Allison Day


Fridgg.com

Every Day is a Sushi Day!

Sushiday.com is all about sushi. My recipes vary from the most traditional sushi to the craziest off-the-wall combinations. Every week I will post new sushi recipes that I have made, as well as sushi restaurant reviews, sushi tutorials, and other sushi-related randomness. Every day is a sushi day!



Sushi 'Cake'

Ten years ago, I was only twenty years old.

Ten years ago, I was known as “the ballerina” to everyone who knew me, even though I never quite danced professionally.

Ten years ago, I was in the midst of college, trying to figure out what to do with my life – should I become a physicist? or an accountant?

Ten years ago, I had the most handsome boyfriend, who had just graduated with his master’s degree.

Ten years ago, that boyfriend of mine suggested I start a food blog – because “it’s a really good way to make money” (hah!) – so I decided to start a sushi blog, since there weren’t any other sushi blogs out there at the time.

~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I just turned thirty. (Yes, old.)

Now, I’m more referred to as “sushi girl” by all my friends.

Now, I spend all my free time writing code, because I realized I like programming way better than reading research papers or crunching numbers in an office.

Now, that boyfriend has (finally) become my fiance, and very soon will be my husband. (!!!)

Now, that sushi blog is turning ten years old! (And no, I never actually made much money off of it.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Happy birthday, Sushi Day!

I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I posted those first few (horribly photographed) sushi recipes. It’s been a fun decade – I’ve met so many awesome people through the blog, both online and in person. Son and I have grown so much – his photography has improved vastly, and my writing and recipes are hopefully much better than they were ten years ago.

I had this cool idea of making an awesome sushi cake to celebrate Sushi Day’s tenth birthday… and then it ended up looking more like a five year-old’s mud pie. So instead, it became more of a sushi parfait. (Story of my blogging life – well that didn’t work… guess we’ll try something else!)

Thank you to everyone who’s stuck around for the last decade (even though I’m mostly an absentee blogger these days). I can’t promise I’ll be around more often (time for sushi-making and blog post writing tends to be in short supply these days), but I do have a few things that I’ve made that may show up here and there when I have some time to write. Sushi Day these days is like an old dog – still just as happy to have you around, but a good bit slower and calmer than she used to be. (I wonder if blog years are measured like dog years?)

Happy sushi days to all, and as always… enjoy!

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Spicy Tofu RollPosted on October 11th, 2016 · 2 Comments »

Maki Recipes


Spicy tofu roll

I’ve been a big fan of Marisa Baggett for quite some time now. (We sushi ladies stick together!) I loved her first book, Sushi Secrets – so when I heard she was coming out with a second, vegetarian sushi cookbook… I was definitely excited.

Then she reached out to me about a year ago, asking if I’d write a foreword for her upcoming cookbook. I was flabbergasted. Marisa Baggett, southern sushi chef extraordinaire, wants me, maker of the most random sushi and owner of a more or less defunct sushi blog, to write something for her cookbook?! This woman had Trevor Corson write the foreword for her last cookbook. I was certain she’d made a mistake, perhaps she meant to ask someone else?

But no – she really did mean to ask me.

And today, nearly a year later, I can officially say I’m a published author (I swear this counts… sort of…), because today is the release date of Vegetarian Sushi Secrets!!!

(Can you tell I’m all sorts of excited?)

And seeing as not only did I contribute a foreword to the book, but also that I am a sushi blogger (ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in ages), of course I had to try out some recipes from her book to celebrate!

As a matter of fact, I tried three recipes. Her Faux Roe “Boats” are a fun vegetarian take on fish roe gunkan maki! Her Clear Soup with Pumpkin Dumplings was delicious and easy to make, and perfect for these cooler autumn days – you can find that recipe over on the Fridgg Blog.

But my absolute favorite recipe that I tried from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets is her Spicy Tofu Roll.

To say Son and I loved this roll would be to put it mildly. It would be more accurate to say we’re obsessed, we’re addicted, we couldn’t stop going back for more.

Now I must warn you – there’s a good reason this is called a Spicy Tofu Roll. One piece had me sprinting for a glass of water, then following it with a glass of milk to try to cool my flaming mouth. (Although, yes, I am a bit of a spice wimp. But in my defense, Son thought it was pretty spicy too.)

