Every time Russell Siu, chef/owner of 3660 On the Rise, has attempted to remove his Ahi Katsu from the menu, customers have risen up in mass revolt.
“It’s been on the menu since the day we opened,” says chef de cuisine Lydell Leong. “We could never take it off.”
And like all good things, the recipe is relatively simple – at least according to Leong.
There is one trick he offers, however: “Dampen the table before you roll the nori, so it doesn’t stick. This is the one time you don’t want crispy nori.”
3660 On the Rise serves about 40 portions of the popular starter each night. Leong says it’s popular for many reasons.
“It’s a combination of hot and cold, cooked and raw,” he says. “And it comes with starch, so it can be an appetizer or an entrÃ©e.”
It’s the perfect recipe – which is why it will likely stay on 3660’s menu forever. Once you’ve mastered the relatively simple steps, it might just stay on your menu forever, too.
Ahi Katsu (With Wasabi-ginger Butter sauce)
Recipe courtesy Lydell Leong, chef de cuisine, 3660 On the Rise Serves 4 Katsu Ingredients:
* 8 ounces sashimi-grade ahi block
* 4 sheets nori
* 1 bunch spinach (stemmed and patted dry)
* 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
* 2 eggs
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 cup flour
* 1 quart vegetable oil
* salt and pepper, to taste
Wasabi-Ginger Butter Sauce Ingredients:
* 1 green onion (chopped)
* 1 inch piece of ginger (peeled and chopped)
* 1 tablespoon wasabi
* 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
* 2 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cut in cubes)
Cut ahi into 1-inch-thick pieces the length of the nori wrapper. Spread nori sheets out and line with spinach. Place one piece of ahi on each sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Top again with spinach. Roll and seal the edge of the nori with water.
Whip eggs with water and flour until consistency reaches that of pancake batter. Put flour in one plate and panko in another. Roll the wrapped ahi into the flour, then into batter mixture, and then into the panko breading, making sure all parts are covered.
Pre-heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry breaded ahi pieces until golden brown. Remove and slice.
Ladle 1 ounce soy sauce onto plate and arrange the ahi slices accordingly.
For Wasabi-Ginger Butter Sauce:
Cook green onion, ginger, wasabi and rice wine vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat and allow mixture to reduce by half. Add cream and reduce by half. Add soy sauce and turn to low heat. Whisk in butter cubes one at a time until incorporated. Remove from heat.