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What's happening with the Iron Chef!

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The Idea of Non-Raw Fish Sushi

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Hi everybody. I hope you are all well!

I received the following e-mail from a fan:

  Dear Morimoto, I’ve watched you on Iron Chef America and you are one of my favorite chefs. The reason I’m saying this is because I’ve enjoyed Asian food since I was little and because I’ve known a friend who is Chinese. I have a question about sushi. I made sushi just a few days ago and it went well but I just used vegetables because I have 2 sisters and a mom who are what you can say are “picky’ when it comes to raw fish. Could you please give some more ideas on ingredients I can use besides carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and cream cheese? Thank you.

First, I want to say thank you very much for your compliment!

Also thank you for sending me a good question. I think many people wonder if there are some ideas of non-raw fish sushi.

The popular non-raw fish ingredients are smoked salmon, crab cake, grilled eel and veggies.

If you are not a vegetarian, you can also use a slice of seared beef, poached shrimp and can of tuna with mayonnaise. If you add some spice like tabasco, black pepper, or Kochujan (Korean hot pepper paste) to tuna & mayonnaise, it will be spicy tuna and perfect for a roll sushi.

For vegetarians, I recommend pickled vegetables. I use pickled vegetable as sushi toppings at my restaurants, too.  Kimchee (Korean spicy pickled vegetables) and scallions are good, too. You can also try various kinds of mushrooms. Cut any kinds of mushroom into bite size, and sauté with butter or olive/sesame oil, add salt and pepper to taste. They are delicious and healthy! You may also want to see my Vegetable Sushi Recipe made with cucumber, avocado, plum tomato, romaine lettuce, red onion and asparagus.

Vegetable Sushi

I hope you will have a fantastic sushi party!


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Vote Jessica Entzel for F&W People’s Best New Pastry Chef

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UPDATE: Jessica Entzel, our pastry chef at Morimoto Napa, is nominated for Food & Wine People’s Best New Pastry Chef!


Chef Morimoto with pastry chef Jes
With Morimoto Napa pastry chef Jessica Entzel

Jessica’s version of the “S’more” is the most popular dessert on the menu. It’s made with a dark chocolate feuilletine, smoked soy chocolate mousse, kurumitsu graham infused ice cream, vanilla marshmallow cream and dark chocolate garnish.

Smore Morimoto Napa
Her passion fruit semifreddo features passion fruit “caviar,” caramelized white chocolate tuile, brown butter sponge, fresh pineapple, micro shiso and black pepper.

Passionfruit semifreddo

This is Jessica’s almond miso cake served with milk chocolate cremeux, toasted sesame, sesame aerated chocolate garnish and peanut butter powder.

Almond miso cake

This is one of my desserts featuring Jessica’s own seasonal additions and unique plating: Tofu cheesecake with compressed strawberries, hibiscus syrup and strawberry hibiscus sorbet.

Tofu cheesecake

Last but not least, Morimoto Napa’s avocado cake with curry ice cream, kaffir cashews, micro shiso, shaved mango, and mango gel.

Morimoto Napa Avocado Cake

I’m so happy that Jessica Entzel of Morimoto Napa has been nominated for Food & Wine People’s Best New Pastry Chef!

Jessica Entzel

Her quintessential dessert? Coconut dacquoise with pickled pineapple, mustard seed and pineapple ginger sorbet.


Stay up to date with what’s going at Morimoto Napa via Facebook and Twitter.

Food & Wine People's Best New Pastry Chef

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More Sushi Art

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As many of you already know, drawing is my hobby. I’d like to share more sushi art with you. Enjoy!

I drew this salmon roe sushi yesterday:

Morimoto Art


photo Sushi wo motsu


And this is my personal favorite:

Morimoto Sushi Art


What do you think?


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Sushi Art

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Drawing is my hobby, so I thought I’d share some of my sushi art with you. Enjoy!

Morimoto's art supplies
My art supplies



Chirashi by Masaharu Morimoto
Chirashi (or “scattered sushi”) is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes



My finger and salmon roe sushi
My finger and salmon roe sushi
Lobster Masala By Masaharu Morimoto
Indian-inspired lobster dish with a Japanese twist



Sushi Neta By Masaharu Morimoto
Neta means sushi topping usually raw fish or other seafood



Sushi assortment
Sushi assortment




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Morimoto Slider and Amstel Light Frozen Beer Shake

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Dear Friends,

I made these sliders this past weekend for Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and demonstrated how to make them on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan. We make these sliders at Morimoto Mexico and they’re made with 100% Wagyu beef.

