Recipe: Salmon Ikura Donburi (Japan)

Hirozen is one of my favorite places to eat in Los Angeles. It’s a little restaurant tucked away in a strip mall in West Hollywood that has the most delectable Japanese small dishes and sushi. One of my favorite things on their menu is their Salmon Ikura Donburi. I recently discovered how to replicate it almost perfectly at home. The secret is Nori Furikake seasoning.

Jon’s Review: “Mmm! The lemon really brings out the flavors”

Ingredients:

  • 1 decent-sized salmon filet
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • fresh ikura
  • nori furikake seasoning (definitely not optional!)
  • lemon (for garnish)

Cook the rice. Add two cups of water and one cup of rice to the pan, with a smidge of olive oil or butter to prevent sticking). Put the lid on the pan, and let it come to a boil. When the pot is boiling, turn down the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed.

Add the salmon to a baking pan, and marinade in olive oil and soy sauce. Broil in the oven for about 8 minutes (you want the fish to be all the way cooked through, not rare).

When the rice is done, add a generous heap of nori furikake seasoning, and mix into rice.

When the salmon is done, flake it, and add to the rice. Mix well.

Serve with a generous portion of ikura as garnish. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, and serve!

Recipe: Sea Urchin Spaghetti

I was in the mood for something really decadent yesterday, so when fresh sea urchin (uni) caught my eye at our local Japanese grocery store, Little Tokyo Marketplace, I really couldn’t resist getting some. I decided to make a sea urchin pasta dish, something kind of similar to the sea urchin spaghetti at the restaurant Chaya in West Hollywood.

It was amazing!! As soon as I finished my plate, I wished I had more. But, at $6.99 a package for sea urchin, this is going to remain a special occasion recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 servings of gluten-free spaghetti (I’ve still been using M&S gluten-free pasta that Jon brings me back from England)
  • 5 whole cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes (approximate)
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • package of sea urchin (you can get this at most Asian markets that sell fish)
  • leaves from about 6 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • salt

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

While waiting on the water, pour the olive oil into a large frying pan (the pan will have to be big enough to hold the pasta later). Add the garlic and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the garlic cloves caramelize. You’ll want  to flip the garlic cloves every few minutes, so that all sides are caramelized evenly.

Next, add the chili flakes to the frying pan, turn the heat up to medium, and saute until crispy, about two minutes. Next, add in the cherry tomatoes, and cook until just wilted. Set aside.

When the water in the pot boils, add a generous spoonful of salt and the spaghetti, and cook until barely al dente. Drain the pasta, setting aside one cup of the pasta water for use later.

After you’re done cooking the pasta, add about 3/4 of your sea urchin to the frying pan with the tomatoes and garlic. Turn the heat back on, add a generous splash of the reserved pasta water to the pan, and saute until the uni is blended into the water. Then, add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, and mix it into the sauce. Then, add the parsley, and mix. When ready to serve, place spaghetti on a plate with the remaining sea urchin as garnish. Enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from here.

Recipe: Vegetarian Chorizo and Potatoes (Mexico)

This morning, we drove to Boyle Heights to check out the Mexican grocery store El Super. It was super all right. Walking into the store was like taking a trip into Mexico. You’re greeted with the smell of fresh homemade tortillas, big displays of chiles, corn husks, and cactus. The produce is fresh and everything in the store is so cheap!

One of my favorite finds in the grocery store was vegetarian chorizo. Often, fake meat has wheat as an ingredient, but this package proclaimed it was gluten-free! I decided to make some for brunch today in a chorizo and fried potato recipe I found in my favorite Latin American cookbook, Jose Garces’ “The Latin Road Home”.

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Jon had a version of this recipe with real meat chorizo, and this was his review: “Tasty! Would go great with salsa verde and scrambled eggs”

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1/2 pack of vegetarian chorizo, crumbled
  • 1-2 yukon gold or similar potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • olive oil
  • handful of crumbled quesa fresc0 (for serving)

Boil water in a medium pan. Add potatoes and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add chorizo, onion, and jalapeno. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are caramelized. Then, add potatoes to the frying pan, and more olive oil as needed. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until potatoes are crispy and fried. Serve with crumbled quesa fresco and your favorite Mexican breakfast dishes!

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