Comstock's magazine 0818 - August 2018 - Page 89

more images at ON A ROLL When Chef Billy Ngo (above, filleting yellowtail) opened Kru in 2005 he says he enjoyed creating more complex dishes with artistic plating. Today, he embraces simpler dishes with high-quality ingredients, such as nigiri — raw fish over vinegared rice — at his Japanese restaurant, now located in East Sacramento. “Each [type of fish] is treated some way before serving,” he says. “Either lightly cured, smoked, blanched, torched, grilled or marinated.” Ngo likens his culinary philosophy to an artform, “like drawing or painting, but instead of different colors, you’re using different flavors or ingredients.” On the bottom right, he finishes a piece of yellow jack (or shima aji) nigiri with grated ginger and green onion; on the left, he uses a butane torch to finish a sea urchin nigiri with toasted seaweed. “Try to eat nigiri in one bite — if it’s dressed already, it’s meant to be a perfect bite,” Ngo advises. “Sometimes the nigiri will be seasoned with a little sea salt on one end and lemon zest on the other, meant for it all to mesh in your mouth.” Customers who eat a single piece in multiple bites miss out on the complete flavor profile. n August 2018 | 89