From: Chef Gene Kato, Japonais Restaurant, Chicago. Yield: 6 servings.
6 pieces Kobe shank
to taste, kosher salt
to taste, ground black pepper
to taste, togarashi (Japanese seven spice)
as needed, all-purpose flour
8 cups sake
8 cups water
4 cups soy
1 lb. brown sugar
5 plums, halved and deseeded
1-2 bay leaves
3 onions, medium dice
3 carrots, medium dice
1 bunch celery, medium dice
20 cloves garlic, root end removed
1 lb. ginger, cleaned and sliced
3 leek bottoms, cleaned and cut in half
2 black plums, halved and pitted
Roasted Scallion Vinaigrette:
4 bunches scallion tops (save bottoms for frying)
3/4 bottle Japanese mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
to taste, salt and pepper
Fried Bamboo and Scallions:
1 can cooked bamboo shoots, quartered
1 bunch scallions (only the white end; save tops for sauce)
2 cups toasted bonito flakes
2 cups Japanese bread crumbs
3 pieces black plums, halved and pitted
as needed for coating, melted butter
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
as needed for garnish, kaiware (daikon radish sprouts)
For osso buco: Trim meat of any excess fat. Season meat with salt, pepper and togarashi evenly on both sides. Lightly coat meat with all-purpose flour; shake off any excess that might remain.
Using large roasting pan, sear meat on each side until golden brown. When finished, place meat in a separate roasting dish, off the heat. In the original pan, brown the vegetables until lightly caramelized or tender. Place in the roasting dish on top of the meat. Deglaze roasting pan with sake; add to the vegetables and the remaining ingredients (leeks and black plums). Pour the flavored liquid over meat and vegetables until they are fully covered, not exceeding 2 inches over the mixture. Cover and place in oven at 375°F for 4 hours or until fork tender. Let it cool. Carefully take out the osso buco piece by piece. Strain remaining liquid and let cool over night. Discard the fat that has solidified.
For fried bamboo: Prepare egg wash by whisking egg whites and water together. Put all-purpose flour in one container. In another separate container, combine bonito flakes and bread crumbs. Dip bamboo and scallions in flour (dust off excess), then in egg wash and then into bread/bonito flake mixture before frying.
For grilled plums: Coat, and grill until tender.
To plate: Place one osso buco in a sautè pan; cover the meat part way with finished liquid. Place in oven at 400°F for 15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Fry the bamboo and scallions in 350° fryer and keep warm. Fry until golden brown. Place the hot osso buco on the center of the plate, with the liquid remaining in the pan. Throw in sliced chives, reduce until light nap, and pour over the meat. Arrange the fried bamboo, scallions and grilled plum on top and finish with a few sprigs of kaiware.