On October 3rd I drove out to Venice to run a sushi station at the LA Helps LA tasting event. (A big thank you to Mac of Dishin’ In The Kitchen who is letting me use her photos for the event portion of this post. My camera battery decided to go on the fritz at the event, and if it weren’t for Mac, I wouldn’t have any event pictures!)
The event, hosted by Small Pleasures, was to raise funds for the Gulf Restoration Network. I was one of a group of bloggers that was present to pass out signature appetizers to the guests, as the guests ate the amazing food made by Uncle Darrow’s Cajun/Creole Restaurant and The Cheese Impresario, and the incredible dessert buffet made by Gisele of Small Pleasures.
I wish I had a picture of the food from Uncle Darrow’s—it was DELICIOUS. I’m still dreaming about their red beans and rice . . . so good. I do, however, have pictures of some of Gisele’s amazing dessert creations, including her luxurious chocolate cake and her out-of-this-world Fig Frangipane Tart.
I didn’t have a whole lot of time to eat during the event, so I grabbed a couple of things when it was over to take home with me and eat at home. One of those items was a slice of Gisele’s tart. Mr. Fuji and I savored every last little microscopic crumb of that slice because it was so darn good. I’m seriously thinking that I’m going to need to hire Gisele to make something similar for my birthday “cake” . . . . Lucky for you, Gisele is awesome and posted her recipe!
A HUGE thank you to the California Fig Advisory Board for providing the figs for the tart and a ton of GORGEOUS fig leaves, which I used to line the platters of sushi at my sushi station.
You definitely made the event more delicious and beautiful!
I had so much fun at the event. The energy was amazing.
I had help from two awesome assistant sushi chefs during the night. Greg (Sippity Sup) and Erika (In Erika’s Kitchen) were quick and willing learners and I had them both making temarizushi (ball-shaped sushi) within a matter of minutes.
For my sushi station, I teamed up with I Love Blue Sea who provided sustainable seafood (kind of appropriate for an event raising funds for the Gulf Restoration Network, don’t ya think?), and made 2 different kinds of sushi.
I made temakizushi (cone-shaped hand rolls) to order and salmon temarizushi (ball-shaped sushi). I love temarizushi. Not only are they fun and easy to make (especially with my handy-dandy little trick that I’m going to share with you), but they make a great appetizer because they are perfectly bite-sized and are beautiful to look at! Temari are small Japanese balls made with leftover scraps of kimono fabric. This style of sushi is meant to be reminiscent of these balls.
How to Make Temarizushi (Ball-Shaped Sushi)
- Lay a large square of plastic wrap on a clean dry work surface. Place a slice of fish in the middle of the square, and put a tiny dot of wasabi in the middle of the fish.
- With slightly damp hands, shape approximately 2 teaspoons of sushi rice into a ball and place the ball on top of the fish. Don’t be tempted to use more rice. Larger balls are harder to eat, and the balls taste better with a high fish to rice ratio.
- Gather the plastic wrap up around the rice ball, then twist the plastic wrap, sealing the rice inside, and firmly press the rice into a ball shape (don’t press too hard or you’ll turn everything into rice mash . . . yuck!).
- While holding the plastic wrapped ball in one hand, use your forefinger of your free hand to gently press into the center of the fish to make a small depression, flattening the rice ball slightly in the process.
- Unwrap the ball and set it on a plate. Place your garnish of choice in the depression. Repeat to make more balls!
See how easy that is? Now you can go and make your own salmon temarizushi for your next party (or a special snack)! I’ve provided a few alternative ideas after the recipe (because I love ya)!
Salmon Temarizushi (Ball-Shaped Sushi)
Makes about 4 dozen balls
5 ounces sushi-fresh salmon, sliced into thin squares (1 to 2 inches square)
2 tablespoons wasabi
2 cups sushi rice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 bunch of chives, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Lay a large square of plastic wrap on a clean dry work surface. Place a slice of salmon in the middle of the square. Put a tiny dot of wasabi in the middle of the salmon.
2. With slightly damp hands, shape approximately 2 teaspoons of sushi rice into a ball and place the ball on top of the salmon.
3. Gather the plastic wrap up around the rice ball, then twist the plastic wrap, sealing the rice inside, and firmly press the rice into a ball shape (don’t press too hard or you’ll turn everything into rice mash).
4. While holding the plastic wrapped ball in one hand, use your forefinger of your free hand to gently press into the center of the salmon to make a small depression, flattening the rice ball slightly in the process.
5. Unwrap the ball and set it on a plate. Place a small dollop of mayonnaise in the depression and garnish with several chive pieces.
6. Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients.
* Don’t be tempted to use more rice! Not only are smaller balls easier to eat, but one of the things that make temarizushi so delicious is the higher fish to rice ratio.
Salmon Temarizushi with Sesame Seeds: Instead of topping the balls with mayonnaise and chives, sprinkle some toasted black sesame seeds in the depression for a simpler nutty variation.
Vegetarian Shiso Temarizushi: Place a dollop of mayonnaise or wasabi on a small square cut out of a shiso leaf. For the temarizushi as directed in the tutorial. Fill the depression with chopped pickled ginger.
* Pillsbury Crescent Cook Contest Voting:
To vote for me in the Pillsbury Crescent Cook Contest, you have to fill out the entire form below the pictures and set up an account for your vote to count. After registering the first time, you then have to log in for each subsequent vote (log in area is at the top of the page), hit the vote button, then scroll down and hit the “Enter Now” button. You’ll know that your vote has been counted if you then get a screen that starts with, “Thank you for entering the My Crescent Wow Sweepstakes!” Thank you so much for your support!!