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Posts by ChrisLehrer

I gather you're a natto fan. Hmm.   It does grow on you. If you don't eat it fairly quickly, it also grows on whatever it's near. Oddly, that's a good thing.   I'm not convinced that something which slowly creeps out and eats everything around it is genuinely food, but.... Ahhhhh... choo!
Hmm. OK: The sort of dashi you have in mind has two basic components: a salt/smoke/sea thing and an umami thing. The former usually comes from katsuobushi or niboshi; the latter almost always comes from kombu.   My suggestion on dried mushrooms was intended to acquire the umami flavor with a bit of that smoke thing you get from katsuobushi (which is smoke-dried or smoked, depending on who's doing it and how). And you are absolutely right: you will not get that same taste...
Hi, Dr. Carl (guessing from your tag),   As far as I understand it, in the United States what you are looking for is usually called skipjack tuna. On the Pacific coast, it may be called bonito, but on the Atlantic coast "bonito" is likely to refer to something quite different, though not entirely dissimilar from a basic gastronomic perspective. And there is a HUGE amount of skipjack -- this is not endangered like bluefin and such. So, ok there.   The problem is...
Somehow I missed this discussion. In case anyone notices it:   The usuba is the Japanese traditionalist professional's vegetable knife, teamed with a deba (for breaking fish and for very heavy mincing) and a yanagiba (for slicing raw fish). All other knives are, from this point of view, specialists; these three are the generalists, and most especially the usuba is the workhorse or anchor of the kitchen. It's fabulous for vegetables, and pretty rotten for everything...
French Fries:   This is THE big issue with induction, I've found, after a great deal of research. For the home cook, the options -- especially in the US, but to some degree in Europe and Asia as well (don't know about elsewhere) -- tend to be limited on this crucial thing, the heat settings. Basically we normally get X number of settings; pros, especially in Europe, get an open-ended dial or slider. There is in fact no special reason why an induction burner can't...
Ed:   Lingonberries are wonderful, to be sure. But juniper and venison is good -- in all likelihood, if you remember clearly that you don't like the taste, there was far too much. To my mind, it's a lot like the various anise-type herbs, from chervil and tarragon to fennel to whatever. A whisper of chervil is magic; when tarragon becomes a fad and there's a pound of it on the fish, it's horrible. You know?   I think you shouldn't be able to identify the juniper in your...
I got a Masamoto VG for my wife and it's really quite wonderful. Personally, I am a convert to single-beveled knives, but I must admit that this VG is a treat to use. So easy! In many ways, it reminds me of my first really serious knife purchase, a Masamoto KS wa-gyuto.   The thing is, these knives don't really look like anything, and they seem almost bland in a way. And when you cut with them, everything is precisely perfect. You keep waiting for bells and whistles,...
Well, yes and no. There is an important distinction to be made here -- one that, some years ago when I started to get interested in knives (while in Japan), I utterly misunderstood.   There are really three categories here, not two. You have two binary distinctions: Japanese-made/Western-made, Japanese-style/Western-style. Since there is no such thing as a Western-made Japanese-style knife, or not worth speaking of, there are effectively only three kinds of knives...
Sal, I'm a little confused. What's the question? You want to debate what scalloped, serrated, and those terms mean, properly speaking? Or something else?   Sorry -- I may be exhausted (long, weird, ugly day at work!), but I'm a little uncertain.
Hi Philip,   In all likelihood, your sense of "razor sharp" is getting in the way here, so let's not sweat that. What you want is "so sharp it will do everything I want it to do much more easily than I have any right to expect." Something like that.   At base, the roughly 1000-2000 mark is the core for good-quality Japanese knives. Below this is for fixing things, and above this is for polishing. You don't really get sharper as you go up above this level, but the...
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