Katana Kitten, one of the world’s most prominent and acclaimed Japanese cocktail bars, was opened in 2018 by highly-respected and award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido. Just one year later, the bar won 2019 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best New American Cocktail Bar.
Before Katana Kitten, Urushido honed his craft over several years behind the bar of award-winning eatery Saxon+Parole. In The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, Urushido shares his immense knowledge of Japanese cocktails with eighty recipes that best exemplify Japan’s contribution to the cocktail scene, both from his own bar and from Japanese mixologists worldwide.
Urushido delves into what exactly constitutes the Japanese approach to cocktails and demystifies the techniques that have been handed down over generations, all captured in stunning photography.
The Teriyaki Burger
McDonald’s is famous for their international in-market exclusive offerings tailored to suit local
tastes that never make it stateside. McDonald’s in Japan is no exception, offering a teriyaki burger. In Japan,
I ate more than my fair share of these beefy delights, which have inspired my own version, complete with our own teriyaki sauce. The addition of the pineapple slice harkens back to my days delivering pizzas in Japan, where our Hawaiian version had the fruity topping, along with mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce. I know this combination is controversial in the pizza world, but it really works well on this burger.
1 (5-ounce) ground beef patty
1 Martin’s potato sandwich roll
1½ teaspoons Kewpie mayonnaise
1 lettuce leaf
1 tomato slice
1 shiso leaf
1 tablespoon House Teriyaki Sauce (recipe follows)
1 slice Pickled Pineapple (recipe follows)
Sprinkle each side of the patty with salt. Cook in a skillet to your preferred doneness and set aside.
Toast the bun and spread mayonnaise on each side. Build the sandwich with lettuce, a tomato slice, a shiso leaf, the cooked patty, the teriyaki sauce, and the pineapple.
House Teriyaki Sauce
Makes 3 cups
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup Kombu-Infused Sake (recipe follows)
1 cup mirin
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon agar-agar (Kanten Papa brand, if available)
In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar and heat over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and cook to burn off the sake’s alcohol, concentrate the flavour, and thicken the texture, around 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the agar-agar, and allow to cool. Pour into an airtight 1-quart glass container. Seal the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Makes 2¼ cups
1 (20-ounce) can Dole pineapple slices in syrup
¾ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
Drain the syrup from the sliced pineapple into a small saucepan—it should be about 1½ cups. Add the vinegar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then let cool. Place the drained pineapple slices in an airtight 1-quart glass container. Pour
the cooled pickling brine over the pineapple, cover, refrigerate and let pickle for 2 to 3 days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Makes about 3 cups
1 (720ml) bottle sake 1 sheet kombu
Combine the sake and kombu in an airtight 1-quart glass container. Let stand for 5 days, then remove the kombu. Pour into the original sake bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.