One of the lightest most wonderful salads of the Japanese cuisine is the sunomono salad. The frase sunomono means “vinegared food.” When people think of vinegar they think of some foul tasting. The Japanese use rice vinegar which is not that sour as normal vinegar. The dressing used for this salad is called Amazu which means Sweet Vinegar, which precisely describes the taste.
This salad is really light and crisp. It is perfect for hot summer days when you need something that tastes fresh. I made mine with shrimp and surimi, but you can use other fish ingredients. The dressing is a sweet sauce that also very fresh. The idea is to add barely enough dressing so you taste the salad, not the sauce.
6 Cooked Shrimp
2 Surimi Sticks
4 Tablespoons of Sweet Vinegar dressing (recipe follows)
1 Sprinkle of Toasted Sesame Seeds
Peel and core the cucumbers. Julian the cucumbers into small spaghetti like strips 1/8 of an inch thick. If you have a mandolin this process is much faster. Cool the cucumber in the refrigerator. Cut the surimi into small pieces. To assemble the salad make sure all the ingredients are cold. Add the cucumber strips into the bowl. Add about 1 Tablespoon of sweet vinegar. Add the surimi and the shrimp. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Variation — You can also use cooked octopus, and furikake as toppings.
For Sweet Vinegar dressing
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Sugar
1/2 Cup of water
1/2 Teaspoon of Dashinomoto
Add water to a small sauce pan. Dissolve the dashinomoto. Add the sugar and vinegar. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Cool down. Place in the refrigerator to make it cold. For this this you need the dressing to be cold.
Well it is Sushi Friday again, so I have a wonderful dish filled with Japanese flavor. This time I have a soy sauce and ginger marinated salmon with a tartar sauce. You can serve this with a side order of sushi rice.
Soy Ginger Salmon
This dish is combines the delicate flavors of the salmon, with the salty of the soy and the sweetness of the ginger and mirin. It is a simple dish that can be made in short notice. The dish will surprise your guests as it appears that you spent a lot of time in the kitchen. It is sushi friday, so enjoy the start of your weekend with this dish.
For Soy Ginger Salmon
1 1/2 Lb of salmon
1 Cup soy sauce
1/2 Cup of mirin
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 Tablespoons of pickled ginger
1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of shichimi togareshi
1 teaspoon of coarse grind pepper
1/4 Cup tartar sauce
To make the marinade, add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to a small tray. Mix all the ingredients. Cut the salmon into 4 to 6 pieces. Place salmon skin down on the marinade. Add the ginger, garlic, and shichimi togareshi over the salmon pieces. Sprinkle with the coarse grind pepper. Add a few tablespoons of marinade over the salmon. Let the salmon stand in the marinade for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. Add the salmon to a baking sheet. Place one spoonful of tartar sauce over each salmon steak. Cook the salmon for 20 minutes. Let the salmon cool down before serving.
Miso shiru is a Japanese soup that can be served in any Sushi meal. The soup consists of a seaweed and bonito stock which is called Dashi mixed with Miso paste. Traditionally Miso soup is one of the most common breakfast dishes in Japan. When it is part of another meal, it is usually served at the end. The soup can be accompanied by other vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu. Fish can also be added. It is a very nutritious meal since it has a high protein and high fiber content combined with a lot of vitamins. It is very low in calories so it can easily be a good diet food. The only problem that stops it from being the perfect meal is that it also contains a large amount of sodium.
The characteristic flavor of this soup it is something that is hard to define. The Japanese say that the flavor is called umami, which they propose is the fifth flavor type to accompany salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. Seawead is one of the food that has the highest umami content. Other food with umami are beef, lamb, and soy sauce. Umami is sometimes refereed as savoriness. Children tend to like umami flavors because they remind themselves of mother’s milk which also has a high umami content. The ingredients will not be found in a regular supermarket but rather found in an asian market. It is Sushi Friday, so here is my recipe for another great Japanese dish.
For Miso Soup
2 Cups of Water
1/2 Teaspoon Dashinomoto
1 Tablespoon Dried Wakame
2 Oz Tofu
1 Tablespoon Miso Paste
Shichimi togarashi (optional)
Add water, wakame and dashinomoto to small sauce pan. Warm the soup but do not let it boil. Dice tofu into small cubes and add to the soup. Remove a 1/4 cup of liquid to a heat resistant cup. Mix in the miso paste with the water until the miso is dissolved. Add the dissolved miso to the soup. Mix the soup. Garnish with finely cut up chives, or Shichimi Togarashi (japanese chili powder). Optional – You can also add other vegetables, mushrooms, cooked shrimp or fish to the soup.
Well it is Sushi Friday again, and we kept with the tradition. As an appetizer we had some miso-shiru soup. We had avocado covered unagi (eel) rolls, spicy tuna roll, and ebi (shrimp) cucumber roll, and sake (salmon) cheese and capers roll. It was very fresh, and it all tasted great.
Unagi Avocado Roll
As some of you want the recipes, it is very hard to explain sushi making in one sitting, so today I will show you how to make Sushi Rice. I hope you come again for another Sushi Friday were I will continue with the Sushi recipes.
Rice is one of the most important ingredients in the world. It is the basic food staple for many countries. In Japan rice is not only a main dish, but it is also used to make rice vinegar, mirin, and sake. The Japanese have several words for rice. It is called okome when it is not cooked. Meshi, or Gohan is the name for rice when it is cooked or when it indicates that rice is the main ingredient of the dish. You can not have an authentic Japanese meal without rice, but most importantly you need rice in order to make Sushi Rolls for Sushi Friday.
There is a special preparation that is required to get perfect Sushi Rice. The rice has to have a special texture and consistency so that it holds its shape when it is formed into Sushi rolls. You need to use Short Grain Rice, which is package as Sushi Rice in the supermarket. The package can say Calrose, Blue Rose, or Kokuho Rose which is a sushi rice variety from Northern California. Kokuho Rose is my favorite type of short grain rice, and the only one I use for Sushi.
For Sushi Rice
2 cups of Sushi Rice
2 1/4 cups of water
Sushi Rice seasoning
First of all place the rice in a large bowl. Rinse and scrub the rice with cold water until the water that runs off is crystal clear. It will take four to five washings to remove the cloudy water. This removes the powdered bran and talc that sushi rice is shipped with. Rinse all the water completely. Add the measured amount of 2 1/4 cups of water. Let the rice stand in the water for at least 30 minutes. After the water and sushi have rested, put the ingredients into a steel pot with a tight fitting lid preferably made of glass so you can see through. Turn on the heat to high until the water in the pot is boiling. When you see the bubbles forming in the water reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the rice stand for an additional 15 minutes. Place the rice on a wooden or glass container. Season with the Sushi Rice Seasoning. Be careful no to add too much seasoning or your rice will turn out gooey and very wet. Fan the rice to dry it out. Cover with a damp cloth.
For the Sushi Rice seasoning
1/2 cup Rice Vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Mirin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon Dashinomoto
Combine all ingredients in a pan. Place it on low heat till all the ingredients are dissolved. Let it cool. Store in a container in the refrigerator. This recipe will work for several sushi rice preparations. Use 4 Tablespoons of sugar to substitute for Mirin. You can also buy ready made Sushi Rice seasoning.