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I still dream about this concoction at the Shangri-La. I’m thinking either Jasmine tea from T on Broadway, as that’s their tea provider, lemon and San Pelligrino (which is what they serve).

May not be actual tea that they use, as I made this yesterday with fresh lemons, tea and club soda. The tea made it somewhat bitter, and as I recall the jasmine in the lemonade was very strong and sweet, so I’m leaning towards jasmine extract . Still haven’t decided on the lemons, whether fresh lemons, lemon juice or lemonade, but I can tell you that club soda is NOT the way to go.  It was WAY too salty, and San Pelligrino should be used instead (5% or 130mg sodium vs. 1% or 10mg).


Serves 4

Nobu-Style Miso:
3/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
2 cups white miso paste
1 cup sugar

4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each
1 stalk hajikami

Note: side of grated daikon, and fermented soybean from Fujiya.

My friend Nobu Matsuhisa shared this signature recipe with me when he appeared on my Food Network TV show. The recipe is adapted from his beautiful “Nobu: The Cookbook” (Kodansha International, 2001). The hajikami garnish he calls for is a pickled ginger shoot, which you can find in Japanese markets; regular sliced pickled ginger may be substituted. You’ll find the sake, mirin, and white miso not only in Japanese markets but also in most well-stocked supermarkets. You can use sea bass fillets in place of the cod.

1. First, make the Nobu-Style Miso: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the mirin and sake and boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Add the miso paste and stir with a wooden spoon until it dissolves completely. Add the sugar, raise the heat to high, and stir continuously until it has dissolved completely. Remove the pan from the heat and leave at room temperature until the mixture has cooled completely.

2. Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Put them in a nonreactive dish or bowl and slather them with the Nobu-style miso, saving a few spoonfuls of the sauce in a small covered bowl in the refrigerator to use as a garnish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Preheat a grill or broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Place the fish on the grill or under the broiler and cook just until its surface turns brown. Then transfer to a baking dish and cook in the oven until the fish is just opaque in its center, 10 to 15 minutes more.

4. Arrange the black cod fillets on individual plates and garnish with hajikami. Add a few extra drops of Nobu-style miso around each plate.

From Wolfgang Puck

Update Feb 25th: That mirin, sake, white miso and sugar concoction is delicious! Could not stop fondling the cod – supple as a baby’s bottom. Best is from Japanese fishmongers. Got mine from a store right beside the Airport Plaza at the end of Granville. This will be eaten on Friday. Experimenting with grilling and broiling to see which method is better.

Update Feb 27th: Grilled first, then in the oven. Remember to scrape off all the miso or it will burn in the grill and then in the oven. In the small toaster oven, 400F is too high and watch carefully. Other than that, it smelled delicious, and was so moist and juicy. Marinating it for 3 days might make it too salty though.


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to a week.

6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce


The secret of cooking meat is in the resting. I find it so dispiriting when I cut into a steak and watch all the juices leak out on to the plate because it hasn’t had time to relax and reabsorb all that goodness. Always start with your meat at room temperature. This is particularly true of thin cuts such as steak.

If it is still fridge-cold when you start cooking, the outside will be burnt before the centre has had time to warm through. If you are cooking a rare fillet, for example, give it two and a half minutes on each side and let it rest in its own juices for three. Then, just before serving, roll it in its juices again before flashing it through a hot oven.

Mind you, at home I’m more interested in cooking with less popular, cheaper cuts, which can be far more flavoursome and rewarding. They usually require slow-cooking methods, such as poaching, braising or stewing, to tenderise them. Adding a sweet element, such as fresh or dried fruit, can help to cut the richness.


Given how popular sushi has become, I’m amazed at how squeamish people are about eating their fish anything other than nuked. Believe me, if the inside is a bright white, the outside will be dried out and woolly. No, you want the inside of your fish slightly translucent, like the inside of an oyster shell.

If you are pan-frying, start with a medium-hot pan, add olive oil and put in your seasoned fillet of fish, skin-side down. Don’t worry about it sticking, because once it has caramelised, the fillet will release itself. Prodding and poking will just make it fall apart.

Once it is 80 per cent cooked, gently turn it over, add a knob of butter and keep basting it. Add the butter too early and you’ll end up with a blackened pan and burnt-tasting fish.

Finally, allow the fish to relax, during which time it will continue to cook. Like vegetables, it can be held for five minutes and then flashed in a 200C/Gas 6 oven with a little stock to warm it through.

