Viewing Guide to Iron Chef 2001

Note by Chief

This program was broadcast on January 2nd, 2001. In Japan, New Years Day is a very special holiday. It's almost like Thanksgiving and Christmas in US combined into one. It is customary to take three days off from work.

Everybody stays home and quietly celebrates New Years Day. Almost all stores are closed, of course (except Seven Eleven!). We have special meals These meals are not cooked on New Years Day (you're not supposed to work) but are prepared on December 31. It's practical, too, since stores close and you cannot buy anything. These meals consists of non-perishable dishes. Tai (red snapper) and Ise-ebi (lobsters) or prawns are part of these dishes. We rarely go outside, except to make a visit to our local shrines and temples. The day is supposed to be very quiet with not much activities.

On January 2, we visit our relatives. Also, this is the day when we are supposed to "commence". If you have a hobby (say, music, painting, etc), you go visit your teacher and take the first lesson of year. Along this line, Fuji TV intentionally chose January 2nd to air the show. It is the day to begin cooking for the new year (and more, for the new century).

Now the program. The time is from the beginning of the show as zero. The name (or source) follows the time.

(1:00) Kaga

There is one task left for me at the beginning of the 21st century - To find the recipe that represents the 21st century. My first job to find two challengers.

(2:00) Fukui

Today's guests are

Actor Takanori Jin-nai

Actress Kumito Akiyoshi (Note by Chief - she's known to be an air-head)

Gold Medalist in Judo from Sydney, Tadahiro Nomura

Lower House member, Nobuteru Ishihara

And our commentator, Dr Hattori

(4:00) Kaga

I'm curious to see what represents the recipe of the 21st century. Let us recall our Iron Chefs.

(5:40) Kaga

Now recall our Honorary Iron Chefs

Yutaka Ishinabe (French I)

Koh-Mei Nakamura (Japanese II)

Rokusaburo Michiba (Japanese I)

(7:00) Kaga

There have been so many offers to be a challenger for today's show. I chose the man who claimed he was reborn. Please welcome Toshiro Kandagawa

(7:30) Fukui

What is his headgear?

(8:00) Kaga

Welcome back and nice meeting you again. Anyway, what is this hat? (and removed the headgear to reveal the shaved head)

(8:15) Kaga

May I touch?

(8:30) Ohta

Do not lose!

(9:00) Kandagawa

I shaved my head to show my determination to win this battle.

(Note by Chief: Shaving head and losing hair (and looking funny) is a traditional Japanese way to show your determination by sacrificing your vanity)

(12:00) Kaga

Kandagawa's Hair-Cutting Ceremony

(12:15) Kandagawa

Let's Go

(12:30) Sakai

I can't lose to Kandagawa-San

(13:00) Fukui

Today's theme ingredient is 15 Tai (red snappers)

(14:15) Miss Tomoyo Abe (reporter for Kandagawa)

In the food processor, yogurt and sake lees

(15:00) On screen

Sakai's history

Seafood 12 wins, no losses

Meat 11 wins, 4 losses

Vegetables 11 wins, 3 losses

Note: A friend of mine pointed this out - Often you hear Sakai referred to as "Mushuu Sakai" (there was a banner, too). That's French! "Monsier Sakai"

(17:00) On Screen

The previous battle of lotus root in 1995 resulted in Sakai's victory

(17:30) Kandagawa report

In the pot, prawns, shrimps, pork fat, ground pork, konbu (seaweed), minced tai meat. Kandagawa added "this is going to be the world broth"

(19:30) Sakai report

Mr Sakai said "I think French cuisine came to an end at the end of the 20th century, and I'm going to develop a new French cuisine with Asian taste" (his soup broth had consommee and shan ton (Chinese))

(21:30) Kandagawa report

The salt-crusted Tai has de-boned tai whose inside is coated with yogurt, sake reeves and is filled with prawns, abalone, and fugu shirako.

(24:30) Kandagawa report

This knife is prepared just for today and is priceless.

(28:45) Chen Ken-ichi

Kandagawa-san's World Broth was based on Chinese shan ton and he added quite a few more ingredients. Very well-planned. (Asked which side is ahead), I'm glad I'm not on it.

(29:15) Kandagawa report

He just added sake. The broth is not ready yet

(29:45) Sakai report

There are two wrap items. One is wrapped in radish. The other is raw tai meat wrapped in potato.

(32:00) Kandagawa report

In this pot, we have water, rice, soy sauce, sake, and a whole Tai.

