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archive for sushi

the very hungry caterpillar (sushi roll burger)

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Recipe: caterpillar sushi roll burger

The two week pine tree orgy is over and the pine pollen no longer rains down on you when the wind blows around here. That stuff does a number on my respiratory system such that all workouts have been indoors. I dare say I think it’s safe to venture out into the hills again. Our yard grows wild, literally. We have no lawn, just weeds and native grasses. But those “weeds” have begun sprouting the colors of summer. I love it.


indian paintbrush and yarrow

arnica and baby aspens



Everyone is doing their thing in summer, because it’s summer! Even the bugs. On a hike in Crested Butte a few weeks ago, we paused to observe some caterpillars in a nest. As we continued around the lake, the caterpillars still on my mind, my thoughts turned to caterpillar rolls in sushi bars. Of course, right? I’ve played around with the burgerfication of various favorite dishes, especially sushi rolls. And I even made a caterpillar sushi roll burger over a year ago, I just didn’t like it. So I shelved the photos and recipe – until I saw those caterpillars. What I realized was that the bun I used ruined the entire dish for me (us). It was the first (and last) time I ever tried Rudi’s. The bread was dry, crumbly, bland, and basically disintegrated after the first bite. I was so disappointed.

beef patties, buns, eel (unagi), nori (seaweed), lettuce, avocado, tomato, unagi sauce



I’m looking for a certain texture and flavor in my burger buns. I like the bread to be slightly sweet, soft and tender, structurally competent, buttery if possible, and fluffy. Walking through our mountain town grocery store, I spotted some barbecue buns (intended for pulled pork). They fit the bill.

cut the unagi

prep the fixings



**Jump for more butter**

what a coinkydink

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Recipe: shiso spicy tuna tempura (dragon scales)

It was getting a little ridiculous. My friends had moved into their new house in Boulder several months ago and I still hadn’t been by to pay them a visit. Summer was pretty cray cray and fall is even more so. If not now, then when? It’s not like I’m the only person who is busy – they are busy too. Everyone is busy. I guess what makes friends so special is that an hour spent together in the midst of all the busy recharges you and leaves you with a warm fuzzy glow for several days.


beautiful family in their wonderful new home



Their adorable baby is no longer a baby but an adorable little boy. Nichole and Luke have put so much work into their house on their own (like laying new plumbing to rearrange their kitchen – whoa!). It was really exciting for me, a DIY-wannabe, to see what two resourceful and creative DIY people can do! Then Nichole said, “Wanna see the garden?” How she finds the time to work, raise Mr. Cutiepie (my nickname for him), remodel the house, AND garden, I just do not know. All that while remaining her hysterically funny and sassy self to boot.

nichole picks red shiso for me



When Nichole said she had red shiso, I did a blink-blink and then a double take. Shiso? Ever since Jeremy and I went to The Lobar in Crested Butte for my birthday, I’ve been wanting to recreate the dragon scales appetizer we enjoyed. It was made with shiso leaves, and the only place I knew of to purchase shiso leaves is on the far side of Denver in Aurora (H-Mart). That’s a drive in sucky traffic that I didn’t want to make. And here was my friend asking me if I would like some red shiso from her garden! Love that girl.

lovely shiso without driving to denver



I’ve only ever had shiso in or with sushi. My favorite sushi chef, Fumito, in South Pasadena would tell us that it is good for your health. When I’ve purchased shiso leaves at H-Mart in the past, they were labeled as sesame leaves or Perilla and they were huge, like as big as my extended hand. These shiso leaves were smaller and a gorgeous purple color, and talk about local sourcing. Now we’re cooking with gas! Here’s what you’ll need to make dragon scales:

shiso leaves, maguro (sashimi grade tuna), mayonnaise, sriracha (not pictured: masago and togarashi)

tempura batter: flour, egg, ice water, baking soda

tempura dipping sauce: mirin, soy sauce, dashi, sugar



The reason the masago (capelin roe) and togarashi (Japanese chili seasoning) aren’t in the picture is because I forgot to buy them. I wasn’t expecting to make this and scrambled at the last minute to get what I needed based on memory. But I do recommend including those in your recipe should you decide to make this (and really, you should).

mixing the tempura batter

make the spicy tuna

stir in the sriracha



**Jump for more butter**

end of summer activities

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Recipe: porcini mushroom tempura sushi handroll

To summarize my weekend: my feet hurt. But it’s the good kind of hurt! We hiked three fourteeners (it’s what Coloradoans do for fun – summit 14,000+ ft. mountains): Mounts Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln. It started out well enough, but as the morning progressed the winds got crazy insane and wildfire smoke from I-don’t-know-where hung in the air like a bad smog day in Southern California.


hello pika, you’re so cute you are

first summit of the morning: mount democrat

third summit of the morning: mount lincoln

mounts cameron (far left) and democrat (left of center) in hazy conditions



On the way home from the trailhead, we swung by the store to get more green chiles for roasting. MOAR!!! It used to be that we relied on the kindness of my in-laws who live in Southern Colorado or my aunt who lives in New Mexico to grace us with a few bags of frozen roasted green chiles at the end of summer. But fresh Hatch green chiles began to arrive in our local markets a couple of years ago every August and I’ve been hoarding them ever since. The Boulder Whole Foods has in-house roasted chiles ready to go, but I rather like the idea of roasting my own. It’s fun and it smells like the end of summer. Those of you who know that smell of roasting green chiles – you know what I mean…

covet thy green chiles

roasting on the grill – our neighborhood smelled fantastic

the ever hopeful kaweah is just hanging out because she associates the grill with steak



On Sunday morning, the air seemed to finally be clearing of that nasty, smokey haze. So we went for a trail run. I am not a runner. I don’t really enjoy running. The longest run I’ve ever done is 10 miles and that was in graduate school because we were always looking to diversify our suffering. Trail runs are different. I don’t love them, but I do enjoy them. I managed just over 10 miles, which I haven’t done in twelve years! It seemed like a good end-of-summer thing to do for, you know… getting ready for ski season. This, this is why my feet hurt.

Something else that has come to an end for me is my porcini foraging for the year. I think there are still some out there, but I unwittingly booked up my schedule and that’s that. Last Thursday, Wendy and I set off in the dark at 5:30 am for our final day of foraging together this season (she will, no doubt, continue to scour the mountains until the end of August). In the car, we tossed ideas back and forth on different ways to enjoy fresh porcinis. I had a small bag of bouchons to finish up before leaving town, so I welcomed this brainstorm session.


let’s make sushi: anago sauce, sushi rice, avocado, masago (flying fish roe), porcinis, nori

mixing ice water and egg for tempura batter



**Jump for more butter**