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cravings from a landlocked state

When Kell asked me what I would want for a last meal, sushi was my immediate answer. I love sushi – California style. That is, not in the traditional Japanese sense only because I haven’t been exposed to the traditional except in New Zealand (go figure). The Chinese are notorious for bastardizing sushi by dousing it with Sriracha and then dunking it in wasabi with a dash of soy sauce. *raises hand – guilty*

Jeremy and I had it good for almost a decade. We had a favorite sushi bar Ai, in South Pasadena. Fumito is the head chef there and he not only treated us to the best sushi, but he became our friend – teaching us to distinguish Good from Bad, sushi. When we moved to Colorado we discovered a handful of decent sushi joints in Boulder, but… price and quality just couldn’t compare to So Cal. They just can’t. We’ll dine out for sushi on occasion in town, but we will more likely make our own at home.

I have a favorite roll from Ai, the Not-So-Special Roll. Fumito has a Special Roll on the menu which is spicy tuna and spicy scallop with avocado, masago, and sometimes cucumber or daikon sprouts all crammed into a cut roll wrapped in halibut… or maybe snapper? I can’t recall because the Not-So-Special Roll omitted the outside fish (just because it got to be incredibly filling). That was my brain child and Fumito was happy to oblige. And that is what we create at home when we start to miss Fumito and all of the regulars at the sushi bar – except Hector and Eddie, those two made me laugh so hard I almost snorted my drink out my nose.

After spending the morning prepping our doors for the winter onslaught and then noodling around the hardware store for Things That Don’t Exist, we swung by Whole Foods to pick up some sea critters. We started with scallop carpaccio, something akin to a small plate I enjoyed with Kell and Jerad at Fish Face in Sydney (awesome place to eat if you’re ever there). I am a sucker for ponzu.

scallop carpaccio with ponzu

I prepped the sashimi, spicy tuna, and spicy scallop while Jeremy mixed the sushi rice. In a tribute to Fumito, Jeremy made a couple of Not-So-Special rolls. I wrapped a few handrolls and before we knew it, we could barely move from the table for the state of food coma we were falling into.

sake and maguro


not-so-special #1

not-so-special #2

7 nibbles at “cravings from a landlocked state”

  1. peabody says:

    Very pretty. Seattle has a lot of great sushi…or so I am told. I can’t eat it, I have a compromised immune system…so no raw fish. :(

  2. jenyu says:

    Yes, Seattle DOES have great sushi. I love Seattle. If I were to choose a city, that would be mine. In fact, we debated moving to Bellingham or moving here – and we chose here… My friend has a compromised immune system. She can’t eat at buffets or eat sushi :( Makes me appreciate what I take for granted on a daily basis.

  3. Heather says:

    Your “not so special” rolls – look awfully special! How brave of you to do sushi at home. I’m inspired!

  4. jenyu says:

    thanks Heather :)

  5. Merav says:

    I’m drooling. They look like perfection!

  6. Len Morris says:

    Hi, Thanks for the pictures and the cooking instructions, I will try your “Hot & Sour” soup and also the “Candied Orange peel” both look really delicious.

    If you are interested, I am a “Coeliac” so I cannot eat any form of gluten and lots of seeds like Wheat etc that contain gluten….But luckly there are seeds and beans that can be made into flour for baking bread and cakes etc….My grandfather taught me how to bake and his specialalty was “Dundee cake”….I have now converted it using my new flour mix….and I think it better that real ordinary flour (which I cannot have).

    If you want, I will send both recipes and you can try each of them…then let me know what you think yourself.
    Kind Regards Len Morris.

  7. jenyu says:

    Len – thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you found some recipes that look interesting. That’s very nice of you to offer sending me your adjusted recipes, but I think I have my hands full as it is baking at high altitude (it’s a pain!) that altering more of the ingredients might put me in a foul mood ;) Thanks anyway!

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