Search Results for: arctic char

Arctic Char and Cream Cheese Wontons (Psst… we’re having a contest!)

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>I have a challenge for you.</p> <p>Come up with something - <em>anything</em> (though it has to be edible food) - that wouldn't go well in a wonton.</p> <p>I bet you can't do it.</p> <p>(Neener neener!)</p> <p>I mean, really. You can fold anything in a wonton skin, fry it up, and it'll be delicious.</p> <p>An. Y. Thing.</p> <p>And if you can't come up with something that would do badly in wontons? Give me a cool, crazy, awesome, ridiculously creative combination that you would put in a wonton.</p> <p>Like <a href="">these</a>, which my great aunt asks me to make every year at our family's annual Christmas party. </p> <p>Or like this recipe here - arctic char with dill cream cheese, drizzled with a maple ponzu sauce.</p> <p>Heck yeah.</p> <p>Good stuff.</p> <p>And... you know what?</p> <p>I think I'll give away a <a href="">Sushi Day shirt and a sushi kit</a> to the person who comes up with the best (edible!) suggestion for what <em>WOULD NOT</em> go well in wontons.</p> <p>And I'll give away <em>another</em> <a href="">Sushi Day shirt and a sushi kit</a> to the person who comes up with the best <em>GOOD</em> combination that I can put in a wonton.</p> <p>You have 1 week to enter. That's until next Thursday, November 18, at 11:59PM PST.</p> <p>Ready... go!</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span>

Arctic Char Rosette Chirashi

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>Every time I get a new type of fish, I try to think of good flavor combinations that I can use as inspiration for my dishes. I look through my bookmarks for recipes using that fish. I ask people on <a href="!/sushiday/status/2135203464089600">twitter</a>. I look back in my archives for <a href="">older, similar recipes</a> for inspiration.</p> <p>For today's recipe, for example, I found a <a href="">salmon recipe that I had bookmarked a while ago</a> and decided that the sauce looked fantastic, then deconstructed a <a href="">salmon recipe</a> I had made years ago for the dish itself.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span>