Alternatively, for a lighter treatment, don’t be afraid to gently poach your fish gently in stock. At the restaurants, we’ll often wrap fillets and fresh herbs inside clingfilm to seal in the flavours and stop the fish falling apart. Just remember to take it off before you serve it up.

People read those stupid “countdown to Sunday lunch” menu planners which tell you to put on your potatoes with 20 minutes to go, your carrots with 10, your peas with five, etc, and think that they are being all organised and clever. Then, come 1pm, it’s chaos. They’re trying to carve the chicken, mash the potatoes, drain the veg and thicken the gravy all at the same time. I wouldn’t even try that with a brigade of 15 chefs.

No, what you have to do is master the art of timing – by which I mean preparing everything as far ahead as possible so that two thirds of the work has already been done and you’re just bringing together the elements for the grand finale.

That means having the meat ready up to half an hour before and quickly reheating it in its juices, if necessary. It means parboiling your vegetables and refreshing them in cold water, ready to be warmed through in a pan with a splash of olive oil. It means frying your mushrooms in olive oil and reheating them in butter.

The aim is to turn the final stages of cooking into an assembly line, which is much easier to control than starting everything from scratch and cooking it right through. And if it still feels like too much, for goodness’ sake put your guests to work.


The first thing you will notice when you watch a chef cook is how much salt he uses. That’s because salt and pepper are the building blocks of any kitchen, and the art of seasoning is one of the most important skills that you can learn. To be able to do so with confidence will do more than anything else to elevate your cooking; to draw out and enhance the flavours of your main ingredients.

Too many people wait until the end to season their food – normally once it is on the table. There are two problems with that. First, you’ll probably use much more salt that way – and that’s something we have all got to watch – and second, there will be no subtlety. Your tastebuds will be clobbered. Better to add it at the beginning of cooking so that the raw taste can be cooked out and it becomes more of a background flavour.

So season early and keep tasting all the way through cooking to see how the flavours evolve. Finally, don’t limit yourself: salt and pepper are only the beginning of the story. We always season fish or seafood with a squeeze of lemon or lime at the end and, increasingly, we’ll use whole bunches of herbs to infuse a soup or cream sauce, or add cloves, vanilla or cinnamon to a fish stock. Be bold. Be adventurous.

Thanks Eat Vancouver, Chef Matt and Malaysia  Kitchen.

1. 11g tea dust
2. 60-80g sweetened
condensed full
cream milk
3. 170g boiling water
4. 30g evaporated milk
1. Pour the boiling water into a cup containing the tea powder.
2. Stir well, and add in the sugar and condensed milk. Stir well.
3. Prepare another cup of the same size. Pour the tea from its existing cup into the other cup, at the same time increasing the distance between the cups as you pour.
4. Repeat this action, pouring the tea between both the cups until the tea is frothy.
5. You may keep doing this to increase the froth to your liking.

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roti canai (pronounced at “cha-nai”) juicy yummy gravy curry? It’s a powder?

Baba’s Meat Curry Powder. Just add chicken! Or just water!


Another reason why I love my Uncle Lou is for the Muffuletta. He’ld make this for me every summer when he was in town. Its a basic enough sandwhich consisting of bread, olives, different kinds of meat and cheese. But there’s just something about the marinated olive salad with the mortadella and capicola. I’ve only ever eaten his version and I think its rare to find it outside of New Orleans.

Marinated Olive Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Olives (pitted green and black plives)
1 red onion, diced
sliced pepperoncini salad peppers (personal preference I use about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoons capers
roasted red bell peppers (store bought in the can)
minced garlic
1/2 grated carrot
1 celery diced

black pepper

combine everything into a food processor and pulse! Throw mixture into the fridge.

Sandwhich assemble-
Italian bread, olive salad, meat-mortadella, salami, and capicola.
Cut bread into half scope up the soft bread. Spread the olive salad, add the meat, layer on the cheese and you’re good to go!
I normally throw the sandwhich under the broiler for a few. But you can eat it as is.

Grouchy’s verdict:
Wicked sandwhich! Its got all the elements to it..crunchy bread, cheesey goodness and so-bad-yet-so-damn-good mortadella.

Went to Cafe Medina on the weekend with Grouchy. Loved the Liege waffles and fig-orange compote. Grouchy purred over the blueberry compote. Sadly, their chef makes it and it’s not for sale. =(

Heard that compote goes well with gorgonzola cheese. Or on a baguette. Must try it.

Another good place for Liege waffles is Patisserie LeBeau (1708 West 2nd Avenue in between Fir & Pine). They are good enough to come out with their line of frozen waffles available at Capers. Delicious!

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