Spotlight on: Hokkaido pumpkins
Posted on September 16, 2016
Aqua kyoto’s Executive chef Paul Greening is featuring a pumpkin dessert on our special Autumn menu. This dessert is a very traditional Japanese dish called chawanmushi.
Chawanmushi is an egg custard served cold, and can also be eaten as a savoury dish. When served with your main meal it is flavoured with soy sauce, dashi and mirin. Other ingredients can be added, such as shiitake mushrooms.
Chef Paul is using a particular type of pumpkin to make his version of chawanmushi, Hokkiado pumpkin. Hokkiado is the second largest island, and is the northernmost part of Japan. Due to its position Hokkiado has a relatively cool climate with icy and snowy winters, and unlike the rest of Japan is not affected by the rainy seasons.
The island is famous for its excellent seafood, because it is surrounded by cold waters, and some wonderful produce such as the pumpkin! The soil is rich, due to volcanic activity, and the seasonal weather means that it is a great place for agriculture.
Hokkiado pumpkins are particularly rich in vitamins and are a good source of fibre. They are on the small side and are also known as red kuri squash. Hokkiado pumpkins are sweet, with a full flavour – perfect for a dessert.
Chef Paul is serving this pumpkin custard dessert with katoru brown sugar, nashi pear sorbet and a ohba leaf tofu air. Ohba leaf is Japanese basil, and to finish with this perfume of Ohba and tofu, gives the dessert an aromatic element, a perfect match with our botanical autumn cocktail menu.
We would recommend finishing the meal with our Calm your Sense Tanquerary No. TEN cocktail. Created with home-made camomile liqueur, blended with liquorice tea syrup that emphasise the flavours of the gin, this drink is potent botanical, earthy and naturally sweet which is balanced by a dash of lemon.
Our Autumn menu is available from this week, for lunch and dinner. It is £29 for three courses including a cocktail to start – book here quoting quoting the autumn menu.