Yum Woon Sen ยำวุ้นเส้น (Thai Glass Noodle Salad)

I am obsessed with Thai food. Second to Japanese food, it is one of my absolute favorite cuisines- I could eat it every day! Yum woon sen (YWS) in particular is one of my favorite salad/noodle dishes. Super tart but also slightly sweet, and spicy with an irresistible umami punch, this salad is incredibly easy to make as long as you have all the ingredients!

I’ve eaten at some awesome Thai restaurants in Tokyo that serve the PERFECT YWS, but I have yet to find a Thai place in my area that has a good one. Most of them are underdressed, or the noodles are over cooked, or the ingredients’ proportions are all off.

I figured if I can’t find the perfect YWS, I could just try making it at home. I came across this recipe and from the first time I made it, I was HOOKED! I altered the recipe a bit by omitting the shrimp and cilantro. The best part of this salad is that you can adjust the dressing to your liking (more spicy, more sweet, more tangy, etc.). We eat this as an appetizer but it can easily be doubled or tripled for an entree sized portion as well.

*The original recipe includes shrimp but I opted to make mine with just pork.

Yum Woon Sen recipe adapted from Hot Thai Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 80 g dry glass noodles (bean threads)
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • Thai chilies, to taste, minced
  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped, packed**
  • 4 Tbsp + 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup onion julienned
  • 2 stalks of celery, peeled and thinly sliced
  • A bunch of celery leaves
  • 200g ground pork
  • ¼ cup peanuts
Ran out of Thai chilis so used serrano as a sub

Ran out of Thai chilis, subbed serrano peppers

Instructions

1. Roast peanuts in a frying pan with about 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. You can also buy pre-roasted but I like roasting them myself. Once roasted, set aside and let cool before chopping.

2. Soak noodles in room temperature water for 5 minutes until soft and pliable. Drain.

3. Place tomato, onion and celery into a large mixing bowl.

4. In another bowl, add the grated garlic, minced chilies, palm sugar, 4 Tbsp of fish sauce and the lime juice and whisk until the palm sugar has dissolved.

5. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add glass noodles and cook for 1 minute, remove from the water with tongs (you want to keep the water) and place into a strainer. Rinse the glass noodles under cold water to stop the cooking.

6. Pour out most of the water from the pot, leaving about 1″ and set pot back on stove. Once the water boils, add the pork with 2 tsp of fish sauce and stir until fully cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the pot and place into the bowl with the vegetables.  Then add about 1 Tbsp of the pork cooking liquid into the bowl as well.

7. Add the noodles into the mixing bowl, pour the dressing over and quickly toss to combine. Toss in celery leaves and plate. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately.

You’ll want to mix the dressing in right when you’re ready to eat. The noodles will continue absorbing the dressing and will get too soggy if left dressed for too long.

**A note on palm sugar: I was able to get my hands on some liquid coconut sugar which works FANTASTICALLY in Thai cooking. It’s a bit difficult to find but if you can, please try it! It adds a wonderful caramel-y, nutty sweetness to the dish.

Advertisements

Dongchimi 동치미 (Radish Water Kimchi)

A few months ago my parents and I went to Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong for the first time. While I thought the food was just okay, the one dish that I got HOOKED on was their dongchimi. Dongchimi is a variety of kimchi with Korean radish, napa cabbage, scallions, pickled green chilli, ginger, Korean pear in a watery brine. I had never eaten it before and we actually had no idea what the bowl was filled with. The restaurant uses one of those slushy machines to keep their dongchimi cold with crushed ice swirling around in it. I took a sip of the cold broth and was surprised at all the flavor. Tart, slightly sweet, with the faint aromatics of Asian pear. Very refreshing and a perfect side to drink with the fatty meats. The tartness cuts right through all that fat so you don’t feel gross after the KBBQ.

After our meal, I did some research on how to make dongchimi at home and figured it was too much work to make, so I went to HMart to try and find some in the kimchi section. The only jar I could find was GINORMOUS and when I looked at the ingredients, it didn’t list the Asian pear. The fruitiness of the pear was actually one of my favorite flavor notes in the water kimchi at KHB. I asked one of the nice ladies at HMart about the difficulty of making dongchimi and her response was, “Easy! Easy!”. After perusing through some recipes online, I gathered my ingredients at HMart and went home to start on my dongchimi quest.

