To most of the dining public, “Masa equals sushi, right?,” says acclaimed chef and self-proclaimed “conductor” Masayoshi Takayama. But at his more casual restaurant Tetsu in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, “upstairs is casual, affordable, modern Japanese cooking.”
Taking nearly six years to complete this project, the food served at Tetsu is what Takayama likes to eat most. “On Sunday, my day off, at that time I want to eat just my favorite stuff which is simple, grilled fish.”
On the dinner menu at Tetsu, guests will find offerings like tuna poké and hamachi with serrano from the raw bar, a selection of salads and vegetable dishes, as well as a variety of skewers grilled via the open robata. For lunch, a selection of sandwiches served with a heaping pile of crispy French fries are up for grabs, including Takayama’s Instagram-famous Masa burger (also available for happy hour in slider form).
One of the newer sandwich items is a crispy cod sandwich topped with caper mayonnaise and frisée lettuce for added crunch. Here’s how to make it at home.
Crispy Cod Sandwich with Housemade Tartar SauceRecipe Courtesy of Chef Masayoshi Takayama and the Culinary Team at Tetsu, NYC
Serves 4 to 6
For the Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup yuzu juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup capers
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
For the Fish:
1 cup panko crumbs
1 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons Japanese curry powder
Salt and pepper
One 3/4- to 1-pound cod (or any other firm white fish), patted dry and cut into 2- to 3-ounce portions
Oil, for frying
Soft rolls or pretzel buns
1. Mix all of the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a medium-sized bowl; reserve.
2. Place the panko breadcrumbs, cornstarch and Japanese curry powder in a shallow bowl; season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
3. Dredge the fish pieces through the mixture and fry in oil at 375˚F until light brown in color all around, 2 to 3 minutes. (The inside should be flaky and moist; you can sprinkle additional Japanese curry on top of the fish, if desired.)
4. To assemble, place the rolls on a plate; slather the insides of each roll with some of the reserved tartar sauce before arranging frisée lettuce and a few pieces of fried fish on top. Close the sandwich and enjoy!