The charm as a hidden ingredient by Tosakanori

"A scent with a lot of information like flowers"

Navigator: Shui Ishizaka

Shui Ishizaka

Born and raised in Australia, Shui Ishizaka is our culinary virtuoso whose innovative approach to seaweed transforms the ocean's produce into gastronomic masterpieces. His journey to and at Sea Vegetable passes through some of the culinary world’s prestigious kitchens including Tokyo's two-Michelin-starred restaurant INUA and three-Michelin-starred noma’s popup restaurant in Kyoto.

Ishizaka’s philosophy revolves around the narrative of each dish, where the 'why' becomes as important as the 'what'. His work embodies a deep respect for the ingredients’ origins, pairing the known with the unknown. He is a chef who not only envisions a seat for seaweed at the global dining table but also crafts each dish as an invitation to explore, taste, and appreciate the unseen wonders of our oceans.

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

「乾燥 とさかのり」

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