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Kobe Beef with Sweet Red Wine Pear Maki

From: Chef Ting Yen, Oishii Restaurant, Boston. Yield: 12 servings.

6 cups red wine
4 whole lemons, sliced
2 Tbsp. green tea leaves
¼ cup fresh gingerroot, sliced
20 dried plums
1 cup honey
1 cup granulated sugar
20 whole strawberries
5 fresh pears, medium size

½ lb. Wagyu beef, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
5 sheets roasted nori (dried seaweed)
6 cups prepared sushi rice
to taste, fleur de sel

For wine-poached pears: Add red wine to a large nonreactive pot along with lemons, green tea leaves, sliced gingerroot, dried plums, honey, sugar and strawberries. Peel pears and add to the pot. Place a piece of parchment paper the same size as pot directly on the surface, touching pears. Put a saucer on top to keep pears submerged. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until pears are cooked through. Cool pears completely and refrigerate overnight in poaching liquid. Halve, core and thinly slice pears when they are cold.

For assembly: Sear beef in a hot pan with a little of the poaching liquid and some soy sauce. Set aside to cool before slicing. Arrange one nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a sushi mat and spread about ¾ cup rice in an even layer. Put slices from ¼ of a pear in a horizontal line down the middle, and roll. Place the roll seam-side down and layer beef slices on top. Layer pear slices on top of beef slices, sprinkle with fleur de sel and cut roll in 6 pieces. Repeat with remaining 4 sheets of nori.

Photo courtesy of The Pear Bureau Northwest

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