Battle Juvenile Salmon - Fujii
Japan Air Date:
|| Challenger's Dishes:
Iron Chef's Dishes:
- Salmon fin sake
- Matsumae pressed salmon (wrapped
- Broiled salmon wrapped in a
- Sailo stew (whole crab stew
with corn, potato and fish dumplings)
- Ruibe (soft frozen salmon meat)
- Salmon rice
- Fried salmon wrapped vegetables
- Salmon salad
- Fish head milk stew
- Chian-chian broil
- Boiled salmon head
Synopsis: There are some traditional
Japanese chefs that disapprove of the style of Japanese cooking that has recently
developed. They have banded together and are headed by Ota Tadamichi, who
challenged (and beat) Sakai in battle octopus. Ota has named his group "Chef
Ota's Party of Heaven and Earth." The 47 chefs have selected one man, Fujii
Shuichi, executive chef of the Shogetsu Grand Hotel in Hokkaido, to represent
them and battle against Morimoto.
The theme: Juvenile salmon is a bit of a misnomer for the theme
ingredient. The salmon are actually young enough that their reproductive
organs have not developed, so that the gender of the fish cannot be determined.
It's found exclusively in Hokkaido and is very expensive. It's also
known as unisex
salmon or young salmon.
The food: Actually, before I get to the food, I ought to say that
Ota's group made a great show. All 47 of them marched in with banners flying
(declaring that they were Chef Ota's Party of Heaven and Earth). It was an
impressive line up.
The ruibe that Fujii prepared is apparently a delicacy and hard to get.
So that the fish meat wouldn't be tainted by a metallic taste, Fujii used
an abalone shell to cut the meat off the skin. He then froze the fish pieces
and served them sort of frozen (soft serve salmon, if you will). This guy
was very proud of his use of traditional cooking utensils and kept harping
on Morimoto about his use of an electric rice cooker. He also was extremely
disgusted when Morimoto used a hair dryer to dry out the skin of the salmon.
The broiled salmon dish that Fujii made used shirako (salmon soft roe) which
is not from the juvenile salmon as those parts are not developed yet. Fujii
wanted to emphasize that the soft roe can be tastier than even the salmon
Morimoto made some interesting dishes. His first dish had the salmon meat
wrapped around greens in such a way that it looked like a carrot (with the
fish meat being the carrot). I thought it was rather creative. He served
it with a tartar sauce which had salmon bits in it. Kishi really liked the
sauce. Morimoto's second dish used the fish kidneys and olive oil, The third
dish was the one where Morimoto used his hair dryer. The fourth dish is
a stew of some sort. It had the salmon in it as well as miso flavored vegetables,
matsutake mushrooms and cheese. It looked like an au gratin to me.
The judges: Even though it appeared that Morimoto was being
torn to bits during the judging, he still managed to pull off a win. I'm
impressed. I also miss my subtitles. Only the actress voted for the challenger.
I did notice quite a bit of nose wrinkling when she ate Morimoto's food.
It is somewhat ironic to note that in the post judging interviews, the judges
preferred Morimoto's dishes b/c of his creativity and the way he was exploring
what he could do with food. That must have made Ota wince.
Judges: representative Kurimoto
Shinichiro, actress Asagi Kuniko, actor Okada Masumi, food critic Kishi Asako.
Results: 3 to 1 in favor of Iron
| Judges' Scores
Last updated 6/13/00
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