What could have been framed as a giant pain in the ass- taking the bus down to the city, renting a 14′ truck, loading it full of crates at the Brooklyn apartment, then driving back up here- was instead pretty painless, and made even pleasant by the scintillating weather, lack of traffic, and a stop at Mitsuwa for a whole basket of goodness.
I didn’t take any pictures of the first dinner: sashimi of yellowtail with jalapeño and ponzu, plus half-salted mackerel, and olive oil-poached octopus tossed in a sauce of yogurt, smoked paprika, kimchi brine, and agave syrup. For the main course, tofu stir-fried with carrot and broccoli in a peanut sauce over bean thread noodles.
The next night, I made dashi and big fat fresh udon, adding edamame and matsutake mushrooms- both raw and caramelized- to show off the wonderful flavors of the royal mushrooms. Piney, subtle, rich- they’re really best just warmed in the broth without any messing. Next time I may broil them quickly with a few pine needles to give them a smoky, resinous edge, but they were pretty happy floating on good dashi with fat-ass noodles and raw Berkshire pork that reached the perfect rosy hue after a minute of loving submersion. A pinch of shichimi togarashi added a nice heat and iodine tang. I bought sake and shochu, too, and was forced by Science to try them both with this.