When chef-owner Masaharu Morimoto was opening Momosan, his new izakaya-like midtown restaurant, he told his executive chef, Jae Lee, that he wanted a foil for the menu’s rich, decadent options like tonkotsu noodles and pork-belly baos. The answer: this clean and bright side of pickled cabbage with mustard. “It’s almost like kimchee, but it’s not spicy, it’s punchy,” explains Lee. “It’s a perfect complement to any of the ramen dishes.” The prep process takes two full days:one to brine the cabbage in water, salt, and dried kombu (kelp); one to press it in a mustard marinade. That last step imparts flavor and helps remove moisture — crucial in delivering that satisfyingly tangy crunch.
On the menu at Momosan Ramen & Sake; $10; 342 Lexington Ave., nr. 39th St.; 646-201-5529
*This article appears in the July 25, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.