DSCF2360

I got a GIANT daikon radish from Milk & Eggs so I decided to use that instead of the suggested Korean radish.

A lot of the recipes suggest to cut the radish in sticks but I prefer this fan shape for my pickles.

DSCF2362

There are various recipes that suggest pureeing the onion and Asian pear mixture but I opted to leave them as chunks. DSCF2365DSCF2368

I sliced the ginger and left the garlic cloves and Thai chilis whole. I also cut the green onions to about 2″ in length.

DSCF2369

I put all my ingredients in a large plastic container (I think glass would be better but this is all I had) and left it on my countertop for 2 days to ferment.

DSCF2379

One of the recipes I found said to just ferment for 1 day but I felt that it hadn’t fermented enough. Here’s what it looked like after Day 1:

DSCF2374

After Day 2, I saw the bubbles that I was looking for- evidence that the fermentation process has begun!

After 2 daysAfter 2 days cu

After Day 2, I put the dongchimi in the refrigerator to ferment for a little over 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, this is what the final product looked like:

DSCF2452

The liquid had evaporated a little bit and the daikon radish was now translucent. I spooned out a bit of the liquid and some radish and had a taste. SUCCESS!! This dongchimi tastes even BETTER than the one I had at KHB. I feel like it could use a little bit more Asian pear taste so I may eventually add some Asian pear juice to it. Tart, subtly sweet and savory with notes of garlic. Mmm! This was my first fermented pickling experience at home but I think I’ll be doing a lot more of it going forward. I know there are plenty of health benefits to fermented foods, so I feel this is a great way to get my probiotic fix. I can’t wait to eat my dongchimi with some yakiniku at home!

FullSizeRender

Recipe

  • 1 kg of Radish sliced into fans
  • 3 Green Onions sliced into 2″ pieces
  • 9 Cloves of Garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 Onion cut into chunks
  • A little more than 1/2 an Asian Pear cut into same size chunks as onion
  • 3 Thai Chilis
  • 1 inch Ginger peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of salt
  • 5 cups of filtered water

Put sliced radish fans in a bowl and add salt. Lightly mix the radish with the salt and let sit for about 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, drain the water from the radish and add the radish and the rest of the vegetables and Asian pear to a large sealable container. I recommend glass but plastic is also fine. Pour 5 cups of water over the produce and add the sugar. Seal the container and let it sit on your countertop for 1 to 2 days depending on the temperature of kitchen. After fermenting on the countertop, move the container to your refrigerator and let it ferment for at least 2 weeks. Serve just the radish and the broth. **I added the green onion and Thai chili for the photograph, but the other ingredients are not as palatable.

Special thanks to Maangchi and Aeri’s Kitchen for their dongchimi recipes! I based my recipe mostly off of Aeri’s Kitchen but scaled it down for just 1 big radish.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

In an effort to eat healthier and include more fruits and vegetables into my diet, I ordered local farm fresh ingredients from a company called Milk and Eggs. It’s relatively inexpensive, they offer free delivery, and they have some items you might only find at Farmer’s Markets. Some highlights: Brothers Products  spicy hummus and mango labneh (this was SO FRIGGIN’ GOOD), and Better Booch Morning Glory Organic Peach Kombucha Tea (also amazing). I ordered a variety of vegetables and fruits to try, which included a beautiful butternut squash. I know it sounds weird to refer to a squash as beautiful, but once I cracked this open it yielded a bright orange flesh. I haven’t cooked too often with butternut squash but the times I had, the flesh was never this orange and appetizing.

I perused some recipes online for an idea of what I wanted in my soup and came across this one on Serious Eats. Being a HUGE fan of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, I really like the recipes on this website. This particular recipe was written by a different editor, but as a trustworthy recipe website, I had faith that the soup would turn out great. As I read the required ingredients I did realize that I didn’t have heavy cream or sour cream so I wouldn’t be making the whipped cream topping and I also didn’t have any sage so that exnayed the fried sage topping as well.

