Video: An Omakase Menu Inspired by Both Korean and Japanese Cuisines

Chef Daniel Son always wanted to find a way to connect Korean and Japanese cuisines — his two favorites and the ones he finds most interesting and beautiful — but because of his Korean-American background, he wasn’t so sure it would be a fit. “My identity of being Korean and making sushi was really only in my own head and there was an initial insecurity,” says Son.

Still, the chef cites the encouragement from his parents as he expressed his hesitation. “[The concerns] weren’t even an idea to them,” he says. Son trained in Japan and at Copenhagen’s Noma, which gave him the tools to create an omakase menu that today he says is most authentic to him. Having taken over his father’s West Hollywood sushi restaurant Kura, Son has made a name for himself dishes like his blue crab ganjang gejang nigiri — the perfect marriage of identity and innovation.

Watch video at You Tube (10:56 minutes) . . . . .

Fish Tagine with Raisins and Honey


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such as sea bass, flounder, cod, ling, monkfish, grouper
1 large mild red onion finely diced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup raisins, soaked and drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Combine 5 tablespoons of oil, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, saffron, and salt in a small bowl. Rub into the fish fillets on both sides. Place on a plate, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours for the flavors to penetrate.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sear the fish on both sides until lightly colored. Remove immediately and set aside.
  3. Add the diced onion to the pan and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the black pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, honey, vinegar, raisins, and parsley.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Return the fish to the pan, spoon some sauce over the top, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, basting occasionally with sauce.
  7. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Gadget: Butter Case with Cutter and Butter Knife

Cut butter into 20 pieces

Store with knife and ready to serve

The price is 1,855 yen (plus tax) in Japan.

Study: Certain Blood Pressure Medicines Tied to Suicide Risk

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

A common type of blood pressure medication might be associated with an increased risk of suicide, a new study suggests.

People taking angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) appear to be more likely to die by suicide, compared to those who take another type of blood pressure drug called ACE inhibitors, researchers found.

Patients using ARBs had a 63% increased risk of death by suicide over people on ACE inhibitors, the findings showed. But the study could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“There is reason for some concern,” said lead researcher Muhammad Mamdani, director of the Applied Health Research Center of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto. “Now would I be going en masse and change everybody’s prescriptions? No, not just yet. We should have more work done in this area.”

“But certainly if I had a choice as a patient, I would be choosing the ACE inhibitor over the ARB,” Mamdani concluded.

ARBs and ACE inhibitors both work by interfering with the action of angiotensin II, a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to constrict.

ARBs work by blocking the ability of angiotensin II to bind with receptors and command blood vessels to narrow, while ACE inhibitors actually lower the amount of the hormone produced within the body.

Both drugs are widely used to treat high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, heart failure and diabetes, the study authors said in background notes.

Mamdani and his colleagues pursued their new research based on earlier studies suggesting ARBs might be linked to suicide risk.

Using Canadian health databases, the investigators identified 964 people who died by suicide within 100 days of being prescribed either an ARB or an ACE inhibitor. They then compared those people to a control group of just over 3,000 people also taking either type of blood pressure medication.

The results showed that people taking ARBs had a statistically significant higher risk of suicide than those on an ACE inhibitor.

“It is a fairly commonly used set of drugs, and lots of people would be affected by it. Certain people, especially if you’re susceptible to mood disorders, may be even more at risk,” Mamdani said.

He noted that ARBs might cause levels of angiotensin II to increase in the brain.

“That could be related to mood disorders, and that could trigger suicidal-type behavior,” Mamdani suggested.

However, there’s currently no evidence that angiotensin II has anything to do with moods or suicidal intent, said Dr. Robert Carey, dean emeritus of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

“I think those speculations are exactly that,” Carey said. “There is no realistic mechanism to which one could attribute that difference in suicide risk.”

Carey noted that other factors that could influence suicide risk might have come into play with these patients. For example, some were taking antidepressants or benzodiazepines, “which might have had an influence on the suicide rate,” he said.

The study also didn’t assess underlying substance abuse, prior mental health hospitalizations, or previous emergency department visits, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist with the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

The study was published online in JAMA Network Open.

“I don’t think this could be construed as evidence to switch from ARBs to ACE inhibitors,” Carey concluded. “The mechanism is absolutely up in the air and needs more basic study.”

Source: HealthDay

Listening to “Noisy Knees” to Diagnose Osteoarthritis

A new way of diagnosing and assessing knee osteoarthritis (OA) has moved a step closer with a major study paving the way for its use in research and clinical practice.

The technique involves attaching small microphones to knees, and detecting high frequency sounds from the joint components as people perform sitting standing movements.

The signals, known as acoustic emissions, are computer-analysed to give information about the health of the knee. The analysis is based on sound waveforms during different movement phases.

The latest study, published in PLOS ONE, is the first to investigate the use of the technique in a large local cohort of people previously diagnosed with knee OA. The results show that the technique can distinguish between healthy and OA knees, and that it works well both in general practice and hospital settings.

The research was conducted by a large multi-disciplinary team led by Lancaster University with partners from the Universities of Central Lancashire, Manchester and Cumbria, as well as the NHS in Lancashire and Cumbria. It also involved two businesses working on leading edge technologies for acoustic sensing and cartilage measurement.

The project began in 2013, funded by the Medical Research Council. It is an excellent example of how researchers from very different academic disciplines can work together to develop solutions for real-world clinical problems.

The wide range of disciplines and sectors involved created an innovative yet challenging project, needing meticulous co-ordination and project management which was provided by Lancaster University’s Health Engagement and Innovation Team.

Emeritus Professor Goodacre of Lancaster University, who led the project, said, “This work is very exciting because it involves scientists and clinicians working together as a team to develop an entirely new approach. Potentially, this could transform ways in which knee OA is managed. It will enable better diagnosis, and will enable treatments to be tailored more precisely according to individual knee condition. It will also enable faster, bigger and better clinical trials of new treatments”.

Researchers are now developing a non-invasive portable device which could be used by health professionals to see whether patients’ knees are changing or responding to treatment. This will provide a quicker, cheaper, more convenient and more refined assessment than currently-available methods.

Source: Lancaster University

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