Tag Archives: vinegar

why sushi rice doesn’t taste like normal rice

homemade sushiYou know how when you have sushi and it doesn’t taste like just rice and seaweed and raw fish?  Yeah, that’s probably the reason we keep eating it, because as appetizing as the thought of eating an ocean soaked in China’s starch staple sounds, it’s not.

Sushi can either be refined art, think Jiro Dreams of Sushi, or something as casual as a taco cart.  The problem with eating at Japanese restaurants for those with Celiac Disease is that soy sauce is made with wheat traditionally, and most preparations might have a touch of it as it replaces salt in most Asian cuisines.  The problem with making sushi at home, then, would be that rice cooked in just water never seems to taste like “sushi rice” and finding sushi grade quality fish may not be possible in your area.

homemade sushiThe thing is, making gluten-free sushi at home is really quite easy.  What’s more, you know the products you’re using are to your standards (because you bought them) and you have creative liberty to replace salmon with tofu if you’re vegetarian, or add some fun flavors like mango and cilantro if you’re seeking some peppppps.

homemade sushiThe other day I have rice and leftover dried seaweed from an experiment a few weeks prior.  I had leftover bits and pieces of smoked salmon, and no interest to go grocery shopping.  I had forgotten how much I love the convenience (and price tag) of making sushi at home.  The difference, for me, is in the rice.

Homemade sushi lunchSUSHI RICE

Ingredients: 1 cup short grain eastern rice variety (preferably deemed sushi rice, either brown or white– basmati will do in a pinch if you’re really stuck), 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp. rice or white wine or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp. agave nectar, 1/2 tsp. powdered wasabi (optional, but highly recommended)

Method: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil.  Lightly salt water, add rice, stir just once, skim foam off top using a spoon, cover, and reduce heat to low to simmer for about 30-35 minutes.  Once water is absorbed, taste rice to make sure it is cooked enough.  If not, add about 2 tbs. more water, cover, and let steam another 5-10 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked al dente.  Remove from heat.  Keep covered.  In small sauce pan, bring 1/4 cup water, vinegar and agave nectar to a boil.  Let bubble about 30 seconds, remove from heat.  Whisk in wasabi powder (optional, but recommended).  Using a large flat spoon, stir syrup into cooked rice gently.  This gentle stirring serves two purposes: it covers the rice in flavor and it also gently releases the starches while it slowly cools down the rice for optimal texture and binding properties.  Let rice cool to room temperature before using it in your sushi.

sushi rollsGreat.  I’ve got my rice.  WhaaadooIdoooNow?  You get to play with your food!  Maki Sushi refers to the type where the seaweed is on the outside.  This type is really convenient to make at home, as you don’t even need a sushi rolling mat or plastic sheet wrap.

MAKI SUSHI

Ingredients: 2 sheets dried seaweed (available at most grocery stores in the Asian section or at Asian specialty stores), 1 preparation sushi rice (see above), cooked protein/smoked fish/sushi grade raw fish/vegetable of choice cut into long thin cubes, optional additional vegetables cut into thin/julienne size strips (cucumber, mango, carrots, jicama, etc.)

Method: Lay dried seaweed flat on a clean cutting board.  Cover all of it with a thin layer of sushi rice, leaving about 1″ (3 cm) gap at one of the ends (see photo at the top).  On the opposite side of the seaweed, 2″ (6 cm) in from the edge lay out your toppings.  Ready to roll?  Gently brush a tiny bit of water on the edge of the sushi not covered with rice (this serves as glue).  Like rolling up a sleeping bag, start with the rice-covered side and cover the filling.  Keep going, and as you completely roll your filling into the rice and seaweed, pull so that it’s snug and compact.  Roll until it touches the other end, where you will press slightly firmly to seal the dry sushi to the wet sushi, where the added water will act like glue.  To serve, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into desired piece sizes and serve with tamari, pickled ginger, and wasabi if you’ve got it.

If you wanna get fun, try difference variations, like using last night’s fried chicken with a touch of tamari to give it some Asian flavor.  Making your own sushi may take a few practice rounds to see the exact amount of rice vs. filling, but you can always start over and reuse your rice and protein.  Dried seaweed is cheap as Monday, so don’t feel bad if you waste a few sheets in your trials.   

 

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PIZZZA: gluten-free flax seed crust

domain_name-So, that was weird.  I suppose moving countries has more logistical difficulties than visas and languages and learning when to smile or not (hello Paris metro system).  It also involves not receiving bills and not knowing you’re not receiving bills and suddenly having your web-site host cut you off.  Bills are found, domains are renewed, and we’re back and rockin’.-

Anyyyways,

homemade pizza flax seed crust gluten freeHOMEMADE PIZZA!!!

: ) gluten-free, vegan.

Your stomach has grown, admit it.  After all the turkey, ham, scalloped potatoes, yams, hashbrowns for breakfast because why not it’s the holidays, yeah, it’s swimming with space.

You probably want something like pizza but totally don’t want to eat it because you feel like you’ve gone too far.

Well, that’s good.

IMG_8081<–because I’m lower in fat than an egg!  I also talk!  Amazing pizza crust I will be.

Upon returning home from a French-Grandma-created food holiday season in the Burgundy countryside (I ate a ton), I got diligent revising the Second Edition of the Bubble Child cookbook.  This little pizza IMG_8089miracle was born from that.

