Things

Inside Takashi Miyazaki’s Kitchen

17th January 2018

Interview: Sophie Missing
Photographs: Dan Dennison

The chef-owner of Miyazaki in Cork picks out a clay barbecue, a surrealist cookbook and the craziest mushroom we’ve ever seen

INGREDIENTS

Kombu »
A dried edible seaweed essential for making dashi (along with katsuobushi), kombu is high in glumatic acid which is identified with umami.

Katsuobushi bonito flakes »
“I use katsuobushi [dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna] a lot for the cold udon dish. It’s really fishy.” Takashi buys his bonito flakes from a Japanese company in London: “You can buy them in Ireland, but it’s really expensive. In Japan they’re quite expensive as well, but it takes time to make bonito. It could be over a year: you get the raw bonito and you have to boil it and then dry it and allow the fungus to develop on it, which soaks all the moisture from inside the core of the loin… How did they figure out how to make it? It’s so genius.”

Homemade ponzu »
“I make it with kombu, green chilli, rice vinegar and salt mixed with yuzu juice and soy sauce. It’s my mother’s recipe.” – Takashi

Kikkoman soy sauce »
“The number one!” – Stephanie

Yuzu juice and zest »
Aromatic Japanese citrus fruit.

Hen-of-the-wood mushroom
On the counter in Takashi’s kitchen is a sculpture that looks like a dusty-white hydrangea on a plinth – except it’s not a sculpture, but a huge maitake (hen-of-the-wood) mushroom still attached to its root, an extraordinary thing that is destined for our lunch.

OBJECTS

Sushi oke »
A large flat bottomed wooden bowl traditionally used for preparing sushi rice – Stephanie explains how any excess moisture is absorbed by the wood, and how the wide shape makes it easy to cool food down. Takashi uses it for his handmade udon noodles when he’s making us lunch.

Chef’s and Japanese knives »
Takashi has a very handsome knife handmade by Fingal Ferguson. “It’s got a nice balance. I use it for demonstrations and pop ups,” says Takashi. “It’s the good knife,” adds Stephanie. “We take it out when the guests come over!”

 

Japanese chopsticks »
“I have two different types [of chopsticks]: ones I use for boiling noodles and really thin ones you can use to cut straight through a slice of fish and to roll it. It’s hard to do that with the other ones. I have to get them from the Kyoto area. It’s artisanal work, passed down from generation to generation for more than 350 years.” – Takashi

Rice cooker »
We admire Takashi’s rice cooker which cooks the rice for the maitake rice perfectly and in what seems like no time at all. Takashi: “It’s so smart.”

Shichirin »
A compact Japanese barbecue made from clay.

BOOKS

Les Diners de Gala, Salvador Dali »
Originally published in 1973 and only recently reissued, Dali’s surrealist fine dining cookbook includes recipes for Peacock à l’Impériale (that’s quail decorated with peacock) and avant garde avo toast with lamb’s brains. Perhaps more a feast for the eyes than anything else. “It’s crazy,” Takashi says.

The Cultured Club, Dearbhla Reynolds »
“She specialises in fermentation and pickling. It’s good for getting ideas as Japanese cuisine has loads of fermentation – this is more European-style, and it’s so fresh.” – Takashi

Basque, Jose Pizarro »
“I get ideas for Japas – what I call Japanese tapas – from this. Not for Miyazaki but for home cooking.” – Takashi

Neal’s Yard Remedies Healing Foods »
“This is brilliant. It’s a catalogue of what different ingredients are good for.” – Takashi

Posted 17th January 2018

In Things

 

Interview: Sophie Missing
Photographs: Dan Dennison

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