Saturday, September 16, 2006

Japanese night

One of Daiku and my all-time favorite cuisines is Japanese. In fact, I love all things Japan so much that my nickname for my husband, Daiku, is a shortened form of the word Daikon! I'd been craving sushi so much lately. In fact, I'd been having the following for lunch almost every day:

Brown rice and nori.

Tonight, we decided it was time to get serious and try making sushi. We assembled the ingredients:

(daikon, carrots, scallions, avocados, tempeh, and a cucumber and chili pepper from our garden) and we got to work. I decided to use the spicy tempeh roll recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen. You can find that recipe here, and I doubled it to have leftovers. The recipe calls for steamed tempeh to be mashed with chili oil and mayonnaise, and then rolled with rice and scallions. I have to admit, I found it pretty bland. Daiku finally solved the problem by adding some Vietnamese chili paste- that gave it the much-needed zing and made it taste like an authentic spicy tuna roll. If you like spicy, I recommend you kick PPK's recipe up a notch. I also added a few pieces of dulse to the mix for that extra sea flavor.

Made some seasoned rice...

Note: Brown rice worked almost as good as white rice (both were short grain) so use whichever you prefer. We liked the variety of having some rolls made with each.

We also used some rice seasoning made of nori strips, sesame seeds, salt and sugar.

Time to roll!

Bazu rolling her first sushi...

Daiku rolling his first...

And here's the result!

Ta da... not bad for a first try. The Post Punk Kitchen gives really good step-by-step instructions- how to toast the nori, how much rice to use, where to put each thing, etc.

We started to fill up the plate

And soon had too much. We did all kinds of combinations of tempeh, white/brown rice, and vegetables.

Some condiments (fresh pickled ginger, wasabi, tamari)

And we were good to go!

Your humble sushi chefs decided they deserved to put on their Japanese robes as a reward for a job well done.

Ahhh...ご馳走さま (gochisōsama) - click on the link to hear how to say "bon appetit" after a meal in Japanese

As much as we stuffed ourselves, we still had leftovers, which gave me a chance to use my favorite giraffe bento box to save them for tomorrow.

I don't know if it's the sushi, or the Asahi beer, but I'm feeling pretty giddy right now. Yay for sushi!



Emmy said...

This is a fantastic post. I use that Rice Vinegar you posted often. I buy it at this Japanese grocery store I go to. They have a sushi bar in the back and have awesome cucumber rolls. I've tried to make cucumber rolls at home but I am notorious for eating all the cucumbers beforehand! I'm going to have to give sushi making another try one of these days. Your sushi looks yummy! Rob and I are both big fans of wasabi - definitely something that will clear your sinuses!

I love the purple and black dishes/trays you have. And what a lovely couple you two make. You look very festive in your Japanese robes :) OMG, the giraffe bento box....that is so cool!!! I'm jealous!

Gaia said...

Oh my, you both are sooo cute ! I want a japenese robe !
I so have to try and make sushi...I love japenese cooking too but I'm really afraid to mess it up.
I have to get over that fear. So thank you for the tips and photographs :)

And thank you for your comment on my blog :) I got my little gnome at a garden center near by. They had so many different ones it was hard to choose. I want them all ! ;-)

Where did you get your bento box ? It's super cute !

bazu said...

Thank you for stopping by, Emmy and Gaia. I got my giraffe bento quite cheap (around $6) a few years ago, but I don't remember where. I tried to go online to give you guys some good websites to buy bentos, but they seem so expensive (as much as $32!!) so my best advice would be to look in Japanese or Asian grocery stores or Chinatown.
P.S. Gaia, my mission is to find a garden gnome now! Even though we'll be covered in snow soon!

Jackie said...

Congrats on the sushi you made. They look just wonderful and I bet you are glad to have the leftovers for the next day.

I have no excuse not to try doing it myself after the great info on post punks blog and now your great pictures.

Love the Japanese robes.

Thanks for the visit.

Candi said...

I love this post! I felt like I was there making sushi with you! Lol! You both did an AMAZING job with the sushi rolls!! Wow! The pepper from the garden is a great addition!! Your sushi rolls look perfect, and the purple square plates they are on are beautiful!!

Love the robes and love the giraffe lunchbox!!!!! Lol! Very cute!!

Anonymous said...

You guys really went to town with the sushi making. What a fun way to spend the evening. I think this is something Marty and I would enjoy doing together. I need to compile a few more ingredients though. I have yet to find a decent place to pick up Asian food items.

I love your Japanese robes. They remind me of the Japanese robes we were wearing when we were on vacation in Costa Rica and my husband proposed to me. :)

bazu said...

Thank you guys. We picked up the Japanese robes at a really cool shop in New Orleans.
Crystal, that is *so* romantic about you guys in Costa Rica. Awww!

KleoPatra said...

That was fun to read!!