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The challenger is a disciple of Chef Tadamichi Ota (no relation to intrepid floor reporter Shinichiro Ota), whose Ota Faction has been gunning for Iron Chef Morimoto for his use of non-traditional methods. They came in force to support their man.
The judges for the Unisex Salmon battle are:
Iron Chef Morimoto had never worked with this ingredient before this battle, although according to this Twitter post, he's since had more experience with the fish.
Much of the battle was spent by the challenger razzing Morimoto about his use of a modern rice steamer and even an electric fan to dry his salmon skin!
In order to preserve the flavor of the salmon for his frozen sashimi dish, the challenger used an abalone shell instead of a knife, so that the steel of the knife would not impart flavor to the fish meat. This was a smart move on the challenger's part; caviar is served with mother-of-pearl spoons for this reason, and many ice cream connoisseurs will use a plastic or wooden spoon instead of a metal spoon so that the ice cream doesn't take on an ionized flavor.
Chef Fujii's Dishes
- Salmon fin sake
- Salmon hors d'oeuvre
- Horoku Grill in Grape Leaves
- Salmon Stew
- Frozen Salmon Sashimi (Rui-be)
- Salmon Rice
Chef Morimoto's Dishes
- Fried Salmon on Vegetable Sticks
- Salmon Salad
- Salmon Head Milk Stew
- Stuffed Salmon Grill
- Braised Salmon Head
The winner is determined by the number of judges who rule in favor of a chef. If there is a split vote, it comes down to total points. If points are also tied, the match ends in a draw.