But despite all that (or perhaps because of it), I couldn’t.stop.eating them. The flavor combination is exactly on point (and trust me – even though it makes it even spicier, you must top each piece with a bit of curry mayonnaise!), and the textures of the ingredients complemented each other perfectly. Next time I’m quadrupling the batch, because Son and I demolished the rolls I made.

And the ultimate complement? Of all the sushi recipes I’ve ever posted on Sushi Day, there are only a few that end up on the annual New Year’s Day sushi rotation: I make a bunch of bacon crunchy shrimp rolls, a few kyoto rolls, plenty of spicy shrimp inari, and just a couple of kappa maki. But despite the fact that my mom’s generation of my family really, really doesn’t do spicy, these Spicy Tofu Rolls are definitely going in this year’s sushi rotation – even if the younger generation are the only ones brave enough to eat it!


Spicy tofu roll

Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the tofu, green onion, orange juice, fresh orange zest, togarashi, dark sesame oil, and garlic chili paste. Add salt, to taste.
  2. Place a 4×7-in (10×18-cm) sheet of nori vertically on a bamboo rolling mat. Make sure that the short end is parallel to the bottom of the mat and that the rough side is facing upwards.
  3. Dip your fingertips lightly in cool water and spread about 3/4 cup (150 g) of the sushi rice evenly over the bottom 3/4 of the nori.
  4. Spread 2 1/2 tablespoons of the spicy tofu mixture horizontally across the center of the rice. Place 1 avocado wedge on top of the spicy tofu. Top with 1/4 of the carrots.
  5. Wet your fingertips again and slide your thumbs underneath the mat while grasping the fillings with all other fingertips. Roll the bottom of the mat just over the fillings, tucking the fillings tightly under the fold. (Do not allow the mat to get stuck inside the roll!)
  6. Lift the edge of the mat. Continue rolling until the roll is complete and the seam is facing down. Gently shape the roll by pressing your forefingers on top of the mat while simultaneously pressing your thumbs and middle fingers on the sides.
  7. Allow the roll to rest seam-side down on a cutting board for at least 2 minutes. Repeat steps to make 3 more rolls.
  8. To cut the rolls, dip the blade of a very sharp knife in water. Use a swift sawing motion to cut each roll into 5 pieces. Dollop curry mayonnaise on each piece and top with faux roe before serving.

I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Curry MayonnaisePosted on October 11th, 2016 · 3 Comments »

Other Recipes


Spicy tofu roll

One batch of this is way, way more than you need for a batch of the spicy tofu rolls from Marisa Baggett’s Vegetarian Sushi Secrets.

However, you should definitely still make a full batch. Because if you’re anything like me, you will find yourself addicted to this amazing curry mayonnaise, and start putting it on everything.

Eat it with sushi. Slather it on sandwiches. Dip vegetables in it. The possibilities are endless!

As for me, I’m off to go make another batch. Like I said… addicted!

Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small non-metal bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using to allow the flavors to settle.

I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Faux Roe “Boats”Posted on October 11th, 2016 · No Comments »

Other Recipes


Faux roe boats

Roe, roe, roe your boat…

These “Faux Roe Boats”, or gunkan maki, are a fun sushi to make, and easier than normal rolled sushi – perfect for beginners!

Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Wet your fingertips and palms lightly with water. Grab a walnut-sized amount of the sushi rice (about 2 tablespoons) and mold it into a rectangular mound. The bottom should be flat. Repeat this with the remaining rice to form 12 “beds” in all.
  2. Cut the nori into twelve 1 1/2 x 5-in (4×13-cm) strips. (Any remaining nori can be saved and cut into “seatbelts” for nigiri sushi.) Wrap one strip of nori, rough side facing in, around 1 bed of rice to form a wall. If desired, use a single grain of rice to “glue” the edges together. Repeat with remaining nori strips and rice beds.
  3. Arrange the rice beds on a serving tray. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the faux roe.

I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Faux RoePosted on October 11th, 2016 · 4 Comments »

Other Recipes


Faux roe boats

When I first saw the recipe list from Marisa Baggett’s new cookbook, Vegetarian Sushi Secrets, this Faux Roe recipe jumped out at me. How did she manage to create something that looks so similar to real fish roe, and yet is vegetarian?