My soup turned out to be a very simple soup highlighting the sweetness and purity of the butternut squash I received from Milk and Eggs. I gave some to my Aunts (both who are excellent chefs) and they LOVED it 🙂 If you’re looking for a recipe for a creamy, unctuous and thick soup then look no further!

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash (About 1.5 – 2 lb) cut into 1″ cubes
  • Half an Onion sliced
  • Half an apple cut into 1/2″ cubes (I used a Fuji apple)*
  • 4 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter divided in half
  • 4 cloves of Garlic sliced
  • 4 cups (1 Quart) of Vegetable Broth
  • 1 sprig of Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

DSCF2290

Recipe

Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare squash by peeling, seeding and cutting into 1″ cubes.

DSCF2295DSCF2297

Pour about 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil on 2 separate sheet pans and divide the cubed butternut squash evenly onto each pan. Don’t overcrowd the pans! Put the squash in the oven for about 40 minutes, making sure to turn the pieces two to three times throughout the cooking.

DSCF2302DSCF2303

In a medium sized Dutch oven, brown 2 Tbsp of butter. Add the sliced onions, garlic and apple pieces and lightly caramelize.

DSCF2306DSCF2308DSCF2320

Remove roasted butternut squash from oven and scrape into the Dutch oven with the onion, garlic and apples.

DSCF2311

Add the thyme and bay leaf as well as about 3 cups of stock into the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Discard thyme sprig and bay leaf.

Add the soup mixture into a blender (or use a stick blender) to blend all the ingredients until very smooth.

Return soup to Dutch oven and thin out with remaining stock until desired consistency. Add remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

DSCF2350DSCF2358

More dairy such as heavy cream or milk can be added to yield a creamier soup.

*My soup turned out quite sweet from the butternut squash and the apple and had the perfect amount of tartness from the apple. If you prefer your butternut squash soup to be less sweet but would like to retain some tartness, I suggest using a different varietal of apple that is tart and less sweet such as a granny smith.

Gyoza

My family and I are obsessed with my mother’s gyoza. For some reason, any other place we eat gyoza out at just doesn’t compare to the homemade ones I grew up eating. I wonder if it’s just due to tasting familiar? Or are they really that spectacular? Well, I’ve fed a lot of my friends her gyoza as well and they all agree that it is BOMB. So I think she’s got something special going with her recipe.

I really get peeved when I eat gyoza at Japanese restaurants and they serve me what OBVIOUSLY are those ajinomoto frozen ones that they’ve just pan fried. Like C’mon man!! I get that making gyoza from scratch is a labor of love, but if you’re going to offer it on your menu, please just make it. The frozen stuff is never on the same level as the legit homemade ones. I also prefer Japanese style gyoza over Chinese ones since I like the THINNEST gyoza skin possible.

This recipe isn’t that difficult as long as you have a food processor. Cutting up all the cabbage by hand will take FOREVER. I mean, it is doable of course, but get yourself a food processor if you don’t have one. You can get one on Amazon for a decent price and it’ll save you soooo much time. I’ve also included a video on how to fold the gyoza so hope that helps!

 

DSCF2089

The nira should be chopped to about this size:

DSCF2108

Once your mise en place are ready (all your chopping, grating, juicing is done), add your ground pork in a large bowl. Add the garlic, ginger juice, miso, egg and waipa to your pork.

DSCF2098

Mix well by hand

DSCF2100

Once mixed, add the chopped cabbage and nira and mix well by hand again

DSCF2102DSCF2105DSCF2112

Once all your filling is mixed, set up your “folding station” with your gyoza wrappers, spoons, filling, a bowl of water, and a cookie sheet dusted with potato or corn starch.

DSCF2114

Take about a 1/2 tablespoon of filling and add to the center of the wrapper. Dip your finger into the bowl and moisten the edges of the gyoza wrapper. Fold using method below:

Once all your gyozas are folded and neatly aligned, you can choose to freeze them or cook them immediately.

