Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sushi Obsession

Confession: I am obsessed with sushi. Specifically: salmon. And California rolls. It all started with lox - on bagels, in omelettes, on little pizzas... I was hooked with the silky, almost creamy texture of the uncooked fish (yes, technically lox is cured... sshhh! I'm waxing poetic here). And then my wonderful mom introduced me to sushi.  And then there was light - and it was good.

When I'm stressed and don't want matzo ball soup, sushi will forever fill my soul. It's light, but will fill me up without that "roll me out" feeling that over-eating tends to lend. While I cannot afford to eat sushi every day, believe you me - I would if I could. And for some reason, I have had in my brain an idea about a California roll salad: deconstructed on a plate with lettuce. Sweet crab, creamy avocado, the bite of cucumber - and rounded out with some ginger dressing. I haven't been able to get it out of my head, but I've been too distracted to make it. And then... the sushi place near our apartment has a special local roll. Salmon, tuna, and cream cheese are rolled in rice and seaweed, the whole dang thing is tempura fried (I will pause here for effect...) and then the whole glorious mouth-delight is covered in sriracha, sweet eel teriyaki sauce, and creamy sriracha mayo.

Isn't it beautiful?
So, tonight, while stressed from only 50 things to do (half of them due tomorrow) and upset tumtum from a delayed treatment (also tomorrow) and just a teense of family stress and home-sickness... I wanted sushi. And gosh-darned-it, I was going to make this mind-salad going on in my head, and I was going to combine these two mouth-parties (y'know - it's a party in my mouth? Mouth party. It's a thing. You're now invited).

Let me also say that I have recipe photos primed and ready to post from... like... October. I'm *clearly* behind on my blogging. But this recipe, that I just finished eating 2 hours ago, needed to be posted immediately. Also, I've had just about enough of 21 CFR 814 and ISO 14155 - and I'm glad you asked what they are because they have everything to do with my practicum (read: thesis) and before I slip into quoting why audits are super fantastic... let's talk amazing foodgasms. Because you should make this. I don't exaggerate. Except the fantasticness of federal regulations - I have to pretend to be excited in order to survive the next 137 days. SO! YAY! That might be the hard apple cider that's excited... but y'know... whatever.

Salmon Tempura Salad (AKA: Mouth Party - Sushi-style)
Note: Don't judge me for my shortcuts. I'm very busy and important. Also, I didn't get home from a meeting until after 7 tonight and I still had 50 things to do. Very important federally-regulated stuff. Or something.

Ingredients - for about 3 servings
About 3/4 lb salmon (deboned, no skin - ask your fishmonger to do it for you)
1 cup Teriyaki sauce or marinade
Dry tempura batter (you can also use your favorite recipe, if you have one)
Oil for frying
About 2 cups long-grained rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
2 cups of your favorite lettuce (I used bibb, my favorite)
1 large avocado
1 English cucumber
As much siracha sauce and sesame ginger dressing that you want (Note: I happened to find pre-packaged siracha-mayo mixture, but there are plenty of recipes online that allow you to mix it yourself. I also used packaged sesame ginger salad dressing.)

1. About 5 hours before dinner (before an annoyingly late dinner would be good), put the salmon and the teriyaki in a gallon-size plastic bag. Let it hang out in the fridge (depending on your timing) at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.

2. Mix the tempura batter according to package directions - my package said 3/4 cup dry to 1 cup ice-cold water. Mix quickly, it will still be lumpy. Remove the salmon from the fridge and cut into 3-4 equally sized pieces. (I've seen that you can use something as simple as flour with club soda... but I have no experience with this. Heresay...)

3. In a large pot, pour a few inches of oil (any vegetable oil would work) and heat to about 350-375 degrees over medium-low or medium heat. While oil slowly heats up, dice half of the avocado. Slice the other half.

4. Peel the cucumber, slice in half, and remove the seeds with a spoon. Dice half of the cucumber, thinly slice the other half.

5. In a large bowl, mix the diced avocado, diced cucumber, and 3 tablespoons of siracha-mayo sauce and mix. You can add more or less, depending on your spice-tolerance. When the rice is cooled, you can add that to this mixture and combine. Please wait - your train is moments away from Flavortown.

Flavortown. You're almost there.
6. Your oil should be ready now. Batter the salmon in the tempura and fry the pieces, 2 at a time. Careful not to crowd the pot. My first batch cooked in 97 seconds, the second batch (thicker pieces) took about 127 seconds. Let them rest. Don't burn your mouth. (Also, I'm not exaggerating the timing. You may not need to be that exact, but I happen to be... weird).

It's getting hot in Flavortown
7. In two large plates, put a handful of lettuce on each. Next to the lettuce, a few big spoonfuls of the rice-mixture. Place the salmon on top, and a few pieces of sliced avocado and sliced cucumber. Dress Flavortown with a heavy drizzle of siracha sauce and then a round of sesame-ginger dressing.

Mouth party. Location: Flavortown. Guest list: you
Try to take a breath between bites.

1 comment:

  1. Went and had sushi last night - there was no Redmond Roll to be had and it was tragic. Then you busted out with this and made me regret all the other sushi I consumed. You suck. I say this only because I'm supremely jealous and want this in my belly. :P ~Me