Tataki and Mindshare, bringing sustainable sushi to Los Angeles

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="seared albacore tuna belly nigiri"/> </span> <p>Sustainability is an important food issue these days. But what people don't always realize, is that it can also be a very <em>delicious</em> issue.</p> <p>Luckily, we have people like <a href="">Hajime Sato</a> of <a href="">Mashiko</a>, the lovely people at <a href="">I Love Blue Sea</a>, and <a href="">Casson Trenor</a> to show us just how delicious sustainability can be.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="The Butterfly Project Loft"/> </span> <p>Last week was a perfect example of this. There was an event in Los Angeles - <a href="">A VIP Mindshare LA Sustainable Sushi Experience</a> with <a href="">Tataki Sushi</a> at the very cool Project Butterfly Loft that Son, <a href="">Rachael</a>, and I were lucky enough to get to go to.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Kin Lui and Raymond Ho, chefs at Tataki Sushi Bar in San Francisco"/> </span> <p>Tataki is a sushi bar in San Francisco... actually, <em>three</em> sushi bars in San Francisco. And now they're looking to open a branch in Los Angeles.</p> <p>Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about it. A sustainable sushi restaurant in LA? You can bet I'll be there quite a bit... and I'm going to be doing anything I can to help them do well. Want to help? <a href="">Email me</a> and I'll get your info to Casson.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Casson Trenor"/> </span> <p>But as much as the dinner was about getting the word out about bringing Tataki to Los Angeles, it was also just as much about the food. And oh boy, was it ever about the food... amazing, delicious, creative food!</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 1: Pumpkin-carrot soup and a coho salmon salad with three types of seaweed and a miso-sesame dressing"/> </span> <p>The first course was made up of a pumpkin-carrot soup, and a coho salmon salad that had three types of seaweed in it. The soup had the sort of flavor that seems like a new, different flavor, but you just cannot stop eating it. The seaweed in the salad was a new experience for me - more than your typical wakame seaweed that you find in many Japanese applications. It was texturally fascinating, and the salmon, of course, melted in your mouth.</p> <p><a href="">Coho salmon</a> is generally considered a good choice in terms of sustainability, because of how it is fished - especially when it uses trolling methods (a hook-and-line method that tows fishing lines behind or alongside a boat, which is considered an environmentally responsible fishing method.).</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 2: Canal Oysters with tobiko, basil chiffonade, Sriracha, and ponzu sauce"/> </span> <p>The second of nine courses consisted of Canal oysters, topped with tobiko, basil chiffonade, and a Sriracha ponzu sauce. I only recently developed a taste for oysters - three years ago, at <a href="">the first sustainable sushi dinner I attended at Mashiko</a>. (It's all coming full circle!) These were delicious. Of course. (There's a good chance I will be trying to make these at home, soon.)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 2: Canal Oysters with tobiko, basil chiffonade, Sriracha, and ponzu sauce"/> </span> <p><a href="">Oysters</a> are one of the best types of seafood you can eat. They are almost always farmed, and according to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, most of these farming operations are very well managed - so as consumers we have little to worry about here.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 3: Albacore tuna poke with endive and nori"/> </span> <p>The third course was a Hawaiian-influenced albacore tuna poke, with nori and endive. I really want more of this. I had never considered endive as a pairing for sashimi, but when you spoon a little of the poke onto it and take a bite, it's entirely addictive.</p> <p><a href="">Albacore tuna</a> is a great choice, especially when compared to unsustainable options like bluefin tuna. The albacore tuna is much smaller than the bluefin, and something that Casson constantly says is that the smaller the fish, the better option it is. (Sardines are a <em>great</em> option.)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 4: Vegan tsukune made of mountain yam, panko, water chestnuts, and bean curd. (Tsukune are usually chicken meatballs)"/> </span> <p>The next course was a vegan tsukune, made of mountain yam, panko, water chestnuts, and bean curd. "But," I'm sure you're wondering, "if it's vegan, then that means there's no fish. How does this fit into a sustainable sushi dinner?"</p> <p>Part of what Casson and the chefs at Tataki are trying to show is that sustainability is about more than just eating the right fish - vegetables are a vastly overlooked solution. As you'll see later (and as <a href="">I've mentioned</a> in the past), vegan sushi can be so good, that even meat-lovers crave it.</p> <p>That goes for these meatballs two-fold. Tsukune are usually meatballs made of chicken, but I'd claim that this vegan version is even better. You have no idea how much I am still craving them. (Casson, when you guys open a LA branch of Tataki, these had better be on the menu!)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 5: Arctic char sashimi with dill and capers"/> </span> <p>Course number five consisted of arctic char sashimi with dill and capers. Although obviously not a very Japanese dish, it utterly melts in your mouth.</p> <p><a href="">I've been talking</a> about <a href="">arctic char</a> as a sustainable substitution for salmon for quite a while, and for good reason - it's delicious. And sustainable! Most of the arctic char sold in the US is farmed, and luckily for us, done in closed systems - land-based systems that prevent a lot of the issues that come with open farms.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 6: Horse mackerel sashimi with ginger and daikon, kampachi, skipjack tuna with mustard and scallions, hokkaido scallops layered with lemon slices."/> </span> <p>It wouldn't be a sustainable sushi dinner without a sashimi course, and Tataki definitely delivered. The course included horse mackerel sashimi with ginger and daikon, kampachi, skipjack tuna with mustard and scallions, and hokkaido scallops layered with lemon slices. The skipjack tuna melted me, and in my opinion you can never go wrong with scallops. The horse mackerel and kampachi? Also amazing.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, <a href="">horse mackerel</a>, <a href="">kanpachi</a>, <a href="">skipjack tuna</a>, and <a href="">scallops</a> are all good choices when it comes to sustainability.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="seared albacore tuna belly nigiri and black cod 'faux-nagi' (made to taste like unagi)"/> </span> <p>The seventh course had everyone sighing happily. This course consisted of four nigiri, but Casson had very specific instructions about the order in which you were to eat them. Traditionally, you are supposed to eat sushi in the order from the most delicate to the fattiest/most flavorful, and this was no exception.