Cooking Like the Master

My favorite restaurant of all time may not be around anymore, but I do have one of the chef’s recipes.

The second incarnation of Tomo’s Cuisine closed a few years ago and Chef Tomo Tanaka has disappeared. A few months ago, while reading reviews of his restaurant, I found Tomo’s recipe for Tuna in Daikon Sauce. Since October, tuna has been off-limits for The Civee, so I bookmarked the page with the thought I could return to it later this summer.

We had planned to have salmon for dinner tonight. We’ve had a lot of salmon recently and I was looking for something different to do. I was pondering the preparation when it hit me- what if I modified Tomo’s recipe to use salmon, rather than tuna? It would still be a gamble, because I’ve never cooked with daikon before and could see that getting out of hand.

I went to an Asian supermarket and picked up a daikon for 65 cents. It was a lot like a radish, but the bite wasn’t as strong. The key to the recipe, though, was (as the article mentions) the combination of soy sauce and butter. Surprisingly, the results were good. The Civee and Hope seemed to enjoy the salmon. The fish came apart more than I think it was supposed to, but the flavor made up for it. I’ll try this again, both with salmon, and with tuna later in the summer.

It wasn’t quite Tomo’s, but it was a nice reminder of how good his restaurant was. I may have one of his recipes. but I still have a long way to go before I can do wonderful things with food like he did.

(The original end to that last sentence read “before I can cook like him,” but The Civee nicely raised the point: “do sushi chefs cook?” To which I replied a) if all they do is make sushi, no and b) Tomo cooked a lot. But either way, to call what Tomo did as simply “cooking” would be a disservice)

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