Monday, June 4, 2007

Maki-Sushi Night

Dinner 6/4 by Juan and Amy

• Maki-Sushi Rolls with various combinations of fillings

• Homemade Miso Soup with Lacinato Kale

• Salad with Radishes and Gingery Dressing

• Green Tea

Tonight's dinner Juan and I decided to cook light and easy. The maki rolls are always a hit in our co-op. I learned in a cooking class that brown rice makes great sushi if the mixture is half short grain and half sweet brown rice. Tonight, the rolls were filled with different combinations of soysage, asparagus (from Ironweed), sauerkraut, dilly beans, pickles, homemade "ume" paste, and peanut butter. I know it sounds weird, but one of my favorite combinations is sauerkraut and almond butter, but since we don't have almond butter, I find peanut butter is almost as good.

The ume paste is a creation that Thomas and I made. It's based on the Japanese tradition of umeboshi plums. We picked some wild plums, salted them and pressed them in a crock for a while. After they pickled, we put some shiso (beefsteak) leaves in for color. Then when they were nice and pink, we pitted them and put them in the food processor to make a paste. The end result is a very salty, fruity paste that is very potent, but a great condiment.

Thomas and I have also experimented with making our own misos. For those of you that aren't familiar with miso, it's a salty paste traditionally made with soybeans. Wikipedia has a good article about misos here. Right now, we have some white miso made with rice and chickpeas in the fridge. It is one of the best misos I have ever tasted. Currently fermenting are a 1-2 year barley/mung bean miso and 3 month rice and white bean miso. Tonight's soup was made with the white bean and rice to see how it's coming along. So far, I'm happy with it, but perhaps I'll leave it in the crock just a little while longer. Though it's so hard to be patient!

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