(34:45) Kandagawa

Yes, this is ready (about his World Broth)

(35:30) Sakai report

In the bowl, Japanese cabbage, broiled tai, and truffles

On the base of Japanese cabbage, tai and clams are placed

(39:00) Sakai

Into the soup, rice cake (mochi) was added

(42:00) Kandagawa report

I'm very satisfied with today's cooking. I think I succeeded in opening a new era in Japanese cuisine

(42:45) Sakai report

On this the 21st century, I looked forward to Asian taste. I think I did a perfect job.

(45:00) Tasting - Kandagawa

1st dish = World Broth soup

Kandagawa - we don't usually start with soup in Japanese cuisine

Jin-nai - With so many ingredients, it still tastes tai!

Ishihara - The taste is something I've never had before. Mysterious.

2nd dish = Salad of tai sashimi with "ohba" dressing

Hosoki - This is very unusual with a slight vinegar flavor.

3rd dish = salt-crusted tai with World Broth dip

Jan-nai - So Mr Kaga has been eating such wonderful stuff every week?

Akiyoshi - it melts in my mouth

4th dish = rice cooked with tai, served with World Broth

Jin-nai - I'm speechless. Never had anything so tasty. Considering you must use tai, you provided such a wide variety of flavors. I'm impressed, and discovered new respect for a world-class chef. This cooking taught me how an actor should be.

(50:30) Tasting - Sakai

1st dish = Frit (?) of tai and truffles with "nanohana sauce"

Akiyoshi - Different from what I expected. Nice bitterness

Ishihara - A deviation from previous approach by Sakai-san

2nd dish = rice porrige a la Iron Chef

3rd dish = tai and Japanese cabbage's ethnic pottofu (?stew)

Hosoki - Sakai-san, this is delicious

4th dish - wrapped tai (two items)

Ishihara - Interesting taste. It's spicy but then you taste sweetness. Very adventurous.

(55:45) On screen

Replay from the 1995 match

(56:15) Judgement

Jin-nai Sakai 17 - Kandagawa 20

Akiyoshi Sakai 19 - Kandagawa 20

Norura Sakai 18 - Kandagawa 19

Ishihara Sakai 17 - Kandagawa 18

Hosoki Sakai 17 - Kandagawa 19

2nd Match

(1:02:15) Kaga

The second challenger is Bobby Flay. He had the well-fought battle in last Spring in New York City but he was electrocuted. Furthermore, he stood on a cutting board. However, the result was a sweep by Morimoto. It appeared that it was settled. However, Bobby started to complain to American media. If that's the case, I want to see what he really is and chose him as the second challenger.


To keep him from saying "unfair" anymore, we even added Akebono, the grand champion (yokozuna) of Sumo Wrestling. [Note: He is an American and the first foreigner to achieve the rank of Yokozuna. Sadly, he suffers from chronic injuries and had to withdraw from the January tornament (Jan. 7-21), and subsequently announced his retirement on January 22, 2001]

(1:06:00) Fukui

Morimoto will open his own restaurant this Spring.

Theme Ingredient

Ise-ebi (Lobster)

(1:10:00) Morimoto report

Morimoto said "I'll do my best. About Bobby, let us play our best and play fair. No more complaints."

(1:10:20) Flay report

Flay said "If we play fair, I can definitely win"

(1:10:45) Hattori

Morimoto is tossing lobsters into a keg of sake. This is usually done for prawns to make "drunken prawns".

(1:11:00) Hattori

There are American lobsters, but they taste different. These Japanese lobsters are sweet.


Today's guests are

actress Miho Kan-no

yokozuna Akebono-Zeki (yokozuna is the rank, and zeki is the title)

actor Ryuta Mine

commentator Dr Yukio Hattori

(1:13:30) Morimoto report

The frying pan contains lobster, octopus, olive oil, and abalone

(1:14:30) Morimoto report

Morimoto said "Japanese like soy sauce, and I think we relied on it too much. In order to develop new recipes, I am not going to use soy sauce today"

(1:15:00) Michiba

I met some foreigners who thought we had too much soy sauce, so it's an interesting approach. Morimoto-san will make use of salt today.

(1:15:30) Morimoto report

We have Gorgonzola cheese and cream in the pan

(1:16:00) Flay report

In the bowl, we have mustard, honey, and horse radish

(1:18:00) Flay report

Kobe beef. (from Matsusaka)

(1:19:15) Morimoto report

Lobster meat with lobster innards, and the cause is cod sperm-organ (don't know the name) and tarako (cod roe)

(1:19:30) Flay report

Lobster coated with blue corn powder, to be opened later and Flay calls it "butterfly"

(1:20:00) Flay report

Flay complains that the burner flames out easily and he cannot control the intensity.

