This post is about testing recipes created by artificial intelligence, Chef Watson of IBM
Actually, I have a friend who can help me to start this project. He owns and runs his own brick oven pizzeria in Seoul and when I shared my idea, he was also excited to join this project. I also got a nice venue to test these creative recipes where I can use similar kitchen utensils, equipment and I even have easy access to high-quality ingredients as professional chefs.
During our kick-off meeting, we set two main constraints for selecting recipes. First, the recipe should be simple because I (an amateur cook) will be the main chef during these testings. Second, it would be the best if the recipe can be an inspiration for developing a new dish for my friend’s restaurant. After a number of iterations and discussion, ‘Rice deviled eggs’ was selected as our first recipe (Yay!)
I have learned how to make ‘deviled eggs’ in the Spanish tapas cooking class in Yeonhui-dong, Seoul conducted by Hideko Nakagawa. But even I had a question mark about what the name itself means, and so I guess some of you’re not familiar with this menu too. So I’ll start this post with the brief explanation of this menu.
Here’s how Wikipedia explains about deviled eggs:
In the 19th century, it came to be used most often with spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.
In parts of the Southern and Midwestern United States, the terms “stuffed eggs”, “salad eggs”, “dressed eggs”, or “angel eggs” are also used, particularly when served in connection with church functions, avoiding the name “Devil.”The term “angel eggs” is also used in association with deviled eggs stuffed with “healthier” alternatives.
Deviled Eggs is a simple dish, but has great visual impact so that I thought it would be a good starter. But the recipe that Watson recommends is … uhhh? What is the Rice used for….? As a garnish over deviled eggs ?! And I don’t have Nam pla sauce. So as Watson suggested some alternatives, I replaced Nam pla sauce with soy sauce. And since it’s not easy to get shiso leaves in Korea, I also replaced that with Korean sesame leaves which have a unique flavor like shiso leaves.
Ingredients and Recipe
4 eggs, 1/4 bunch of shiso leaves (substitute : sesame leaf), celery seed (substitute : mustard seed), cardamom (substitute : fennel), 3/4 oz aioli (garlic sauce served with paella in Spain). Oyster sauce 1 and 1/2 teaspoon, lemon juice, soup 3/4 oz (Nam Pla, a kind of fish sauce, replaced by soy sauce), Worcestershire sauce, salt, thinned minced anchovy 2 and 1/2 oz
As you can see in the above alternative ingredients, I used soy sauce instead of Nam pla sauce and used sesame leaves instead of shiso leaves. I expected it to taste more like Korean food than the original recipe.
- Boil 4 eggs and cut in half. Separate whites and yolks and leave only the yolk in the bowl separately. Chop anchovies and put into the bowl with egg yolks and mix well with aioli sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and mustard seeds.
2. Put the egg yolk mix into the piping bag and decorate on the egg whites nicely. Actually, you can just carefully use your spoon without worrying about the piping bag! I tried to do that, but my friend who was watching me from behind took out a huge toolbox from his warehouse and ta-dah..! Such beautiful deviled eggs came out.
3. Finally, the finishing touches to the deviled eggs. I put the finely chopped sesame leaves with a piece of anchovy on top. Actually, I was putting on the coarsely chopped leaves on top with chopsticks, but my friend gave me tweezers and a long stick like a real professional cook.
My friend’s restaurant has full-fronted windows, so I needed to wear the cook’s uniform, as people could watch me cooking and think a little girl was messing around the kitchen. Thanks to my friend’s support, I really looked like a cook. Thank you, Mingom. 😉
Now it’s time to taste (Excited!)
In fact, although it was such short notice, Mingom and my friends came over to the restaurant and watched me cook with shaking hands.
The result was……………
Whooooa. I’ve never tasted salty deviled eggs like this before (Crying..)
What made this become the saltiest appetizer in Seoul? Honestly, I saw the brown color of egg yolk mix and worried a bit, but I didn’t expect this. Maybe Chef Watson’s algorithm to suggest an alternative ingredient is not perfect yet. When he suggested to replace Nam pla sauce with soy sauce, it should have calculated the saltiness of each sauce and let me know the adjusted amount of soy sauce. Maybe 10,000 recipes are not enough to expect this kind of accident that an amateur cook like me can cause.
For those whom it may concern, I’m not related to IBM or Chef Watson. It is my personal interest to test how artificial intelligence decodes the way chefs create recipes and I want to see if this service can be offered to everyone in the near future.