January 30, 2019

Your crab, my beef

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DaRC pinged me a couple of days ago, asking whether Hello Kitty and I were free for dinner.  He was bringing back some beef from California and generously chose to share it with us.  At first I thought he might be playing home chef again, but as it turns out, he struck a deal with Spam Raw Bro to do it at Nikushou.  This would be the second BYOBeef dinner I've had with him...

Raw Bro generously offered to serve up dishes to accompany the steaks, and we were particularly looking forward to the Echizen Japanese snow crab.  But first, a few bites to nibble on:

Glass shrimp (白海老) - pretty fresh and texture was still a little crunchy.

Yellowtail (鰤)

Beef sushi (牛寿司) - apparently this was made with thin slices of the tip of tenderloin of Hida beef (飛騨牛), and according to Raw Bro this cannot be cooked and must be eaten raw.  Well... he must know what he's talking about, since he is, after all, Raw Bro...

The funny thing is that the shari (シャリ) actually came from these packs of pre-cooked rice from Sukiyabashi Jiro (すきやばし 次郎)...  Speechless...

Rice cakes with cured mullet roe (カラスミ餅) - loved this combination, which totally sticks to one's teeth.  Even more interesting when it's battered and deep-fried as tempura (天麩羅).

Then came the crab... Raw Bro picked out two Japanese snow crabs (ズワイ蟹) from Echizen (越前), and asked us to choose one.  And of course these special crabs needed a special presentation from Dumb and Dumber...

We ended up choosing this one because it had more eggs of the kanibiru (カニビル) leeches that have been deposited on its shell.  Apparently more eggs on the shell equates to more time passed since the crab last molted, so the crab should be more meaty.  Of course it came with the yellow plastic tag as proof of origin.

The crab looked like this after steaming...

Raw Bro quickly took the crab apart, and served each of us one of the crab's legs.  Very, very delish.

There was plenty of tomalley (蟹味噌) in the shell...

...which was grilled as korayaki (甲羅焼き), after having been filled with crab meat from the body.  Needless to say, this was pretty awesome.

Next came two small bowls of vegetables.  This one had tofu, burdock (牛蒡), and red carrots in a thickened dashi (出汁) with yuzu (柚子) zest.

We also had some Napa cabbage in a ginger-flavored starchy sauce with some crab meat.

Time to move on to some ro ro, and first up we had chuck tender (トウガラシ).  This came from Hokkaido and was dry-aged for 40 days.

These were grilled very, very quickly - even shorter than the recommended time at Yoroniku (よろにく) in Tokyo.

Very nice, and texture was more chewy than I had expected.

Finally, we are now getting to the beef that DaRC brought back.  One could be mistaken for thinking that this dinner was taking place at his home, because the guy brought his own stock pot and sous-vide stick, his own tongs, and three different types of salt.  I was surprised he didn't bring his own knives...

First up was a bone-in ribeye from NorCal, from a cattle that was grass fed but grain-finished, and dry-aged for about 45 days.

DaRC picked up the tongs and took over the grilling from Raw Bro.

We tasted the rib cap first, which was very tasty along with nice charring.

The ribeye was certainly tasty.

The bits around the bone, with charred bits of fat and tendon, were particularly delectable.

The next piece was a striploin from the same type of cattle but aged a little longer to around 70 days.

Not surprisingly the charred bits at the edges were very, very tasty, but the main part of the meat was certainly very good in its own right.  In fact, I loved the cheesy flavors resulting from the extended dry-aging process.  This was my favorite tonight.

The New York strip came from Mishima Reserve (見島特選), dry-aged for about 60 days.

Loved the strip of fat down the side, while the texture was definitely a little more firm.

The last piece of the night was a Gold Grade American Wagyu striploin from Snake River Farms.

This had very nice and meaty flavors.

Of course we brought a few bottles along...

2015 Jobard-Morey Meursault Les Narvaux - pretty toasty nose, with a nice dose of acidity and some ripeness on the palate.

1996 Lynch-Bages, en magnum - served 1 hour and 45 minutes after decanting.  Breathed a little too much so that the sweet fruit that was present after opening was gone.  Just smoky, with a hint of earthiness, and green peppers.  A bit too flat on the palate, but the nose was pretty fragrant.

Gikyo Junmai Ginjo Genshu 60% (義俠 純米吟醸原酒), 30BYseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 60%. Sweet on the attack but turned pretty dry and spicy.  Later on much drier on the palate.

Kamonishiki Junmai Daiginjo Namazume Genshu Version 7.5  (加茂錦 純米大吟醸 生詰原酒 Ver 7.5), BY29 - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%.  Much stronger fermented rice nose, with lots of banana.  Really sweet on the palate, with some dryness and spiciness on the finish.

Kokuryu Shizuku (黒龍しずく), 29BYseimaibuai (精米歩合) of 35%.  Really sweet nose with some fermented rice notes.

This was a really fun evening, and we were certainly spoiled with lots of good food.  Many thanks to Dumb and Dumber our hosts for the wonderful treat.

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