This past week, something remarkable happened: More than forty of Japanese greatest chefs descended on the Napa Valley for the Culinary Institute of America's Japan: Flavors of Culture conference. It was the largest, most in-depth -- most mind-blowing -- gathering ever held in America devoted to understanding Japanese cuisine. I served as a moderator for a number of presentations (thanks for the gracious invite, CIA!) and had the chance to soak up so many new insignts at this remarkable event. Case in point, Chef Yoshihiro Takahashi's grilling lesson, with the author Hiroko Shimbo moderating. Takahashi-san is the chef/owner of Hyotei in Kyoto, a legendary 400-year-old kaiseki restaurant where I had the honor to train for a month this past summer.
Takahashi-san served his grilled tai (sea bream) with a delicious wari dashi, which is easy to prepare: Combine in a container 200 ml dashi, 50 ml all-purpose soy sauce (koikuchi), 50 ml thin soy sauce (usukuchi) and the juice of 4 lemons and limes (he used 1 yuzu and 3 sudachi, but you can substitute with lemon and lime). Let the sauce sit in the fridge at least one night for the flavors to mingle. Serve on the side, dip grilled fish in it to eat.
Check out the videos below, and do your own soaking up: