In looking back at my photos over Christmas, I realized I never shared with you the photos from our sushi night, as I promised in this post. The food was too delicious and the photos are too fun not to share them, so here they are!
My dad has traveled to Japan almost every year for the last several years for business. As I have already mentioned, he is a great cook and always brings home new recipes to try, replicated from memory based on meals he had while traveling. We've had Hungarian goulash, Italian treats and Russian fare, but my favorite travel meals have always been when he makes Japanese food. Below is a picture of some of the food he made this time: sesame and mirin marinated Steak as well as skewered Japanese hot dogs served with a spicy Wasabi mustard sauce for dipping. Dinner took longer to assemble than originally planned, so the steak marinated for a long time--all the better when it came time to eat!
Before I continue, it must be noted that my family are sushi fanatics. We love it all: raw, cooked, deep-fried--you name it, we will eat it! This was the original idea behind sushi night because with six people in our house (seven counting J, who I converted into a sushi-lover), going out for sushi can get really expensive. Thanks to all the great fresh fish markets and Asian grocery stores in southern California, we can eat all the sushi we want at a fraction of the price we would pay if we went out to eat.
The last time we had a sushi night, we made so much food we had to call in reinforcements in the form of some good friends. This time we planned ahead and invited several people to join us: my brother Dan's friend from high school, my sister Madi's two best friends from grade school and my best friend Anne and her roommate who were visiting from Santa Barbara. And boy did we need the help! Here are a few pictures of the dishes.
Note: this is a photo heavy post but will not include any actual recipes. We didn't really use any to come up with these dishes but if you are looking for some good ones, this is a good starting point.
Some variations of California rolls--some of the safest rolls for sushi beginners to try because they have no raw fish in them, only cooked (imitation) crab, cucumber, and avocado.
Tuna nigri with a spicy Asian guacamole on top. Nigri refers to the way the sushi is prepared and served. If a piece of raw sushi grade fish is served without rice, it is referred to as sashimi. If it is served on a small bed of rice (like pictured above and below) it is called nigri.
Halibut nigri with a spicy rice wine vinegar sauce.
Tempura-ed vegetables (cauliflower, onions, carrots, green beans) made by Madi
My parents' cat CJ checking out the spread--he loves the smell of fresh fish. I think he and Woods would be friends!
The spread, part two. It wouldn't all fit on one table. Pictured here are a few eel-inspired rolls and the tempura which Madi was preparing above. Eel (another completely cooked fish) is extremely delicious and has quickly become one of my favorite sushi dishes. In Japan, you cannot get eel at most restaurants--you must go to an eel restaurant to eat the delicious fish. It is usually served simply over a bowl of steaming rice.
Gathering round to eat the first course, miso soup--another great dish for sushi beginners to try! A mostly clear soup served hot with pieces of tofu, green onions and seaweed in the broth.
Have any of you tried sushi? If so (and you liked it!) what is your favorite roll?