Set back from Damen Avenue in a quaint converted house, [node:149691 link=Takashi;] restaurant in Bucktown is a tranquil setting for James Beard Award–winning chef Takashi Yagihashi. With the Slurping Turtle (the chef’s third restaurant, counting the [node:149501 link=Noodles by Takashi;] stand on the seventh floor of Macy’s), the energy’s rising: Yagihashi is coming to the heart of River North, where he’ll oversee a menu made up of his worshipped noodle bowls and what he’s calling “Japanese tapas,” ranging from $2.50–$14 and featuring everything from Wagyu beef to Maine scallops to pork. The chef breaks down the Slurping Turtle destiny of a single organic Amish chicken.
Breast, thigh and leg Yagihashi adds sesame oil, ginger, garlic and sea salt to his chicken-broth base, then drops in egg noodles (made from Yagihashi’s recipe by a noodle maker in San Jose, California), grilled chicken breast or thigh, baby bok choy and a soft-poached egg for his chicken ramen. For the duck fat–fried chicken, bone-in leg, thigh and breast are marinated in ginger, sesame oil and sake for two days before getting coated in rice flour and deep-fried in duck fat.
Liver and gibletsSpear organs with bamboo; grill slowly until caramelized. Not sure offal skewers are for you? The skewer menu starts at just $2.50—worth a try.
Feet and bones “We don’t throw away anything!” Yagihashi says. Feet and bones thicken and flavor stock as it simmers and reduces. It’s the base for chicken ramen and is combined with pork stock for shoyu ramen, the soy sauce–flavored Tokyo style of the dish.
Skin To make chicken skin skewers, Yagihashi poaches bite-size pieces of skin, then threads them onto bamboo skewers before setting them over the grill, where they’re brushed with tukedare, a sweet-savory grilling sauce. “Of course, it’s fatty,” the chef concedes. “Lean and healthy? It’s not.”
Slurping Turtle •116 W Hubbard St (312-464-0466, twitter.com/slurpingturtle) • Slated to open in late September/early October