Project Food Blog: Zen Goes Sushi!

Take a French man and ask him to cook outside his comfort zone and maybe, maybe he’ll cook something Japanese for you. Needless to say, i didn’t know how difficult it would be to roll sushi with that damn baguette stuck under my arm. This is of course the 2nd challenge in Project Food Blog: “The Next Food Blog Star” where we are asked to pick an ethnic classic and try not to make a fool of ourselves. Thank you so much to all of you who voted to advance me in this competition. If you like this post, then vote again!

I wanted to go Japanese today partly because i’m flying to Tokyo on Friday so i thought this would be the perfect exercise to condition myself for a week of non-stop Japanese eating. You could compare it to the stretching athletes do before competition. Except in my case it’s stomach stretching. The second reason i picked sushi is because i got a lesson from Yoshimi Tanigawa last year in Kyoto, and as much as i love Japanese cuisine the ungrateful student that i’am didn’t do much Japanese cooking to honor his Master since. Boooo… yes, go ahead, don’t be shy! Booooo…

This post is a last attempt to redeem myself before being denied entry at Narita airport.

It started earlier today with a little trip to Mitsuwa and as always, Mitsuwa didn’t disappoint. I came back with a bounty of Japanese delicacies: Oh toro tuna, hamachi, kampachi, uni and eel, tobiko and trout roe, shiso… to name a few.

One of my favorite things to order at sushi bars is the salmon skin rolls, so the first thing i did is slice it off a filet of wild king salmon and make it all nice and crispy by dredging it flour and corn starch and shallow-frying it. The thick part of the salmon filet was used in a roll and the belly was used for nigiri. I love when nothing is wasted.

Another acquisition at Mitsuwa was a makiyakinabe, a rectangular pan used to make Tamagoyaki, a Japanese rolled omelet that’s often included in Bento boxes as well as sushi. It was my first time making it, and it was good except it shouldn’t have colored so much on the outside. What can i say for my defense? I was busy eating the crispy salmon skin.

So i made some rolls, some inside-out, some outside-in, and some double-out-inside-in, and even some in-double-out-inside-in-double-out. It sounds so much better in Japanese!

Here is what you have on the platter below:

– Tamagoyaki
– Sweet shrimp sashimi
– Oh Toro Tuna sashimi
– Wild King salmon belly nigiri
– Sea Bass sashimi
– Hamachi sashimi
– Eel (Unagi)/avocado roll with Tobiko
– King crab roll
– Salmon skin roll
– Salmon roll
– Tuna roll
– Uni nigiri (sea urchin)
– Trout roe nigiri

My favorite bite? Uni, of course! Sweet and creamy, fresh uni is always my favorite but the oh toro tuna sashimi and king crab/ avocado roll didn’t come far behind. Maybe i’ll do some step by step posts on rolling your own sushi in the future.

This was a fun challenge and a great dinner. Voting for me in Project Food Blog of course will advance me to the next round so don’t forget to vote if you feel inclined to. Voting is opened from 6AM Pacific Time September 27th through 6PM Pacific Time September 30th.

Thank you for reading!

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  • DailySpud

    You’ll here no Booooo from me sir, just the sound of a little click on a little voting heart!

  • Cucee Sprouts

    Cute photos!!! Try my recipe – I think you will like it: Salmon Sashimi with Blue Cheese and White Miso Puree

  • kosher

    Very nice platter and very well prepared!

  • SushiQueen

    If you have daikon underneath the shiso leaf, that would be perfect!