When I dined at 1760 in Polk Gulch not too long ago, I was specifically craving their signature har gow cavatelli, a clever (and garlicky!) Italian twist on the Cantonese shrimp dumpling, but was instead intrigued by the new family-style "dinner experience," a steal of a five-course tasting menu ($65 per person) inspired by chef Carl Foronda's Southeast Asian heritage and Japanese culinary training (he is a former chef at the famed Sushi Ran in Sausalito).
This bold declaration of his personal cooking style shows off his prowess with flavors that always strike a delicate balance between sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Standouts include the ocean trout crudo with yuzu-cumin crème and Madras curry oil, a bavette steak with miso-sherry jus, and this broccoli di ciccio with lime-fish sauce, which is perhaps the most identifiably Southeast Asian-inspired dish in the bunch. It also has the distinction of being THE plate that turned this card-carrying hater of green vegetables into a now-merely-skeptical eater of green vegetables. Truth is, I could eat this dish forever, because something about its wok-charred veg, chewy noodle-like yuba (tofu skin), and sweet-tart emulsion is highly inspired. I recommend tasting the real thing at 1760 first, so you have something to strive for when you try to replicate the dish in your own home. As an accompaniment, I would choose steamed white rice, not just because it's the preferred starch of my people (Hawaiians and Filipinos), but because it's the perfect flavor-soaker-upper for this highly addictive sauce.
Broccoli di ciccio with fish sauce-lime emulsion, yuba, and pepitas
Fish sauce lime emulsion
2 egg yolks
1/2 c fish sauce
2/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 TB sesame seed oil
1.5 cups grapeseed oil
1. In a blender, spin first 6 ingredients until well incorporated.
2. Once blended, slowly drizzle both oils in until emulsion forms. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready for use.
Broccoli di ciccio:
2 lb broccoli di ciccio (or broccoli rabe or broccolini)
1/4 cup salt
1 lb yuba skin or bean curd sheets
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seed
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil.
2. Add 1/4 cup salt and blanch broccoli in batches until tender but crisp.
3. Shock each batch in an ice bath. Drain, pat dry, and reserve.
4. Heat wide pan (or wok) with a large surface area with 3 tb grapeseed oil on medium high heat.
5. Add yuba and cook until golden brown then quickly add broccoli in batches until heated through.
6. Remove from heat and toss broccoli and yuba in reserved fish sauce lime emulsion to taste.
7. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.