Sunday, April 3, 2016

DIY Sushi Rolls and All That Japanese Jazz (✿˘艸˘✿) ...

Ahhh, my nephew Jerome's 8th birthday party and what a feast it was! An assortment of sorts but predominantly Japanese home-style eats with a fun hearty DIY sushi rolls as the main attraction. Just the smorgasbord of fresh and vibrant colours on the table alone was stunning! Add a variety of flavour and textures, and we got an E.P.I.C. evening of eating! 

Note: This post is dedicated to my friend and mentor Chef Frederick Bowden in Tokyo who passed away suddenly April 4th, 2016. When the physical being is gone... the spirit lives on.... Because we will always have fond memories of those who pass, when we tap into that locket, they become more alive than ever! Thank you brother Dan for your wise words of comfort. So here's my feast from us to you... The way my larger than life Fred would want his friends and family to carry on.... Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Be Happy! Ꮭσνєஐ(๑´ლ`๑)♡

A party with my artist brother Dan and wife Yoko is never complete without some hand-crafted art to cater the occasion-- their birthday boy's favourite Zootopia characters :).

Dessert first-- why not? Our family birthday gatherings always wind up late, and cake can be reluctantly squeezed in after a belly full of food and kids well entrenched in their play. So my clever brother suggested we do the reverse-- sing the birthday song first. Instead of cake or cupcakes, we got flan in pudding cups from Mon K Patisserie- a Japanese sweets and bakery shop. A choice of crème caramel or hojicha (roasted green tea) flavours-- creamy light with a smooth texture and balanced sweetness. Yumm!

Birthday candles placed in clay molded into pebbles set on a wooden board to blow out! 

o(★´∀`★)o☆*:;;:*★HДРРЧ ВIЯтHDДЧ★*:;;:*☆o(☆´∀`☆)o Jerome!

The cooking begins.... homemade pizza appetizer and a big batch spaghetti and meatballs for dinner!

Preparing Japanese Chicken Karaage-- lightly battered chicken pieces that are typically deep-fried to crispy (they decided to make it easy and oven-bake) with a gingery marinade and succulent on the inside.

The Japanese version of korokke or croquette is chopped-up meat, vegetables or seafood, formed into a patty or log, coated in airy panko crumbs and deep-fried until golden brown. My sis-in-law made potato korokke with mashed potato and ground beef. Here is my version of Curry Beef and Rice Korokke.

The table was completely covered... Ready to dig in...

Other offerings include deep-fried vegetable spring rolls and a simple salad of broccoli and tomato with Japanese onion & sesame vinaigrette.

But it was the customize-your-own sushi rolls that took centre stage! The spread included meat ingredients of cooked jumbo shrimps, shredded crab meat and sliced cooked barbecued eel, vegetables of cucumber sticks, shredded white onion (soaked in water for several hours to remove bitterness), shredded snow peas and carrots. Sushi nori sheets were cut into quarters or use roasted seaweed, top with some cooked cooled short-grain rice tossed with a bit of sugar and rice vinegar to create sushi rice (see Onigiri Rice Ball post for rice recipe), your favourite toppings and roll up or serve taco-style. Serve soy sauce and wasabi at the table for dipping or spooning over.

I love this sushi concept! The kids were all over it... my sister and I agreed this will be a dinner idea we will definitely do with our own families! I.N.S.P.I.R.A.T.I.O.N-- Yay!

Going for first, seconds and thirds...


Note excerpt: I have two dear Chef Freds in my life (we're a trio)-- one in Toronto, one in Tokyo. With a heavy broken heart, I learned of my Tokyo Fred's passing this morning  April 5th :(. He passed away suddenly yesterday. He was my first culinary sensei, a mentor, my friend-- the one who I owe my leap of faith into culinary waters 15 years ago and I'm still swimming with a bright smile. Moving to Tokyo with his wife Yuko, struggling as a "gaijin" (foreigner) to make his mark at first-- Chef by day, Rock star by night, he helmed kitchens in high end hotels, brought jamming to Tokyo's music scene (he's a guitar legend) and proudly last year, finally opened his own brunch restaurant. He was larger than life and no matter how busy, he would always find time to say hello. He just msged me he was going to start making his own deli in-house :( . I am seeing the legacy he is leaving behind-- a bounty of Thank Yous for all he has done for musicians and food lovers in Tokyo! My condolences to lovely Yuko, his daughter, his family and all his friends and fans....

My dearest TBor, you will always live in me... I am where I am today because of you... Thank You Forever for your belief in me, support and love. I will miss you but know that we are marked together for life and thereafter. The Japanese tattoos we share from the same artist, will always etch the memories of our great friendship, laughters and good times. 🌸

Keep on Rockin' TBor... and I'll be cookin' with you later. RIP! XOX

💞 💞 💞

1 comment:

  1. Love the food make me hungry. And thanks for the ingredient so that other people can make one like that!

    Catering Palm Beach
    Japanese Steakhouse Palm Beach Gardens