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EATING OUT & RECIPES BY NOI
 

Kitchen Hush; Japanese cuisine

By Christopher Sujarit

One of the very best Japanese restaurants in Chiang Mai has been right under your hungry nose. At the back of Kaew Nawarat Road soi 2 reigns Kitchen Hush, in all its gorgeous, clandestine glory. Kitchen Hush is where Japanese expats, savvy Thais, and those- in- the- know pilgrimage for some of the best Japanese food Chiang Mai has to offer.
The menu is huge, weighing in at 20 laminated pages full of every option could conceive that would constitute Japanese cuisine. Kitchen Hush offers Sashimi sets, Udon, Grilled Fish, Meat, Appetizers, Tempura, Sashimi a la carte, Sake, Beer, and Desserts as well as more than a few surprises. They even have Natto, a sticky web of fermented Japanese soy beans, made 4 different ways. Whatever you want, they’ve got you covered. The prices range from 80THB for small appetizers to 450THB for the full Sashimi set (12+ pieces of sushi). Grilled Fish and Slices of Marinated Pork come to 100- 200THB for a full plate. A large Singh beer is 120THB. You can come to Kitchen Hush hungry and leave with a full belly for under 300THB without drinks.
What becomes evident immediately is the chef is Japanese and is in pursuit of excellence through Kitchen Hush’s cuisine. Nothing is overlooked, and everything on the menu is dutifully prepared.
My loyal eating partner and I ordered the Curry Udon, Sunomono, Grilled Marinated Horse Mackerel, and the small Sushi set. The Udon noodles were perfectly cooked, and the curry broth was full of flavor without being overly salty. The Sunomono was lovingly crafted, with thin crispy marinated cucumbers and tiny little white fish to add protein to the salad. The Horse Mackerel was probably the hardiest fish I’ve ever eaten; it ate more like steak. Whatever this fish is eating, it’s doing the job. This dish changed my notion of what fish could taste like- kudos Kitchen Hush. The small Sushi set came with large, tender slices of salmon, squid, raw horse mackerel, tuna, and cucumber maki. The sushi rice was perfectly cooked and vinegared; it invoked all the subtle flavors of the large slices of fresh fish. Even the soy sauce was well above standard and rich in complex flavors, and probably homemade. The dinner finished with a complimentary cup of lemon shaved ice to cleanse the palate, i.e. get rid of the fish breath!
Kitchen Hush inhabits a large Lanna style teak house, with high ceilings and dark wood everything in the main room. This place will charm your poncho off, and leave you wondering why you settled for anything less. There is a dedicated sushi bar and seating on two levels. Also, this place is pleasantly quiet; even with two other tables occupied, conversations never overlapped. Beautiful, temperature- controlled, and spacious. Open daily for lunch 11:30- 2 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm. 053 247 731.


 

RECIPES BY NOI: Yam Hua E-Yho

Hua E-Yho is the name of a kind of konjac or Amorphophallus konjac. There are a few different kind of them that can be found in my village. Some we can eat and some are very toxic. Even the one that we can eat can still be harmful if we cook it the wrong way. Only touching the leaf can give a very terribly itch. I was 10 years old when I innocently helped my friend pul; a Hua E-Yho plant, we didn’t know it was toxic so our hands and arms were very itchy!! The warm rain from our school roof relieved us from itching. Now only imagine how much warm water we need to drink if we had eaten it!
I don’t cook Yam Hua E-Yho because it really needs someone who knows very well how to cook it. I remember my brother’s mocking face when he would say, “I don’t want to have my tongue the size of a sandal” to me while I helped mom cook Yam Hua E-Yho.
Most of the time for this recipe is spent on preparing Hua E-Yho but cooking it is much easier.
After finding the right Hua E-Yho we need to boil it in ash water. How to get ash water? A bucket of water and add half a bucket of charcoal or firewood ashes. Leave it for a few of hours and take just the clear water to boil Hua E-Yho for at least half a day. Then remove it in a thin cloth bag. Find a big wooden stick and hit or pound it while clear water runs through it all the time, for at least 45 minutes. During that we must squeeze the bag to let the Hua E-Yho juice out as much as possible as the juice will also make someone itchy.
When it turns white, has no moisture and looks like sand then it is finally good to eat. Before cooking however, be sure and do a small taste test and if there is no itch, it is safe to eat.
Now we are ready to cook!
Take chopped shallots, galangal, coriander, spring onions, Phak Phai, kaffir lime leaves, dry chili powder and kaffir lime juice. Mix all the ingredients with Hua E-Yho and add fish sauce to taste. At this point we already can eat it but I highly recommend to stir fry it with pork.
I should warn you that it is hard to cook and it is better to eat it made by someone with experience rather than try it yourself.


 
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Kitchen Hush; Japanese cuisine

RECIPES BY NOI: Yam Hua E-Yho