We’ve talked about how I have Jordan to thank for my love all foods fishy. Well, my gateway fish dish was sushi. It started innocently enough with a shrimp tempura roll, maybe some seared BBQ tuna, but soon morphed into hook me up with that chirashi, and stat. I love sushi, especially simple sushi. Vinegar rice + raw fish = perfection.


Which brings me to my next point, it is really hard to hide bad rice (or bad fish, but we’re not going there) when your dish has just two ingredients. Sushi rice is a special thing and insanely hard to make if you don’t have a decent rice cooker. The texture is paramount and we’ve struggled for years to get it right. First we gave it a go in a pot on the stove, and then in a subpar rice cooker. There were tears.


And then for my birthday we went to Japantown. We looked at all the cute things (!!!), took some purikura photos and spent an hour and half in the Japanese supermarket. The very best part of the day (a tough call for me because I love just about everything Japantown has to offer) was that Jordan bought me my very own Zojirushi NeuroFuzzy rice cooker. It has a little computer inside. It sings to us when it starts and finishes the rice. You can customize the hardness or softness of your rice. You can keep rice warm in the cooker for days and it still tastes pretty darn good. NeuroFuzzy is amazing and will make you perfect sushi rice. It is also a very romantic gift.


Armed with a decent rice cooker and access to sushi-grade fish (YAY, JAPANTOWN!), we’ve been reveling in perfect chirashi. So simple and fresh and good. I am so happy. Sushi-happy, which I’m sure must be a phrase in Japanese, if only I spoke it.

Chirashi Sushi
For the sushi-su
1/4 rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups sushi rice
your favorite raw fish, sliced thinly

Make the rice according to your rice cooker’s instructions. Rice cookers know all. In a small pan over low heat, heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt and mix until combined. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the rice is finished cooking, transfer it to a large shallow bowl. Drizzle the sushi-su over the rice and stir the rice gently to incorporate the sushi-su and cool the rice.

sushi-4 sushi-2

Thinly slice your fish using the sharpest knife you’ve got. Mound a small pile of rice on a plate and top with slices of fish. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

sushi-5 sushi-6

And lastly, if I wasn’t already obsessed with Japan (so much cute!) and Japanese cuisine, we watched this fantastic documentary that transformed the way I look at sushi. I also recently read this wonderfully funny book that made me want to travel to Tokyo and eat everything, immediately.




crostini with spicy salmon, lemon and avocado

I impulse bought an entire salmon in the Whole Foods parking lot the other day. While I don’t think that this particular urge affects many girls my age, I just couldn’t help myself. They were just so cute and so well-priced …

Jordan invented this little crostini. I have to say that salmon and lemon are a match made in heaven! He threw this together in just a few minutes and it looked and tasted dang impressive. Give it a go at your next dinner party.

Crostini with Spicy Salmon, Lemon and Avocado
10 pieces of rustic style bread, thinly sliced and toasted
1 lemon, halved lengthwise and then very very thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raw salmon, cubed (We used the beat up remains from slicing the fillet into pieces for sashimi. You need small, bite-sized pieces of fish to make this easy to eat).
1 t sriracha hot chili sauce
1 T soy sauce

In a small bowl, mix the salmon, sriracha and soy sauce. Layer each crostini with the spicy salmon, lemon slice, and top with avocado. Enjoy!


Recipes Uncategorized


There’s something really special about good sushi that Emily and I both enjoy.  When you’ve got perfect rice and super fresh fish, you get something so amazing that you almost forget there’s no bacon involved.  Unfortunately, maintaining an addiction to sushi can easily get out of control, and before you know it you’re deciding between paying rent and going for that extra plate of chirashi.  What does one do in such a dilemma?  Well, I’ve been making it myself about once a week since our hiatus began, and I think the results have been pretty tasty and relatively cheap.


Making perfect sushi rice is a craft that is mastered over many, many years.  Seeing as I’ve made it about half a dozen times, I’m not going to pretend that I’m doing everything right, nor am I going to pretend that I can teach those reading everything there is to know about sushi.  I will give some basics that have helped me make rice that is at least as good as a decent sushi bar.  First, you need rice specifically for sushi; this means short grain.  Short grain rice has a lot of starch, so it needs to be rinsed so it’s not too sticky.  I like to put two cups of sushi rice in a bowl, add about four cups of cold water, and run my fingers through the rice to separate all the grains so each is rinsed.  Then you run it through a sieve and repeat.  You’ll see a lot of cloudy water come off at first, but after about 4-6 times, the water becomes much clearer.  I know this seems excessive, but this is crucial to have the proper texture.  Next you let the rice drain in the sieve for about 20-30 minutes, then you throw it in a heavy sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover the rice by about 0.5 in.  Let the rice soak for 30 minutes, then heat until it boils, lower to a bare simmer and cover for 20 minutes.  Then it’s done right?  No way!  Don’t open that lid during the 20 minutes, or for 15 minutes after because the steam continues to cook the rice.  Once the rice is done cooking you cool the rice quickly by putting it into a large, non-reactive container and stir it gently with a wooden spoon.  Having a friend fan the rice helps cool it faster.  As you cool the rice, add  the sushi-zu to taste.


Sushi-zu is the seasoned rice vinegar used to give sushi rice that delicious balance of sour, sweet, and salty.  I’m sure there is some perfect balance of the ingredients, but I mix them according to my preferences.  In a small saucepan, slowly heat 0.25 cup of unseasoned rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt.  As soon as the salt and sugar dissolve it’s done and you can let it cool before adding it to the rice.


Now that you’ve got your rice under control, it’s time to get some good fish.  As long as you get fresh, quality seafood from a reputable fish monger you should be safe.  I tend to trust Whole Foods, Sun Fat Seafood, and Nijiya Market.  Nijiya Market is a pretty awesome store in Japantown; they carry really obscure ingredients as well as high quality seafood.  So far I’ve only bought salmon, ahi, and octopus and all were excellent.  I’ve also been tempted by their uni (sea urchin roe) and toro (fatty tuna), but that’s when the habit starts getting pricy.  This place is really cool and worth checking out even if you don’t buy anything.


Fish and rice.  That’s all you really need.  If you want to get funky and make some rolls, that’s cool too; that’s just not what I like about sushi.  My favorite thing to make is chirashi (sashimi scattered over rice) as it’s really easy to make and eat.  Overall, making sushi is really fun as well as a bargain; it’s also easy to tweak what you’re doing to keep improving.  If anyone out there is even remotely interested in making their own sushi, I highly recommend it.


Restaurant Reviews San Francisco

nara sushi

Jordan and I both really enjoy sushi, but so far we have not found a place in San Francisco that can hold a candle to Mikuni in Roseville. We’ve tried several different restaurants in our neighborhood, and last Saturday we went to Nara Sushi at Polk and California.

I’ll keep this short. Skip the tempura appetizer ($5) and dive straight into the fish. We ordered the chirashi ($17). The portion was generous with about 3 pieces each of 7 different fish and the quality was good. The sushi rice was also tasty. Still a little hungry after finishing the chirashi, we ordered a spicy tuna, shrimp and masako roll off the special board ($12). It was also a generous portion and quite tasty, but a bit spicy. Overall, the atmosphere was typical, the service was attentive and the fish was good – certainly the best out of the restaurants we’ve tried in our area. Regardless, we were still left longing for Mikuni and are looking forward to going back to Granite Bay for Thanksgiving (hint hint!).