A Stir The Pots Post

What’s in a salad?

by | Feb 19, 2007 | Recipes

Ariyoshi Japanese restaurant was where I went last night for dinner. Having failed to go out shopping for supplies due to circumstance that most likely included that I was just too lazy to cook again! (After all I do it for a living!) So I went and as usual I had the usual, something that in my line of work would seem like I don’t try too many new things? Well when jonesing for a certain dish as I do when visiting this local, I choose the Sunnyside roll an Ariyoshi salad and a phat Sapporo beer!
Now this gets me into diverging subject matters albeit that they are somewhat related.It’s the Carrot salad dressing or

Ginger Dressing

Hiroshi’s Ginger Carrot Dressing

vinaigrette for you foodie types! It’s that dressing that sits on the salad that is the meat and potatoes of this story.

Now I take a short U-Turn here into story time… I had this job a long while back in another private executive palace, that one being a music-entertainment entity, guess which one? Well we had a few fabulous sushi chefs working there
and this place was the brainchild of no other than Barry Wine of The Quilted Giraffe fame.  That 80’s midtown noshery where some of the happenings in the kitchen could of been mistaken for some bacchanalian fête; Imagine the history channel meets Iron chef or picture  Roman senators wives meet glace de viande and saran wrap during a re-run of cheesy  movie on TCM! Sorry I’ve strayed from topic.

Hiroshi Nakahara

Hiroshi at work

One particular sushi chef was the one and only Hiroshi Nakahara  of Bond St. in Soho.

I used to enjoy his sushi and tried to figure out how he made this carrot dressing for the longest time. We brainstormed after after lunch; I still have the card where he wrote it down for me. You have to imagine him trying to explain what he had written down all the while flailing his arms and doing this aahhhh sort of sound!
If you look closely the numbers have no corresponding measurements, grams or

Ariyoshi salad

Sushi Salad

ounces, let alone a cup!(My only guess was some sort of ratio in chef speak?) Well what to do? Go looking for someone working at Ariyoshi and wait for them to give up the secrets? Nah, just go into the home kitchen and give the best shot, hell one way or another, you will be hungry enough to and well it could be better? This same recipe was tried with miso, but I found it too smooth when pulsed in a blender, the miso had too much overpowering a taste that you lost the carrot flavor. In Hiro’s recipe he adds soy, being a total western type I went with sea salt, French of course! I also used grape seed oil to avoid an overly olive oil taste, back then we had some organic Spanish oil and we liked to splurge on the Chefs food cost…That guy is a whole different story in himself! So tonight I think I perfected it and it has even more flavor, could be the fresh cracked pepper!

Serves 2-4 (depending how hungry you are?)
All the vegetables are finely grated(mind your fingers!)
1 carrot peeled
a small knob of ginger about 1/4 inch piece
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons white onion
1/3 cup mirin
1/4c rice vinegar
1cup grape seed oil or canola
salt and pepper to taste

Grate all the vegetables into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning.If you have a juicer, just juice vegetables,add pulp back into juice and rest of the ingredients. Adjust to taste when seasoning as well you may also need to adjust vinegar and oil ratio according to your taste!

At Ariyoshi they make a salad with wakame,avocadoes,tomatoes, red cabbage, boston lettuce,watercress.
Use your imagination, I on the other hand like that combo and well was too lazy tonight!


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