Thursday 6 March 2014

Sushi and gyoza and cherry blossom and Spring

Not 100% sure what this is. Paul thinks blackthorn.
This is actually the bonsai, but the picture was cunningly taken outdoors.
It's been a while since our last cherry blossom dinner. The bonsai that Paul was working on, (prunus incisa 'kojo-no-mai') died unexpectedly a couple of years ago, and it wasn't until the end of the cherry blossom season last year that we bought a replacement. This is a different cultivar, prunus incisa "oshidori", and to be honest conditions haven't been perfect for it. Cherries need about 1200 chill hours - below 7C - to set buds properly and with the mild winter we've had things didn't get quite cold enough. But it still put on enough of a display for me to decide to welcome the spring with some Japanese food.
I'd wanted to have a go at sushi for a while, so I decided that this was as good an opportunity as any to bust out the bamboo rolling mat and get stuck in. I made some salmon and avocado maki, and some spicy crab and cucumber uramaki. I was surprised how easy it was - the uramaki shed a few sesame seeds but the rolls stayed nice and tight and were good little mouthfuls.

We needed something else on the plate for a satisfying supper so I made some prawn and ginger gyoza. I realised that I wouldn't be able to get the wrappers thin enough with a rolling pin, so I used the pasta machine to roll the flour and water dough, and they were just about perfect.
We didn't have any gari, so we just had a few shreds of beni shoga - less sweet, and saltier, but still a nice gingery palate cleanser between bites of sushi. And Paul is particularly fond of the dipping sauce I make for dim sum, which is crushed dried chillies in oil, with black rice vinegar and soy sauce, so I made some of that to go with the gyoza.
When we had this meal I didn't know that Japanese cuisine had been included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. And I don't think this quite has the elegance and refinement that is implied by that. But it was very nice!


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Pretty flowers, and what a tasty way to welcome spring!

Joanne said...

Sushi is so fun to make and eat! i am SO ready for spring!!

Cuisine de Provence said...

Here the cherry trees and the daffodils are in full bloom too, so now I only have to get my hands on some sushi and sashimi!

Rachel said...

Your last photo is just spectacular. And the sushi making seems very professional. Envious of your spring. It's another 10 degree F day here. Sigh.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Leafy - it's lovely to have the blossom and bulbs out!

Joanne - I bet you are! New York looks so cold!

CdP - your blossom must be further along than ours. Lucky!

Rachel - yikes! I've heard upstate New York has been brutal this year. Hope you warm up soon!

mscrankypants said...

You made gyoza from scratch? I'm impressed and inspired to make my own!

Barbara said...'s blackthorn.
Absolutely love and adore gyoza. Actually made it once (took some time, too), posted it. It was divine. Haven't made it since, but I do order it out every chance I get!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This whole post has got me craving spring!!

Bettina Douglas said...

All looks beautiful and tasty. I am interested in the gyoza dipping sauce - what are the measurements?

grace said...

i've had sushi exactly once and i've certainly never tried to make my own. lovely flowers, btw!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Cranky - it took a little bit more work than regular egg pasta, but not too bad!

Barbara - we always order it too. Unfortunately the portions are never quite as big as we like!

Sue - a bit of sunshine has been very welcome.

Mother - no real measurements, all to taste!

Grace - only once?! That's amazing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...