Eric Jung, head chef of Asia Asia speaks to BBC Good Food Middle East about how home cooks can improve their Japanese cooking skills.
What are your tips for home cooks making maki sushi?
A lot of people are making maki sushi at home. They’re cooking the steamed rice without soaking and proper washing. First, rice should be washed with running water using your hands. Repeat this step up to 3 – 5 times (First washing should be quickly done because much bad flavor will come out in the first washing.) or until the water becomes clear. After washing the rice soak the rice for at 20mins (summer), 30mins (winter). Then drain after 30mins. They will all also find the maki sushi breaks easily when cutting it up. My tip is to add a little water on your knife then, you can cut more easily.
What’s your favorite Japanese food to make, and what tips can you give to home cooks wanting to recreate it at home?
I usually make variations of miso soup at home. First, prepare a regular miso soup, then add leek, bean sprout, tofu, egg, and Sriracha sauce. It’ll be a flavoursome, spicy miso soup.
In your opinion what are the most exciting up and coming trends with Japanese cuisine?
I believe contemporary izakaya cuisine is extremely exciting and will carry on the strong trend of Japanese cuisine.
Is there one food that you’re secretly obsessed with having at home?
I’m currently making own my vinegar, with different flavours; mango, pomegranate and cumquat. Homemade vinegar can be used to drink with sparkling water or as a salad dressing with olive oil.
On a personal level, what qualities that you possess have contributed to your success?
Being an early bird, preparation is always the key.