Maki sushi is probably the most well known type of sushi in the U.S. It consists of a layer of nori surrounding a layer of rice surrounding the fillings in the middle, all rolled into a cylinder and then cut into several smaller slices. The most well known type of maki sushi is the California Roll.
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!
- 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
- Cook sushi rice.
- Slice the portabello mushroom into long slices, then cut each slice in half.
- Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and saute the mushroom slices until softened and brown.
- 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.)
- Mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce until well blended.
- Stuff each pouch of inari with about 1/4 cup of rice.
- Lay a piece of mushroom on top of each stuffed inari.
- Drizzle a little spicy mayonnaise over the mushroom.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the sauce.
A few months ago, a new restaurant opened in Redondo Beach that serves nothing but poke. We’re kind of addicted. (We like the California Roll poke the best.)
A few weeks ago, Son and I went on a business trip/vacation to Europe, which was tons of fun, exhausting, and left us craving Asian food like crazy. (Check out my Instagram for lots of pictures from the trip, and keep an eye on the Fridgg blog for writeups about everywhere we went, as soon as Son has time to process some of the thousands of pictures he took!) (We totally have been binging on Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food since we’ve gotten back.)
And then, Saturday night, after a long day full of lots of eating, Son and I were standing in front of the fish counter in Whole Foods at closing time, trying to figure out what I should cook for the next week. “Figure out what you want,” I told Son with a yawn, as I gently pushed him towards the big slabs of fish.
“Hmmm, maybe salmon…” he hemmed and hawed.
“All the salmon is sashimi grade,” offered the man behind the counter, with a smile. “You could make poke…”
“Ooooh!” Son and I both perked up at the idea. “We could get a couple of pounds of salmon, and make half into poke, and cook the other half…”
So we bought the fish, and the next day, used Samantha’s ahi poke recipe (substituting the salmon for the ahi tuna, of course), and made half of the salmon into poke. And then made the other half of the salmon into poke, because it was too delicious not to.
Recipe slightly adapted from Samantha of Little Ferraro Kitchen
- 1 lb sashimi-grade salmon, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp shoyu
- 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional – Son thought it was a little too salty, but I liked it with the sea salt, so add to taste)
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now that we’ve launched Fridgg, I’m a little more conscious of being on top of holidays before they happen (unlike how I always used to post holiday recipes a week or so after the fact!) For example, I got the Halloween sushi post up a couple of days before Halloween, and here I am with a Thanksgiving post a whole two weeks before Thanksgiving (so long as you don’t count the Canadians)!
I recently realized that in all the six years that Sushi Day has been around, I’ve never once done a single Halloween post.
Not a single one!
Obviously, that needed to change.Continue Reading
Over the years, we’ve all seen the American flag cakes, the patriotic fruit kabobs, the everything red, white, and blue for Independence Day. Heck, even Pocky sticks have been decked out in patriotic colors!
So, considering this is a sushi blog (and completely disregarding the fact that I have hardly posted in ages, thankyouverymuch), I’d be awfully remiss if I didn’t make something sushi-style for the Fourth of July.
For the red and white, I used sashimi, of course. (I made this as a chirashi – sashimi on top of a bowl of sushi rice – so there is a layer of sushi rice underneath.) The red is ahi tuna, and the white is made up of bay scallops.
For the blue, I decided I wanted to make something with blueberries. I hemmed and hawed between pickled blueberries, some sort of blue tsukemono (Japanese pickles), or this blueberry salsa. Since it was only a couple of days before the fourth, I ended up not having enough time to make pickles, and no time to go to the Japanese supermarket to search for blue tsukemono. So salsa it was.
(I used red jalapeños instead of green ones, and lemon juice instead of lime – funny story, I thought I had run out of lime juice, then found it in the very back of the fridge several hours later. Oops.)
This recipe can easily be adapted to make however much or little you would like. As written, this makes a 12″ square chirashi “bowl”, which could probably feed 4 people on its own, or a whole lot of people as part of a potluck.
When I first tried uni, at a little sushi restaurant in Honolulu in the summer of 2008, I was not a fan. Something about the texture, the saltiness, and how exotic it seems just put me off. For the next three years, I was convinced that I just plain didn’t like uni.
In spring of 2011, I was at a fellow food blogger’s house, filming some sustainable sushi videos for a friend with a couple of other friends of mine who are also food bloggers. Among the types of seafood we had to work with was some fresh golden uni.
Since this was my first time meeting Rachael and Greg, and at the time I had only met Cathy and Martin once… I sure as heck wasn’t about to admit that I, a sushi blogger, didn’t like uni. Especially since everyone else was raving about it so much.
So I tried the uni temarizushi that Rachael made… and they were actually pretty good. Then I ventured to try the fresh uni straight from the tray… suffice to say that since then, I’ve become a full-on uni lover.
Lucky for me, uni is pretty sustainable, not to mention good for you as well (and also an aphrodisiac… oh la la! ~_^)
If you want to know more about uni, why not listen to the uni episode of my Miso Hungry Podcast?
A few weeks ago, Rachael gave me a cool little kitchen toy called a Rice Cube. (Disclaimer: I got this as a gift, and Rice Cube also donated several Rice Cubes for us to give away on our podcast.) So when I bought a tray of uni for the uni episode, I wanted to find a way to use the rice cube with it.
I tried compressing the uni into a cube with the rice… but that just looked ugly (though still delicious). So instead I made a cube with the sushi rice, laid a lobe of uni over it, then sprinkled it with paprika and topped it with a sliver of green onion. I actually liked this better than normal nigiri, because not only was it ridiculously easy to make, the ratio of rice to uni was also perfect.
