Our very dear friends joined us for dinner last night and we had a feast of Sushi & Sashimi. I always forget how long the prep is for small dinner parties, but at the end of the meal it is such a nice accomplishment :o) Also, taking many photos while making the meal takes up a lot of time too;o) My sweet Hubby took most of the photos for me for this post :o) The menu was: Sashimi, Sushi, Teriyaki Chicken, Tamago (Egg Omelette), Edamame, Miso Soup and Annin Dofu (Almond Jello) for dessert. Overall, I made the stuff from scratch, but on a couple of things I did take short cuts. Instead of making typical Nigiri Sushi (what you find at sushi restaurants with the fish on top of the rice) or Rolls, I had everybody make their own Temaki (hand roll). This is really a fun way to eat Sushi at home and so fun with friends! Everybody can make whatever type of sushi that they want or eat just the fish as Sashimi.
I previously posted about a past Sushi/Sashimi dinner. This new post has much nicer pictures :o)
Making the Tamago...
I'm still not that good with making the Tamago (Rolled Sweet Egg Omelette). The flavor comes out right, but I always have problems with the heat and rolling the tamago. Thankfully, this omelette is pretty forgiving! I make a little football (if you remember the paper football game that young boys used to play or if you don't, it's just a triangle) out of a paper towel to soak up and spread the oil at the bottom of the pan. You need to oil the pan each time you put a layer of raw egg or it will stick!
I then roll the egg all up. The egg doesn't have to be fully cooked when you roll it because it will eventually get cooked since it stays so long in the hot pan. The pan has an angled edge on one side that makes it easier to do. This is a special pan specifically for making these omelettes. My sister-in-law just uses a regular round frying pan, I don't know how she manages!! She also uses chopsticks to roll it up...
After the egg is rolled up, it is pushed to the end and then more egg mixture is added. It has eggs, dashi stock, sake, sugar and salt in it. Everybody uses different ratios of the ingredients, so it's never the same anywhere you eat it! Some people like it sweeter, some people like it more savory, some people like it with a very delicate taste etc. I prefer the sweet side which is funny because I usually don't like very sweet stuff;o)
After the next scoop of egg is poured in you need to lift up the roll to get the raw egg underneath so it adheres to the cooked one. You do this rolling and pouring technique about 4 or 5 times to get the finished product!
Like I said, I'm not so great at this, that's why one is so dark and the other is so light! It should turn out to be the light colored one, I had the heat on too high on the first one. I was using an electric stove this time and I'm even worse with that...lol
Kabu (Japanese Turnip)
I love these Japanese turnips. They are smaller, sweeter & softer than your typical American turnip. These are pure white, but even before they were peeled they were a beautiful white! For the miso soup I diced the turnips and then also chopped the greens and added that to the soup. The dark green tops of the the daikon I pickled in a Nukamiso (rice bran mash).
This time I made the dashi stock instead of using the dashi powder. I put Kombu (dried seawee/kelp) in cold water then brought it up to a boil. Right before it boiled I took the Kombu out. If you let the Kombu boil, it will make the stock bitter. I added 2 types of Large Flake Katsuoboshi (shaved Bonito Flakes) and turned the heat back on. As soon as it boils I turn the heat off and let it sit for a few minutes or until the bonito sinks and then strain it. You can reuse the the flakes again for a lighter dashi.
To make the soup I added the turnips to the dashi and boiled until it's cooked through then threw in the daikon greens added a splash of sake then added the miso. I added chopped green onions before serving.
I like to make a separate dipping sauce for the Hamachi (Yellowtail). This is chopped jalapeno, garlic, ginger & green onions.
The finished sauce...
I also add soy sauce and ponzu (citrus sauce) to finish it off.
This is my favorite Soy Sauce
It's called Marudaizu Kikkoman Soy Sauce. It's a higher quality one than others.
The Sushi Rice w/Kombu
There was a discussion in Chowhound about making sushi at home. A woman mentioned that she was at a friend's house and they put sake & kombu in the rice. I had never tried that. I just make the rice plain and then add the vinegar, salt & sugar to the rice after it's done. There are some recipes that say to warm the vinegar and also add mirin to it. I think heating the vinegar would negate the flavor. When I made the rice in the rice cooker I added a splash of sake and a small piece of dried Kombu to it and set it to the Sushi setting. I don't know how I missed it, but there's a Sushi setting on my rice cooker and this is the first time I used it, the rice came out amazingly good! You use a little less water than when you make regular rice.
Mixing Up the Rice...
This wooden vessel is specifically for making sushi rice. It's made out of Cypress and the wood absorbs excess mositure. After the rice is put into the bowl the vinegar is folded in while someone helps you by fanning it. The fanning isn't to cool it, but to evaporate the vinegar. After it is all mixed together, a damp cloth is placed over the rice to keep it moist. It only takes a few minutes to mix up the rice. I like the rice to be room temperature, but some places serve the rice warm. It's personal preference...
This is just frozen Edamamae (Boiled Soy Beans). I buy one that is called Chamame. It's the easiest thing to make! The water is boiled then salt is added then the beans are added and cooked for about 5 mins and it's done. I put Kosher salt to finish it off. It's best served when it is slightly warm. Don't eat the shells...lol
I made the Teriyaki for the people that didn't particularly like sushi;o) I could eat this chicken just about every day! It's great as leftovers too!
The sashimi on this platter: Sake (Salmon), Kani (Crab...real crab;o), Chu-Toro (Fatty Tuna), Uni (Sea Urchin) & Hamachi (Yellowtail). The green is sliced cucumber and wasabi in a tube.
We were at our family's vacation place and I forgot to bring my Sashimi knife, so the Sashimi looks a little jagged...
This is how the Uni is sold at the store...
This Uni (Sea Urchin) was so good! So sweet and succulent. We can get the best Uni around here from Santa Barbara, they even export it to Japan sometimes! Uni is an acquired taste. If you get bad Uni that tastes like rotten sea you probably would never want to try it again, but if you can get good Uni, you will be addicted!
Ikura (Salmon Roe)
I also forgot to bring the Hashi Oki (chopstick holders), so Hubby came up with using shells!
How to make Temaki...
The rice is placed on the nori with a little bit of wasabi...
It's untraditional, but I like to dip the fish in the soy sauce first and then put it on the rice and then add a little more wasabi. It's so delicious!
It has crab, cucumber, avocado & Kaiware (Daikon Sprouts).
Annin Dofu (Almond Jello)
This is one of the easiest desserts ever to make, especially using this mix! It's another dish that the Japanese took from another ethnicity and serve it as their own. It is originally a Chinese dessert. I've made it in the past from scratch, but using this mix is much easier! The scratch recipe has Agar Agar (sea kelp), almond extract, water, milk & sugar. With this mix I just added water and brought it to a boil to dissolve the mix (it's similar to making jello from a box!) then add cold water & milk and wait until it's room temp then put it in the refrigerator. It's sets very fast, I think because of the Agar Agar. One time I had it sitting in the frig for hours and it didn't set, I figured out it was because I didn't bring it to a complete boil...I learned my lesson after that...lol
I cut the Lychees in half and kept it in the juices from the can.
I added the Lychee plus juices to the Annin Dofu and served it just like that. It's such an easy dessert to make and it's one of my favorites! The Annin Dofu is a little light in color because I added less milk and more water when I was making it.