Monday, November 07, 2005
Why does it have to take so long?
I know a lot of work can go into some of the best foods in the world. But sometimes it really sucks that all that work can go down the gullet in such a short period of time. That's why I never take sushi for granted. Or make it regularly. Yesterday just happened to be one of those days that I succumbed to the temptation of my memories of pickled daikon or roasted asparagus wrapped up in sticky, vinegary-sweet rice and jet black organic nori. Which is why it sucked that the asparagus I invested in went so off it wasn't funny. Who knew that asparagus could stink like that. I suppose it's my fault for even trying to buy asparagus in late fall.
I had to think on my feet. The store is ruddy closed (never DID understand why the store is closed on Sundays in the winter when everyone is in town and open on Sundays in summer when most of the town migrates south to civilization). What do I have that can replace the asparagus that is now compost? I remembered the bag of prawns in the outside freezer. Check. Okay, now what? Frozen Japanese fried fish cakes. Check. Frozen fake crab stix. Check. Green onion. Check. Pickled Daikon... oooh! more than I remembered! CHECK! Smoked oysters. Check. Red pepper. Check. Soooo... based on this collection I made:
pickled daikon roll (yellow)
smoked oyster, red pepper, green onion roll (dark red/brown)
fish cake, crab stick, green onion (pinkred, tan)
split prawn on rice.
This is what innovation gets you. Nothing weird or gucky though I'm glad I put green onion with the fish cake crab combo. Too bland otherwise. Met with His Froginess's approval which is all the approval I need because I ain't gonna eat all of that sushi on my own!
All this leads me to comment on the sushi making possibilities here in the village. While the brands are limited you can find almost all the fixings here: pickled ginger, nori, sushi mats, soy sauce, wasabi paste, rice vinegar, one time even sushi mayonnaise, and sushi quality rice... and I do mean quality (it turns out well EVERY time). Even the sesame seeds if you want to actually buy it in small spice jars!!!!!! The only ingredient I regularly use that isn't here is toasted sesame oil. Have to stock up down south. I use it to make the sushi mayonnaise that lines the interior of my sushi. It comes from a recipe in "Sublime Vegetarian" by Bill Jones (I totally recommend his recipe of Charred Asparagus Roll.YUMMY!)
1 tsp sesame oil (I use toasted. I tend to be generous with this teaspoon)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise (like I can get THAT here... I just use regular mayo)
2 Tbsp pickled ginger, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (I don't even add these all the time. Depends on you)
In small bowl combine sesame oil, sesame seeds, mayo and pickled ginger. Season well with salt and pepper, stirring to mix well.
Notes: the nutty quality of the sesame oil really adds a certain something to certain sushi rolls like the daikon. The flecks of pink pickled ginger are pretty too when the rolls are cut.