Spicy Shrimp Sashimi
If I had an addiction to any one food it would be Japanese food not just for the Sushi or Sashimi but also for the delicacy that Japanese mother’s and Restaurants offer which Elizabeth Andoh refers to as Washoku.
Her website is a companion to her book and can be bought from her website. You can also find her in discussion on Youtube via the CIA channel. I am posting it here as well. She brings Japanese food to the everyday home and makes it un-daunting to try. In fact when one reads the book Japanese cooking has a lot of logic to it. If you look at Japanese cooking as an art; then you will discover first how easy it is to make as the Japanese pantry really uses a few ingredients all the time, just prepared in different manners.
Dashi is a must. So, too, is Mirin, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Sake,sugar,ginger and miso. From these few ingredients the artistic and inventive methods of preparation can then follow. What is fascinating about the way in which Elizabeth writes is that she makes certain the reader knows that not just the food is important but also the vessels in which it is served. The vessels should tie in with the foods and with the seasonality of all. To me, this means that what you eat should feel like the temperature of the season and not shock the body but rather make the body a part of the food and the seasonality of the day in which it is served.
Clay is big in Japan as a vessel on which to set and plate food as how much closer to the earth can one get when you eat on Clay. Then she goes further to describe, at times, the textures and the surface of said vessel and it isn’t always a standard plate or bowl. That artistic value is what elevates Japanese Food to an Art Form.
At Home means easy, simple and not made-from-scratch ingredients like the mayo. I can think of one person, cook, who would berate me for using jarred mayonnaise instead of making my own; which I have done and it is nothing like the Hellman’s. No, homemade mayonnaise is a dream to make and a lush to eat, if one is inclined to make it. (a recipe I follow is here).
This is re-post from two years ago and since I am in the middle of reading Washuko, it is clear my cravings are becoming almost too much to bear and I am preparing this dish again this weekend.
The other night we were invited up to see my son’s new digs. Beforehand, we thought we would grab a bite to eat first downtown…and then on to his apartment. (note* he has since moved home and since he doesn’t read my food blog I can say that I am no happy camper. There is a great time to be had for empty-nester’s and although mine was short-lived, it was truly fun.)
I forgot it was Grand Prix weekend and by pure luck headed out to a favorite restaurant not quite at Crescent St., the hub of Montreal’s Downtown, but not that far off. We parked on St. Marc and walked a right on St. Catherine St on our way to Odaki. That particular corner of St. Catherine St houses the most Sushi places in one block on the entire island of Montreal, I think.
Urbanspoon and Chowhound and Lesley Chesterman and Julian Armstrong and I am sure many more folks have termed this area Montreal’s second Chinatown. Primarily for its Asian foods within a four block radius and all within walking distance from Concordia University. It also houses some of our best tiny Korean and Sushi and Izakaya influenced menus.
On our way to Odaki we had no choice but to pass my other favorite restaurants which happen to be one after the other. Going down this street of St Catherine is like passing up one baby to go visit the other one; each one has its own distinguishing menu plots and all terrific. As it happened though, a new baby had been born just a few days ago and hadn’t been named yet. The menu was posted and it didn’t have much appeal to Henry. Alas, he was always an easy sell, at least for me.
If there are people sitting and eating and if the place looks like it has already become a haven for the 20-something’s then I always say ‘let’s try it’.
As we sat down I asked the waitress when they opened and she said ‘yesterday.’ That meant one thing to me: Fresh Fish!
make sure you watch the pulse – you don’t want shrimp paste you want shrimp bits. Shrimp paste is another Asian dish served usually wrapped around Sugar Cane.
It was an all-you-can eat place with 20% off and I hate these places. I hate Sushi not made to order and sitting on tables just waiting for a pick-up when an order comes about.
Instead, here, with the restaurant becoming busier by the minute; everything was made as ordered and it is only 1 piece per order. I stuck to Sashimi; knowing it was going to be really, really fresh.
It did not disappoint. When a slice of tuna can be mushed by your tongue you know it is fresh. I couldn’t get enough of the tuna, the salmon, yes, definitely some tempura which was ‘right out of the fryer’ hot and freshly crisp.
Even their soy sauce was a better quality. I always do a taste test of soy sauce the way I would an olive oil. Their soy sauce was not at all that super salty stuff from Kikkoman. This, I could taste, was traditional dark Japanese soy sauce with a deep intense soy taste with enough salt that you don’t gag or go Ewwww.
Well, enough about my restaurant review: It is now time to tell you my recipe for Spicy Shrimp Sushi.
I had decided that night that I was going to make, after exercise class on Friday, Spicy Sashimi but instead of Tuna I will be using the Shrimp I have frozen in the freezer. I keep frozen pre-cooked Shrimp in the freezer for when I have a craving for a Shrimp Cocktail or company over last minute.