Perhaps your eyes (like mine) are still bigger than your stomach after all of that celebrating.  Go’on… cure that with pizza.  The only thing too full will be your to-do-list of toppings after trying this crust.  Somehow this gluten-free tastiness is vegan… meat-lovers, feel free to top it with ham.

Flax Seed Pizza Crust
Gluten, nut, soy, corn, dairy-free.  Vegan.

1 tbs. grapeseed oil
1/4 cup whole flaxseeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. water
1 packet (8g) fresh yeast (baker’s yeast)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tbs. corn or potato starch
1/2 cup room temperature water
1 tbs. honey or agave nectar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil

Preparation time: 20 minutes + 3 hours rising time
Cooking time: about 15 minutes
Yields two small or one large pizza crust

1. In a sauté pan, toast flaxseeds in 1 tbs. grapeseed oil over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until you hear them start to pop like popcorn.  Immediately remove from heat add 1/4 cup + 2 tbs. water.  Blend in an electric blender until mixture is white in color and creamy.  Set aside.
2. Combine yeast, flour, and starch in large bowl with a whisk.  Add 1/2 cup room temperature water and stir with a spatula for 2 minutes.  (Or in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment over low speed.)  Add honey or agave and salt.  Mix for another 6 minutes.  Mixture should be thickened enough to hold up a credit card if inserted.  Add vinegar and olive oil and mix for another 2 minutes.
3. Form into a clean mound in the middle of the bowl and cover with a damp towel.  Let rise for 15 minutes.  Mix with spatula again, return to a clean mound, cover, and let rise for 2 hours covered with a damp towel.
4. Mix with spatula again, and spread onto parchment paper in the size circle you want your pizza to be.  Cover with a damp towel (making sure it doesn’t touch the mixture) and let rise for another 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with your pizza pan or baking sheet already inside.  Remove baking sheet from oven, put parchment paper with pizza dough directly on top of hot sheet pan, and pre-cook for 5 minutes.  Remove, let cool a few minutes, and brush gently with olive oil.  Cover with desired toppings.  Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until edges are browned, bottom is cooked, and toppings are crisped to your liking.
fresh out of the oven bubble child flax seed pizza crust

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Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

grilled mushroomsHello.  For us to be on the same wavelength, please pull this up:

la musique <–Bienvenue to my night. 

After dropping off my chef’s knives at Courty & Fils in Paris’s Opera district, I soaked in the humid spotty sky, breathing in the crisp whispers, my feet crunching tiny leaves as I admired ingredientsshopkeeper’s newly decorated storefronts.  Paris really wears Fall well.

The neighborhood is home to a dense population of Japanese, Korean, and otherwise oriental restaurants, in addition to a store called “K Mart“, which (unlike the large chain store I grew up with) is one of Paris’s most centrally located Japanese (and Korean) supply stores.  Yess.

My excitement found me with an indoors BBQ tonight, and the marinade is proportionately delicious in flavor.  Earthy yet acidic, mildly sweet with subtle spice.

diner ce soir japonaisEryrgii mushrooms are those big guys you will see in a restaurant sliced vertically and grilled or sautéed.   They’re deliciously meaty, slightly fibrous in texture, and just the right taste of mushroom to balance out their decent water content.  For those with Celiac Disease and strong gluten intolerences, ordering these might have never been an option for you, as marinades frequently involve soy sauce, which almost always contains wheat.  What’s more, for Bubble Children with deadly nut allergies, walking into any sort of Asian establishment can turn from a family dinner night out to a quick trip the hospital with cross contamination.  (Make sure you go somewhere you can trust if your allergies are really bad!)

Forget the restaurant.  Brew some tea, turn on some Japanese tunes, and get cozy with some mushrooms.

Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

Marinade:

1/4 tsp. wasabi paste

1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tsp. sesame oil (can use neutral oil for seed allergies)

1/4 tsp. paprika for mild, or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper+to taste for spicy

1/8 tsp. orange zest (optional but delicious)

1 tsp. red wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar

Main:

3 large eryngii mushrooms (portabello or shitake would work, as well)

+a fish grilling device or some grill to keep them falling into the flames

+a braising or painting brush, clean and dry

Method:

painting mushrooms1. Mix together wasabi and tamari until combined.  Whisk in all other ingredients with a fork or small whisk until homogenous.  Set aside.  Slice mushrooms vertically into about 4 strips of about just under a cm thick. Paint each mushroom generously with marinade, flip over onto grilling device, then paint the other sides.  The more generous you are with the marinade, the tastier these lovelies will be.

grilling mushrooms2.  Either fire up a BBQ like a normal person, or light up your stovetop for flames.*  Place the rack so that the mushrooms are getting licked by the flames gently, and cook them on one side (moving around if need be to avoid cooking one mushroom more than the other) for about 4 minutes, or until starting to color, flip, and repeat with the other side.  Then, keep crisping them in this manner with the flames until they have just got nice grill marks and some decent coloration of dark brown around the outsides.

3.  Remove from heat, serve with some potato starch vermicelli and thinly sliced sushi-grade salmon brushed with the same marinade for a delightful light feast.

*Should you have neither, you can cook them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on their coloration to know whether to cook longer or shorter).  You simply won’t get the pretty marks and the same crisped effect on the outside.

 

 

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