DSCF2122DSCF2125

If cooking, heat a medium sized nonstick pan with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the gyoza in a single layer to fill the pan. Sear until lightly browned on the bottom, add 1/4 cup boiling water and cover with a lid for 6-7 min. Once water is evaporated, take lid off and cook until browned and crispy. Optionally, you can add sesame oil at this point if you’d like to make it a little more crispier and add sesame flavor. Serve with your choice of sauce mix.

IMG_1612

These taste best fresh out of the pan so I suggest freezing whatever you don’t eat so. Just a warning, if you decide to pack these up for lunch, once cooked and kept overnight, these gyozas emanate a VERY pungent smell due to the nira. Just a word of caution!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 1.85 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 Medium sized cabbage finely chopped in food processor*
  • 1 bunch of Nira (Chinese Leek) finely chopped by hand*
  • 1.5″ chunk of fresh ginger grated and juiced
  • 2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Waipa (Chinese Chicken Stock Paste, can substitute chicken stock cube)
  • About 100 gyoza wrappers (Can be purchased at any Asian grocery store)

*Please make sure to wash all vegetables before using. The cabbage can be added to a salad spinner after chopping and spun to release excess moisture. The nira should be washed prior to chopping and dried using paper towels.

Recipe

Mix ground pork and egg, garlic, ginger, miso paste and waipa in a bowl by hand. Add finely chopped cabbage and chopped nira and mix well by hand. 

Set up dumpling folding station with your gyoza wrappers, filling, a bowl of water, and a baking sheet dusted with potato starch or corn starch powder.

Add about 0.5 Tbsp of mix into each wrapper, dip your finger in the water and lightly moisten the edges of the wrapper. Fold using method shown in video. Once all wrappers are filled, you can either freeze them at this point or cook immediately.

To freeze: Put the lined up gyoza on the baking sheet directly into the freezer and let freeze for about 30 minutes to an hour until semi solid. Once it is solid enough, take them out of the freezer and wrap about 10 gyozas (or however many you’d like per serving) in saran wrap (make sure not to stack any of them, they should all be in one layer) and then wrap again tightly in foil. Place them in freezer safe ziploc bags and freeze up to 2 months. The frozen gyozas can be cooked the same way as below.

To cook: Sear dumplings in a medium hot nonstick pan coated with oil. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and cover for 6-7 min. Once water is evaporated, take lid off and cook until browned and crispy. Optionally, you can add sesame oil at this point if you’d like to make it a little more crispier and add sesame flavor. Serve with your choice of sauce mix.*

Sauce mix options: Many people enjoy their gyoza with a mix of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and rayu or chili oil. I like mine with just rice wine vinegar and black pepper. You can also add yuzu kosho or toubanjan (fermented chili bean paste). Be creative! I think the gyoza goes really well with more sour, pungent sauces but to each their own 🙂

Curry Pan (Japanese Curry Donut)

A not so well-known fact about Tokyo (and Japan in general) is that there are some insanely delicious bakeries scattered around the entire city. My favorite bakery is located in the neighborhood where I grew up, Azabu Juban, called Mont-Thabor. They are most famous for their milk bread which is like a buttery, milky, sweet rolled up loaf. They have a copy-cat version of it at 85 degrees bakery but it pales in comparison to the real deal.  They also have some famous French & New York bakeries/pastry shops in Tokyo such as Maison Kayser, Dominique Ansel’s, Magnolia Bakery, etc. but I prefer the bakeries that sell old school Japanese baked goods.

One of my favorite Japanese bakery items is the Curry Pan. I’ve been eating these deep fried savory delicacies for as long as I can remember and it combines two of some of my favorite food items: fried bread and curry. It’s basically a savory donut and if you’ve never had it run to your nearest Japanese (or Korean) bakery and grab one. It’s SO GOOD.

I’ve been wanting to try making curry pan for some time now and since I had made my mother’s dry curry recipe, I figured the dry curry would be the perfect filler for my very own curry pan. I first did my research by looking up the best curry pan recipes on CookPad (a Japanese recipe app/site) and watching various YouTube videos. The end result went over very well with my “test subjects” aka my family and friends. If making this recipe, I recommend using my curry recipe as the filler, or some sort of drier curry as your average Japanese curry may be too runny. The dry curry should be kept in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to make sure it’s hardened and easier to handle as a filling.

