Friday, April 6, 2012

Sushi Class

Its been a while since I've posted, I've been busy as hell.
I did teach a sushi class though, well, technically 3 of them, and wanted to post those recipes. It was more hands on than my normal classes, that usually only have one hands-on element. Students all made their own sushi this time, I made and served just the hot food and dessert.
Here's the pdf of all the recipes, except for the daifuku, which is below.
Back row: Toro (tuna), Ebi (shrimp), Sake (salmon) and Avocado nigiri sushi, Inarizushi, Spicy California Gunkan Maki
Front Row: Tai (snapper), Hamachi (yellowtail) with Yuzu Ponzu, serrano chile and cilantro, Sake Rose (salmon) Sashimi
For hot food we made blistered shishito peppers with smoked sea salt, garlic chile edamame, and my quick and dirty miso soup.

Pink Daifuku
For dessert, even though I knew I didn't have time to cover how to make them, I served homemade daifuku, a kind of mochi (sweet) that is a little unusual and class presented an excellent opportunity for me to give the students something to taste that they wouldn't normally seek out on their own. Not only is the flavor of daifuku odd for American palettes, but the texture is like nothing in our cuisine either. The best description I overheard one student give another was, "It's like gummy raw pie dough wrapped around refried beans with sugar in them." Yes, I suppose that's pretty accurate.

Daifuku Recipe

Filling Ingredients (makes enough for 2 daifuku recipes)

1 can Adzuki beans 14 oz
1/2 c water
1 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt

Dough Ingredients

1 c Mochiko (white box with a blue star on it, Koda Farms brand of Sweet Rice Flour)
1/4 c granulated sugar
2/3 c water
Potato starch, for flouring the board (cornstarch works too)

Filling Procedure
Bring water and sugar to a boil and boil until sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.
Drain and rinse the adzuki beans, and add to a saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, salt and 1/3 c of the sugar water syrup and mash the beans up with a potato masher. They should be the consistency of thick refried beans (add more sugar syrup if you need to). Heat until bean paste is hot and starts to look a little shiny. Set aside to cool.

Daifuku Procedure
Mix the dough ingredients in a microwave safe bowl (if you'd like to color them, mix in 1 or 2 drops of food coloring to the water before adding it to the rest of the ingredients- green and pink are traditional colors) making sure there are no lumps and there's no dough/residue stuck to the walls of the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Take it out and mix thoroughly. Cover it again and microwave for 1 minute more. If when you open the door, the dough deflates, it's ready. If your dough didn't inflate in the microwave yet, zap it again for another minute. It should deflate when you open the door.

Remove the dough from the microwave and scrape out onto a potato starch covered board. Pat the hot dough to flatten a bit and cover with potato starch (enough so it's not so sticky). Cut into 8 equal pieces, using a bench scraper or sharp knife covered in potato starch after each cut. Flatten out each piece a little more with your hands or a small rolling pin, working quickly, you want the dough to stay hot. Add a Tbsp or 2 of the bean filling to the middle of each piece and wrap the dough up around the filling, pinching together to seal well. The sealed part is the bottom of each daifuku. They can be wrapped in plastic wrap to stay fresh and freeze/thaw very well.