Sushi on a Budget

It is hard to believe that the official first day of Fall is literally just a couple of weeks away.  What the heck is up with these 99*F days???  I am so over it!! I want my sweaters, my scarves, my soups and stews.  I want to freaking use my oven for Pete’s sake!!!

I am afraid that no amount of wishing is going to make these days oven-friendly.  I cannot even imagine touching that thing right now.  It is one thing when I am at our commercial kitchen prepping beautiful dishes for special events, but once I am home I want to keep things chill.  There is no walk-in refrigerator to give me relief, so I am keeping the kitchen cool as an official “NO COOK ZONE.”

Today’s idea is quite simply how to get fancy schmancy with some killer sushi that will have you relaxing at home.  It is great for a party, but even better for a sweet meal with your special someone.  Or, as in my case, a meal that you have to fight your rugrats away from long enough to get it on the table (yup, my kiddos are crazy sushi addicts….when they see raw fish, they freak).

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The list of ingredients are simple and fresh.  In Japanese cooking, it is so important to have good quality ingredients that carry their own weight when it comes to flavor.  I personally feel that you want a lot-of-bang-for-your-buck without a long list of random ingredients.  Simple is best!

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Ingredients

1 lb of fresh, sushi grade ahi tuna

toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

8 Kumato tomatoes (they are pretty small)

3 Persian cucumbers, or one English cucumber

2 tbls ponzu sauce (simply a citrus soy sauce)

2 tbls sesame oil

wasabi mayo (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can simply mix mayo and wasabi together), for garnish

1 tbls chopped chives, plus a few blades for garnish

enoki mushrooms (my preference) or maitake mushrooms

sea salt

nori (seaweed….I just used a snack pack of seaweed to keep it simple), for garnish

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Start by slicing your cucumbers (I personally love the flavor of Persian cucumbers) and your kumato tomatoes.  Obviously, you can use any old tomato, but how can you resist trying the kumatos with their black and green skin.  It is always fun using unique produce that gives a slightly different spin to the familiar.  It’s a tiny adventure 🙂

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Use two tablespoons of ponzu sauce and two tablespoons of sesame oil to flavor your cucumbers.

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Simply adding some fresh chopped chives will make a lovely, light vinaigrette that is beyond refreshing for these hot days.  Let the cucumbers chill and marinate in the fridge while you move on to your fish preparation.

 

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I wanted the chill of my dishes to be met with the subtle warmth of black pepper.  So, I cracked some fresh black pepper on my ahi before giving it an uber quick sear.

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Once I have seared my ahi, I always throw it into the fridge for a quick chill.  If I am in a REAL hurry, I have been known to throw it into the freezer for a few minutes.

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While everything is chilling, it is time to plate.  If you are doing sushi on a budget, why not get a little fussy over plating??  It is such a simple way to make any meal feel extra special…minus the stuffy restaurant!

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Make sure to share the love of that awesome cucumber vinaigrette with your mushrooms!  Nom nom!

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A dusting of toasted sesame seeds, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dollop of wasabi mayo is all these kumato tomatoes need!

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Top the tomatoes with some fresh chives and sprinkle the cucumber salad with some shreds of nori (seaweed).

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Thinly slice your chilled, peppered ahi and give yourself a happy-dance of celebration when you see that gorgeous gem-like color!

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Pretty simple but crazy delicious!

Cheers to being adventurous and having a fancy schmancy dinner at home!  Basically, this is “champagne on a beer budget”…which almost never happens in life, so ENJOY!

xoxo

Chanda

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Sushi on a Budget

Let us take you step by step on how to make some homemade sushi on a budget! Gather your ingredients for some fantastic Japanese cuisine!

Course: Ahi, Appetizer, Dinner, entree, Main Course, Seafood, side, Side Dish, Snack, Sushi
Cuisine: Japanese, Seafood, Sushi
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh, sushi grade ahi tuna
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 8 Kumato tomatoes (they are pretty small)
  • 3 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber)
  • 2 tbsp ponzu sauce (simply a citrus soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • wasabi mayo, for garnish
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped (plus a few blades for garnish)
  • enoki mushrooms (or maitake mushrooms)
  • sea salt
  • nori (aka seaweed), for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by slicing your cucumbers and your kumato tomatoes. Obviously, you can use any old tomato, but how can you resist trying the kumatos with their black and green skin.

  2. Use two tablespoons of ponzu sauce and two tablespoons of sesame oil to flavor your cucumbers. 

  3. Simply adding some fresh chopped chives will make a lovely, light vinaigrette that is beyond refreshing for these hot days.  Let the cucumbers chill and marinate in the fridge while you move on to your fish preparation. 

  4. I wanted the chill of my dishes to be met with the subtle warmth of black pepper.  So, I cracked some fresh black pepper on my ahi before giving it an uber quick sear.

  5. Once I have seared my ahi, I always throw it into the fridge for a quick chill.  If I am in a REAL hurry, I have been known to throw it into the freezer for a few minutes. 

  6. While everything is chilling, start plating the seaweed, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumber. A dusting of toasted sesame seeds, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dollop of wasabi mayo is all these kumato tomatoes need! Top the tomatoes with some fresh chives and sprinkle the cucumber salad with some shreds of nori (seaweed).

  7. Pull your ahi out of the fridge once it's chilled. Thinly slice your chilled, peppered ahi and give yourself a happy-dance of celebration when you see that gorgeous gem-like color! Have fun plating your "sushi on a budget" to make it feel fancy!

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