The fresh Fuyu persimmons are in, which means it is time to serve one of my favorite sumonono of the year. The persimmon is dressed with tosazu and combined with Dungeness crab, a variety of sea vegetables, and pickled fennel. Tosazu in a vinegar fortified with katsuobushi and flavored with soy sauce and sugar. It serves as the dressing for the fall form of our sumonono. The dressing changes all year depending on which seasonal ingredients or aromas we would like to highlight. Cherry blossom vinegar was a killer kick off this spring and the dish keeps evolving as the seasons change and different combinations of ingredients become available. However, we have had a few guests express their surprise when the dish arrived, due to the assumption that they would receive a cucumber salad. This is because most Japanese restaurants serve a cucumber sunomono that has become the defining image of what a sunomono is. We focus on the literal translation of sunomono, which refers to vinegar flavored ingredients. Playing with the flavors and appearance of this dish is fun because the format sets some parameters due to the diner’s preconceived notions of temperature, acidity, etc. On the other hand, our approach allows for constant evolution, experimentation, and consideration of what a sunomono can be.

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