Make-your-own sushi

We love DIY or MYO food –  hotpot, charcoal BBQ, pho, bibimbap… Anything that requires the remotest hint of DIY is a big hit.

I got this MYO sushi idea from my friend Mary. It not only tastes great, but it’s a easy, last-minute throw-together with fresh and tasty ingredients.

Start with chopping up some fresh vegetables, into thin strips. Things such as carrots, capsicum, lettuce, cucumber, or even celery work beautifully.

Don’t forget the spanish onions!

Then get some eggs…

…mix it up and fry them up in the pan. Don’t touch the egg mixture whilst it’s in the pan. We want a perfect circle for some nice and thin egg strips. There’s no need to flip it over, I always find that the top will cook without burning the bottom.

Here we go, these are the cold fillings. Don’t mind my thick egg strips, sometimes one just can’t be bothered.

You will then need these essential ingredients: sushi seaweed (can be bought from any good grocery stores), sushi rice (imagine sushi rice in the picture), some beef mince and of course, a beer. Cook the rice now (or, rather, before you chop the vegetables).

Next, we brown the mince in an appropriately-sized frypan. Heat a little olive oil in the pan. Don’t you just love the colour of olive oil against the shiny pan? Add some garlic powder, or real garlic if you like. Some sweet paprika and cumin powder. Season with salt. Viola! Very tasty beef mince.

Oh, don’t forget to slice up some smoked salmon as well. Your sushi will thank you for it.

Last but not least, bring on the mayo, wasabi and soy sauce. They go amazingly well with sushi. I’m in love with the cute little dish (with mayo in it) we got from Vietnam, complete with its own tiny ceramic spoon.

When you have everything ready, here is a step-by-step instruction on how to roll your own sushi.

Come on, go ahead, you know you want some!

If you have any left over ingredients, they are perfect for salads, sandwiches, fried noodles, fried rice, omelette, anything you can think of!


The seven (six) course Asian degustation

Degustation is a culinary term meaning “a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods” and focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company.

Inspired partly by Masterchef and partly out of sheer insanity, I decided to make a 7 course Asian degustation. But due to time constraints (I started at 3pm and managed to finish at 7:30), it turned out to be a 6 course degustation. I did some preparation for the other dessert course, but it would have taken a little more time to put together – so watch this space!

Without much further ado, onto the menu!

The first entree is salad of beansprouts with sesame dressing on an egg net. This one is Korean-inspired. The beansprouts are blanched first then dressed in sesame oil, salt etc.

The second entree is Vietnamese pork meatballs with sesame-infused soy sauce and mayonnaise. I cheated with both the soy sauce and the mayonnaise – soy sauce is from the farmers market at Pyrmont in Sydney and the mayonnaise is the famous Japanese Kewpie brand. For those that are about to scoll at me for using store-bought mayonnaise, I did make my own the other day!

The third entree is steamed cabbage rolls in a light chicken broth. This Chinese dish consists of julienned carrots, shitake mushrooms and dried tofu sheets wrapped in steamed cabbage (wombok). The broth is made from no other than Campbell’s chicken stock (so good and so easy).

The first main course is Dong Puo Rou with tea egg. What is Dong Puo Rou you ask? It’s really just a fancy Chinese name for slow-braised pork belly. The eggs are cooked with star anise and black tea, giving it a special fragrance.

The second main course is chicken and potato coconut curry. Mum used to make this curry with curry powder from Shanghai, which had a special flavour. Western curry powder just don’t taste the same. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it here, so instead I improvised and added coconut milk to the curry, making it a partly-Chinese, partly-Indochina dish.

The dessert is Japanese green tea mousse with ai-yu jelly. This one was a quickie – I used Japanese green tea mousse from a packet, and the jelly came in a can 🙂

Like I said, the second dessert course wasn’t prepared because I ran out of time, but will make it sometime this week!

Korean Spicy Pork

My take on the Korean style spicy pork, quite happy with the result.