My goal was simple - to show everyone that participated that not all soy sauce is the same. It smells different, and it tastes different. I have done this many times, and it was a good time to do this again since we have new staff members that never tried soy sauce this way. Today was a little different in that I had them belly up to our bar. I have five different types of soy sauce, and I presented them each in three different ways: one in a ramekin, which would have been traditional except maybe for a spoon; second, in a glass that had straight sides like an old fashioned or mai tai glass; and the third in a brandy snifter or red wine glass. In the second, you could smell the difference between the third which was a red wine glass. The bouquet was held in the glass, and as one cook said it, the aroma was like a "boom", loud and distinct. I believe that bellying up to the bar made for a different environment and ambiance. The use of normal bar ware and the fancy Eisch Red Wine glass gave it a more formal approach and could have influenced some of the aromas and tastes.
In every cooks first year, product knowledge is critical, especially with Asian ingredients. A great way to expand your product knowledge is to experience them side by side, and keep doing them. Today was a reinvention of what I have been doing for fifteen years.
I was inspired by eating three hot dogs in three days over the weekend. I really thought about this for awhile before embarking on it in the morning. I was thinking of how it might fit in the Pineapple Room nicely for lunch. I will try it with a store bought dog first. Then all these slot in slot out ideas roll around. What can go in to sub for the dog? Spong, greek sausage, portugese sausage? We all make these already. I have tinkered with the idea of an all beef dog before when Doc Lum was alive, and we had North Shore Cattle Co. here on Oahu. Well, this tasted awesome. A fried hot dog. It might sound awful to some of you, so I will withhold the details, unless you are really interested in how it tasted and how I made it. But let me tell you, no one said, no I don’t want any. It was so comforting, and it was not greasy at all.