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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🦀 Dungeness Crab Nigiri 🦀
Miso-Garlic Mayonnaise, Shiso Leaves, Chives
The sweet ocean-y taste of Dungeness crab is complemented by the fresh herbal notes of shiso leaves – reminiscent of mint, lemon, anise, and basil. The miso mayonnaise adds creamy, nutty, garlicky, and umami characteristics. This two-bite nigiri sushi is a morsel of delight with a complex sweet/savory/herby flavor.
Dungeness crabs get their name from the port of Dungeness, Washington. They are found along the West Coast of North America, typically from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Point Conception, near Santa Barbara, California.
Dungeness Crab Nigiri Recipe
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Miso Aioli, Shiso, Carrot Cucumber Slaw
The complex herbal flavors of shiso (reminiscent of mint, lemon, anise, basil and curiously cinnamon) complement the sweet buttery taste of wild-caught Atlantic sea scallops. Miso aioli adds creamy, garlicky, umami characteristics. A refreshing crisp carrot cucumber slaw balances all those rich notes.
At the last minute, place a spoonful of slaw on top of each scallop, then serve one scallop per person for a palate-pleasing amuse-bouche. Big flavors, bold colors, eclectic textures create a stunning small bite to launch your next elegant dinner party.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Miso Aioli Recipe
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Sushi Rice with Rosé & Sautéed Shrimp
Flavored with Thai Basil, Shiso, and Yuzu
Chiffonade of Shiso Garnish
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white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant
with a chiffonade of shiso
served over mizuna
spicy lemon miso dressing
blistered shishito peppers and grape tomatoes
Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”
The 5 Star Makeover theme for April is a special seasonal ingredient, White Asparagus.
“For a brief two weeks at the end of April, the prized white asparagus is in season. In Germany, this mini-season is celebrated with a mania not to be missed, and every restaurant in on the tradition offers a special menu, called a Spargel Karte. These menus include anywhere from three to thirteen courses, all featuring the tender, sweet, white asparagus. Typical classic dishes include a white asparagus with Hollandaise sauce or a white asparagus soup. We invite you to think outside the box to create a unique gourmet dish featuring white asparagus.”
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