Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#4 & #5 Tasting Japan

Japanese food is, hands down-- my favorite. I love how Japanese restaurants are found in every block in the Bay Area. And it must be also true in all major cities around the world.  I don't think I will ever get tired of it. I love making different Japanese dishes myself, because it is truly an enjoyable experience for me every time. It's quick, healthy, artful and very delicious!Tuesdays are always busy for us. So soup & sushi were the top choice. My ballerina was tired last night after two hours of dancing so, she didn't even bother to choose :)

For the soup:   clear soup with prawns & spinach
Sushi:  my version of  "California Roll"



6 uncooked prawns
baby spinach leaves
3 strips lemon rind
1 L of primary dashi
2 tsp light soy sauce

1. Shell & devein prawns, leaving tails in tact.Cut a small slit in the middle of each prawn. Push tail through the slit.
2. Cook prawns in small saucepan with enough water, do not cover the saucepan. Cook for 1 minute.Drain. Set aside.
3.  Boil water in a pot and then add the spinach. Once slightly wilted, remove from heat. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain & set aside.
4. Cut slits along both long sides of the lemon rind starting at opposite ends, but don't cut all the way. Leave about 5% to keep the strip of lemon rind intact.Then gently pull & twist to form a triangle.
5. In a saucepan, boil the Dashi and then add the soy sauce.Note: I boiled a separate soup water for the ballerina since she is allergic to seafood.
6. In a serving bowl, arrange the spinach and the prawns, with tails facing up. Pour the boiled Dashi, and top with the lemon rind triangle.

I also found out that this soup can be paired with cooked beef slices instead of the prawns- she enjoyed it! And since we had rice, she poured rice on her soup. Great thinking!


cucumber slices
avocado slices
crab meat or imitation crab meat
japanese rice
sushi seasoning
sheets toasted seaweed (yaki-nori)

1.  Cook rice.  
2. Once cooked, let it cool down in a bowl, then add the sushi seasoning. 
3.It's sushi roll time. (There are so many sushi making videos you can check out online). This is the easiest way for me to roll (nori on the outside), California rolls are made inside-out. But I like rolling mine the traditional way. It's easier.
4.Wipe knife with a damp cloth. Slice through the roll, wiping knife between cuts.

In the 1970's, a sushi chef named Ichiro Mashita based in Los Angeles began experimenting with replacing tuna with avocado. After he discovered that the texture & taste of avocado is a great substitute for tuna, the Califonia Roll is born. He eventually made the roll with rice on the outside because the Americans did not like how the nori looked on the outside :)

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