At Okonomi, Don’t Look for French Toast

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The egg lies in a cup like a clouded eye. At the edges, ruffles of white have half-set, wispily afloat in a sauce of sake and soy. The center is mere veil, the yolk a faint glow beneath, firmer than the white but still ready to run. You don’t eat it, you pour it — into your bowl of rice, as you would milk into oatmeal, and stir.


At Okonomi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this is called an onsen egg, after the Japanese tradition of cooking eggs in the sulfurous waters of hot springs, which keep them at constant low heat — like a primal immersion circulator — until they emerge with the classic ratio of loose yolk and stable white inverted. Here the egg is cooked for 23 minutes at 149 degrees Fahrenheit and presented with a stroke of bright-hot shichimi togarashi; the rice gets a pinch of bonito flakes saturated with sake, mirin and soy. Churned together, they make a dish that looks austere but tastes intemperate. Read More

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