Inside Tim Anderson’s Kitchen

25th March 2015

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

The chef on two sweet things from Japan, a wooden sake-drinking box and his mum’s family cookbook


Black sugar »
“A friend sent me 5 kilos of this. It’s basically unrefined brown beet sugar from Okinawa but the flavour is really good. It makes amazing ice cream and you can put it in your coffee. It’s good in savoury dishes too, to sweeten a sauce for example. I’m using it in the sukiyaki.” – Tim

Hikari miso »
“I always have lots of different types of miso in the kitchen. It’s tangy and sweet and salty and umami so it ticks all the boxes. And it can be fruity as well so I use it in desserts. Miso caramel is the new salt caramel.”

Long pepper »
“This is similar to black pepper but it’s a bunch of spices rolled into one: black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, sichaun pepper. I don’t cook a lot with spices but this stuff’s awesome. It would be great with caramelised apples.”

Yuzusco »
“This is basically Tabasco with yuzu[footnote]An East Asian citrus fruit [/footnote]. A Japanese friend gave it to me. It’s really delicious.”

Winner noodles
“For most Japanese dishes you should use fresh noodles. For ramen, get noodles with good alkaline salts in them: potassium carbonate, sodium carbonate. If I’m buying soba noodles, I usually check that they have high quantity of buckwheat flour. I have a few brands I stick with: Winner and Lion are my favourites. Noble noodle names!”

Lalani tea »
“Lalani tea is lovely[footnote]Tim has a Yabukita sencha (green) tea in his cupboard [/footnote]. What else? I’ve got a lot of lapsang suchong – I use that to make my pickled eggs but I don’t like drinking the stuff. I did a job for Twinings ages ago and they made me a custom blend to go with my food. It’s called Tim’s Breakfast. They made a special box and everything.”

Ozone coffee »
“I drink loads of coffee. I’ve got some Climpson’s beans at the moment but I usually drink Ozone.”

Hwayo soju
“I like soju[footnote]Korean spirit traditionally made from rice, similar to Japanese shochu. [/footnote] but I’ve never spent more than £7 on a bottle. Then I saw this and it was more expensive, like £35, but I thought it looked interesting. I don’t know anything about it. It’s much stronger than most soju, which is usually around 25%. This is 41%. It’s a lot rougher, hotter, more alcoholic that I’m used to, but it’s also more complex. It’s lovely.”

Pressure Drop beer »
“I’ve done a few collaborations with [east London brewer] Pressure Drop. For a 4th of July pop-up a few years ago, I wanted to do a Wisconsin menu and we did a wheat beer with pure cranberry juice in it, because Wisconsin is known for its cranberries. It was really good. Then for my pop-up in Brixton last August we basically took the same recipe but added yuzu orange and grapefruit. They really nailed it. I’ve got two bottles left.”

Freeze-dried durian
Someone gave Tim a bag of the notoriously stinky southeast Asian fruit a while back. He fishes it out reluctantly when we ask to try some and pops a piece in his mouth. “Ugh, horrible. Goddamn! It’s not off, it just tastes awful. Aww man.” We protest that it actually tastes kind of okay but in the end we find a bin and surreptitiously jettison the half-chewed chunk. It’s nasty.


Masu cup »
A masu is a square wooden box originally used to measure rice in Japan during the feudal period. Now it’s more commonly used for drinking sake. Tim has a cedarwood masu.

Hitachino glassware
“Hitachino is one of my favourite breweries. It’s in the north of Japan and they’re one of the only Japanese micro-breweries I could find in America when I lived there. They’re really good and their glassware is really rather fine.” – Tim

Noodle baskets »
A handy utensil for cooking noodles.

CDN probe thermometer »
“Very useful.” Most commonly used for checking the temperature of meat to check if it’s cooked.

Broth skimmer »
For skimming solids off the top of broths and stocks.

Mandoline »
“A mandoline is always handy.”

Aeropress »
Ingenious and highly-regarded coffee making device that looks like a giant plunger. “You can’t go wrong with an Aeropress. It’s probably the thing in my kitchen that I use the most.”

Ramen bowl »
“I have lots of these in my kitchen.”


The Fat Duck Cookbook, Heston Blumenthal »
“This book is always awesome. Yeah some of the dishes are complicated but it’s great for inspiration and the recipes are broken down into pretty digestible sub-recipes and everything is so good. You can use it as a reference book because it covers so much, so if you need to know how to make a demi-glace, or a dashi, or if you want to know how to cook scallops, it’s probably in here.” – Tim

Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, Shizuo Tsuji »
“This is like the Larousse of Japanese food. It’s from the 70s but the recipes are timeless. I’ve had this longer than any other cookbook. It’s just a great reference. It covers so many of the basics and the diagrams of the techniques are amazing. If you need a simple recipe then this is the place to get it.”

Pastry: Savoury and Sweet, Michel Roux »
“I use this a lot. It’s foolproof with great photos and recipe diagrams – because with pastry half of it is in the technique.”

The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Katz »
“This is a fantastic book. It’s all about wastage: if you’ve got extra vegetables, put them in a container with some salt and let them funk for a while. Last winter I had a surplus 4kg of red carrots and made a really good fermented carrot chilli ginger thing. It lasted about 6 months and then I turned it into burger sauce.”

Anderson Family Recipes, Tim’s mum
“My mum put together a book of recipes for me and my brother when I was 18 and I still use it a lot. I’d love to update it and publish it. When people think of American food, they think Southern food and burgers and hotdogs. People don’t really know about American home cooking and what it’s really like. There are some great recipes in here: salad with pecans and oranges, banana snacking muffins, peanut-butter cake. There are also some ridiculous ones, like Lynn’s candy-bar salad[footnote]1 tub of Cool Whip, 4 Granny Smith apples chopped, 4 Snickers bars chopped, mix it all up and refrigerate. “Like, what the hell?” says Tim. “That’s not even a recipe, that’s just something you eat when you’re depressed.” [/footnote].”

Alinea, Grant Achatz »
“I’ve have never cooked anything from this book – the dishes are pretty out-there – but it’s great if you’re stuck for ideas on presentation.”


Posted 25th March 2015

In Things


Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

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