Once you have your filling prepared, you can start on your bread dough…

Ingredients
makes about 8 servings

Bread dough

  • 250g Bread Flour
  • 10g Granulated Sugar
  • 3g Salt
  • 150g Water
  • 2g Dry Yeast
  • 5g Butter

Filling

Dredging/Frying

  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Vegetable Oil enough to fill your frying vessel about 4 inches

DSCF1958

Mix everything except the butter in a bowl until it is no longer “flour-y”. Flip dough onto your work surface and knead in butter and knead until smooth. It may be a little lumpy but that’s ok.

DSCF1962

Put the kneaded dough ball in a bowl and cover and let proof in a warm area for about 1 hour. After the first proof, divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Let it rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, divide your dry curry into 8 equal portions for your filling.

DSCF1968

Take one ball and softly pound out the gas bubbles that may have formed and roll it into an oval. Put in 1 portion of the filling in the center.

DSCF1971

Take both sides of the dough and bring them together in the middle and pinch at the top. Then pinch your way down both sides so that no filling is showing.

DSCF1974

Once you’ve pinched it all the way, roll it on your surface and shape it in a pointy oval (I’m sure there’s a name for this…). Lay it to rest seam-side down. Repeat these steps for the rest of the 7 balls.

DSCF1976

Once you’ve filled all 8 of the dough balls, set up your work station to dredge the filled dough.

DSCF1978

Dip each piece into the egg and then the panko and set it down (make sure you put it seam-side down again!).

DSCF1982

Keep the dredged pieces in a warm area and let it proof a second time for 30 minutes until they are slightly larger.

Heat up the vegetable oil to 160-170 C (320 – 338 F) and fry about 3 pieces at a time.

DSCF1985

Fry each side of the pieces until golden brown (about 6 minutes total). Sprinkle with flaky salt (optional). Serve hot!

DSCF1993

DSCF1996

Instructions

  1. Mix everything except the butter in a bowl until it is no longer “flour-y”. Flip dough onto your work surface and knead in butter and knead until smooth. It may be a little lumpy but that’s ok.
  2. Put the kneaded dough ball in a bowl and cover and let proof in a warm area for about 1 hour. After the first proof, divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Let it rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, divide your dry curry into 8 equal portions for your filling.
  3. Take one ball and softly pound out the gas bubbles that may have formed and roll it into an oval. Put in 1 portion of the filling in the center. Take both sides of the dough and bring them together in the middle and pinch at the top. Then pinch your way down both sides so that no filling is showing.
  4. Once you’ve pinched it all the way, roll it on your surface and shape it in a pointy oval (I’m sure there’s a name for this…). Lay it to rest seam-side down. Repeat these steps for the rest of the 7 balls.
  5. Once you’ve filled all 8 of the dough balls, set up your work station to dredge the filled dough. Dip each piece into the egg and then the panko and set it down (make sure you put it seam-side down again!).
  6. Keep the dredged pieces in a warm area and let it proof a second time for 30 minutes until they are slightly larger.
  7. Heat up the vegetable oil to 160-170 C (320 – 338 F) and fry about 3 pieces at a time.
  8. Fry each side of the pieces until golden brown (about 6 minutes total). Sprinkle with flaky salt (optional). Serve hot!

 

Japanese Dry Curry

My mother is a phenomenal cook. I know everyone says this, but I’m dead serious, she is a GREAT cook. There are certain people who just know exactly what needs to be added to a recipe to take it up a few notches and my mother is one of those people. We could make the same exact recipe and hers will always turn out better. Every time I cook, I strive to be as good as she is but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to compete!

Growing up, my mother, aka the best cook eva, had a few dozen recipes that were in rotation as her “go-to” recipes if we couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. One of these recipes was her Japanese dry curry. If you’ve never had Japanese dry curry before, it is most similar to a Keema curry although it tastes slightly different. The curry is spicy, slightly sweet and best served with some hot white rice. The dry curry is super easy to make and is also a great filling for Curry Pan (curry bread- recipe to come soon!). You can always customize your recipe by adding more vegetables (corn is really good in this recipe) and making it spicier or sweeter depending on what you like.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Onion chopped coarsely
  • 1.5 Carrots chopped coarsely
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of Curry Powder
  • 3 Tbsp of Ketchup
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1.5 cups of Whole Milk*
  • 1 Bouillon Cube crushed to a fine powder
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1) In a food processor, pulse the 3 garlic cloves a couple of times and then add the coarsely chopped onion and pulse until minced. Do not overly pulverize the onions or you will extract too much liquid.

