I have an requited love affair with ethnic supermarkets. Growing up, my parents would throw my siblings and me into the car for weekend excursions to ethnic enclaves. We would spend Sunday afternoons in
Astoia, NY at the Greek supermarket Titan Foods and Saturday
mornings in the Bronx walking
along Arthur Ave in
search of fresh pastas and pounds of Parmesan. When I travel, I
always make an effort to find and explore the local food
markets. It’s an unbelievable way to understand, see, and taste a
communities culture which is why this past Saturday they boy and I made a road
trip to to visit Misuwa, one of the
largest Japanese markets. What prompted this visit was the search
for sashimi grade fish in order to make these sushi cakes, which I read about
on the NYTimes (and felt the need to make immediately). The trip was
well worth it because these sushi cakes are one of the best things I have ever
made. The flavor
is spot on, the creamy spicy mayo pairs beautifully with the salty sweet honey
soy sauce and the texture is fantastic (crunchy rice and creamy avocado!). The quality of the tuna was so incredible
that it elevated the whole dish. I served this with a bottle of cold sake
which made for the most perfect pairing and am now looking for every excuse to
make a return trip for more fish. Edgewater, NJ
Fried Sushi Cakes with Tuna, Avocado, Honey Soy Sauce and Sriracha Mayonnaise
Recipe adapted, from the NYTimes
I halved the original recipe, so I ended up making 12 pieces for the two of us (below is my version to serve 2). I found that this was enough for us for dinner (I think this would also be good with some roasted eggplant as a side dish if you were a little hungrier). As I mentioned I went out and got the fish from Mitsuwa (I also read online that you can get good sashimi grade fish from the Lobster Pound in the Chelsea Market but I urge you to visit Mitsuwa as it’s utterly fascinating and totally worth the trip.) It is imperative that you get the best possible fish you can and if you can’t get sashimi grade you could use shrimp or crab or keep it vegetarian with just avocado! Don’t be discouraged by the length of this recipe and the number of steps, its far easier then it looks!
For the Rice Cakes
¾ cups short-grain sushi rice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 inch piece grated ginger
2 teaspoons salt
For the Sriracha Mayonnaise
½ egg yolk (I put the whole egg yolk into the bowl and divided it which worked)
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon orange juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Honey Soy Sauce
¼ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
For Frying and Assembling
Rice flour or all-purpose flour for dredging
¼ pound sashimi grade tuna, cut into 12 slices
¼ of an avocado sliced into 12 pieces
Chives for garnish
Combine sushi rice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and salt in a medium saucepan with 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until done (mine took about 26 minutes). Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
Line a loaf pan (about 9x5) with plastic wrap. Firmly press the rice into the pan. Refrigerate until set, preferably overnight. Remove the rice from the pan and, using a chef’s knife dipped in hot water to prevent sticking, cut into roughly 1-by-3-inch rectangles.
Make the Sriracha mayonnaise: Combine the egg yolk, red-wine vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, Sriracha, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon water in a metal bowl. Slowly whisk in the grapeseed oil and then whisk in the olive oil. Whisk until smooth, thick, and creamy.
Make the honey soy sauce: In a small saucepan, bring the soy sauce, honey, sherry vinegar, and 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar to a boil and stir until smooth. Cool before using.
Heat grapeseed oil in a pan, deep enough to just cover the rectangles. Allow the oil temperature to reach 350 – 360 degrees. Dredge the rice rectangles in flour and cook until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes total, turning once; transfer to paper towels.
Top each rectangle with a bit of the mayonnaise, the top with tuna and avocado. Drizzle with honey soy, then garnish with a bit of chives and a tiny pinch of salt.