Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cena giapponese - ovvero seconda cena italiano/spagnola

I've been again struggling with work issues and did not have time to write about all the nice things that I took part to during these last few weeks.
So, starting from the oldest event, here is the second Italian/Spanish learning dinner!
This time, we decided that the theme would have been Japanese cuisine, according to what Mariana suggested, and also inspired by the fact that Trino bought some Sake that we didn't drink yet :)
Lucas and I prepared some salmon-cream cheese and some crab meat-veggies sushi. I like this picture of myself at work making Wasabi sauce :)

And here is our sushi:
Are you curious to know how we made it? It's actually really easy. You have to buy the Nori (the black algae that rolls up the sushi) and it's better if you also buy a bambu-mattress that helps the rolling operation. Then you have to prepare sushi rice: wash the rice until the water runs clear, then leave the rice soaking in water for half an hour. Add rice and water in the rice cooker, or in the steamer, or in a pot. The proportion depends on how you're cooking it. I used a steamer and used the usual proportion that I use for any other type of rice. When it's cooked, add a few drops of rice vinegar to it and stir through.
Cut the veggies that you want to use (e.g: carrots, cucumbers, avocados) in thin stripes. Cut the fish meat in stripes.
For the assembly: place a Seran wrap foil on the sushi rolling mattress, then place the nori on it with the shiny side up. Moist your finger tips with rice vinegar. Spread a thin layer of rice on top of the nori, leaving about 1/2 inch uncovered on one of the horizontal ends. Put some pieces of the veggies on top of the other end of the nori, in one long stripe across, in the horizontal direction, together with some of the fish (and of cream cheese if you like). Then, roll tightly the nori on itself helping yourself with the mattress. Stick the end of the nori that wasn't covered with rice to the rest of the nori, to seal.
Once you make a few rolls, cut them altogether in 6/8 pieces each. Serve with Soy sauce and wasabi sauce and ginger.
Maybe next time I make it I'll take pictures of the various phases of the assembly, so it's easier to understand.

Mariana is an expert Japanese cook. She prepared these wonderful dishes:
Tamago - the rice is put on top of a sort of 'omelette', which is a bit sweet, and is folded many times. It's really delicious.
She did not remember the name of this :) It was a sort of sushi sandwich, with cream cheese and some veggies inside :)

Luisa made this wonderful tempura. It was amazing.
And Jorge prepared this really wonderful salmon Teriaki! On a bed of Bok-choi, which was delicious:
I was really surprised about how good this Japanese food was, even though prepared by Mexicans and Italians!
And I feel like I'm really improving my Spanish, now I can almost understand full speed and I'm learning a lot of words. I'm really really happy. And this is just a last picture as a memory of the dinner.. unfortunately Mariana and Jorge are not in the picture, but I'll try to catch them at the next dinner!
From left to right: Ross, me, Lucas, Luisa and Trino. Ross recently came back from Italy to go to work in Duke! and she was very happy to be again at Trino's and Mariana's. :)

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