It was an honor and pleasure to participate again at the Worlds of Flavor Conference at Greystone on Nov. 1-3. I had an opportunity to meet for the first time with such great chefs such as Maxime Bilet, Kyle Connaughton, Musa Dagdeviren, Erez Komarovsky, Mourad Lahlou. We, Chef Jiro Iida of Aburiya Kinnosuke and I, presented Bincho-tan session and workshop. I presented Shio-koji and koji workshop with Chef Lars Kronmark. Chef Kronmark gave a master piece of presentation on Fermentation and Curing in Denmark. One of his demonstrated dishes, beer and rye bread soup, was unique and delicious. In the following two blogs let me re-introduce you the Bincho-tan and Shio-koji.
Today we live in a world where old technology has been replaced by the new in the blink of an eye. In our food business the same thing has been happening. New machines with better quality and functions are introduced to the market one after another. This cycle has also been changing the way we cook today.
However, there is a cooking material and cooking technique that has survived unchaged for almost a thousand years. It is bincho-tan and the bincho-tan cooking technique. The rather recent development of infrared ray grills and burners substantiates that the ancient technique of high temperature bincho-tan cooking, a historical method of cookign with copious infrared radiation, produces among the best grilling results.
Here are several “Why Bincho-tan is so special”?
• Bincho-tan charcoal is 95% carbon in contrast American wood charcoal and briquettes that are 65 to 70%, or even lower carbon content. So when it burns bincho-tan produces fewer impurity.
• During normal combustion in still air bincho-tan burns at about 900F degree. When it is fanned, temperature can go up as high as 1800F degree.
• Because of its very high combustion temperature Bincho-tan emits much more radiant infrared heat than ordinary charcoal. Food cooked with radiant heat has crisp outside and juicy interior.
• Combustion occurs without a flame and bed last as long as 5 to 6 hours.
• Bincho-tan does not add any flavor of its own. Bincho-tan assists in achieving the fundamental goal of Japanaese fire cooking – bringing out natural flavor of each ingredient.