For some reason making seared tuna at home is impressive to people. I mean, I get it, seared tuna is a somewhat “fancy” thing you’d order at a restaurant, but here’s a secret: it’s SO simple (and usually more inexpensive) to prepare in your own kitchen. I promise. This recipe looks good and tastes even better, and if you have guests over they’ll be wowed. Only you have to know the truth: seared tuna takes about 6 minutes to make and is virtually fool-proof.
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.
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 SaladRead More›
A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to attend a dinner at the Herbfarm with my similarly food-obsessed friend, Shawna. The Herbfarm is not just any restaurant. It is one of the most lauded dining experiences in Washington state, if not the country.
Each evening is a set nine-course menu that adheres to a seasonal theme. Our night was “A Spring Forager’s Dinner,” featuring, unsurprisingly, a bounty of foraged Northwest ingredients. I honestly do not know how to use written words to adequately emphasize the amazing freshness of each course, or the intense satisfaction at the end of our meal. Actually, I think in this case it is more effective to show rather than tell.
These are all pictures taken in semi-stealth, meaning no flash or rearranging of plates/glasses at our communal table. I didn’t want to be the asshole with the repeatedly disruptive camera in this elegant atmosphere, blinding all the sophisticated diners who threw down hundreds of dollars for this meal. But I had to have something to show you!
Kombu-Cured Albacore Tuna on Seaweed Crackers with Oregon Wasabi Root
Pickled Bull Kelp Stalk with Puget Sound Geoduck on Nori Seaweed Sauce
Local Spot Prawn Soup with Smoked Quinault River Steelhead Roe & Chives
Pan-Roasted Eastern Washington Spring Chicken & Its Crispy Confit
With Poached Hanna Hama Oysters, Radish, Stinging Nettle Sauce, and Lovage Oil