Once again, it is Throwdown Thursday! Woohoo! In case you missed the first one, or have absolutely no idea what I’m referring to, Throwdown Thursday is inspired by the popular Food network television program – Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, his mission was to challenge cooks renowned for a specific dish or type of cooking to a cook-off of their signature dish. Both chefs will prepare their own version of the dish and the judges will have blind taste tests to decide the winner. Here at BNF, I plan to recreate some of the restaurants’ signature dishes I’ve tasted and love. The two “judges” for this dish were my hubby and mother-in-law. 😛
I had my first wagyu beef bowl at Aoki (one of the best Japanese restaurant in Singapore, in my opinion). It was one of those rare birthday treats where we decided to splurge on a nice meal. My companion and I were almost done with our omakase courses but felt we needed some carbs to sum up the dinner. The chef recommended their wagyu beef bowl. I was like: “Erm chef, is the portion size big? I don’t think I could finish a bowl by myself.” The chef assured me: “Mini portion only, don’t worry”. I trusted the chef (even though I have no clue how mini the portion was) and thought to myself, my companion could have the rest of my portion if I can’t finish it. Seated at the counter, I could see the chef assembling our rice bowls swiftly.
When the bowls arrived in front of us, I was immediately hit by a wave of truffle scent. Whoa! The wagyu beef bowl was nothing like I had imagined. The bottom was laid with a thin layer of Japanese rice mixed with furikake, about 6 or 7 pieces of top grade melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef slices, topped with slivers of white truffles. Oh, and right in the middle was one of the most perfect-looking onsen egg I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, my bowl was wiped clean.
Few months ago, I found another restaurant famed for their Wagyu Donburi. I’m sure most of you would have already known. Located at Camden Medical Centre, Fat Cow was opened in 2011. It is a Japanese inspired steakhouse and there are tons of positive reviews about their Wagyu Donburi. When my beef bowl came, the presentation was an array of red, green, black and white colors…stunning. There was a difference in the grade of wagyu used between these two restaurants. Aoki’s wagyu was definitely more marbled, hence, the significant difference in prices. But overall, I had a great time at Fat Cow too.
Okay, before anyone thinks I’m blogging about restaurants instead of recipes, I was giving everyone a brief story on this month’s throw down – Wagyu Donburi. Also, instead of using fresh truffles (mainly because of cost constraint :-P), I’m substituting them with Carpaccio di Tartufo (sliced truffles in oil – see below pic). You can find them in meat grocer stores or selected supermarkets. This throwdown recipe is inspired by both Aoki and Fat Cow.
10 oz (300 g) wagyu steak
2 stalks spring onion – slice white part thinly, chop green part finely
2 tsp sliced truffles in oil
Furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)
Salt and pepper
Recipe inspired by: Aoki & Fat Cow
2 large cold eggs (get pasteurized, if possible)
1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp water
1 liter of water (or enough to cover the eggs) + 250 ml room temp water
Recipe source: Papadesuyo
Cook the rice in a rice cooker. 30 mins before meal time, prepare the eggs. Fill the pot with water and bring to boil.
Remove from heat and add in room temperature water and corn starch mixture. Stir well.
Use a pair of tongs and slowly put in the eggs one by one. Cover the pot with lid and set the timer at 10 mins. * if using 4 eggs, set timer for 12 mins
When 10 mins is up, remove the eggs and put them in cold water to cool. Gently crack your egg open and slide into a small bowl.
Take the wagyu steak out from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for about 15 mins. If you cook steak straight from the fridge, chances are you won’t be able to achieve the desired doneness.
Heat a large griddle pan or flat non-stick pan to medium high heat. Season your steak generously with salt. Sprinkle desired amount of ground black pepper. Drizzle some olive oil over your steak and place it into the pan. Allow it to sizzle for 1 min without touching it. Depend on how you like steak, adjust the cooking time accordingly. The standard doneness for Wagyu Donburi is medium rare. For rough guide on cooking time, please click on here.
Remove the steak and let it rest on a plate. Now, you can start to assemble your donburi. Put desired amount of rice and furikake in bowl and mix well.
Slice the beef at a 45 degree angle and lay them evenly on top of the rice. Gently slide the onsen egg on top and garnish with spring onions and sliced truffles with oil. Serve with a bowl of miso soup and salad.