Aron Habiger is chef/owner of On the Lam, a traveling pop-up culinary concept based in Santa Ana, Calif. His food reflects the bounty of the Pacific Northwest and Southern California with a big dose of global influence, evidenced in dishes like his Ash-Crusted Kampachi Yellowtail with lemongrass dashi and kabocha squash purée, and his cauliflower rice with lemon brown butter, pickled heirloom carrots and carrot-top pistou.
We asked Habiger to share a trifecta of flavors that are perhaps unexpected, yet sing together in perfect harmony. He came back to us with a trio of golden raisins, yuzu kosho (Japanese fermented paste made from chile peppers, yuzu peel and salt) and toasted cumin, which he makes into a paste by puréeing with a little water.
“I love using this with any kind of brassica, like cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, roasted and charred hard,” says Habiger, who is an alum of chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Los Angeles fine-dining spot, Trois Mec. “The sweetness from the raisins, spice from the yuzu kosho and the umami flavor from the cumin really take your palate on a wild ride.”
He also likes pairing it with yellowtail sashimi. “It’s so simple, and it really complements the clean flavors of the fish,” he says.