Every Day is a Sushi Day!
After my interview with the men of I Love Blue Sea, they sent us home with a gift of some beautiful black cod and scallops, which we cooked for my relatives that we were staying with that evening. With the black cod we made sashimi (very good!), faux-nagi, and miso black cod (recipe to come soon!). With the scallops we made Hajime’s Hotate, sashimi, and these delicious seared scallops.
Since I had wanted to stop by Boccalone in the Ferry Building to get prosciutto for the Hajime’s Hotate, I also stopped by the 4505 Meats booth at the farmer’s market (they’re there Thursdays and Saturdays) to pick up a few bags of their chicharrones, because I heard they’re to die for. (They are! Consider me addicted, now.)
After lunch at Tataki, Son and I got to thinking on the way back.
“You know what would be really good?” He paused for a long moment, keeping me in an impatient suspense while he thought about it. “What if… you know how they have bacon-wrapped scallops?”
I nodded, not sure where he was going with that.
“Well, what if we did chicharrones instead?”
“Yeah…” A slow smile grew on my face, as I saw what he was getting at. “That might be good…”
“With lemon juice,” he insisted.
“And something else…” I thought for a moment. “What if we put spicy mayonnaise on it, too? Add a little spice, to go with the spice in the chicharrones, a little creaminess…”
“Yes!” Son exclaimed. “This is going on the menu at my restaurant.”
(He has a hypothetical someday restaurant… anytime we come up with a particularly delicious recipe, it goes on the list of random things that will be on the menu if he ever opens a restaurant. Do any of you do that too? )
When we made this later that day, it was a hit. Delicious.
It’s definitely going on the menu.
Aside from rice and nori, avocado is probably one of the most widely used ingredients in sushi rolls. It seems to go well with almost every type of fish.
In our household, kimchi goes with everything. Or at least, that’s Son’s opinion. I’m a little more conservative with my kimchi usage, though I enjoy the fermented vegetables as well.
You don’t have to be a kimchi fanatic like Son to like this combination, though. Avocado and kimchi go quite well together, and the shoyu adds a little saltiness. Chicharrones add a subtle little crunch to the dish. Delicious!
Halibut on Mozzarella Wonton Chips with Jalapeño JamPosted on November 5th, 2010 · 3 Comments »Other Recipes
To the uninitiated, it sounds weird. “Jalapeño jam? Ew. Isn’t that… gross?”
I was one of the skeptical ones, before I tried it. Heck, I’m not a huge fan of spicy anyways, so I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it all that much.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was so wrong. Jalapeño jam is sweet (I know it’s hard to imagine if you’ve never had it) and has only the faintest hint of spice. It’s ridiculously good… especially on nachos. And I hear it’s awesome on crackers with cream cheese, though I haven’t tried it yet.
So when I was looking through my fridge to see what ingredients I had that might go well with halibut, the jalapeño jam caught my eye. I’ve used jalapeños with yellowtail… halibut tastes similar to yellowtail… so therefore surely jalapeño will go awesomely with halibut! (Don’t you love my logic?)
Lately we’ve been trying to get a little more creative with the things we make here. After I mixed the honey-rice vinegar marinade (inspired by the ingredients list from a package of gari), I tasted it and thought it tasted just like lemon tea with honey.
So what goes better with those flavors than… green tea! But once we tried it, the roll was good, but… missing something. What to add, to give it the oomph it needed?
A few days before I had tried the combination of cucumber slices dipped in shoyu. It’s a fantastic combination. Kind of like salt with cucumbers (I’ve eaten that as a snack… do you too?), except better. Turns out, that was exactly what this roll needed to make it just right.
I am not perfect.
In case you were wondering.
I make mistakes, sometimes. Okay, lots of the time.
I was at Mitsuwa the other day, looking for sustainable seafood. (I would have ordered something from I Love Blue Sea, except it was Saturday, and I wanted to make sushi the next day, so there’s no way I would have gotten it in time.)
So I pull up the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch iPhone App. Standing in front of the refrigerated shelves of sashimi, I went to the “Sushi” section of the application, and sorted it by rating. Because I figured, I only want to buy seafood with the best rating, right?
So matching up the recommendations from the list to the options on the shelves, I saw izumidai – tilapia. It appeared to have a good rating, so I went ahead and bought it.
What I didn’t realize until I got home, was that the good rating was only for tilapia farmed in the US. The tilapia I got was from Taiwan. Shoot. That’s the worst type.
(Dear Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch… it would be really great if you could always keep the different ratings for each type of fish grouped, even when we sort it by best rating – so that when I look and see that a type of fish from one region is great, I’ll also see that that same type of fish from other regions aren’t so great, and can therefore make better informed decisions. Thanks, Allison)
I’m no chef. Certainly not. But I wanted to raise the standards for my sushi, make it something that you look at and really crave.
Oh, and Son complains I make too many rolls.
So I was looking through my kitchen, trying to figure out what the heck we had that could possibly be used to make a really awesome dish with the halibut I got.
Then I saw these tomatoes in the fridge, which had been used as a side for a really amazing sake-steamed black cod dish I made the day before. Hm. Tomatoes… seafood… cocktail sauce! Why don’t I make a sort of cocktail sauce, except without the tomatoes mixed in?
(Yes, my mind works in weird ways sometimes.)
So I looked up a recipe for cocktail sauce, then made up my own version, except without the tomatoes blended into it. Just because it looks cooler that way. And… well, this is what I came up with.
It actually turned out very well. Son has fallen in love with the sauce… it goes amazingly well with seafood.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… happy birthday dear Sushi Day, happy birthday to you!
Don’t worry, I won’t actually subject you to my singing. Promise. That would be cruel and unusual punishment, and I’m fairly certain you haven’t done anything to deserve such a fate.
Today’s Sushi Day’s fourth birthday! Can you believe it’s been four years already? I’d tell you to go back and revisit some of the very first posts I ever wrote… but some of those are rather embarrassing. And silly. So we’ll just stay right here today, okay?