Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu
You might have noticed that we are making our fair share of raw salmon dishes here. In my search for an interesting pairing with salmon, I came across quite a few sites from the Pacific Northwest where local salmon was paired with local blackberries.
Usually referring to a wine and food pairing, the saying goes “what grows together goes together.” Roughly speaking, the idea is that local wine and local foods complement each other. Seems to work very well for this land & sea pairing as well.
Ponzu sauce (ponzu shoyu) is a Japanese condiment commonly made with citrus, soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. Here, blackberries add a tart fruitiness and a striking color purple.
The sushi-quality raw salmon slices are steeped in blackberry ponzu for just 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the flavors. Crunchy cucumber, peppery radish, spicy jalapeño, and buttery-nutty pine nuts add pizzazz to this appealing crudo dish. Togarashi, a Japanese spicy seasoning made with ground nori, sea salt, various chili powders, orange peel, and sesame seeds adds complexity and the finishing touch.
Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu Recipe
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Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth
Shiitake, Castelvetrano Olives, Fried Garlic, Chives
Here’s another excellent dish inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he gives Japanese noodles in hot broth a Western twist by substituting Italian pasta.
Since there are but a few ingredients – where olives play a big role – choose super-tasty, buttery, meaty Castelvetrano olives. And the pasta has to be fresh, not dried, where the tender velvety texture is heavenly in the savory umami-rich dashi broth. Flavorful earthy shiitakes are wonderful in this dish, oyster or chanterelle mushrooms would work also, however common button mushrooms would be way too boring. Lastly, the star is black cod (aka sablefish), with its silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin.
Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine Recipe
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Spicy Salmon with Shrimp Chips
Avocado Mash with Lemon, Sliced Jalapeños
This tasty snack was inspired by Nobu Restaurants’ “Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna” where fried sushi rice cubes are served with a little bowl of spicy tuna and light soy sauce on the side. A version of the Nobu recipe went viral a while back on TikTok with the addition of avocado and jalapeño.
The original authentic dish can be enjoyed at many of the over 50 Nobu Restaurants around the world including all three in Las Vegas – Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas Virgin Hotel.
With the remainder of a nice piece of sockeye salmon leftover from making an Aguachile de Salmón for my guests, I decided to make a quick snack paired with store-bought shrimp chips. These puffy-crisp chips are made from a dough of tapioca flour and ground shrimp. The dough is steamed, thinly sliced, dried, then fried. The result are crunchy little crackers full of umami flavor.
Topped with a tiny scoop of spicy salmon and/or avocado plus an optional jalapeño ring, these make a zippy one-bite snack bomb that is packed full of flavors, textures, and spice! And unlike the original dish which has many steps to prepare the fried sushi rice, this appetizer is quick and easy…
Spicy Salmon with Shrimp Chips Recipe
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Dungeness Crab & Avocado Rice Bowl
Crab and avocado have been a happy couple long before the invention of the California sushi roll. And in addition to melted butter, mayonnaise has long been a classic sauce to pair with crab… Here, warm seasoned rice is topped with steamed Dungeness crab leg meat, sliced avocado, diced cucumber, and creamy umami-rich Kewpie mayonnaise. The dish is seasoned with a flavorful furikake and drizzled with a syrupy tamari glaze. The combination of flavors, textures, and colors is wonderfully balanced and extremely tasty. Pretty too.
Crab & Avocado Rice Bowl Recipe
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Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup, Vietnamese Flavors
Yes, of course, I still make my traditional matzoh balls… hundreds of them in fact. But I also like to mix it up a bit, and surprise my guests with some exotic flavors… such as my mysterious Saffron Matzoh Balls, super-flavorful Mexican Matzoh Balls, and the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Poultry-Seasoned Turkey Matzoh Balls. Those fancy Fried Matzoh Balls from Passover 2021 were an outrageous hit, too.
This year the inspiration comes from Pho Ga, that fragrant herby Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Here, matzoh balls are subtly spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and stand in for the rice noodles. The chicken broth is flavored with blackened onion and ginger, lemongrass, and star anise where the smoky-salty-sweet-umami layers are simply intoxicating.
Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup
Vietnamese Flavors Recipe
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