Akira Shiraishi is the new Japanese chef of COKU, Italy’s first Robata Restaurant, which reopens to the public on Saturday June 23rd 2012, on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Cocumella Sant’Agnello – Sorrento.
Shiraishi, born in 1971, has lived and worked for sixteen years in Europe. He has recently been working in London as a Japanese head chef and has now chosen the Sorrento Coast as the next stage of his already successful career. “Zuma”, “Matsuri St James’s” and “Matsuba” are some of the prestigious restaurants in the city where Akira has expressed his art.
At COKU, taking-up the baton from Misao Ozone, he will be expanding with new dishes to enhance the dining options. The formula of the restaurant is, in fact, unchanged: the new chef will use only local products, where the sophisticated techniques of Nipponese cooking and marinating will prevail.
He will once again be using the Robata, the ancient art if grilling used in the cuisine of northern Japan, which allows for extremely slow cooking, resulting in dishes with delicate tastes, perfect for combining well at the table with the unique simplicity and flavours of the Mediterranean.
Customers may enjoy dishes such as squid and shichimi, scallops wrapped in bacon served with a Yakitori sauce, prawns yuzu or octopus with plum and basil sauce. Also this year we will offerspecial dishes prepared with the tandoor, a clay oven typical of the near-east and southern Asia.
Akira Shiraishi innovates the dishes on offer with raw fish and meat, which will be accompanied by sauces that hark back to the eastern culinary art, focusing on the fine balance of flavours, colours and fragrances. Among them carpaccio of sea bass with ginger and soy, amberjack with a ceviche sauce or beef tataki to with a chili ponzu sauce.
Among the chef’s specialties is tuna tataki, made with coriander and jalapeno sauce, a recipe elegant and simple which Akira Shiraishi has decided to share with the public on the Amalfi Coast.
Here is his recipe
The Tuna Cut a fillet of fresh red tuna in an oblong of about 5 cm by 5 cm by 20 cm.. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry or grill on all four sides. Allow to cool and season it before cutting into small slices no thicker than 0.5 cm. Arrange the slices on a plate and drizzle with the special sauce.
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
60 ml rice vinegar
5 gr garlic (cut into small chunks)
1-2 gr Black peppercorns (coarsely crushed)
5 or 6 Jalapeno or whole chili peppers (chopped into small pieces)
5 g coriander
10 gr salt
5 gr Sugar
5 ml soy sauce
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season, then drizzle over the tuna and serve.
This dressing is also good for fish carpaccio in general.
The raw materials used in the Coku are strictly local. Many products are no distance away at all! They are grown in the Grand Hotel Coumella’s organic gardens in the hotel grounds,
COKU – Robata Grill & Cocktail Bar
Every night from 7.30 PM
Avenue M. Crawford 56 – Sorrento
Tel 081 878 29 33