Well now I know – amaranth! This grain is one of those “superfoods” that people go on about, and in addition to being healthy, is the perfect size and shape to imitate fish roe. Add in some turmeric for color, and vegetarian dashi for an almost-fishy flavor, and you’ve got the perfect “faux roe”!


Spicy tofu roll

Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!

One batch of this is enough to make both the faux roe “boats” and the spicy tofu rolls.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetarian dashi (half a batch)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) amaranth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • One 1/2-in (1.25-cm) piece kombu (kelp), wiped with a damp cloth
Cooking Directions
  1. Bring the vegetarian dashi to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the amaranth, salt, and turmeric, stirring well to prevent sticking. Add the kombu. Cover the pan and reduce heat to keep at a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. There should still be some liquid left in the pan. Strain the amaranth and set aside to cool.

I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Vegetarian DashiPosted on October 11th, 2016 · 1 Comment »

Other Recipes


Clear soup with pumpkin dumplings

Even though I am by no means vegetarian, I have a tendency to make vegetarian dashi far more than the normal dashi that uses bonito flakes. I especially like this version – nice and simple to make!

Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Cover the dried shiitake mushrooms with the water and allow to soak for 5 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) of the soaking water.
  2. Wipe the kombu on both sides with a damp cloth. Bring the reserved shiitake water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the kombu and soaked mushrooms.
  3. Stir all ingredients, and then allow to sit for 5 minutes. Strain away mushrooms and kombu to obtain the dashi liquid.

I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Spicy Mushroom InariPosted on December 28th, 2014 · 21 Comments »

Maki Recipes


Mushroom inari

Every few months, Son and I go out to eat KBBQ with some of his old coworkers. Charred meat, a huge variety of banchan, your clothes smelling like KBBQ all the way home… what’s not to love? Unless, of course, you’re the one vegetarian of the group, who always gets stuck in the corner, marinating in meat smoke while noshing on whatever meatless dishes the restaurant happens to serve.

To make up for that, every time we have a potluck, I try to make some hearty, delicious meatless dishes that our token vegetarian can enjoy. Especially when he’s the one hosting – it just seems so wrong to bring a meaty dish to a vegetarian’s house.

One of the sushi recipes that I make most often for potlucks and at home is my Spicy Shrimp Inari. It’s simple and delicious… and, as it turns out, seriously easy to convert to vegetarian! Now, this new mushroom inari recipe, along with my Vegan Sushi, are my go-to recipes when I know vegetarians or vegans will be present. Both are easy to make, and both are delicious enough that even serious carnivores love them!

Ingredients
  • 1 package aburaage (inari pouches)
  • 3 cups sumeshi
  • 1 whole portabello mushroom
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook sushi rice.
  2. Slice the portabello mushroom into long slices, then cut each slice in half.
  3. Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and saute the mushroom slices until softened and brown.
  4. Prepare the inari pouches according to the directions on the package. (Some require no preparation, while some say you should boil the pouch of inari for a few minutes before using them.)
  5. Mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce until well blended.
  6. Stuff each pouch of inari with about 1/4 cup of rice.
  7. Lay a piece of mushroom on top of each stuffed inari.
  8. Drizzle a little spicy mayonnaise over the mushroom.
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the sauce.
  10. Enjoy!

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It’s been two and a half years since Son and I went to Japan with Rachael and her family, and it seems I never quite finished posting about the trip! Oops.

However, since I find it helpful to refer back to the trip (especially when other people ask for recommendations), and I hope you all find these posts interesting and informative, I’m going to post about the rest of the trip anyways! (And if any of you go to Japan, let me know! I love hearing about other peoples’ trips.)

All the previous posts from our 2012 Japan trip can be found here.

———-

Our last day in Japan was a short one. We took the Shinkensen, all the way back to Tokyo.


Shinkensen back to Narita Airport


Leaving Kyoto


Countryside


Allison on the train

Of course we had to have some snacks, on the way.


Son with the shumai chips

Shumai chips – odd, but addictive!


Shumai chips


Train conductor


Back in Tokyo


View of houses from the train

Goodbye, Japan! We hope to be back soon!


At the airport.  Goodbye Japan!

(P.S. I’m surprised I wasn’t charged an overweight fee for my bags – half the weight was from cookbooks alone!)


Final cookbook tally

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It’s been two and a half years since Son and I went to Japan with Rachael and her family, and it seems I never quite finished posting about the trip! Oops.

