Japan calling Italy

Identità Milano and five great Italian chefs tackling ingredients from the Land of the Rising Sun

15-02-2014
by Annalisa Cavaleri
Haruo Ichikawa chef at restaurant Iyo in Milan, in

Haruo Ichikawa chef at restaurant Iyo in Milan, in Jetro’s (Japan External Trade Organization) corner at Identità Milano 2014. Famous Italian chefs such as Cristina Bowerman, Luigi Taglienti, Carlo Cracco, Moreno Cedroni and brothers Christian and Manuel Costardi dealt with the interpretation of some great products from the Land of the Rising Sun. A big success

What happens when five Italian chefs meet five typical Japanese products? A whirlwind of ideas swirls, creating out-of-the-ordinary recipes. This is exactly what happened at Identità Golose during the event promoted by Jetro, the Japan External Trade Organization. The Colourful favours of Japan project, indeed has the objective of making Japanese products known in Italy, so that they can become excellent allies when preparing original and flavourful recipes. So in front of Paolo Marchi and master Haruo Ichikawa, Cristina Bowerman, Luigi Taglienti, Carlo Cracco, Moreno Cedroni and brothers Christian and Manuel Costardi presented their creations.

Cristina Bowerman chose to use shio–koji, a paste made with malted rice fermented with water and salt. After marinating in shio-koji, the scallop is cooked in an iron pan with a little duck fat. To finish the dish, some Brussels sprouts leaves, lentils, herb cream, lemon zest cream, blanched edamame and a boiling dashi stock.

Luigi Taglienti plays with the balance between sweet and spicy, and chooses yuzu-kosho, a seasoning made with yuzu and green peppers. “Acidities and hot components are not easy to handle and are always a challenge” the chef from Trussardi alla Scala explains. So yuzu-kosho gives character to the biancomangiare (blancmange), paired with a fresh sea bass fillet previously marinated in a vacuum pack with white jasmine tea and saké.

Since it’s the most important ingredient in their territory, brothers Christian and Manuel Costardi decided to pay a tribute to Carnaroli rice. This is how the idea for their “Carnaroli in Japan” was born. It was prepared with kombu seaweed stock and creamed with miso, a savoury paste made with soy beans. To finish the dish, red prawns, scampi, sea bass sashimi and pieces of scallops seasoned with lemon zest.

Another risotto was born thanks to the creativity of Carlo Cracco who used shiso, a green leaf with a pungent taste and an anti-bacterial power often served with sashimi. Cracco made a very creamy risotto, enriched with clams fried in a little oil and vacuum-marinated glacialis sprouts with shiso and saké. The dish is made even creamier thanks to a green shiso butter.

The last ingredient we present is the Hoshi – Shiitake mushroom, which has a unique texture and is dried to concentrate its salty flavour and vitamin D2 content.

Yoshiaki Takazawa, a great Japanese chef on the Auditorium stage

Yoshiaki Takazawa, a great Japanese chef on the Auditorium stage

“I chose them because they give the dish a crispy and fun texture” explains Moreno Cedroni, chef at restaurant Madonnina del Pescatore. This recipe is based on Shiitake mushrooms, cut and placed in a vacuum pack with a little oil and cooked for one and a half hours at 90°C. His dish? Salted codfish fillet with Shiitake mushrooms, paired with a slightly hot sauce, finished with a diced hare fillet marinated in soy sauce and acacia honey.