Food, Home & Lifestyle

Yakimono: Grilled Tuna

Niki Nakayama

Lesson time 19:44 min

When grilling, your choice of fuel will impact the final flavor. Learn the slow, subtle method of grilling over binchotan, a special charcoal used in Japanese cooking.

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Topics include: Yakimono: Grilled Tuna


[MUSIC PLAYING] - We will be preparing our yakimono dish, which is actually one of my favorite dishes, because I really love grilling and I really love the flavor of grilling. So today, we're going to be using binchotan instead of a standard grill or barbecue. What I really enjoy about binchotan grilling is the flavor that the binchotan themselves impart onto whatever it is we're cooking. It's such a unique flavor, and I think something about it is always reminiscent of the woods, and it's just very unique. I think it's what makes Japanese grilling that much more interesting and that much more flavorful. Here we have two types of binchotan. The one you see here, the larger pieces, this is a compressed type of binchotan, where it's made up of different types of wood compressed together. The tendency for this kind is to burn a lot faster, and it's also a little bit more smoky, whereas this hardwood one, it'll burn a little bit slower and the temperatures will get a little bit higher. Today we're going to use the real binchotan and start that process of heating it up. Carol, will you take the reins while I take care of the tuna? So once again, we're working with tuna. And as you can see, sometimes the color changes. And when the color changes and we can't use it for sashimi or sushi or raw consumption, we always want to think of delicious ways to treat it and cook it so that we can enjoy them in other forms. And what better way to enjoy this delicious piece of tuna than binchotan? We're going to marinate it first and then we're going to skewer them and then grill it directly. So I'm going to go ahead and portion this out. And then as the binchotan is heating, Carol is going to help make our marinade sauce. Carol's going to cook off the alcohol in the sake and the mirin for our sauce in the pan so we can get our marinade ready. - So this pan is on a high heat, and we're just going to try and burn off the alcohol. Because there's so much surface area on here, as the mirin and sake are warming up, they are already releasing some of their alcoholic vapors. - It heats up pretty fast. - Yeah, it heats up pretty fast. - And while we're waiting for that, I'm just going to go ahead and pour in our soy sauce. And we will be using our regular soy sauce, which is the darker soy sauce. And the ratio for this dish, it would be two part soy sauce, one part sake, one part mirin. Then we're going to add in the ginger. Great. And a little bit of the garlic. - Once you tilt it and the vapors catch the flame from the stove, you can go ahead and turn down the heat from high to just slightly lower. You still want to keep it hot enough so that the vapors continue to burn off, but you want to be careful not to overheat it so that the sugars in the mirin caramelize and burn onto the pan. - Go ahead, please. - I'm just going to gently pour that in. - Okay, and last I'm going to add our sugar. And ...

About the Instructor

The chef and owner of two-Michelin-starred restaurant n/naka in Los Angeles, Niki Nakayama is celebrated for her modern interpretation of kaiseki, a traditional Japanese cuisine. With her partner and sous chef, Carole, Niki will teach you techniques for preparing sashimi, tempura, perfect rice, and more. Learn how to make dishes that honor fresh ingredients as Niki shows you how to cook with care and gratitude.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Niki Nakayama

Niki Nakayama of two-Michelin-starred n/naka teaches you how to honor fresh ingredients with her innovative take on Japanese home cooking techniques.

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