Sashimi Rice

I don’t know about your family, but one of our family favorites at any get together is sashimi (raw fish sliced into thin pieces).  However, the thing about raw fish is that you really only want to eat it fresh.  It’s not something that taste just as good as next day leftovers.  So what do we do with the leftovers?  We cook it with rice, literally.  This is one of my leftover faves because it’s so easy to make and taste so good.  All you need is leftover sashimi, rice, shoyu, green onions, nori and oil (I use sesame oil).  Realistically, you could simple it down with just sashimi, rice and shoyu, but I enjoy the extra flavor that the onions, nori and oil add.  In all honestly, I do this purely by taste and what I have on hand at the time, but I think that this is one of those recipes that works best when adjusted to personal preferences.

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To make this dish just cook your rice in a rice cooker.  How much you cook really depends on how much leftover fish you have, and how much rice you like to eat with your fish.  I probably had enough fish for two cups of rice, but was cooking for one so I only made one cup of rice and took half my leftover sashimi.  Once the rice is done, dig a hole in the middle and lay out your fish.  Then sprinkle with oil and shoyu.  I also had some hot mustard and ginger, so I mixed it with the shoyu before I poured it over the fish.

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Once the fish is in there with all the seasonings, mix it with the rice and let the rice cook the fish.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes to give the fish some time to cook and the flavors to mix.  Since the sashimi is sliced thinly, the heat from the fresh rice and rice pot is all it needs to cook.  Once it’s done, top it with some korean nori and green onions and enjoy.

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Still have leftovers?  It’s okay, you can make them into musubis to snack on later.

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Kabocha

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Lately my obsession has been learning how to cook authentic asian foods.  More specifically, Japanese and Korean food.  Since I’m Japanese and my boyfriend is Korean, I feel like it would be good to be able to carry on the traditional foods from our heritages, even if I’m fourth generation.  Plus, Japanese and Korean are two of my favorite types of food, aside from Italian.  My most recent challenge that I decided to take on is kabocha.  If you’ve never heard of kabocha before, it’s a Japanese pumpkin.  It’s typically boiled in a shoyu (soy sauce) sugar sauce and eaten as a side dish.  It kind of reminds me of sweat potato, but not as starchy. Some people also thinly slice it and turn it into tempura, which is probably one of my favorite tempuras.  This recipe that I used is from the Jean Watanabe Hee cookbook, with a few of my Aunty’s tweaks.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb kabocha pumpkin
  • 1/4C sugar
  • 1/4C shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4C sake
  • 2T canola oil
  • 1 1/4C water
  • 1t grated ginger
  • 1t salt

Step 1: Scrub kabocha thoroughly, and then cut in half and remove the seeds.  Please be careful when you cut the kobacha, they are not easy to cut at first as the skin is pretty hard.  I had to borrow my aunty’s knife since she was convinced the kabocha would break my regular knife.

Step 2: Cut in 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.

Step 3: In a large pot combine all the remaining ingredients.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.

Step 4: Add in your pumpkin and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender.  Make sure you toss occasionally so that all of your pumpkin gets evenly cooked and has a chance to absorb the liquid.

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Step 6: Once the pumpkin is at the desired softness, you’re done.  Remove from heat and enjoy!

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Tortizza: Healthier Tortilla Pizza

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Pizza has to be one of my all time favorite foods.  Who doesn’t love the combination of melted cheese, buttery dough and a wide array of vegetables and meats included to your liking?  Unfortunately for me, all that oil and grease just isn’t good for you.  Usually after I eat a couple of slices I feel gross, heavy and like I need to head straight to the gym.  But . . . I put myself through it anyway.  This got me thinking, there has to be a lighter and heavier way to enjoy a pizza.  I had heard of some people using a tortilla to make a homemade pizza, so I thought I should give it a try.  End result, I’m now obsessed.  I think I made this pizza 3 times in the past 4 days.  It’s so easy and fast to make, and I feel like I’m eating healthy because it’s really just vegetables and a tortilla (probably would be even healthier if I used a wheat tortilla). Plus, the beauty of pizza is that you can make it anything you want.  Add more cheese, use different vegetables, add some meat, whatever you prefer.

