Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saba - Cured Mackerel!

Hey guys, I'm posting a recipe for Saba, or cured Mackerel. You can find this at pretty much every sushi bar around and it's very simple. 

First off:
There are a lot of types of Mackerel out there, but this one is Atlantic Mackerel. Mackerel are very oily fish, so they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. However they can spoil very quickly so they are commonly preserved, but fresh Mackerel is very delicious too! 
In sushi bars Saba is easily recognizable because of it's color, smell and taste. Some have an extremely fishy smell, but if cured right it's not so bad. Usually pre-packaged Saba has stronger smell and taste which can be too much for some people. 

You will need:
Saba (cleaned)
Sushi Vinegar
Kombu (dried kelp)

Place the Saba in a container and generously cover both sides with salt. 
Cover the fish and refrigerate for 2 hours!

After two hours is up, clean the salt off and place back in the container. 
Pour in enough vinegar to cover the fish. (They will float a little, but that's ok.)
Along with the vinegar add a piece of Kombu. For most recipes using kombu you usually use a piece roughly the size of your palm.
Cover the container again and place back in the refrigerator overnight.

When you come back in the morning you will notice a color difference and change in the texture of the fish. I wrapped the saba in paper towel for a few minutes to remove the excess vinegar.
Don't forget that some further cleaning is required. 
The fish will still contain some pin bones (unless earlier removed) and a top layer of skin should be peeled off. You will still see the blue and silver color even after removing the skin.

Now it's done! :D

This has a salty flavor, but by doing it on your own you have more ability to control that. It's best served with a little grated ginger, green onion and ponzu.

Enjoy <3

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter! Time for Sake!

Hey you guys! It's already Easter and we've got lovely weather in Seattle for once!

I'm celebrating this year with some friends with a sushi making party! I'll post more about the actual party after it happens, but of course you can't have a party without sake!

As most of your know, sake is Japanese rice wine with many different varieties nowadays. It comes hot or cold, it can be fruity or dry, there's even sparkling sake. There are kinds to fit everyone's palate. 

For today I'm looking for a Junmai Dai Ginjo. 
This type of sake can be served hot or cold, but it's also made from high quality rice that has been polished. For this type of sake the rice has been polished down, over 50% which removes fats and proteins that can cause hangovers. Yes, this sake is supposed to leave you hangover free! There are also no other additives. 

Usually when someone asks me about cold sake I will tell them that you'll like it if you enjoy dry white wines. If that's not the case for you there are flavored sakes out there, but being sweeter they can cause hangovers. Same goes for unfiltered sake (Nigori.) In a bottle of Nigori you will notice some sediment that looks like a white cloud. It's left over from the grains of rice. It should be chilled and then shaken well before serving. Nigori is good for beginners because it has a sweet/fruity/floral taste.  

It is also recommended that the whole bottle of sake be consumed after opening because it will oxidize, therefore changing the flavor.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit about sake :)
For those of you wanting to kick it up a notch: Sake goes great in some cocktails and don't forget sake bombs! I shot sake dropped into a glass of beer :D

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easy Spicy Mayo.

Hey y'all, I know it's been a while, but I'm going to try my best to catch up with this. Gonna start off with something easy! 

Anyways, most of you know what spicy mayo is. It's commonly found as a topping on rolls (usually cooked stuff.) A lot of people really love it. Personally, it's not really my thing when it comes to sushi, I'm just not a really big fan of using mayo that way. However it's pretty good as a dipping sauce or spread too. I've put it on a burger before and was pretty pleased. 

Since I'm making this for the bar it's going to be a large batch, but you can scale it down and tweak it. Just remember that tasting as you go is important. I believe it helps you get a better product. 

I used:

Mayo - 1/2 gallon (I used light mayo)
Sriracha - 3/4 of a bottle
Sugar - about 2 cups
Lemon - 1

Whisk the mayo and sriracha together first. You can add it all at once, but doing it gradually is recommended if you're looking for a certain spice level. 
Next I gradually add in the sugar. Some types of mayonnaise have stronger flavor so you could end up using more or less than 2 cups; just remember to keep tasting it was you go. For instance, the Japanese Kewpie mayo tastes a little strong to me so I usually end up using a lot more sugar. 
Finally you want to cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Be careful not to get any seeds into the mixture. Do keep in mind that adding lemon juice will thin out your sauce. 

There you go!

Of course all restaurants have their own variations. Some places use different hot sauces, some sweeten it with orange juice or sprite. All in all, a very simple thing to make. You can mess around and create your own if you so desire.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spicy Tuna recipe!!!

So I've decided to post the recipe that I use for spicy tuna. I was going to make a video, but I don't have everything with me. 

Anyways, in the past I've been pretty exclusive to who I share this with, but I think it's better to share ;) Some chefs will keep things like these secret because it could give them some kind of upper hand. However, I was once told that: It's not about the recipe, but the hands that make it. Over time I've realized that this is very true. You could give multiple people the same recipe, but it doesn't always turn out identical.

On with the show...

When it comes to tuna, you want ground/minced tuna. You can usually find this at most Japanese markets or you can get a block of tuna and then mince it yourself. If you're using a block you want to watch out for all the sinew (that stringy white stuff.) It doesn't look good, it's hard to cut and hard to chew. Best to remove it. If you use a spoon to scrape at the meat (so that it kind of flakes away into small pieces) it's easy to pull all the sinew out. AGAIN, make sure your fish is SUSHI GRADE.

Spicy tuna mix:
5-6 large cloves garlic (minced fine)
Diced green onions (the amount should be equal to that of the garlic)
4 generous pinches of Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese chilli powder)
1/2 cup Sriracha
1/4 cup Sesame oil

Mix all of the ingredients together (leave the tuna out for now.) The oil will separate naturally so if you still see a little floating on top, that's ok. 
This recipe will yield about a cup of sauce. If that's more than you need you can always refrigerate it. (it goes great on just plain rice too.)
Take your ground tuna and gradually add the mixture. You want the tuna to be well saturated, soft and shiny. Don't be afraid of adding too much because it will eventually soak in, and by using more sauce it helps keep the tuna from drying out.

Hope you guys give this one a shot! It's very easy and if you don't have tuna around it's a great condiment for whatever you want :)