If you want a Rice Cube for yourself, you can buy one through their campaign to fight childhood obesity on IndieGoGo at a discount and have the proceeds go towards fighting childhood obesity. OR… you can head over to the Tako Episode of my podcast, where we’re giving away three of them!
I love to cook for others. Like, really, really love making sushi for other people.
In a perfect world, I’d be allowed to experiment and have as much freedom coming up with new rolls as I do here on Sushi Day. But this isn’t a perfect world, and not everyone will eat all the random rolls I put together (and, to be honest, not everything I attempt comes out well…). And I’m okay with that.
These days, there are a lot of things you have to take into account when making sushi for other people, like if you’re going to a potluck. While my Spicy Shrimp Inari is always a crowd pleaser, you know there are always a few picky eaters: “I don’t eat seafood… at all.” (Hence my Man Sushi… trust me, that’ll convince any meat eater that sushi’s actually delicious!)
Then there are those with allergies – gluten-free? Just stay away from tempura. (And bring some wheat-free tamari soy sauce… did you know that most normal soy sauce actually has wheat products in it?) Dairy-free? Okay, no rolls with cream-cheese.
And, of course, you have those with other dietary restrictions, like vegetarians and vegans. At the most recent potluck I went to, I knew we’d have a few vegetarian/vegan attendees. So in addition to the other sushi dishes that I brought, I decided to come up with a vegetarian roll.
Obviously, I was going to use primarily vegetables in the roll. I considered using tofu, but decided against it since I didn’t think there would be a quick, easy way to make tofu taste good in sushi. (I needed something that wouldn’t be too time-consuming, since I was making four dishes that morning for the potluck.) I also couldn’t resort to tempura-frying the veggies, since tempura isn’t vegan – the batter uses egg. For the same reason, no mayonnaise is allowed either.
But it had to be a delicious, somehow interesting roll. It just wouldn’t be right to make delicious rolls for my meat-eating friends, and then bring a boring, “blah” roll for my vegan friends. So I had to come up with something so good even the meat-eaters would love it.
“Asparagus… roasted. Obviously. I love roasted asparagus.”
“Onions… sauteed? Nah, I want a texture contrast. How about fried? Yeah, I’ll need to heat up oil to fry the Arctic Char and Cream Cheese Wontons, so I can just fry up a bunch of thinly-sliced onions before I start the wontons.”
“What else… what would go well with asparagus and onions? Hm. How about carrots? Yeah, carrots would be good. But I don’t want to just roast them. I’m already roasting the asparagus; another plain roasted vegetable would be boring. Oooh, what if I glaze them with a little maple syrup? That would add a nice sweetness that should round out the roll.”
So how did it turn out? According to my veg(etari)an (as well as my omnivorous) friends, this fish-less, meat-less roll was a grand success. So much so, that it has definitely earned a place in my regular potluck menu. ^_^
Question: What do you do when you’re tasked with making sushi for a group of friends, but one of your male friends has never eaten sushi and refuses to try raw fish?
Easy: MAN SUSHI. (Just imagine I’m saying that in a deep, “manly” voice.)
But what on earth is “Man Sushi”?
Well, what sort of food does your stereotypical man love? That’s an easy one: beef, and anything battered and fried. Of course.
All you have to do is put grilled beef teriyaki and tempura-fried vegetables in a sushi roll, (and throw in some spicy mayonnaise for good measure), and you’ll have a roll that your man will not only try, but will still be talking about a year later.
A Valentine’s Day Love Story, and Oysters with a Saffron SaucePosted on February 14th, 2011 · 11 Comments »Other Recipes
It was the very beginning of the year 2005. I was a freshman at UC Irvine – a dance major. It was a miserably cold, rainy winter in Southern California. Ants had infested my dorm room, and the boy I had been dating for the last nine months had just broken up with me, a week into the winter quarter.
I was a mess.
As any teenager is apt to feel after a breakup, I was devastated. I didn’t have many friends at my new school – I’ve always been terribly shy around new people – and I felt awful about myself after I got dumped. Alone as I felt at the time, I started to do things that I might not have ever even considered before that winter… like try out for a ballroom dance team at the university.
I remember sitting in my dorm room, reading the Anteater Weekly – a weekly newsletter emailed to all the students, with information about club meetings and other events happening at UCI. Ordinarily, I would never consider going to any of the events listed – I was always too shy to join any clubs, or show up to anything but my normal classes on campus. But that week, right after my breakup, something caught my eye – there were going to be auditions for a ballroom team the upcoming Friday.
I had always wanted to do ballroom dancing, but in high school I had no time to do anything other than study and rehearse with my pre-professional ballet company. So, timid as I was, I decided I was going to go try out. I didn’t think I would get in – after all, I didn’t really have any ballroom experience, other than dancing with a Latin band the previous summer, and UCI’s dance program was very competitive. But I figured it was worth a try – I was certain I would love it if I did manage to get in.
So I went – and not only did I completely rock the audition, I actually ended up spending most of the ‘practice’ time at the audition trying to teach the routine to other students who had no dance experience at all.
Son was in the first year of working on his Master’s degree in Information and Computer Science at UCI. He hated it there. At the time, he was considering transferring to USC for his second year. But in the meantime, he had decided to take the Social Dance class to fulfill his one non-major elective that he was allowed to take, since he enjoyed latin dancing.
He hadn’t intended to audition for the ballroom team. But the teacher saw that he was a good partner – something that can be hard to find – and convinced him to try out.
Son says he noticed me that very first day, that he couldn’t stop watching me at the audition – somehow, out of all the girls trying out, I was the one who caught his eye. I didn’t notice him… yet. I was too busy trying to help the other girls learn the very easy ballroom combination.