The charm as a hidden ingredient by Tosakanori

"A scent with a lot of information like flowers"

Navigator: Shui Ishizaka

Shui Ishizaka

Shui Ishizaka, born in Melbourne, raised in Sydney. Winner of the Australian U30 culinary competition "Appetite For Excellence Young Chef of the Year," he took charge of culinary development as sous chef at Tokyo’s INUA restaurant, a two-Michelin-star winner in 2018.

Experimenting in Sea Vegetable’s test kitchen, he has uncovered the previously unknown taste profiles of more than 100 varieties of seaweed.He has also been participating in menu development for this spring’s "Noma Kyoto" pop-up.

My first encounter with Tosakanori was marked by its distinct scent, which stood out the most among with other varieties of red seaweed. Tosakanori evoked a sensation akin to sniffing flowers, with a wealth of information contained within its fragrance, much like stepping into a florist's shop.

The unique aroma of Tosakanori makes it an exciting ingredient for us culinary developers, as it easily imparts its character to dishes. But finding the right balance is crucial; too much prominence can overwhelm, while too little diminishes its essence.

One notable characteristic of red seaweed, distinct from brown and green varieties, is its ability to dissolve upon heating. However, Tosakanori lacks the gelatinous texture typical of other red seaweeds like agar.

Additionally, the perception of its aroma varies with temperature, with its fragrance more pronounced in chilled dishes. Hence, I found Tosakanori particularly suited for cold appetizers rather than heated preparations.

Experimentation led me to discover the most delicious pairing for Tosakanori: acidity. Not only does it complement the seaweed's flavor profile, but it also induces fascinating changes in color and texture.

Strong acids transform its hue from red to purple, while simultaneously tightening its texture, resulting in a fine, crispy sensation reminiscent of vegetables.

Salads, in particular, serve as an ideal canvas for Tosakanori's versatility. The acidity inherent in salad dressings interacts harmoniously with Tosakanori, elevating it to the status of a primary ingredient. Its robust aroma withstands bold flavor profiles, enriching the overall salad experience.

Tosakanori pairs well with various acidic ingredients, ranging from vinegar to citrus fruits. For instance, combining Tosakanori with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar yields a delightful fusion of flavors.

Alternatively, the addition of berries, such as strawberries or blueberries, introduces a sweet-tart balance.

Pairing it with kimchi offers a tantalizing blend of acidity, aroma, and spiciness, creating a harmonious fusion of flavors.

Moreover, Tosakanori's affinity for red ingredients opens up endless possibilities with vibrat hue. Combining it with Habanori, asparagus, or wild vegetables creates visually striking and flavorful dishes.

When faced with unfamiliar ingredients like Tosakanori, I often draw parallels with familiar ones to unlock its culinary exploration.

Exploring commonalities in fragrance, shape, size, and taste among various ingredients, I discovered that color often serves as the simplest indicator of compatibility. Given the spectrum of red, green, and brown seaweeds, there exists a plethora of ingredients that share similar hues.

For example, if pairing Tosakanori with tomatoes proves successful, I might then experiment with basil, another ingredient that complements tomatoes. If the combination falls short, it suggests that Tosakanori lacks certain qualities present in tomatoes, guiding further experimentation.

By repeatedly experimenting with different ingredients and cooking techniques, new culinary horizons unfold, expanding the repertoire of dishes that can be created using seaweed. This particular Tosakanori, when salted, becomes exceptionally mild and rounded, making it a user-friendly ingredient even for everyone.

Exploring the myriad possibilities of pairing Tosakanori with various ingredients is undoubtedly an exciting endeavor for anyone encountering it for the first time

Exploring the Charm of Tosakanori Seaweed / Navigator: Shui Ishizaka

The feature of Tosakanori is "fragrance with a lot of information like flowers."The first thing I felt was a unique scent. Among the red algae I ate later, the scent is particularly strong.The most delicious thing about trying various dishes was to match the sourness to the tusakanori. Not only is it compatible, but it changes color and texture ...It is definitely interesting to try out what is suitable for the first time you meet.