Food Porn of the Day: Sushi Rainbow

Lucky Robot Austin Sushi

Presenting the Voltron Roll: crab, shrimp, avocado, pickled cucumber & carrot, topped with tuna, salmon & yellowtail, and served with sesame, spicy mayo, and soy lemongrass glaze. Whew! The color of the fish is beautiful, and the soy lemongrass glaze is made in-house and is one of the better condiments I’ve put in my mouth. This is from Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen in Austin, TX.

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Artsy Photo of the Day

Pirhana Vietnamese Summer Roll

I’ve always loved sushi, but ever since I worked for a sushi restaurant during college in my early 20s and got used to eating it on a daily basis, I’ve been even more obsessed. I crave raw fish. One thing I don’t really like? All that rice. I usually pick off most of it, to the disgust of my dining companions.

Anyway, this leads me to search for rolls with little to no rice so I can pack in the protein. I found my new favorite sushi roll at Pirhana Killer Sushi in downtown Austin. It’s the Vietnamese Summer Roll: salmon, tuna, crab, greens, mango, and asparagus wrapped with rice paper. Tons of fish, tons of fruit and vegetables, and no rice! Sushi heaven.

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Breaking it Down: Deconstructed Sushi Salad

Sushi is one of my favorite foods in the world. Sometimes, though, it can be a real pain to procure. If I’m not in the mood to hit up a restaurant, what am I supposed to do? Roll my own sushi at home? A fun activity, but pretty time-intensive for the average American. Who has a sushi mat, anyway? So I came up with the next best thing—or maybe even better: sushi salad!

That might sound a little weird, but let me explain. All you do is break down all of your favorite parts of a sushi roll—rice, seaweed, fish, and fun condiments like soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger—and serve them over spicy Japanese greens, and there you have it: a beautiful and fun-to-eat plate! Sugoi!

While sushi used to be super exotic, these days it’s pretty easy to find most of the more unique ingredients in mainstream grocery stores. Pickled ginger and wasabi paste are readily available in the Asian section, and even seaweed has become pretty accessible; for example these seaweed snacks by Annie Chun’s even come in non-intimidating packaging and cool flavors (like wasabi—perfect for this salad).

Deconstructed Hot & Cold Sushi Salad

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Carolina Sushi

Collard leaves behaving like nori?  I was pleasantly surprised!

Growing up in the South I’ve become fond of a few standard staples, such as: tomatoes n’ cucumbers swimming in vinegary pools of pleasantries, banana puddin’ in my wife’s belly button, and reclaiming Darwinian fusions in food.  So I’ll embrace my heritage in a way that will make most neighbors cringe: sushi!

This dish comes from an idea that I’ve held onto for some time: “why not combine vinegar-based Carolina barbecue with rice in a sushi delivery system?”  My food muse gave an agreeable smile through her vodka-Kool-Aid-‘stache, whereas my wife was repulsed by the idea.  With the wife and kids away house-sitting for the in-laws this week, I’ve lived what she’s termed a “semi-bachelor week.”  She’s right, I’ve done all those things I don’t get to do: blast classic rawk, leave my socks on the couch, revisit my forsaken porn stash (no longer shall I eighty-six the pics of sixty-nine), play Madden, and watch Tosh.0.  I ran with the opportunity to create these with immunity.  And guess what?  Truth is, I’m miserable without her—talking to an invisible muse makes a man lonely—and I can’t wait to recreate these high-maintenance morsels when she returns.

BBQ Chicken and Collard Green Sushi

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Top 10 Ways to Eat Mac ‘n’ Cheese Before You Die

Is mac ‘n’ cheese the new bacon? Everyone’s favorite comfort food has suddenly gotten a lot more versatile, showing up in everything from burgers to desserts. Here are ten insanely creative ways you should try mac ‘n’ cheese at least once (and probably only once).

10. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Sushi

Who says you can’t eat macaroni with chopsticks and sriracha?

Recipe: The Food in My Beard

9. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burgers

One comfort food stuffed inside another.

Recipe: The Food in My Beard

8. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese

The ultimate addition to any grilled cheese sandwich? More cheese.

Recipe: Endless Simmer

7. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Hot Dog

A crucial stop on the ultimate New York hot dog crawl is this bad boy at Ditch Plains. (Photo: Ditch Plains)

6. Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Then there’s mac ‘n’ cheese state fair style: battered and deep-fried.

Recipe: Always Order Dessert

Next: Top 5 Ways to Eat Mac ‘n’ Cheese Before You Die

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Top 10 New Foods We Ate in 2010

With another year gone it’s time to look back and reflect on all the deliciousness that was. Here are the top ten new dishes the Endless Simmer team was lucky enough to stuff in our mouths over the past 12 months.

10. Fried Peanut Butter, Banana and Bourbon Sandwich

breslin peanut butter and banana

Breakfast at The Breslin in New York is about as ridiculously delectable as it gets. In their modern update on The Elvis sandwich, peanut butter, banana, bourbon and vanilla are all goo-ily encased in a fried-til-crispy puffed skin. (Photo: gsz)

9. Sustainable Sushi

sustainable sushi

Sushi is the modern foodie’s last major guilt trip — a dish that just can’t be done locally, sustainably, or ethically. Or is it? At Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut chef Bun Lai is turning the sushi CW on its head, proving it can be just as tasty and exciting when overfished species like unagi and bluefin are replaced with sustainable, North American fish. If there’s one new food idea that turns into a 2011 trend, we hope it’s this.

8. Burrata Everywhere


This revelatory cheese wasn’t invented in 2010 (try 1920) but this was the year we saw the Italian delicacy pop up on menus all across America. Fresh curds of buffalo milk mozzarella are stirred into salted cream and kneaded and pulled until they take on a gloriously goopy texture that makes all other mozz look like lifeless balls of nothing. Burrata is such a perfect cheese that only a sliver of bread and a touch of olive oil are needed to make it a meal. The quality varies place to place, but we sampled particularly tasty versions at Roman’s in Brooklyn and The Lake Chalet in Oakland. You? (Photo: Chiara Lorè)

7. The Mighty Cone

the mighty cone

The Austin, Texas food truck scene is one of the most heralded in the nation, and this local ready-to-eat-on-the-street treat is the one we’re most hoping to see go national. At this year-old trailer, a tortilla cone is filled with cornflake-almond-chili-crusted chicken tenders, fried avocado, mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce. The ice cream cone is dead. Long live the chicken cone.
(Photo: The Mighty Cone)

6. Malaysian BBQ

fatty cue

Usually by the time a budding chef-lebrity opens their third restaurant, they’re churning out a watered down, assembly line version of what made them famous. Not so for Zak Pelaccio, who branched out this year with Fatty Cue, a Brooklyn restaurant that ingeniously fuses traditional southeast Asian flavors into classic BBQ dishes. The never gimmicky menu ranges from heritage pork ribs in smoked fish-palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper to Manila claims swimming in bone broth with barbecued bacon and chili. (Photo: Fatty Cue)

Next: Top 5 New Foods We Ate in 2010

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