Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sushi rice balls

Sushi rice balls

This side dish is based on one of the earliest elements of Southeast
Asian cuisine: simple, hand shaped sushi rice balls, which are eaten
with the fingers, with or without first being dipped in soy sauce. 
To spice up the taste of the rice, you can sprinkle them with green shiso
leaves, furikake, toasted sesame seeds,or finely chopped umeboshi plums. 
Another possibility is to wrap a salted green shiso leaf around the rice ball. As sushi rice balls can be eaten either warm or cold, they are super in a bag lunch. They can also be turned into onigiri by wrapping them
in a piece of nori. Because it absorbs moisture, the seaweed should
be wrapped around the rice ball only just before it is to be eaten.

Rice balls (temari) wrapped in salted green shiso leaves.
Rice balls wrapped in shiso
leaves.Soak salted, green shiso leaves (ao-jiso) in water, dry them, and lay them out on individual
pieces of plastic wrap. Place a rice ball of suitable size on each leaf and then wrap the shiso tightly around the rice ball by bringing the corners of the plastic wrap together and giving them a twist. Remove the wrap carefully and serve the rice balls with the leaf side up.

Rice balls with thinly sliced green shiso
Rice balls with green shiso.
Hand shape balls about 3-4 cm (1½
inches) in diameter from sushi rice.
Cut green shiso leaves into very thin strips and sprinkle them on top. The rice balls can be served
either warm or cold arranged in a rowon a narrow platter. If the rice balls are very warm, the shiso leaves should be sprinkled on just as they are to be eaten,otherwise the fresh shiso will turn brown
and look unattractive.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Cuisine with Giorgio . . .

My first "what's cooking" video about pure Sicilian cooking with Giorgio Locatelli.
My second biggest hobby is combining sound and vision, so now you have a scoop with some great cooking added.
Please visit my site on JayDee Productions if you want to see and hear more !

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lobster with Ginger and Scallions

Lobster with Ginger and Scallions

2 lobsters, each about 11⁄2 pounds
(675 grams)
peanut or corn oil for deep-frying
3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
3 ounces (85 grams) fresh ginger root,
peeled and cut into thin slices
10 to 12 large scallions, cut diagonally,
white and green parts separated
11⁄2 tablespoons Shaohsing wine or brandy
1⁄2 cup prime stock (see page 242)

For the sauce:
1 teaspoon potato flour
4 tablespoons water
1⁄2 tablespoon thin soy sauce
11⁄2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Serves 6 as a first course


The species of lobster found along the Chinese coast is the spiny lobster or
crayfish and, significantly, the Chinese name for it is dragon prawn. The meat,
compared to that of the true lobster, is slightly coarser, but cooking methods and
recipes are the same for both. Only fresh lobsters are fit for consumption; they
can be kept alive up to 3 days in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
Prepare the sauce: Mix together the flour, water, soy sauce and oyster
sauce. Set aside.
Kill and chop up the lobsters. Before starting, make sure that strong rubber
bands are around the pincers. Lay the lobsters flat, one at a time, on a chopping
board, and steady them with one hand. Pierce the center of the head, where
there is a cross, with the pointed end of a strong knife, pressing firmly all the
way down in order to paralyze the nerve and hence kill the lobster instantly.
Split it in half along the back, all the way to the tail, cutting through both the
shell and the flesh. Remove and discard the pouch of grit from the head, as well
as the dark gut running along the body. Remove the tiny eggs, if any, and the
greenish creamy substance (tomalley), which can be cooked separately if you
like it. Twist the joints to dislodge the 2 claws from the body. Lay each half of
the body flat and, using a kitchen cleaver, chop each into 3 pieces. Remove the
gill from the head, close to the shell. Lay the claws on the board and bang them,
one by one, with either the broad side of the cleaver or a hammer until the shell
is cracked at various points so that it will not be necessary to use crackers when
eating them. Cut each claw in two at its obvious joint.
Put all the head and claw pieces into one large bowl and the body pieces
into another. Pat dry with paper towels.
Half fill a wok or deep fryer with oil. Heat to a temperature of 350°F (180°C),
or until a cube of stale bread browns in 60 seconds. Carefully lower all the head
and claw pieces into the oil and let them “go through the oil” for 20 to 30
seconds, so that their juices are sealed in. Remove immediately with a large hand
strainer and put on a large platter.
Reheat the oil and let the body pieces “go through the oil” for about 10 seconds.
Empty the oil into a container and save it for other purposes. Wash and dry the wok.

Deep-fried Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Lobster with Ginger and Scallions

1 red snapper or gray mullet, about 21⁄4 to
21⁄2 pounds (1 to 1.15 kilograms), cleaned
with head left on peanut or corn oil for deep-frying
1 egg yolk
about 3 tablespoons cornstarch
For the marinade:
1 inch (2.5 centimeters) fresh ginger
root, peeled and chopped fine
1 teaspoon Shaohsing wine or
medium-dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
For the sweet and sour sauce:
3 dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted
(see page 33)
2 ounces (55 grams) small peas
2 teaspoons potato flour, dissolved in
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 teaspoons thick soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaohsing wine or medium-dry sherry
1 cup water
4 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 small onion or 3 shallots, skinned and diced
2 ounces (55 grams) canned bamboo
shoots, diced
Serves 6 with 3 other dishes
A sweet and sour sauce goes especially well with deep-fried food, not just
because it whets one’s appetite but, more important, because it counteracts
any trace of grease. Such is, indeed, the case with fish. There are regional
variations and personal preferences, but mainly a sweet and sour sauce is
a mixture of vinegar and sugar, balanced by salt, and made more interesting
by the addition of other condiments. Try this one, and then concoct your own.
If the wok in which the fish will be deep-fried is large enough (14 inches [35
centimeters] or more) leave the fish whole; otherwise, cut it in half. Make 2 or 3
diagonal slashes across the thickest part of both sides of the fish, taking care not
to go right to the edges.
Prepare the marinade: Squeeze the ginger in a garlic press with 2 drops
of water and mix the juice with the wine or sherry and salt. Rub both sides of
the fish, including the crevices and the cavity, with the mixture. Let marinate
for about 15 to 30 minutes. Discard any excess liquid.
Prepare the sweet and sour sauce: Drain and squeeze out excess
water from the mushrooms but leave damp. Cut into small cubes. Cook the
peas in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain. Mix together the dissolved potato
flour, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, salt, soy sauce, wine or sherry and water. Heat
a wok (if you have a second small one), or a saucepan, over high heat until
smoke rises. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic,
then the onion or shallots and fry for about 1 minute, stirring. Add the
mushrooms, peas and bamboo shoots. Stir the sauce mixture once more to
blend, then pour into the wok or saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously
as it thickens. Set aside.
Half fill a wok or deep fryer with oil. Heat to a temperature of 375°F (190°C),
or until a cube of stale bread browns in 50 seconds.
While the oil is heating, brush the egg yolk over both sides of the fish, then
sift the cornstarch over it, smoothing it for evenness.
Lower the fish into the oil and deep-fry for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until
the skin is crisp. Turn over carefully and deep-fry the other side for about the
same time.