Mumbai Food: Boston-based chef Ting Yen is in city with week-long pop-up menu

Nov 15, 2017, 09:25 IST | Shraddha Uchil

Boston-based chef Ting Yen, who is in Mumbai for a week with a new pop-up menu, talks about reinventing Jap nosh and offers a quick tutorial

"To create Japanese food for Yuuka, I had to eat a lot of Indian food to understand what flavours Indians like," says Boston-based South Korean chef Ting Yen, who is in the city for a week to helm a new pop-up menu at his Lower Parel restaurant, Yuuka.

Taro tempura with purple sweet potato
Taro tempura with purple sweet potato

Those expecting traditional Japanese flavours on the new menu will be disappointed, as chef Yen has no qualms about mixing things up. "Over the weekend, I made salmon tacos [with a Japan-inspired filling] for a sit-down dinner, and people loved them so much that we ended up making 200," he says.

chef Ting Yen with salmon tacos, stuffed with salmon, avocado, tobiko, cherry tomato and a citrus soy reduction. pics/falguni agrawal
Chef Ting Yen with salmon tacos, stuffed with salmon, avocado, tobiko, cherry tomato and a citrus soy reduction. pics/Falguni Agrawal

Seeing our faces light up, he makes a batch for us. "They're good, right?" he asks. They are, indeed. We also sample other whimsical but delicious preparations like curry basil shrimp on fire, taro tempura with purple sweet potato, and seared salmon fresh orange, all novel and colourful creations we had least expected to find at a Japanese fine-dine. Before we head out, we ask chef Yen to teach us how to put together a simple dish for our next house party.

Till November 19, 12 pm to 3 pm, 7.30 pm to 11.45 pm
At Yuuka by Ting Yen, Level 37, The St Regis, Lower Parel.
Call 61628422

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Making temaki sushi with chef Ting Yen

Making sushi at home may not be as difficult as you might think. Most people think of nigiri or maki sushi when you mention Japanese food, but getting these right requires years of practice. However, there is a simple form of sushi you can make in the comfort of your home, and it's called temaki sushi (hand roll).

dry roasted seaweed

Make sure you keep all the ingredients for your filling handy in little bowls next to you. To hold the filling, you will need small rectangular sheets of nori (dry roasted seaweed). These are available at most supermarkets that stock imported ingredients.

Hold the nori in one hand, while you spoon the sushi rice (recipes are available online) onto a side with your other hand. Then, you can add a filling of your choice, be it seafood (salmon, tuna, and scallops are popular choices), vegetables (cucumber, avocado, daikon radish) or mushrooms.

Roll the bottom left corner up to the middle of the top edge of the nori, and continue rolling till you have an ice cream cone-shaped sushi roll.

At the end, you can drizzle some soy sauce on the roll. Serve fresh.

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