2) In a medium sized Dutch oven on medium heat, add about 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and add the minced onion and garlic. Caramelize the garlic and onions until they become golden brown. This step may take a while. Adding a tbsp or 2 of water to the pan when the onions start to stick prevents the onions from burning.

DSCF1933

The finished caramelized onions should look like this

 

3) While caramelizing the onions and garlic, add the coarsely chopped carrots to the food processor and pulse a few times until minced. Again, do not over-pulverize the carrots.

4) Cook the vegetable mixture until the carrots have softened, and add the ground beef. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

5) Add the curry powder and the bouillon powder into the pot and sauté with the meat and vegetable mixture for about 1 minute.

6) Add the milk (*the milk should cover the beef and vegetable mixture, if 1.5 cups is not enough add more), ketchup and worcestershire sauce (if using) and mix. Keep the curry on medium low heat and cook until the milk has evaporated. Stir every once in a while to prevent the curry from burning.

7) Once the milk has evaporated, add the red pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.

8) Serve hot with steamed white rice. I served ours with steamed broccoli because I like the texture of the broccoli combined with the curry 🙂

 

DSCF1955DSCF1952

Temaki Party!

Sushi is one of my FAVORITE meals, but if you order omakase it can become quite an expensive dining habit. I’m lucky enough to live near an awesome Japanese supermarket (Mitsuwa) that sells great quality sashimi (raw fish). The fish isn’t cheap by any means, however, if you plan on going out for a sushi dinner with 3 or more people, it is waaaaay more cost effective to have a temaki party at home! Temaki (handrolls) parties are a fun, easy way to eat sushi at home for a fraction of the price. No need for any fancy equipment, below is a list of things you will need:

  • Sashimi (PLEASE make sure to purchase from a reputable store!! Make sure it is sashimi grade fish)
  • White sushi rice
  • Sushi powder vinegar
  •  Imitation Crab
  • Japanese Mayo
  • Avocado cut into thin slices
  • Scallions chopped
  • Shiso chiffonaded 
  • Japanese Cucumber julienned 
  • Kaiware (Daikon radish sprouts)
  • Nori (seaweed) cut into 5.5″ x 5.5″ squares

First, mix your hot rice with the sushi seasoning powder. If you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to season your rice with your own mix of vinegar, sugar and salt. When mixing the rice with the powder, make sure to “cut” the rice as you mix so as not to smash any of the grains.

Cut the imitation crab pieces in half and separate the strands into a bowl. Add Japanese mayo (add sriracha for a spicy kick!) and mix. Set aside.

Arrange your cut up vegetables on a large platter.

DSCF1780

Cut your sashimi into thin slices and arrange on a separate platter.

DSCF1779

DSCF1776

My family and I usually have a couple of side dishes with our temaki. Pictured above, we have a side of Kinpira Gobou (recipe coming soon!) and Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken). Make your own plate and voila! You and your guests are ready for your very own Temaki partay!

DSCF1783

To assemble your own Temaki, place the seaweed in your hand, add a spoonful of sushi rice, a piece of fish, and vegetables of your choice. My favorite combination is toro (fatty tuna) with kaiware, scallions, and shiso. Yum!!

DSCF1442DSCF1444

The beauty of hosting a Temaki party is that it is highly customizable to what fish and vegetables you and your guests prefer. My family always opts for Toro, Hamachi and Salmon. The vegetables listed above are always a must at our parties as well! Toro is usually my favorite piece at any sushi restaurant anyway and by having a Temaki party at home, I can eat several pieces without having to worry about the bill at the end 😛

What’s your favorite sashimi? Do you have DIY cooking parties at home? Please leave a comment, I would love to hear everyone’s suggestions!