Make sure to enjoy the burgers with an Amstel Light Frozen Beer Shake! Recipes below. Cheers!

Morimoto Slider Morimoto’s Sliders

For the guacamole:
2 large avocados
1 tablespoon chopped white onion
1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Serrano chili to taste

1. Using a food processor, pulse the mixture until almost smooth.
2. Reserve in a glass bowl with cling film placed directly on the mixture to avoid contact with air.

For the shiitake mushroom mayonnaise:
3 ounces dried shiitake, rehydrated in warm water
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
16 ounces prepared mayonnaise

1. Remove the stem from the rehydrated shiitake mushroom, and chop finely.
2. Mix all ingredient thoroughly, and reserve for assembly.

For the burger glaze:
4 cups water
3 cups sake
2 cups sugar
1 cup soy sauce

1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.
2. Reduce on medium heat until 2/3 in volume, to the texture of heavy syrup.
3. Cool and reserve until assembly.

For the sliders:
2 pounds Wagyu beef or other flavorful beef trim
1 large egg
3.5 ounces Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Mini burger buns

1. Grind beef trim with small die if using Kitchen Aide mixer attachment.
2. Mix all remaining ingredient with paddle attachment on low for four minutes.
3. Shape into 3-5 ounce patties.

Preheat grill or a well-oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Place the sliders on grill. Sear until they are nice and crusty on the first side, about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4 minutes, basting often with the glaze until the desired doneness is reached.

To assemble the sliders, spread the Shitake Mushroom Mayonnaise onto the bottom bun. Add a patty, top with a dollop of guacamole, and a roll top.

Amstel Light Frozen Beer Shake

For the beer sorbet base:
3 cups Amstel Light Beer
1 1/2 cups water
7 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/3 teaspoon hazelnut extract

For the frozen shake:
5 cups frozen beer sorbet base
2 cups Amstel Light Beer

1. In a medium pot, bring water, sugar and light corn syrup to a simmer. Turn the heat off.
2. Add hazelnut extract and cold Amstel Light Beer (3 cups) to cool down. Stir slowly. Let chill in the freezer overnight.
3. Put the beer sorbet and cold Amstel light beer (2 cups) in a blender.
4. Mix well until it becomes slushy and serve in chilled glass bowls or cups. Serves 15.


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Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food

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UPDATE: ‘Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto Honored by the Japanese Government’ featured on the Consulate-General of Japan website. Click here to read it.

I am honored to have received the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Food. I would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

The award was presented to me this past Sunday, February 17, by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York.

Morimoto Receiving Minister's Award from Ambassador Hiroki

The ceremony and reception took place at the ambassador’s residence. Please enjoy the photos from the event.

Ambassador Hiroki presenting the award
Ambassador Hiroki presenting the award
Morimoto Award from Ambassador Hiroki
Receiving my award from Ambassador Hiroki
My acceptance speech
My acceptance speech
Award Ceremony and Reception Program
Ceremony and reception program
With my new award!
With my new award!
I look forward to continue sharing Japanese cuisine with you!
I look forward to continue sharing my love of Japanese cuisine and culture with you!


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Valentine’s Day in Japan & White Chocolate Sorbet

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Dear Friends,

Did you know that Valentine’s Day in Japan is the day for single women to tell one’s feeling to someone she is interested in with a gift of chocolate? It’s from women to men only! Men don’t give anything to women on Valentine’s Day in Japan. For couples, women are also supposed to give chocolates to their boyfriend/husband.

We also developed a strange tradition for V-Day. Because of the idea that women give chocolate to men on that day, at the workplace, women are expected to give all the male co-workers some chocolate called “Giri Choco,” which are usually small inexpensive chocolates. Giri refers to “out of courtesy” or “social obligation.”

How are you spending Valentine’s Day? If you’d like to celebrate by making something simple and sweet, please enjoy my recipe for White Chocolate Sorbet. Wishing you a sweet Valentine’s Day!

White Chocolate Sorbet by Chef Morimoto

















White Chocolate Sorbet

Makes about 1 ½ pints (675ml)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces (225g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth.

2. Let the sorbet base cool to room temperature. Whisk again and turn into an ice cream machine. Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions; it will be softly frozen. Transfer to a covered container and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight until firm.

You can also use this sorbet as a topping for a chocolate tart (as shown above), variety of fruit, etc.

Morimoto The New Art of Japanese Cooking




For the Chocolate Tart Recipe, please see page 245 in Morimoto: The Art of Japanese Cooking.