I took it out to defrost, overnight and during the day, in the fridge.
Then from my taste and instinctual memory and a little help from Google came the spicy mayonnaise to use on the Shrimp.
I should have realized at the Japanese Grocer there would be such a product sold, called Japanese mayonnaise, but I didn’t. What I did buy though was tenkasu (deep fried wheat flour balls), takuwan (japanese pickled daikon), a Baisen Goma Japanese Salad Dressing pre-made and a package of just made, from Mama in the back kitchen and vacuum wrapped and sealed, vegetable tempura.
Indeed everything from Japan that has a Kewpie Doll pictured somewhere on the label should be considered a very good product. The mayonnaise has a Kewpie Doll and so did my Japanese Baisen Goma vinaigrette, which is why I knew it would be delicious. There are some things that are pr-made that are delicious and have no business being tampered with. This salad dressing is one of those.
1 cup of mayonnaise into a bowl. I added drops two or three at a time of La Yu (red chili oil), a teaspoon of freshly chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger grated, and I mixed and did a taste test for spiciness. Not enough. I then continued: a few more drops of La Yu, 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha (Rooster sauce I call it),and a 1/2 tsp of tubed wasabi.
Whisk all this together and continue to taste test to get the right spiciness and then refrigerate it so the flavors can congeal.
Empty package of thawed Shrimp into a colander and let it sit for an hour to get the water out. Then squeeze the Shrimp further and put into a food processor. Gently and ever so slightly begin to pulsate the Shrimp until it just comes to a rough grind. You will never be able to chop the Shrimp as finely as you need to with a knife unless you are willing to spend the better part of the afternoon in a sweat.
Note: if you use Tuna or Salmon and it is very fresh and should be very fresh then you will be able to chop it finely enough by hand. Little chunks are better.
Note2: Unless I know for sure and without a doubt that my Salmon or Tuna is same day caught – I bring it home and freeze it. Once it has been frozen all the parasites that cause tapeworm will have been killed. Then defrost and prepare as you would any Sashimi or Raw Sushi.
Mix the Shrimp mixture with the Mayonnaise until you find that it is thick and coated: start by using a 1/2 of the mixture and then you will continue and use it all.
Plate it either on Sushi Rice that you have prepared, or simply on a leaf of lettuce. It is meant to be eaten like a Sashimi: dipped into soy sauce and perhaps with pickled ginger and wasabi.
I plated it alongside a salad of Romaine leaves topped with the pickled daikon, slices of Avocado and a bought Japanese Salad Dressing. Yes, bought.
Set the table with chopsticks, sushi plates and little bowls for dipping sauces of Tempura, soy sauce and pickled ginger.
We were still eating the next day.
It is very important I tell you this: My biggest fear in eating raw fish is the Tapeworm. My mother had it once and we feel she got it by tasting her raw Gefilte Fish Mixture. There are two beliefs here when it comes to fish. People who are not fishmongers say that all fish coming into Canada is flash frozen. Fishmongers say all fish they get is fresh from that morning.
I say “Raw Fish Is Not Served In My House Unless It Has Been In My Freezer At Least Overnight’. I will never ever take home fish and eat it raw without freezing it to kill the Parasites that cause Tapeworm.
Absolutely no sesame seeds in this dish whatsoever. Their taste will overpower anything else you put in your mouth.
|Spicy Shrimp Sashimi At Home|
- 1/c jarred mayonnaise
- 1/8-1/4 tsp chili oil or to taste
- 1/8-1/4 Sriracha or to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic chopped
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp prepared Wasabi or to taste. Can use powdered Wasabi.
- 1 lb. minced Cooked Shrimp, or any fresh fatty fish like Tuna or Salmon: very fresh and hand chopped raw.
- 1/2 cup of Tenkasu deep fried balls.
- Combine first 6 ingredients and Whisk. (Eyeball amounts and adjust taste of spicy condiments to your liking)
- Add the mayonnaise preparation to the shrimp and gently toss.
- Leave at room temperature before serving for 20-30 minutes.
- Just prior to serving add 1/2 cup of the Tenkasu so that cripiness is there with every chopstick bite.
- Dip in soy sauce, add ginger or plop it in your mouth.
- In addition I plated the Sashimi on crisp Romaine Lettuce leaves atop slices of avocado. I also made Udon noodles which I sauced with the Salad Dressing I bought and then chopped scallions as well as the Tempura which came in its vacuum package that I had seen Mama make, which I fried in hot oil temperature of 300-350 in batches of 5. The timing of making Tempura is done *a la minute, which is just as everyone is sitting at the table.
It can be an appetizer or a main dish meal. Cooking and prep times can vary