If you read Laurie Winer's story about L.A. cookbooks and chef David Myers, you may have had a lot of reactions — one of which might have been hunger. Sure, you can go to Comme Ça and eat Myers' take on French bistro food. But, if you frequented Sona (late, lamented) or have visited Myers' Tokyo restaurant, you'll know that the chef is known for his Japanese-influenced cuisine. Which, yes, you can make yourself. Really. Turn the page for two of Myers' recipes.
Soy-marinated tuna with tofu puree
From: David Myers
1 small white onion or large shallot
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
2 cups soy sauce
2 lb big-eye tuna steak
1. Roughly chop onion, garlic, ginger and pepper. Mix them and the soy sauce in a bowl big enough to also hold the tuna.
2. Bring six cups of water to boil. While it heats, fill a second large bowl with icy cold water and set next to the sink. Place tuna steak in a colander in the sink. When the water has boiled, pour half of it over the fish, then turn the tuna over and pour the rest of the boiling water. Then swiftly plunge the tuna steak in the cold water. Remove quickly and pat tuna dry with a paper towel.
3. Place tuna in marinade and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 40 minutes to an hour, turning once. While the fish chills, make the puree.
14 ounces organic firm tofu
½ medium size white onion
1 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
¼ cup canola oil plus three tablespoons
1 teaspoon white soy sauce
Pinch of salt
1. To drain the tofu, press it between two flat dinner plates. Weigh down the top plate with small cast-iron skillet or something equally heavy. Refrigerate. After a half-hour, tip off excess liquid. Return to fridge for more draining. After another half-hour, pat tofu dry with a paper towel. Chop tofu into one-inch pieces.
2. Roughly chop onion, ginger and garlic. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté, taking care not to burn, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the white soy sauce, salt and tofu and stir. Heat until the tofu is cooked through, about 7 more minutes. Cool briefly. Transfer the tofu and its sauce to a blender. While blending, slowly add ¼ cup canola oil, pausing to scrape the sides with a spatula. When all the oil has been poured, the puree is ready.
4. Slice tuna into ½-inch slices or thinner and arrange on plate. Top each piece with a plump dollop of puree and serve.
Steak with burnt herbs, garlic mushrooms and daikon-ponzu dipping sauce
From: David Myers
3 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs marjoram
½ cup daikon radish, lightly peeled and grated
2 myoga onions or shallots, peeled and minced
½ cup ponzu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups mushrooms – shiitake, maitake or button, trimmed and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 ½ lbs beef strip loin (or 24 ounces, allowing for 6 ounces per person)
Handful of daikon sprouts or chopped parsley or microgreens
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place rosemary, thyme and marjoram in a microwave for a minute on high. This will dry out the herbs so that they do not burn too quickly when you put them on the grill.
2. Mix grated daikon, myoga onions (or shallot) and ponzu. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet until hot but not smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they release their juices, about six minutes. Lower heat and throw in garlic. Season with salt and pepper. You can keep this on lowest heat while you cook the steak.
4. Season strip loin with salt and pepper and place it on a hot grill. Cook about three to five minutes and turn. After you turn it, place the dried herbs on top of the meat. Cook for another three to five minutes.
5. Divide steak onto four plates. Top meat with daikon sprouts, parsley or microgreens. Serve mushrooms on the side and the daikon-ponzu sauce in separate bowls for dipping.