(1:23:30) Morimoto report

Grinding salt. BDJ said "is he trying to add mineral (iron) to salt by using an iron grinder?". Others replied "no way", but Ohta then reports "Miss Kan-no is right. By using an iron grinder, you add a small amount of iron to salt"

(1:25:00) Morimoto report

Mochi (rice cake). Small cubes

(1:26:30) Morimoto report

Preparing sushi rice

(1:27:00) Ishinabe (Iron Chef French I)

Flay uses many different kinds of pepper to balance out the taste.

(1:27:30) Flay report

In the bowl, red onion, olive oil, pepper, lobster, lime juice, lemon juice and coconut milk

(1:27:45) Morimoto report

Morimoto said about Flay's dishes, "if he uses too much spice, he'll lose the subtle flavor of lobster. He'd better be careful"

(1:28:00) Flay report

Flay said "I think the loss by Sakai added some pressure on Morimoto. Iron Chefs can't lose back to back, right?"

(1:28:15) Kandagawa

I think Morimoto is doing fine - lobster and salt go together really nicely. "Morimoto-san, it's a must win!"

(1:28:45) Morimoto report

Lobster was soaked in the vinegar which is now used in this sushi rice, so sushi rice has lobster flavor

(1:31:10) Morimoto report

White truffles and lobster meat, to be wrapped in konbu (seaweeds)

(1:36:30) Flay report

Flay is all done, and now is drinking sake

(1:37:15) Flay report

The reporter asked "are you going to stand on a cutting board", and Flay replied "I don't know yet"

(1:37:30) Morimoto report

To the above comment by Flay, Morimoto said "A chef should never abuse his tools. It's unthinkable"

(1:39:30) Morimoto interview

Ohta "In New York, you were upset about Bobby standing on the cutting board"

Morimoto "It's the same today."

Ohta "But Bobby removed the cutting board"

Morimoto "It's still the same. You do the cooking on the benchtop. With or without the cutting board, it's the same"

Ohta "So what you think of Bobby"

Morimoto "Oh I like him a lot "

Tasting - Flay

The panel is

Actor Ryuta Mine

Actress Miho Kan-no

Yokozuna Akebono-Zeki

Head something of American Embassy to Japan, Christopher J Le Fleur (?)

Culinary writer Asako Kishi

1st dish = Spicy marinated lobster with coconut milk and avocado

Mine - Just the right amount of spiciness

Kishi - Despite so much spices, you can still taste lobster. Very well done

2nd dish - lobster fruit salad with hot sauce

3rd dish - boiled lobster, Mexican style (Tamari)

"Please do not eat the corn peel"

Akebono - Corn is our (American) main staple, just like rice is to Japanese.

Le Fleur - It's based on the traditional recipe but Flay created something new

4th dish - Butterfly, mango and carrot sauce

Akebono - Delicious

Kishi - This would seem too complicated a way to eat lobster, to Japanese, but Flay showed us a new way to cook lobsters.

5th dish - Surf and Turf (sauce is dijon mustard, horse radish, honey)

Le Fluer - Very classy

Kishi - Flay did his homework and studied Japanese ingredients very well

Tasting - Morimoto

1st dish = Drunken Lobster, served with Japanese lime and salt

Kan-no - It's soooo good

Akebono - This is Japanese!

Mine - Delicious

2nd dish - three appetizers

Kan-no - It's refreshing to taste raw lobster after eating Flay's cooked lobster

3rd dish = sushi roll, fried and served with cheese sauce

Le Fleur - Is this your original recipe, Mr Morimoto?
Morimoto - Yes, and this is the first time I ever made it.

Kan-no - It goes so well with the cheese sauce. Amazing.

Akebono - Yes, and you can do without soy sauce

4th dish = Shabu shabu (dip)

Le Fleur - The soup itself is so good that it's almost a waste to use as a shabu shabu dip

Kishi - My opinion is that we'll use more of fermented seasoning in 21st century, that is soy sauce and miso. Mr Morimoto went opposite of that trend and I admire his challenging spirit.


Kaga "We received the result. It is as clear as it can be, not like a Presidential election elsewhere. No more complaining after this"

Mine Morimoto 18 - Flay 17

Kan-no Morimoto 17 - Flay 18

Akebono Morimoto 19 - Flay 20

Le Fleur Morimoto 14 - Flay 17

Kishi Morimoto 15 - Flay 17

[Note by Chief: Kaga looked very unhappy about two losses by Iron Chefs]