However, since I find it helpful to refer back to the trip (especially when other people ask for recommendations), and I hope you all find these posts interesting and informative, I’m going to post about the rest of the trip anyways! (And if any of you go to Japan, let me know! I love hearing about other peoples’ trips.)

All the previous posts from our 2012 Japan trip can be found here.

———-

On our last full day in Kyoto, we were lucky enough to meet up with an old friend of mine who now lives in Kyoto. I’ve known Kaori since I was a teenager, when we both danced with the same pre-professional ballet company. These days, she’s dancing as a professional ballerina with a ballet company in Kyoto.

We met up with her at Shijo station, then headed to Cafe Reims.


Cafe Reims menus


Outside of the cafe


Inside of the cafe


Inside the cafe


Kitchen

I ordered pasta with salmon, asparagus, white sauce, and fish eggs.


Pasta with salmon, asparagus, white sauce, and fish eggs

Kaori got a fish burger.


Kaori's fish burger

And Son had a hamburg plate.


Son's hamburg plate


Kaori

After lunch, we headed to Nishiki market, which was just down the street from the cafe.


Unagi shop in Nishiki market


Shop in Nishiki market

Nishiki market hadn’t changed much from when we visited back in 2010 – remember these little candied octopuses?


Octopus

There are so many tasty things to try at Nishiki market, it would be a shame to leave without buying anything!

So we got senbei…


Senbei shop


Man making senbei


Shop selling dried seafood

… black beans…


Allison and Kaori buying beans


Shop selling greens


Shop selling tsukemono


Shop selling misozuke


Allison and Kaori walking through Nishiki market

… yuzu kosho…


Shop where we bought yuzu kosho

… and shoyu mochi with matcha and red bean fillings.


Nishiki market


Allison and Kaori

After shopping, Kaori had to go run some errands, so after bidding her goodbye, Son and I stopped at Ippudo for ramen. Of course.


Just inside Ippudo


Diners at Ippudo


Ippudo Menu


Condiments


Gyoza


Ramen


Ramen


Ramen


Allison in front of Ippudo

Five stars, would go again. 😀


Shellfish shop in Nishiki


Gift shop


Plush sushi


Samurai with utility belt

On our way back out through Nishiki market, we stopped and got some mochi with kinako for dessert. Delicious.


Mochi with kinako

After heading back to the hotel to pack, we finally got to check out the Kyoto Station CUBE.


Yatsu hashi shop

We found some tasty food souviniers to bring home for friends and family.


Allison shopping for food souvenirs to bring home


Mochi


Cakes

… and then headed to the hot food section to find some tasty foods for dinner!


Man making sushi


Inari shop


Tebasaki shop

After purchasing all sorts of deliciousness for dinner, we left the shops in the basement, and headed alllll the way to the top of Kyoto station.


Heading up to the roof of Kyoto Station


View of Kyoto from the roof of Kyoto Station

Way up on the 10th floor of Kyoto station, is a cute little area called “Happy Terrace”, where we sat a bit and ate.


Allison eating the pork and potatoes

We had found all sorts of interesting things, like pork with potatoes…


Pork and potatoes


View of Kyoto Tower across Happy Terrace

… and a beautiful bento box.


Bento box

(We really couldn’t get enough of the bento boxes in Japan – they were all so wonderful!)


Bento box


Schoolkids invading the roof


Schoolkids looking at one of their cameras

And then Happy Terrace got mobbed by a swarm of schoolkids.


Schoolkids everywhere

(Kyoto Tower looks so pretty from here!)


Kyoto Tower

So we headed back down the 10 flights of escalators…


The view down 10+ flights of escalators to the bottom of Kyoto station


Happy Terrace


So many schoolkids!


Heading back down to Kyoto Station


The roof of Kyoto Station


Kyoto Tower


Allison in front of Kyoto Tower

… all the way back down to the train station.


Shinkensen tracks at night

But before we left, we needed to make one more stop!

Had to buy a few last shiro cream puffs from Beard Papa’s, to bring home to California.


Allison buying cream puffs

Back at the hotel, we got into the other two things we bought at the Kyoto Station CUBE.

Five kinds of inari sushi – oh, how I wish I could find these in LA!


Inari Sushi


Inari Sushi


Inari Sushi


Inari Sushi


Inari Sushi

And tebasaki chicken wings. Delicious!


Tebasaki

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