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="black cod 'faux-nagi' (made to taste like unagi)"/> </span> <p>We were instructed to start with the <a href="">suzuki (striped bass)</a> nigiri, that was topped with tobiko.</p> <p>Then we were to sample the <a href="">seared albacore belly</a> nigiri - this was when the room lit up with ecstatic groans. (Although everything was amazing, if I had to pick a single favorite bite from the evening, it would have been this.)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 7: Suzuki (striped bass) nigiri with tobiko, seared albacore tuna belly nigiri, saba (mackerel) nigiri with candied kombu, black cod 'faux-nagi' (made to taste like unagi)"/> </span> <p>Third of the nigiri we were instructed to eat was the <a href="">saba (mackerel)</a> mackerel with candied kombu.</p> <p>Lastly, something that I've made and posted here in the past - Tataki's <a href="">black cod</a> <a href="">"faux-nagi"</a>. As we know, <a href="">unagi</a> is a bad choice when it comes to sustainability... the problem is that everybody loves it. So Tataki came up with this black cod-based substitution... try it, and you'll see that it does quite well in place of unagi.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 8: Reggae Roll - vegan uramaki with asparagus and cucumber, topped with avocado, cherry tomato, and shaved pumpkin. Served with avocado puree, Sriracha aioli, and Sriracha sauce for dipping."/> </span> <p>Then we moved on to the (ura)maki sushi course. Or rather, courses. Although this was billed as a 9-course dinner, it really turned out to be more like 12 courses after all the maki rolls!</p> <p>Like I mentioned before, they started the maki course with a vegan roll - the Reggae Roll. Filled with asparagus and cucumber, and topped with avocado, cherry tomato, and shaved pumpkin, then served with avocado puree, Sriracha aioli, and Sriracha sauce for dipping... it's so flavorful, you have no opportunity to miss the fish.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 8: Golden State Roll - uramaki filled with scallops, Sriracha, and green apple, and topped with avocado, albacore, masago, and an apple spice reduction. All ingredients are local."/> </span> <p>The second of the four rolls was the Golden State Roll - an uramaki filled with scallops, Sriracha, and green apple, and topped with avocado, albacore, masago, and an apple spice reduction. Everyone really liked the use of <a href="">apple in a sushi roll</a>... and I always, always love anything made with scallops.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 8: Golden State Roll - uramaki filled with scallops, Sriracha, and green apple, and topped with avocado, albacore, masago, and an apple spice reduction. All ingredients are local."/> </span> <p>Another concept that Casson speaks of often is the idea that using ingredients that are local is more sustainable than using ingredients that have to be shipped from very far away. Every ingredient in the Golden State Roll is local to California. It's common sense, if you think about it. Local uses fewer resources, and keeps demand for ingredients more spread out (instead of, for example, everyone buying tuna from a single source like Japan).</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 8: Tataki Roll - uramaki filled with avocado, cucumber, and topped with albacore, arctic char, black cod 'faux-nagi', and multi-colored tobiko."/> </span> <p>"When you think about the Rainbow Roll, it's pretty much carnage on a plate (in terms of sustainability)."</p> <p>Casson said this as they brought out the Tataki Roll, and it's true - you often have every sort of popular, unsustainable fish packed on top when you order a Rainbow Roll. So as a sustainable replacement, he offers the Tataki Roll - uramaki filled with avocado, cucumber, and topped with albacore, arctic char, black cod 'faux-nagi', and multi-colored tobiko. All sustainable ingredients that we've already seen, and entirely delicious.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 8: Russian Roulette Roll - asparagus, scallop, crawfish, sriracha, kewpie mayonnaise, soy-marinated masago. One of the rolls is filled with habanero oil, hence the name."/> </span> <p>The last of the sushi roll courses was one that, quite frankly, terrified me. They brought it out, and our entire table just sat and stared at it, no one daring to touch it.</p> <p>"Why," you ask? Well, the name tells all. This is known as the Russian Roulette - a roll with asparagus, scallop, crawfish, sriracha, kewpie mayonnaise, and soy-marinated masago. It all sounds innocent enough, until Casson warned us that one of the pieces had been filled with habanero oil... hence the glass of sake included with the plate.</p> <p>We all stared at the plate warily, as if it held a poisonous snake. Other tables had already started eating the Russian Roulette, piece by piece. You could tell when someone got the loaded piece of sushi - they would go red in the face, and the room would erupt in a ruckus.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Rachael"/> </span> <p>Finally, Rachael was the first one at our table daring enough to reach out and take a piece. We all watched her with bated breath... until she smiled and admitted, "I got it." Not that you could tell - the spice had no effect on her at all. (Have I ever mentioned that she'll eat anything? I'd even venture to say she can handle spicier foods than Son can, and that's saying a lot.)</p> <p>Needless to say we were all relieved, and were able to enjoy the rest of sushi without the sense of dread that had previously haunted us.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Course 9: Shiso and lychee granita with plum wine and yogurt"/> </span> <p>Last course was dessert - a shiso and lychee granita with plum wine and yogurt. To me, it tasted like Vietnam - not a bad thing at all. (Son was convinced it had fish mint in it - a Vietnamese herb that apparently tastes quite similar to shiso.)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Allison"/> </span> <p>All in all, the dinner event was a grand success. We met a lot of interesting people, ate great food, and Casson gleefully embarrassed me in front of the entire dinner.</p> <p>I'm really excited about the future of sustainable dining (seriously - bouncing-off-the-walls, dancing-around-the-room excited), and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Tataki in Los Angeles!</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Rachael, Allison, and Casson"/> </span> <p>P.S. This is an excellent time to go check out my <a href="">Miso Hungry Podcast</a>... this week's episode is all about sushi! We talk about this sushi dinner, and also talk quite a bit about the new documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, that I <em>highly</em> recommend all of you go see.</p>

