Scallop Sushi ~ Gunkan Maki Style
Tender and buttery, day-boat sea scallops from Maine are simply delightful with their slightly sweet flavors, and slightly briny hints of the sea. They are harvested by fishermen that go to work in the icy waters then return to port that same day.
Since the fishing trip is short, day-boat scallops do not need to sit on melting ice like longer expeditions, and therefore do not absorb water over the course of the trip. The taste is pure and natural, as the scallops are not bloated with water after harvest. These scallops are treated with the utmost care, and never soaked in a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate which is commercially used as a preservative but unfortunately degrades the quality of the scallop.
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Gunkan maki was invented in 1941 by Hisaji Imada, the chef/owner of restaurant Kyubey in Tokyo. His new-fangled presentation allowed for the sushi service of soft/loose toppings, such as sea urchin and fish roes. These toppings could not be served in the traditional nigiri style, which consists of a solid slice of raw fish atop an oblong rice ball.
The shape of the newly-developed sushi resembled that of a battleship, hence the name. Gunkan is battleship in Japanese, Maki means roll. Sushi rice is hand-formed into a cuboid, rolled/wrapped with nori, then a soft/loose filling is spooned into the interior.
Here our battleship is filled with diced raw day-boat scallop lightly tossed with Japanese mayonnaise and sea salt. Aromatic shiso adds complex herbal notes where a bit of pungent wasabi flavors the seasoned rice. To quote one of my favorite chefs on a famous seafood dish, “It was a morsel of perfection.”
Scallop Sushi Recipe
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Wild King Salmon Filet & Crispy Salmon Skin
Black & White Sesame Seeds
Miso Chile Lime Dressing
My Citrus Salad Tree was planted a year ago. The first fruit to ripen is the Bearss Lime Tahiti Seedless, also known as a Persian Lime. This is a citrus tree that has 5 varieties of fruit grafted onto one trunk. In addition to the Persian Limes, there are Valencia Orange, Honey Mandarin, Late Lane Navel, and Minneola Tangelo (a cross between grapefruit and tangerine).
Each arm is tagged.
I’m using the Persian Lime in this dressing.
Cannot wait for the rest of the fruits to ripen!
Miso Chile Lime Dressing:
- 2 t. Miso (shiromiso, white soybean paste)
- 1/2 c. Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 t. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
- 2 T. Fresh Lime Juice
- 2 t. Red Chile Pepper Flakes
Whisk all ingredients together. Miso dressing is one of my favorites, I like to make different versions for different salads. In this version I substituted white miso for red, lime juice for lemon, and red chile flakes for ginger. My original recipe here.
Buy Fresh Wild King Salmon filet with skin on. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Slice off the skin leaving about a half inch of meat attached. Toss with salt and pepper.
Separate the dressing; one part for salad, one part for marinade. Marinate the filet.
Place salmon skin slices (skin side up) and filet on a broiler pan. Broil under high heat for about 8 minutes until the skin is crispy and the filet is just cooked.
Toss the warm crispy salmon skin slices with baby spinach and miso chile lime dressing.
Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds, bonito flakes (shavings from dried smoked bonito, a type of tuna) and kizami nori (roasted shredded seaweed). Top with salmon filet.
The spinach wilts slightly amidst the crispy skin and warm filet. Really enjoyed the different textures and bright flavors here. I’m looking forward to creating more citrus-based dressings as the fruits on my Citrus Salad Tree ripen! Please let me know if you have an interesting recipe using any of the fruits mentioned above.
Nori Crusted Filet Mignon over a Lemon Mirin Soy Sauce
Topped with Wasabi Butter
As a nibble…on grilled ciabatta bread.
8 oz. Filet Mignon
Nori (roasted seaweed) is ground with white sesame seeds, red chile flakes, and black pepper in a food processor.
Two 8 oz. filets are seasoned, then dredged in the nori mixture and seared in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side. The meat is finished in a 400 degree oven.
Olive oil, mirin, tamari, and fresh lemon juice are whisked together for a sauce. Fresh lemon juice and steak – this is an amazing pairing.
For a large group, a 2 1/2 pound filet is cut in half.
A remote thermometer is helpful, we removed the meat from the oven at 128, and then let rest for 10 minutes.
I have made this Japanese Style Steak three times now. I cannot rave enough about the combination of flavors which are extraordinary. This fabulous recipe was inspired by a dish in Food & Wine