Historically speaking, the Russians and the Japanese have met relatively few times over the centuries. Naturally, the most dramatic of those meetings would be the Russo-Japanese war at the turn of the 20th century. Japan and what was then the Soviet Union also fought, mostly indirectly, during World War II when they were on opposite sites of the most titanic world conflict in history. In the realm of the cinematic, we know of exactly one Russian-Japanese co-production, and that’s the epic 1975 drama “Derzu Uzala,” the only non-Japanese language film directed by the nation’s most legendary director, Akira Kurosawa (“The Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon.”)
In the realm of the culinary, foods that combine Russian and Japanese influences may be less rare, but it hardly feels that way. Still, it’s not so surprising that one of
Russia’s most famous culinary exports, the salty fish eggs we know as fresh caviar, has found its way into the arsenal of a small but growing number of sushi chefs. Certainly in a city like Los Angeles, where a large and thriving Eastern European ex-pat community lives cheek by jowl with the city’s large, prominent, and culinarily enthusiastic Japanese-American population, throwing some caviar into an elaborate roll or over much traditional sushi pieces may make plenty of sense particularly for ethnic fusion-friendly Angelenos.
We frequently go to Costco and buy way too much of everything. We also eat way too many samples of things, but that’s another issue. They usually have some decent seafood at great prices. But how much do we compromise to get those low prices?
On many previous trips, as our twitter friends will confirm, we lament the heavy sales volume of South American farmed salmon at our local Costco stores. Indeed, close to half the entire display space for seafood is used to sell farmed salmon products. Here’s how it looked on our most recent trip to Costco in Pompano Beach, FL.
In the seafood section, we found on display the following items:
- U-15 Farmed Black Tiger Prawns
- U-15 Grade A Scallops
- Fresh Farmed Live Littleneck Clams
- Fresh Farmed Atlantic Salmon
- Fresh Farmed Steelhead Salmon
- Fresh Farmed Tilapia Fillet
- Fresh Wild Whole Snapper
- Fresh Ahi Tuna
- Fresh Wild Mahi Mahi
Notorious by their absence were staples like king and dungeness crab, and less frequent offerings like cobia and sea bass. We don’t often see cobia, but enjoy eating it when it’s available.
Now the tiger prawns from Vietnam, which have never been out of stock as far as we can tell, are not a great choice to stock for the masses of shrimp buyers that come through the doors every day. Shrimp farming operations are not the friendliest outfits for the environment, and Southeast Asian shrimp exporters have a poor track record of managing their resources. We like to see choices like pink gulf shrimp, and other regional Atlantic shrimp varieties being sold, since this is Florida after all.
To all our sushi loving friends in South Florida, an invitation to join us on Thurs, Feb 16th, at Asaka Japanese in Aventura.
20355 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33180
This will be an exceptional Valentines meal for sushi lovers! We have the best of both worlds: a carefully chosen set menu that allows us get a great deal from the restaurant, but with plenty of choices so you have the flexibility to get foods you love!
We’ll start out with a dish from the kitchen (6 choices), including salmon iso-age, beef yukke and more. Then we’ll enjoy a plate of sushi and rolls sampler, along with your choice of handroll (5 to choose from)
We’re in the private room, which holds 14 people, so there is a limit. Price is $35 per person, including tax and tip, must pay in advance by Paypal. Please RSVP at www.southfloridasushi.com or pay by Paypal using the button below as soon as possible.
Appetizers (choose one):
- Salmon Iso-Age (Crunch Salmon) – tempura salmon rolled in seaweed and vegetables
- Grilled Shrimp And Scallops – shrimp & scallops on bamboo skewers grilled w/ yakitori sauce
- Yukke (Filet Mignon) – fresh sliced raw beef mixed with spicy sauce
- Udon Noodle Soup – white wheat noodles with fried bean curd in katsuo-dashi soup
- Soba Noodle Soup – buckwheat noodles, green onion and fish cake in katsu-dashi soup
- Soba Noodle Salad – chilled buckwheat noodles w/ shiitake mushrooms & veggies in special sauce
Temaki (handrolls – choose one):
- Hamachi & Scallion
- Toro & Scallion
- Spicy Tuna
- Bagel (salmon & cream cheese)
- Eel Cucumber
All beer, wine and sake will need to be payed for separately!
This is part 2 of our interview with Rachael Hutchings and Allison Day, collectively the dynamic duo that powers the mighty Miso Hungry Podcast.
Rachael Hutchings is a wife and mother to two girls, a relentless gourmet cook, a prolific blogger, and a hard-core foodie. She prepares a whole lot of Japanese foods and blogs about them on www.lafujimama.com, sharing her recipes and tips and tantalizing photos in the process.
Allison Day is a sushi sister, a professional programmer, longtime ballet lover and somewhat of a physics nerd. She’s been writing about sushi for six years now on her www.sushiday.com website.
Go there after you read this interview, and you’ll be able to read about all manner of wacky sushi rolls, her recent trip to Japan, interviews, recipes and a lot more. Buy a funny t-shirt while you’re there.
Let’s get on with the interview now, since we found it impossible to cut short. We simply wanted the readers to be aware that these two sushi sisters are absolutely the dream team of sushi podcasting. Here’s how the rest of this interview went down.
Today we talk to the Sushi Sisters, Allison and Rachael, who are the team bringing you the Miso Hungry Podcast. It only started a couple weeks ago, but already they’ve got some great episodes published. We recommend subscribing in iTunes, but you can also find the episodes on their website at www.misofy.com
Allison Day is a sushi lover from way back. She runs the popular blog, www.sushiday.com, and has lots of great content there going back to 2006! One side of her family is Japanese, and although she was born and raised in the US, she’s a big fan of Japanese cuisine, including sushi. She definitely knows here stuff, yet she’s only half of this all-star tag team.
Rachael Hutchings is the brains behind the www.lafujimama.com blog. She cooks loads of gorgeous Japanese food, as you’ll see if you follow her blog. Rachael lived in Japan twice, and apparently learned a lot about cooking the foods while there. Her daughters enjoy eating her Japanese food, and when you see the dishes she prepares you’ll immediately understand why.
They both know a lot about Japanese food and culture, and they hope to share some of that knowledge with all of us in the coming months with a series of podcasts. Be sure to support their effort and ensure that we get lots of good shows!
Rating: Yakitori Sake House
271 SE Mizner Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33432
This weekend we got a chance to try the Yakitori Sake House, in the same Palm Plaza location where our former favorite sushi bar in the entire state, Daimatsu, was located.
Before going, I checked out their website and it was not impressive. A flash site with all the menus items posted (without pricing info) but not enough contrast between font colors and background to make it easy to read. So the whole menu is posted in some small scrolling box in the middle but requires too much effort to read it.
Yakitori, the food, is hard to find in South Florida. There is a yakitori place in Wellington, but this one has a much better selection. Not that I could tell from their online menus.
They offer a full menu of yakitori choices including scallop wrapped in bacon, pork belly, unagi, kalbi, beef & scallions, sea bass, alligator, lamb, calimari, various veggies and more. They also have the classics – chicken, liver, etc.