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Holiday Sukiyaki

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Dear Friends,

Christmas is just around the corner. Did you already prepare a gift for your loved ones? Do you have any plans for Christmas dinner? Meatloaf, roast chicken, roast turkey? Why don’t you add a Japanese dish to your traditional Christmas dinner this year? Maybe it will become a family favorite!

For family Christmas dinner, I recommend “Sukiyaki.” Sukiyaki is known as a friendship dish in Japan, a one-pot meal which is usually cooked at the table as you eat with your friends. The main ingredients in sukiyaki are beef, which is thinly sliced, and vegetables and tofu. Meat and other ingredients are simmered in a soy sauce based soup.

Here is a sukiyaki recipe, which is fully cooked in the kitchen and served on the table. Some of the ingredients may be available only in Asian grocery stores. But you can do with substitutions. You can use chicken instead of beef. Or for vegetarian, just eliminate meat and add more tofu and vegetables. Enjoy!


  • 1 lb. thinly sliced beef (for chicken, cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 package shirataki noodles (made from yam cakes), washed and drained, cut into 3-inch lengths. *This is optional.
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half
  • 1 pack of enoki mushroom, the bottom trimmed. *If you cannot find enoki, use regular mushrooms and cut in half.
  • 1 bunch of scallion, washed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, washed and cut into 2-inch wide pieces. *Green cabbage is fine, too.
  • 1 pack yaki-tofu (grilled tofu) or firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch of shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) if available, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

*Other recommended vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, onion, daikon radish, kale, bean sprouts. Try any other vegetables of your preference!

For the sukiyaki sauce you will need:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup water


1. Slice the yaki-tofu in half horizontally and cut into bite-size cubes. Place a large sauté pan on a medium heat. Lightly oil the pan. If you use firm tofu, grill the pieces on the pan, turning once, until brown on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. Let them cool. Cut the pieces into bite-size cubes.

2. Put water into a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring to a boil. Add the shirataki and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 minute to lightly cook, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

3. Choose a shallow pot, preferably ceramic, which can go from the stove to the table. Or use a chafing dish. Pour soy sauce, sake, sugar, and water into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add beef and sauté for 1 minute. Add Chinese cabbage, tofu, mushrooms, other vegetables, and return the liquid to a boil. Add the reserved shirataki noodles. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer the pot to a table and serve. Please be careful for the hot pot. For family with children, serve into individual bowls before serving.

If you want to see a professional version of Sukiyaki recipe, check my cookbook “Morimoto The New Art of Japanese Cooking” on page 142, “Chicken Sukiyaki”.

Happy Holidays!

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Getting Ready for Flavor! Napa Valley

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Dear Friends,

I’m excited to work with Napa Valleys’ top chefs at Flavor! Napa Valley, which will take place from Nov. 14-Nov. 18, 2012.

  I will be participating in the following events:

  • Wednesday, November 14Chef Kang and I will be at First Taste Napa, a small-plates kick-off accompanied by tastes of fine wine poured by Napa Valley’s legendary wineries to whet the appetite for the week’s main events.
  • Friday, November 16  – The Napa Valley Appellation Trail will take place at The Culinary Institute of America’s historic Greystone building in St. Helena. You’ll encounter more than 100 wineries pouring everything from Albariño to Zinfandel along with savories and delectables from over two-dozen of Napa Valley’s best restaurants.
  • Saturday, November 17 – Join me for a once-in-a-lifetime interactive lunch experience. After I give a demonstration, we will make a meal together and sit down together to eat it. Prepare to work hard!

Check out the complete schedule for Flavor! Napa Valley HERE.

At my “Sushi and Sashimi 101” demo at Flavor! Napa Valley 2011.

The event is for a good cause: Proceeds from will go to programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America. Come celebrate wine and food with us during this year’s Flavor! Napa Valley fun.

I look forward to seeing you there.


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Aloha, Maui!

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Dear Friends,

I’m happy to announce that Morimoto Maui will be opening at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort & Spa in the summer of 2013! This will be my second restaurant in Hawaii since opening Morimoto Waikiki in 2010.

Photo: Andaz Maui

At Morimoto Maui, the menu will focus on Hawaii’s freshest, local ingredients executed with traditional Japanese techniques. We are working with the Rockwell Group on the design of the restaurant, which will feature a 57-seat interior dining area, 56-seat outdoor terrace, and 23-seat terrace bar. There will also be an 8-seat sushi bar serving sushi and sashimi. I am excited that you will be able to see the beach and ocean from every seat in the house! 

Check out the most recent Morimoto Maui coverage in USA Today, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Maui News, and Eater.  For more information, please visit www.andazmaui.com.

Stay tuned and looking forward!