For us it is getting harder and harder to eat out and be satisfied with the amount of money we spend and the meal we eat. This is, in part, due to where we live and the dining options around us. We often end up feeling we could have had a really great bottle of wine and some incredible food at home for the price we pay for a glass of wine and a mediocre meal out. What we have come to realize, is that the truly great restaurants we have visited begin to stand out as memorable events both for the food and for the experience. One of those restaurants was Morimoto in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We ate there before we had a food blog and while we were only about two years into our relationship. You know, that time when everything you do is still special and well thought out. At least it was for us as we lived eight hours apart and seeing each other was a bit of an effort. We had planned this incredible trip to Philadelphia mostly so that one of us could experience some American history and finally quiet down about the Red Coats. We wanted to eat somewhere fantastic and not run of the mill. From the minute we phoned to reserve a table until we left the restaurant this place was impeccable.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a severe shellfish allergy. Now you might wonder why we would even go to a Japanese restaurant with a shellfish allergy…and in most cases you would be right. Why risk it? When making the reservation we informed the host that one of us had an allergy to shellfish. When we arrived at the restaurant our server immediately made suggestions for dishes that would be able to be presented shellfish free. We did not need to remind anyone. They just knew. This was a while ago- maybe even five years ago- informing servers of food allergies was not so common then. We were impressed from the beginning.
The restaurant was stunning- modern and sleek. The lighting subtly changed throughout the meal so that you would be sitting in green light and then realize it was purple. It made the entire experience quite visual, which we loved.
Even now, five years later, we still think of it as one of our favorite dining experiences. We loved eating there and we love using our Morimoto, The New Art of Japanese Cooking cookbook at home. Tonight we wanted a sauce to accompany our simple steak. This recipe for garlic-soy jus is from that book.
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped, peeled, fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup veal reduction
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small onion, peeled
The garlic and ginger were placed on our cutting board and chopped together until they were minced.
They were sprinkled with 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and then chopped and smeared with the flat side of the knife until they formed a paste at which point we transferred them to a bowl.
The recipe called for veal reduction, but as we were making this last minute all we had in our freezer was beef stock or duck stock. We opted for the beef stock and so heated it and then added the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, reaming sugar and paste and stirred to dissolve the sugar. The onion was then grated into the hot liquid.
This sauce stood for an hour to allow the flavors to blend. The book states that it can sit in the fridge for a week (covered) but should be reheated before using. We opted to strain our sauce (as we were attempting to get our kids to eat it and didn’t know how they would feel about the texture) before spooning it over the steak. It made quite a lot and we were certain that we would either store or freeze the rest. The truth is it was so bloody good that once we finished dinner we all (kids included) just sat around and dipped the freshly baked (and warm) sourdough bread in what was left. Shamelessly.
If you are looking for a way to change up your steak this is highly recommended. The flavors are incredible.