Chef Shuko Oda is a food hero in London for the authentic and unfussy Japanese dishes she serves at Koya udon noodle restaurant.
Her focus is on generosity over gentility, with steaming bowls of sustenance served to hungry diners seated elbow-to-elbow at counters or at shared tables, where hospitality goes hand-in-hand with value and integrity.
Well, that was how life was at Koya — with restaurants in Soho and the City financial district — before the arrival of Covid-19, which has temporarily closed both and derailed the whole trend toward counter dining in London.
Shuko was born in the U.K. and has worked as a chef in Japan. For Bloomberg, she has supplied a recipe for a lamb rice bowl topped with a Japanese-style poached egg: Lamb Cumin Miso Donburi With Onsen Tamago.
I tried it at home and found the egg to be the trickiest part. If you haven’t poached an egg this way before, it’s worth practicing ahead of time. I managed to under cook the egg. Most of the ingredients should be available in stores or online, though I have to confess that I went with salad leaves from my local supermarket, rather than tracking down mizuna.
Even with my shortcomings as a home cook, and the inelegance of my dish, it was delicious.
Ingredients (serves three)
600 grams (21 ounces) of minced lamb shoulder
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 clove of garlic (grated)
3g ginger (grated)
10g ground coriander
28g ground cumin
90 milliliters (3 fluid ounces) cooking sake
30 ml soy sauce
150-200g red miso
3 medium eggs
Salad leaves: gem lettuce, oakleaf, butterheads and mizuna (a few leaves per person)
Herbs: coriander, spring onion, shiso and mint (a small handful per person)
300g Japanese short-grain rice
Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and Instagram @richard.vines.
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