Ingredients (makes one pizza):

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 2 1/2T pizza sauce
  • 3T shredded mozzerella
  • 1 C chopped vegetables of your choice
  • 1T julienned basil for garnish (optional)
  • Olive oil (I used garlic olive oil for extra flavor)
  • Kosher salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 385 degrees

Step 2: Chop all of your veggies.  What vegetables you use are up to you.  I used tomatoes, red bell peppers and yellow onions, but that’s just because they’re all I had.  If they were available, I probably would’ve added mushrooms and used a yellow or orange bell peppers (instead of red) for some color. I sliced my tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and quartered them.  I used about a quarter of a bell pepper, julienned it, and sliced the pieces in quarters.  I used the same technique for the onions as well, but really only used a fraction of some leftover onion that I had.

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Step 3: Put your pizza sauce on the tortilla, leaving about a 1/2 inch border for the crust.  I didn’t have any pizza sauce so I used marinara instead.  Either way, it’ll still taste good.

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Step 4: Sprinkle your Mozzarella on top and then add all of your vegetables.  Once everything is laid out, drizzle some olive oil and a pinch or two of kosher salt for flavor.  I used my garlic olive oil for extra flavor and since I love garlic.  If you don’t have any, maybe consider adding some herbs (garlic, thyme, oregano, etc.).  My only concern was that I didn’t want any of the herbs to burn as I probably would’ve minced them.

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Step 5: By now your oven should be preheated.  Put your pizza in and cook for 15 minutes (until the crust is golden brown).

Step 6: Garnish with basil, cut, serve and enjoy!

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Porchetta

I just got back from a trip to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding.  What can I say about Seattle?  It’s cold and somewhat overcast, but it was still an awesome trip.  I think since I spend so much time in hot, humid weather, it was somewhat refreshing for a change of atmosphere.  Plus, it was an excuse to bust out the warm clothes and boots, which I almost never get to use any more.

Now, what did I do there?  Not too much.  A little shopping, a quick tour, and of course, lots of cooking.  When you have all the family together, it’s a perfect excuse to try some new recipes, especially since you have some extra hands.  We decided to give this porchetta recipe a try (courtesy of bon appetite).  I’ll be honest, it’s somewhat time consuming, especially since the meat has to sit in the fridge for two days, but I thought it was totally worth it.  We did use pork butt instead of tenderloin so that the center is a little more moist.  I would also consider not using the orange, but I’m not sure if it adds a lot to the flavor and moisture (maybe use orange zest and take the peel off?).  Overall, though, how can you go wrong with all this meat and crispy skin (unless your a vegetarian or vegan).  These pictures alone made the boyfriend wish he came on the trip with me.

Now, I realize this looks like a lot of meat, and well, it is.  What can you do with all the leftovers if your family can’t finish?  Try making a porchetta sandwich. Take a little bread, lettuce, onions, tomatos, etc.  There’s this place in San Francisco called Roli Roti, and it has aaaaamazing porchetta sandwiches.  If you want to try them, they’re usually at the Ferry Building farmers market on a Saturday (maybe Thursday too, but I’m not sure since I’ve never gone on a Thursday).  They cut the porchetta up and put it in a ciabatta roll with a caramelized onion, arugula and aioli.  The crispy skin are like little nuggets of deliciousness.  My picture below doesn’t even do it justice, but I thought I would show you what it looks like anyway.

Grilled Caprese Pizza

Ingredients:

  • pizza dough (I used Pillsbury pizza crust classic 13.8 oz)
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 C basil chiffonaded
  • 1C pesto
  • 8 oz mozzerella
  • 2t balsamic vinegar
  • sale & pepper
  • olive oil

Step 1: Heat your grill to high and spray with cooking spray.

Step 2: Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella and chiffonade your basil.
 
 
 
Step 3: In a bowl, marinade the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.Step 4: Cut the pizza dough in half and on a lightly floured surface  spread each piece until it’s about 1/8 in. thick.  Brush the dough with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Step 5: Once the grill is heated, place the dough (olive oil side down) on the grill and close the lid.  Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown. 
 
Step 6: Brush 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on the non cooked side of the dough and flip.
 
Step 7: Spread your pesto on the pizza and top with the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Note that the dough doesn’t take long to cook so try to get everything on relatively fast or take the dough off the grill and add your toppings if you want to take your time.
 
Step 8: Close the lid and cook until the bottom of your crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted (round 1-2 minutes).
 
Step 9: Remove pizza from the grill and garnish with the basil.  Let sit for a couple minutes before slicing.