If Chef Tony Biggs’ latest creation hit the plate of unsuspecting patrons in most restaurants, chances are it would be sent back without even taking a bite. Through his worldly connections, Chef Tony stumbled upon bamboo charcoal powder, which, though rarely used in American cuisine, has a history of use in Asia. And its effects? Shocking.
Shock factor is just what the culinary whiz wants.
Put a knife to Chef Tony’s “boeuf noir” and you’ll find a perfectly cooked, medium rare-to-medium piece of meat. Oh, and that charred crust? It’s as savory and delicious as any steak you’ve ever tried.
Most famously, the food-grade, ultra-fine powder is used by Japanese Burger King restaurants to make its infamous Halloween-inspired black hamburger buns. Given that it’s flavorless and fine to an almost-microscopic level, bamboo charcoal powder can turn just about any food item it touches to instant black without changing the taste.
Sure, you can make pastry items with it, but Chef Tony has taken it to the next level by adding the powder to his steak rub which is comprised of salt, pepper and a secret blend of other spices.
Regardless of what’s in the mix, the presence of bamboo charcoal powder takes over and turns everything jet black, including the steak to which it’s applied.
If you plan to play around with it, Chef Tony says, it’s best not to wear anything white, and keep a pair of gloves handy.
The wheels are just beginning to spin on the extent to which charcoal powder could add to culinary aesthetics on this side of the planet, but Chef Tony’s advice is to go nuts.
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