). Yum. Combo B was $8. It was a filling snack.
otafuku food eaten

After that we walked around the fair and shopped at 14th Street. By then it was around 4pm and we were dead tired so we walked all the way back to 5th St to have some tea.

We went to Podunk, a quaint little tea house run by a quaint little old lady. I loved the place, the small room was full of old fashioned memorabilia and had a mismatched assortment of picnic-y tables and chairs. Most seated only 2 people while there was a party of like 6 by the door when we entered. The place filled up quickly after that.
podunk sign

Counter where you place your order. There’s no wait service here, you order, pick up your things, bring it back and pay after you’re all done.
podunk counter

View of the rest of the room from our table by the counter.
podunk room

I had the Nibbler Tea which was $16 for one person (different price if shared). It included cheddar crackers, apricots stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, spiced cookies, mini scones, mini apples, clotted cream, apricot jam, and what I believe to be fig jam with herbs (not sure). The pot of tea was included and I went with the recommendation of apricot tea. Oh my goodness this was fun to eat. The jams and cream were absolutely delicious. And the tea was divine.. with sugar and cream as well as without.
podunk nibbler tea

Ying Ying had the Cream Tea which was maybe $12 or $14? I forget. Hers included scones, mixed berries, straberry and apricot jams, clotted cream and grapes. She also went with the recommend tea of ceylon (being poured in the background).
podunk cream tea

Picture of the tea with sugar, cream and lemons. Not pictured was Mou’s peppermint tea in a blue pot.
podunk tea

The teas are around $5 to $8 for a personal order if I remember correctly. They have a large tea menu with iced teas as well. Also several “teas” that include food and tea going up to $25. Everything isn’t cheap but since everything is hand made and presented so beautifully, it’s worth the experience. The owner is polite and doesn’t rush you at all to leave at all (though she did seem to get annoyed when she called an order out and the girl on the cellphone didn’t go pick it up). My order didn’t come with the chocolate truffle as mentioned in the menu so we asked about it and she said they ran out. So she let us choose any replacement! We got a pretty pink frosted cupcake. We also asked for more water in the teapots and she had no problems refilling them. The tables are first come first serve though so get there early if you don’t want to wait.. I think people usually stay for a long while once they’re there. I’m still craving some apricot tea.. and now I must buy my own cute little teapot. ^_^

Japanese Pumpkin Soup

8 Jul

My mom had a Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha) and she wanted soup out of it. So I found a recipe online and adapted it to what we had on hand. It was pretty delicious. Sorry, the picture of the soup was not good enough to post. I was too busy enjoying it.



  • Medium sized Japanese pumpkin
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (milk works too)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water to boil the pumpkin


    1. Cut pumpkin into large chunks and remove seeds.2. Bring enough water to cover the pumpkin to a boil and briefly cook the pumpkin until softened, about ten minutes. Discard water and peel pumpkin. Cut into smaller chunks.

    3. In a pot, saute onions in butter. Add pumpkin chunks and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

    4. Carefully pour soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Small batches are easier to handle. You can also use a hand held immersion blender. You may blend all the soup or blend only part of the soup to get a chunkier consistency.

    5. Return soup to pot and add milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil again.

    6. Enjoy!