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Romancing the Ordinary

Passport & Plate - Sushi - a delicate balance of old meeting new

Canada | Friday, 14 March 2014 | 5 photos

1. Sushi Essentials
A packet of nori seaweed sheets * 2 cups uncooked glutinous white rice (sushi rice) * 3 cups of water * ½ cup rice vinegar * ¼ cup white sugar * 1 T vegetable oil * 1 t salt

2. Sushi Vegies
2 carrots * a large cucumber * long knob of ginger * 2 firm avocados

3. Cured Salmon
2 large pieces of salmon * 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice * 1/3 cup dry white wine * blob of mustard * salt and pepper

4. Japanese Omelette
4 eggs * Dash of milk * Dash of tamari or soy sauce
A couple generous teaspoons of whole egg mayonnaise
Salt and pepper * Oil for cooking

5. Rocket and Basil Wasabi Mayonnaise
Handful of fresh basil from the garden * Handful of fresh rocket from the garden
A couple of generous tablespoons of whole egg mayonnaise * ½ T wasabi (or to taste)
Generous drizzle of olive oil * Salt and pepper


How to prepare this recipe
Assign a task to your team of helpers!

Task 1 – Cook Sushi Rice
Thoroughly rinse rice in a strainer until the water runs clear
Combine with water in a medium saucepan
Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes
Cool till cool enough to handle
In a small saucepan, combine rice vinegar, oil, sugar and salt
Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves
Cool then stir into the cooked rice
Leave to cool

Task 2 – Cure Salmon
In a small bowl, mix the juice from the lemon, white wine, mustard, salt and pepper
With a very sharp knife fillet the salmon into thin pieces
Place salmon in a large casserole dish and pour the ‘curing’ mixture on top
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring once during this period

Task 3 – Cook Japanese Omelette
Whisk eggs together with milk, tamari or soy sauce, mayo and salt and pepper
Heat your oil on med-high heat in a large fry pan
When the oil is hot, add omelette mixture to pan and turn heat down to low-med
Leave on the heat until the egg is cooked
Remove omelette from pan and cut into thin strips
Transfer to plate

Task 4 – Rocket and Basil Wasabi Mayonnaise
Roughly chop your basil and rocket and place in the blender with mayonnaise, wasabi, salt and pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil
Blend till smooth
Place in a pretty little bowl

Task 5 – Julienne Vegetables
Peel skins off carrots, cucumber and ginger
Chop the vegetable into long thin strips or julienne style
Slice avocado into strips (leave till last to prevent the avocado from browning)
Arrange on a plate ready to be rolled

Gather your team together!

Task 6 – Putting it altogether!
Place your seaweed onto the sushi mat and scoop rice onto it.
Flatten it onto the sheet with moistened fingers
Add whatever combination of ingredients you desire
Roll up your sushi to your heart’s content!

Have fun and be creative with using the seaweed on the inside and outside of the rolls!


The story behind this recipe
A life lived in the country side can offer all measure of pleasures that sometimes us city dwellers overlook. A slower pace invites one to take in more, cultivate more, create more.

In a world of Facebook and Netflix, life in nature seems to have other ideas up its sleeve to entertain us with.

Quiet understated richness beckons us to turn inward and feel the sweetness of the ordinary, everyday reverie. A tomato, full bodied and ripe picked lovingly from the vine, the sweet aroma of herbs dancing on a window sill.

Soul is substituted for status. Serenity takes the place of stimulation.

Here, a day at the office provides much fulfillment. Tired muscles spent tilling the earth, are generously rewarded once harvest time rolls around.

People in these parts have learnt it’s not wise just to rely on the bistros to satisfy their appetites and so rifled through their recipes and reached out for their aprons to prepare the wholesome to the down-right decadent.

The food from these shared community tables in the heart of southern British Columbia, Canada, is what transformed this Australian city lover into a country girl at belly.

With my birthday drawing close I decided to feed off the inspiration of the town folk tossing aside the usual glitz and dinner reservation and got thinking ‘what do my taste buds truly miss?’

It seemed obvious. Japanese food in these parts is rare.

The knowledge gained from eating in big cities was deliciously combined with the produce and old world traditions of the Canadian countryside, and a new sushi recipe was birthed.

A handful of fresh basil and rocket lovingly gifted from a generous neighbour became rocket basil wasabi mayo. Eggs from a local community member’s hen yard were transformed into Japanese omelette. Salmon caught on a friend’s fishing expedition was soaked in fresh lemon juice and white wine to become a tasty sushi stuffing.

Convenience food was garnering a new definition.

And even better, it tasted best when shared.

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