March 23, 2013 § 5 Comments
We love to go out for sushi. We actually enjoy a nice sushi meal at least four times a month. Lately we have been talking about trying to prepare sushi at home. I am not talking about sushi rolls. I am talking about nigiri. A raw piece of fish on top of an oblong brick of sticky white rice.
Yesterday I decided I would go to Uwajimaya, Seattle’s asian supermarket and pick up some sushi grade salmon. What I learned, you don’t just purchase fresh salmon for raw consumption. The salmon must be frozen first for a period of time to sufficiently kill any potential parasites. They had a plentiful supply of sushi grade fish available. I bought Atlantic salmon and “tako”, which is octopus. The octopus had been already steamed and sliced.
While I was at Uwajimaya, I decided to gather the ingredients to make a Pho style soup. I looked up a recipe for vegetarian pho broth. My favorite “go to” food blog, thekitchn had a very simple recipe I knew I could prepare. I collected the few ingredients I needed and I was off and running. I also picked up dessert. I found some delicious tiny bite size cream puffs, filled with fresh dairy cream and vanilla!
Well, I am sure we will still go out for sushi, on occasion. However, I have to say, as a family, we had a blast preparing this meal together.
- 3/4 lb. thinly sliced, sushi-grade salmon
- 1/4 lb. thinly sliced, steamed octopus
- 1/2 cup pickled ginger
- 1 tablespoon prepared wasabi
- 3 cups short grain rice
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
Wash the rice under running water for 1-2 minutes until the water runs clear, washing the starch out. Place rice in a 2 quart pan. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 1 minute on medium heat. Stir once, cover pan and turn heat down to low. I have read you should only use a wooden spoon to stir your rice. A metal spoon will damage the rice. Simmer for 20 minutes.
While rice is cooking, in a small pot combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat, over medium until all solids become liquid.
When the rice is done, transfer to a bowl. Stir in your seasoned rice vinegar and allow to come to room temperature.
Using wet hands, we formed little oblong bricks of rice, placed a little spot of wasabi, then topped with a slice of fish. Serve with little dishes of soy sauce for dipping.
pho noodle soup
- 1 large onion, peeled and halved
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- handful of watercress, torn into small pieces
- a few sprigs of thai basil
- one cup of bean sprouts
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 pound dry flat rice noodles
- (I realized I accidentally bought wheat soba noodles, used them anyway, it was still perfect)
- sriracha sauce (a thai-style hot sauce, typically made from sun-ripened chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt)
Since we were going to prepare sushi too, I prepared the broth a few hours before. I kept it on the stovetop, covered, and for the reason that it is vegetarian, without heat.
Char the onion and ginger under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Rinse well with water.
In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, charred onion and ginger.
Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep aside until ready to serve.
While the broth is simmering, prepare and bring your toppings to the table.
Since I accidentally bought the soba wheat noodles, I boiled the noodle in the broth for a few minutes before serving. Otherwise, if you have rice noodles, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain.
Divide noodles between bowls, ladle about 2 cups of broth in each bowl. Serve, allowing diners to garnish their own bowls.
Oh, did I mention Sake?