Vegan Sushi

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Vegetarian sushi"/> </span> <p>I love to cook for others. Like, really, <em>really</em> love making sushi for other people.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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 <a href="">Spicy Shrimp Inari</a> is always a crowd pleaser, you know there are always a few picky eaters: "I don't eat seafood... at all." (Hence my <a href="">Man Sushi</a>... trust me, that'll convince any meat eater that sushi's actually delicious!)</p> <p>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.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Sushi for the potluck"/> </span> <p>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 <a href="">other</a> <a href="">sushi</a> <a href="">dishes</a> that I brought, I decided to come up with a vegetarian roll.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><i>"Asparagus... roasted. Obviously. I love roasted asparagus."</i></p> <p><i>"Onions... sauteed? Nah, I want a texture contrast. How about fried? Yeah, I'll need to heat up oil to fry the <a href="">Arctic Char and Cream Cheese Wontons</a>, so I can just fry up a bunch of thinly-sliced onions before I start the wontons."</i></p> <p><i>"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."</i></p> <p>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. ^_^</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Vegetarian sushi"/> </span>

Pumpkin Pie Wontons with Maple Whipped Cream

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Pumpkin Pie Wontons with Maple Whipped Cream"/> </span> <p>Now that we've launched <a href="">Fridgg</a>, 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 <a href="">Halloween sushi</a> post up a couple of days before Halloween, and here I am with a <a href="">Thanksgiving</a> post a whole two weeks before Thanksgiving (so long as you don't count the Canadians)!</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="Pumpkin Pie Wontons with Maple Whipped Cream"/> </span>

Sustainable New Year’s Sushi, Anyone? (A contest!)

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>As I've mentioned in years past, sushi is a big tradition for my family (and many other Japanese families) on <a href="">New Year's day</a>. (Gosh, I look so young in that post! No laughing.) I can't remember a single year that we haven't had some sort of sushi on New Year's. And ever since I started Sushi Day four years ago, I've been the one to provide the sushi for my family.</p> <p>So every year, this means buying a bunch of fish for my family. Nowadays, I try to be sustainable as I can. But I know as well as anybody how hard that can be when Japanese supermarkets stock so many types of unsustainable seafood on their shelves.</p> <p>Because of that, I'm sure you can guess where I plan on buying my New Year's sashimi this year. You know I'm a huge fan of <a href="">I Love Blue Sea</a> - I really can't say enough good things about them. Their fish is fresh and delicious, and the entire experience of buying from them is fantastic.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span>

Tataki Sushi Bar – San Francisco, CA

<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="The front view of Tataki Sushi Bar"/> </span> <p>Ever since getting to know <a href="">Casson Trenor</a> and going to the <a href="">Mashiko</a> dinner a year ago, I've been wanting to go to the sustainable sushi restaurant that Casson is part-owner of, <a href="">Tataki</a>.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt="A Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Guide at every table"/> </span>


<span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>Congratulations to <a href="">Katharine</a> for her suggestion that Jell-O would NOT go well in wontons (can you imagine even trying? What an impossible mess that would be!) and to <a href="">Cathy</a> for her delicious-sounding suggestion of matcha pastry cream in a wonton, topped with a cherry sauce. They were the winners of our latest Sushi Day contest!</p> <p>Thanks so much to everybody who entered!</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>If you've been reading Sushi Day for at least a year, or know anything about which seafood are sustainable and which aren't, then you're probably aware that <a href="">unagi</a> is on the list of very unsustainable seafood.</p> <p>Which sucks. Because a lot of people <em>really</em> love unagi. Ourselves included.</p> <p>So a year ago, I came up with my own version of a <a href="">sustainable replacement for unagi, using catfish</a>. Personally, I really love this, because the taste and texture are very similar to unagi.</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span> <p>But there's been another recipe that's been out there for a while too - I was aware of it when I came up with my version, although I didn't use it. But after dining at <a href="">Tataki</a> and receiving some absolutely beautiful black cod as a gift from the guys at <a href="">I Love Blue Sea</a>, I knew I had to finally try Tataki's recipe for <a href="">faux-nagi</a>.</p> <p>The verdict? Well, I knew it was going to be good. And if you have access to all the ingredients, it's definitely worth it.</p> <p>(But if you can't find good black cod, or some of the more exotic ingredients... I still think <a href="">my version</a> is pretty darn good too.)</p> <span class="bigPic"> <img src="" alt=""/> </span>